www.whatisindia.com

What Is India News Service
Thursday, September 05, 2013


The Indian Analyst


 

South Indian Inscriptions


 

EPIGRAPHIA INDICA

No. 9.- THE ARMENIAN EPITAPH AT THE LITTLE MOUNT.

BY FATHER VARTAN MELCHISEDECH, OF THE MECHITHARIST CONGREGATION, VIENNA.

Mr. Sewell’s Lists of Antiquities (Vol. I. page 175 f.) contain a short, but excellent description of the three sites on the south of the city of Madras which are connected with the legend of St. Thomas. These are─ the village of St. Thomé, which claims to possess the apostle’s grave ; the Little Mount, where he is said to have suffered martyrdom ; and St. Thomas’s Mount, the church on the top of which contains the famous inscribed cross.[1] The church at the Little Mount is reached by a flight of stone steps, and at the foot of these is set up a stone which bears a cross and; below it, the subjoined Armenian epitaph. The stone lately attracted the attention of His Excellency Sir Arthur Havelock, the Governor of Madras. At his instance Dr. Hultzsch sent inked estampages of the inscription to Professor H. Hübschmann; of Strassburg, who was the first to decipher it. It is dated in the year 1112 (of the Armenian patriarch Moses), i.e. A.D. 1663, and is the epitaph of an Armenian merchant, named David, the son of Margarê.

TEXT.[2]

3 ordi Khujay Margar
2 Khujay Davuthi[5]
4 ayin[6] thvin[7] r ch zh b.
Hais[3] tapayn[4]
2 Khujay Davuthi[5]



TRANSLATION.

This is the grave of Khoja[8] David, the son of Khoja MargarÍ.[9] In the year 1112.

__________________________

______________________________
[1] See above, Vol. IV. p. 174 ff.
[2] As read by Professor Hübschmann from the inked estampages.
[3] This is a cockneyism for Old-Armenian ais, ‘ this,’ which his become as in New-Armenian.─ H. H.
[4] Read tapan.─ H. H.
[5] In Old-Armenian this would be Davthi, the genitive of Davith. The form Davuth seems to be due to the influence of Dâ’ûd, the Arabic form of the name ‘ David.’─ H. H.
[6] Dr. Karat considers Margarayi to be the genitive of Margarê ; and n is the definite article.
[7] Instead of thvin, ‘ of the year,’ we ought to have ithvin, with the locative prefix i.
[8] This is the Persian (Symbol), ‘ a lord, master,’ a title generally applied to preceptors and merchants.
[9] This name is identical with the Armenian word margarê, ‘ a prophet.

Home Page


Archives | Links | Search
About Us | Feedback | Guestbook

© 2006 Copyright What Is India Publishers (P) Ltd. All Rights Reserved.