Friday, March 9

Book nerds!

According to my guidebook about Armenia, you are a fool if you do not visit the Matenadaran book museum in Yerevan. I therefore decided to go there while my father and sister were visiting me.

The book museum contains several thousands of old books and manuscripts, mostly from Armenia, but also from Persia, China, Japan, and many European countries (given as gifts from the foreign governments). The oldest books where written on goat skin, and some of them where used twice. Many of the books are Gospels, Bibles and psalms, but there are also books about linguistic, science, math, music and medicine.

Galileo Galilei is known as the man who proved that the earth is round and not flat, but there was an Armenian writing these theories many hundred years before. He did not manage to prove it though… But his theories are now kept in the Matenadaran Book museum in Yerevan.

The Armenian alphabet is one of the oldest alphabets in the world, developed by Mestrop Mashtots, 401 AD. It then contained 36 letters, and the additional three letters (F, O, &) came more than 1000 years later.

I have noticed that very few Armenian words contain the letter F, and those who have, are often “modern” words, like “foto”, "faks", "kafe" and “forum”. France is called “Fransia” in Armenian, but I guess the country was not discovered by the Armenians in 401, and therefore no use of the name! :) Another thing that is interesting (because the Armenian language and letters are very interesting. Shat!) is that names with F are new names adopted from other countries, like Fillip, Fiona etc…

Our guide gave us a very interesting tour around the main room in the book museum and told us stories connected with many of the books and manuscripts. She also showed us the signature of Napoleon Bonaparte and Alexander the second. Fascinating!

If you ever go to Yerevan, you are a fool if you miss the Matenadaran… :)



Post a Comment

<< Home