Late Antiquity and Armenia: From Marginalized Region to Creative Force
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|There has been, to our knowledge, no international volume devoted to the late antique arts of Armenia with a perspective that focuses on both visual and material culture and historiography. This is precisely the perspective adopted in this volume of Convivium – the updated proceedings of papers given at a conference held in Brno on February 20–22, 2022. This volume is claiming Armenia’s centrality not only as a regional and remote outpost, but as one of the vital actors which had to negotiate with surrounding empires and religions, and further as a region which developed its own unique cultural identity. In this frame, Armenia must be studied from the perspective of regional or national issues, but even more importantly as a driving force within the broader space of the late antique Mediterranean and Eurasia. Providing new evidence strengthening this assertion, the essays in this volume focus on two sides of the same coin. Firstly, they uncover how Armenian artistic culture was frequently marginalized in previous scholarly traditions, and secondly, they present new documentation showing the importance of Armenian visual culture from the fourth century CE onwards. This introduction wishes to sketch why, in this framework, Armenia must be reconsidered as a crucial player, through two complimentary perspectives.