Armenia: Masterpieces from an Enduring Culture

23 October 2015 — 28 February 2016

The Bodleian Libraries 2015 winter exhibition celebrates over 2,500 years of Armenia history. Armenia's Enduring Culture can refer to the great antiquity of Armenian culture, spanning more than two and a half millennia, from its first mention, carved into stone, in the reign of King Darius I (c. 550-486 BCE) to the modern Republic of Armenia and the numerous diaspora communities worldwide.

Yet endurance can also refer to the suffering and hardship which has befallen the Armenians. 2015 marks the centenary of the genocide against the Armenian population of the Ottoman Empire by the Young Turk government during World War I.

In their honour, we display over one hundred items spanning more than two thousand years of cultural history: from King Tigranes II the Great's coins minted in the first century BCE, through sumptuously and more modestly decorated manuscripts from the Middle Ages, to the treasured objects of survivors of the 1915 genocide