Thomas of Metsoph

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Tovma Metsobetsi in miniature of 1435 Tovma Metsopetsi.jpg
Tovma Metsobetsi in miniature of 1435

Thomas of Metsoph (Armenian : Թովմա Մեծոփեցի, Thovma Metsobetsi) (1378–1446) was an Armenian cleric and chronicler who left an account of Timur’s invasions of the Caucasus (1386–1403). What we know of Thovma's life comes from a biography written by his own student Kirakos Banaser as well as a number of 15th-century colophons.

Armenian language Indo-European language

The Armenian language is an Indo-European language that is the only language in the Armenian branch. It is the official language of Armenia as well as the de facto Republic of Artsakh. Historically being spoken throughout the Armenian Highlands, today, Armenian is widely spoken throughout the Armenian diaspora. Armenian is written in its own writing system, the Armenian alphabet, introduced in 405 AD by Mesrop Mashtots.

Timur Turco-Mongol ruler

Shuja-ud-din Timur, sometimes spelled Taimur and historically best known as Amir Timur or Tamerlane, was a Turco-Mongol Persianate conqueror who founded the Timurid Empire in and around modern-day Iran and Central Asia, becoming the first ruler of the Timurid dynasty. As an undefeated commander, he is widely regarded to be one of the greatest military leaders and tacticians in history. Timur is also considered as a great patron of art and architecture, as he interacted with intellectuals such as Ibn Khaldun and Hafiz-i Abru. He is often credited with the invention of chess. According to John Joseph Saunders, Timur was "the product of an Islamized and Iranized society", and not steppe nomadic.

Timurs invasions of Georgia

Georgia, a Christian kingdom in the Caucasus, was subjected, between 1386 and 1403, to several disastrous invasions by the armies of Turco-Mongol conqueror Timur, whose vast empire stretched, at its greatest extent, from Central Asia into Anatolia. These conflicts were intimately linked with the wars between Timur (Tamerlane) and Tokhtamysh, the last khan of the Golden Horde and Timur’s major rival for control over the Islamic world. Timur officially proclaimed his invasions to be jihad against the region's non-Muslims. Although he was able to invade parts of Georgia, he was never able to make the country Muslim and even recognized Georgia to be a Christian state.



Born in Aghiovit, north of Lake Van, Thovma received his early education at the monastery of Metsob, northwest of the city of Arjesh (Erciş in modern Turkey). He had to spend a peripatetic life fleeing the repeated attacks by the Timurid and Turkoman armies. He engaged in teaching and literary activity at several religious centers of Armenian, including Sukhara, Tatev, Lim, and Metsob. He was also involved in the struggle against the influence of Roman Catholicism within the Armenian Church, and helped transfer the Armenian catholicosate from Sis in Cilician Armenia to back to Echmiadzin in Greater Armenia (1441). His major work is The History of Timur and His Successors, which is essentially an eyewitness account written for the most part from memory. Although not flawless, it is an important source for Armenia and Georgia in the late 14th and early 15th centuries. The classical Armenian text was published K. Shahnazarian in Paris in 1860, translated into French by Félix Nève in 1855, and into English by Robert Bedrosian in 1977. [1]

Lake Van largest lake in Turkey

Lake Van, the largest lake in Anatolia, lies in the far east of Turkey in the provinces of Van and Bitlis. It is a saline soda lake, receiving water from numerous small streams that descend from the surrounding mountains. Lake Van is one of the world's largest endorheic lakes —a volcanic eruption blocked the original outlet from the basin in prehistoric times. Although Lake Van has an altitude of 1,640 m (5,380 ft) in a region with harsh winters, its high salinity prevents most of it from freezing, and even the shallow northern section freezes only rarely.

Erciş Place in Van, Turkey

Erciş is a town and district located in the Van Province, Turkey on Lake Van. In Classical Antiquity, it was known as Arsissa, and as Arjish in Arabic and Western Armenian during the Middle Ages. The Byzantines knew it as Arzes and the 10th-century emperor Constantine VII Porphyrogennetos records in his De administrando imperio that it was under the rule of the Kaysite emirate of Manzikert.

Oghuz Turks

The Oghuz, Oguz or Ghuzz Turks were western Turkic people who spoke the Oghuz languages from the Common branch of Turkic language family. In the 8th century, they formed a tribal confederation conventionally named the Oghuz Yabgu State in central Asia. The name Oghuz is a Common Turkic word for "tribe". Byzantine sources call the Oghuz the Uzes. By the 10th century, Islamic sources were calling them Muslim Turkmens, as opposed to shamanist or Buddhist. By the 12th century this term had passed into Byzantine usage and the Oghuzes were overwhelmingly Muslim.

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  1. Robert Bedrosian (1987). T'ovma Metsobets'i's History of Tamerlane and His Successors. Armenian Historical Sources of the 5-15th Centuries (Selected Works). Retrieved on January 11, 2008.