Project description

This project took as its starting point and developed the ideas that are at the basis of the
ERC project ArmEn. The latter seeks to establish a new framework for studying the
southern Caucasus, eastern Anatolia and northern Mesopotamia (CAM) as a space of
cultural entanglements between the 9th to 14th centuries. It argues that this region is key to
understanding the history of medieval Eurasia and the ‘Global Middle Ages’. HAI
Mobility, instead, will explore entanglements and their expression in material, textual,
artistic and religious production of Armenian individuals and communities settled outside
of historical Armenia and those inside between the IX and XV cc. It will address the
engagement of diasporic Armenian communities in Afro-Eurasian contexts and centres of
power, their strategies of accommodation and adaptation to diverse socio-political
circumstances, creation of new and multiple élite or group identities, and the circulation of
such ideas back to Armenia in a dynamic and multi-directional process. Three main
research areas will focus on the analysis of material culture, manuscript illuminations, and
the diffusion of saints’ cults and hagiography. The impact novelties and exchanges will
open critical discussions on the concept of ‘diaspora(s)’ in the medieval period and
interactions between the ‘diaspora(s)’ and the ‘homeland(s)’, problematizing these terms
and deepening the current state of research on these concepts and their nuances.

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