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Subject: Lecture on Armenian manuscript bindings

Lecture on Armenian manuscript bindings

From: Jenny Hille <jenny.hille<-at->
Date: Monday, November 15, 2010
"Protection Against the Evil Eye? Votive Offerings on Armenian
    Manuscript Bindings"
Illustrated Lecture
Middle East and Middle Eastern American Center

The Graduate Center City University of New York
Room 9205
365 Fifth Avenue, at 34th Street
New York, NY 10016-4309
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
6:30-8:30 pm

Speaker: Sylvie L. Merian

This illustrated lecture will explore an unusual type of metal
decoration found on a number of Armenian manuscript bindings. These
bindings were embellished with odd objects haphazardly attached onto
the covers, and sometimes even onto the spine and flap. The items
may include coins, crosses, crucifixes, seal stones from personal
signet rings, metal belts, jewelry, and small metal repousse objects
shaped like hands, eyes, crescent moons, or human faces. Some of
these objects were clearly donated by the faithful as memorials to
themselves and their families to express their Christian piety.
Others surely functioned as ex-votos. However, this does not fully
explain their entire purpose. In view of the ubiquitous belief in
evil forces, the evil eye, and malevolent spirits in the Near East,
Dr. Merian will discuss the use of these objects as apotropaic
devices to avert evil, thereby protecting not only the donor but
also the religious manuscript itself.

Sylvie L. Merian received her Ph.D. in Armenian Studies from
Columbia University's Department of Middle East Languages and
Cultures in 1993, writing her dissertation on Armenian bookbinding.
She has published and lectured on Armenian codicology, bookbinding,
and manuscript illumination, as well as on the history of the book.
She currently works as Reader Services Librarian at the Morgan
Library and Museum.

Free and Open to the Public
Middle East and Middle Eastern American Center

                  Conservation DistList Instance 24:26
                Distributed: Thursday, November 18, 2010
                       Message Id: cdl-24-26-012
Received on Monday, 15 November, 2010

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