The article entitled „Ghaributhyun: the exile as one of central themes of Armenian ethnicity“ deals with the notion of exile and its signifi cance in the Armenian historical and literary discourse. The exile represents in the Armenian context one of the cornerstones of Armenian ethnicity construction and it could be said without exaggeration, that Armenian history (both medieval and modern) is pervaded by this dominant or more precisely “key” theme. The exile symbolizes primarily the
concept of uprootedness (exile from the country as well as the alienation from the society), which is conceived in close connection with the search for identity itself. In other words, the exile can be considered as a kind of “rite de passage” – the position on the border or „threshold“ between two cultures, languages and worlds. The notion of exile is closely linked with Armenian historical experience of aghet: catastroph (persecutions, deportations, massacres). It could be interpreted in association with the idea of homeland, the myth of the chosen people persecuted for its sins, the concept of irrevocably lost Golden Age and the myth of national regeneration and return to promised land. Gharib motif was infl uenced by different aspects - among others it shall be mentioned the inspiration by Jewish tradition and texts of the Old Testament, as well as the effect of the so-called “siege mentality”, which refl ects the situation of an isolated religious minority condemned to
play a role of mediators, standing on border between two cultures.
Armenia; Armenian History and Literature; Armenianness; Ethnicity; Exile; Gharib