Esnig (or ESNAG, EZNIG, EZNAG), one of the most prominent men of the Armenian Church. He was born in 397, at Gochp or Golp, a place near Mount Ararat, and was one of the pupils of the patriarch Isaak and of Saint Mesrop. As he was acquainted with the Syrian language, he was sent in 425, together with Joseph of Palin, to Edessa, in order to translate the writings of the Syrian Church fathers into Armenian. After finishing this work they went to Constantinople, learned the Greek language, and began the translation of Greek works. On returning home in 431 they took with them many writings of Greek fathers, the acts of the synods of Nice and Ephesus, and a correct copy of the Alexandrine version. From the latter the Armenian version of the Bible, in which Esnig cooperated, was made. Many other theological works were translated by him, and he is one of the six learned Armenians to whom the honorary title "Targmanitschk" (translators) was given. In 449 Esnig was present at the national synod of Artachad, which replied to the Persian king's demand upon the Armenians to embrace the doctrine of Zoroaster. He died about 478, as bishop of Bagrewand. Besides the numerous translations of foreign works, Esnig wrote an original work against heresies. It is divided into four books, of which the first is directed against the pagans, the second against the Parsees, the third against the Greek philosophers, and the fourth against the Marcionites and Manichaeans. This work contains some valuable information on the Parsees and on. the system of Marcion which is not known, from any other source. It has been published at Smyrna (1762): and at Venice (1826), and a French translation has appeared by Le Vaillant de Florival (Refutation des different Sectes des paiens, Paris, 1853. Parts of it have been translated into German by Neumann (in Hermes, volume 33, and in Zeitschriftfar histor. Theolog. 1834) and by Dr. Windischmann (Bayrische Annalen, 1834), and into Latin by Dr. Petermann (in his grammat. ling. Armen. pages 44-48). A Latin translation of the whole work was promised by the distinguished Orientalist, Dr. Windischmann, but it has never appeared. An appendix to the Venice edition contains a "collection of sentences drawn from the Greek fathers, and in particular from St. Nilus." In point of style, Esnig is counted among the classics of Armenian literature.Herzog, Real-Encyklop. 4:163; Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Genesis 16:886; Wetzer u. Welte, Kirchen-Lex. 3:711; Neumann, Versuch einer Gesch. der armen. Lit. (Tub. 1841). (A.J.S.)

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