08 May 2003, 17:27

"Sasuntsi David" ("David Sasunsky")

The heroic epos of Armenian people.

Consists of 4 branches: "Sanasar and Bagdasar ", "Mger the Grown-up ", "David Sasunsky" and "Mger Younger ". The basic in this epic cycle is the third branch. As an occasion for its creation there was a revolt of peasants in 851 against collectors of a tribute of the Arabian caliphate in one of areas of the Western Armenia, a mountain Sasun.

The whole cycle was created within many centuries by national storytellers - vipasans on various Armenian dialects and had incorporated legends, traditions and epic legends from most ancient times of the Armenian history. Many real historical events (campaigns of crusaders etc.) were reflected in it. The epos was first written down in 1874 by the Armenian specialist in folklore G.Srvandztjan.

The main hero of the epos, David, has some similarity with Ovnan Khutetsi, the head of revolt against the tyrant the Mer the Physician, who had come to subdue Sasun. However, the epos is not the chronicle of the certain concrete events. The basic idea of the work - struggle for independence of the native land - was close to all Armenian people. Being enriched, developing, scooping from a treasury of national creativity, the epos became public, had become an art display and generalization of national life. Heroes of the epos are carriers of a national ideal of nobleness, validity, courage and heroism, greatness and sincere patriotism.

The epos has an effect rhythmic speech, jambus and anapaest alternate in it, separate episodes are composed like songs. Simplicity and a stateliness of images, national character of poetics, ideological and philosophical depth are characteristic to "David Sasunsky".

On motives of the epos the poems written by O.Tumanjan and A.Isaakjan and others were created. In September 1939 the Soviet community marked a 1000 anniversary of the epos. "Sasuntsi David" is translated into many languages.


In Russian translation - David Sasunsky. - Moscow, 1939.

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