The Armenian community of Lviv, historically a significant and influential group, had its own distinctive legal code known as the “Statute of Lviv Armenians”. This statute, recognized in 1519 by King Sigismund I, is a testament to the importance and autonomy of the Armenian community in Lviv during this period.
The photograph displays a page from this legal code. The handwritten script and the meticulous details evident in the document reflect the diligence and gravity with which such statutes were crafted. Given the nature of the document, it’s likely written in a mixture of Latin and Armenian, as was common for official documents of this sort during the era.
By the second half of the 16th century, an additional component titled the “Order of Courts and Cases of Armenian Law” was incorporated into the Statute of the Lviv Armenians. This addition specifically addressed the nuances of judicial proceedings, further enhancing the comprehensive nature of the legal code.
Prior to the recognition of the Statute by King Sigismund I, the Armenians in Lviv operated under their own judicial self-governance, a privilege granted by King Casimir III the Great. This underscores the respect and recognition the Armenians garnered from the ruling monarchs.
Furthermore, the influence and applicability of the Statute of Lviv Armenians wasn’t limited to Lviv alone. It was also extended to other Armenian communities in cities such as Lutsk, Snyatyn, Ivano-Frankivsk, and Ternopil. This expansion indicates the importance and adaptability of the statute, and by extension, the significance of the Armenian community in the region.
In the historical context, this document serves as a powerful reminder of the Armenian diaspora’s contributions and its role in shaping the cultural and legal landscapes of the regions they inhabited.
Image source: Levan Tonaganyan Հայաստան Armenia Армения