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Şahan Arzruni

( fl early 8th century). Armenian hymnographer, poet and pedagogue . Sister of the music theorist Step‘annos Siwnec‘i, she was an ascetic who lived in a cave in the Gaṙni valley (near Erevan) and produced ecclesiastical poems and liturgical chants. Srp‘uhi Mariam (‘Saint Mary’), consisting of nine stanzas in acrostic formation, is her only verse to have survived. Reportedly, many of her šarakaner (hymns) were devoted to the Mother of God (akin to the theotokion in the music of the Byzantine rite) and helped to shape the development of the genre during subsequent centuries. Seated behind a curtain, as the mores of the period required, Sahakduxt taught sacred melodies to clerical students and lay music lovers.

S. Ōrbelyan: Patmut‘yun nahangin Sisakan [History of the Province of Sis] (Tbilisi, 1910), 139 Archbishop Covakan Norayr [Połarian]: Sahakduxt Siwnec‘i ev Srp‘uhi Mariam [Sahakduxt of Siunik and Saint Mary], Hask (Antilias, 1951), 366–7 M. Ōrmanian...