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Document Details :
Title: Print Capital, Corporate Identity, and the Democratization of Discourse in Early Modern Armenian Society
Author(s): COWE, S. Peter
Journal: Le Muséon
Volume: 126 Issue: 3-4 Date: 2013
This article investigates the significant metamorphosis in traditional means of communication (oral and manuscript transmission) within Armenian society on the Armenian Plateau and throughout the worldwide network of trade communities with the advent of print technology in the early modern period. It analyses the latter’s impact on the spread of literacy and democratization of discourse, engaging the merchant middle class in various capacities (financier, reader, printer, author), through a process which transforms the terms in which common origins, shared history, and collective identity are envisaged. As a result, a transition is observable from biblical and ecclesiastical perspectives on the phenomenon of dispersion and the primacy of religio-confessional identity associated with the past to an incipient future-oriented nationalist project broached by representatives of both the secular and ecclesiastical elite under the influence of Enlightenment thought, which prefigures the fuller program elaborated and articulated in the 19th century through the periodical press and inauguration of political parties.