09 January 2016, 15:02
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Eternal Alphabet: Ts (ca) - Ծ (ծա)

Letter Ts (ca) - Ծ (ծա) is number 50 in Armenian Alphabet

According to one of the existing versions, letter Ծ derives from the Armenian letter Զ [z]. Supporters of another version believe that the graphic form of Ծ originates in letter of the Syriac еstrangelo – the oldest of all varieties of the Syriac script. The Syrian origin of this letter and a number of other letters of the Armenian alphabet is quite probable, taking into consideration the close relationship between the two nations in IV–V centuries and the fact that for about one hundred years, services in Armenian churches were conducted in Syrian and Greek languages.


 By the way, the first Armenian translation of the Bible was from Syrian, and Christianity came to Armenia from Syria. There are about 400 words of Syrian origin in the Armenian language. Besides, of all the alphabets, which Mashtots could have used in devising the Armenian alphabet, only the Syriac script has a sound similar to Ծ.

In the medieval Armenian script, the combination of two letters ծծ denoted Աստվածածին ([Astvatsatsin] – Mother of God). To her, Narekatsi (X century) devoted many hymns: in the “Christmas Song” written by this poet-mystic there are passages full of words that begin with letter Ծ. It’s remarkable that sounding of one of these parts, where the sea is mentioned, reminded literary critic Mkrtich Mkryan of “rhythmic splash of the morning tide”, and the word “sea” itself – ծով [tsov] in Armenian begins with letter ծ.

See more at Aram Khachaturians "Armenian Alphabet. History and Symbolism" book

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