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Robert W. Thomson

Bio: Robert W. Thomson is an academic researcher. The author has contributed to research in topics: Armenian & Armenian studies. The author has an hindex of 6, co-authored 8 publications receiving 321 citations.

Papers
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Book
01 Jan 1999
TL;DR: The History attributed to Sebeos is one of the major works of early Armenian historiography as mentioned in this paper, which traces the fortunes of Armenia in the sixth and seventh centuries within the broader framework of the Byzantine-Sasanian conflict.
Abstract: The History attributed to Sebeos is one of the major works of early Armenian historiography. Although anonymous, it was written in the middle of the seventh century, a time when comparable chronicles in Greek and Syriac are sparse. Sebeos traces the fortunes of Armenia in the sixth and seventh centuries within the broader framework of the Byzantine-Sasanian conflict. Comprising two volumes, part 1 (240 pages) is the translation and notes followed by part 2 (216 pages) which contains the historical commentary, this excellent publication will be of interest to all those involved in the study of Armenia, the Caucasus, the Eastern Roman Empire and the Middle East in late antiquity. It will be of particular value to Islamicists, since Sebeos not only sets the scene for the coming of Islam, but provides the only substantial non-Muslim account of the initial period of expansion.

200 citations

Book
21 Jun 1978

53 citations

Book
01 Jan 1996
TL;DR: The first part of the Georgian chronicles were adapted for an Armenian readership in the early thirteenth century as mentioned in this paper, and the translation became the standard source for early Georgian history used by later Armenian historians.
Abstract: After the invention of a national script, c.400 AD, Armenians rapidly developed their own literary forms, drawing on foreign texts as well as their own traditions. Historical writing is the most original genre in classical and medieval Armenian literature. Greek works (including the Chronicle of Eusebius, now lost in Greek but preserved in Armenian) constituted the major part of translated histories. But in the thirteenth century the extensice Chronicle of the Syrian Patriarch Michael and the first part of the Georgian chronicles were adapted for an Armenian readership. The collection known as the 'Georgian Chronicles' was finally codified in the eighteenth century and represents only a small part of Georgian historical writing. The thirteenth century Armenian version is in fact the earliest attestation of this growing corpus of texts, predating all extant Georgian manuscripts of it. This book presents the two texts, Georgian and Armenian, in English translation for the first time. The Introduction and Commentary draw attention to the ways in which the unknown Armenian translator changed his original material in a pro-Armenian fashion. His rendering became the standard source for early Georgian history used by later Armenian historians. The book includes a useful overview of the background to the chronicles, the history and culture of Christian Georgia and Armenia, and their respective languages and literature.

14 citations

Book
01 Jan 1975

9 citations


Cited by
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Book
01 Jan 1994
TL;DR: This analysis reveals that lexical substance evolves into grammatical substance through various mechanisms of change, such as metaphorical extension and the conventionalization of implicature, providing clear evidence that language use is a major factor in the evolution of synchronic language states.
Abstract: Joan Bybee and her colleagues present a new theory of the evolution of grammar that links structure and meaning in a way that directly challenges most contemporary versions of generative grammar. This study focuses on the use and meaning of grammatical markers of tense, aspect and modality and identifies a universal set of grammatical categories. The authors demonstrate that the semantic content of these categories evolves gradually and that this process of evolution is strikingly similar across unrelated languages. Through a survey of 76 languages in 25 different phyla, the authors show that the same paths of change occur universally and that movement along these paths is in one direction only. This analysis reveals that lexical substance evolves into grammatical substance through various mechanisms of change, such as metaphorical extension and the conventionalization of implicature. Grammaticization is always accompanied by an increase in frequency of the grammatical marker, providing clear evidence that language use is a major factor in the evolution of synchronic language states.

2,034 citations

Book ChapterDOI
01 Apr 1983
TL;DR: The rise of the Sasanian dynasty can be understood as the successful struggle of a minor ruler of Persis not only against his Parthian overlord, but also against a multitude of neighbouring rulers.
Abstract: The rise of the Sasanian dynasty can be understood as the successful struggle of a minor ruler of Persis not only against his Parthian overlord, but also against a multitude of neighbouring rulers. The main adversary of the Persians was the Roman empire, and the ambitions of the first Sasanian ruler were soon countered by Rome. It was during the reign of Yazdgard that the Christians of the Sasanian empire held a council in the city of Seleucia in the year 410. Shortly after Bahrāam accession in 421 the persecution of Christians in the Sasanian empire was resumed, probably at the instigation of Zoroastrian priests. The Sasanians inherited from the Parthians a legacy of over two centuries of conflict with the western power. With a Sasanian belief in the destiny of Iran to rule over the territories once held by the Achaemenians, it was inevitable that wars between the two great powers would continue.

159 citations

Book
13 Sep 2007
TL;DR: Rome and Iran to the beginning of the third century AD as mentioned in this paper, a chronological survey of the Sasanian Empire and its relations with the Roman Empire, is presented in this book.
Abstract: Part I. Narrative: 1. Rome and Iran to the beginning of the third century AD 2. Rome and the Sasanian Empire - a chronological survey Part II. Sources and Contexts: 3. Political goals 4. Warfare 5. Military confrontations 6. The diplomatic solutions 7. Arabia between the great powers 8. Shared interests - continuing conflicts 9. Religion - Christianity and Zoroastrianism 10. Emperor and King of Kings 11. Exchange of information between West and East Part III. Appendices.

132 citations

Dissertation
01 Dec 2018
TL;DR: The authors study top-down, monotheistic conversions in Pontic-Caspian Eurasia and their respective mythologizations, preserved both textually and archaeologically, which serve as a primary factor for what we might call state formation.
Abstract: What is the line between the “ancient” world and the “medieval” world? Is it 476? 330? 632? 800? Most historians acknowledge there is no crisp line and that these are arbitrary distinctions, but they are made anyway, taking on lives of their own. I believe they are much the same world, except for the pervading influence of one flavor of monotheism or another. This thesis endeavors to study top-down, monotheistic conversions in Pontic-Caspian Eurasia and their respective mythologizations, preserved both textually and archaeologically, which serve as a primary factor for what we might call “state formation.” These narratives also function, in many cases, as the bases of many modern nationalisms, however haphazard they may be. I have attempted to apply this idea to Christian Rome (Byzantium)’s diachronic missionary policy around the Black Sea to reveal how what we today call the “Age of Migrations” (the so-called “Germanic” invasions of the Roman Empire), was actually in perpetual continuity all the way up to the Mongolian invasions and perhaps even later. In this way, I hope to enhance the context by which we understand the entirety of not only Western history, but to effectively bind it to a broader context of global monotheization.

104 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors present an analysis and synthesis of historical and archaeological data on pearl fishing in the Persian Gulf, from the earliest possible references to the mid 20th century.
Abstract: The paper presents an analysis and synthesis of historical and archaeological data on pearl fishing in the Persian Gulf. The history of pearling in the region is reviewed, from the earliest possible references to the mid 20th century. Economic data from the 18th�20th centuries CE is analysed in detail, to de fine the economic course of the pearling industry during that time, and assess the impact on human settlement in the region. The archaeological data for pearl fishing are then examined, from the 6th millennium BCE onwards, and compared to the historical evidence. The results of archaeological survey in the Abu Dhabi islands region are then taken as a case study, and changes in settlement patterns are related to the historical trajectory of the pearling industry. It is observed that the regional economy became overwhelmingly dependent on the pearl trade in recent centuries, and was increasingly subject to the demands of the global market.

97 citations