Info

though much reduced in numbers and significance, from their mother house of Aparanner in Armenia's heartland.11 Armenian Dominicans acted as ambassadors forboth Persian shahs and European powers. Emblematic of their participation is that of Matt'eos Awanik', archbishop of Naxjewan, who undertook a mission to Shah Sulayman in 1669 with letters from Louis XIV, Clement IX and the Venetian doge. Accompanying him on this assignment was Petros Petik, a graduate of the Collegium Urbanum, who earned the gratitude of the Habsburg emperor Leopold for his diplomatic skills, which deflected Ottoman ambitions away from Poland and the Habsburg Empire for the next two decades. In recognition of his services he received the title of Count of Patta.12

To strengthen Armenian participation in an alliance with western powers Catholicos Yakob IV set off on a journey to Rome in 1664 to make his submission to the papacy, but anti-Latin intrigues at Ejmiacin meant that he never got further than Istanbul. On his deathbed he is supposed to have left a Latin profession of faith. One of his more enduring legacies was the first printing of the Armenian Bible in 1666 by his compatriot Oskan Erevanc'i in Amsterdam, another striking manifestation of the role of the diaspora at this time.13 While in Ejmiacin, Oskan encountered the missionary Paolo Piromalli, then engaged in the project of collating the Armenian scriptures with the Vulgate. Oskan studied Latin with him and on that basis translated various pseudepi-graphic books outside the traditional Armenian canon as well as introducing significant Vulgate readings into the Gospels and other texts. He set off for Livorno and Rome in 1662, before moving to Amsterdam, where an Armenian press had recently been established, to produce his lavish edition featuring seven newly prepared typefaces and further embellished by the woodcuts of Christoffel van Sichem the Younger.14

11 Ani Pauline Atamian, 'The archdiocese of Naxj ewan in the seventeenth century', unpublished PhD thesis, Columbia University (1984), 44-7.

12 Kévorkian, 'La diplomatie arménienne', 194-5. For the case ofEiiaMuseiean, a convert to Catholicism, involved in a Persian diplomatic mission to Russia, see B. L. Cugaszyan, Eiia Museiean Karnec'i, T'urk'eren-Hayeren bararan [Turkish-Armenian Dictionary] (Erevan: Armenian Academy of Sciences, 1986). For the continuation of Armenian diplomatic activities into the nineteenth century, see G. A. Bournoutian, The Khanate ofErevan under QajarRule 1795-1828 (Costa Mesa, CA: Mazda Publishers, 1992), 15.

13 Oskanyan, Hay girkS 1512-1800 t'vakannerin, 44-50.

14 On the development of Armenian publications of the Bible, see S.P. Cowe, 'An 18th century Armenian textual critic and his continuing significance', Revue des Eétudes Arméeniennes, n.s. 20 (1986-87), 527-41; Treasures in Heaven: Armenian illuminated manuscripts, ed. T. F. Mathews andR. S. Wieck(New York: The Pierpoint Morgan Library, 1994), 121-2.

Was this article helpful?

0 0

Post a comment