07 April 2003, 20:38

Artsruni, Grigory

Famous Armenian literary man and journalist.

Born in 1845 in Moscow, in a family of a Russian military service general. In early childhood, he almost didn't speak his native language, receiving household education in Russian and French spirit; later he filled in this blank by autodidactic studies in Armenian language and literature. Grigory Artsruni received high education in Tiflis gymnasium and higher education initially in Moscow and St. Petersburg Universities and later in Zurich, Geneva, and Heidelberg. He studied political and natural sciences, attended lectures by Bluntschli, Treitschke, Helmholtz, and Wundt, and remained forever a German culture admirer. He received his Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy and Economics) in Heidelberg.

Grigory Artsruni's literary and journalist activities started in 1865; he initially worked in Armenian press media: Megu Ayastani (The Bee of Armenia) and Aykagan Ashkhar (Armenian World), demonstrating a journalist temperament and progressive vision (for instance, he insisted on the necessity of general-admission lectures, joint education for both sexes, and female emancipation). In 1872, he started his own newspaper Mshak (Worker) in Tiflis, which was ideological successor to the Moscow Severnoye Siyanie (Aurora Borealis) magazine (1858-1864) and soon became one of the major Armenian media; he published it, with a short break, until his last day. Mshak, where sound literary powers cooperated and Artsruni himself took part in the journalism, touched the vital issues and backed wide spreading of education and development of Armenian literature, media, and theater, improvement in peasants' well-being, reforms in the Church field, unification of Transcaucasian Armenians with the Turkish Armenians, etc. Mshak soon received much weight. Artsruni's rivals tend to accuse him of excessive cosmopolitism and not taking into consideration the national traits and historical traditions of the Armenian people.

Grigory Artsruni's stories Evelina (published in Baku in 1894), There and Here (published in Obzor magazine in 1878, issues 143-146), and his book Economic Situation of the Turkish Armenians (Tiflis, 1880) have been translated into Russian.

Grigory Artsruni died in 1892.

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