Krapar & Kini

Hmayil: Part 15
Հմայիլ. բաժին ԺԵ

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*Եւ էառ Աբրա­համ զոր­դին իւր իսահակ և տարաւ ՚ի զենլիս իւր. և ասէ Իսահակ որ­դին ցհայրն: Հայր իմ ահա փայտ և ահա՛ հուր, ո՞ւր է ոչխար ող­ջակէզ.2 և ասէ աբրա­համ ցոր­դին իւր իսահակ՝ որդեակ իմ աստ­ուած տես­անէ ոչխար իւր ող­ջակէզ: յայնժ­ամ առեալ զսուրն իւր և կամէր զենուլ զոր­դին իւր: և ահա՛ երև­եցաւ հրեշ­տակ տեառն առ կաղ­նեաւն մամ­բրէի3 և ասէ՝ աբրա­համ աբրա­համ մի՛ մխեր զձեռն քո ՚ի պատ­անեակդ յայդ. և նոյն ժամայն տեսեալ ՚ի ծառոյն յայն­միկ կախեալ խոյ4 ող­ջակէզ յայնժամ առեալ զոր­դին իւր ուր­ախ­ու­թեամբ օրհ­նէր զաստ­ուած

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և ասէր տէր երև­եցաւ ՚ի տեղիս այս­միկ. և կոչեաց աբրա­համ տեղին այն զի տէր երև­եցաւ.5 և սառայ ետես զոր­դին իւր և ուրախ եղև յոյժ ուր­ախ­ու­թեամբ մեծաւ: և սահակ ծեր­ացեալ ալեօք ծաղ­կեցաւ և հանգ­եաւ խաղ­աղ­ու­թեամբ ՚ի տէր: Բարե­խօս­ու­թեամբ նահա­պետին հօրն մերում աբրա­համու. և որ­դւոյ նորին իսա­հակայ Օգ­նեսցէ քրիստոս աստ­ուած մեր առ ծառայս իւր (name) և Փրկ­եսցէ ամեն­այն չարեաց. և ամրած­ածուկ աջօվն իւրով պարս­պեալ պահեսցէ ան­խռով մինչև ՚ի խորին ծեր­ու­թիւնն. և ՚ի հան­դերձ­ելումն6 երկ­նից արքայ­ու­թիւնն պարգ­ևեսցէ ամէն:

And Abraham took his son Isaac and carried [him] away to his sacrifice. And Isaac the son says to the father, “My father, behold! the wood and behold! the fire. Where is the sheep for the burnt offering?2 And Abraham says to his son Isaac, “My little son, God sees his sheep [for] the burnt offering.” Then, [Abraham] took his knife, and intended to sacrifice his son. And behold! an angel of the Lord appeared near the oak of Mamre,3 and says, “Abraham, Abraham, do not plunge your hand into this lad!” And [at] that same time, [Abraham] saw a ram [for] the burnt offering hanging on that tree,4 then [he] took his son with rejoicing [and] blessed God and said “the Lord appeared in this place.” And Abraham called the place “that [in] which the Lord appeared.5 And Sarah saw her son and became very glad with great rejoicing. And Isaac, aged with white hair, flourished, and [finally] rested in peace in the Lord. Through the intercession of our father the patriarch Abraham, and of that same one’s son Isaac, let Christ our God give help to this servant of his (name), and let [Christ] save [him from] all evils. And fortified by His right hand encircling [this servant] as a rampart, let [Christ] keep [him] untroubled until his ripe old age. And in the world to come6 let [Christ] bestow the kingdom of heaven [to this servant]. Amen.

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Բարե­խօս­ու­թեամբ և Աստ­ուած­ային սուրբ նշան­ացն7 քրիս­տոսի աստ­ուծոյ մերոյ և ան­բար­բառ բարե­խօս­ացն վասն ազգի մարդ­կան սուրբ խաչքն ամեն­այն: նախ աւազ­ակի8 սուրբ նշանի. վար­ագա[յ] սուրբ նշանի. պատ­եր­ազմի սուրբ նշանի. երև­ման սուրբ նշանի. հաղ­բաթայ սուրբ նշանի վանկոյ սուրբ նըշանի. կաղ­բայ սուրբ նըշանի. արգին­եայ սուրբ նշանի անիս­երեխ սուրբ նշանի. մար­առա[յ] սուրբ նշանի գանձ­ասարա[յ] սուրբ նշանի: ջալէ թու թուխ մանուկ­ին9 և քրիս­տոսի սուրբ գեղ­արդին. տէր­ուն­ական սուրբ նշանի գռու սուրբ նշանի: գետ­արգել[ի] սուրբ նշանի. սքա

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նչել­ագործ սուրբ նըշանի. ապար­անից սուրբ նշանի. կարմ­ըրակ[ի] սուրբ նշանի. ծիծ­ռան[ի] սուրբ նշանի. աղ­թամ­արայ սուրբ նշանի. սահանու սուրբ նշանի. վարոսի սուրբ նշանի. կիր­իոսի սուրբ նշանի. Կոս­տան­դիան­ոսի սուրբ նշանի. տապա­նակի սուրբ նշանի. Վրաց և հոռ­ոմոց սուրբ նշանի. կոս­տան­դիան­ու­պօլիս սուրբ նշանի. հապ­էշու և խփտոյ սուրբ նշանի. հաց­ունեաց սուրբ նշանի. գայկ­ըլայ սուրբ նշանի. խըրշ­տու սուրբ նշանի. մնդկու սուրբ նշանի կապն­կայ սուրբ նշանի պիզ­եռու սուրբ նշանի. սիմայի սուրբ նշանի. բստու սուրբ նշանի. նսարի սուրբ նշանի Հրաշ­ափառ սուրբ նշանին Քրի­ստոսի. որ ՚ի գալս­տեան յառ­աջ­ագոյն գայ. և եկեալ կան­գնի ՚ի գող­գոդա[յ]՝ փայլ­ելով եօթն­պատիկ առաւել քան զարեգ­ակն: Եւ այլ ամեն­այն սուրբ նշանացն՝ որք ընդ հանուր տիեզերս իցեն. սոցին սուրբ և ար­ժան­աւոր բարե­խօս­ու­թեամբն՝ ող­որմեա՛ համ­այն հաւատ­աց­ելոցս. ՚ի քեզ՝ և ՚ի խաչ քո սուրբ: և Օգ­նական լեր ծառ­այիս քո (name) ամեն­այն ժամ. ամէն:

Through the intercession also of the Divine Holy Signs7 of Christ our God, and of the voiceless intercessors for the sake of the human race, all the Holy Crosses: the Holy Sign of the First Thief,8 the Holy Sign of Varag, the Holy Sign of War, the Holy Sign of the Apparition, the Holy Sign of Haghbat‘, the Holy Sign of Vanik, the Holy Sign of Gaghep, the Holy Sign of Argine, the Holy Sign of Aniserekh, the Holy Sign of Maraṙ, the Holy Sign of Gandzasar; of the Jalēt‘ T‘ukh Manuk9 and the Holy Lance of Christ, the Dominical Holy Sign, the Holy Sign of Keṙ, the Getargel Holy Sign, the Miracle-Worker Holy Sign, the Holy Sign of Aparank‘, the Holy Sign of Karmrak, the Holy Sign of Tsitsṙan, the Holy Sign of Aghtamar, the Holy Sign of Sahan, the Holy Sign of Varus, the Holy Sign of Cyrus, the Holy Sign of Constantine, the Holy Sign of the Ark, the Holy Sign of the Georgians and Romans, the Holy Sign of Con­stan­tin­ople, the Abyssinian and Coptic Holy Sign, the Holy Sign of Hats‘unik‘, the Holy Sign of Gaykil, the Holy Sign of Khrit, the Holy Sign of Mndik, the Holy Sign of Kapnik, the Holy Sign of Pizeṙ, the Holy Sign of Simay, the Holy Sign of Pest, the Holy Sign of Nsar. Miraculous Holy Sign of Christ, which arrives at the first coming [of Christ], and comes and rises up at Golgotha, shining seven times brighter than the sun. And all the other Holy Signs, which are throughout the entire universe, through the intercession of these same ones, have mercy on all these who believe in you and in your Holy Cross. And be helper to this servant of yours (name) all the time. Amen.

Hmayil Part 15

hmayil

1 James R. Russel, Emeritus Professor of Arme­nian Studies at Harvard Uni­versity, states that the cross-hatched pattern “produce[s] innumerable crosses, in the manner also of the magic squares filled with numbers and symbols that also abound in Armenian and other magical books.” (Russell, J. R., “The Armenian Magical Scroll and Outsider Art,” in Iran and the Caucasus 15 (2011) pp. 5-47.) Shown here is a portion of a handwritten hmayil in the possession of the Zohrab Information Center, with similar texts (Abraham and Isaac, Holy Signs) in the same cross-hatched pattern.

2 Gen. 22:7.

3 The Arme­nian version of Genesis, based on the Septuagint, does not indicate the location where the sacrifice was to take place, only stating that God instructed Abraham to go “to the high land” (յերկիր բարձր, Gen. 22:2). Other Bible versions identify this location as the “land of Moriah”. The oak of Mamre mentioned here is the location where the three heavenly visitors told Abraham and Sarah that she will bear a son (Gen. 18).

4 In the Arme­nian Bible, the ram is hanging by its horns in a tree, not caught in a thicket as in other Bible versions. Cf. Gen. 22:13, Համ­բարձ Աբրա­համ զաչս իւր եւ ետես, եւ ահա խոյ մի կախեալ կայր զծառոյն սաբեկայ զեղ­ջերաց, “And Abraham looked up with his eyes and saw, and behold! a ram stood upright hanging in the sabek tree by the horns.”

5 Cf. Gen. 22:14, Եւ կոչեաց Աբրա­համ զանուն տեղ­ւոյն այն­որիկ Տէր ետես. զի ասիցեն ցայսօր. ՚Ի լերինն յայն­միկ Տէր երեւ­եցաւ, “And Abraham called the name of that place ‘The Lord saw,’ that they might say today, ‘On the mountain that the Lord appeared.’” Other Bible versions refer to this place as “Jehovah-jireh” (KJV), which in Hebrew means “The Lord will provide” (NRSV).

6 ՚ի հանդերձելումն, “in the world to come”, literally “in the prepared (thing)”, from հանդերձեմ, “prepare, make ready”.

7 սուրբ նշանացն, nom. սուրբ նշան, “holy Sign”, is generally synonymous with the Holy Cross, often with regard to a fragment of the True Cross traditionally located at a certain place.

8 I.e., the penitent thief on the cross next to Christ (Luke 23:39–43).

9 ջալէթու թուխ մանուկին, “of the Jalēt‘ T‘ukh Manuk”, referring to a Holy Cross located at Jalēt‘ monastery. The T‘ukh Manuk, “Black Youth”, is the mischievous main character in a number of Armenian folk tales. The name has come to refer also to small shrines located in remote areas of Armenia, often on a mountain or near a spring. James Russell discusses the T‘ukh Manuk and its association with the Holy Cross in similar hmayil texts:

Many popular Armenian shrines—chapels, wells or springs, holy places—bear the enigmatic name t‘ukh manuk, “black youth”. Hracheay Achaṙean, noting at the turn of the century that these were particularly common in the regions of Mush and Van, defined them as “the grave of a newly-revealed or anonymous saint, over which a little house is constructed, as a place of pilgrimage.” The Soviet Armenian scholar A. Mnats‘akanyan, who studied the monuments, writes that they were built on a height, near a spring, or in a copse of trees, and were to be found in the 19th century in parts of historical Armenia, and are inevitably in a tumbledown state. They were considered holy, with the power of healing. …

… The Black Youth, then, is a source of health and fertility, perhaps sexual potency; and his very widespread cult is linked to those of St. Sergius [Sargis] and the Virgin Mary. Folk tradition identifies him as an anonymous Kurdish youth who converted to Christianity and was martyred for it. … this martyrdom cannot be considered the prototype for the tradition, since the name T‘ukh Manuk predates is by many centuries; rather, it fits into a pattern of beliefs already inexistence. …

The T‘ukh Manuk is regularly invoked in Armenian talismanic scrolls after the Holy Cross of Gandzasar (site of the Aghuan Catholicosate in Artsakh and spiritual center of that entire region) and before the Holy Cross of Jalet‘ (a shrine that is mentioned already in 1411 as having been built by the Alan Catholicos Karapet), in the course of a lengthy prayer addressed to the Holy Cross itself and to the sacred Crosses or relics of the True Cross in Armenia (between 266 and 365 in number—and meant, thus, to correspond to the days of the year and the traditional numeration of the parts of the human body). The invocation is typical of the extreme reverence, verging on idolatry, with which the Armenian Orthodox Christians regard the Holy Sign. The visual form of the text is interesting, described by Feydit as “écriture croisée”: the Biblical narrative of the binding of Isaac from Genesis (which Christians consider a prefiguring of the Crucifixion) runs in parallel lines slanting down from left to right, over the list of Crosses, which slants upwards. In this way, the text itself acquires the iconic power of the countless interconnected crosses formed by the intersecting lines of script, and the litany of crosses provides an insistent, powerful background percussive beat to the foreground of the Old Testament scene. Cross-like rosettes adorn the diamond-shaped boxes created by the crossing lines. In both manuscript and printed scrolls, the form of this text is adhered to with regularity; so it is deliberate and traditional, not the whim of a particular artist or scribe. We have already noted the placement of a khach‘k‘ar (“Cross-stone”) on a pedestal near one T‘ukh Manuk at Ōshakan, and a fragment of one in yet another, larger T‘ukh Manuk shrine at the same site; so it would seem reasonable to affirm a connection between the T‘ukh Manuk and Holy Cross. (Russell, J. R., “The Armenian Shrines of the Black Youth (T‘ux Manuk)”, in Le Muséon 111 (1998), pp. 319–343 (with the transliteration of Armenian words herein changed to the LC system).)