University of Chicago Library, Goodspeed Manuscript Collection Ms. 275, Hymnal (Astuacatur Hymnal). Constantinople, 1654.


Hymnal (Sharaknots‛) in Armenian. Canons arranged in order of the liturgical year. Musical notation throughout. Formerly Goodspeed Ms. Arm. 66

  1. fols. 1r-4r Canon of the birth of the Holy Theotokos.
  2. fols. 4r-7r Canon of St. Joakim and St. Anna, parents of the Holy Theotokos.
  3. fols. 7r-10r Canon of the Annunciation to the Holy Theotokos.
  4. fols. 10v-12r Canon of the Eve of Theophany and of Lucernarium.
  5. fols. 12r-28v Canons of the Theophany (first through eighth day).
  6. fols. 28v-33v Hymns of the Magnificat of the Resurrection.
  7. fols. 33v-36r Canon of Candlemas (Penthesis).
  8. fols. 36r-37v Canon of St. Anthony the Great of Egypt.
  9. fols. 37v-39v Canon of Emperor Theodosius the Great.
  10. fols. 39v-41r Canon of St. David the Prophet-king and St. James the Apostle.
  11. fols. 41r-43v Canon of St. Stephen, deacon and Protomartyr.
  12. fols. 43v-45v Canon of St. Peter and St. Paul the Apostles.
  13. fols. 45v-47v Canon of St. James and St. John the Apostles (Sons of Thunder).
  14. fols. 47v-51r Canon of the Holy Apostles and St. Paul. Hymn of the twelve Holy Apostles.
  15. fols. 51r-53r Canon of the Seventy-two Holy Disciples.
  16. fols. 53r-54r Hymn of St. Sergius the General.
  17. fols. 54r-56r Canon of Jonah the Prophet.
  18. fols. 56v-58r Canon of Shrove Tuesday.
  19. fols. 58r-62r Canon of Repentance.
  20. fols. 62r-85v fols. 88v-95r fols. 102r-109r Canons of the Salt and Bread Fast (Lent, second through sixth Sunday). Hymns.
  21. fols. 85v-88v Canon of the Forty Holy Soldier-Martyrs of Sebaste.
  22. fols. 95r-102r Canon of St. Gregory the Illuminator's casting into the pit.
  23. fols. 109v-111v Canon of the Raising of Lazarus.
  24. fols. 111v-115r Canons of Palm Sunday.
  25. fols. 115r-123r Canons of the Great Days of the Week (second though fifth day).
  26. fols. 123r-126v Canon of Great Friday.
  27. fols. 126v-134r Canticle of the Lord Catholicos St. Nersēs the Great (Eve of Great Friday). Song for Great Friday.
  28. fols. 134r-135v Canon of the Great Sabbath of the Lord's burial.
  29. fols. 135v-136v Hymns for the Quinquagesima Mass.
    Note: Blank (fol. 136[b]).
  30. fols. 137r-139r Canon of Holy Easter.
  31. fols. 139r-143r Canon of the Resurrection.
  32. fols. 143r-144r Canon of the Saturday commemorating the beheading of St. John the Baptist.
  33. fols. 144r-149[b]v Canon of the New Sunday. Canons (untitled).
  34. fols. 149[b]v-168v Canon of the Sunday of world shrines. Canons (untitled).
  35. fols. 168v-172v Canon of the Ascension of Christ.
  36. fols. 172v-180r Canon of the second Palm Sunday. Canon (untitled).
  37. fols. 181r-192r Canons of the Pentecost (first through seventh day).
  38. fols. 192r-196r Canon of the birth of St. John the Baptist.
  39. fols. 196r-197v Canon of St. John the Baptist.
  40. fols. 197v-199v Canon of St. Gregory the Illuminator's deliverance from the pit.
  41. fols. 199v-201r Canon of St. Gregory the Illuminator's sons and grandsons, Sts. Aristakes, Vrtanes, Housik, Grigoris, and Daniel.
  42. fols. 201r-203r Canon of St. Nersēs the Great.
  43. fols. 203r-203v Hymn of St. Isaac (Sahak) the Great.
  44. fols. 203v-209r Canon of St. Hřip‛simē and her companions.
  45. fols. 209r-209v Hymn of St. Sanduxt.
  46. fols. 209v-211r Canon of the Holy Tabernacle.
  47. fols. 211r-216v Canon of the Transfiguration (first through third day).
  48. fols. 216v-218r Canon of Shōghakat‛ (Apparition of Holy Etchmiadzin).
  49. fols. 218r-224r Canon of the passing of the Holy Theotokos (first through third day).
  50. fols. 224r-227r Hymn of the Assumption of the Holy Theotokos.
    Note: Blank (fol. 227v).
  51. fols. 228r-229r Canon of the Eve of the Holy Cross.
  52. fols. 229r-240v Canon of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross (first through seventh day).
  53. fols. 240v-242v Canon of the Cross of Varak.
  54. fols. 242v-244v Canon of the discovery of the Holy Cross.
  55. fols. 244v-247v Canons of the Holy Prophets and other prophets.
  56. fols. 247v-249v Canon of the Holy Translators.
  57. fols. 249v-251v Canon of St. Michael and St. Gabriel the Archangels, and of all the heavenly host.
  58. fols. 251v-253v Canon of St. James, Bishop of Nisibis.
  59. fols. 253v-255v Canon of the Holy Patriarchs.
  60. fols. 255v-258r Canon of the Children of Bethlehem.
  61. fols. 258r-258v Hymn of St. Ignatius, Bishop of Antioch.
  62. fols. 258v-259r Hymn of St. John Chrysostom.
  63. fols. 259r-260r Hymn of St. Ephrem of Syria.
  64. fols. 260r-260v Hymn of Sts. Eustratius, Auxentius, Eugenius, Orestes, and Martyrius.
  65. fols. 260v-261r Hymn of the 20,000 martyrs.
  66. fol. 261r Hymn of St. Theodore of Amasea (The Warrior).
  67. fols. 261r-262r Hymn of St. Stephen of Oulnia.
  68. fol. 262r Hymn of the blessing of the Holy Chrism.
  69. fols. 262r-262v Hymn of St. Suk‛ias and his companions.
  70. fols. 262v-263r Hymn of St. David of Dwin.
  71. fols. 263r-263v Hymn of St. Vahan of Goght‛n.
  72. fols. 263v-264r Hymn of St. Kryiakos and St. Julita.
  73. fol. 264v Hymn of St. Osgi and his companions.
  74. fols. 264v-265r Hymn of St. Adom and his soldiers.
  75. fol. 265r Hymn of St. Vartan the Warrior and his companions.
  76. fols. 265r-265v Hymn of St. Nicholas, Bishop of Myra.
  77. fols. 265v-266r Hymn of the Sts. Menas, Hermogenes, and Eugraphus.
  78. fols. 266r-268v Hymn of the Seven Vegetarian Hermits.
  79. fols. 268v-273r Hymn of St. Leontius and his companions.
  80. fols. 273v-278v Canticle of the first day of the week, on the mystery of the Creation and Resurrection of Christ.
  81. fols. 278v-280v Songs to follow Psalms.
  82. fols. 280v-283r Songs of the third, sixth, and ninth hours. Song of the eventide hour of peace.
  83. fols. 283v-284r Hymn of donning the vesture.
  84. fols. 284v-285r Hymn for the censing of the Holy Sacrifice.
    Note: Blank (fol. 285v).
  85. fols. 286r-308r Canon of the whole body of martyrs. Canons (untitled).
    Note: Blank (fol. 308v).
  86. fols. 309r-335r Canon of the whole body of those that have died in Christ. Canons (untitled).
    Note: Blank (fol. 335v).
  87. fols. 336r-354v Canon of the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. Canons (untitled).
  88. fols. 355r-355v
    Colophon: The priest Astuacatur (1654).


37 marginal miniatures and 1 full-page miniature paired with canons of the primary text. Marginal vignettes of arabesques, birds, flowers, and temples.


  1. fol. 4r Anna, Saint: Portrait. Anna, mother of Virgin Mary, stands at left, hand raised.
  2. fols. 6v-7rVirgin Mary: Annunciation. Archangel Gabriel, at left, holds lilies, points to Virgin Mary; she kneels at right with book; dove of Holy Spirit descends from upper left.
  3. fol. 10vVirgin Mary and Christ Child: Enthroned. Virgin Mary seated on throne with Christ Child, feet resting on footstool; domed building, in background.
  4. fol. 12rShepherd: With sheep. Shepherd stands next to two sheep, crook in hand.
  5. fol. 26rChrist: Baptism. John the Baptist on riverbank at left, baptizes Christ, at center, standing in river; dove of Holy Spirit descends; three angels on bank, at right.
  6. fol. 33vChrist: Presentation. Virgin Mary holds Christ Child, standing under temple dome.
  7. fol. 36rAnthony Abbot, the Great: Portrait. Anthony the Great blesses with right hand, in left holds scroll.
  8. fol. 37vTheodosius I: Portrait. Emperor Theodosius I holds cross in right hand, points to adjacent text.
  9. fol. 39vDavid: As king and prophet; Apostle, James the Less. David extends hand indicating adjacent text. James the Less stands behind king.
  10. fol. 41rStephen, Protomartyr: Portrait. Stephen swings censer held in right hand, in left holds model of domed church.
  11. fol. 43vApostles, Peter and Paul: Portrait. Peter and Paul face one another, a sword raised between them.
  12. fol. 54rJonah: In Sea Monster. Prophet Jonah emerges from mouth of fish which stands on its tail; large plant, in background.
  13. fol. 56vAdam and Eve: In Garden of Eden. Nude Adam and Eve stand on either side of the tree in garden; snake entwined around tree trunk.
  14. fol. 68vShepherd: Good. Christ as Good Shepherd, carries sheep upon shoulders.
  15. fol. 85vMartyrdom: Forty Saints. Naked soldiers huddle together on ice within cave; Christ, above center, arms extended, martyrs' crowns before him; domed building, in background.
  16. fol. 95vGregory the Illuminator: Portrait. Gregory the Illuminator wearing liturgical vestments, right hand raised in blessing, in left, holds book.
  17. fols. 109v-110rChrist: Miracle of raising Lazarus. Christ, at left with disciples, right hand raised; Martha and Mary kneel at his feet; Lazarus, at right, stands inside tomb, wrapped in a shroud.
  18. fol. 111vChrist: Entry into Jerusalem. Christ seated on donkey; robe laid out on road next to him; tree in background.
  19. fol. 117rVirgins, Wise: Portrait. Virgins stand together, each holding a lamp.
  20. fol. 127rChrist: Crucifixion. Christ crucified on cross; skull on mound below cross; sun and moon in upper corners.
  21. fol. 143rJohn Baptist: Head on Charger. Rays of light illuminate head of John the Baptist which lies in a blood-filled charger.
  22. fol. 144rApostle, Thomas: Incredulity. Christ stands at center, holds cross-top staff with banner, chest bare; Thomas kneels at left, touches wound in Christ's side; domed building, in background.
  23. fol. 180vPentecost. Dove of the Holy Spirit descends on 12 apostles. Kosmos, lower center, appears as a crowned elder wearing liturgical vestments. He represents all people to whom apostles will preach.
  24. fol. 196rJohn Baptist: Portrait. John the Baptist dressed in camel hair tunic, holds cross-top staff with banner, right hand raised.
  25. fol. 197vGregory the Illuminator: Portrait. Gregory the Illuminator wearing liturgical vestments, right hand raised in blessing, in left, holds book.
  26. fol. 201rNerses the Great: Portrait. Nerses the Great, wearing liturgical vestments, his right hand raised in blessing, in left, holds book.
  27. fol. 211rChrist: Transfiguration. Christ within mandorla, stands on mountain.
  28. fol. 218rVirgin Mary: Portrait. Virgin Mary, left hand raised, right hand extended toward adjacent text.
  29. fol. 224rVirgin Mary: Portrait. Virgin Mary, extends both hands indicating adjacent text.
  30. fol. 242vCross, True. Crowned figures stand on either side of cross; title on vertical cross-bar.
  31. fol. 244vProphet: Portrait. Prophet holds open scroll.
  32. fol. 246vProphet: Portrait. Prophet holds open scroll.
  33. fol. 248rMesrop, Saint: Portrait. Mesrop holds open scroll.
  34. fol. 249vAngel, Seraph: Portrait. Six-winged seraph holding a flabellum (fan carried in religious ceremonies).
  35. fol. 251vJames of Nisibis: Portrait. James of Nisibis wearing liturgical vestments, right hand raised in blessing, in left, holds book.
  36. fol. 253vSaint: Portrait. Saint wearing liturgical vestments, right hand raised in blessing, in left, holds book.
  37. fol. 255vInnocents: Massacre. Soldier holds child in left hand, in right, carries sword; he threatens a woman, her arms raised; slain child lies on ground, center right.
  38. fol. 269rLeontius, Saint: Portrait. Leontius stands, right arm raised in blessing.


Headpieces within diamond shaped or circular frames of red, green, blue, and gold floral motifs (fols. 1r, 56v, 109v, 137r, 181r, 228r, 286r, 309r, 336r).


Major initials formed by figures of lions or birds (23-25 mm). Minor initials formed by figures of birds or flowers.

Physical Description


Parchment and paper. 115 x 76 mm.

Number of Leaves

359 leaves, of which 2 are raised pastedowns that function as flyleaves. Folio number 232 left out of primary foliation. Leaves initially missed now numbered 136b, 149b, and 159b. Foliation corrected from fol. 323 forward.


1 (unfoliated parchment flyleaf) + 136 +1 (136b) + 13 + 1 (149b) + 10 +1 (159b) + 195 + 1 (unfoliated parchment flyleaf). Modern foliation in Arabic numerals in ink 1-355. Corrections in pencil.


23 numbered quires. In several places within the manuscript inserted paper or parchment leaves replace the ending of canon texts or are blank (fols. 136b, 227, 285, 308, and 335). Where leaves were excised, images corresponding to the following canons were lost: Holy Easter (fol. 137r); Eve of the Holy Cross (fol. 228r); Whole body of martyrs (fol. 286r); Whole body of those that have died in Christ (fol. 309r); and Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ (fol. 336r). It is thought a miniature of the Virgin Mary's birth, now lost, preceded the canon memorializing the event (fol.1r).


Written space 72 x 43 mm (fol. 9r).


1 column, 23 to 24 lines. Frame ruling in ink.


Written chiefly in bolorgir script in black ink. The first line of text below the two headpieces (fols. 1r, and 137r) are respectively bird letters and ornate capitals. The second and third lines are written in erkat’agir script. Musical notation included.

Text Divisions

Titles in gold and red.


Dirt and water stains. Text rubbed (fols. 343-353).

Binding Description

Bound in medium brown leather over boards.



The manuscript was written in 1654 (Armenian Era 1103) by the priest Astuacatur at the Church of St. Sergis the General (Surb Sargis Zōravar) in Constantinople, the present-day Istanbul, Turkey (his colophon, fols. 355r-355v).


Later history of the manuscript is unknown. Notation including price (front flyleaf, recto). Inscription and notation (back flyleaf, recto).


Date acquired by the University of Chicago unknown.


  1. Treasures in heaven: Armenian illuminated manuscripts, edited by Thomas F. Mathews and Roger S. Wieck (New York: Pierpont Morgan Library; Princeton, N.J.: distributed by Princeton University Press, 1994), pp. 162-163 (cat. 22).