Manuscript No. 23: Fragments from Three Ritual Books, 16th/17th Century
- Manuscript No. 23: Fragments from Three Ritual Books, 16th/17th Century
- Uniform title
- Date Created
- Armenian Manuscripts
- Fragments bound together from three different copies of the Ritual Book (Mashtots’) of the Armenian Church. The contents of each fragment are given in the sequence in which they appear in the codex.FRAGMENT I:Fol. 1-7. Canon of marriage, and Canon of the burial of children. (Leaves missing between fols. 5 and 6).Fols. 7-8v. Canon of the commemoration of the dead.Fols. 9-10v. Elegy on infant children, composed by Khachatur Abeghay.FRAGMENT II:Fols. 11-23v [Canon of the blessing of water.] (Folios missing at the beginning, and lacuna between fols. 14 and 15.)Fols. 23v-34v. Canon of baptism. (Lacuna between fols. 27 and 28).Fols. 34v-35v. Canon of the consecration of a priest.Fols. 35v-44. Canon of marriage.Fols. 44-46v. Canon of the removal of the marriage crown. Fols. 46v-49v. Canon of the administration of Holy Communion. (Folios missing at the end).FRAGMENT III:Fols. 50-60v. Canon of the burial of children.Fol. 60v. Inscription in the lower margin.Fols. 61-66. Canon of the commemoration of the dead. (Lacuna between fols. 63 and 64.)Fols. 66-73v. Canon of the benediction of matagh (sacrificial offering).Fols. 73v-88. Canon of the blessing of cross.Fols. 88-104. Canon of the Washing og the Feet on Maundy Thursday. (Lacuna between fols. 91 and 92.)Fols. 104v-112. Canon of the eve of the consecration of a church desecrated by infidels, and restoration of the altar. Fol. 112v. Canon of the blessing og chalice and paten.Fols. 112v-114. Inscriptions.
- Fragments of three Ritual Books, herewith described individually: Fragment I: Text in bolorgir, written in one column of 22-26 lines. Subtitles mostly in bolorgir, others in notragir; initials throughout the text in large erkat’agir, all in black ink.Fragment II: Text in bolorgir, written in one column of 15-18 lines. Subtitles in red bolorgir, and initials throughout the text in large erkat’agir, in red ink.Fragment III: Text in bolorgir, written in one column of 20 lines. Subtitles in red bolorgir, and initials throughout the text in large erkat’agir, also in red. Fragment I consists of one quire of 10 leaves. The quires of Fragments II and III appear to have had 12 leaves each.
- Fragments I and II have no colophons or inscriptions; hence the date of execution and provenance of the MSS to which they belonged are unknown. The paleography suggests that Fragmetn I was probably written in the 17th century and Fragment II in the 16th.The principle colophon of Fragment III is missing; hence the date and place of execution of the MS to which it belonged is unknown. Two inscriptions, written in the lowe margins of fols. 60v and 112v, request prayers for an individual named Avetik’, who probably copied the codex. According to a colophon on fols. 112v-113, the book was purchased by someone named Tiratur as a memorial for himself, his wife Oski Khat’un, his son Mkrtich, his deceased son Azizbēg and for Janibēg, and his parents Shahmēlik’, and T’enik. Another inscription (fol. 113), written by Nersēs Abegha, entreats prayers for himself, as well as for the priests Mkrtich and Yohanēs. It is not certain, however, that these clerics were in any way associated with the history of the codex. The MS was restored and rebound in the year 1051 of the Armenian Era (= A.D. 1602) at the church of Surb Yovhannēs (St. John) in the village of Biwrakan in the district of Ararat. According to the colophon (fols. 113v-114) which provides this information, the restoration and rebinding was done at the behest of a priest named Sahak, who presumably owned the book, as a memorial for himself and for his deceased parents, the priest Yohanēs and his unnamed wife; fir his paternal uncle, the parontēr Yakob; and for his brothers, the parontēr Zak’ar and the priest Yovanēs. The colophon was written by a scribe named Yovanēs, who also mentions the assistance rendered to him by the deacon Dawit’ during the process of rebinding the codex.On the basis of the above data, it can be assumed that the MS to which Fragment III belonged was executed in the 16th century in the region of Ararat. It was probably written by the scribe Avetik; for an unknown sponsor. Fragment II also seems to have been executed in the 16th century, while Fragment I is probably from the 17th century.At an unknown later date, the book seems to have been acquired by a priest named Sahak, who had it rebound. According to a notation written in pencil on the inside wooden board at the back, the MS was acquired by Dr. Minasian in 1947 from an individual whose name we were unable to decipher.
- 114 folios
- 16x12.5 cm.
- Binding note
- Traditional Armenian binding. Damaged brown leather over wooden boards. Blind-tooled borders, but extremely worn. No flap, clasps, or cloth boublures. Traditional raised endbands of blue, red and white silk (?) evident but in poor condition. Edges darkened. Text sewn on three cords, using three V-notches, but board attachment no longer evident. Slips now appear to be adhered between the leather covering and the wooden boards. Both boards have two unused holes near spine where loops would have been attached – these boards must have been reused, because there are now three sewing supports which do not correspond to the two holes in the boards. White cloth spine lining.
- Condition note
- The binding and some leaves are loose. The book has suffered damage from fire and dampness. Some leaves have been repaired.
- Illustrations note
- Fragment I has no illiustrations. Fragment II has three simple initials, all slightly different. Fol. 24 has a tubular abbreviation of Tēr (Lord) drawn in dark brown ink, and shaded in brick red and gray. The initial on fol. 36 is a tubular E drawn in fine lines of black ink matching that of the text, with no other color. Fol. 46v has a simple TR, with fine black outlines, edges with red and blue.Fragment III has seven fine sets of initials (tubular and bird-form) with corresponding marginalia, all elegantly drawn in very fine purple lines, shaded in brown and picked out in red and blue (fols. 50, 61, 66, 73v, 88v, 100, and 104v).
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- public domain