Honan Nanoyian - Hovnan Davtian

Born in Shoushi, Karabagh, Davtian was one of the most outstanding and idealistic figures of the ARF’s first generation. He completed his secondary education at the Tiflis Nersisian College and studied political and social sciences at the University of Geneva.

In 1891, invited to Tabriz, Persia, to teach, he joined the group led by Hovsep “Ishkhan” Arghoutian and Nikol Douman. In 1892, he attended the First World Congress of the ARF, where, with Zavarian, he hotly defended organizational decentralization.

After a few years of teaching in Tabriz, he returned to Geneva to continue his studies. He worked on Droshak with Rostom and also during Rostom’s absence (1895–1896). In the summer of 1896, when the assassination of the Sultan was being planned, he went to Constantinople; he returned to Geneva after the failed attempt. He was back in Tabriz in 1898 and in Switzerland once more in 1900. The following year he returned to Tiflis and remained for a fairly long period. He was the editor of Harach (Forward) from 1905 to 1906.

He was back in Tabriz form 1908 to 1913 as director of the Central School. Subsequently, he returned to Geneva, where he remained. He died there of tuberculosis in August of 1918, at the age of 53.

Honan’s wife, Hortense Berchier, a Swiss citizen, spoke and wrote Armenian fluently. She was Honan’s life companion, sharing his concerns, sentiments, and commitment toward the Armenian people. She also died of tuberculosis, in 1917, in Geneva.

In Armenian