Hovhannes Nerzetyan’s play “Artavazd and Cleopatra” is a play of all eras

Writer and playwright Hovhannes Nerzetyan’s tragedy “Artavazd and Cleopatra” was modified and published in Armenian and English in 2017. The book is devoted to the history of the Armenian State during the reign of Armenian King Artavazd and features a broad description of old Armenian diplomacy, protocol, domestics, diplomatic dialogues, rituals, as well as communication and partnership of heads of states.

“The play features a new philosophy, and the main emphasis is on the tragedy of people in terms of religion and values, not the physical. With this book, we are conveying a new message to the world,” Hovhannes Nezretyan told Hayern Aysor, adding that corresponding member of the National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Armenia Artem Sargsyan presented the play for a Nobel Prize in 2006.

According to Hovhannes Nerzetyan, after reading the book, literary critics, historians and other specialists expressed words of admiration and considered the book a unique work dictated by the times.

Artem Sargsyan, who wrote the preface, stated that this book helps turn a new page in world literature and described the book as a universal value and a book for all eras. Doctor of Historical Sciences Ruben Manaseryan affirmed the fact that the plot of the play is based on the data of antique sources and emphasized the fact that the events correspond to the historical reality.

Director of the Institute of Literature of the NAS RA Vardan Devrikyan particularly stated that Hovhannes Nerzetyan’s book artistically presents and interprets the activities of King Artavazd II as the king of the Armenian people and presents how Marcos Antonios was captured and taken to Cleopatra in Alexandria in chains.

According to Devrikyan, the author managed to create a large-scale book in which the events of the times are presented dynamically. Besides being of artistic value, the play is also important in terms of international resonance, showing the major role of Armenia in the region and in the foreign policy led by Rome in the East.

Based on the above-mentioned opinions, the translation of the tragedy into foreign languages, the publication, the staging and popularization of the book in various ways is very important, and the active participation of Diaspora Armenian communities is anticipated.

With this purpose, in January 2018, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Armenia sent a relevant letter/assignment to the embassies of the Republic of Armenia in Tehran, Cairo, London, Paris, Moscow, Warsaw, Bucharest, Sofia, Italy, Canada and India and to the Consulate General of the Republic of Armenia in Los Angeles with the proposal to work on disseminating the book as much as possible and organize lectures and discussions at Armenological centers (with the possible participation of the author), as well as find sponsors and interested persons or organizations and lead negotiations with them to produce or direct a film or animated film that will be entitled “Artavazd”, based on the play and profitable from the perspective of commerce. Several Armenian embassies (Poland, Bulgaria, UK, Czech Republic) have already taken action to popularize the book and present the literary heritage of the Armenian people.

Gevorg Chichyan

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