Bournoutian bookFRESNO — Dr. George Bournoutian, senior professor of Middle Eastern and East European history at Iona College of New York will present a lecture on “Iran’s Mission of Apology to Russia” at 7:30 PM on Thursday, January 28, 2016, in the University Business Center, Alice Peters Auditorium, Rm. 191 on the Fresno State campus.

The lecture is co-sponsored by the Armenian Studies Program of Fresno State and the Armenian General Benevolent Union of Fresno.

Following the murder of Griboedov, the Envoy and Minister Plenipotentiary of Russia and the massacre of the entire Russian Legation, save one, by an angry mob, on February 11, 1829, in Tehran, the government of Iran dispatched a mission with an official apology from the Shah to Tsar Nicholas I.

The mission, headed by Khosrow Mirza, the 16-year-old seventh son of Crown Prince Abbas Mirza, left Iran in early May and returned on February 27, 1830, after successfully accomplishing its task.

Dr. Bournoutian will discuss the ten-month activities of the mission, and its travels from Tabriz to Yerevan, Tiflis, Moscow, and St. Petersburg. One member of the Iranian mission kept a diary of the trip, and Bournoutian has made the first English translation, with annotations, of the diary. His book, From Tabriz to St. Petersburg: Iran’s Mission of Apology to Russia in 1829, was published in 2014.

Dr. Bournoutian will discuss the importance of these archival materials and also discuss how this period in history ultimately leads to the formation of the first Armenian Republic in 1918.

Dr. George Bournoutian received the first Ph.D. in Armenian History from UCLA in 1976. He has been called the foremost authority on Eastern Armenia from the 16th to the 19th centuries and is the author of 30 books and numerous articles.

Professor Bournoutian’s The Concise History of the Armenian People, currently in its 6th edition, has sold over 20,000 copies and has been translated into Spanish, Arabic, Turkish, Russian, and Armenian. A Japanese version is due soon and a Persian translation is due in late 2016.

The lecture is free and open to the public. Parking will be available in Lots 5 and P6 with parking code 273601. For more information on the lecture please contact the Armenian Studies Program at 278-2669 or go to its website at

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