Greek Version of Apocryphal Writing about Struggle between Archangel Michael and Satanael
Греческий вариант апокрифа о борьбе архангела Михаила и Сатанаила
Among the great number of Bogomil apocrypha there is one which tells about the struggle between Archangel Michael and Satanail, who steals his sacred garment. A. Miltenova publishes two Slavonic versions of this text in “Old-Bulgarian literature”. (Book 9, 1981, p. 98-113). The plot of this apocryph is familiar in the Bogomil circles in Bulgaria and Serbia (there is a fresco from the 14th century in the church “St. Archangel Michael” in Lesnovo, which depicts the plot of the apochryph). Apart from the Slavonic version, however, there is also an extensive Greek variant of the same text. The story has typical Bogomil features. Satanail decides to be equal to God and escapes from Heaven, taking with him the angelic garment. God orders Archangel Michael to bring the garment back. He pretends to take the side of Satanail, deceives him and steals the piece of clothing. The Greek version is famous from only one manuscript, Vatic.Gr. 1190a. 1542. Fol.882-887. The text considerably differs from the two Slavonic versions, published by A. Miltenova. The origin of the Greek variant is quite unclear. There is no direct evidence about the translation of this text from Slavic to Greek, but its Bogomil origin is obvious. Therefore, such a translation seems possible. Such being the case, this could be a unique occasion in the post Byzantine literary tradition. The Greek version is published for the first time, with a translation in Russian, brief introduction and notes.