The Book of Fridays


The first book printed in Armenian was the Urbathagirq (The book of Fridays), which was published in Venice in 1512 by Hakob Meghapart (Jacob the Sinner). Little is known about Hakob Meghapart, or why he styled himself “the Sinner” (or “the Sinful”). Armenia was at that time under the rule of the Ottoman Turks, and the Diaspora community played a critically important role in keeping alive the Armenian language and literary tradition. Written in Grabar (Classical Armenian), the book consists mainly of prayers and remedies for the sick, together with long quotations from the Narek, the collection of mystical poems by Saint Grigor Narekatsʻi (Gregory of Narek, 951–1003). This copy, from the National Library of Armenia, is bound with the Parzatumar (Armenian liturgical calendar), another of the books published in 1512–13 by Hakob Meghapart. It contains four engravings. The pages have titles, which are surrounded by decorative frames. At the end of the text is the cruciform printer’s symbol in Latin letters, D.I.Z.A. The printing is in the manuscript style of bologir (rounded letters); capital letters are also used. The font is in two colors, black and red. The beginning of the book and certain sections are printed in red.

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Publication Information

Publishing House of Hakob Meghapart, Venice

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Physical Description

62 leaves (124 unnumbered pages) ; 16 centimeters

Last updated: May 29, 2013