[squf ] Hebrew Names of Biblical Books in the Margins of Matenadaran, Ms 1500
The question whether medieval Armenian scholars knew Hebrew has been raised a number of times in the past.See F. Macler, “Les traducteurs arméniens, ont-ils utilisé l’hébreu,” Handes Amsorya 41 (1927) 606–16; see also M. E. Stone, “The Armenian Apocryphal Literature: Translation and Creation,” in Il Caucaso: Cerniera fra culture dal Mediterraneo alla Persia (Secoli IV–XI) (Spoleto: Centro italiano di studi sull'alto Medioevo, 1996) 614 n. 9. A more detailed discussion is to be found in idem, “The Reception of Jewish and Biblical Traditions among the Armenians,” in From Ararat to Jerusalem: Montpellier Conference Volume (ed. C. Iancu and G. Dédéyan, forthcoming). There are certainly odds and ends of Hebrew, transliterated into Armenian, in different sources.One such is the Armenian version of Epiphanius's De mensuris et ponderibus: see M. E. Stone and R. R. Ervine, The Armenian Fragments of Epiphanius De Mensuris et Ponderibus (Subsidia of CSCO; Leuven: Peeters, 2000). See also M. E. Stone, “Concerning the Seventy-Two Translators: Armenian Fragments of Epiphanius, On Weights and Measures,” HTR 73 (1980) 331–36. In the Matenadaran manuscript M1500, the famous Miscellany of Mexit‘ar of Ayrivank‘ dated 1271-1285, we observed Hebrew names of the biblical books written in the margins. Unfortunately, these have not been published in full, but the following examples were recorded many years ago in the course of an autopsy examination of the manuscript. It is not certain that at that time we copied all the names, but this list is significant since it can be set into relationship with the Hebrew names in the translation of Jerome given below. We decided, therefore, to list even this partial evidence here. The names are clearly corrupted at a number of points, but some of the transliterations resemble those of the Armenian translation of Jerome, cited next. Note, for example, the shared corruption sost‘im for Judges in both lists, derived from *sop‘t‘im or the like, reflecting Hebrew. Other examples can easily be listed. This means that there was a literary relationship between the two lists, but it cannot be determined in which direction it flowed.