Dr. Zohrab Gevorgyan
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Dr. Zohrab Gevorgyan Publishes in Journal of Mediterranean Studies

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YEREVAN, Armenia — American University of Armenia (AUA) adjunct lecturer Dr. Zohrab Gevorgyan recently published an article titled “Medieval Private Property in Cilician Armenia: the Mediterranean Context (the 13th-14th centuries)” in the Journal of Mediterranean Studies. 

Dr. Gevorgyan is a historian, medievalist, and education specialist with history teaching expertise and over 15 years of experience. This publication supplements his scientific studies about the history of Cilician Armenia, medieval commercial relations, trade across the Mediterranean, and other associated topics. 

In his article, Dr. Gevorgyan argues that when, in the 12th century, King Levon I united the state with a huge part of the northeastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea, the State of Cilician Armenia quickly became involved in the Mediterranean Trade System, the most developed financial and economic network of trade routes of the time. The system connected the Mediterranean and Black seas on one hand, and Catalonia and England on the other. Banks, particularly those of Florence, had numerous branches throughout the Mediterranean, including in Cilician Armenia. Paper became the main catalyst for the creation and growth of new types of capital in the Middle Ages, which particularly grew economic relations across the Mediterranean. 

In the second half of the 13th century, the whole palette of the system of financial-commercial activities that existed in the countries of the Mediterranean basin was fully introduced in Cilician Armenia. A merchant traveling from the main port of Cilician Armenia, Ayas, to Barcelona could only take a paper proof of funds reflecting all the associated assurances, in lieu of cash, to buy goods and also receive cash from other sales agents trading there. Capital and private property characterized the culture of medieval life.

“The accessibility of documenting private capital through paper changed the way people treated and used their private property,” explains Dr. Gevorgyan. “If in earlier centuries, only people of relatively higher social strata had greater opportunities to document their property using parchment, the wide circulation of paper and increase in its production made it possible for different classes to document property, including both men and women. Both in the notarial sources and in the Armenian codes, the aforementioned cases did not specifically target a particular social stratum of the population.” 

Founded in 1991, the American University of Armenia (AUA) is a private, independent university located in Yerevan, Armenia, affiliated with the University of California, and accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission in the United States. AUA provides local and international students with Western-style education through top-quality undergraduate and graduate degree and certificate programs, promotes research and innovation, encourages civic engagement and community service, and fosters democratic values.