Lwowscy właściciele ewangeliarza ormiańskiego z XII wieku


  • Krzysztof Stopka Uniwersytet Jagielloński


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

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. This was the first documented certified case of the usage of the Skevra Gospels in a public liturgical celebration since its creation (the end of the 12th century), for the use of this valuable book during the coronation of the Cilicia King Leon I by the archbishop of Mainz, Konrad von Wittelsbach (1199), is merely a hypothesis. The author of the 7th colophon is equally a figure who appears many times in the same source — Father Simon Wasylowicz Lehac‛i (i.e. from Poland). He came from a family related to the Bernatowicz family by marriage, in which hieratic functions were transferred from generation to generation. He commenced his church career as a deacon and personal secretary to the Etchmiadzin Catholicos Step‛anos V Salmastec‛i during the journey by the said to Rome (1548–1550). There he was a witness to the negotiations with the popes Paul III and Julius III. Upon his return to Lvov he fulfilled the function of avakerec (archipresbyter, a superior to the cathedral clergy) under archbishop Gregory of Varak (Grigor Varakec‛i). He was a copyist and illuminator of books commissioned by eminent individuals, for example the papal nuncio in Poland, Giovanni Francesco Commendone. He died sometime after 1598. Possibly the author of the final 8th colophon was his grandson, equally a priest, Jan Kierymowicz (Howhannes Karmatanienc‛), the founder of the first Armenian printing house in Poland (1616).




How to Cite

Stopka, K. (2010). Lwowscy właściciele ewangeliarza ormiańskiego z XII wieku. Lehahayer, 1, 31–62. Retrieved from https://journals.akademicka.pl/lehahayer/article/view/2435