Armenian alphabet

Script type
CreatorMesrop Mashtots
Time period
AD 405 to present[1]
Directionleft-to-right Edit this on Wikidata
Official script Armenia
Related scripts
Parent systems
  • Armenian
Child systems
Sister systems
ISO 15924
ISO 15924Armn (230), ​Armenian
Unicode alias
 This article contains phonetic transcriptions in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA). For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA. For the distinction between [ ], / / and  , see IPA § Brackets and transcription delimiters.
Armenian khachkars in the form of individual Armenian letters in Oshakan, Armenia

The Armenian alphabet (Armenian: Հայոց գրեր, Hayoc’ grer or Հայոց այբուբեն, Hayoc’ aybuben), or more broadly the Armenian script, is an alphabetic writing system developed for Armenian and occasionally used to write other languages. It was developed around 405 AD by Mesrop Mashtots, an Armenian linguist and ecclesiastical leader. There are several inscriptions in Armenian lettering from Sinai and Nazareth that date to the beginning of the 5th century.[5] The script originally had 36 letters; eventually, two more were adopted. It was in wide use in the Ottoman Empire in the 18th and 19th centuries.

The Armenian word for 'alphabet' is այբուբեն (aybuben), named after the first two letters of the Armenian alphabet: Ա Armenian: այբ ayb and Բ Armenian: բեն ben. Armenian is written horizontally, left to right.[6]

  1. ^ Maarten van Lint, Theo (2012). "From Reciting to Writing and Interpretation: Tendencies, themes, and demarcations of Armenian historical writing". In Sarah Foot; Chase F. Robinson (eds.). The Oxford History of Historical Writing: Volume 2: 400–1400. Oxford University Press. pp. 180–200. ISBN 978-0-19-923642-8.
  2. ^ Cite error: The named reference Sanjian was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  3. ^ Jost Gippert (2011)."The script of the Caucasian Albanians in the light of the Sinai palimpsests". In Werner Seibt and Johannes Preiser-Kapeller, eds. Die Entstehung der kaukasischen Alphabete als kulturhistorisches Phänomen [The Creation of the Caucasian Alphabets as Phenomenon of Cultural History]. Referate des Internationalen Symposiums (1–4 December 2005). Vienna: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften.
  4. ^ Donald Rayfield. The Literature of Georgia: A History (Caucasus World). RoutledgeCurzon. ISBN 0-7007-1163-5. p. 19. "The Georgian alphabet seems unlikely to have a pre-Christian origin, for the major archaeological monument of the first century 4IX the bilingual Armazi gravestone commemorating Serafua, daughter of the Georgian viceroy of Mtskheta, is inscribed in Greek and Aramaic only. It has been believed, and not only in Armenia, that all the Caucasian alphabets – Armenian, Georgian and Caucaso-Albanian – were invented in the fourth century by the Armenian scholar Mesrop Mashtots. ... The Georgian chronicles The Life of Kanli assert that a Georgian script was invented two centuries before Christ, an assertion unsupported by archaeology. There is a possibility that the Georgians, like many minor nations of the area, wrote in a foreign language – Persian, Aramaic, or Greek – and translated back as they read."
  5. ^ The Armenian Inscriptions from the Sinai with Appendixes on the Georgian and Latin Inscriptions by M. van Esbroeck and W. Adler. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. 1982.
  6. ^ Cite error: The named reference omniglot was invoked but never defined (see the help page).

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