Nerses Ashtaraketsi, a figure of national-liberation struggle

The image of Nerses Ashtaraketsi, as the 121st Supreme Patriarch of all Armenians, was elucidated at its true worth by many biographers and historiographers. But it would be incomplete, if the high qualities of this figure, who led national liberating struggle and promoted strict activities in the educational sphere, were less studied or escaped attention. Our article is a little attempt to present Nerses Ashtaraketsi’s above mentioned spheres of activity, using all the information maintained in history.

In the main exhibition of Yerevan City History Museum, the visitors see the portrait of Nerses Ashtaraketsi (work of Unknown artist) and listen to an excursion of his role in seizure of the stronghold of Yerevan, as well as, in liberation of Eastern Armenia.

So, speaking about Nerses Ashtaraketsi, means presenting the historical events of the beginning of the 19-th century, the active participant and one of the organizers of which was he, as a clergyman and as a political figure.

Nerses Ashtaraketsi started his national and political activities during those years when he was in Georgia. He actively took part in Russian – Persian two wars that were at the beginning of the century (1804-1813 and 1826-1828).

Overfilled with the desire of liberating their homeland, hundreds of young men entered the voluntary detachments headed by him and took part in the Yerevan invasion.

The voluntary movement broadened, turning into a real national liberating fight, which ended with the capture of Yerevan and the liberation of Eastern Armenia.

Susanna Harutyunyan
Yerevan City History Museum
Chief of Modern History Section