The late fifth-century anonymous Epic Histories, formerly known as the History of Armenia attributed to another unknown P’awtstos (Faustos) Buzand, form the earliest historical work written in Armenian. They are the main source for our knowledge of social structure, beliefs and customs of early Christian Armenia, and especially of the profound and lasting influence of Zoroastrian Persia on the recently converted country. This influence is evident in the very composition of the work, which owes as much to the lost oral tradition of the Iranian epic as to more familiar Classical and early Christian models.
Hence, it is unmatched for the reconstruction of the ambivalent world of the Near East in Late Antiquity at the cross roads between Classical and Iranian civilizations. Since no scholarly translation of this work into any Western language has been attempted for more than a century, much of its contribution has remained beyond the reach of most scholars. The aim of the present publication is to fill this lacuna by complementing the translation of the original Armenian text with a Commentary and Appendices that are intended to serve not only Armenian scholars but Classicists and Iranians alike.