Israel Ori

Early Attempts at Liberation
Israel Ori
Իսրայել Օրի (1658–1711)
Israel Ori
• Ori was born in 1658 in the city of Sisian in Armenia
about 20 years before Mekhitar.
• During his youth along with a number of other
Armenians, Ori looked for support among the
European powers in the fight of Armenians against
Persian and Turkish control.
• He joined the French army, and made contact with the
high political circles of France where he constantly
raised the question about the liberation of Armenian
Israel Ori
• In 1695 Ori went to Germany and began efforts to
secure military aid from Western European states.
• Ori met with Emperor Leopold I of Austria in 1700 who
advised him that Russian support would be necessary
for the success of his plan.
• Without having attained results in Germany and
Austria, Ori in 1701 left for Moscow.
Israel Ori
• Ori was the first to set the pro-Russian orientation of
the Armenian liberation movement which continues
even today.
• After arriving in Moscow, Ori met Peter the Great
where he promised assistance to the Armenian
people. He also met with Pope Clement XI in 1704
who offered him his support.
• Ori proposed to the Russian court a plan: for liberating
the Armenian and Georgian peoples it is necessary to
send via the Caucasus a twenty-five thousand strong
Russian army.
Israel Ori
• He proceeded to prepare for the plan by meeting with
local Armenian and Georgian political figures, to
strengthen their sympathies towards Russia.
• In 1709 Ori arrived in Isfahan, where he continued to
conduct negotiations with the local political
• In 1711 Ori suddenly died in Astrakhan during the
return to Russia from Persia.
Hovsep Emin
Հովսեփ էմին (August 2, 1726 - August 2,
Hovsep Emin
• Emin was Born in Hamadan, Persia, in 1726 at a time when the
Persian empire was in turmoil.
• As a child Emin had witnessed firsthand the troubles of his family and
other Christians at the hands of local Muslim officials.
• In 1744 Emin moved to India to join his merchant father in Calcutta.
• As a young man, like Israel Ori before him, Emin resolved to dedicate
his life to the liberation of Armenia.
• When he came into contact with the British military in Calcutta, he
realized that the Armenians needed both education and skill in the
contemporary Western art of warfare if they hoped to regain
• In 1751, against his fathers wishes Emin left for London.
• After 4 years, he received sponsorship from the Duke of
Northumberland and was admitted to the Royal Military Academy.
Hovsep Emin
• Emin left London in 1759 and traveled to Echmiadzin, passing through
the Armenian areas of the Ottoman Empire on his way.
• His initial strategy for liberating Armenia involved attempting to
motivate the Catholicos of Echmiadzin toward the idea of first
liberating Ottoman Armenia and then Persian Armenia and then
securing the cooperation of the Armenian leaders of Karabagh and
King Erekle II of Georgia.
• However Emin, disappointed with the lack of response, decided to
return to London to pursue other avenues for his liberation plans.
• Emin returned to England in early 1761 from where he secured
passage to Russia
• He met with the Russian Imperial Chancellor whom he presented his
plans to go to Georgia, ask for King Erekle II help, and help liberate
Hovsep Emin
• Emin entered Tiflis in 1763 with a large group of Armenian volunteers
from the North Caucasus.
• In Tiflis, Emin stressed to the king the historical links between the
Armenian and Georgian peoples.
• Emin assured him that a small but disciplined army could easily cross
over into Armenia, where a general revolt against Persian and
Ottoman rule would take place.
• Tens of thousands of volunteer fighters, mostly gathered by Hovhan,
the head of the religious order of St. Karapet Monastery in Moush,
would assist him in defeating the Muslim forces, allowing the
establishment of a joint Kingdom of Armenia and Georgia.
• While King Erekle showed some interest in Emin's plans he eventually
saw Emin as a challenger and a few months after his arrival into Tiflis
Emin was forced to leave Georgia.
Hovsep Emin
• Emin spent the next 5 years among the mountain tribes of Caucasus
• With their help he was able to reach Karabagh and Zangezur where
he tried to pursue his liberation plans with the local Armenian nobles
and the Armenian Bishop of Gandzasar.
• Realizing he still needed the help of the Georgian king for any hope of
success, he returned briefly to Georgia again only to be ordered to
• After his second failed attempt, Emin left Georgia and returned to
India in 1770, where he worked to secure financial to go back to
Armenia to maintain a 'few troops' there. But facing opposition again,
he failed.
• Emin remained in India for the rest of the his life, and devoted his time
and energy to keeping the idea of the liberation of Armenia alive.
• He wrote his memoirs in a book entitled Life and Adventures of
Joseph Emin, 1726-1809 to help inspire the youth.
Thing to Think About
1. Like the Mekhitar monks, Ori, Emin, and others laid
the path towards more and growing efforts to
liberate Armenia.
2. The importance of the diaspora and education.
3. Internationalization of the Armenian issue by looking
to Europe and most importantly Russia as the
Armenians path to liberation.
4. Moving from a religious church centered focus to
one that became more political.

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