As an independent cycle and a new quality, Armenian Literature in the X-XII centuries was a reflection of the changes that took place in the political, economic and social life of Armenia. From raising vital issues, continuing the traditions of the past, literature brought life closer. From the viewpoint of humanism, patriotism, and other high human ideas, it reflected on the glorification of nature, human beauty, external and internal values, power and virtue, validating the need to portray real relationships and true psychology. The artistic principle of the reflection of life has gained a special influence, a confirmed quality, and a noticeable variety.
The period gave extraordinary artists who were leading the course of literature: Grigor Narekatsi (951-1003), John Sarkavag (between 1045-1050 – 1129), Nerses the Graceful (1100-1173) and Mkhitar Gosh (1120s-1213). Historical prose from the V-IX centuries was the leading genre in the literary movement, it began to cede the primacy to the types of verse speech. In terms of form and content, the old genres were significantly rebuilt, and their system was supplemented with new ones. In literature, one appeared with public and individual aspirations, with national and universal reasoning. All this marked the ideological and artistic rise of the literature of the era and set in motion the embryos of secularization that became the dominant spirit and form in the next phase of literacy development.
During this period, the religious models have been formed, the materials of which are of obvious literary value and are intended to provide for the spiritual, moral, national and patriotic upbringing of the people.
Among the great monuments of this period’s literature are the historical works of Tovma Artsruni ( the second half of the IX century – the beginning of the X century), Hovhannes Draskhanakertsi (between 845-850 – about 925), Anonymous Artsruni.
From the second half of the X century, in the historiography, there is a tendency to get rid of the artistic function and adopt a purely scientific documentary character. This was one of the trademarks of the definition of scientific and artistic prose in Armenian literature. The characteristic expressions of the decline of the artistic side of history were the works of Ukhtanes (2nd half of the X century), Stepanos Taronetsi (the first half of the second half of the X century), Aristakes Lastivertsi (XI century).
In this period, unprecedented growth in scriptural literature was taking place. Extensive literary works of various kinds were being formed. The rise of poetry is first and foremost related to the work of Grigor Narekatsi. His literary virtue is the poem “The Book of Tragedy” (1002). In his poetry, the poet embodies the aesthetic principle of real life, the reproduction of lived perceptions. His poems marked the beginning of the revelation of the themes of love and nature.
Nerses Shnorhali’s contribution to the development of Armenian literature is big. In his works, he composed various types of classic poems in Armenian literature. He performs epic poems and songs of Armenian political poetry. Nerses created almost all literature types of Armenian sizes, most of which he used.
The fictional prose of Mkhitar Gosh acquires a different character. His 190 parables reflect the 12th century’s socio-political situation of Armenia, which has achieved independence. The figurative heroes of the parables are diverse: celestial bodies, various species of flora, animals, humans. Numerous domestic and historical conversations, exhilarating stories reflecting everyday life on which human relationships are being created.
Translated by Mariam Ispoiryan