Prof. Robert Hewsen, Eminent Armenologist, Dies


NEW YORK — The Society for Armenian Studies (SAS) announced that on December 3, Prof. Robert Hewsen, a noted Armenologist, had died. He was 84.

Hewsen was a Professor Emeritus of History at Rowan University in New Jersey. He was the president of the Society for Armenian Studies (SAS) (1988-89). He was well known for his translation of the seventh-century Ashkharatsoyts (Geography) of Anania of Shirak. He was also the author of the monumental work Armenia: A Historical Atlas (University of Chicago Press. 2001).

Hewsen was born Robert H. Hewsenian in New York City in 1934 to Armenian-American parents. He spent seven years in Europe with the US Air Force and studying. He received his BA in history from the University of Maryland and his PhD from Georgetown University in 1967. The same year he joined the history department of Rowan University, where he taught Byzantine and Russian history for more than 30 years. After retiring from Rowan University in July 1999, Hewsen lectured at University of Chicago, Columbia University, California State University, Fresno and University of California, Los Angeles.

Hewsen is also the co-founder and president of the Society for the Study of Caucasia.

Hewsen wrote a multitude of books and articles on the history of the Caucasus, especially Armenia. His most recent publication is Armenia: A Historical Atlas (University of Chicago Press, 2001). The book received wide critical acclaim. In his review Michael E. Stone wrote: “Robert Hewsen has prepared an opus magnum that has no rival in Armenian studies. This pioneering and largely definitive work is the best atlas of Armenia ever prepared.”

Merrill D. Peterson wrote that it “may itself be considered a monument of American scholarship.” Charles King wrote that the book is an “outstanding achievement not only as a geographical reference but also as a guide to the demographic and political history of the entire Caucasus.” Adam T. Smith wrote of the Atlas as “an important milestone in the development of Armenian studies.”

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