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About this Item


  • Gospels.


  • Dated to the tenth century, this manuscript is the oldest Armenian codex in North America and the fifth oldest among documented Armenian Gospel books. The principal colophon, on folio 2 verso, records that Sargis the priest completed the text in 415 (966). Within the framed area, the commission of the codex is described: a priest, whose name was replaced by the later owner T'oros, commissioned the work "as decoration and for the splendor of [the] holy church and for the pleasure of the congregation of Rznēr." As the codex was written and commissioned by priests, the manuscript is referred to as the "Gospels of the Priest." It was formerly known as the "Gospels of the Translators," as, following the date 415, someone erased the formula "of the Armenian era" and replaced it with "of our Lord," suggesting an earlier date and implying that the text was based on the original translation of the Gospels into Armenian during the fifth century. The text is copied in large angular erkat'agir script. The full-page paintings and marginal ornaments bear stylistic characteristics of Armenian illumination of the 10th and 11th centuries associated with non-royal patronage. The illustrations comprise the Canon tables, with only the last two remaining; the Virgin and Child on a wheeled chariot; the framed colophon; ornamental cross with donor's portrait; portraits of Matthew and Mark together (folio 72 verso, at the end of the book of Matthew) and Mark with Luke (folio 114 verso, at the end of Mark); two final images depict unknown saints (folio 192 recto, at the end of Luke). Marginalia are found throughout the text. It has been suggested that the scribe was also responsible for the illumination.


  • Sargis Scribe.

Created / Published

  • [place of publication not identified] : [publisher not identified], 0966.


  • -  Armenia
  • -  966
  • -  Armenian Church
  • -  Bible. New Testament
  • -  Codex
  • -  Illuminations
  • -  Liturgies
  • -  Miniatures (Illuminations)


  • -  Title devised, in English, by Library staff.
  • -  "Walters Ms. W.537"--Note extracted from World Digital Library.
  • -  Original resource extent: 237 folios : parchment ; 25 x 30.5 centimeters.
  • -  Original resource at: Walters Art Museum.
  • -  Content in Classical Armenian.
  • -  Description based on data extracted from World Digital Library, which may be extracted from partner institutions.


  • 1 online resource.

Digital Id

Library of Congress Control Number

  • 2021667950

Online Format

  • compressed data
  • pdf
  • image

Additional Metadata Formats

IIIF Presentation Manifest

Rights & Access

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Credit Line: [Original Source citation], World Digital Library

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Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Sargis Scribe. Gospels. [Place of Publication Not Identified: Publisher Not Identified, 0966] Pdf.

APA citation style:

Sargis Scribe. (0966) Gospels. [Place of Publication Not Identified: Publisher Not Identified] [Pdf] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Sargis Scribe. Gospels. [Place of Publication Not Identified: Publisher Not Identified, 0966] Pdf. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.