Manuscript No. 21: Ritual Book
- Manuscript No. 21: Ritual Book
- Uniform title
- Date Created
- Armenian Manuscripts
- Text in bolorgir, written by several hands in one column of 18-19 lines. Subtitles in red bolorgir; some opening lines of text in erkat’agir and others in bolorgir in red or magenta ink. Initials throughout the codex in red erkat’agir.Two sets of quire numbers in the codex, the first consisting of 13 and the second of 17 numbered quires. Because of the many lacunae in the book, and because folios are missing at the end, it is difficult to determine the number of leaves in each gathering; however, it appears that the gatherings were of 10 or 12 leaves.
- Fol. 166v. Principle colophon in bolorgir (incomplete at the end).Later inscriptions: Fol 167-167v. In bolorgir.Fil, 167v. In crude notragir.Fol. 167v In left-hand margin in notragir.
- The surviving portion of the principle colophon (fol. 166v) indicates that the MS was written in the year 962 of the Armenian Era (= A.D. 1513). The codex was written in memory of someone whose name has been erased, and for his unnamed “parents and living and deceased brothers and all blood relatives, and for me, the sinful servant of God and false scribe, who am one only in name and not in deed.” Yet the unnamed scribe goes on to plead with the reader not to blame him for its shortcomings, “because part of it had already been written and I copied the rest later”. We can conclude from this incomplete colophon that the codez was written by several hands, and that it was executed in A.D. 1513. The names of the sponsor and scribe, and the place where the MS was written, are unknown. In all probability, however, the book was executed in Iran, as evidenced by the personal names found in the later inscription and by the use of Lesser Armenian Calendar in the inscription on folio 167v.At a later unspecified date, the book was acquired by a lady named “Shnorhavor, in memory of her deceased husband Amir, and of her son Kirakos.” The inscription (fol. 167-167v) entreats prayers also on behalf of Amir’s father Shahghulē, his mother Bahal or Bahalu, and his brother Ēlagh.An undated inscription requests prayers for an individual named Hashtoy (?) Ghazar, son of Arut‘ (fol. 167v). Another inscription in the left-hand margin of the same page asks the reader to remember Yarut‘iwn and his parents, brothers, and other blood relatives. Although this inscription provides a date according to the Lesser Armenian Era, it is unfortunately illegible. Both Ghazar and Yarut‘iwn may have owned the codex.A note on a slip of paper on the inside front cover indicates that Dr. Minasian acquired the MS on April 16, 1950, as gift from Mrs. Astghik.
- Binding note
- Traditional Armenian binding, of rubbed brown leather (goatskin?) over wooden boards. Upper cover blind-tooled with stepped cross made of quadrilobed knot tool and an outer border of a quadrilobed fkirak stamp. Lower cover has a decorated rectangle in center and a border design, but tooling is very worn. Spine cracked at joint. Fragments of fore-edge flap remain on inside back board. Two holes on both boards from clasps, now wanting. Traditional raised endbands of red, white, and black silk evident but in poor condition. Bright yellow-green brocade cloth doublures with gray stamped floral designs on inside boards. Edges uncolored. Traditional sewing structure with look board attachment and two V. notches; herringbone stitch and cloth spine lining evident. Gutter repairs evident, indicating the MS was probably rebound.
- Condition note
- Fair state of preservation. Because the binding is damages, many leaves are loose. A substantial number of folios have been damaged by fire and water. Fols. 36, 94, and 124 are partially torn. Many lacunae throughout the text; fols. 168-172 have been misbound. Margins of several leaves have been scribbled on.
- Illustrations note
- The illustrations in the codex consist of two small headpieces, by different hands, both with illuminated incipit initials and marginal palmettes (fols. 1 and 30); also 10 marginal palmettes and 14 decorative initials marking the major divisions of the Ritual Book.The manuscript is the work of several scribes and illuminators. The painter of the headpieces on fol. 1 was particularly able. In very fine gray lines he laid out the initials, a symmetrical marginal palmette, and a rectangular headpiece filled with a row of five-lobed buds encircled by spiraling vines. Two shades of purple are used for the vegetal forms and the initials, two shades of blue for the background. The same tranquil palette and graceful forms mark the marginalia and initials on fols. 39 through 94v.The headpiece on fol. 30 is very different. Unsteady, fine black lines define the basic shapes: a rectangular headpiece filled with a zigzag motif, a leaf-form initial, and a small marginal asymmetrical whorl of leaves. Hesitant lines of light red and uneven patches of green fill out the forms.There are no marginalia conforming to this pattern, but from fol. 97v onwards there are several other configurations: on folio 97v, black outlines with orange highlights; fol. 114v, red drawing; fol. 135, red drawing with an awkward black echo.
- Resource type
Find This Item
- University of California, Los Angeles. Library. Department of Special Collections
- Local identifier
- Armenian MS 21
- Manifest url
- Rights statement
- public domain
- Rights contact
- UCLA Library Special Collections, A1713 Charles E. Young Research Library, Box 951575, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1575. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Phone: (310) 825-4976