Dr. Claude Mutafian to give a public lecture on ‘Jerusalem and the Armenians until the Ottoman Conquest’

Dr. Claude Mutafian in front of a large book case.

UPDATE: This event has been postponed until January 2023.

Dr. Claude Mutafian will give a presentation on “Jerusalem and the Armenians until the Ottoman Conquest (1516)” at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 15, in the University Business Center, Alice Peters Auditorium, on the Fresno State campus. 

In the four-fold division of the Old City of Jerusalem, the Christian and the Armenian Quarters are contiguous but independent. This situation corresponds to the ancientness and the importance of the Armenian presence. Jerusalem has indeed remained a myth for Armenians since the 4th century when Christianity was proclaimed a national religion.

The relations of the Armenians with the Holy City have never ceased, and they culminated at the time of the Crusades, which gave the opportunity to found in Cilicia, at the end of the 11th century, an Armenian State bordering Frankish Syria, which was to convert into a Kingdom one century later. Jerusalem was then home to the seat of an Armenian Patriarchate, and the cultural activity was intense: inscriptions, sculptures, mosaics, pieces of goldsmithery, superb manuscripts decorated with miniatures which are among the masterpieces of Armenian art. Under the rule of the Mamluks, Armenian culture continued to flourish in Jerusalem, and the accounts of European travelers never omitted a section devoted to the Armenians.

Today, Jerusalem is the most important repository of Armenian culture outside Armenia. 

Dr. Mutafian’s new book presents the relations between Armenia and Jerusalem in their historical and artistic context. The abundance of maps and genealogical charts allows for easy reading. The iconography plays a fundamental role, the text being essentially treated as captions for images, let them be reproductions of miniatures, monuments, works of art, or manuscript pages of historians and travelers.

In his talk, Dr. Mutafian will discuss the Armenians of Jerusalem and also his new book.

Claude Armen Mutafian is the son of parents who were survivors of the 1915 Genocide. His father is the well-known painter Zareh Mutafian. His studies led him towards Mathematics, and he taught for more than 40 years in various Universities: Paris, Princeton, New Jersey, Havana, Mexico, and Yerevan. His passion has always been History, and he has written about the Genocide and Karabagh. Still, his main field of interest remains the Medieval period, particularly Cilician Armenia and its relations with the Crusaders and the Mongols. Cilicia at the Crossroad of Empires was published in 1988, and the Historical Atlas of Armenia in 2001.

The lecture is free and open to the public. Parking is available in Fresno State Lots P6 and P5, near the University Business Center, Fresno State. A free parking code can be obtained by contacting the Armenian Studies Program. For information about upcoming Armenian Studies Program presentations, please follow us on our Facebook page, @ArmenianStudiesFresnoState or at the Program website.

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The College of Arts and Humanities provides a diverse student population with the communication skills, humanistic values and cultural awareness that form the foundation of scholarship. The college offers intellectual and artistic programs that engage students and faculty and the community in collaboration, dialog and discovery. These programs help preserve, illuminate and nourish the arts and humanities for the campus and for the wider community.

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