Manuscript No. 41: Breviary, A.D. 1678
- Manuscript No. 41: Breviary, A.D. 1678
- Uniform title
- Date Created
- 1678 A.D.
- Place of Origin
- New Julfa
- Armenian Manuscripts
- A defective copy of the Breviary or Book of Hours (Zhamabirk’) of the Armenain Church. Because very few of the subtitles of this liturgical book have been written in, and because of the many lacunae throughout the codex, its contents cannot adequately be given here. The following brief list includes all texts identified with subtitles:Fol. 21. “O satisfy us early with Thy mercy; that we may rejoice and be glad all our days …” (Ps. 90:14).Fol. 52v. Common prayers ordained for the morning hour.Fol. 76v “My soul doth magnify the Lord/ And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour” (Lk. 1:46-47).Fol. 101v Mesedis or Antiphons.Fols. 134v-142v. Song by Catholicos Nersēs: “In faith I confess and adore thee…”Fol. 143-143v. Principle colophon, dated A.D. 1678.
- Text in notragir, written in one column of 15-16 lines. Opening lines of text in red notragir, and initials in notragir capitals. Fifteen quires of 12 leaves each, numbered with the letters if the Armenian alphabet, written in notragir in the lower margin of the page.
- The principle colophon (fol. 143-143v) indicates that the MS was written by the scribe Alavērti in the year 1127 of the Armenian Era (= A.D. 1678), during the reign of Shah Suleyman the Lesser in Persia and the pontificate of Catholicos Yakob. The codex was copied at the church of Surb Step’anos Nakhavkay (St. Stephen the Protomartyr) during the prelature of Archbishop Davit’, a native of New Julfa. Referring to Shah Suleyman’s reign, the scribe pleads: “May the Lord soften his heart toward the suffering Christians.”We can deduce from the above that the book was executed in New Julfa. Shah Suleyman can be identified with the Safavid Shah Sulaiman I (formerly called Safi), who reigned during the years 166-94. Catholicos Yakob IV Jughayets’I held the see of Ejmiatsin during the years 1655-80.Although there are several inscriptions, the late history of the codes is unknown. These inscriptions mention the names of Gabriēl Tēr Mik’ayēlian (fol. 60v), Margarē (fol. 114v), and Ōhanēs, son of Martiros (fol. 134v), but there is no indication whether any of them owned the book. Fol. 133v has an illegible inscription dated A.D. 1697.There is no information as to when and from whom the MS was acquired by Dr. Minasian.
- 143 fols.
- 10x7 cm.
- Binding note
- Traditional Armenian binding, probably contemporary with text (no evidence of rebinding). Worm, brown leather over thin wooden boards cut with a vertical grain. Very worn blind-tooling. No spine leather; spine now rebacked with a piece of blue cloth with white circles. No fore-edge flap. Two holes on both boards are evidence of clasps, now wanting. Fragmentary traditional raised end-bands. Inside boards line with white fabric, but now covered by paper pastedowns. Edges uncolored. Two sewing stations, and two board attachment loops, but no notches.
- Condition note
- Fair state of preservation. The MS has suffered damage from fire and dampness. Fols. 47 and 48 are partially worn. Leaves are missing at the beginning and end of the codex, and lacunae exists between fols. 2 and 3, 16 and 17, 48 and 49. 60 and 61, 95 and 96, 114 and 115, 116 and 117.
- Illustrations note
- The illustrations of this codex consist of one headpiece (fol. 21) and two decorative initials (fols. 52v and 123v).The small headpiece (measuring 4.8x2.3 cm.) is drawn in wavering lines of dark brow, shaded with an erratic application of magenta, orange, and olive. The forms are traditional, if somewhat awkwardly realized. Double lines define the frame. The rinceau filling the field is a familiar row of lotus –like fan leaves, their curving edhes forming arches to frame pairs of affronted trilobed buds. Oddly, the carefully symmetrical motif has been cut asymmetrically: the left frame cuts down the middle of the fan, while one of the buds faces the right frame. A marginal bird and bird-form initial complete the page.The initial on fol. 52v is formed by a bird, and that on fol. 123v has one ornate design. Both are painted in brilliant colors.
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- University of California, Los Angeles. Library Special Collections
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- Rights statement
- public domain