MS. Arm. d. 3
Gospels, A.D. 1304
Double columns, of 23 lines each to f. 111 and of 20 lines each from f. 112 187 × 115 mm.
There are several full-page pictures, most of which are placed at the beginning of the manuscript. One of them (f. 13v) contains a barely seen inscription left by the illuminator who calls himself Yohan nałaš (i.e. ‘illuminator’). Incomplete sketches: f. 2v The Virgin Mary and baby Jesus; to the left of the image: այս է գիրս (“this is the text” or “this is my writing”); at the bottom of the page under the image: յայս գիրս մարտիրոսն գրեր թվին Ռ Ճ Ձ ին յուլիսի Է ին (“In this text Martiros wrote in the year 1108 [= 1659 CE] on July 7”). f. 3r A male figure; the folio contains the first four letter of the Armenian alphabet աբգդ (top right corner), abbreviation ԱԾ (God), name Եղիշշ, and scattered letters ձ, ճ, շ (4 times), etc. Complete images: f. 3v The Annunciation; the image is slightly damaged, with blue, red, and brown colours prevailing. f. 4r The Adoration of the Magi; the image is slightly damaged, with blue, red, and brown colours prevailing. f. 4v The Presentation in the Temple; the image is slightly damaged at the bottom, with blue, red, and brown colours prevailing. Marry is in dark purple cloak; the names of Simon (Սիմէոն) and Anna (Աննայ) are written above their figures. f. 5r The Baptism – Մկրտումն; the image is slightly damaged, with dark blue, purple, and red colours prevailing. On the left – John the Baptist (Յովաննէս մկըրտիչ); at the top – a white pigeon identified by the illuminator as the Holy Spirit (Սուրբ Հոգին); in the centre with red halo – Jesus Christ (Յիսուս Քրիստոս); to the right – two angels, one with red and one with yellow halos. f. 5v The Entry into Jerusalem; the image is slightly damaged, with dark blue, red, and brown colours prevailing. St Peter who follows Christ on the donkey is identified by his name written above his head. f. 6r The Crucifixion; the image is slightly damaged, with dark blue, red, and brown colours prevailing. f. 6v The Burial of our Lord – Թաղումն; the image is slightly damaged, with dark blue, red, and brown colours prevailing. Mary is in dark purple cloak standing behind Joseph, who is holding the head of Jesus Christ. Christ’s body is shrouded in white. John is holding Christ’s body trying to lay him down. f. 7r Resurrection – Յարութիւն; the image is slightly damaged, with dark blue, red, and brown colours prevailing. Jesus Christ, wearing a purple cloak, is in an almond shape blue enclosure with his left hand holding a large cross and his stretched right hand is holding a kneeling saint’s hand (Adam), who is next to another saintly figure identified as Eve (Եւայ). Behind Christ’s figure, in the left top corner are the portraits of Solomon (Սողոմոն) and David (Դաւիթ). (Baronian/Conybeare describe this image as “The Descent into Hades” (p. 3)). f. 9v The Vision of Joseph – Յուսեփայ տեսիլ; the image is almost intact with dark blue and red colours prevailing. f. 10r Jesus Christ. Christ is holding an open book in his left hand which contains a barely visible inscription from Matt. 25:34: Եկայք աւրհնեալք Հաւր իմոյ, ժառանկեցէք զպատրաստեալ ձեզ [արքայութիւնն իսկզբանէ աշխարհի։] “Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit [the kingdom] prepared for you [from the foundation of the world]”. On the right side of the image a vertically inserted inscription is barely visible: Քրիստոս Աստուած յիուր միւս անկամ գալուստ[եանն ...] տէր Ազտին ու Աւաքին. աւգնական եղան ի տնաւրինականքս (?). Conybeare provides the following translation: “Let Christ the God forgive on His second coming Ter Azat and Avak, who have helped [me] in these pictures” (p. 3). It is possible that the inscription was better visible to Conybeare when he was preparing the catalogue for publication, and he was able to read the original and provide a precise translation of the text. f. 11v The Repentant Malefactor Entering into Paradise – Աւազակն, Սէրոբէն; the image is slightly damaged, with dark blue, red, and brown colours prevailing. f. 12r The Annunciation to Zachariah – Զաքարիայի աւետումն; the image is relatively well-preserved, with dark blue, red, dark green, and purple colours prevailing. f. 13v The Sacrifice of Abraham; it contains a barely seen inscription: զյոհան նաղաշս աղաչեմ յիշել (I beseech you to remember me, Yohan the illuminator) f. 14r Jesus Christ. Christ is holding an open book in his left hand which contains an inscription from John 8:12: Ես եմ լոյս աշխարհի. որ գայ (“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows…”). However, the last two lines do not contain the more common գայ զկնի իմ (“follows me”), but words առ իս / մի մնաս are barely discernible. f. 15v Matthew – Մաթէոս; the image is relatively well-preserved, with red and dark blue colours prevailing. f. 92v Matthew – Մաթէոս; a small image inserted in the right column instead of the text; relatively well-preserved, with dark blue, red, and purple colours prevailing. f. 141v Luke – Ղուկաս; the image is well-preserved, with red and dark blue colours prevailing. f. 231v John – Յովհաննէս; a small image inserted in the right column instead of the text; relatively well-preserved, with dark blue, dark brown, and yellow colours prevailing.
Dark brown leather binding with flap; silver ornaments, some of which are crosses with Armenian inscriptions, are attached to both sides of the cover with three stones attached (two on the front and one on the back side). The red stone in the centre of the front cover is a seal taken from a ring and contains an inscription in Persian: “At dawntime Murād Ibrāhīm beseeches the Merciful Lord for the clay of his seal” (van Lint and Meyer, p. 80). There are two studs and a trace of the third one on the front cover, and thirty-three eye-shaped silver pieces randomly nailed to the cover, which, according to van Lint, suggest that “[t]he manuscript may have been a ‘Saint of the Home’ (տան սուրբ, tan surb)” (van Lint and Meyer, p. 80). According to the colophon on f. 298r, it was bound by the goldsmith Amirex. The silver crosses on the cover contain the following inscriptions which are not always easily legible as most words are abbreviated and written in crude handwriting: ՌՃԽ Ֆ[?] ԱՆԱՅԻՆ ՅԻՇԷ ԽԱՉՍ ՏԷՐ ՅՍՎԱՆԷՍԻՆ ԻՒՐ ԿՈՂԱԿՑՈՆ (“1140 [= 1691 CE] Ana (?) remember this cross of Lord Yovanēs his spouse”) Յիշատակ է խաչս Մոսեխին որ ետ ի դուռն Սուրբ Նշանին թվականին ՌՃԽԳ. Տէր Աստուած. Յիսուս Քրիստոս (“This cross is a memorial to Mosex who gave it to the door of the Holy Cross in the year 1143 [= 1694 CE]. Lord God. Jesus Christ”) Some crosses only contain one name: ՄԱՐԵԱՄ (“Maream”), ԱԽԱՆԷՍ (“Axanēs”), ՏԷՐ ՄԿՌՏԻՉ (?) (“Lord Mkṙtič‘”(?)).
Provenance and Acquisition
This MS. was bought from Mr. Joseph Bayan on Aug. 28, 1883.
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