Leverhulme Lectures on “The Reception of Neoplatonism in Armenia”


Leverhulme Visiting Professor, University of Oxford
Professor of Armenian Studies, University of Geneva

University of Oxford, May-June 2021

      The four Leverhulme Lectures will stress how late ancient Neoplatonism was received and transmitted to Armenia over the centuries. Special emphasis will be placed on the corpus of the Armenian translations of the Greek commentaries on Aristotelian logic by David, a Neoplatonist who taught at the School of Alexandria in the 6th century. Movreover, they will examine the construction of the legend of David in the Armenian tradition, and its contribution to the fashioning of Armenian identity, both cultural and national - a contribution which endured to the end of the 19th century.

Organiser: Theo M. van Lint, Calouste Gulbenkian Professor of Armenian Studies, Faculty of Oriental Studies and Pembroke College.


 Thursday 27 May, 5pm UK time
The "Libraries of the Neoplatonists" in Armenia(n): When, How, and Why Did Greek Texts Studied at the Neoplatonic School of Alexandria Find their Way to the Armenian World?


Thursday 3 June, 5pm UK time
The Armenian Translations of David the Invincible's Works and the Pioneering Role of the Translators: David's Introduction to Philosophy


Thursday 10 June, 5pm UK time
The Reception of the Neoplatonic Works in Armenia in the Middle Ages and the Early Modern Period


Thursday 17 June, 5pm UK time
The Construction of the Legend of David the "Invincible" in the Armenian Tradition in the Middle Ages and the Modern Era


Professor Valentina Calzolari teaches Armenian Studies at the University of Geneva and is corresponding member of the Institut de France (Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres). Her research interests lie in the Alexandrian School of Neoplatonism and its reception in Armenia and the wider Middle East, in apocryphal literature, and in Armenian literature of the modern and contemporary period, in particular post-genocide literature and women's writing. She is currently Leverhulme Visiting Professor at Oxford, working on a translation into French of the sixth century author David the Invincible's Prolegomena to Philosophy. The lectures are online and open to anyone interested. For more information on Professor Calzolari, see https://orinst.web.ox.ac.uk/people/valentina-calzolari.