Manuscript No. 48: Grigro Tat‘ewats‘I’s Book of Sermons: Volume I, Dzmeran, A.D. 1754-68
- Manuscript No. 48: Grigro Tat‘ewats‘I’s Book of Sermons: Volume I, Dzmeran, A.D. 1754-68
- Armenian Manuscripts
- Uniform title
- K‘arozgirk‘, Dzmeran Hator
- Date Created
- 1754-68 A.D.
- Place of Origin
- New Julfa
- Text in minuscule bolorgir, written in two columns of 31 lines each. Titles of homilies in red bolorgir; the opening lines of texts usually in large erkat‘agir, and several succeeding lines in magenta bolorgir. Subtitles within individual homilies in red bolorgir. Abbreviations used extensively throughout the text. Fifty-one quires numbered in the letters of the Armenian alphabet, written in large notragir in magenta in the lower margin of the page. The quires have gatherings of 12 leaves each.
- The codex is a copy of Volume I, entitled “Dzmeran” or “Winter Volume” (Dzmeran Hator), of Grogor Tat‘ewats‘i’s “Book of Sermons” (K‘arozgirk‘). (The text of this work will be found in Grigor Tat’ewac‘I, Girk‘ K‘arozut‘ean or Koch‘I Dzmeran Hator (Constantinople, 1740); see also Oskanyan, Hay Girk‘_, 363-364 (no. 454).) A copy of Volume II, entitled “Amaran” or “Summer Volum,” will be found in MS 49. The latter codex (fol. 352v) contains a reproduction of Grigor Tat‘ewats‘I’s own colophon, written at the monastery of Tat‘ew in A.D. 1407, in which he explains the circumstances which prompted him to compile his two-volume collection of homilies.The present codex contains a total of 160 homilies. In all instances, the titles of the homilies are followed by appropriate quotations from the Scriptures, and these in turn are followed by the homily text. It should be noted that 19 of the homilies in this codex were not authored by Grigor Tat‘ewats‘I himself, but were selectively incorporated by him unto the collection because fo their thematic association, quality, and usefulness.In providing the contents of MS 48 we have , for purposes of brevity and economy, omitted the page or folio numbers and have indicated only the themes of the 160 homilies, which are as follows:, (1) On New Year’s Day. (2) By Yohan Orotnets ‘I: On “And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God…” (Lk. 1:26). (3-5) On Christmas. (6) On Christmas, by another author. (7) On the Annunciation. (8) On baptism. (9) On baptism, by another author. (10-12) On circumcision. (13) On the presentation of Jesus in the Temple. (14-15) Again on the presention in the temple. (16-18) On John the Baptist. (19) On monks and scholars. (20) On prelates and their followers. (21) Again on monks. (22) Again on monks and ascetics. (23-25) On Lent, by other authors. (26) On temptations. (27) On the a_ajawor fast. (28) On fasting on Wednesday and Friday. (29) On martyrs and St. Sergius. (30) On the holy translators. (31) On the ecclesiastical rank of vardapets and patriarchs. (32) On conferring the staff upon clerics. (34) On candidates for the priesthood. (35) On glory and wisdom. (36) On princely leaders. (37) On wisdom and St. Vardan and his companions. (38) Again on wisdom. (39) On youth and St. Vardan and his companions. (40) On children, youth, St. Vardan, and his companions. (41) On youth. (42) On wisdom, St. Lewond, and St. Atom, and their companions. (43) On sinners, schismatics, Vasak, and others. (44) On good and evil behavior. (45) On martyr Oskan and his companions. (46) On the deceased. (47) On the dying. (48-50) On death. (51) On the day after death. (52-56) On the third, fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh day after death. (57-59) On consolation. (60) On the eve of Shrovetide. (61) On insufficient knowledge and schismatics. (62) On good and evil shepherds, by another author. (63)On bishops, by another author. (64) On Jericho, priests and assemblages. (65) On Shrovetide. (66) On the First Sunday in Lent. (67) On the First Sunday, by another author. (68) On the fasting and almsgiving. (69) On confession. (70) On repentance., and (71) On the eve of the feast of St. Theodoreus and others. (72) On the Second Sunday in Lent: On fasting. (73) On seeking. (74) On hospitality. (75-76) On almsgiving, by other authors. (77) On spiritual and temporal leadrs: St. Cyril. (78) On forty-day fasting. (79) On prayers. (80) On the Third Sunday in Lent. (81) On the same Sunday: On penitence. (82-83) On the feast of St. John: On teaching and almsgiving, by another author. (84) on the Fourth Sunday in Lent. (85) On passion. (86) On the steward. (87) On the rich man and Lazarus. (88-89) On the eve of the Forty Martyrs. (90) On the Fifth Sunday in Lent: On the death and destruction of the world. (91) On the fig tree. (92) On the soul and the flesh. (93) On the theme: “There was in a city a judge…” (Lk. 18:2). (94) On prayers. (95-96) On St. Gregory the Illuminator. (97) On the Sixth Sunday in Lent, by another author. (98) On weeds and seeds, by another author. (99) On faith in and love of God. (100) On love of God and friend. (101-102) On the resurrection of Lazarus. (103) On the Seventh Sunday in Lent: Palm Sunday. (104) Again on Palm Sunday. (105) On Palm Sunday, by another author. (106) Again on Palm Sunday, by another author. (107) On Monday of Holy Week. (108) On Monday of Holy Week. (109) On Tuesday of Holy Week: the mystery of the flood. (110) Again on Tuesday of Holy Week. (111) On Wednesday of Holy Week. (112) On repentance, by another author. (113-114) On the healing of the leper. (115) On Thursday of Holy Week. (116) On sacrifices. (117) On Thursday of Holy Week: the mystery of Christ’s sacrifice. (118) On Thursday of Holy Week: On Holy Communion. (119) Again on Holy Communion. (120-121) On the Holy Liturgy, by other authors. (122) On the blessing of the Holy chrism. (123-124) On the Washing of the Feet. (125) On baptism. (126) Again on the Washing of the Feet. (127) On Good Friday, by another author. (128) On the Mystery of the Cross. (129) On Good Friday. (130) On the Crucifixion. (131) On the Holy Cross, by another author. (132) On Holy Saturday. (133) Again on Easter. (134) On the Entry into Jerusalem. (135) On Easter. (136-139) Again on Resurrection, by another author. (140) Again on the Resurrection by another author. (141) Again on the Resurrection, by another author. (142) On the Resurrection. (143) On New Sunday. (144) On the church. (145) On the consecration of a church. (146). On the Second Coming. (147) On the Ascension. (148) On Pentecost. (149) On the four feasts before the Nativity of Christ. (150-151) On David and James. (152-153) On St. Stephen. (154-155) On the Apostles Peter and Paul. (156) On the apostle Paul. (157-158) On John and James. (159) Grigor Tat‘ewats‘i’s Encomium on his mentor Yohan Orrotnets‘i. (160) Homily on the Evangelist John (lacuna at the end).
- Because the principle colophon is missing, the dare of the execution and provenance of the codex are unknown. Nineteen of the homilies, however, provide information pertaining to the scribe and the sponsor of the book. From this we learn that the MS was written by the scribe/priest Margar, who mentions his name in prayers at the end of eight homilies (fols. 167v, 217v, 273, 294, 320v, 421v, 445v, and 615v). In the prayer on fol. 615v, Margar also states that he was a “servant of [the church of ] Surb T‘omay [St. Thomas].” In ten of the prayers the theologian (astuatsaban) G_org Vardapet is mentioned as having sponsored the writing of the codex (fols. 28, 108, 158v, 186v, 273, 294, 373v, 394v, 421v, and 445v). From five of these inscriptions we learn that the book was subsequently acquired by Minas Agha, son of Yakobjan and Dishkhun; in the inscription on fol. 394v the sponsor Minas is also identified by his family name Khldr_nts‘.The theologian G_org Vardapet, mentioned above, served as prelate of New Julfa in Isfahan beginning in the year of 1754. The Church of Surb T‘omay, at which the scribe/priest Margar served, can be identified with the church of the same name oat New Julfa in Isfahan, whose ruins were described in the early 1880s by Yarut‘iwn T_r Yovnaneants‘. Located near the Zanderood River, this church, which was also called “the chapel with the bell” (Zangov Zham), was built by the Khaldarianc‘ family. The earliest inscription in this sanctuary, found on the wall of the church, reads: “To Aflat‘un, Petrism T‘aguhi, and Tatik, in the year 1140” (=A.D. 1691). Whether these individuals belonged to the Khaldariants‘ family is not stated. The second oldest inscription, however, found above the altar, states specifically that the church was built as a “memorial to Khaldariants‘ Dawut‘, his father Kh_ja Oskan and his mother Badrik, and his grandfather Khaldar Margar, in the year 1145 (=A.D. 1696). (See T_r Yovnaneants‘, Patmut‘iwn, 2:154, 162-163.) It can safely be assumed that Minas Agha Khldrents‘, who acquired our codex, was a member of the Khldariants‘ family.We can conclude from the above data that our book was written at the church of Surb T‘omay at New Julfa in Isfahan. Moreover, in light of the fact that G_org Vardapet, who is mentioned in the concluding prayer of ten of the homilies, served as prelate of New Julfa beginning in the year 1754 and died in 1768 ( see T_r Yovnaneants‘, Patmut‘iwn, 2:61-63), we can be certain that the codez was written sometime between 1754 and 1768.The later history of the book is unknown until the beginning of the nineteenth century. An inscription on fol. 616, dated March 16, 1819, was written by a priest named Mkrtich‘T_r Yovhannis, and in the upper margin of fol. 1 we find the signature of the priest named Yovan_s T_r Mkrtch‘ean. Although the two inscriptions are written by different hands, and there also appears to be a discrepancy in the names, we can assume that they represent the selfsame individual, who may have owned the book. In 1935 the MS belonged to Arshaloys T_r Y. T_r Suk‘iasian, whose signature is found on the linen lining of the inside front cover and on fol. 2.There is no indication as to when and from whom the codex was acquired by Dr. Minasian.
- 1238 pages
- 21.5x16.5 cm.
- Binding note
- Dark red leather, probably goatskin, over thin wooden boards cut with a horizontal grain. No tooling. Spine rebacked with a piece of black leather. No evidence of flap or clasps. Red and green endbands, probably cotton, not raised but woven in a chevron pattern. Inside boards lined with white cloth under the turn-ins; however, the cloth is evident under the white one. Edges are colored burgundy. Board attachment appears to be four typical loops; however, the attachment to the wooden boards goes through the cloth doublure (rather than having the cloth doublure covering the loops, which is more common). No notches. Some conjugate pages are guarded. Probably rebound.
- Illustrations note
- The illustrations of the codex consist of seven marginal palmettes and birds beginning on fol. 186v, and 162 tubular, bird-form and animal-form initials which mark the beginnings of individual homilies.This book evidently was illustrated in several stages. The marginalia are generally drawn in confident red lines. Mostly bird-form, the decorative initials vary in the quality of their line and their palettes. From fol. 8 to fol. 35v, it is clear that the scribe left space for letters, allowing for specific embellishments. The clumsy initials, drawn in hesitant lines of faded brown, do not fill the spaces, being usually much smaller and occasionally off-center (e.g., fol. 20 and 28). On fol. 35v, the initial is a mere jotting in black ink. On fol. 39, incised outlines are visible, defining an elegant initial made up of lively birds. Over this the initial has been drawn in sloppy black lines. From fol. 43 on, sprightly bird forms are carried out in a bewildering variety of lines – confident, shaky, traced over, black, gray, and several other shades of red. Some are bare outlines, some are shaded, some are filled in completely.The animal-form initials, while far fewer than the bird-form ones, are equally varied. The feline I on fol. 1 is drawn in soft shades of the purple used in the rubric. The S on fol. 26 is composed of two felines outlined in black and shaded in red. The Ch on fol. 167v is a dog drawn in heavy black lines and highlighted with touches of red.
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