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n South African Journal of Cultural History - The Medieval Armenian Hymnal in Pretoria : a significant and problematical manuscript

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Abstract


Die Middeleeuse Armeense gesangeboek in die Nasionale Kultuurhistoriese Museum in Pretoria, wat moontlik so vroeg as die dertiende eeu gedateer kan word, is feitlik heeltemal onbekend. Dit was oorspronklik 'n volledige genoteerde Armeense gesangeboek () maar is herbind voordat dit na Suid-Afrika gekom en in 1897 deur president Kruger gekoop is. In die proses het die blaaie deurmekaar geraak en 'n paar het verlore gegaan. Dit is nietemin 'n merkwaardige manuskrip omdat president Kruger dit by 'n Armeniër gekoop het wat van die moord op Armeniërs in Turkye gevlug het, kort voordat ook hý sy land moes verlaat. Verder is die manuskrip ook uniek, gesien in die lig van die vroeë datum daarvan en dat dit in Suid-Afrika voorkom, waar geen ander Armeense en baie min Westerse Middeleeuse manuskripte voorkom. Hierdie artikel ondersoek en beskryf die manuskrip in besonderhede en plaas dit in konteks met ander Armeense gesangeboeke. Dit is op grond van die styl van die skrif, die notasie en veral die inligting in 'n kolofon gedateer.

The medieval Armenian hymnal in the National Cultural History Museum in Pretoria, which may possibly be dated as early as the thirteenth century, is almost completely unknown in South Africa. It was originally a complete notated Armenian hymnal () but had been rebound before it came to South Africa. In the process the leaves had become scrambled and some pages lost. It is nevertheless a significant manuscript, because it was bought by President Kruger in 1897 from an Armenian who had fled from the massacres of the Armenians in Turkey shortly before he, Pres. Kruger, also had to leave his country, and because of its early date and its presence in South Africa where there are no other Armenian and very few Western medieval manuscripts. In the present article the manuscript is investigated and described in detail, placing it in the context of other Armenian hymnals. It is dated according to the style of the script and the notation as well as the information in a colophon.

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/content/culture/22/1/EJC30712
2008-06-01
2016-12-04
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