Category Archives: CULTURE

PRINTID COLOPHONS AND COLOPHON-TYPE UNITS In the Armenian early printed books – 2024-1


Marine P. Sargsyan

The early printed books were created in the imitation of manuscripts. So, they also have colophons, which are considered their birth certificates. While in the manuscripts it is easy to differentiate the colophons, in early printed books the picture is different. The early printed books, in addition to the printed colophons, also have a number of passages entitled “Preface”, “To the Reader”, “Notice…”, “Word to the Reader”, “The Reason and the Prelude of My Book”, “Epilogue…”, etc. Some of them contain data typical of colophons, such as the date of printing, the name of the publisher, sometimes the name of the customer or the patron. They may contain information on the complex proofreading process and other data related to the publication. They gain even more importance, when an early printed book lacks a colophon. However, not all units having such a title can be considered colophon-type. Sometimes these passages are not written by the publisher or a person connected with printing, but by the author or the translator (who do not have anything to do with printing), where we get information on why the book was written, what its content is or how and why it was translated, etc. We overlooked such colophons and chose only those that contain information about the printing of the book.

In this article, we tried to show the connection between the colophons and the colophon-type units, as well as the right to consider them as colophons.


1. Ayvazean A., Nakhijevan, Patkerazard bnashkharhik hanragitak, Yer., Yushardzan, Gitut’yun, 1995, ēj 250, (HH Karavarut’yann arĕnt’er hushardzanneri pahpanut’yan varch’ut’yun). (in Armenian).
2. Bakhchinyan H. G., Haykakan dzeragreri yishatakarannerĕ, Yer., 1980. (in Armenian). 3․H. S. Chemchemyan, Mkhit’ar abbahor hratarakch’akan arak’elut’yunĕ, Venetik, S. Ghazar,
1980. (in Armenian).
4․ Galēmk’earean h. Grigoris v., Kensagrut’yun Sargis ark’ep.i Sarafean ew zhamanakin hay kat’oghikeank’, Vienna, Mkhit’arean tparan, 1908 (Azgayin matenadaran TSE.). (in Armenian).
5․ Hay girk’ĕ 1512-1800 t’vakannerin, hay hnatip grk’i matenagitut’yun, [kazmetsin] Oskanyan N. A., Korkotyan K’., A., Savalyan A., M., Yer., 1988. (in Armenian).
6․ Hayerēn dzeragreri yishatakarannerĕ. YE-ZHB. dd., ashkh. Mat’ewosyan A. A., Yer., 1988. (in Armenian).
7․ Harut’yunyan Kh. A., Hayerēn dzeragreri yishatakarannerĕ, Yer., 2019. (in Armenian) 8․ Khach’ikyan L. S., “ZHĒ. dari hayerēn dzeragreri yishatakaranneri arajin hatorĕ”,
Ashkhatut’yunner, h. A., Yer., 1995, ēj 334-372. (in Armenian).
9․ Mat’ewosyan A. A., Hayerēn dzeragreri yishatakarannerĕ hay mshakuyt’i usumnasirut’yan skzbnaghbyurner, Yer., 1998. (in Armenian).
10․ Sargsyan M. P., Hayeren hnatip grk’eri hishatakaranneri bnagreri mshakman harts’er, “Ējmiatsin”, 2017, ZHA., ēj 137-148. (in Armenian).


Sergey A. Aghajanyan, Arsine S. Aghajanyan

The ambiguity of the word “nothing” and the uncertainty of that meanings make it possible for the person using them to form situations of speech manipulation becoming unique, non-standard means of thoughts expressing. One of the best expressions is the famous and of folklore origin fable by “That nothing is me” by Av. Isahakyan. As is the case with all other types of this genre, this too has its own moral and disciplinary component. What is it?

According to the text of this fable, two possible lifestyles are opposed: the mayor and the dervish. It has already been discussed. As for the instructive content of the fable, it is obvious from the text that this is also the author’s ideology. The author tries to convince the reader that out of the two lifestyles presented to them and their symbolic images, out of the values characterizing them, Dervish is preferable. A person who has formed a system of values of his inner psycho-mental freedom, positive social significance, which is significantly different from the purely biological needs of a government official-mayor. The first is intellectual, unique in the sense of his existence, in the form of his self-assertion, the second is a functionary with his place in a coexisting pattern.

However, with all this, it is necessary to keep in mind another form of verbal manipulation, in which the reader is already involved by the author of the text with his narration, created images. And this is the following. His characters embody extremely opposite, contradictory life decisions and lifestyles. In the presented specific situation, as already mentioned, the preferred type of person is Dervish, distinguished by his rich inner world. The author created a conflict where, in any case, Dervish becomes the more sympathetic and the preferred one out of these two. And the author’s manipulation noted lies precisely in the life situation formed according to this idea and in not leaving the listener or reader an alternative to his narration.

Meanwhile, from the cultural and creative experience of mankind, there are other options for understanding life or choosing a lifestyle, characteristic of which is not the opposite of extreme, contradictory options. These variants lack manipulations with thought and speech, and the principle of their formation is to form another lifestyle option by a reasonable combination of possible variants. For example, famous saying from ancient Greek culture “A healthy mind in a healthy body”. Another saying about satisfying the needs of both body and soul through balancing and harmonizing is famous in Christian culture: “Not only long live the man, but also everything that comes from the mouth of God” (Gospel of Matthew, E. 10:15)., 2005, ch. D, part 4/.

In both of the latter cases, the full physical existence of a person is
emphasized as a necessity, since an inferior biological existence becomes the cause of mental inferiority as well. But at the same time, the mental activity of a person is also important, without which he cannot form a lifestyle and a system of values that distinguish him from other beings.

In terms of modern cultural and creative activity of mankind, this problem is one of the most urgent, since it can at least mitigate the process that is being activated and becoming serious day by day through interested international structures and ideologies, as a result of which a person turns into a biological robot.


Ashkhen D. Yenokyan

The ornament representing the peacock has been known since the pre-Christian period yet. It was also widely spread in the Christian art, initially being perceived as a symbol of Christ’s resurrection. It was also manifested in other symbolic meanings over time, expressed in different iconographic solutions. The mentioned features are also noticeable in the compositions of peacocks found in Armenian sculptural art, which were grouped and interpreted according to iconographic and symbolic features for the first time.


Anush A. Safaryan

The cross and the khachkar have been and remain one of the most important symbols of the Armenian identity, undergoing iconographic, thematic and content changes during their centuries-old existence. Azerbaijan’s official policy, in the way of creating its own identity, which was carried out at the expense of the Armenian identity and against that identity, often resorted to
the appropriation (Albanisation, Udiization) of the cross and the khachkar and finally its destruction. After the first Artsakh war, the khachkar, having undergone corresponding dimensional and iconographic changes, became the main symbol of the liberated territories, settlements and especially the borders.


In the context of the quest of the Western theater

Lilit L. Manaseryan

In the 20th century, the stage space was understood as one of the most important theatrical categories.

Culturologist, philosopher E. Surio distinguishes two types of stage space: a cube and a sphere. Surio highlights the main characteristics of these two types of spaces: isolation, the unchanging point of view of the audience, the specific material environment characteristic of the cube, and the open nature of the spherical space, involving the audience in its radius, making him a participant of the performance.


As a form of reflection of the public consciousness

Lilit L. Manaseryan

Scenography can be viewed as an expression of a model of the world, in which
the worldview of the artist and the society is unconsciously displayed. This is carried
out both at the level of compositional, spatial constructions, color combinations, and
the ratio of the scales of the actor and the material environment. From a similar point of
view, scenography could be likened to a test drawing in psychologists, which reflects
the worldview of the society, its psychological state



“Whoever Has Ears to Hear, Let Them Listen”

Diana H. Hambardzumyan

The main topic of the present article “Hrant Matevosyan’s Yesterday’s View And Our Today” (“Whoever Has Ears to Hear, Let Them Listen”) is a retrospective study of Hrant Matevosyan’s collection I Am Who I Am that includes the writer’s interviews given over more than two decades before his death.

The article aims at examining and summarizing all the difficulties and hindrances having risen before our nation during the previous three decades that Hr. Matevosyan had fairly and sincerely emphasized in his interviews. In a loving and caring tone talking about our country’s yesterday and today, even tomorrow, he revealed and analyzed our shortcomings, searched for the ways of restoring the security, the prosperous and progressive reality we once had. Based on the comprehensive examination of the direct text said by Hr. Matevosyan, this paper unearths the essence of his thoughts in a broader context of our country and the whole world at present.

We need to conclude: “Times are in the habit of not only following each other but repeating each other as well, and in all of this truth, what is disgraceful to all of us – to rational creatures, is not so much the eye[1]popping predictability of the repetition, as our abject insistence on not learning a lesson from all kinds of repeated tragedies of all times, as our failing laziness of not avoiding the repetition, more than that – as our short[1]minded improvidence or foolish inability of not being able to bend the repetitive to our advantage.”



From the point of view of international principles of protection of cultural property during war

Armine H. Tigranyan
Since the start of the war on September 27, 2020, the Azerbaijani armed forces have openly targeted the Armenian cultural heritage of Artsakh, violating not only its international obligations, imposed by various conventions, but also the generally accepted customary international norms for the protection of cultural heritage.

In this article, on the example of the shelling of the St. Ghazanchetsots Church in Shushi by Azerbaijan, an analysis of the principles of protecting cultural heritage during the war, military necessity, differentiation, prevention and proportionality is presented.

The international protection of cultural heritage from the dangers of war refers not only to the protection of territories occupied after armed conflict or in
peacetime, but also to not harming during the hostilities themselves. The problem is that despite the fact that cultural monuments are considered inviolable in time of war and their destruction by the enemy is not permissible, international law provides some counterarguments, therefore, as there are “permissible” rules that “legitimize” attacks on heritage during war.

Azerbaijan, referring to these norms, is trying to “justify” the attack on the Ghazanchetsots Church on October 8, 2020, even shifting the blame to the Armenian side.

The analysis of the four principles for the protection of cultural property in the event of armed conflict, considered in this article, led to the conclusion that the armed forces of Azerbaijan were obliged to ensure that the object to be attacked was not a cultural property, and would refrain from attacking the Ghazanchetsots Church and others values. Moreover, the principle has also become customary, according to which cultural heritage is the property of humankind, and regardless the fact of its origin, and religious and cultural significance, it must be protected. The Azerbaijani armed forces were required to take precautionary measures when attacking Ghazanchetsots, which would allow to remove the valuable objects of movable heritage, as well as to relocate people to a safe place.

It is obvious that Azerbaijan did not give advance warnings and required time before the start of the attack, which it was obliged to do in accordance with
customary international law or in accordance with the principles of The Second Hague Protocol of 1999 and the Geneva Convention, which it accepted as a nation state. Azerbaijan was obliged to assess in advance even the possible accidental damage to valuables, the loss of which could be much significant compared to the expected military advantage.

In addition, according to the laws of wartime, the principles of differentiation and proportionality were to be applied, which were also violated. In
this sense, the shelling of the church could not have been an urgent military necessity and the only way to be carried out at that time. And besides, it could not
provide Azerbaijan with such a military advantage that could adequately neutralize the criminal attack.

We can say with confidence that the destruction of the church, of course, could not give Azerbaijan any military benefit. Instead, its cultural overtones were
taken into account here, which was a blow to the Armenian identity since the damage to the cultural structure cannot be assessed only in terms of material
damage – internal ideological value is also important. With this step, Azerbaijan manifested intolerance towards the inalienable right to cultural rights, and that step was aimed at cultural alienation.

Two accurate blows inflicted by the armed forces of Azerbaijan on the dome of the church proved that this was a targeted attack. We can say with confidence that according to the Second Protocol to The Hague Convention of 1954, the attack is regarded as a war crime, where both the initiator and the perpetrator, as well as those who did not prevent it, are subject to criminal prosecution and can be condemned both at the international and national levels.

The Azerbaijani side still continues to deny the reality, even after the case of shelling of the Ghazanchetsots Church was recognized as an illegal attack motivated by intolerance and racial hatred and has already been condemned by the International Court of Justice in The Hague on December 7, 2021. Decisions
adopted in Strasbourg, No. 2391 “On the humanitarian consequences of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict” of PACE of September 27 and No. 2582 “On the destruction of the objects of cultural heritage in Nagorno-Karabakh” of March 10, 2006, also characterized this attack as a part of an ongoing state policy based on deliberate illegal ethnic cleansing.



From the Momik’s manuscript of 1302

Inessa G. Danielyan
Momik is one of the most famous, multitalented masters of Armenian medieval art (architect, sculptor, painter). The miniatures of the manuscript of 1302 (Matenadaran named after Mesrop Mashtots, No. 6792) are considered his best paintings. The article deals with the iconographic and stylistic features of the illustration “The Crucifixion of Christ”.

For depiction of the theme master Momik used the ancient laconic iconographic scheme with images of the Crucified Christ, the Mother of God and the Apostle John, which has been widely known in the Christian world since the 7th-8th centuries. Momik’s miniature depicted symbols and gestures, such as the hands of the Mother of God, covered under maforia, a cross-star on her forehead, the meaning of which has deep, still pre-Christian origin.

The style and iconography of this miniature evokes some associations with Byzantine art of the Palaeologan period, especially with an icon from the early 14th century from Ohrid. This icon also presents a simple iconographic version of the theme and like Momik’s miniature, the Mother of God is filled with sorrow and pain – unable to look at her died son on the cross. There is a certain commonality in the construction of the composition of these two artworks.

Some researchers noted a certain connection between the miniatures of the master Momik and the medieval theater. It is more clearly demonstrated in the scene of the Crucifixion.

The miniature “The Crucifixion of Christ” reveals some technical features of making of the manuscript. Under the erased layer of paint is outlined a sketch of another miniature – the scene of “Baptism of Christ”. These two scenes are presented on the same parchment bifolio, but on the fol. 4a page is depicted “The Baptism of Christ” and the Crucifixion is on the fol. 8a. Thus, the master made sketches before sewing and binding the bifolios, and then however finding the wrong arrangement of the scenes, he “hid” the wrong drawing under a layer of paint.

In conclusion, it might be stated that this miniature, like his other works, is distinguished by its simplicity of forms, but at the same time they have a deep sacred content. The artist Momik conveyed to the viewer all the emotionally sensual notes of the depicted, using the correct selection of colors, facial expressions of the characters and distorted proportions. The chosen iconographic scheme and details of the miniature emphasize its deep theological content.


Ovsanna P. Keshishyan
Handwritten Bibles, created in Cilician Armenia, play a crucial role in the
artistic decoration of the Armenian-language Bible. Cilicia plays a paramount role
not only in the illustration of handwritten Armenian Bibles, but also, first of all, in
their first full edition, made by Catholicos Nerses Lambronatsi at the end of the
12th century (1153-1198).

Before the creation of the first Bible in the Armenian language that has
reached us (Bible from Yerznka, 1269, Jerusalem N 1925), the first full
replications of complete Bibles had already started in Cilicia, which, unfortunately,
have not been preserved.

The role of the activity of the school of Archbishop Hovhannes – the
brother of King Hetum I, formed in the second half of the 13th century, is
especially invaluable in the formation of the illustration system of handwritten
Bibles. In the manuscripts, created here in the 1260-70s (Matenadaran N N 4243,
345), the almost completely formed illustration system of Cilician Bibles can
already be seen, which becomes a basis for further biblical illustrations not only in
Cilicia, but also in Armenia itself. To a certain degree, they carry the influence of
the Byzantine book art.

The Latin influence increases in the period after the activities of
Archbishop Hovhannes. Among biblical manuscripts carrying this influence are
Bibles of 1295 (Matenadaran N 180) and N 179 of King Hetum II, copied by writer
Stepanos Goyneritsants, where chapter separation is carried out with both
Armenian and Franc numeration systems cuncurrently.

In the 14th century, the Cilician Bibles enter a new stage. The manuscript
style changes, leaning more towards the national, geometrically flat-figure
direction, at the same time, a new creative approach can be seen. Sargis Pitsak
plays a significant role in the creation of Cilician biblical miniatures of the period.

Among the manuscripts illustrated by him, interesting is the Bible N
1508/1 (Venice), where, among the decorations of Psalms and Genesis title pages,
we can see the busts of coronary king David and God-Father, rare here.

Another unique Cilician Bible is kept in Hermitage (VP-1011). In the first
part of Bible miniatures we can see Moses’s illustrations, and in the further parts –
Old Testament kings, the illustrations of whose majority appear for the first time.