David Of Sassoon & Armenian Oral Literature

There is evidence that a pagan oral literature existed in Armenia before the invention of the Armenian alphabet in 450 A.D., but, owing to the zeal of the early Christian priests, little of this was preserved.

Armenian Folk Epic David of Sassoun

Sassoontsi David or Sasuntzi Davith, Armenian folk epic dealing with the adventures of David of Sassoon, a legendary Christian hero, in his defense against invaders from Egypt and Persia. The epic was based on oral tradition that presumably dates from the 8th to the 10th century; it was widely known from the 16th through the 19th century and was finally written down in 1873. It is composed in poetic lines of irregular length arranged into rhyme groups. Although David lacks the dignity and stature of some epic heroes, he is full of life and energy, and his human failings add to his charm.

The appeal of the epic is enhanced by the devils and spirits that figure prominently in the numerous incidents and situations involving David and his son Mher the Younger.

Encyclopædia Britannica. Sasuntzi Davith. Sep 07, 2010.


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