7th BSEC Month of Culture
1-30 November 2023
Manuscripts - Republic of Armenia
Today, let’s navigate through the world of Armenian documentary heritage.
The Armenian alphabet was created in 405 AD by Mesrop Mashtots, the originator of Armenian national and translated literature, founder of the school in Armenian language and the first teacher of Armenian.
Mashtots, together with his students, taught the Armenian alphabet and opened Armenian schools. The development of the alphabet sparked a translation movement in the country and Armenian education flourished, leading to the establishment of numerous schools, libraries, and scriptoria.
Today, in Yerevan, there is the Mesrop Mashtots Research Institute of Ancient Manuscripts - Matenadaran, a repository of ancient manuscripts, which holds a vast collection of manuscripts in Armenian and other languages. These manuscripts cover ancient and medieval Armenian science and culture, including grammar, philosophy, translated and national literature, miniature painting, music, theatre etc. The Mesrop Mashtots Matenadaran serves as a research institute as well as a museum.
Take a 360ᵒ virtual tour of the Matenadaran by clicking here.
- In 1997, the Mashtots Matenadaran ancient manuscripts collection was inscribed on UNESCO’s Memory of the World Register, a program aiming to safeguard documentary heritage.
- “Armenian letter art and its cultural expressions” (2019), which are based on the Armenian alphabet created by Mashtots, have been inscribed on UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
Sources & pictures taken from: https://matenadaran.am/en/matenadaran/home/
Picture No 1: The statue of Mesrop Mashtots and his Disciple Koryun, in front of the building of the Matenadaran
Picture No 2: Vehamor Gospel, the oldest preserved complete Armenian manuscript │ Matenadaran
Pictures No 3-4: Small Church Calendar, the world’s smallest manuscript on parchment, written and read with a magnifying glass │ Matenadaran
Courtesy of the Permanent Mission of Armenia to BSEC
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