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By Sirarpie Der Nersessian

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The shortsightedness of Byzantine policy in this matter became apparent when the Seljuqs conquered Armenia and, meeting no serious opposition from the Armenian population, pushed further west and took possession of the major part of Asia Minor. The measures taken by the Byzantine emperors had provoked an exodus of the Armenian nobles. 15 18:17 18 Historical Survey spoiled of their possessions sought refuge in the eastern provinces ruled by the Arabs. Others, attracted by the greater opportunities that the empire had to offer, went to Constantinople or settled in the region west of the Euphrates, that is in Lesser Armenia, where they found large numbers of their compatriots.

Among these emigrants there were certainly some artists or craftsmen and their influence may be discerned at times, as we shall see later. We hear about one of these craftsmen through a story which is not entirely to his credit, but which shows the high skill of the Armenian goldsmiths. This man, called John Ithmeus, had come to Antioch in 499 and had soon acquired considerable wealth by selling fragments of statues, small animal figures made of gold, which had supposedly come from a secret hoard.

15 18:17 Historical Survey 27 style using words coined directly from the Greek. Gregory Magistros, one of the few lay authors in medieval Armenia, and a man of vast erudition, is the most distinguished representative of this late Philhellene school. In his letters he discourses on astronomy, medicine, and mathematics with as much ease as on religion and history. A great admirer of Greek literature, he frequently quotes passages from Plato, Aristotle, Apollodorus, and other classical authors. He had set himself the task of translating as many ancient works as possible.

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