The Lvov Owners of the Armenian Gospel Book of the 12th Century Cover Image

Lwowscy właściciele ewangeliarza ormiańskiego z XII wieku
The Lvov Owners of the Armenian Gospel Book of the 12th Century

Author(s): Krzysztof Stopka
Subject(s): History
Published by: KSIĘGARNIA AKADEMICKA Sp. z o.o.

Summary/Abstract: The article analyses the content of the 6th, 7th and 8th colophon of the Skevra Gospels. To date it has been considered that the individuals mentioned in the 6th colophon and their activities were connected with Kamieniec Podolski, while its dating (1422) was considered as the date the book was brought to Poland. These theses had not been convincingly proven. The connection of Xut‘lupēk (Chutlupek, Chutłubeg, Kutłubej) that appears in this colophon with the father of the founder of the Church of Saint Nicholas in Kamieniec Podolski is chronologically incompatible. This was a common name amongst the Armenians who spoke the Kipchak language. This colophon could therefore have been copied in any of the Armenian diaspora centres of south-eastern Europe, everywhere, in fact, where this language was used. In reply to the questions as to in what form and when the Gospel Book came to Poland one is able to answer merely in the form of a few hypotheses. It could have been brought from the East by an Armenian monk, a legate, a Catholicos or metropolitan, or even by anyone of them. It could have also arrived via France, where the last king of the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia was residing, Leon V, and from whence in 1421 there travelled via Lvov and Kamieniec to Palestine Gilbert de Lannoy, a diplomat of the English king Henry V, meeting in both towns the resident Armenians. This could have occurred much later than the 6th colophon is dated but for certain before the year 1592 i.e. the date when the 7th colophon was written down. It is only in the case of this colophon that the individuals mentioned had undoubted connections with Poland. All lived in Lvov (Lwów, L’viv). The founder of the renovation work on the Gospel Book, about which this colophon recalls, was Toros Bernatowicz (T‘oros Per.nat‘enc‘), a member of one of the oldest Armenian families in Lvov, one considered to be the richest, the representatives of which, as Toros himself, sat in the Armenian council of elders for the city of Lvov. The article, based on the entries of the books of the Armenian court in Lvov, presents the family relationships, ownership relations, trade and fortune operations, the relations with the local political elite as well as the legal conflicts of the Bernatowicz family. Toros Bernatowicz was a Lvov erecpokchan (an administrator of the church property of the Armenian parish), one of the key individuals of his time, whose support for the union with the Roman Church the Polish Jesuits strove (unsuccessfully) for. During his funeral (he died in 1631) the Skevra Gospels was carried by an entourage of the chief celebrant, and this was the first Uniate Armenian bishop of Lvov, Mikołaj Torosowicz.

  • Issue Year: 2010
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 31-60
  • Page Count: 30
  • Language: Polish