Armenian Versions

Armenian Versions At present there exist three Armenian versions-viz. the Ancient, the Ararat, and. the Modern Armenian versions. .

I. Ancient Armenian.-Part of the history of this version has already been given under SEE ARMENIAN VERSION (q.v.), and we add here the following: In 1775 a body of learned men at Paris undertook a new and corrected: edition of the Armenian Scriptures, to be accompanied with a Latin translation. One of the savants was the abbe Villefroy, for many years a resident among the Armenians. Of this edition the book of the prophet Habakkuk alone appears to have been published. In 1789 the New Test. was printed at Venice, under: the editorship of Zohrab, a learned Armenian divine, from MS. authorities, and it was reprinted in 1806. The same scholar prepared and published in 1805 a critical edition of the entire Bible at Venice, at the expense of the monks of the Armenian convent of the Island of St. Lazarus, in the lagoons of Venice. This edition was printed chiefly from a Cilician MS. of the 14th century (A.D. 1319); but the editor collated it with eight MSS. of the whole Bible and twenty of the New Test., the various readings of which are subjoined in the lower margin. From this edition the Psalms were published very often; the last edition in 1856. The New Test. was published repeatedly, lastly in 1863; the gospels alone in 1869. A new critical edition of the entire Scriptures was published again in 1859. Besides the Venetian editions, the Armenian Bible was published at St. Petersburg in 1817, and at Moscow in 1843. Some' years ago a colony of the Mechitairists established a printing-office at Vienna, and published the New Test. in 1864.

II. Ararat Armenian. — This idiom is spoken in the whole of Armenia, except in the pashalik of Erzerm, and in the Georgian provinces; and by thousands of Armenians who are dispersed between the Black Sea and the sources of the Euphrates, and thence through Persia and part of Mesopotamia,-down as far as the Persian Gulf. Tile first edition of the New Test. in this dialect, as translated by the German missionary A. H. Dittrich at. Shushi, was completed in 1835 and printed at Moscow. A second edition was soon found necessary, and was ordered by the British and Foreign Bible Society. In the meantime the German missionaries had been proceeding (encouraged by the Basle Missionary Society) in the translation of the Psalter from the Hebrew, which was not published till the year 1844. Of late a revision of the text was undertaken by Mr. Amirchanjanz, in behalf of the British and Foreign Bible Society. The Psalms and the New Test. were published in 1879, after having been revised by the Rev. Dr. Riggs of the American Bible Society. As for the Old Test., Mr. Amirchanjanz is now proceeding with the same, and it is to be made in four parts. Half of it is now finished.

III. Modern Armenian. —This dialect, which has adopted many Turkish words, has Constantinople for its centre, and is spoken in the neighboring territories, in Asia Minor, and in the pashalik of Erzermfi. From its centre it is also called the dialect of Constantinople. Into this dialect the New Test. was translated by the learned- Armenian Dr. Zohrab, of Constaintinople. In the year 1824 he completed his work, which he had commenced in 1821. In the year following an edition of one thousand copies of this version was printed at Paris, at the expense of the British and Foreign Bible Society. A new and revised edition was printed at Smyrna, which, was followed by another edition, in parallel columns with the ancient version, in 1856. In the meantime, with the aid of the American Bible Society,. the missionaries :in, Smyrna proceeded with the translation of the Old Test. into modern Armenian, and completed the work in 1857, which was printed by the American. mission at Constantinople for the British and Foreign Bible Society. From time to time this version has been revised and new editions printed. See Bible of Every Land, p. 79 sq.

For linguistic purposes we add, besides the works mentioned in the art. ARMENIAN LANGUAGE in this Cyclopedia, Kiggs, A Grammar of the Modern Armenian Lanlguage as Spoken in Constantinople. (Constant. 1856); id. A Vocabulary of, Words Used in Modern Armnenian, but not Found in the Ancient Armenian Lexicons (Smyrna, 1847); Lauer,. Grammatik der classischen armenischen Sprache (Vienna, 1869); Muller, Beitr-ige zur Lautlehre der armenischen Sprache (ibid. 1862-63). (B. P.)

 
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