Theo M. van Lint


Calouste Gulbenkian Professor of Armenian Studies; Fellow Of Pembroke College

Faculty / College Address:

Oriental Institute / Pembroke College


Research Interests:

  • Armenian poetry
  • Medieval Armenian literature
  • Armenian literary and intellectual life in Iran, the Ottoman Empire and Russia in the 17th-19th centuries
  • Modern Armenian literature and its international context from the 19th century onward

Current Projects:

  • Translating KRIKOR MOMDJIAN'S Armenian Poems into English:  

Pembroke College Second Armenian Poetry Translation Workshop Michaelmas Term 2014,   22-31 October

Pembroke College Third Armenian Poetry Translation Workshop, Hilary Term 2015 7th-8th weeks

Pembroke College Fourth Armenian Poetry Translation Workshop, Hilary Term 2016, 6th-7th weeks

Pembroke College Fifth Armenian Poetry Translation Workshop, Trinity Term 2016, 2nd-3rd weeks


  • The Letters of Grigor Magistros Pahlavuni (985-1058): translation and commentary.

    Grigor Magistros Pahlavuni (985-1059) was an erudite layman, whose epistolary is a mine of information on theology, literature, mythology, politics and other matters. The language of the letters is often complex, and represents an example of Grecising Armenian. Their translation and commentary is a desideratum in Armenian studies and is of importance for adjacent fields as well.

  • The reception of the throne vision of Ezekiel in Armenian literature and art. Apart from various of its aspects addressed in separate publications I am working on two larger works:
    Vardan Anec‘i’s Panegyric on the Divine Chariot (10th-11th c.): Translation and commentary;
    Esayi Nč‘ec‘i’s Commentary on the Book of Ezekiel (1303): Critical edition, translation, and study.
    The prophet Ezekiel's vision at the river Chebar in Babylon has given rise to mystical and political interpretations in Armenia, expressed in biblical commentaries, poems, manuscript illuminations and other works of art for over a millennium.
  • Ashough Poetry and Storytelling: Asli and Kearam. In cooperation with Ms Vergine Gulbenkian, a storyteller from Oxford.
  • Kostandin Erznkac’i (13th-14th c.): his poems, their function, and his environment.
  • Grigor Tghay, poet and Katholikos (1133-1193).
  • Editing, together with Dr Emilio Bonfiglio (British Academic Post-Doctoral Fellow and Junior Research Fellow, Pembroke College, Oxford) of the volume on Literature in the Handbook of Armenian Studies of the Association Internationale des Etudes Arméniennes, published by Brill, Leiden.



Courses Taught:

Academic year 2015-2016

Trinity  Term 2016

MSt Classical Armenian Studies Set Texts             Prof Theo M van Lint                                 T 2-4, F 2-4  Room 210

The Armenian Alexander Romance: V424             Prof Theo M van Lint                                 M 2-4  Room 210

Grigor Magistros' Letters & the Tondrakians          Prof Theo M van Lint                                  Th 2-4  Room 210 

Armenian Linguistics MPhil: Texts                        Prof Theo M van Lint                                  W 9:30-11 Room 210

Armenian Linguistics MPhil: Tutorials                   Mr Robin Meyer                                          times tbc

John Chrysostom in Armenian                             Dr Emilio Bonfiglio                                     Fr 11-1 Room 210


Lecture series Trinity Term 


Armenia. Life and Study of an Enduring Culture

 Armenian General Benevolent Union Lecture Series 

in commemoration of the

100th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide

and in celebration of the

50th Anniversary of the Establishment of the

Calouste Gulbenkian Professorship in Armenian Studies at Pembroke College

in the University of Oxford

Pembroke College, Oxford, Trinity Term 2016


Wk 2   5 May, 7:00-8:30pm (Thursday) Pichette Auditorium

Armenian Texts in their International Context: the Riches of John Chrysostom

Dr Emilio Bonfiglio

(British Academy Post-Doctoral Fellow, Pembroke College, University of Oxfod)


Wk 3   12 May, 7:00-8:30pm (Thursday) Harold Lee Room

Imagining Ottoman Armenia. Realism and Allegory in Garabed Nichanian’s Provincial Wedding in Moush

Vazken Davidian  (PhD Candidate, Birkbeck College, London)


Wk 5   23 May, 7:00-8:30pm (Monday) Harold Lee Room

The Cult of Saints and Memories of the Nation in the Caucasus

Dr Nikoloz Aleksidze (The Cult of the Saints Project Researcher, University of Oxford)


Wk 6   31 May, 7:00-8:30pm (Tuesday) Pichette Auditorium

Responses to the Armenian Genocide in Kurdish and Turkish Novels: A Comparative Analysis

Dr Özlem Belçim Galip

(Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation Post-Doctoral Fellow, University of Oxford)


Wk 6   2 June, 7:00-8:30 (Thursday) Mary Hyde Eccles Room

Four Monuments and a Pilgrimage: Wales and the Armenians

Canon Patrick H.B. Thomas

(Christ Church Carmarthen – Eglwys Crist, Caerfyrddin)


Wk 7   9 June, 7:00-8:30pm  (Thursday) Harold Lee Room

The Silent Books Project: The Armenian Genocide and its Perception

Suzan Meryem Kalayci  (PhD Candidate, European University, Florence)


Wk 8   16 June (Thursday) Pichette Auditorium

5:30-7:00pm Reception in Honour of Robert W. Thomson

7:00-8:30pm Lecture

The Study of Armenian Historiography and Biblical Commentary by Robert W. Thomson

Dr Levon Avdoyan

(Armenia and Georgia Area Specialist, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.)


From 1915 a genocide was perpetrated against the Armenians living in the Ottoman Empire. This is commemorated yearly on 24th April, while its 100th anniversary inaugurated a year of commemorations. 

The Calouste Gulbenkian Professorship in Armenian Studies, established in 1965 at Pembroke College in the University of Oxford took part in these with the organisation, in collaboration with the Bodleian Library and generously supported by Mr Raffy Manoukian, of the exhibition Armenia. Masterpieces from an Enduring Culture which was open between 22 October 2015 and 28 February 2016. By the end of January it had attracted 50000 visitors.

A catalogue accompanied the exhibition, co-edited and co-authored by the incumbent of the Calouste Gulbenkian Professorship, Theo Maarten van Lint with Mr Robin Meyer, Lecturer in Classics at Oxford, with contributions by a group of leading international scholars. It is published by the Bodleian Library and made possible through the  generous support of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and the Hagop Kevorkian Fund.

Moreover, combining the Armenian genocide commemorations and the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Calouste Gulbenkian Professorship in Armenian Studies, the sole chair in the field in the United Kingdom, the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation awarded grants enabling two workshops to be held at Pembroke college. Professors van Lint, Maranci, Mathews and Elsner organised the first one, dedicated to the Treatise Against Iconoclasts by Vrt‘anēs Kert‘oł (7th c.), held 30-31 October 2015. Dr Hratch Tchilingirian (Faculty Associate, University of Oxford) and Theo van Lint organised the second one, entitled Արեւմտահայերէն 21-րդ դարուն – Western Armenian in the Twenty-First Century, which was held 21-23 January 2016.

The final event marking the 100th anniversary commemorations and the 50th anniversary celebrations is the lecture series Armenia. Life and Study of an Enduring Culture, made possible through the generosity of the Armenian General Benevolent Union (London), and the Nubar Pasha Fund at the University of Oxford. It is devoted to the memory and meaning of the Armenian genocide a hundred years on, and the study of the Armenian religious and cultural legacy in its international context. The final lecture will be devoted to the ongoing contribution to the field of Armenian Studies and the diffusion of knowledge about Armenians globally being made by Robert W. Thomson, Calouste Gulbenkian Professor of Armenian Studies Emeritus (1992-2001). The lectures are open to the public and will be held in Pembroke, the college to which the Calouste Gulbenkian Professorship is attached.

For more information, please contact Professor Theo Maarten van Lint at:



 Not all courses indicated below are currently taught, others are available upon consultation:   

  • Classical Armenian
  • Middle Armenian
  • Modern Eastern Armenian
  • Modern Western Armenian
  • History of Armenian Literature
  • Armenian Poetry
  • M.St and M.Phil. set texts
  • Armenian Codicology and Palaeography
  • Convenor: Armenian Studies Seminar



Recent Publications:

  • "Among Others: Greek in Context in the Letters of Grigor Magistros Pahlawuni (eleventh century)", in Francesca Gazzano, Lara Pagani, and Giusto Traina (eds.), Greek Texts and Armenian Traditions. An Interdisciplinary Approach (Trends in Classics - Supplementary Volumes, 39) Berlin / Boston: De Gruyter 2016, 197-213.
  • "Sis. The Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia", in David Wallace (ed.) Europe. A Literary History 1348-1418. Oxford: Oxford University Press 2016, Vol. II, 259-281. 
  • "Tracce di una civiltà. L'Armenia alla Bodleian Library", Alumina 52 (2016), 28-36.
  • Armenia. Masterpieces from an Enduring Culture Oxford: Bodleian Library University of Oxford 2015 (Eds. Theo Maarten van Lint & Robin Meyer)
  • "Վաղ շրջանի պատմագրությունը Գրիգոր Մագիստրոսի ստեղծագործություններում" (Histriography of the Early Period in Grigor Magistros's Works), Բանբեր Մնատեբադարանի 21 (2014), 97-103 (published April 2015).
  • Thomas F. Mathews with Theo Maarten van Lint, "The Kars-Tsamandos Group of Armenian Illuminated Manuscripts of the 11th Century", in Neslihan Asutay-Effenberger & Falko Daim (Hrsg), Der Doppeladler. Byzanz und die Seldschuken in Anatolien vom späten 11. bis zum 13. Jahrhundert. Mainz: Verlag des Römisch-Germanischen Zentralmuseum Mainz 2014, 85-95.
  • "Armenian Merchant Patronage of New Julfa's Sacred Spaces", in Mohammad Gharipour (ed.), Sacred Precincts. The Religious Architecture of Non Muslim Communities across the Islamic World, Leiden - Boston: Brill 2014, 308-333. (With Amy Landau)
  • "La cultura armena nella visione del mondo di Grigor Magistros Pahlawuni", in Carmela Baffioni, Rosa Bianca Finazzi, Anna Passoni Dell'Acqua, Emidio Vergani (eds.), Storia e pensiero religioso nel Vicino Oriente. L'Età Bagratide - Maimonide - Afraate. III Dies Academicus, Milano: Biblioteca Ambrosiana Bulzoni Editore 2014, 3-22.
  • "Medieval Poetic Texts", in Valentina Calzolari (ed.) with the Collaboration of Michael E. Stone, Armenian Philology in the Modern Era. From Manuscript to Digital Text. Leiden-Boston: Brill 2014, 377-413. 
  • "Geometry and Contemplation: The Architecture of Vardan Anec'i's Vision of the Throne-Chariot. Theosis and the Art of Memory in Armenia", in Kevork B. Bardakjian and Sergio La Porta (eds.), The Armenian Apocalyptic Tradition. A Comparative Perspective. Leiden - Boston: Brill 2014, 217-241.
  •  "The Armenian Poet Frik and his verses on Arghun Khan and Bugha", in Robert Hillenbrand, A.C.S. Peacock and Firuza Abdullaeva (eds.), Ferdowsi, the Mongols and the History of Iran. Art, Literature and Culture from Early Islam to Qajar Persia. Studies in Honour of Charles Melville. London - New York: I.B. Tauris, in association with the Iran Heritage Foundation 2013, 249-260.
  • "Sacred and Religious Objects", in Sylvie L. Merian, Lucy Ardash, and Edmond Y. Azadian (eds.), A Legacy of Armenian Treasures. Testimony to a People. Southfield, MI: The Alex and Marie Manoogian Museum 2013, 234-289 (with Amy S. Landau)
  • "Cigarette Cases", in Sylvie L. Merian, Lucy Ardash, and Edmond Y. Azadian (eds.), A Legacy of Armenian Treasures. Testimony to a People. Southfield, MI: The Alex and Marie Manoogian Museum 2013, 306-311 (with Amy S. Landau)
  •  "Gregory the Illuminator", in Roger S. Bagnall, Kai Brodersen, Craige B. Champion, Andrew Erskine, and Sabine R. Huebner (eds.) The Encyclopedia of Ancient History (First Edition). Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell 2013, 2992–2993.
  • “Սիամանթոյի Սուրբ Մեսրոպին նվիրված բանաստեղծությունների շուրջ” (On Siamant'o's Poems Dedicated to St. Mesrop), Միջազգային գիտական նստաշրջան նվիրված Մեսրոպ Մաշտոցի ծննդյան 1650 ամյակին, Մաշտոցի անվան Մատենադարան, Երևան 20-22 սեպտեմբերի, 2011 թ., Երևան: Բանբեր Մատենադարանի vol. 19, 2012, 65-71.
  • "Grigor Magistros Pahlawuni: Die armenische Kultur aus der Sicht eines gelehrten Laien des 11. Jahrhunderts", Ostkirchliche Studien 61, 2012, 66-83
  • "Making Sense of Ezekiel’s Throne Vision? An Armenian Interpretation from the Bodleian Library", in Dali Chitunashvili (ed. in chief), Nikoloz Aleksidze and Mzia Surbuladze (eds.), Caucasus between East and West. Historical and Philological Studies in Honour of Zaza Aleksidze. Tbilisi: National Center of Manuscripts 2012, 422-428.
  • "From Reciting to Writing and Interpretation: Tendencies, Themes, and Demarcations of Armenian Historical Writing", in Sarah Foot and Chase F. Robinson (eds.), The Oxford History of Historical Writing. Volume II, 400-1400. Oxford: Oxford University Press 2012, 180-200.
  • "Եղիշե Չարենցի 'Աքիլլե՞ս, թե՞ Պյերո' ստեղծագործության մի քանի հարցեր" (A Few Questions about Eghishe Charents’ 'Achilles and Pierot'), in А.К. Егиазарян (ред.), Егише Чаренц и его время (Azat Yeghiazaryan [ed.] Eghishe Charents and his Time), Ереван: Издательство РАУ, 2012, 95-106.
  • "I Mongoli nella poesia armena medievale", Bazmavep 168 no 3-4, 2010, a cura di Marco Bais e Anna Sirinian (publ. 2012), 457-480.
  • "Symbolic Thought in Armenian History", in Gabriella Uluhogian, Boghos Levon Zekiyan, Vartan Karapetian (eds.), Armenia. Imprints of a Civilization, Milano: Skira 2011, 165-171.
  • "A Symbolist Poet Reading Narekats‘i. Misak Medzarents‘ at the Crossroads of Modernism and Tradition", in Anna Briskina-Müller, Armenuhi Drost-Abgaryan, Axel Meißner (eds.), Logos im Dialogos. Auf der Suche nach der Orthodoxie. Gedenkschrift für Hermann Goltz, Berlin: Lit 2011, 43-61.
  • "Armenian Apostolic Church", in George Thomas Kurian (ed.), The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization, Vol. I, Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell 2011, 114-120.
  • "Vardan Anetsi’s Poem On the Divine Chariot and the Four Living Creatures, 10th -11th Century", in Richard G. Hovanissian (ed.), Armenian Kars and Ani, Costa Mesa: Mazda Publishers 2011, 81-99.
  • "Grigor Magistros", "Letters to Amir Ibrahim", and "Magnalia Dei, The Mighty Acts of God", in David Thomas and Alex Mallet (eds.), Christian-Muslim Relations. A Bibliographical History, Volume 2 (950-1100). Leiden: Brill, 2010, 703-707, 707-710, 710-713.
  • Review of: Azat Yeghiazaryan, The Daredevils of Sasun: Poetics of an Epic. Translated by S. Peter Cowe, Costa Mesa: Mazda Publishers, 2008. Comparative Literature Studies, Vol 47, No. 4, 2010, 558-561.
  • Review of: M.E Stone, Apocrypha, Pseudepigrapha and Armenian Studies. Collected Papers Volume II, Louvain: Peeters, 2006. Journal of Jewish Studies, Vol. LXI, No 1, Spring 2010, 160-162.
  • "Armenian MS Book" in Michael Suarez and Henry Woudhuysen (eds.), The Oxford Companion to the Book, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010, 479-480.
  • (With Meliné Pehlivanian) "Armenian Type" in Michael Suarez and Henry Woudhuysen (eds.). The Oxford Companion to the Book, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010, 480.
  • "The Treaty of Turkmenchai, 1828. Russian and Armenian Perceptions", in M. Branch (ed.), Defining Self. Essays on emergent identities in Russia Seventeenth to Nineteenth Centuries (Studia Fennica, Ethnologica 10), Helsinki: Finnish Literature Society 2009, 96-116.
  • "The Formation of Armenian Identity in the First Millenium", Church History and Religious Culture, 2009 (vol. 89, 1-3), 251-78.


Further Info:


Associates in Armenian Studies

Dr Hratch Tchilingirian
Faculty Associate MT 2012 – TT 2016
Modern Armenian Culture, History, Politics; Armenian Diaspora


Dr Emilio Bonfiglio

British Academy Post-Doctoral Fellow 2013-2016

The Assessment of John Chrysostom’s Spuria


Dr Belçim Özlem Galip

Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation Post-Doctoral Fellow 2015-2016

Faculty Associate 2013-2015

Research interests: Kurdish literature, novelistic discourse, Armenian and Diaspora Studies.


Reserach mentor for

Dr Nikoloz Aleksidze (2014-2018): Armenia & Georgia

The Cult of Saints European Research Council Research Project - Principal Investigator Dr Bryan Ward-Perkins




DPhil candidates currently supervised

Mr Robin Meyer (MT 2013- TT 2016; joint supervision with Dr Elizabeth Tucker)

Mr Nicolas Matheou (MT 2014 - TT 2017; joint supervision with Prof Marc Lauxtermann)

Mr Ari Şekerian (MT 2014 - TT 2017; joint supervision with Dr Hratch Tchilingirian)

Ms Alex MacFarlane (MT 2015 - TT 2018)

Ms Gizem Pilavci  (MT 2015 - TT 2018; joint supervision with Professor Laurent Mignon) 


Former Visiting Scholars and Post-Docs: 

Leverhulme Visiting Professor in Early Christian, Byzantine and Armenian Art

Prof Thomas F. Mathews

The John Langeloth Loeb Professor of the History of Art, Emeritus Institute of Fine Arts, NYU
Leverhulme Visiting Professor, Visiting Fellow, Pembroke College (HT & TT 2010)

TT 2010 Lecture Series: Armenian Art on the International Stage
HT 2010 Lecture Series: Cultic Paintings from Antiquity to the Renaissance

Dr Irene Tinti

Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation Post-Doctoral Fellow 2013 and 2014
The Armenian Translation of Plato’s Timaeus: Language and Ascription

Dr Federico Alpi

Visiting Research Scholar, Hilary Term 2016:

jointly teaching Grigor Magistros' Letters to the Tondrakians; Grigor Aknerc‘i, History of the Nation of the Archers

PhD Candidate (University of Pisa), Visiting Researcher, Trinity Term 2013 & Trinity Term 2014
Thesis subject: Grigor Magistros - A life's Chronology
Thesis supervisor: Dr Alessandro Orengo (Pisa)  

Recent Activities





Pembroke College
Professorial Fellow, Member of Governing Body, Silver Fellow

Oxford University Armenian Society (Oxford Armenian Students Society)
Senior member

AIEA (Association Internationale des Études Arméniennes)

Armenian Institute (London)
Advisor, Board of Trustees

The Mahfouz Foundation
Vice-Chairman, Board of Trustees

Member of:
Accademia Ambrosiana

Society of Armenian Studies

Associazione Padus-Araxes

Deutsch-Armenische Gesellschaft

MESA –Middle East Studies Association