In 1717 a young Armenian Catholic priest, Mekhitar Sebastatsi (Mekhitar of Sebastia [present-day Sivas, Turkey], 1676‒1749), founded a Benedictine Armenian Catholic Monastery on the island of San Lazzaro in Venice. Dedicated to the education and enlightenment of his people and devoted to his religion, Mekhitar wrote and published several works that became sources of inspiration and intellectual renewal throughout the centuries that followed. The monastery itself became a center for Armenian learning and publishing, which it has remained to the present day. In 1733 Mekhitar published a handsome Bible that was in essence the same text, although with some editing, of the Oskan Bible, the first complete printing of the Bible in Armenian that was produced in 1666 by Oskan Erewants‘i (Oskan of Yerevan, 1614‒74) at his shop in Amsterdam. Mekhitar’s edition was the second reprint of the 1666 Bible; the first was done in Constantinople (present-day Istanbul) in 1705. The book contains a set of hand-tipped print illustrations that were made especially for the 1733 edition.

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Anton Bortoli Press, Venice, Italy

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1280 pages : illustrated ; 32 centimeters


  1. Levon Avdoyan, To Know Wisdom and Instruction: A Visual Survey of the Armenian Literary Tradition from the Library of Congress (Washington, DC: Library of Congress, 2012).

Last updated: October 30, 2017