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George Gordon Byron

[Lord Byron] (22 January 1788 – 19 April 1824 / London, England)

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  • Rookie Sylva Portoian (3/16/2012 2:30:00 PM)

    * Byron with the Armenians Spirits in Venice
    In 1816, Byron visited Saint Lazarus Island in Venice, where he acquainted himself with Armenian culture with the help of the abbots belonging to the Mechitarist Order. With the help of Father H. Avgerian, he learned the Armenian language, and attended many seminars about language and history. He wrote English Grammar and Armenian in 1817, and Armenian Grammar and English in 1819, where he included quotations from classical and modern Armenian. Byron also participated in the compilation of the English Armenian dictionary in 1821, and wrote the preface in which he explained the relationship of the Armenians with and the oppression of the Turkish pashas and the Persian satraps, and their struggle of liberation. His two main translations are the Epistle of Paul to the Corinthians, two chapters of Movses Khorenatsi's History of Armenia and sections of Nerses of Lambron's Orations. His fascination was so great that he even considered a replacement of the Cain story of the Bible with that of the legend of Armenian patriarch Haik. He may be credited with the birth of Armenology and its propagation. His profound lyricism and ideological courage has inspired many Armenian poets, the likes of Ghevond Alishan, Smbat Shahaziz, Hovhannes Tumanyan, Ruben Vorberian and others.

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To Eliza

Eliza, what fools are the Mussulman sect,
Who to woman deny the soul's future existence!
Could they see thee, Eliza, they'd own their defect,
And this doctrine would meet with a general resistance.

Had their prophet possess'd half an atom of sense,
He ne'er would have woman from paradise driven;
Instead of his houris, a flimsy pretence,
With woman alone he had peopled his heaven.

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