[ARMENIAN BIBLE] Astuatsashunch'. Girk' hin ew nor ktakarants': Ebrayakan ew hunakan bnagirnerên t'argmanuats. [i.e. Bread of God. Book. Old and New Testaments. Hebrew and Greek manuscripts translated].

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Agop Boyadjian, Kostandnupolis (Constantinople), 1883.

Original fine, decorative leather bdg. with decorative embossed original boards. On spine, "Astuatsashunch" title lettered gilt. 4to. (28 x 21 cm). In Armenian (Modern West Armenian). 1169, [1] p. Text printed in two columns of modern Western Armenian type. Contemporary Armenian script and probably ownership notes on end-papers. Following three blank pages for personal notes are full, not blank. 897-1170 pp. including "Nor Gragaran" [i.e. The New Testament]. The first attempt to set up an Armenian press in Constantinople belongs to Abgar of Tokat, the second Armenian printer. With the approval of the Armenian patriarch, he printed six Armenian titles between 1567 and 1569. A century later, Eremia Chelebi Keomiurchian established his own printing house in Constantinople and printed two works in 1677-1678. Armenian printing in Constantinople attained a more consistent character from 1698 when Grigor of Merzifon acquired the typefaces and part of Eremia's printing equipment and established his own press. Grigor became the first Armenian layman to make printing his sole profession and his business remained active for forty years. He also trained a generation of Armenian printers, among them Astvatsatur of Constantinople, whose family eventually operated a printing house for 150 years. Indeed, since 1698, at least one Armenian title has been printed in Constantinople each year with only five interruptions - the years 1759, 1773, 1791, 1797, and 1916. For the first six decades of the eighteenth century, Constantinople was quasi-regularly the city where the largest number of Armenian titles was published every year, and its status as “the World Capital of the Armenian Book” was only challenged occasionally by Venice during this period. Up to nine titles were printed annually in Constantinople throughout the eighteenth century. This rate of publication activity remained steady during the first half of the nineteenth century as well. The increase in Armenian titles printed by the Mkhitarist Congregation, however, made Constantinople cede the title of "the World Capital of the Armenian Book" to Venice for about nine decades, from the early 1760s to the mid-1840s. That said, it is important to mention that the Mkhitarist Congregation recruited most of its friars from Constantinople and other parts of the Ottoman Empire and also sold a large number of its books in Constantinople. The Tanzimat reforms from 1839 stimulated Armenian cultural activity in Constantinople and the port city of Smyrna (now, Izmir). By the mid-nineteenth century, Constantinople had regained its status as "the World Capital of the Armenian Book" for a new span of 40 years. Thereafter, the fortunes of Armenian book publishing in Constantinople became hostage to political developments in the Ottoman Empire. Armenian printing stagnated during the repressive regime of Sultan Abdülhamid II but rebounded immediately after the 1908 Revolution. It almost ground to a halt during the First World War, yet it was rejuvenated immediately after the Ottoman defeat. After Constantinople (renamed Istanbul in 1930) was integrated into the Turkish Republic established by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, Armenian cultural freedoms were curtailed, the total number of Armenian books published declined, although the city still remains an important center of Armenian-language book printing outside Armenia. (Celebrating the Legacy of Five Centuries of Armenian-Language Book Printing). Arshag Hagop Boyajian, (1837-1914), was an Ottoman Armenian printer and a leader of the Armenian Protestant community in the Ottoman Empire. He was born in Diyarbakir and educated at Robert College in Istanbul. During the Crimean War, (1853-1856), he served as a translator at the headquarters of the British army in Üsküdar (Scutari), on Istanbul's Asian shore. After a short stay in the United States to perfect his knowledge of modern printing techniques, he established a... (Source: Brill). OCLC 1026502103.