levon-shantLevon Shant’s actual name is Levon Seghpossian (Nahashbedian). He was born in Constantinople, in 1869. He received his education at the Kevorkian Seminary in Echmiadzin, and continued his higher education at universities in Germany and Switzerland. For years, he was a teacher and educator, as well as a public and political figure and political activist in Armenia and the Armenian communities in the Diaspora. He was the vice president of the parliament of the first Republic of Armenia, one of the founders of Hamazkayin, and the primary founder of Hamazkayin Djemaran in Beirut, where he was the school principal for twenty years at the same time teaching pedagogy and psychology. Levon Shant created a unique pedagogical atmosphere in Djemaran — a reflection of his personality and talent. When he was the principal of Djemaran he was an inclusive pedagogue. He was capable of inspiring the young generation about the importance of education in preserving the national identity.

Since the first years of the Djemaran Levon Shant assigned himself the task of preparing school textbooks. He subsequently published a series of textbooks on Armenian language for elementary schools, including: “Kravor taser” (“Written lessons,”) “Lousaper” (“Light bearer,”) “Mangagan ashkharhner” (“Children’s worlds,”) “Aippenaran” (“ABC book.”) For Djemaran’s middle school students he authored the first four books of “Hayreni Ashkharh” (“Fatherland.”)

Although he was totally engaged in education and school management, the writer in him was very much active. Levon Shant found time for his creative writing and for the development of the theater. During the period in which he was the principal of Djemaran, Levon Shant completed the play “Oshin Bail.” He also wrote a new novel, “Hokinere dzaravi” (“Thirsty Souls”) and “The history of Armenian literature,” which is a large volume of theories on the history of Armenian literature.

In the first decade of his literary life, Levon Shant wrote romantic novels, such as “Leran aghchige” (“The mountain girl” 1892,) “Yeraz orer” (“Dreamlike days) and “Trsetsinere” (“The outsiders” 1894,) “Vergine” (1896,) “Tartse” (“The return” 1897,) and “Terasanouhin” (“The actress” 1898.) In the second and third decades of his literary years, Levon Shant proved himself as a playwright. His first play “Yesi marte” (“The ego man”) was published in 1901, followed by “Ourishi hamar” (“For others”) in 1903, “Jampou vra” (“On the road”) in 1904, and “Hin asdvadzner” (“Ancient gods”) in 1912. That same year Levon Shant’s shortest, but most literary play, “Gine” (“The woman”) was published. In 1916 the play “Gaisre” (“The Caesar,”) in 1918 ‘Shghtaivadze” (“The enchained,”) and in 1922 “Ingadz parti ishkhanouhin” (“Princess of the fallen fortress”) were published.

Levon Shant passed away on November 29, 1951.