The Gomidas Institute just released a translation of a major milestone in modern Armenian historiography. A simple book in many respects, A Brief History of Nirze Village of Gesaria (Համառօտ պատմութիւն Կեսարիոյ Նիրզէ գիւղի) is probably the first compatriotic study that memorialized an Armenian community in the Ottoman Empire. It was compiled in the United States as Armenian communities were being destroyed across the Ottoman Empire. Nirze, in the Gesaria/Kayseri region, was not spared. In all likelihood, most of the Armenians of this village were killed in what the Ottoman Turks called “deportations,” while a large number of women and children were farmed out for assimilation into Muslim households. There was never a final reckoning, as the victims simply disappeared.
Nirzetsies living in the United States did not know the full extent of the mass murder that was taking place, but they had an inkling. American missionaries from the Kayseri region were reporting what was happening. The book was printed in 1918 was probably commissioned in 1917.
A Brief History of Nirze Village of Gesaria tried to capture the essence of the village of Nirze, in terms of its history, folklore and traditions, a dozen biographies, as well as invaluable demographic information about the village and its children in the United States. This work was a major source in Arshag Alboyajian’s Badmoutiun Hay Gesario [History of Armenian Gesaria] and remains a memorial to the Armenian community of Nirze.
The English translation of A Brief History of Nirze Village of Gesaria is brought alive by Gerard J. Libaridian, who translated, annotated and introduced the work in a proper historical context. The introduction is detailed and instructional, an invaluable guide for a critical understanding of such texts.
Iconic Map of Armenian Gesaria (Kayseri) Published by Gomidas Institute
Gomidas Institute has released a large format, critical edition of M. Balaian’s iconic map of the Gesaria (Kayseri) plain which appeared in Arshag Alboyajian’s mammoth work, Badmoutiun Hay Gesario [History of Armenian Gesaria]. This map is now available in English, Armenian and Turkish editions.
BiblioInfo: Senekerim Khederian, A Brief History of Nirze Village of Gesaria, translated from Armenian with annotations and introduction by Gerard J. Libaridian, (London: Gomidas Institute), 2021, xiv + 90 pp., map, photos, tables, ISBN 978-1-909382-66-4, pb.
BiblioInfo: Gomidas Institute, Readers’ Companion: Gesaria and its Surroundings, (Gomidas Institute, 2021), 11.7 x 16.5 inches, color.
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