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Distributed for Bodleian Library Publishing


Masterpieces from an Enduring Culture

Distributed for Bodleian Library Publishing


Masterpieces from an Enduring Culture

Between East and West, Armenian culture bears the influence of the country’s long history of foreign occupation, with a vibrant national art and literature that reinterprets elements from a wide variety of cultures, from the Sasanian dynasty of Iran to the Byzantine Empire.
Published to accompany an exhibition at the Bodleian Library, Armenia: Masterpieces from an Enduring Culture draws on the Libraries’ magnificent collection of Armenian manuscripts and early printed books, as well as works of art and religious artifacts to tell the story of the region. The book contains nearly two hundred color illustrations of some of the most treasured masterpieces, from philosophical treatises to splendidly illuminated gospel manuscripts. Also including four essays by experts in the field, the book affords ample insight into the perseverance of the Armenian people in the face of tremendous adversity.

276 pages | 180 color plates | 9 1/2 x 11 | © 2015

Art: Art--General Studies

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“This catalogue [for the Bodleian exhibit] is a true eulogy to this venerable and rich tradition.”
“These few examples should suffice to give an idea of the wealth on display in this catalogue and might function as an invitation not to by-go the opportunity to visit similar exhibitions when they come your way.”

Joseph Verheyden | Journal of Eastern Christian Studies

Table of Contents

From Bodley’s Librarian
Richard Ovenden

Theo Maarten van Lint and Robin Meyer

The Armenian Alphabet


Part I –Essays

The Armenian People, Their History and Culture 
Theo Maarten van Lint

Armenia Writing: Palaeography, Epigraphy and Calligraphy
Dickran Kouymjian

Illuminated Manuscripts: The Collection in Context 
Sylvie L. Merian

500 Years of Printed Armenian Books
Alessdandro Orengo

Part II—Exhibition Catalogue

Section 1 Scared Scripture: Gospels and Bibles

Section 2 Celebrating the Liturgy: Devotional Books

Section 3 Telling Christianity: Commentaries and Prayer Scrolls

Section 4 Grammar, Science, Astrology and Philosophy

Section 5 The Armenia Alphabet: Devised for One, Used for Many Languages

Section 6 Histories, Poets and Storytellers

Section 7 Commissioning Culture: Armenia Merchants in Religion, Enlightenment and Practical Life

Section 8 Pigments

Section 9 A History in Coins

Section 10 Modern Armenia Before, During and After the Genocide

Appendix 1 Timeline
Appendix 2 Maps


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