To celebrate Easter we are taking a look at an item from the collections: a 13th-Century Armenian biblical manuscript. Dated 1246, the manuscript contains the 14 Epistles of St Paul prefaced by the Prologues of Euthalius.
The information in this blog post is taken from an article written by Vrej Neressian, Curator of the Christian Middle East Section at the British Library. Members of the Society can read the article in full by logging into the JRAS page on Firstview, the article was published in Issue 3 of Volume 27 (2017).
The front folios contains extract from the Gospel of Saint Matthew I:vv.16 to II:17. Begins «Որում խօսեցեալ զՄարիամ կոյս յորմէ ծնաւ Յիսուս,որ անուանեցաւ Քրիստոս.[ends] « . . . կատարեցաւ ասացեալն ի ձեռն Երեմիայ մարգարէի» [‘Mary of whom Jesus was born, who is called Christ . . . then was fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah].
The end two folios contains an extract from the Gospel of St John: XVIII: 2–29 [Begins] « . . . անգամ ժողովեալ էր անդր Յիսուսի աշակերտօքն հանդերձ: Եւ Յուդայի առեալ ընդ իւր զգունդ . . . [end] « Ել առ նոսա Պիղատոս արտաքս եւ ասէ, զինչ՞ չարախօսութիւն մատուցանէք»[Jesus had assembled there with his disciples . . . So Pilate went out to them and said “ what accusations do you bring against this man”].
From Neressian’s article:
The history of this manuscript is a tangible evidence of the role of the Armenian Church in the person of its Catholicos Ep’rem I Jorageghtsi’ (1809-1830), the British Ambassador Sir Gore Ouseley (1770-1844) and the recipient of the Royal Asiatic Society’s Armenian manuscript Lieutenant-Colonel Joseph D’Arcy also known as D’Arcy Todd (1780–1848) in the events leading to the signing of the Treaty of Golestan.