Detail map of Venezia, Veneto, Italy,Kentron, Yerevan, Yerevan, Armenia

A: Venezia, Veneto, Italy, B: Kentron, Yerevan, Yerevan, Armenia

Hakob Meghapart Issues the First Book Printed in Armenian

From the unique copy of The Book of Fridays in the National Library of Armenia.

From the unique copy of The Book of Fridays in the National Library of Armenia.

In 1512 printer Hakob Meghapart (Հակոբ Մեղապարտ, Jacob the Sinner) issued from Venice Urbatagirk (Ուրբաթագիրք) or The Book of Fridays. This was the first printed book in the Armenian language.

"Little is known about Hakob Meghapart, or why he styled himself “the Sinner” (or “the Sinful”). Armenia was at that time under the rule of the Ottoman Turks, and the Diaspora community played a critically important role in keeping alive the Armenian language and literary tradition. Written in Grabar (Classical Armenian), the book consists mainly of prayers and remedies for the sick, together with long quotations from the Narek, the collection of mystical poems by Saint Grigor Narekatsʻi (Gregory of Narek, 951–1003)" (, accessed 08-08-2013).

The copy in the National Library of Armenia (Հայաստանի Ազգային Գրադարան) in Yerevan, Armenia, is bound with the Parzatumar (Armenian liturgical calendar), another book published in 1512–13 by Hakob Meghapart. It contains four engravings. The pages have titles surrounded by decorative frames. At the end of the text is the cruciform printer’s symbol in Latin letters, D.I.Z.A. The type is based on the manuscript style of bologir (rounded letters).

In August 2013 a digital facsimile was available from the National Library of Armenia at this link.

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