World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article
 

Matenadaran

Mashtots Institute of Ancient Manuscripts
The Matenadaran building at night
Established March 3, 1959
Location 53 Mashtots Avenue,
Yerevan, Armenia
Coordinates
Type Art museum, archive
Director Hrachya Tamrazyan
Curator Gevork Ter-Vartanian
Website //en.am.matenadaranwww

The Mesrop Mashtots Institute of Ancient Manuscripts (Armenian: Մեսրոպ Մաշտոցի անվան հին ձեռագրերի ինստիտուտ (Mesrop Mashtots'i anvan hin dzeragreri institut)), commonly referred to as the Matenadaran (Armenian:   ), is a repository of ancient manuscripts, research institute and museum in Yerevan, Armenia. It holds one of the world's richest depositories of medieval manuscripts and books which span a broad range of subjects, including history, philosophy, medicine, literature, art history and cosmography in Armenian and many other languages.

Contents

  • History 1
  • Founding 2
  • Objectives 3
  • Matenadaran collection 4
    • Armenian 4.1
  • Notes 5
  • Further reading 6
  • External links 7

History

The earliest mention of the term matenadaran, which means "repository of manuscripts" in Armenian, was recorded in the writings of the fifth century A.D. historian Ghazar Parpetsi, who noted the existence of such a repository at Etchmiadzin Cathedral, where Greek and Armenian language texts were kept.[1] After that, however, the sources remain largely silent on its status.

Thousands of manuscripts in Armenia were destroyed over the course of the tenth to fifteenth centuries during the Turkic-Mongol invasions. According to the medieval Armenian historian, Stepanos Orbelian, the Seljuk Turks were responsible for the burning of over 10,000 Armenian manuscripts in Baghaberd in 1170.[1] In 1441, the matenadaran in Sis, the capital of the former Cilician Kingdom of Armenia, was moved to Etchmiadzin and other nearby monasteries.[1] As a result of Armenia being a constant battleground between two major powers, the Matenadaran in Etchmiadzin was pillaged several times, the last of which took place in 1804.[1]

Eastern Armenia's incorporation into the Russian Empire in the first third of the nineteenth century provided a more stable climate for the preservation of the remaining manuscripts. Thus, "a new era started for the Etchmiadzin Matenadaran. The Armenian cultural workers procured new manuscripts and put them in order with more confidence."[2] Whereas in 1828 the curators of the Matenadaran catalogued a collection of only 1,809 manuscripts, in 1914 the collection had increased to 4,660 manuscripts.[1] At the outbreak of World War I, all the manuscripts were sent to Moscow for safekeeping and were kept there for the duration of the war.

Founding

A row of steps near the entrance leading to the upper floor of the Matenadaran
The new section of Matenadaran building opened in 2011, designated for scientific researches (architect: Arthur Meschian[3])

On December 17, 1920, the collection of books and manuscripts held at the headquarters of the Armenian Apostolic Church at Etchmiatzin was confiscated by the Bolsheviks. In a decree issued by Alexander Miasnikyan on March 6, 1922, the manuscripts that had been sent to Moscow were to be returned to Armenia. Combined with other collections, they were declared a property of the state on December 17, 1929. In 1939, the collection was moved to Yerevan and stored at the Alexander Miasnikyan State Library. Finally, on March 3, 1959, the Council of Ministers of the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic voted in support of the establishment of a repository to maintain and house the manuscripts in a new building, which was named after Saint Mesrop Mashtots, the creator of the Armenian alphabet, in 1962. In 1954, Armenian academician Levon Khachikyan was appointed as the Matenadaran's director.

The Matenadaran was designed by architect Mark Grigoryan. Located slightly north of the city's center at the foot of a small hill, construction began in 1945 and ended in 1957. The exterior was constructed of basalt but parts of the interior were made of other materials such as marble.[1] In the 1960s, the statues of historical Armenian scholars, Toros Roslin, Grigor Tatevatsi, Anania Shirakatsi, Movses Khorenatsi, Mkhitar Gosh and Frik, were erected on the left and right wings of the building's exterior. The statues of Mesrop Mashots and his pupil are located below the terrace where the main building stands.

On May 14, 2009, upon the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the Matenadaran, Armenian state and religious officials conducted the groundbreaking ceremony of the construction of a research institute being built adjacent to the Matenadaran.[4] The construction was finished in 2011 by architect Arthur Meschian, who had started working on the design of the new building at the end of the 1980s.

Objectives

The Matenadaran's main objectives are first and foremost the 1) preservation, restoration, and reproduction of the manuscripts; 2) their procurement; 3) the organization and cataloging of Armenian manuscripts; and 4) the distribution and publication of particularly historically significant Armenian manuscripts in languages asides from Armenian.[1] In 1941, it began publishing its official periodical, Banber Matenadarani (The Matenadaran Herald) which are accompanied with Russian and French abstracts.

Matenadaran collection

An illumination (MS No. 197) from the Matenadaran Gospel (1287).

The Matenadaran is in possession of a collection of nearly 17,000 manuscripts and 30,000 other documents which cover a wide array of subjects such as historiography, geography, philosophy, grammar, art history, medicine and science.[5] In the first decades of Soviet rule, its collection was largely drawn from manuscripts stored in ecclesiastical structures in the historic regions of Vaspurakan(eastern Turkey, Van region) and Taron(Northeastern Turkey), in schools, monasteries and churches in Armenia and the rest of the Soviet Union (such as those located in New Nakhichevan and the Nersisyan Seminary in Tbilisi), the Lazarev Institute of Oriental Languages in Moscow, from the Armenian Apostolic Church's Primacy in Tabriz, the village of Darashamb in Iran, as well as the personal collections given by private donors.[1] In addition to the Matenadaran's Armenian manuscripts, there is a vast collection of historical documents numbering over 2,000 in languages such as Arabic, Persian, Hebrew, Japanese and Russian.[6] The Mashtots Matenadaran Ancient Manuscripts Collection was inscribed on UNESCO's Memory of the World Programme Register in 1997 in recognition of its world significance.[7]

Armenian

The Armenian collection at the Matenadaran is abundantly rich in manuscripts dealing in all fields of the humanities, but particularly historiography and philosophy. The writings of classical and medieval historians Movses Khorenatsi, Yeghishe and Aristakes Lastivertsi are preserved here, as are the legal, philosophical and theological writings of other notable Armenian figures. The preserved writings of Grigor Narekatsi and Nerses Shnorhali at the Matenadaran form the cornerstone of medieval Armenian literature.[8]

The Armenian collection is also composed of 2,500 Polish officer found the first half and sold it to an officer in Baku. It was eventually brought to Armenia and the two halves were finally reunited.[10]

Notes

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h (Armenian) Chookaszian, Babken L. and Levon Zoryan. «Մատենադարան» (Matenadaran). Armenian Soviet Encyclopedia. Yerevan: Armenian Academy of Sciences, 1981, vol. 7, pp. 284-286.
  2. ^ Anon. "The History of Matenadaran." Virtual Matenadaran. Accessed April 27, 2009.
  3. ^ https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.246067358867.178461.15800878867&type=3
  4. ^ Hakobyan, Sona. "Groundbreaking ceremony for a new building of Matenadaran." Radiolur. May 14, 2009. Accessed May 15, 2009.
  5. ^ Ritter, Lawrence. "The Matenadaran, from copyist monks to the digital age." UNESCO. № 5, May 24, 2007. Accessed May 3, 2009.
  6. ^ Anon. "Scientific Research Institute of Old Manuscripts Matenadaran after St. Mesrop Mashtotz." International Exhibition of Calligraphy. Accessed May 15, 2009.
  7. ^ "Mashtots Matenadaran ancient manuscripts collection". UNESCO Memory of the World Programme. Retrieved 8 June 2015. 
  8. ^ Anon. "The Heritage: Literature." Virtual Matenadaran. Accessed May 15, 2009.
  9. ^ "UNESCO Memory of the World Register Nomination Form - The Mashtots Matenadaran Ancient Manuscripts Collection" (PDF). Retrieved 2013-09-14. 
  10. ^ Chahin, Mack (2001). The Kingdom of Armenia. London: Routledge Curzon. p. 226.  

Further reading

  • (Armenian) Abgaryan, Gevork V. Մատենադարան (Matenadaran). Yerevan: Armenian State Publishing House, 1962.

External links

  • Official site
  • Dadrian, Eva. "By the book." Al-Ahram Weekly. March 9–15, 2006, Issue No. 785.
  • Reviews about Matenadaran
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 


Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.