[Armenian Gospels]. Manuscript written in ink on paper.
[Turkey?], dated 1650.
This beautifully decorated manuscript of 1650 is Bridwell Library’s only early version of the Gospels in Armenian. The text dates from the fifth century, when St. Mesrop Maštoc (c. 361–440) invented the Armenian alphabet and translated most of the Bible out of Syriac; later the patriarch Sahak (c. 350–439) revised the translation utilizing Greek sources. Written in the ancient Armenian (grapar) language in the traditional notrgir script, the manuscript also includes colorful bird-shaped capitals (t’rchnagir) that spell out the opening words of each Gospel.