Complicated Communities in Medieval Armenia: Christians and Muslims in Conflict and Cohabitation


by Dr. Sergio La Porta 

Tuesday the 8th June, 


Much like today, the medieval “news cycle” was less interested in peaceful relations between ethno-religious communities than in conflicts between them. Nonetheless, even those sources that focus on intercommunal tensions and violence allude to more complicated entanglements of Christians and Muslims in medieval Armenia. This lecture will present case studies of Christians and Muslims living together in the same community in twelfth-century Armenia, explore some of the fault lines that created conflict between them, and identify strategies used to reassert a modus vivendi.


Dr. Sergio La Porta is the Haig and Isabel Berberian Professor of Armenian Studies and Interim Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Humanities at California State University, Fresno. He received his PhD in Armenian and Near Eastern Studies from Harvard University in 2001 where he wrote his thesis on Grigor Tat‘ewac‘i’s Book of Questions. In addition to publishing a study on Armenian commentaries on the works of Dionysius the Areopagite, he has written articles on medieval Armenian intellectual history and cultural interactions with the Islamicate, Byzantine, and Latinate worlds. Dr. La Porta served as the Editor of the Journal of the Society for Armenian Studies from 2011 to 2020, and co-founded the Fresno Institute for Classical Armenian Translation with Dr. Michael Pifer in 2018.

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