Manuscript No. 20: Ritual Book, 15th/16th Century
- Manuscript No. 20: Ritual Book, 15th/16th Century
- Alternative title
- Date Created
- 15th/16th Century
- Armenian Manuscripts
- The codex is a copy of the Ritual Book (Mashtots’) of the Armenian Church. Its principle divisions are as follows:Fols. 1-5v [Canon of Baptism]. (Folios missing at the beginning.)Fols. 5v-14. Canon of the blessing of marriageFols. 14-18. Canon of the administration of Holy Communion.Fols. 18-46v. Canon of the burial of a child. (Lacunae between fols. 26 and 27, 36, and 37, 43 and 44.)Fols. 46v-53v. Canon for the commemoration of the dead.Fols. 53v-60v. Benediction of matagh’ (sacrificial animal offering).Fols. 60v-61. Canon of the blessing of the Paschal lamb.Fols. 61-63v. Canon of the desecrated church.Fols. 63v-66. Canon for the consecration of a new church door.Fols. 66v-67. Canon of the blessing of sacerdotal vestments. Fols. 67-67v. Canon of the blessing of chalice and paten.Fols. 67v-68. Canon of the blessing of a newly painted church.Fols. 68-68v. Canon of the blessing of incense. Fols. 68v-70v. Canon of the blessing of cereals.Fols. 70v-90. Canon of the blessing of water.Fols. 90v-115v. Canon of the Washing og the Feet on Maundy Thursday.Fols. 115v-118v. Canon of the consecration of a cross.Fols. 119-120. The blessing of grapes, composed by Catholicos Nersēs Sh’norhali.
- Paper, 120 folios. Text in bolorgir, written in one column of 16 lines. Folios 96v-120v, also in bolorgir, are written by a different hand. Subtitles are in red bolorgir. The first lines of individual texts are in magenta erkat’agir, and the second lines are in red bolorgir. Large red erkat’agir initials throughout the codex.Thirteen quires numbered with the letters of the Armenian alphabet, written in bolorgir in the lower margin of the page. Each quire appears to have had gatherings of 12 leaves.
- There are no colophons in the codex; hence its date of execution and provenance are unknown. The paleography and the style of the illustrations suggest that the book was probably written in the 15th or 16th century. There are notations, largely illegible, in the margins of folios 15v, 53v, 60v, and 120v; the last of these mentions the name of Mkrtichʻ Jughayets’i, who may once have owned the book.A notation on the inside front cover indicates that the MS was acquired by Dr. Minasian in 1946 from a priest named Yovakim Barsegh’ian.
- Binding note
- Traditional Armenian binding, of worn and damaged darkened brown calfskin over 7mm.-thick boards cut with a horizontal grain. Holes on upper board in shape of a cross indicate that there must once have been a metal cross nailed onto it. No tooling discernible. Spine leather cracked, and yellowed cloth spine lining evident. Evidence remains of fore-edge flap, now wanting. Remnants of two leather thongs on inside lower board; the clasps now wanting, but fragments of one wooden pin used for fastening still extant on upper board. Traditional red, white, and black raised endbands evident but in poor condition. Blue cloth doublures. Edges colored red. Traditional sewing structure with loop board attachment and four V-notches. In damaged condition, but no evidence of rebinding.
- Condition note
- Fair state of preservation. Folios are missing at the beginning and end of the codex, and there are lacunae throughout the book. Several leaves have suffered damage from dampness. The margins of folios 34-36 are cut out; the margin of folio 16 is partially torn, and folios 70 and 107 have tears which interfere with the text. Some leaves and quires are loose.
- Illustrations note
- The illustrations in the codex consist of twenty marginal palmettes and corresponding decorative initials. These small illustrations are excellent examples of the impact of Cilician illustrations in Greater Armenia. The repertoire of motifs is familiar from the work of the Cilician-Armenian painter Sargis Picak: the Harpy (fol. 5v); symmetrical palmettes, purely vegetal or incorporating crosses (fols. 18 and 115v) or ewers (fols 70v and 90v); asymmetrical vegetal palmettes. Familiar, too, is the bright polychrome, applied surely over confident outlines. In this later incarnation, the rich Cilician palette is reduced to purple (used for the underlying drawing), red, blue, and green.
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- Rights statement
- public domain