Edward Tryjarski, the grand old man of Polish orientalists, has died in Warsaw. In the wake of the demise of Professor George A. Bournoutian, his passing represents a further painful loss to Armenian studies in Poland and the world. For decades, Professor Tryjarski was a presence in the life of the Armenian diaspora in Warsaw. He worked closely with the Circle of Interest in Armenian Culture at the Polish Folklore Society, and his Armenian contacts and friendships contributed to the research that produced Ormianie w Warszawie: materiały do dziejów (2001) (Armenians in Warsaw: Materials towards a History). So substantial was his support for the development of Armenian studies in Kraków, that it contributed to the establishment of the Research Centre for Armenian Culture in Poland. Professor Tryjarski worked with us to write the source series Testaments of the History of the Polish Armenians, for which he produced the volume Zapisy sądu duchownego Ormian miasta Lwowa za lata 1564-1608 w języku ormiańsko-kipczackim (2017) (Records in Armeno-Kipchak of the Armenian Clerical Court in the City of Lviv 1564-1608), which was a continuation of an earlier volume he had edited entitled Zapisy sądu duchownego Ormian miasta Lwowa za lata 1625-1630 w języku ormiańsko-kipczackim (2010) (Records in Armeno-Kipchak of the Armenian Clerical Court in the City of Lviv 1625-1630). His articles appeared in the first volume of the Lehahayer Library (Ocalone fragmenty glosariusza ormiańsko-kipczackiego ze Stanisławowa, w: Ormianie polscy. Kultura i dziedzictwo, 2016; Rescued Excerpts from an Armeno-Kipchak Glossary from Stanisławów in: The Polish Armenians: Culture and Heritage) and in our journal (Dialogi z podręcznika gramatyki, teologii, filozofii i systematyki spisane przez Awedyka, XVII wiek, Lehahayer, 2, 2013; Dialogues from a Textbook of Grammar, Theology, Philosophy and Systematics as Inscribed by Awedicus, XVII century), where his work was also reviewed. We bid farewell, therefore, not only to a scholar, but also to a friend and mentor.
Edward Tryjarski was a graduate of law and of Turkology. He studied the latter at the Institute of Oriental Studies in the University of Warsaw. He earned his doctorate in 1961 with a thesis on the Kipchak ethnolect of the Polish Armenians. He pursued his research within the institutional structure of the Polish Academy of Science: first in the Department of Oriental Studies (1953-1969) and, from 1970, in the Institute of Material Culture (later the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology), where he was a professor from 1974 until his retirement. He served as secretary to the editorial board at Rocznik Orientalistyczny (Yearbook of Oriental Studies) in 1957-1976 before becoming that journal’s editor in chief – a post he filled for very nearly three decades until 2004. He was a member of numerous academic societies, including Société Asiatique, The Finnish Oriental Society, The Polish Oriental Society, The Permanent International Altaistic Conference (PIAC), and the Oriental Studies Committee at the Polish Academy of Science (honorary member).
He devoted numerous publications, including articles, reviews, editions of sources, bibliographical notes, and reports in English, German, French, Russian, Polish, and Turkish, to the theme of the Armeno-Kipchak ethnolect. Other than works already mentioned, it is also worth noting his monumental Dictionnaire arméno-kiptchak d’après trois manuscrits des collections viennoises (1-4, 1969-1972) (Armeno-Kipchak Vocabulary on the Basis of Three Manuscripts Held at Collections in Vienna) and Armeno-Kipchak Texts in the Alchemical Treatise by Andrzej Torosowicz (XVII century) (2005). His shorter work has been collected in a volume entitled Armeno-Kipchak Studies (2017). He received the Order of St. Mesrop Mashtots, which is conferred by the Matenadaran Institute of Ancient Manuscripts in Yerevan, for his services to the study of Armenian culture.
Professor Tryjarski did not confine his investigations to Armenian themes. He was the author of more than two-hundred works on Turkish philology and linguistics. He studied runic scripts from Mongolia, Turkish dialects in Romania and Bulgaria, the culture of Proto-Bulgarians, including the Pechenegs and the Cumans, and Polish contacts with the Islamic east. The biographical notes on Professor Tryjarski ofer broader and deeper information on his academic accomplishments: Księga dla uczczenia siedemdziesięciolecia Profesora Edwarda Tryjarskiego, “Rocznik Orientalistyczny”, 49, 1994, 2, s. 7–35 (zawiera także bibliografię za lata 1951-1994) (A Volume of Studies Dedicated to Professor Edward Tryjarski on His Seventieth Birthday, Yearbook of Oriental Studies, p.p. 7-35; also includes a bibliography covering 1951-1994); H. Jankowski, Professor Edward Tryjarski, „Rocznik Orientalistyczny”, 57, 2005, 2, s. 5-7 (Yearbook of Oriental Studies, p.p. 5-7); Bibliography of Edward Tryjarski 1995–2004, oprac. M. M. Dziekan, tamże, s. 9–17 (compiled by M.M. Dziekan, ibid., p.p. 9-17).