The Armenian alphabet (Հայոց գրեր, Hayoc’ grer or Հայոց այբուբեն, Hayoc’ aybuben), or more broadly the Armenian script, is an alphabetic writing system developed for Armenian and occasionally used to write other languages. It was developed around 405 AD by Mesrop Mashtots, an Armenian linguist and ecclesiastical leader. There are several inscriptions in Armenian lettering from Sinai and Nazareth that date to the beginning of the 5th century. The script originally had 36 letters; eventually, two more were adopted. It was in wide use in the Ottoman Empire in the 18th and 19th centuries.
The Armenian word for 'alphabet' is այբուբեն (aybuben), named after the first two letters of the Armenian alphabet: այբ ayb and բեն ben. Armenian is written horizontally, left to right.
History and development
One of the classical accounts of the existence of an Armenian alphabet before Mesrop Mashtots comes from Philo of Alexandr