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Classical Armenian Online

Lesson 2

Todd B. Krause, John A.C. Greppin, and Jonathan Slocum

The Yervanduni Dynasty

Yervanduni is the name given to a family whose members were appointed by the Medes and Persians as governors in Armenia over the period 585 - 200 B.C. At least four of these governors were named Yervand. Their ethnic background is not clear. Most now believe the Urartuan and Armenian ethnicities to have been distinct, and it is not certain from which culture the Yervandunis originated. The Yervandunis were related somehow to the Persians, if not by blood, at least through bonds of marriage.

By roughly 610 B.C., the Medes and Babylonians had divided the remnants of the Assyrian empire, and the Medes began to consolidate their power in the north. Having captured portions of Urartu and Mesopotamia, by 585 B.C. the Medes were a dominant force in the region. They appointed a Yervanduni family member to administer the Urartuan province.

Median hegemony did not last long. A number of the subjugated states rose in rebellion under the leadership of the Persian Cyrus. Among those rebelling were the Yervandunis. By 550 B.C. Cyrus had overthrown the Medes and established the beginnings of the Achaemenid dynasty, one which would greatly expand Persian influence through the exploits of Cyrus' son Cambyses, and later those of Darius I.

The reasons are not clear, but somehow, after the fall of the Urartuan kingdom, Armenian culture gained in prestige and was eventually recognized as one of the important satrapies listed by Darius I on the Behistun rock (ca. 520 B.C.). This is the first record of the name Armenia. Darius had apparently campaigned against the Armenians when they rose in revolt against his taxes. To quell such rebellious tendencies, Darius may have installed a governor from another family, since there is no mention of the Yervandunis until the next century.

Under Achaemenid rule, the Armenians were free to live according to their own cultural dictates, as long as they paid tribute to the Persian empire. Most of our knowledge of Armenia during this period comes from the Anabasis of Xenophon, who travelled through the region with Greek troops in 401 - 400 B.C. Xenophon tells of a ruler Yervand, who was son-in-law to the Persian king Artaxerxes I. The Armenian satrapy evidently consisted of a non-Armenian enclave in the highlands, perhaps remnants of the Urartuan culture, and whom some believe to be the ancestors of the modern Kurds. Xenophon mentions underground winter quarters in some towns, an abundance of food, and a type of beer drunk through a reed straw.

Persian culture left an indelible imprint in Armenia. Although Aramaic seems to have been the language of administration during this period, Armenian is infused with several words borrowed from Persian. Armenians also seem to have adopted many Persian social practices, as well as something of the Zoroastrian pantheon. The Armenians dedicated several temples and festivals to Anahit, goddess of fertility and wisdom.

By the middle of the fourth century B.C., the Achaemenid dynasty had fallen into decline, allowing the Yervandunis to consolidate their power and create a nearly autonomous Armenian province. Darius III, supported in battle by another Armenian satrap named Yervand, finally fell before the onslaught of Alexander the Great in roughly 330 B.C. Under Alexander, and, after his death in 323 B.C., under Seleucid reign, Greek culture began to impose itself on the region.

Alexander's conquests did not take him through Armenian territory, however, and so the fall of the Persian empire left the Yervandunis an opportunity for consolidating a completely independent rule over the Armenian region. Initially Alexander appointed governors over Armenia, but the Yervandunis led a revolt and refused taxation. They reasserted their autonomy later in the face of the Seleucids. In the end, three distinct regions opened up in the Armenian region. There was a western region, Lesser Armenia, which periodically fell under Seleucid rule and was never completely annexed by the Yervandunis. To the east of this was the region of Dsopk, which acted as a buffer region between Lesser Armenia and the third region, Greater Armenia, in which the Yervanduni foothold was firm. Yervanduni rule finally came to an end in roughly 200 B.C., when they were overthrown by the Armenian noble Artashes, incited to revolt by the Seleucids.

Reading and Textual Analysis

Moses Khorenatsi (that is, Moses of Khoren) is the father of Armenian history and is traditionally believed to have written in the fifth century A.D. Other scholars have suggested the seventh century. Some of his work is based on a mythological history, which he describes with the same belief as the later true historical renderings of the Persian era up to the establishment of Christianity. This reading is taken from his History, Book II, Chapter 30.

Ənd ayn žamanaks ekacʿ i gorc hazarapetutʿean kayser i veray Pʿiwnikecʿwocʿ ew Pałestinacʿwocʿ, Asorwocʿ ew Miǰagetacʿ, Maṙinos ordi Storgeay:

  • ənd -- preposition; <ənd> through, along, by way of; against; during; instead of, in exchange for; with, in the company of; under -- At
  • ayn -- demonstrative pronoun; undeclined form of <ayn> that, that over there -- that
  • žamanaks -- noun; accusative plural of <žamanak> time -- time
  • ekacʿ -- verb; 3rd singular aorist of <gam> I come, go -- took
  • i -- preposition; <i> to, in(to), upon; at, under; from, out of, away from; from among; by, through the agency of -- ...
  • gorc -- noun; accusative singular of <gorc> work, deed -- the post # ekacʿ i gorc -- 'attained the office of' + gen.
  • hazarapetutʿean -- noun; genitive singular of <hazarapetutʿiwn> chiliarch, commander -- of... chiliarch
  • kayser -- noun; genitive singular of <kaysr> chief, emperor -- the emperor's
  • i veray -- compound preposition; <i veray> upon, over -- over
  • Pʿiwnikecʿwocʿ -- proper noun; genitive plural of <Pʿiwnikecʿi> Phoenician -- the Phoenicians
  • ew -- conjunction; <ew> and; even, also, too -- and
  • Pałestinacʿwocʿ -- proper noun; genitive plural of <Pałestinacʿik> Palestinian -- Palestinians
  • Asorwocʿ -- proper noun; genitive plural of <Asori> Assyrian, Syrians -- the Syrians
  • ew -- conjunction; <ew> and; even, also, too -- and
  • Miǰagetacʿ -- proper noun; genitive plural of <Miǰagetkʿ> Mesopotamia -- Mesopotamians
  • Maṙinos -- proper noun; nominative singular of <Marinos> Marinus -- Marinus
  • ordi -- noun; nominative singular of <ordi> son -- son
  • Storgeay -- proper noun; genitive singular of <Storgews> Storgius -- of Storgius

aṙ or aṙakʿeacʿ Abgaros erkus i glxaworacʿ iwrocʿ, zMarihab bdešxn Ałjneacʿ, ew zŠamšagram nahapet Apahuneacʿ tohmin, ew zAnan hawatarim iwr` i kʿałakʿn Betʿkʿubin, zgacʿucʿanel nma zpatčaṙs ertʿaloyn iwroy yarewels, cʿucʿanelov nma zgir uxtin` or ənd Artašēs ew ənd ełbars iwr, ew aṙnel zna tʿikuns ōgnakanutʿean :

  • aṙ -- preposition; <aṙ> to, toward (a person); beside; in the time of; in addition to -- to
  • or -- relative pronoun; nominative singular of <or> who, what, which -- And... him
  • aṙakʿeacʿ -- verb; 3rd singular aorist of <aṙakʿem> I send -- sent
  • Abgaros -- proper noun; nominative singular of <Abgaros> Abgar -- Abgar
  • erkus -- adjective used as substantive; accusative plural of <erku> two -- two
  • i -- preposition; <i> to, in(to), upon; at, under; from, out of, away from; from among; by, through the agency of -- from among
  • glxaworacʿ -- noun; ablative plural of <glxawor> notable, head -- notables
  • iwrocʿ -- reflexive possessive adjective; ablative plural of <iwr> him-, her-, it-self -- his
  • zMarihab -- direct object marker <z‘>... + proper noun; accusative singular of <Marihab> Mar Ihab -- Mar Ihab
  • bdešxn -- noun; accusative singular of <bdešx> consul + demonstrative suffix <‘n> that, that over there, the -- the consul
  • Ałjneacʿ -- proper noun; genitive plural of <Ałjnikʿ> (pl.) Aghjnik' -- of Aghjnik'
  • ew -- conjunction; <ew> and; even, also, too -- and
  • zŠamšagram -- direct object marker <z‘>... + proper noun; accusative singular of <Šamšagran> Shamshagram -- Shamshagram
  • nahapet -- noun; accusative singular of <nahapet> nahapet, senior prince -- senior prince
  • Apahuneacʿ -- proper noun; genitive plural of <Apahuneikʿ> (pl.) Apahunis -- of the Apahunis
  • tohmin -- noun; genitive singular of <tohm> dynasty, tribe + demonstrative suffix <‘n> that, that over there, the -- of the dynasty
  • ew -- conjunction; <ew> and; even, also, too -- as well as
  • zAnan -- direct object marker <z‘>... + proper noun; accusative singular of <Anan> Anan -- Anan
  • hawatarim -- noun; accusative singular of <hawatarim> confidant -- confidant
  • iwr -- reflexive pronoun; genitive singular of <iwr> him-, her-, it-self -- his
  • i -- preposition; <i> to, in(to), upon; at, under; from, out of, away from; from among; by, through the agency of -- to
  • kʿałakʿn -- noun; accusative singular of <kʿałakʿ> city -- the city
  • Betʿkʿubin -- proper noun; accusative singular of <Betʿkʿubin> Bet Kubin -- of Bet Kubin
  • zgacʿucʿanel -- verb; infinitive undeclined form of <zgacʿucʿanem> I inform -- to inform... of
  • nma -- pronoun; dative singular of <na> he, she, it -- him
  • zpatčaṙs -- direct object marker <z‘>... + noun; accusative plural of <patčaṙ> basis, cause, reason -- the reasons
  • ertʿaloyn -- verb; infinitive genitive singular of <ertal> to go + definite marker <‘n> the -- of... going
  • iwroy -- reflexive possessive adjective; genitive singular of <iwr> him-, her-, it-self -- his
  • yarewels -- preposition; <i> to, in(to), upon; at, under; from, out of, away from; from among; by, through the agency of + noun; accusative plural of <arewelkʿ> East, the Orient -- to the East
  • cʿucʿanelov -- verb; infinitive instrumental singular of <cʿucʿanem> I show -- by showing
  • nma -- pronoun; dative singular of <na> he, she, it -- him
  • zgir -- direct object marker <z‘>... + noun; accusative singular of <gir> writing, text -- the text
  • uxtin -- noun; genitive singular of <uxt> agreement, covenant + demonstrative suffix <‘n> that, that over there, the -- of the agreement
  • or -- relative pronoun; nominative singular of <or> who, what, which -- which (was)
  • ənd -- preposition; <ənd> through, along, by way of; against; during; instead of, in exchange for; with, in the company of; under -- between
  • Artašēs -- proper noun; accusative singular of <Artašēs> Artashes -- Artashes
  • ew -- conjunction; <ew> and; even, also, too -- and
  • ənd -- preposition; <ənd> through, along, by way of; against; during; instead of, in exchange for; with, in the company of; under -- ...
  • ełbars -- noun; accusative plural of <ełbayr> brother -- brothers
  • iwr -- reflexive pronoun; genitive singular of <iwr> him-, her-, it-self -- his
  • ew -- conjunction; <ew> and; even, also, too -- and
  • aṙnel -- verb; infinitive undeclined form of <aṙnem> I do, make -- to make
  • zna -- direct object marker <z‘>... + pronoun; accusative singular of <na> he, she, it -- him
  • tʿikuns -- noun; accusative plural of <tʿikunkʿ> (pl.) back, shoulder; help, auxiliary -- an aid
  • ōgnakanutʿean -- noun; genitive singular of <awgnkanutʿiwn> cooperation; help, support -- of (his) support # or dative

Orocʿ ekeal gtin zna yElewtʿeroypōlis :

  • orocʿ -- relative pronoun; genitive plural of <or> who, what, which -- (And) they # genitive subject of participle
  • ekeal -- verb; past participle undeclined form of <gam> I come, go -- upon arriving
  • gtin -- verb; 3rd plural aorist of <gtanem> I find, get, obtain -- found
  • zna -- direct object marker <z‘>... + pronoun; accusative singular of <na> he, she, it -- him
  • yElewtʿeroypōlis -- preposition; <i> to, in(to), upon; at, under; from, out of, away from; from among; by, through the agency of + proper noun; locative singular of <Elewtʿeroypōlis> Eleutheropolis -- in Eleutheropolis

Ew nora ənkaleal znosa xałałutʿeamb ew mecaranōkʿ, aṙnē patasxani Abgaru: Mi kaskacēr i kayserē saks aynr, miayn zi harkeln liov pʿutʿascʿis :

  • ew -- conjunction; <ew> and; even, also, too -- And
  • nora -- pronoun; genitive singular of <na> he, she, it -- he # genitive subject of participle
  • ənkaleal -- verb; past participle undeclined form of <əndunim> I receive -- having received
  • znosa -- direct object marker <z‘>... + pronoun; accusative plural of <na> he, she, it -- them
  • xałałutʿeamb -- noun; instrumental singular of <xałałutʿiwn> peace -- with peace
  • ew -- conjunction; <ew> and; even, also, too -- and
  • mecaranōkʿ -- noun; instrumental plural of <mecaran> respect, honor -- honor
  • aṙnē -- verb; 3rd singular present of <aṙnem> I do, make -- gave
  • patasxani -- noun; accusative singular of <patasxani> answer -- an answer
  • Abgaru -- proper noun; dative singular of <Abgaros> Abgar -- to Abgar
  • mi -- imperative adverb; <mi> (do) not -- Do not
  • kaskacēr -- verb; 2nd singular present imperative of <kaskacem> I doubt, suspect -- doubt
  • i -- preposition; <i> to, in(to), upon; at, under; from, out of, away from; from among; by, through the agency of -- ...
  • kayserē -- noun; ablative singular of <kaysr> chief, emperor -- the emperor
  • saks -- preposition; <sak> on account of, because of -- on account of
  • aynr -- demonstrative pronoun; genitive singular of <ayn> that, that over there -- that
  • miayn -- adverb; <miayn> only, merely -- merely
  • zi -- conjunction; <zi> for; that; because -- that
  • harkeln -- verb; infinitive used as complement <harkim> I pay tribute + demonstrative suffix <‘n> that, that over there, the -- to pay (his) tribute off # definite marker is often appended to the first accented word of a subordinate clause
  • liov -- adverb; <liov> fully -- in full
  • pʿutʿascʿis -- verb; 2nd singular aorist subjunctive mediopassive of <pʿutʿam> I hasten, make haste -- you hasten

Ew nocʿa darjeal anti, elin yErusałēm tesanel zPʿrkičʿn mer Kʿristos vasn lroy hambawocʿ skʿančʿelagorcutʿeancʿn: orum ew akanates ełeal patmecʿin Abgaru :

  • ew -- conjunction; <ew> and; even, also, too -- And
  • nocʿa -- pronoun; genitive plural of <na> he, she, it -- they # genitive subject of participle
  • darjeal -- verb; past participle undeclined form of <daṙnam> I return -- having returned
  • anti -- adverb; <anti> from there -- from there
  • elin -- verb; 3rd plural aorist of <elanem> I come, go up -- went up
  • yErusałēm -- preposition; <i> to, in(to), upon; at, under; from, out of, away from; from among; by, through the agency of + proper noun; accusative singular of <Erusałēm> Jerusalem -- to Jerusalem
  • tesanel -- verb; infinitive used as complement <tesanem> I see -- to see
  • zPʿrkičʿn -- direct object marker <z‘>... + noun; accusative singular of <pʿrkičʿ> savior + demonstrative suffix <‘n> that, that over there, the -- Savior
  • mer -- pronoun; genitive plural of <es> I -- our
  • Kʿristos -- proper noun; accusative singular of <Kʿristos> Christ -- Christ
  • vasn -- preposition; <vasn> because of, on account of, for the sake of -- on account of
  • lroy -- noun; genitive singular of <lur> hearing; news, report; voice -- of hearing
  • hambawocʿ -- noun; genitive plural of <hambaw> news -- the news
  • skʿančʿelagorcutʿeancʿn -- noun; genitive plural of <skʿančʿelagorcutʿiwn> miracle + demonstrative suffix <‘n> that, that over there, the -- of the miracles
  • orum -- relative pronoun; dative singular of <or> who, what, which -- to this
  • ew -- conjunction; <ew> and; even, also, too -- and
  • akanates -- noun; nominative singular of <akanates> eyewitness -- witness
  • ełeal -- verb; past participle undeclined form of <ełanim> I become -- being
  • patmecʿin -- verb; 3rd plural aorist of <patmem> I report, tell -- they recounted (this)
  • Abgaru -- proper noun; dative singular of <Abgaros> Abgar -- to Abgar

Ənd or zarmacʿeal Abgaru, hawatacʿ čšmartapēs ibr ardarew ordi Astucoy, ew asē: Ayn zōrutʿiwnkʿ očʿ mardoy en, ayl Astucoy: zi čʿikʿ okʿ i mardkanē or karē zmeṙeals yarucʿanel, baycʿ miayn Astuac :

  • ənd -- preposition; <ənd> through, along, by way of; against; during; instead of, in exchange for; with, in the company of; under -- at
  • or -- relative pronoun; accusative singular of <or> who, what, which -- this
  • zarmacʿeal -- verb; past participle undeclined form of <zarmanam> I am astonished, marvel -- Astonished
  • Abgaru -- proper noun; genitive singular of <Abgaros> Abgar -- Abgar # genitive subject of participle
  • hawatacʿ -- verb; 3rd singular aorist of <hawatam> I believe -- recognized
  • čšmartapēs -- adverb; <čšmartapēs> truly -- truly
  • ibr -- conjunction; <ibr> like, as (if) -- as
  • ardarew -- adverb; <ardarew> truly -- ...
  • ordi -- noun; accusative singular of <ordi> son -- son
  • Astucoy -- proper noun; genitive singular of <Astuac> God -- of God
  • ew -- conjunction; <ew> and; even, also, too -- and
  • asē -- verb; 3rd singular present of <asem> I say -- said
  • ayn -- demonstrative pronoun; undeclined form of <ayn> that, that over there -- These
  • zōrutʿiwnkʿ -- noun; nominative plural of <zawrutʿiwn> miracle -- marvels
  • očʿ -- adverb; <očʿ> no, not -- not
  • mardoy -- noun; genitive singular of <mard> man -- of man
  • en -- verb; 3rd plural present of <em> I am -- are
  • ayl -- conjunction; <ayl> but -- but
  • Astucoy -- proper noun; genitive singular of <Astuac> God -- of God
  • zi -- conjunction; <zi> for; that; because -- for
  • čʿikʿ -- adverb; <čʿ‘> not + indefinite pronoun; nominative singular of <*ikʿ> something, anything -- there is no
  • okʿ -- indefinite pronoun; nominative singular of <okʿ> someone, anyone -- one
  • i -- preposition; <i> to, in(to), upon; at, under; from, out of, away from; from among; by, through the agency of -- among
  • mardkanē -- noun; ablative singular of <mardik> mankind, people -- men
  • or -- relative pronoun; nominative singular of <or> who, what, which -- who
  • karē -- verb; 3rd singular present of <karem> I can, am able -- is able
  • zmeṙeals -- direct object marker <z‘>... + adjective used as substantive; accusative plural of <mereal> dead -- the dead
  • yarucʿanel -- verb; infinitive used as complement <yarucʿanem> I raise -- to raise
  • baycʿ -- conjunction; <baycʿ> but -- save
  • miayn -- adjective; nominative singular of <miayn> only, solitary -- alone
  • Astuac -- proper noun; nominative singular of <Astuac> God -- God

Ew kʿanzi apakaneal ēr marminn iwr i čʿaračʿar cʿawocʿ, or patahecʿin nma i Parsicʿ ašxarhin yaṙaǰ kʿan zeawtʿn am, or i mardkanē očʿ ełew nma hnar bžškutʿean, et tanel nma tʿułtʿ ałačʿanacʿ, gal ew bžškel zna i cʿawocʿn

  • ew -- conjunction; <ew> and; even, also, too -- And
  • kʿanzi -- conjunction; <kʿanzi> because -- because
  • apakaneal -- verb; past participle nominative singular of <apakanem> I corrupt -- corrupted
  • ēr -- verb; 3rd singular imperfect of <em> I am -- was
  • marminn -- noun; nominative singular of <marmin> body + demonstrative suffix <‘n> that, that over there, the -- body
  • iwr -- reflexive pronoun; genitive singular of <iwr> him-, her-, it-self -- his
  • i -- preposition; <i> to, in(to), upon; at, under; from, out of, away from; from among; by, through the agency of -- by
  • čʿaračʿar -- adjective; undeclined form of <čʿaračʿar> terrible -- terrible
  • cʿawocʿ -- noun; ablative plural of <cʿaw> pain -- pains
  • or -- relative pronoun; nominative singular of <or> who, what, which -- which
  • patahecʿin -- verb; 3rd plural aorist of <patahem> I occur, befall -- had befallen
  • nma -- pronoun; dative singular of <na> he, she, it -- him
  • i -- preposition; <i> to, in(to), upon; at, under; from, out of, away from; from among; by, through the agency of -- in
  • Parsicʿ -- proper noun; genitive plural of <Parskʿ> (pl.) the Persians -- of the Persians
  • ašxarhin -- noun; locative singular of <ašxarh> land, realm + demonstrative suffix <‘n> that, that over there, the -- the land
  • yaṙaǰ -- adverb; <yaṙaǰ> before, earlier -- before
  • kʿan -- conjunction; <kʿan> than -- ...
  • zeawtʿn -- direct object marker <z‘>... + adjective; undeclined form <eawtʿn> seven -- seven
  • am -- noun; accusative singular of <am> year -- year # when the cardinal number is undeclined, the substantive usually follows in the singular, cf. Section 17.1
  • or -- relative pronoun; accusative plural of <or> who, what, which -- who # direct object of bžškutʿean
  • i -- preposition; <i> to, in(to), upon; at, under; from, out of, away from; from among; by, through the agency of -- among
  • mardkanē -- noun; ablative singular of <mardik> mankind, people -- men
  • očʿ -- adverb; <očʿ> no, not -- not
  • ełew -- verb; 3rd singular aorist of <ełanim> I become -- there was
  • nma -- pronoun; dative singular of <na> he, she, it -- for him
  • hnar -- noun; nominative singular of <hnar> means -- a means
  • bžškutʿean -- noun; genitive singular of <bžškutʿiwn> healing, cure -- of curing
  • et -- verb; 3rd singular aorist of <tam> I give; permit, let -- he granted
  • tanel -- verb; infinitive used as complement <tanim> I take -- to be taken
  • nma -- pronoun; dative singular of <na> he, she, it -- to him
  • tʿułtʿ -- noun; accusative singular of <tʿułtʿ> letter -- a letter
  • ałačʿanacʿ -- noun; genitive plural <ałačʿankʿ> (pl.) supplication -- of entreaty
  • gal -- verb; infinitive of <gam> I come, go -- to come
  • ew -- conjunction; <ew> and; even, also, too -- and
  • bžškel -- verb; infinitive of <bžškem> I cure -- cure
  • zna -- direct object marker <z‘>... + pronoun; accusative singular of <na> he, she, it -- him
  • i -- preposition; <i> to, in(to), upon; at, under; from, out of, away from; from among; by, through the agency of -- of
  • cʿawocʿn -- noun; ablative plural of <cʿaw> pain + demonstrative suffix <‘n> that, that over there, the -- (his) pains

Lesson Text

Ənd ayn žamanaks ekacʿ i gorc hazarapetutʿean kayser i veray Pʿiwnikecʿwocʿ ew Pałestinacʿwocʿ, Asorwocʿ ew Miǰagetacʿ, Maṙinos ordi Storgeay: aṙ or aṙakʿeacʿ Abgaros erkus i glxaworacʿ iwrocʿ, zMarihab bdešxn Ałjneacʿ, ew zŠamšagram nahapet Apahuneacʿ tohmin, ew zAnan hawatarim iwr` i kʿałakʿn Betʿkʿubin, zgacʿucʿanel nma zpatčaṙs ertʿaloyn iwroy yarewels, cʿucʿanelov nma zgir uxtin` or ənd Artašēs ew ənd ełbars iwr, ew aṙnel zna tʿikuns ōgnakanutʿean : Orocʿ ekeal gtin zna yElewtʿeroypōlis : Ew nora ənkaleal znosa xałałutʿeamb ew mecaranōkʿ, aṙnē patasxani Abgaru: Mi kaskacēr i kayserē saks aynr, miayn zi harkeln liov pʿutʿascʿis : Ew nocʿa darjeal anti, elin yErusałēm tesanel zPʿrkičʿn mer Kʿristos vasn lroy hambawocʿ skʿančʿelagorcutʿeancʿn: orum ew akanates ełeal patmecʿin Abgaru : Ənd or zarmacʿeal Abgaru, hawatacʿ čšmartapēs ibr ardarew ordi Astucoy, ew asē: Ayn zōrutʿiwnkʿ očʿ mardoy en, ayl Astucoy: zi čʿikʿ okʿ i mardkanē or karē zmeṙeals yarucʿanel, baycʿ miayn Astuac : Ew kʿanzi apakaneal ēr marminn iwr i čʿaračʿar cʿawocʿ, or patahecʿin nma i Parsicʿ ašxarhin yaṙaǰ kʿan zeawtʿn am, or i mardkanē očʿ ełew nma hnar bžškutʿean, et tanel nma tʿułtʿ ałačʿanacʿ, gal ew bžškel zna i cʿawocʿn

Translation

At that time Marinus, son of Storgius, took the post of the emperor's chiliarch over the Phoenicians and Palestinians, the Syrians and Mesopotamians. And to him Abgar sent two from among his notables, Mar Ihab, the consul of Aghjnik', and Shamshagram, a senior prince of the dynasty of the Apahunis, as well as Anan his confidant, to the city of Bet-Kubin, to inform him of the reasons of his going to the East by showing him the text of the agreement which was between Artashes and his brothers, and to make him an aid of his support. And they, upon arriving, found him in Eleutheropolis. And he, having received them with peace and honor, gave an answer to Abgar: Do not doubt the emperor on account of this, merely that you hasten to pay his tribute off in full. And they, having returned from there, went up to Jerusalem to see our Savior Christ on account of hearing the news of the miracles; and being witness to this, they recounted this to Abgar. Astonished at this, Abgar recognized him truly as son of God, and said: "These marvels are not of man but of God, for there is no one among men who is able to raise the dead, save God alone." And because his own body was corrupted by terrible pains, which had befallen him in the land of the Persians seven years before, and which among men there was not for him a means of curing, he granted to be taken to him a letter of entreaty to come and cure him of his pains....

Grammar

6. Nominal Declension

The remaining declensions of nouns and adjectives have variable stems. For the most part these stems end in the resonants r, ł, n. Some substantives retain the resonant throughout the paradigm, while others do not. Of those that do, one finds changes in the stem-vowel preceding the resonant.

6.1. Stem Variation vs. Vocalic Alternation

An important distinction must be made between the concepts of stem variation and vocalic alternation. Vocalic alternation occurs whenever a morpheme is added which changes the stress of a word. It is an automatic process and occurs according to the rules described in the first lesson. It therefore plays no functional role in declension. Thus words such as aṙaǰin 'first' (GDAb aṙaǰnoy), surb 'holy' (GDAb srboy), loys 'light' (GDAb lusoy), mēǰ 'middle' (GDAb miǰoy) all show regular vocalic alternation as a result of addition of the morpheme -oy, which entails a change in stress. These are therefore all invariable-stem substantives, just as e.g. Astuac 'God' (GDAb Astuacoy), beran 'mouth' (GDAb beranoy), get 'river' (GDAb getoy). Stem variation, by contrast, is bound to declension; it is not the result of automatic stress shift and, as such, is in and of itself indicative of the case of a given noun. Thus azn 'kind, race' displays forms NAc Sg. azn and GDL Sg. azin; the variation is not conditioned by any stress shift due to addition of a morpheme. It may happen, however, that in some words both stem variation and vocalic alternation take place: jukn 'fish', GDL *jukan > jkan; dustr 'daughter', GDL *duster > dster; leaṙn 'mountain', GDL *learin > lerin.

In general the declensions of variable stem substantives may be distinguished on the basis of whether the noun uses two or three stem variants within a paradigm. The following chart shows some possibilities of the two-stem declensions. The term 'obliques' specifies any case not explicitly mentioned under one stem or another.

    Stem 1: N Ac sg.   Stem 2: obliques, N Ac L pl.
Nouns in -r, -ł        
    oskr 'bone'   osker-
    astł 'star'   asteł-
    dustr 'daughter'   dster-
         
Nouns in -n        
    himn 'foundation'   himan-
    akn 'gem'   akan-
         
    Stem 1: N Ac sg./pl., L pl.   Stem 2: obliques
         
Nouns in -n        
    šun 'dog'   s'an-
    tun 'house'   tan-
         
Most nouns in -iwn        
         
    ariwn 'blood'   arean-
    zerutʿiwn 'imprisonment'   zerutʿean-

On the other hand there are three-stem declensions. These may be broken down as follows.

    Stem 1: N Ac sg.   Stem 2: obliques   Stem 3: N Ac L pl.
Most nouns in -n            
    jukn 'fish'   jkan-   jkun-
    duṙn 'door'   dran-   drun-
             
Action nouns in -umn            
    šeržumn 'movement'   šeržman-   šeržmun-
    erdumn 'oath'   erdman-   erdmun-
             
Words lacking -n in N Ac sg.            
    manuk 'child'   mankan-   mankun-
    ałǰik 'maiden'   ałǰkan-   ałǰkun-
             
    Stem 1: N Ac sg.   Stem 2: G D L (Ab) sg., N Ac L pl.   Stem 3: obliques
             
    azn 'nation, race'   azin-   azan-
    gaṙn 'lamb'   gaṙin-   gaṙan-
    harsn 'bride'   harsin-   harsan-

The ablative singular is usually built from Stem 2, sometimes with loss of the vowel preceding -n; occasionally the ablative singular is built from Stem 3.

Certainly other classification systems are possible, and indeed, each grammar of Classical Armenian tends to have its own idiosyncratic declensional scheme. Notable among these is the system used by Schmitt in Grammatik des Klassisch-Armenischen. Schmitt sets out declensions according to theme: e.g. a-, i-, etc. declension, r-, l-, n-stem; he then divides some of these into Primary Type (Haupttypus, here Ht) and Secondary Type (Nebentypus, here Nt). These types may be further divided into subclasses A and B, and these further into 1 and 2. In the following, where easily discernible, Schmitt's classification will be noted among the paradigms in order to facilitate the transition to previous work in the field. When necessary, the theme will be explicitly mentioned with the abbreviation T, so that T-u refers to the u-declension.

6.2. r- and ł-Stems

All nouns ending in ł and most ending in r retain these consonants in the oblique cases; in cases other than the N and Ac the vowel -e- intercedes between the base and -ł/-r. Still other nouns show a diphthong, e.g. ew, in the N and Ac singular which is shortened to e in the remaining forms. The nouns oskr 'bone', ałbewr 'source, fountain', and astł 'star', illustrate the declensions.

    T-r, Ht   T-r, Nt-A   T-ł
    -r/-er   -ewr/-er   -ł/-
             
N Sg.   oskr   ałbewr   astł
Ac   oskr   ałbewr   astł
G   osker   ałber   asteł
D   osker   ałber   asteł
L   osker   ałber   asteł
Ab   oskerē   ałberē   astełē
I   oskerb   ałberb   astełb
             
N Pl.   oskerkʿ   ałberkʿ   astełkʿ
Ac   oskers   ałbers   astełs
G   oskeracʿ   ałberacʿ   astełacʿ
D   oskeracʿ   ałberacʿ   astełacʿ
L   oskers   ałbers   astełs
Ab   oskeracʿ   ałberacʿ   astełacʿ
I   oskerawkʿ   ałberawkʿ   asteławkʿ
6.3. n-Stems with Two Stems

Nouns whose stem ends in -n are quite common in Classical Armenian. Many of these display two stems in their declension. Nouns of this sort fall into two categories according to which cases display different stems. In particular, one finds the types

  • (a) Stem 1: NAc Sg.; Stem 2: oblique cases, NAcL Pl.;
  • (b) Stem 1: NAc Sg., NAcL Pl.; Stem 2: oblique cases.

Again, the term 'oblique' refers to any case not explicitly mentioned. Examples of type-(a) are given by the nouns kołmn 'side', stems kołmn-/kołman-; and anun 'name', stems anun-/anuan-. Examples of type-(b) are given by the nouns tun 'house', stems tun-/tan-; and gerutʿiwn 'imprisonment', stems gerutʿiwn-/gerutʿean-.

    Ht B   Ht B   Nt B2   Nt B1
    (a)   (a)   (b)   (b)
    kołmn   anun   tun   gerutʿiwn
    'side'   'name'   'house'   'imprisonment'
                 
N Sg.   kołmn   anun   tun   gerutʿiwn
Ac   kołmn   anun   tun   gerutʿiwn
G   kołman   anuan   tan   gerutʿean
D   kołman   anuan   tan   gerutʿean
L   kołman   anuan   tan   gerutʿean
Ab   kołmanē   anuanē   tanē   gerutʿenē
I   kołmamb   anuamb   tamb   gerutʿeamb
                 
N Pl.   kołmankʿ   anuankʿ   tunkʿ   gerutʿiwnkʿ
Ac   kołmans   anuans   tunkʿ   gerutʿiwns
G   kołmancʿ   anuancʿ   tancʿ   gerutʿeancʿ
D   kołmancʿ   anuancʿ   tancʿ   gerutʿeancʿ
L   kołmans   anuans   tuns   gerutʿiwns
Ab   kołmancʿ   anuancʿ   tancʿ   gerutʿeancʿ
I   kołmambkʿ   anuambkʿ   tambkʿ   gerutʿeambkʿ
6.4. n-Stems with Three Stems

Some n-stem nouns display three stems throughout their declension. These also may be divided into two categories based on which stem appears in each case.

  • (c) Stem 1: NAc Sg.; Stem 2: oblique cases; Stem 3: NAcL Pl.;
  • (d) Stem 1: NAc Sg.; Stem 2: GDL(Ab) Sg., NAcL Pl.; Stem 3: oblique cases.

In nouns of type-(d), the ablative is typically built from stem 2, but occasionally from stem 3. Type-(c) is illustrated by the nouns duṙn 'door', stems duṙn-/dran-/drun-; šaržumn 'imprisonment', stems šaržumn-/šaržman-/šaržmun-; manuk 'child', stems manuk-/mankan-/mankun-; ałǰik 'maiden', stems ałǰik-/ałǰkan-/ałǰkun-. Type-(d) is illustrated by the nouns azn 'race, kind', stems azn-/azin-/azan-; gaṙn 'lamb', stems gaṙn-/gaṙin-/gaṙan-.

    Ht B   Ht B   Ht B   Ht B   Ht A   Ht A
    (c)   (c)   (c)   (c)   (d)   (d)
    duṙn   šaržumn   manuk   ałǰik   azn   gaṙn
                         
N Sg.   duṙn   šaržumn   manuk   ałǰik   azn   gaṙn
Ac   duṙn   šaržumn   manuk   ałǰik   azn   gaṙn
G   dran   šaržman   mankan   ałǰkan   azin   gaṙin
D   dran   šaržman   mankan   ałǰkan   azin   gaṙin
L   dran   šaržman   mankan   ałǰkan   azin   gaṙin
Ab   dranē   šaržmanē   mankanē   ałǰkanē   aznē   gaṙnē
I   dramb   šaržmamb   mankamb   ałǰkamb   azamb   gaṙamb
                         
N Pl.   drunkʿ   šaržmunkʿ   mankunkʿ   ałǰkunkʿ   azinkʿ   gaṙinkʿ
Ac   druns   šaržmuns   mankuns   ałǰkuns   azins   gaṙins
G   drancʿ   šaržmancʿ   mankancʿ   ałǰkancʿ   azancʿ   gaṙancʿ
D   drancʿ   šaržmancʿ   mankancʿ   ałǰkancʿ   azancʿ   gaṙancʿ
L   druns   šaržmuns   mankuns   ałǰkuns   azins   gaṙins
Ab   drancʿ   šaržmancʿ   mankancʿ   ałǰkancʿ   azancʿ   gaṙancʿ
I   drambkʿ   šaržmambkʿ   mankambkʿ   ałǰkambkʿ   azambkʿ   gaṙambkʿ
                         

Notice the forms aznē and gaṙnē, shortened from azinē and gaṙinē respectively.

Some nouns exhibit features of both the (c) and (d) declension types. Examples are the nouns tʿoṙn 'grandchild' and harsn 'bride'.

    Nt A   Nt A
    (c)+(d)   (c)+(d)
    tʿoṙn   harsn
         
N Sg.   tʿoṙn   harsn
Ac   tʿoṙn   harsn
G   tʿoṙin   harsin
D   tʿoṙin   harsin
L   tʿoṙin   harsin
Ab   tʿoṙnē, tʿoṙanē   harsnē
I   tʿoṙamb   harsamb
         
N Pl.   tʿoṙunkʿ   harsunkʿ
Ac   tʿoṙuns   harsuns
G   tʿoṙancʿ   harsancʿ
D   tʿoṙancʿ   harsancʿ
L   tʿoṙuns   harsuns
Ab   tʿoṙancʿ   harsancʿ
I   tʿoṙambkʿ   harsambkʿ
7. Demonstratives
7.1. Demonstrative Suffixes

Classical Armenian has three demonstrative suffixes which are attached to the end of nouns. These are

  • -s 'this, this here, this near to me';
  • -d 'that, that right there, that next to you';
  • -n 'that, that over there, that near to him'.

These correlate roughly to the use of Latin hic, iste, and ille, respectively. These particles, however, are indeclinable. Since Classical Armenian has no articles as such, an unqualified noun may be either definite or indefinite; these demonstrative suffixes are often used for marking a noun as definite (and in that sense overlap with z-, which is pre-posed on definite nouns in the accusative). In this role -n is by far the most commonly used; -s and -d are reserved for particular emphasis or change of subject. Note the possibility of overlap, e.g. ajss could be either ays 'evil spirit' plus the accusative plural ending -s, or the same noun in the singular but with the deictic suffix -s. Moreover, one may find aysss, that is, ajs + Ac Pl. -s + suffix -s.

There are a few tendencies in the usage of the demonstrative suffixes. Proper names rarely take demonstrative suffixes, e.g. tʿagawor-n Parsicʿ 'the king of the Persians', where English inserts before 'Persians' an article which is not present in the Armenian. Another example is Aršak arkʿay 'Arshak the king'. When an adjective modifies a noun, typically only the noun receives a demonstrative suffix, e.g. vkayn surb 'the holy martyr'. If a noun in the genitive qualifies a definite noun, typically the last word of the collocation receives the demonstrative suffix, e.g. barekan tʿagawori-n 'the king's friend, the friend of the king'. Vocatives use the suffix -d, e.g. Kʿristos-d 'O Christ'. Adjectives used as substantives may take demonstrative suffixes, as in čʿarn 'the evil one, Satan'; aṙakʿealkʿn 'the ones sent, the apostles', built from the participle aṙakʿeal 'sent'; gełecʿikd 'O beautiful one'.

Relative clauses may also take a demonstrative suffix. The suffix -s, -d, or -n is added to the first stressed word of the relative clause.

7.2. Demonstrative Adjectives

The same threefold distinction as in the suffixes -s, -d, -n is found in the demonstrative adjectives ajs 'this here', ayd 'that', ayn 'that over there'. These adjectives also have a long form which is used as an emphatic. The threefold distinction is also made in the demonstrative pronouns sa, da, na, which may also function as the third person pronoun. Likewise the distinction is made in the pronoun and adjective soyn 'this same', doyn 'that same', noyn 'that same there'. The paradigms of the -n series are given below to illustrate the declensions.

    ay-s, -d, -n   ay- (emph.)   s-, d-, n-a   s-, d-, n-oyn
                 
N Sg.   ayn   ayn   na   noyn
Ac   ayn   ayn   na   noyn
G   aynr   aynorik   nora   norin, norun
D   aynm   aynmik   nma   nmin
L   aynm   aynmik   nma   nmin
Ab   aynm   aynmanē   nmanē   nmin
I   aynu   aynuik   novaw   novin, novimb
                 
N Pl.   aynkʿ   aynokʿik   nokʿa   nokʿin, noynkʿ
Ac   ayns   aynosik   nosa   nosin, noyns
G   ayncʿ   aynocʿik   nocʿa   nocʿin, nocʿuncʿ
D   ayncʿ   aynocʿik   nocʿa   nocʿin, nocʿuncʿ
L   ayns   aynosik   nosa   nosin, noyns
Ab   ayncʿ, ayncʿanē   aynocʿik   nocʿa, nocʿanē   nocʿin, nocʿuncʿ
I   aynukʿ   aynokʿiwkʿ   nokʿawkʿ   nokʿimbkʿ, nokʿumbkʿ
8. The Aorist System of Verbs

Classical Armenian has a two-stem verbal system, wherein each verb form pertains either to a present or to an aorist stem of a given root. Generally, one or both of the stems will contain a suffix inserted directly after the root, thus preceding the thematic vowel in present forms and preceding the endings in aorist forms. There are several such suffixes in the present system (-an-, -n-, -čʿ-, -nčʿ-), but only one type, namely -(V)cʿ-, in the aorist system. There are five basic distinctions in the two-stem system:

(a) Aorist stem extended:

    Present   Meaning       Aorist
    pʿory-em   'I tempt'       pʿory-ecʿ-i
    hay-im   'I look'       hay-ecʿ-ay
    as-em   'I say'       as-acʿ-i
    ors-am   'I hunt'       ors-acʿ-i
    yus-am   'I hope'       yus-acʿ-ay

(b) Present stem extended:

    Present   Meaning       Aorist
    pag-an-em   'I kiss'       pag-i
    hec-an-im   'I ride'       hec-ay
    pʿax-čʿ-im   'I flee'       pʿaxe-ay

(c) Both stems extended:

    Present   Meaning       Aorist
    moṙ-an-am   'I forget'       moṙ-acʿ-ay
    l-n-um   'I fill'       l-cʿ-i (3rd Sg. elicʿ, from root li-)

(d) Neither stem extended:

    Present   Meaning       Aorist
    han-em   'I draw'       han-i
    nst-im   'I sit down'       nst-ay (root nist-)
    tʿoł-um   'I let'       tʿoł-i

(e) Suppletive system:

    Present   Meaning       Aorist
    əmp-em   'I drink'       arb-i
    ertʿ-am   'I go'       čʿog-ay

Aorists without suffixes are termed root aorists. Other terms are strong or second aorists. Aorists with the -(V)cʿ suffix are sometimes known as weak or first aorists.

The distinction between present and aorist is not one of tense, but of aspect. Both imperfect and aorist indicative are past tenses; both present and aorist subjunctive lack tense altogether. Verbal forms built from the present stem denote a continuous, ongoing action -- an action in its development. By contrast, verbs forms built from the aorist stem refer to the completion of the action. These distinctions are without regard to the actual point on a timeline at which an action occurs; they point to the nature of the action described. In principle, then, one could find "present aorist" forms, "past present" forms, and so on. "Past present" forms, in this sense denoting past actions with continuous aspect, are essentially what the imperfect tense represents. There are no specifically "present aorist", that is, present completive forms; however the occasional use of the aorist subjunctive in the role of a future displays how the aorist may be used in reference to completive actions in the "non-past".

The aorist system also distinguishes two voices, active (A) and mediopassive (MP), by different sets of endings. The distinctions are discussed in the next lesson.

8.1. The Aorist Indicative

The endings of the aorist indicative are as follows.

    A   MP
1 Sg.   -i   -ay
2   -er   -ar
3   -   -aw
         
1 Pl.   -akʿ   -akʿ
2   -ēkʿ, -ikʿ   -aykʿ, -arukʿ
3   -in   -an

The verbs argelum 'I hinder' and nstim 'I sit' illustrate root aorist paradigms. The verbs orsam 'I hunt' and hayim 'I look' illustrate aorists with the suffix -(V)cʿ.

    root, A   -Vcʿ, A   root, MP   -Vcʿ, MP
    argelum   orsam   nstim   hayim
    'hinder'   'hunt'   'sit'   'look'
                 
1 Sg.   argeli   orsacʿi   nstay   hayecʿay
2   argeler   orsacʿer   nstar   hayecʿar
3   argel   orsacʿ   nstaw   hayecʿaw
                 
1 Pl.   argelakʿ   orsacʿakʿ   nstakʿ   hayecʿakʿ
2   argelēkʿ, argelikʿ   orsacʿēkʿ, orsacʿikʿ   nstaykʿ, nstarukʿ   hayecʿaykʿ, hayecʿarukʿ
3   argelin   orsacʿin   nstan   hayecʿan

The ending -arukʿ of the second person plural sometimes shows up as -erukʿ in certain verbs. For example, čanačʿem 'I know' has aorist caneay 'I knew', with 2nd Pl. canerukʿ.

A given root may take endings of both active and mediopassive voices, such as sirem 'I love' and berem 'I carry'.

    -Vcʿ, A   -Vcʿ, MP   root, A   root, MP
    sirem   sirim   berem   berim
    'love'   'be loved'   'carry'   'be carried'
                 
1 Sg.   sirecʿi   sirecʿay   beri   beray
2   sirecʿer   sirecʿar   berer   berar
3   sireacʿ   sirecʿaw   eber   beraw
                 
1 Pl.   sirecʿakʿ   sirecʿakʿ   berakʿ   berakʿ
2   sirecʿēkʿ, sirecʿikʿ   sirecʿaykʿ   berēkʿ, berikʿ   beraykʿ
3   sirecʿin   sirecʿan   berin   beran

Note that forms which would otherwise be monosyllabic take an augment e, hence eber. The augment does not appear when the monosyllable begins with a vowel, e.g. 3 Sg. A ac from the verb acem 'I lead'. In the post-classical period, such forms also gained an augment: ēac. Note also the alternation ea/e, with ea showing in positions where the syllable carries stress, hence sireacʿ. In general, when the stem is subject to vowel alternation, the full grade is displayed in the 3rd Sg.; examples are the following.

    1st Sg.   2nd Sg.   3rd Sg.
    kl-i 'I swallowed'   kl-er   ekul
    lcʿ-i 'I filled'   lcʿ-er   elicʿ
    -i 'I came down'   -er   ēǰ
    anic-i 'I cursed'   anic-er   anēc
    luc-i 'I loosened'   luc-er   eloyc
    pʿaxucʿ-i 'I chased'   pʿaxucʿ-er   pʿaxoycʿ
    kecʿ-i 'I lived'   kecʿ-er   ekeacʿ
    atecʿ-i 'I hated'   atecʿ-er   ateacʿ

The last two forms are not examples of the -(V)cʿ aorist suffix, but rather of regular vowel alternation in the verbal root itself: present indicative keam, ateam.

Root aorists in -eay are built on i-stems, e.g. pʿaxeay 'I fled' < *pʿaxi-ay and sarteay 'I startled' < *sarti-ay. Such aorists at times have modified endings in other portions of the aorist system.

8.2. The Aorist Subjunctive

The marker of the aorist subjunctive is -icʿ-, becoming -ycʿ- after a. In unstressed syllables, the i drops. Only the second person plural breaks this pattern, showing -ǰikʿ instead. Thus the aorist subjunctive endings are as follows.

    A   MP
1 Sg.   -icʿ   -aycʿ
2   -cʿes   -cʿis, -cʿes
3   -cʿē   -cʿi, -cʿē
         
1 Pl.   -cʿukʿ   -cʿukʿ
2   -ǰikʿ   -ǰikʿ
3   -cʿen   -cʿin, -cʿen

These endings are added to the aorist stem. Note that extended polysyllabic aorist stems change cʿ to s before a consonant. Thus we have the following example paradigms.

    root, A   -Vcʿ, A   root, MP   -Vcʿ, MP
    argelum   orsam   nstim   hayim
    'hinder'   'hunt'   'sit'   'look'
                 
1 Sg.   argelicʿ   orsacʿicʿ   nstaycʿ   hayecʿaycʿ
2   argelcʿes   orsescʿes   nstcʿis   hayescʿis
3   argelcʿē   orsascʿē   nstcʿi   hayescʿi
                 
1 Pl.   argelcʿukʿ   orsascʿukʿ   nstcʿukʿ   hayescʿukʿ
2   argelǰikʿ   orsasǰikʿ   nstǰikʿ   hayesǰikʿ
3   argelcʿen   orsascʿen   nstcʿin   hayescʿin

Monosyllabic stems do not display such dissimilation, e.g. lacʿicʿ, lacʿcʿes, etc.

The alternate mediopassive endings are found for some anomalous verbs and for i-stem aorists. For example, pʿaxeay 'I fled' shows subjunctive forms pʿaxeaycʿ, pʿaxicʿes, pʿaxicʿē, 3rd Pl. pʿaxicʿen.

8.3. The Aorist Imperative

The aorist imperative has only second person forms. The endings are as follows.

    A   MP
2 Sg.   -   -ir, -
2 Pl.   -ēkʿ, -ikʿ   -arukʿ, -aykʿ

Note that the second person plural forms are the same as those of the aorist indicative. Sample paradigms are given for the verbs berem 'I carry' and sirem 'I love'.

    A   MP       A   MP
    berem           sirem    
    'carry'           'love'    
                     
2 Sg.   ber   berir, ber       sirea   sireacʿ
                     
2 Pl.   berēkʿ, berikʿ   berarukʿ       sirecʿēkʿ, sirecʿikʿ   sirecʿarukʿ

The mediopassive ending -ir always occurs in verbs with extended present stems:

    Present   Aorist   Imper. Sg.   Imper. Pl.
    hecanim 'I ride'   hecay   hecir   hecarukʿ
    daṙnam 'I turn'   darjay   darjir   darjarukʿ
    pʿaxčʿim 'I flee'   pʿaxeay   pʿaxir   pʿaxerukʿ
    zgenum 'I dress'   zgecʿay   zgecʿir   zgecʿarukʿ

and occasionally in verbs with present in -anam, aorist -acʿay:

    Present   Aorist   Imper. Sg.   Imper. Pl.
    imanam 'I understand'   imacʿay   imacʿir, ima   imacʿarukʿ
    moṙanam 'I forget'   moṙacʿay   moṙacʿir, moṙa   moṙacʿarukʿ

Otherwise, the second person singular is generally identical to the bare aorist stem. Polysyllabic aorists in -cʿ-, however, have the following tendencies:

(a) -acʿ reduces to -a:

    Present   Aorist   Imper. Sg.   Imper. Pl.
    asem 'I say'   asacʿi   asa   asacʿēkʿ
    hawatam 'I believe'   hawatacʿi   hawata   hawatacʿēkʿ
    yusam 'I hope'   yusacʿay   yusa   yusacʿarukʿ

(b) -ecʿ changes to -ea in the active, to -eacʿ in the mediopassive:

    Present   Aorist   Imper. Sg.   Imper. Pl.
    grem 'I write'   grecʿi   grea   grecʿēkʿ
    hayim 'I look'   hayecʿay   hayeacʿ   hayecʿarukʿ

Monosyllabic stems in -cʿ do not undergo such changes:

    Present   Aorist   Imper. Sg.   Imper. Pl.
    lam 'I cry'   lacʿi   lacʿ   lacʿēkʿ
    keam 'I live'   kecʿi   keacʿ   kecʿēkʿ
    banam 'I open'   bacʿi   bacʿ   bacʿēkʿ
    lnum 'I fill'   lcʿi   licʿ   lcʿēkʿ

Root aorist stems remain unaltered:

    Present   Aorist   Imper. Sg.   Imper. Pl.    
    argelum 'I hinder'   argeli   argel   argelēkʿ    
    hanem   'I draw'   hani   han   hanēkʿ
    baṙnam 'I lift'   barji   barj   barjēkʿ    
    arkanem 'I throw'   arki   ark   arkēkʿ    
    nstim 'I sit'   nstay   nist   nstarukʿ    

Also noteworthy are the second person endings -ǰir (Sg.) and -ǰikʿ added to aorist stems to form the so-called cohortative. These parallel the present endings -iǰir and -iǰikʿ added to -em and -im presents. The cohortative forms play a role essentially like an imperative. The verb argelum 'I hinder' illustrates the forms.

    Imperative   Cohortative
2 Sg.   argel   argelǰir
2 Pl.   argelēkʿ   argelǰikʿ

The difference is perhaps akin to that of Latin imperative as against second person subjunctive: prohibe (imp.) 'hinder!' vs. prohibeas (coh.) 'let you hinder'.

9. Adverbs

There are some general tendencies in the formation of adverbs in Classical Armenian. Adverbs generally derive from two souces: (1) frozen use of oblique cases; (2) special endings. The most common formations are discussed below.

Adverbs of Mode are often formed from

  • the instrumental case of nouns or adjectives: diwr 'easy' yields the adverb diwraw 'easily'; bun 'nature' yields bnaw 'by nature; absolutely'. There is a particular instrumental ending -ew frozen in its adverbial function: ardar 'just, righteous' yields ardarew 'really'; amen-ayn 'all, every' yields amenewin 'wholly'.
  • the accusative of adjectives: yankarc 'unexpectedly'; ułił 'directly'.
  • the ablative with the preposition i: yanpatrasticʿ 'suddenly', from i and anpatrast 'not ready'.
  • the suffix -pēs, denoting 'type, way', appended to nouns and adjectives: pʿoytʿ 'haste' yields pʿutʿapēs 'quickly'; daṙn 'bitter' yields daṙnapēs 'bitterly'; ays 'this' yields ayspēs 'in this way'; ⁰or 'what?' yields ⁰orpēs 'how?'. Note the form pēspēs 'variously'.
  • the suffix -abar with the sense 'in the habit of, in the manner of': gazanabar 'in the manner of a beast, wildly' comes from gazan 'wild beast'; ariabar 'valiantly' comes from ari 'brave, valiant'.
  • the suffixes -arēn or -erēn used for languages: yunarēn 'in Greek' from yoyn 'Greek'; hayerēn 'in Armenian' from hay 'Armenian'; ebrayecʿerēn 'in Hebrew' from ebrayecʿi 'Hebrew'.

Adverbs of Time are often derived from frozen case forms. Examples are aysawr 'today', the accusative of ays awr 'this day'; ayžm 'now', accusative of ays žam 'this time'; vałiw (also i vałiw or i vałiw andr) 'tomorrow', instrumental of vał 'soon'; erek 'yesterday', locative of erek 'evening'; aysu hetew 'from now onward; consequently', instrumental of ays het 'this track, this trail'; orov hetew 'since; because', instrumental of or het 'which track'.

Adverbs of Place generally have the same threefold distinction as the demonstratives (-s, -d, -n), and answer to questions of y⁰o 'to where?', ⁰ur 'where?', and ust⁰i 'from where?'. The following table summarizes the distinction.

    here   there   over there
to   aysr   aydr   andr
at   ast   aydr   and
from   asti, astust   ayti   anti, andust

There are emphatic forms with the ending -ēn: astēn, aydrēn, andēn 'in the same place'.

One may construct a similar table based upon the distinction 'in', 'out', 'above'.

    inside   outside   above
to   i nerkʿs   artakʿs   i ver
at   i nerkʿoy   artakʿoy   i veroy, i veray
from   i nerkʿust   artakʿust   i verust

The phrase i vayr 'down', from the word vayr 'field', is often used in opposition to i ver 'above'.

10. Particles

Classical Armenian makes use of several particles. The most common are listed below for convenience.

aha 'lo! behold!'. Interjection.

ayl 'but, rather', typically contrasting opposites, e.g. očʿ eki lucanel , ayl lnul 'I have not come to destroy, but to fulfil'. The form is A Sg. of ayl 'other, another'.

apa 'then, afterwards, later', marking the sequence of events. apa (uremn) 'therefore' may signify logical conclusion, e.g. apa uremn azat en ordikʿn 'therefore the sons are free'. apa 'or' may signify the second of two alternatives. apa 'then' may mark the apodosis ('then'-clause) of a conditional statement.

ard 'now; so, then'. The basic meaning is 'now', but may be used in the continuation of a thought.

baycʿ 'except, but'. The basic sense is 'except': očʿ okʿ i nocʿanē koreaw baycʿ ordin korstean 'no one among them perished, save the son of ruin'. baycʿ 'but' may be used in a limiting sense: hogis yawžar ē baycʿ marmins tkar 'the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak'.

ew 'also, too, and'. Conjunction linking words or clauses. Also found in extended form ews 'also, still, moreover, besides'.

zi 'that, because' with indicative verb, introducing causal statements; 'so that, so as to' with verbs in the subjunctive, introducing result clauses. The form z-i is A Sg. of the relative-interrogative pronoun. It is often closely allied with other adverbs: kʿanzi 'because'; vasn zi 'since'; orpēs zi 'so that', with subjunctive; minčʿ zi 'until, up to'; pʿoxanak zi 'in place of'.

tʿe, etʿe '(quote)', introducing direct speech or a direct question; 'whether, whether...or' introducing dependent or indirect questions, or twofold questions; 'that' with subjunctive, introducing result clauses; 'if' with indicative or subjunctive verb, introducing different types of conditional statements. This particle has a very broad range, with many nuances beyond those mentioned here.

tʿepēt 'although'. It may be followed by a verb in the indicative or subjunctive, according to sense.

ibr, ibrew 'like, as', used for comparison with z and the accusative of the object of comparison, e.g. linicʿikʿ ibrew zastyacs 'you will be as gods'; 'about, approximately' used in apposition with numbers; 'as, as soon as, while, after' with temporal clauses.

isk 'truly, indeed, but'. isk ew isk is used in the sense of 'immediately': ew isk ew isk etes i tesleann 'and immediately he saw in the dream'.

kam 'or', kam...kam 'either...or'. Disjunctive particle. Originally meaning 'as one wants, as you like, as you will'.

minčʿ, minčʿew 'until, up to, as far as, as, during, while, as long as' with finite verb or infinitive, introducing temporal or consecutive statements. It may also be used with i before nouns. The collocation minčʿ čʿew is used in the sense 'before'. minčʿ deṙ is used in the sense 'while, as'.

na 'then'. One also finds na ew 'and also'.

sakayn 'but, however', often used in the sense 'under such conditions'.

kʿan 'than'. Comparative particle, used with z and the accusative of the object of comparison: sirecʿin mardik zxawar aṙawel kʿan zloys 'the men loved the shadow more than the light'; hzawragoyn kʿan zna 'someone stronger than he'.