Mikayel Chamchian (Միքայել Չամչյան Mik῾ayel Č῾amč῾yan; 1738–1823) was an Armenian Mekhitarist monk and historian.


Chamchian was born in Istanbul and trained as a jeweler by the imperial jeweler Mikayel Chelebi Diuzian. He joined the Mekhitarian order in Venice in 1762.

In 1774 he was appointed instructor of Armenian language in the monastery. In 1779, he wrote Kerakanutiun Haykazian Lezvi (Grammar of the Armenian). By 1784, he had finished his Patmutiun Hayots i Skzbane Ashkharhi Minchev tsam diarn (Պատմութիւն Հայոց Armenian history from the beginning of the world to the year 1784). The work marks the beginning of Romantic Armenian nationalism.

Chamchian provided a chronology for the Armenian patriarchs of Moses of Chorene's History of Armenia, dating Haik's battle with Belus to 11 August 2492 BC.

He is also the source for the traditionally accepted date for the foundation of official Christiandom in Armenia as AD 301.

In 1795, he was sent back to Istanbul as the resident Mekhitarian representative.


  • Razmik Panossian, The Armenians: From Kings And Priests to Merchants And Commissars, Columbia University Press (2006), ISBN 978-0231139267.
  • Adalian, Rouben P., From Humanism to Rationalism: Armenian Scholarship in the Nineteenth Century. Atlanta, GA: Scholars Press, 1992.
  • Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East and North Africa (2004).

See also

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