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In the XIV-XV centuries Armenia lived hard times as was a theater of war and was raided by many conquerors. The possession of backward tribes, whimsical and rough taxes, the legalization of violence and robbery caused the collapse and retrogression of the culture and economy.
Only historical Syunik region comparatively stayed in a good condition, but just not the whole period. Due to more or less political and economic propitious situation this small Armenian land succeeded in temporarily to prevent the downfall of century-old culture, even could develop some of fields up to new level: it was Gladzor University in Vayots Dzor to come the standard bearer of the patriotism. Though in the 1330s the university had its degradation it wasn’t a destruction of Armenian schooling; a new University of Tatev was established and bloomed in Syunik region inheriting Gladzoryan traditions. The founder of the famous Armenian educational and cultural center was Gladzoryan previous student, talented scientist Hovhan Vorotnetsy (1315-1386).
Early in the 1340s after the degradation of Gladzor University, O. Vorotnetsi moved into Tzghuk, Vorotn, and initiated the creation of a new educational center. In the middles of 1340s he moved into Tatev and with support of Orbelyants he took steps of developing educational recognition of the University. In short time Vorotnetsy’s institution became a university of full-value that had many educators not only from Syunik, and other Armenian regions, but also from Kilikia and Diaspora at the time.
Many teachers graduated from Tatev University and worked at the schools of Syunik region and other Armenian residents; also new schools were established as University branches. Based on of Gladzoryan experience Vorotnetsy improved the educational curriculum, regulated the admission of new students and gradualness of the scientists.
It was Grigor Tatevatsy, the most talented student of Vorotnetsy, that increased the quality of the Universityactivities up to a new level, and the years he headed the university were the most fruitful and prospering period for the Institution.
Not many contemporaries of Vorotnetsy and Tatevatsy so clearly recognized that to protect and to develop national culture was perhaps the only way to stand up to the strong though ignoramus and rough conquerors. Due to the efforts of these talented men, their students and followers the coming generation bequeathed an immeasurable, comprehensively qualified scientific heritage and Tatev University became the biggest scientific-cultural center of the time. It was the place, where internationally recognized scientific achievements were recorded. They were most impressively reflected on the political background, when the university had to wander time by time caused the persecution of foreign despots.
Having a national-social significant authority and collaboration of Armenian traditional clergy, Tatev Universityconducted and enlarged an important national activity as the struggle against Unitarian Movement. University staff and students had their biggest contribution in the transformation of Patriarchal from Sis to Edmiatzin, which was recorded as the greatest event of the period in the Armenian history over the centuries.
After death of Grigor Tatevatzy the university began to depreciate. No matter how the new staff, Matevos Jughayetsy, Mkhitar Tatevatsy and the others tried, coming difficulties in political-economical life of the country caused gradually downfall of Tatev University. In the middles of 20s in the XV century the university stopped to exist as an educational center.
For more than 8 dozen years Tatev University and its branch-schools kept alive traditions of the inherited culture and made a significant contribution in the treasury of the Armenian medieval culture.
A. Gzoyan, Tatev University, Yeravan, 2003, pp. 51–53,
Translation of Lusine Harutyunyan