What Smbat Sparapet Was Reading

Smbat Sparapet was the brother of King Het'um I of the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia and the commander-in-chief of the kingdom's armed forces. He had authored at least two books (a Chronicle and a Law Code), was fluent in Frenchhaving penned a letter to his brother-in-law King Henry I of Cyprus and then translating the Assises of Antioch from French into Armenian. He probably also knew Greek, Arabic, Persian.

At the end of her important article on Smbat Sparapet's Chronicle, the renowned Armenologist Sirarpie Der Nersessian observes some of the books that Smbat was known to have read based on his notes and colophons. 

Sirarpie writes:

Smbat was interested in ancient Greek and Byzantine philosophical and theological writings which had been translated into Armenian. A brief note written by him, and preserved in a copy of later date, informs us that he had summarized (or written a commentary on) the Dialectica of John Damascene. He owned the manuscript of the Scholia of Cyril of Alexandria and the works of Dionysius the Areopagite, copied in 1175 by Nerses of Lambron, and he commissioned a copy of the categories of Aristotle and the Treatise on the Nature of Man attributed to Gregory of Nyssa, to which he added a fairly long colophon in verse. Two other manuscripts of his personal library have survived: a Lectionary to which he again wrote a long versified colophon, and a Gospel book illustrated with full-page miniatures.


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