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Hovhannes Khan Masehyan (Armenian: Հովհաննես Մասեհյան, February 23, 1864 in Tehran - November 19, 1931 in Kharbin) was an Iranian Armenian translator and diplomat, well known as the translator of Shakespeare's and Byron's works into Armenian. Since 1912 he was the Persian Ambassador to Germany. From 1927 to 1929 he was the Persian Ambassador to the Great Britain. He was the first Ambassador of Persia in Japan.[1]

Hovhannes Masehyan
Hovhannes Massehian.jpg
1st Ambassador of Persia to Japan
In office
Preceded byPosition created
Succeeded byHassanali Kamal Hedayat
Ambassador of Persia to United Kingdom
(Minister Plenipotentiary)
In office
Preceded byHassan Taqizadeh
ConstituencyAbdul Ali Khan Sadigh-es-Saltaneh
Persian Ambassador to Germany
Assumed office
Member National Consultative Majlis
In office
Preceded byvacant
Succeeded byHovsep Mirzaians
Personal details
Died1931 (aged 66–67)
Resting placeCemetery of Surp Minas Chapel, Vanak, Tehran
NationalityIranian Armenian
OccupationPolitician, Diplomat

Masehyan's translation of Hamlet was printed in 1894 by the Armenian publishing society. Hovhannes Hovhannisyan and Hovhannes Tumanyan praised this translation in their reviews. According to Gevorg Emin, Masehian's translations are "excellent" and "sound so wonderful in Armenian".[2] The polished and refined translations by Masehyan have always been among the greatest treasures in the long history of Armenian translation activities.[3]

Masehyan was the editor of Shavigh Armenian journal (Tehran, 1894).

As a diplomat, he was responsible for introducing Western political thought and technological innovations into Iran.[4] He was a delegate to the Sixth Majles. Masehyan died in Kharbin and was buried in Tehran.

In November, 1931 a prominent Armenian translator and renowned Iranian diplomat Hovhannes Khan Masehian died in China. He was appointed ambassador to Japan in 1930, but resigned because of severe illness. On his way from Tokyo to China he passed away in Harbin. He was mistreated by the Islamic ritual in Harbin, causing the indignation of the local Armenians. The Armenian National Department of Harbin demanded Khan Masehian's coffin. After presenting relevant documents, the board members received the coffin was taken to the Armenian church in the presence of the local Armenian community. The funeral ceremony was held in an Armenian restaurant.


  1. ^ V. Vardanyan, "Hovhannes Masehyan"
  2. ^ Seven songs of Armenia, by Gevorg Emin, 1970 - Page 211
  4. ^ The Armenians of Iran: The Paradoxical Role of a Minority, by Cosroe Chaquèri - 1998, p. 59