Robert W. Thomson


Professor Emeritus, Armenian Studies

Faculty / College Address:

Oriental Institute / Pembroke College


Research Interests:

  • Eastern Christian Studies: Armenian Georgian, Syriac, with emphasis on classical Armenian literature

Current Projects:

  • Editing (with translations and commentaries) various Armenian texts of historical or theological importance

Courses Taught:

  • Classical Armenian at all levels
  • Elementary and intermediate classical Georgian

Recent Publications:


  •  The Lives of Saint Gregory: The Armenian, Greek, Arabic, and Syriac Versions of the History attributed to Agathangelos.  Translated with Introduction and Commentary, Caravan Books, Ann Arbor MI, 2010.
  • Saint Basil of Caesarea and Armenian Cosmology. A Study of the Armenian Version of Saint Basil’s Hexaemeron and its Influence on Medieval Armenian Views about the Cosmos [CSCO 646, Subsidia 130], Leuven 2012.


  • “Armenian Biblical Commentaries:  The State of Research,” Journal of the Society for Armenian Studies 18 [2009], 9-40.
  • “L’Historiographie arménienne,” Etudes Syriaques 6: L’historiographie syriaque, ed. M. Debié, Paris 2009, 197-209.
  • “A Commentary on Joshua and Judges attributed to Ełišē.” Revue des Etudes arméniennes 31 [2008-2009 (pub. 2010)], 59-99.
  • “Literary Interactions between Syriac and Armenian,” Journal of the Canadian Society for Syriac Studies 10 [2010], 3-19.
  •  “Medieval Chroniclers of Ani:  Hovhannes, Samuel and Mkhitar,” Armenian Kars and Ani, ed. R.G. Hovannisian [UCLA Armenian History and Culture          Series 10], Costa Mesa 2011, 65-80.
  • “Constantinople and Armenian Literature,” Armenian Constantinople, ed. R.G. Hovannisian [UCLA Armenian History and Culture Series 9], Costa Mesa CA, 2011, 19-38.
  • “The Eastern Mediterranean in the Thirteenth Century: Identities and Allegiances. The Peripheries: Armenia,” Identities and Allegiances in the Eastern Mediterranean after 1204, ed. J. Herrin and G. Saint-Guillan, Ashgate: Farnham 2011, 196-214.
  • “The Georgian, Caucasian Albanian and Armenian Manuscripts at Sinai,” St Catherine’s Monastery at Mount Sinai: Its Manuscripts and their         Conservation.  Papers given in Memory of Professor Ihor Ševčenko, 27 November 2010, Saint Catherine Foundation, 2011.

Full Publications