Codex 543

Codex 543

Monastery of St. Anthony (Armenia) — 1432

The magnum opus of the spiritual leader of the Armenian Apostolic Church: a wonderfully decorated, elegiac poem dedicated to the Son of God

  1. Nerses IV the Gracious (1102–73) was the chief bishop and spiritual leader of the Armenian Apostolic Church

  2. His works are adorned by 11 full-page miniatures, 11 miniatures inserted in the text, 24 marginal miniatures and more

  3. It originated in 1432 at the Armenian Monastery of St. Anthony near Caffa on the Crimean Peninsula in the Black Sea

Codex 543

  1. Description
  2. Facsimile Editions (2)
Description
Codex 543

In the 4th century, the Kingdom of Armenia became the first to adopt Christianity as its official religion and played an important role in its history, from supporting early missionary work to being a shield of Christendom in the East and ally to the Crusader Kingdoms. This manuscript contains the most important writings of Nerses IV the Gracious, a 12th century leader of the Armenian Apostolic Church. It is richly adorned with some of the finest Armenian illumination to survive from the Middle Ages.

Codex 543

The Mekhitarist Monastery of Vienna is one of two monasteries in Vienna belonging to the Armenian Catholic Mekhitarist Congregation, a Benedictine order. The monastery, which is one of the largest centers of Armenian culture outside of Armenia, celebrated its bicentennial in 2011. To mark the occasion, a special manuscript from the library, Codex 543, was facsimiled. This small manuscript is one of the finest and most beautiful Armenian manuscripts ever made and dates to the 15th century. Measuring 13.5 x 8.5 cm, it comprises 240 pages and was produced in 1432 at the Armenian Monastery of St. Anthony near Caffa on the Crimean Peninsula in the Black Sea.

A Masterpiece of Armenian Illumination

The manuscript contains several writings by Nerses IV the Gracious (1102–73), the Catholicos of All Armenians – the chief bishop and spiritual leader of Armenia’s national church, the Armenian Apostolic Church. He is remembered as an important theologian, poet, writer, and composer of hymns who tried unsuccessfully to reconcile the Armenian Church with the leaders of the Eastern Orthodox Church in Constantinople. His magnum opus, a sublime elegiac poem called “Jesus, Son Only-Begotten of the Father”, is featured in the manuscript inter alia. These writings are adorned by 11 full-page miniatures, 11 miniatures inserted in the text, 24 marginal miniatures, 3 decorative pages, 3 title pages, decorative vegetal borders, and decorative initials.

Codicology

Alternative Titles
The Codex 543
Origin
Armenia
Date
1432
Illustrations
11 full-page miniatures, 11 text-inserted miniatures, 24 border miniatures, 3 decorated pages
Content
Several writings by Catholicos Nerses IV Shnorhali

Available facsimile editions:
Codex 543  – Wiener Mechitharisten-Congregation (Vienna, Austria)
Wiener Mechitharisten-Congregation (Wien, Österreich) – Vienna, 2011
Limited Edition: 280 copies

The Codex 543 (Deluxe Edition)
Wiener Mechitharisten-Congregation (Wien, Österreich) – Vienna, 2011
Limited Edition: 20 copies
Facsimile Editions

#1 The Codex 543

Limited Edition: 280 copies
Commentary: 1 volume
Language: English, German
1 volume: Exact reproduction of the original document (extent, color and size) Reproduction of the entire original document as detailed as possible (scope, format, colors). The binding may not correspond to the original or current document binding.
Price Category: €€ (1,000€ - 3,000€)
Edition available
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#2 The Codex 543 (Deluxe Edition)

Limited Edition: 20 copies
Commentary: 1 volume
Language: English, German
1 volume: Exact reproduction of the original document (extent, color and size) Reproduction of the entire original document as detailed as possible (scope, format, colors). The binding may not correspond to the original or current document binding.
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