Armeniske bøger fra 15-1700-tallet i Det Kongelige Biblioteks samlinger
Fund og Forskning i Det Kongelige Biblioteks samlinger
In 2012, through various presentations and exhibitions, the 500th anniversary of thefirst printed book in Armenian was celebrated. Thus, 19 Armenian books printed from1565 to 1745, belonging to the collections of the Royal Library, were on display in theBlack Diamond.These books are described in their original historical contexts above. It is underlinedthat initiatives taken by the Armenian Church were important in the early historyof Armenian printing. For example, the Armenian Catholicos was
... ian Catholicos was active in establishinga printing house in Amsterdam, and quite a few of the early books were intendedto meet ecclesiastical needs for books of ritual and pious practices, including the Psaltereditions: Venice 1565, Amsterdam 1664, Marseille 1677; a Hymn Book: Amsterdam1664; and a Breviary: Amsterdam 1705.On the other hand, the publishing of certain books must be seen in the context ofRoman Catholic missionary endeavours, e.g. the publication of documents concerningthe Gregorian Calendar, translated into Armenian as early as 1584 (printed in Rome),a translation of Thomas à Kempis' Imitatio Christi (printed in Constantinople 1700),and a collection of fourteenth century Dominican sermons (printed in Venice 1704).The collection also contains early editions of important works by medieval Armenianauthors, including Moses Khorenatsi (Amsterdam 1695), Gregory Narekatsi(Constantinople 1701) and Nerses Shnorhali (Venice 1660). In addition, there area couple of contemporary Armenian works: Arakel's 'histories' about seventeenthcentury Armenian history (Amsterdam 1669) and eighteenth century Constantinoplepatriarch Yakob Nalean's Commentary on Gregory Narekatsi (Constantinople 1745).In some cases, various owners' ex libris or marginal notes allow glimpses into theuse of the books by Western scholars and their routes through the hands of booktraders and collectors. To name just a few: 1) M.V. de la Croze, the famous orientalist,on the basis of a Lipsian manuscript, added a fairly large number of collational notesto the text of the 1695 Moses Khorenatsi edition; 2) one of the two copies of the 1664Psalter is dedicated to Frederik III of Denmark by Theodore Petraeus, a Danish scholarwho was active in the Armenian-Dutch publishing world in the 1660s; 3) and some150 years after Theodore, another Danish Orientalist, Bishop Fr. Münter, is seen tohave acquired an old Armenian grammar (Amsterdam 1666).The 19 books do not represent a collection that has been systematically built upaccording to a master plan by any librarian or scholar of the time. However, it can beconsidered to be broadly illustrative of the Armenian culture of that period, not leastof its early links with Western printers, binders, artists and authorities, and the trendthat shows Eastern centres (Constantinople and others) gaining ever increasing importancethroughout the centuries in focus.