David Zakarian


Associate Faculty Member

Faculty / College Address

Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies / Pembroke College, Oxford




ORCID iD https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8744-5798 


Research Interests

  • Representation of women in early Armenian literature 
  • Development of Christian discourse on women in Late Antiquity
  • Catholic missionary activities in the Middle Ages and the Armenian Church
  • Representation of women in Christianity and Zoroastrianism
  • Role of women in spreading religious beliefs
  • Medieval Armenian colophons
  • Christian–Muslim relations in medieval colophons and literature
  • Impact of Muslim rule on women’s position in medieval Christian societies 


British Academy Postdoctoral Research Project (Jan 2017 – Dec 2019)

Writing History from Below: Christian–Muslim Interactions in Armenian Colophons during the Long Fifteenth Century (1375–1501)


Selected Publications


  • Women, Too, Were Blessed: The Portrayal of Women in Early Christian Armenian Texts, Armenian Texts and Studies Series, Volume: 4, Brill 2021 (https://brill.com/view/title/57649).
  • Lived Reality in Medieval Anatolia and the Caucasus through the Colophons of Armenian Manuscripts, Forthcoming in the British Academy Monograph Series, Oxford University Press, 2023.

Edited Volume

  • F. Alpi, I. Tinti, R. Meyer, and D. Zakarian (eds.). 2022. Armenia through the Lens of Time: Multidisciplinary Studies in Honour of Theo Maarten van Lint. Leiden: Brill, 2022 (Open Access: https://brill.com/edcollbook-oa/title/62945)

Book Chapters

  • 'King Vasil’s Holy Sign of War', in E. Bonfiglio and C. Rapp (eds.), Armenia and Byzantium without Borders. Leiden: Brill, 2023, pp. 194–212. doi: https://doi.org/10.1163/9789004679313_008
  • 'Violence against Women in Tʽovma Mecopʽecʽi’s History of Tamerlane and His Descendants (15th c.)', in F. Alpi, I. Tinti, R. Meyer, and D. Zakarian (eds.), Armenia through the Lens of Time. Leiden: Brill, 2022, pp. 145–157. doi: https://doi.org/10.1163/9789004527607_008
  • ‘Remembering the Living and the Dead in the Bodleian MS Marsh 438 (I-III)’, in Bahl, Christopher and Stefan Hanß (eds.), Scribal Practice – Global Cultures of Colophons, 1400-1800. London: Palgrave/Macmillan, 2022, pp. 241-258. doi: doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-90154-7_11
  • ‘The Timurids and Their Extra-Dynastic Affairs: Armenians and Georgians’, forthcoming in Binbaş, İlker Evrim and John E. Woods (eds.), The Timurid Dynasty: A Handbook, Brill’s Handbooks on Muslim Empires and Dynasties series (Brill, 2022).
  • ‘Une vie à cheval : les déplacements du roi dans l’Arménie arsacide,’ Le gouvernement en déplacement : Pouvoir et mobilité de l’Antiquité à nos jours. Sylvain Destephen, Josiane Barbier et François Chausson (éds.), Rennes : Presses Universitaires de Rennes, 2019, pp. 75-86.
  • ‘L’autorité et le pouvoir de la reine en Arménie arsacide’, in Augusta, Regina, Basilissa. La souveraine de l'Antiquité tardive au Moyen Âge. F. Chausson et S. Destephen (éd.), Paris: Éditions de Boccard, 2018, pp. 23-36.


  • 'Violence in the Monastery: An Episode in the Relations between the Catholic and Apostolic Armenian Clergy in the Fourteenth Century', Journal of Eastern Christian Studies 73 (1-2), 2021, pp. 79-113.
  • ‘P‘aṙanjem and Her Husbands: A New Hypothesis on the Marriages of the Armenian Queen’, Studia Iranica 47(2018), pp. 75-88. 
  • ‘Syneisaktism in Early Armenian Christianity’, Le Muséon 130 (1-2), 2017, pp. 123-138.
  • ‘The ‘Epic’ Representation of Armenian Women of the Fourth Century’, Revue des Études Arméniennes 35 (2013), pp. 1-28.
  • ‘Women on the Throne and the Symbolic Attributes of Authority’, Journal of the Society for Armenian Studies 22 (2013), pp. 23-38.


Podcasts / Talks

25 February, 2022: University of California, Los Angeles (Narekatsi Chair in Armenian Studies, the Promise Armenian Institute, Center for Near Eastern Studies)

11 May, 2021: Society for Armenian Studies Podcast

6 December, 2020: Khachkars as Worldwide Witnesses of Armenian History, Spirituality, and Art, (Calouste Gulbenkian Chair in Armenian Studies, University of Oxford; National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR))

22 October, 2022: Armenian Institute, London

 24 October, 2019: Merton College, Oxford


Teaching 2018-2023

Introduction to Classical Armenian

Medieval Armenian Colophons and Epigraphy

Modern Eastern Armenian


Lecture Series, Michaelmas Term 2022

Tuesdays, 5:00-6:30 pm, The Allen & Overy Room, Pembroke College, Oxford 

Writing History from Below: The World through the Colophons of Medieval Armenian Manuscripts   


Week 2 | 18 October : Colophons as Sources for the History of Anatolia, the Near East, and the Caucasus 

Week 4 | 1 November : Colophons and the Economy of Salvation   

Week 6 | 15 November : Curses in Colophons  

Week 8 | 28 November : Colophons as Sources for Women’s History 


Further Information






Photograph of David Zakarian