Bob Leonard Manuscript info

Hi Chuck,

I plan to attend the ANA convention in Anaheim and expect to see you there.

Last month I attended the Vatican Library Conference at Notre Dame, and heard a very interesting paper on Armenian manuscripts at the Vatican Library, presented by Jesse Siragan Arlen of UCLA. He said that about 31,000 bound Armenian manuscripts are known in total, about 70-75% of them written after 1600. About 55-59% of these are precisely datable due to colophons.

Yerevan has the most, with about 11,000; Jerusalem is second, with 3,890, followed by the Mekhitarian libraries in Venice and Vienna; the Vatican has only 140, but 125 of these are well catalogued: 2 from the 13th century, 4 from the 14th, and 5 from the 15th (these are known dates), plus 1 from the 10th-11th century, 1 from the 12th, and 1 from the 13th. These are nearly all religious texts.

One manuscript was copied during the Crusades in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, Jerusalem, in Latin and Armenian. Also the Vatican has two manuscripts in the Armenian language, but written in Syriac characters, and with “Allah” in Arabic. Another manuscript shown was in the Turkish language, but written in Armenian characters.

The Vatican Library sponsored this conference to showcase its many holdings and invite scholars to utilize them. If you have any plans to visit Rome, you might make arrangements to view any manuscripts of interest. Also, some of these have now been digitized and are available on-line (not sure how to access , though).

Best regards,

Bob Leonard