Manuscript No. 22: Ritual Book, A.D. 1580 and 1667
- Manuscript No. 22: Ritual Book, A.D. 1580 and 1667
- Uniform title
- Date Created
- Armenian Manuscripts
- The Ms contains fragments of two Ritual Books (Mashtots’) of the Armenian Church bound together. The principle divisions of this defective codex are as follows:FRAGMENT I:Fols 1-3. Canon of the benediction of matagh (sacrificed offering). (Missing folios at the beginning of the text, and lacuna between fols. 1 and 2).Fols. 3-8. Canon of the commemoration of dead.Fols. 8v-22v. Canon of the blessing of a cross.Fols. 22v-25. Canon of the blessing of plants, flocks, etc.Fols. 25-35v. Canon of the blessing of water.Fols. 35v-47. Canon of the blessing of Washing the Feet on Maundy Thursday.Fols. 47-57v. Canon of Maundy Thursday: Blessing of the vicarage.Fols. 58-69. Canon of the Maundy Thursday: Discharging of the penitents.Fols. 69-81v. Canon of eve of cleansing a church desecrated by infidels. (Fols. 85-90 have been misbound; they should follow fol. 72v.)Fols. 81v-84. Canon of blessing of bridal vestments.Fol. 84-84v. Principle colophon, dated A.D. 1580. (This folio has been misbound; it should follow fol. 98).Fol. 90v. Canon of blessing og chalice and paten.Fols. 90v-92. Canon of consecration of a new church door.Fols. 92v-93. Prayer of ending drought.Fols. 93-93v. Prayer against food poisoning.Fols. 93v-98v. Canon of blessing of crops.FRAGMENT IIFols. 99-168. Canon of the burial of priests.Fol. 168. Colophon, dated A.D. 1667.Fols. 168-169v. Later inscriptions.
- Fragment I: Text in bolorgir, written in one column of 20 lines. Subtitles and opening lines of text in red bolorgir. Large initials in red erkat’agir throughout the text. Fifteen quires numbered with the letters of the Armenian alphabet, written in bolorgir in the lowe margin of the page. Currently the fragment has many lacunae and some folios have been misbound; hence the number of leaves in the gatherings is uneven.Fragment II: Text in bolorgir, written in one column of 24 lines. Subtitles in red or magenta, written in bolorgir, except of the opening line of text on fol. 99 written in magenta erkat’agir. Large initials in red erkat’agir throughout the text. Six quires with gatherings of 12 leaves each are numbered with the letters of the Armenian alphabet, written in bologir in the lower margin of the page.
- According to the principle colophon (fol. 84-84v) the MS to which Fragment I belonged was written in the year 1029 of the Armenian Era (= A.D. 1580) by the priest Grigor, son of the priest Step‘anos and his wife Mughalkhat‘un. The book was copied at the churches of Surb Astuatsatsin )Holy Theotokos) and Surb Grigor Lusavorich (St. Gregory the Illuminator) in the village of Mazra in the region of Gegham. The scribe stats that the codex was executed during the pontificate of Catholicos Aṛak’el, at the time when the prince of the region of Gegham was the “pious prince, Baron Shahnazar.” The colophon does not provide the name of the individual who commissioned the codex, but it is known from the prayers/inscriptions at the end of four canons (fols. 47, 57v, 69, 98v) that the sponsor was an individual named Aghajan.Catholicos Aṛak’el, mentioned in the colophon, can be identified with Aṛak’el Vagharshapatts’i, who was coadjutor to Catholicos Grigor XII of Ējmiatsin and then served as Catholicos from 1587 to 1593. (See Òrmanian, Azgapatum, paras. 1566, 1569-1570, 1575, 1580-1581, and 1587.) The region of Gegham is located in the Lake Sevan area in Armenia, where the codex was written.There are no inscriptions indicating the later history of the MS to which Fragment I belonged.The principle colophon of Fragment II (fol. 168-168v) shows that it was written by the scribe Yohan Vardapet in the city of Shòsh of Espahan (i.e., Isfahan in Iran). The writing of the MS to which these fragments belonged was completed on August 24 in the year 1116 of the Armenian Era (= A.D. 1667). Although the colophon mentions the names of many individuals, there is no indication as to who may have sponsored the writing of the book. Fragment II also contains inscriptions and two stamped seals, but only one of the inscriptions provides concrete information concerning the later history of the manuscript ot which the fragment belonged. The inscription on fol. 169v indicates that in A.D. 1721 the book belonged to a priest named Astuatsatur. Several other inscriptions on fols 168-169v record the ordination into the priedhood of several individuals: Sahak in 1721; Gork’, Yakob, Barsegh, and Yusēp’ in 1727; Aghek’sandr in 1742; Yarut’en in 1790. Another inscription records the death of the priest Òhan in 1820 (fol. 168). The two seals stamped on fols. 15v and 25v in Fragment I bear the signature of a priest named Martiros, who may have been a later owner of the codex, probably sometime in the 19th century.According to notation on a sheet of paper attached to the inside front cover, Dr. Minasian purchased the book on September 29, 1946, for 50 rials from an unidentified individual. Yovik Ēdgarian is said to have acted as intermediary in this transaction.
- Binding note
- Traditional Armenian binding, damaged. Darkened brown leather over wooden boards. Covers are blind-tooled with a border and various atamps in center, but very worn. Portion of leather on lower board missing, and horizontal grain of wood clearly visible. Lower board has horizontal crack. Upper board loose, joint cracked. Fragment of fore-edge flap on inside back board. Three holes on both boards remain from fastenings, now wanting. Fragments of traditional raised endbands evident. Cloth doublures with stamped blue and red foliated design. The cloth which lines the fore-edge flap is a different stamped pattern, of horizontal bands with a variety of floral and foliated designs. Edges darkened. Traditional sewing structure with loop board attachment and four V-notches. No evidence of rebinding; present binding therefore cannot be earlier than 1667.
- Condition note
- Poor state of preservation. Because the binding is damaged, many leaves are loose. Folios are missing at the beginning of the codex, and there are lacunae in Fragment I. Some leaves have been misbound: fol. 84 should follow fol. 98, and folios 85-90 should follow 72v. The book has been extensively damaged by fire and dampness; also, magenta ink has been spilled on some leaves.
- Illustrations note
- The illuminations in this MS consist only of decorative initials. Fragment I has nine tubular and bird-form initials, competently drawn in the black ink used for the text and picked out in the red of the rubrics, which is also occasionally used as wash.Fragmetn II has 14 bird-form initials drawn in red and picked out in silver. Both pigments are also used in the text. The silver still retains its sheen on fol. 103.