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The Homiliary of Mush

Translated from Armenian

Mush Homiliary is one of the main specimens of the centuries-old Armenian miniature. Being the biggest Armenian manuscript, it is stored in the Matenadaran after Mesrop Mashtots, under number 7729. Homiliary contains speeches, sermons, panegyrics, epistles, rules, works of historical content, and also contains general Christian martyrology of Armenian saints systematized  by Christian holydays.

The Homiliary was ordered to write by lord of Baberd city , by Mr. Astvatsatur,  son of Vasus  and Hripsime, at the end of the 12th century.

Մշո Ճառընտիր

The Homiliary of Mush

The manuscript was written by penman Vartan Karnetsi and illustrated by artist Stephanos. In 1202 the manuscript was basically ready, only was not written the diary. At this time, begins   the attack of Sultan of Iconia Rukn-Ed- Dini , during which Baberd city collapses . Orderer of the manuscript Mr. Astvatsatur dies, his property was plundered, and  his ordered manuscript fall in to the hands of a turk – to the judge of city  Hlat.

The judge takes away the manuscript to Hlat and announces his intention to sell it. The churchmen Of Mush monastery Arakelots starting to collect moneyand  for 4000  silver coins buys the manuscript, and keep it in  holy monastery of Arakelots Of Mush. Here, in 1205 the manuscript was  finally edited , was wrote The Diary, which tells the story set forth above. This information is not by chance, and it proves that The Mush Homiliary was very special and by its holiness, and by its artistic illustration.

 Մշո Ճառընտիր, Գլխատառ, 144 բ, 8,8x20

Homiliary of Mush, Capital letter, 144 բ, 8,8×20

Subsequently, the manuscript had  not less than dramatic fate. During the Armenian Genocide in 1915, because of its big dimensions , the manuscript was divided into two parts and was saved from perishing. The One of the  two parts of manuscripts the  sisters – refugees, carrying on their backs, with great difficulty had brought to Yerevan. The second part of the manuscript was found by a Russian army officer Nicholas de Goberti, who took it to Tbilisi and presented to the museum of the Armenian Charitable Society.

After a while, these two parts were donated to the  repository of manuscripts in Echmiadzin  and Yerevan Museum of Literature. Now the both halves, as it was said above, are in the Matenadaran after Mesrop Mashtots in Yerevan, under the number 7729.

For writing this giant manuscript, in accordance with dimensions, was processed sheets of parchment , for each of which was used  leather of one calf . Each sheet of parchments in this giant manuscript has a area of 70.5 sm X  55.5 sm. The manuscript is kept in two parts.  The first part of manuscript  weighs 15.2 kg and the second one is 12.3 kg, so total weigh is 27.5 kg. The Homiliary written by large, linear  ancient Armenian script – Erkatagir .

At the outset, the manuscript had  660 pages, but now it has only 627 pages.

Մշո Ճառընտիր, Լուսանցազարդ, 89 բ, 12x10

Homiliary of Mush,
Marginal ornament, 89 բ, 12×10

Մշո Ճառընտիր, Գլխազարդ, 265 ա, 23,5x12,5

Homiliary of Mush, 
Head ornament
265 ա, 23,5×12,5

Մշո Ճառընտիր,  Գլխազարդ, 203 ա, 14,5x13

Homiliary of Mush,
Head ornament,
203 ա, 14,5×13

Մշո Ճառընտիր, Լուսանցազարդ, 315 բ, 25x12,2

Homiliary of Mush, Marginal ornament, 315 բ, 25×12,2

The 17 sheets of manuscript now stored in  Mkhitaryan Congregation of  Venice, one sheet stored in repository of manuscripts in Vienna of the same Congregation . In 1958 the two sheets of manuscript was acquired by Russian State library (former name: after Lenin)  and  in 1979 of the result of  exchange  was returned to  the Matenadaran after Mesrop Mashtots in Yerevan. The other sheets  are lost.

 Մշո Ճառընտիր, Մուտք Երուսաղեմ, 325 բ, 23x37

Homiliary of Mush,
The Entry into Jerusalem,
325 բ, 23×37

Մշո Ճառընտիր, Քրիստոսը պատվիրատուի հետ,  Մկրտություն, Ծնունդ,  1 բ, 65x52

Homiliary of Mush, Christ with the orderer of the manuscript and the scene of baptism and the Nativity, 1 բ, 65×52

The manuscript has only four thematic miniatures. At the beginning of Mush Homiliary there is one page which contains three miniatures. At the top of the page depicted Christ with the orderer of the manuscript and the scene of baptism. The lower part depicts The Nativity and The Adoration of the Magi. The sheet on which painted this three images, unfortunately   damaged. The left upper and lower edges, unfortunately, torn. The fourth miniature presents the scene of The Triumphal Entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, which occupies only upper section of the page.

The manuscript Mush Homiliary decorated with marginal ornaments, head ornaments, capital letters and ornamental scripts, that enrich and make sumptuous  decorations of this miraculous manuscript.

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