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Vardan of Aygek

Vardan of Aygek
Vardan of Aygek in a 17th-century miniature
Diedc. 1250

Vardan of Aygek (Armenian: Վարդան Այգեկցի, romanizedVardan Aygektsi), also known as Vardan of Marata (Vardan Maratatsi;[1] died 1250), was an Armenian Christian monk, famous for his works on Armenian folklore.


Aygektsi was born in Ma'arrata, a village near Afrin, then located in the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia. He was educated in the Monastery of Arkakaghin and received the title of vardapet. He first pursued his career in Amid and later near his ancestral lands.[2]

In 1198, he took part in the coronation ceremony of King Levon II. In 1208, he started living at the monastery of Aygek on the Amanus Mountains, near the village Yenicekale,[1] for an unknown reason.[2]

He died in 1250.


His first known work is Armat Havato (lit. 'The root of faith'), which was a collection of the principles of the Armenian Apostolic Church as well as the church's position against the rulings of the Council of Chalcedon, which were becoming more influential at the time.[2] Among his works is his Fables and a Geography, both of which have been mistakenly attributed by some to Vardan Areveltsi.

In 1668, an extensive collection of Aygektsi's fables, under the title Aghvesagirq (Book of the Fox) was published in Amsterdam. The naming of the collection was based on the fact that the key character in most of the fables was a fox.[3]

Modern interpretations

In 1825 the French academic Antoine-Jean Saint-Martin published a French translation of the Fables.[4]

In 1975, Soviet-era director Robert Sahakyants made a 10-minute animated film, The Fox Book, based on Aigektsi's Fables.[5] In association with the Hover Chamber Choir of Armenia, contemporary Armenian composer Stepan Babatorosyan created Six Fables, an original composition based on Aigektsi's Fables, with contemporary lyrics by Yuri Sahakyan.[6] It won the 2004 Armenian Music Awards – Best Choir/Chorus Album.[7] The Hover Chamber Choir of Armenia has also presented an outdoor musical-theatrical production based on Aigektsi's Fables.[8]

See also


  1. ^ a b Ervine, Roberta R. (2006). Worship Traditions in Armenia and the Neighboring Christian East: An International Symposium in Honor of the 40th Anniversary of St. Nersess Armenian Seminary. St. Vladimir's Seminary Press. p. 234.
  2. ^ a b c Hacikyan, Agop Jack (2000). The Heritage of Armenian Literature: From the sixth to the eighteenth century. Wayne State University Press. p. 479. Retrieved 8 December 2022.
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-09-25. Retrieved 2014-04-10.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ A.J. Saint-Martin, "Choix de fables de Vartan", Paris, 1825. Librairie orientale de Dondey-Dupré père et fils
  5. ^ Лисья книга/ Fox book (1975). 15 November 2013. Archived from the original on 2021-12-21. Retrieved 14 March 2016 – via YouTube.
  6. ^ " Hover Chamber Choir: Vardan Aigektsi – Six Fables". Retrieved 14 March 2016.
  7. ^ "Hover Chamber Choir of Armenia – SIX FABLES- based on the writings of vardan aigektsi". Retrieved 14 March 2016.
  8. ^ "HOVER". Retrieved 14 March 2016.

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Vardan of Aygek
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