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Postscript Dedication on the Composition of this Book


The sun that brings joy to our eyes
the brilliant, glistening round disc,
always brimming, radiant light bearer, 1
measurer of days, dispelling darkness,
is the creative dawn that counts years and groups
them into centuries
along the eternal cycle of life and death of this
passing world.

At the end of the ninth jubilee 2
and the commencement of the tenth
according to the calendar of the people of the
House of Japhet, 3
three years after his arrival, in the
north-eastern regions, 4
the conquering Roman Emperor Basil, 5
traversed the expansive frontier in all directions
and raised huge stone monuments wherever he
laid his hand.
Without blinking an eye,
he took possessions to the left and right,
without breaks or gaps,
adding the parcels and territories
of many nations to his realm.

In a tranquil period,
when the enemies of the church were restrained,
I undertook the writing of this book.
I planned, arranged, compiled, took notes,
gathered, organized, composed, and set it forth,
bringing together in one comprehensive work,
in a single style, passages from many different sources,
to produce this sacred book.
I, Grigor, priest of the faith,
the lowest in rank among the poets and the
least of the teachers,
working with my blessed brother John,
a member of the noble brotherhood of Narek Monastery,
being relatives not only in body,
but also in unity of soul, faith, honor, and thought,
initiated in the same way of life,
we lived as two persons with one persona,
four eyes fixed on the same mystic vision.

And now, we ask you who partake at this banquet table
with its various offerings,
to remember us in earnest prayers
and worthy supplications,
with pure love and kind thoughts,
that your name be written in the
book of everlasting life in heaven on high.6
Amen.













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Notes
  1 ...... Unlike the moon which waxes and wanes.

  2 ...... 9 x 50 = 450 (each half-century was a jubilee)

  3 ...... According to Biblical tradition as set forth by the father of Armenian history, Movses Khorenatsi, the Armenians decedent from Noah’s son Japhet, through his grandson, Togarmah (Armenian Torgom), whose son was Hayk, eponymous forefather of the Armenian people. See, Gen. 9:18-10:2, 1 Chr. 1:4, Movses Khorenatsi, History of Armenia, Bk. 1:5. The Armenian Calendar starts at 551, the year after the Council of Dvin. Since this is the first year of the tenth jubilee year, St. Gregory finished writing this book in 451 of the Armenian era, which is 1002 (451 + 551) AD.

  4 ...... North-east of Vaspurakan and east of the Byzantine Empire.

  5 ...... Basil II (976-1025) who came to Armenia in 999, to claim possessions left to him by prince David.

  6 ...... Lk. 10:20, Rev. 20:12.