About the first book in Armenian printed in Amsterdam

In 1656 the Patriarch of Armenia sent the priest Mathevos Tsaretsi (Matheos of Tsar) to Venice to investigate whether a Bible could be printed in the Armenian language.

Even though Venice already had centuries of good relations with Armenians, the Catholic church made it very difficult for the Armenians to print orthodox Armenian literature.

Thus Tsaertsi decided to try his luck in the Northern Low Countries which at the time were governed by Protestants and were known for their religious tolerance for everything besides Catholicism.

Around 1660 Mathevos Tsaretsi (Matheos van Tsar as he was known in Dutch) settled in Amsterdam and in 1661 the first book in Armenian was printed titled: “Jesus the Son” (Hisus vordi).

Image: “Jesus Son” (Armenian: Հիսուս որդի), the first Armenian book published in Amsterdam by Matheos of Tsar (1661).

In 1666 it was finally time and the first printed Bible appeared in Armenian. The Armenian printers were assisted in cutting and casting the Armenian alphabet by none other than the Mayor of Amsterdam Nicolaas Witsen.

He assembled printing masters such as the Hungarian letter cutter, typographer, and printer Miklós Tótfalusi Kis and the celebrated Daniël Elsevier who at the time still worked in Amsterdam.

Mano Chill in Armenians And Armenia

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