This Week in Armenian History

Birth of Arshak Ter-Mikelian (February 1, 1864)

Arshak Ter-Mikelian was a prominent Armenian lay theologian of the late nineteenth century.  

He was born on February 1, 1864, in Shushi (Artsakh). After graduating from the city school in 1881, he entered the Gevorgian Seminary of Holy Echmiadzin, becoming a graduate in 1888. His passion for knowledge and higher education led him to the University of Jena, in Germany, where he studied theology. 

He graduated in 1892 with a Ph.D. His dissertation was entitled The Armenian Church and the Byzantine Councils. He published the dissertation in Armenian translation, which marked the beginning of the Armenian school of Byzantine Studies and earned the Sahag-Mesrob prize. He returned to Holy Echmiadzin in 1892 and took the position of professor of Theology at the Gevorgian Seminary. In 1894 he moved to Shushi to teach at the Diocesan School. 

Along with his teaching duties, Ter-Mikelian published important studies of theology, religion, history, philology, and pedagogy in the journal Ararat, as well as other periodicals. He published several books besides his doctoral dissertation: a critical edition of historian Samuel Anetsi Compilation of Books of Historians (1893), The Holy Sacrament of Marriage (1894), The Armenian Apostolic Church and Her Sacred Order (1897), and The Catechism of the Holy Armenian Church (1900). 

Arshak Ter-Mikelian passed away prematurely in Shushi on June 25, 1901.