The Alphabet as a Prayer

The Armenian alphabet reveals a complex system of thought interlinked with mathematics, metaphysics and philosophy. The Armenian word for alphabet is ayb-u-ben (Այբուբեն), named after the first two letters of the Armenian alphabet. It is composed as a prayer, beginning with Ա – Astvats (=God) and ending with Ք – K’ristos (=Christ). Numbers are represented by letters and since Mashtots had to determine for himself the order of the letters in his alphabet after the first, classical 22, those ordinal numbers and their corresponding letters, in particular, reflect their inventor’s knowledge of esoterica and his intention. Among the first words and sentences written in the Armenian alphabet by Mesrop Mashtots were: “To know wisdom and gain instruction; to discern the words of understanding…”



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