This Week in Armenian History

Birth of Azat Hambarian (June 8, 1926)

After the death of Stalin, when the history of Western Armenia stopped being taboo, historian Azat Hambarian became one of its best specialists in Soviet Armenia.

Hambarian was born in the village of Satkha, in the region of Javakhk (Georgia), on June 8, 1926. After graduating from his village’s high school, he taught two years there (1942-1944). He later entered the Faculty of History of the Pedagogical Institute “Mikayel Nalbandian” of Leninakan (nowadays Gyumri). He graduated in 1948 and headed the office of history for a year.

In 1949, he went to Leningrad (nowadays St. Petersburg) and was admitted to the Ph.D. program of the local branch of the Institute of History of the Soviet Academy of Sciences. He graduated in 1953 and defended his first Ph.D. dissertation in the same year. Upon his return to Armenia, for the next half century his life would be linked to the Institute of History of the Academy of Sciences, where he was a junior researcher between 1953 and 1959 and then a senior researcher (1959-1980). In 1966, he defended his second Ph.D. dissertation and in 1980 he was appointed head of the section of modern history. In 2000, he was elected corresponding members of the National Academy of Sciences. He taught at the Pedagogical Institute of Kirovakan (nowadays Vanadzor) (1970-1978), at Yerevan State University (1985-1987), and other higher education institutions of the capital. He passed away in Yerevan on July 16, 2003.

Hambarian focused chiefly on the agrarian relations of Western Armenia, the national liberation movements of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and the socioeconomic and social and political history. His main works, all in Armenian, are: “The Agrarian Relations in Western Armenia (1856-1914)” (1965), “The National and Land Policy of the Young Turks and the Liberation Movements in Western Armenia (1908-1914)” (1979), “Brief History of the Socioeconomic Relations of Armenia: Second Half of the Nineteenth Century-Early Twentieth Century” (1983), “The Armenian Socio-Political Thought about the Paths of Liberation of Western Armenians: Second Half of the Nineteenth Century-Early Twentieth Century” (1990), 1983), “The Liberation Movements in Western Armenia (1898-1908)” and “The Economy of Western Armenia (1856-1914)” (2003).