The paper proposes an encoding standard for early Cyrillic characters and glyphs that are still missing in the Universal Character Set (UCS) of the Unicode Standard and for different reasons will probably never be included, but are nevertheless used by the paleoslavistic community. This micro-standard is meant to expand, not to replace the Unicode standard and follows the path chosen by the Medieval Unicode Font Initiative (MUFI) a few years ago for the Latin script (see http://www.hit.uib.no/mufi/). Starting from the inventory of Old Cyrillic originally proposed at the conference held in Belgrade on 15–17 October 2007 (see BP), and taking in view the recommendations given by Birnbaum et al. 2008 and the MUFI-consortium, the chosen set is limited to 178 units with a specific function (characters and composites, superscript characters, modifier characters, and punctuation marks), which are located in the Private Use Area (PUA). Their positions (code points) are coordinated with MUFI. This set we will call PUA1. In the future a second set PUA2 will be proposed for a number of ligatures and paleographic variants that may not be coordinated with MUFI and are intended for special publications addressed to Slavistic readers. It is hoped that the proposed PUA encoding for Early Cyrillic Symbols, for which we choose the abbreviation CYFI, will establish itself as a sort of micro-standardization. Designers of scholarly fonts are encouraged to include these symbols according to this proposal (see code points in the appendix).
The patron’s inscription in the famous Boyana Church on the outskirts of Sofia is the subject of the present paper. This inscription (Stifterinschrift, Ktitor’s inscription) of tsar Kaloyan tells the story of the renewal of the paintings at the end of the 13th century. The Boyana Church is well-known because of its paintings and wonderfully restored frescoes, but there is also some epigraphical material that merits the attention of philologists. As far as the patron’s inscription of the Boyana church is concerned, it has been shown here that currently available online versions of the text do contain an astonishing number of mistakes and omissions, and that the encoding of the text is indeed in need of an update. The aim of the present paper is to review some current publications of the patron’s inscription in print and on the web, to point out mistakes and omissions, and then to illustrate the progress that later versions of the Unicode standard (Unicode 5.1) have brought to the representational level of Early Cyrillic.
The authors of the paper propose the elaboration of a Standard of the Old Slavonic Glagolitic Script according to the model of the Standard of the Old Slavonic Cyrillic Script, proposed at the Belgrade conference of October 2007 and adopted in June 2008 (cf.: http://www.cirilica.net or http://www.sanu.ac.rs/Cirilica/Cirilica.aspx). As a first contribution to this aim they have compiled a parallel Glagolitic-Cyrillic character table with majuscule and minuscule characters (on the line), but no superscript letters, diacritical and punctuation marks, or (specific) numbers. The primary purpose of this partial inventory is to enable the transliteration of the Old Slavonic scripts in their various spatiotemporal versions (redactions). Thus, in addition to the Glagolitic-Cyrillic set two Latin transliterations are offered: 1. the traditional one (of the "broad transliteration" type), mainly for comparison, and 2. a computerized one ("narrow transliteration" type) which takes account of the character shape and enables one-to-one transliteration from one script (writing system) into another. Of the extant ways of automated transliteration: in special systems like XSLT, via search/replace routines that can be automated via macros and via the use of different fonts specifically designed for transliteration purposes - for the time being the last, most convenient way has been chosen. Readers may find these fonts together with the keyboard layout on: http://www.cirilica.net.
The term "hagiography" is deeply anachronistic, since it brings together on a non-literary basis a variety of literary genres. Byzantines were not familiar with this term. It was Paul of Monemvasia himself who introduced a special term for the pieces he was writing: "Diegeseis psychopheleis". Therefore we can suggest that Byzantines had a sense that this was a special genre. The word ‘Diegesis’ (Narrative) underlines the literary, conventional nature of a text, especially as opposed to the term "bios kai politeia", which stresses its "authenticity". A Vita as a whole is called "historia psychopheles" only once - the term is applied to an uncommon hagiographic text such as the novel of Barlaam and Ioasaph which lacked the characteristic features of a common Byzantine Vita Based on the contexts in which ‘diegesis’ occurs in hagiography we can figure out that it meant a precise piece of narrative, with a well-confined plot. The "tales" plots are commonly rich in twists and details that are redundant from the edification point of view, and this trait distinguishes "tales" from fables and parables. Apparently when "tales" spread beyond the monasteries’ quarters, when city dwellers emerged in their plots, and the actual stories grew more complicated, this modified the genre, emphasized the entertaining element and further diminished the tale’s edifying value. The articles of the following collection are published in chronological order. Our collection is a first attempt to trace the fate of a poorly studied yet extremely interesting genre, which may shatter some of the current preconceptions about Byzantine literature.
La Vie du philosophe Secundus est un petit texte qui, composé au cours de la seconde moitié du IIe s., n’a suscité qu’un intérêt mitigé de la part des chercheurs. L’historiette qu’elle renferme est très simple, mais peu banale: après avoir reçu une formation pythagoricienne loin de ses parents, Secundus revient, encore jeune, chez sa mère, son père étant mort depuis longtemps. Sans être reconnu, il décide de mettre à l’épreuve sa génitrice. Il obtient un rendez-vous nocturne, pendant lequel rien de scabreux ne se passe. Mais, révélant sa véritable identité au petit matin, il cause le suicide de la mère. Suite à cet évènement tragique, Secundus se damne au silence perpétuel. Lorsque, plusieurs années plus tard, l’empereur Hadrien se trouve à Athènes, il est pris par l’envie de rencontrer le célèbre philosophe et de profiter de sa sagesse. Il reçoit donc Secundus qui, impassible, ne change pas d’attitude et reste muet face au souverain qui l’interroge. Les mots les plus respectueux, tout comme les menaces les plus extrêmes et le risque du martyre n’ont aucun effet sur le mutisme du philosophe. L’empereur n’a donc d’autre solution que de dialoguer avec lui au moyen d’une tablette, grâce à laquelle Secundus répond à une série de questions "philosophiques" concernant des concepts très généraux. Ses réponses, qui sont précédées d’une dissertation au sujet de la vanité du pouvoir et de la vie, constituent des affirmations apodictiques, prenant souvent la forme d’oxymores. Hadrien, ému par la sagesse et la cohérence du philosophe, ordonne de copier ses oeuvres Les chercheurs partagent aujourd’hui l’avis selon lequel la Vie et les Sentences constitueraient un ensemble unitaire dès l’origine. Ils invoquent généralement des traductions (remontant aux V-VII s.), ainsi qu’un manuscrit byzantin, tout à fait isolé par rapport au reste de la tradition médiévale. Le témoin le plus ancien du texte, un papyrus que l’on peut dater entre la fin du IIe et le début du IIIe s., ne contient que la Vie. Puis, les Sentences ont connu, tout au long de l’époque byzantine, une ample circulation indépendante, dont témoignent à la fois la tradition directe et des citations. La création de la Vie est décidément étrangère à la tradition chrétienne: elle est clairement païenne et semble liée à un milieu érudit. Au fil des siècles, les lecteurs, copistes et traducteurs chrétiens semblent avoir considéré l’histoire de Secundus, au-delà de son appartenance à une dimension culturelle originairement "autre" (dans le cas spécifique, païenne). Plusieurs stratégies d’appropriation, actualisation et adaptation de ce petit ouvrage furent en effet mises en place dans l’empire et dans ses périphéries, par des milieux chrétiens souvent éloignés dans l’espace et dans le temps. Dotée d’une valeur littéraire modeste, la Vie de Secundus fut conçue dans un milieu païen et avait presque certainement à l’origine une fonction tout à fait étrangère à celle de l’édification. Comme d’autres ouvrages
Tales ‘beneficial to the soul’ are found throughout eastern and (if we include the exempla of medieval preachers) western Christendom. They constitute a remarkable but largely unexplored corpus of folklore: the lore of a particular segment within a segment of society. The larger segment is the Christian church, the smaller one the company of those men and some women who chose to exchange "the world" for a monastic existence "in the desert". It was in Egypt, at the beginning of the fourth century that Christian monasticism made its first appearance. By the end of that century it was enjoying a spectacular florescence that was only just beginning to decline when, in the early seventh century, the eruption of Islam somewhat suppressed it. By then Christian monasticism had created a significant literary heritage, ranging from the highly erudite writings of Evagrius Ponticus, "the philosopher of the desert" (346-399), to the simple tales and sayings "of the Desert Fathers", the Apophthegmata Patrum and it is these that constitute what might be called the "folklore of the desert". It is a characteristic of any folklore to have originated as an oral tradition; this one is no exception. It was originally transmitted entirely by word of mouth, at first in the rustic language of the land (Coptic). But it was in Greek that it eventually began to be recorded and from which it was subsequently translated into other languages.
By virtue of their simple and direct message which conformed to their language, style and concise manner of expression, narrationes animae utiles were one of the most popular readings (or hearings) in Byzantium, at least in monastic circles or among monastic-friendly audiences. With the coming of the Byzantine Middle Ages, as with other literary genres which sprang up and gained momentum in late antiquity, the writing of new edifying stories was to suffer a significant decline. The loss of the eastern provinces and the shrinkage of the empire in the seventh century had both a qualitative and quantitative effect on a genre that seems to have had an intrinsic and integral cultural link to the world of the monastic desert. Unlike other kinds of monastic or Christian literature, however, beneficial tales did not cease to inspire Byzantine writers. Regardless of the provenance and social milieu of their authors, the basic aim was to denounce lack of spiritual discernment and cast serious doubt on a ‘simulated holiness’ claimed on the basis of extraordinary personal feats. The spirit of religious polemic and denunciation of hypocrisy which was prominent in late antique beneficial tales somehow took an ‘inward’ direction, reminding Christian audiences to keep a watchful eye not on the enemies of their faith, but, whether openly or discreetly, on ‘insiders’ deceitful extremities’. In fact, those significant Byzantine writers who from the twelfth through the fifteenth century refreshed or protracted an interest in the writing of beneficial tales did no more than add a few paragraphs to the chapter of ‘Byzantine religious skepticism’ entitled ‘saint-making called into question’
Many Byzantine works reached us only in their Slavic versions. In addition to numerous religious texts, there are several secular stories which may be referred to belles lettres. The most famous of them is the Tale of the Empress Theophano. Much less known to the Byzantinists is The Tale of the Emperor Khazar and his wife. Although both literary pieces have moral implications that can be treated as spiritually beneficial from some point of view, they were written in a milieu too different from the one which produced “spiritually beneficial tales” stricto sensu. Speaking of the latter genre, we can also point out many tales which did not survive in their original versions, or whose Greek originals were neither published nor signaled by F. Halkin or J. Wortley. The author does not intend to cite all such cases. The goal is to draw the attention of scholars to this poorly explored type of Byzantine literature. Four tales published in this article are picked as examples thereof.
The text of “A Sermon on a very sinful” man which is published in this article came down to us in seven copies dating back to the late 16th – 17th centuries. In several cases, it is included in the Russian translation of the Life of Andrew the Fool, but it has no Greek prototype either in this vita or in Byzantine hagiography in general. At the same time, the text follows the rules of Byzantine hagiography. Some of the Greek “spiritually beneficial tales” exhibit a pattern that can be labeled as “reconciliation between the quick and the dead”. These tales could be known to Old Russian litterati through their Slavonic translations. The Vita of Andrew the Fool was immensely popular in Rus’: its Russian translation survived, until the beginning of the 17th century, in 56 manuscripts, but the appearance of Andrew the Fool as a character of the “spiritually beneficial tale” at the first glance looks strange: not a single episode of his vita resembles reconciliation between “the quick and the dead”. The Greek tradition has not preserved any tales in which a criminal guilty of abominable crimes would address for absolution first to a hermit and later to a holy fool. Yet, such tale could easily have existed, since we have a Latin story in which this happens. Since the setting of the novel is obviously Early Byzantine, it can be surmised that there has existed its Greek version which could also have been known to the author of our text. The first half of the text is a heart-rending story of an evil woman and her malicious parents who entangled her husband killing his own parents. There are no analogies to such tale in Byzantine hagiography. We can suppose that the tale combines some hagiographic and some folklore features. It is an original story which demonstrates how the Byzantine genre developed within the Russian cultural milieu of the post-Byzantine epoch.
The objective of the study is to clarify the issue the origin of the source, used for the Slavonic translation of the Vita of Stephen I the Pope of Rome (VS). The five known Slavonic copies – GIM, Undolksij 232 (15th c.), GIM, Synodal collecton No. 997 (1552–1553) and No.183 (1554), RGB, Holy Trinity Lavra of Sergiev Posad No. 680 (16th c.), RNB, No. 1376 of the Hagia Sofia Cathedral in Novgorod (16th c.), both Greek versions (issued by Latyšev 1916) and the Latin text (according to Acta Sanctorum) have been compared. The study showed that most arguments, supporting the Latin origin of the Slavonic translation, as indicated by A. Sobolevsky and V. Mareš, are disputable or even invalid. A part of the so-called traces of a Latin source are errors, occurring in Slavonic environment, which can be found only in Und. 232, or Und. 232 and single other copies, while the other manuscripts keep the correct readings. A number of errors, due to paronymy or omonymy of the Latin words, have parallels in the Greek versions, and therefore they may appear in the Slavonic VS from a Byzantine origin. Other arguments, supporting the hypothesis of a Greek origin of the Slavonic translation of the VS, have also been provided: semantic equivalence of the Slavonic and Greek words, when the respective Latin word shows a partial or complete difference; presence of rare Greek loan-words; Graecisized phonetic form of a number of Latin borrowings.
MS Voskr. 115-bum., kept in GIM-Moscow (V), originates from the Hilandar monastery – it was written by the well-known scribe Damian, who worked there in ca. 1340–1380. The manuscript consists of 27 Chrysostomian and Pseudo-Chrysostomian homilies (1r–129v) and a miscellany, which contains unedited and unstudied copies of works of Preslav provenance (130r–247v). The aim of the present paper is to describe the Chrysostomian collection in V, that has not been a subject of detailed research so far, and to examine its relations with the longer and shorter collections of the Zlatostruy (Chrysorrhoas) corpus. The comparative textual analysis has shown, that none of these is the source of V and most probably it is an independent selection from the original Simeonic Chrysorrhoas.
The article is dedicated to the identification of the content of MS. Slav. 321 from the Library of the Romanian Academy of Sciences in Bucharest. The codex is in a very bad condition, significantly affected by damp, the letters are blurred and faded, and the text can be read only with great difficulty. The detailed investigation of the watermarks revealed that it most probably originated during the last decade of the 14th century. According to A. Jacimirskij, who first studied the manuscript, it comprised the Chronicle of George Hamartolos (the so-called Letovnik). Compiling the list of the existing Slavic transcripts of the Hamartolos’ Chronicle, M. Weingart literally repeated Jacimirskij’s information. Jacimirskij’s identification was reiterated in all the existing catalogues (such as those by P. Panaitescu and I. R. Mircea) and, with a reference to Weingart, the manuscript has been counted among the Slavic copies of Hamartolos’ Chronicle in numerous dictionaries and studies of medieval Slavic literature. The collation of the text of MS. Slav. 321 (where it could be read without the aid of technical devices) with the facsimile edition of the Letovnik , however, proved that MS. Slav. 321 incorporated the Slavic translation of another Byzantine chronicle – the Chronicle of John Zonaras. The mistake in the identification of the text made by Jacimirskij is understandable, since the works of George the Monk and John Zonaras have much in common and are usually regarded as “exemplary monk’s chronicles.” Furthermore, MS. Slav. 321 provokes special interest. First, this is the earliest known transcript of the Slavic translation of Zonaras’ Chronicle. Its examination in comparison with the rest of the existing transcripts could shed additional light on the problems as to when and where the Slavic translation was undertaken. Second, the marginal notes and glosses (later or contemporary to the main text), traces of which survive on different folia – some of them related to historical events or to the process of the translation of this particular piece of work – are of particular value and should be studied separately. Their existence in the Bucharest codex suggests that often information on historical events was recorded in books of historical content, thus registering what scribes and readers considered important and worth remembering, in this way making it a part of world history.
In the article are presented three South Slavic manuscripts from the Gilferding’s collection located in the Manuscript section of Russian National Library in Saint Petersburg. Two of them really are Gospels – Gilf. 1 (Serbian, from 1284.) and Gilf. 4 (Bulgarian, from the second half of 13th c.), and the third Gilf. 32 is the Gospel Homily’s from the Bulgarian bishop Konstantin of Preslav. The Gilferding’s ex libris is stamped on the inner side of the all three manuscripts and an indication is written that they are brought in 1857 from the Dechany monastery (Old Serbia). The comparison of the data from the three manuscripts gives us a clearer description of the South Slavic 13th century.
The paper traces the allegories and symbols of state and government the Byzantine writers came to use in the 11th century. These images revive, on the one hand, some ideas from the Antiquity (such as the Aristotle’s organismic symbolic, or the comparison of the government with a competition); on the other hand, they persistently stick to the Biblical imagery (the representation of the people as a herd or the state as a garden); and there are also some completely new rhetorical figures (the king represented as an oikonomos and the state as oikos - a house) which were to be used for long centuries to come, and some of them topical even today. A careful analysis of the relationship between these three levels attests to: 1) parallel revival and giving new meaning to the antic, biblical and patristic rhetoric; 2) conceiving the power through the double prism of a markedly practical approach to the figure of the ruler and a mystical interpretation of power itself; 3) variability and, at times, paradoxical employment and combination of the images of the state and government; 4) increasingly explicit denouncement of sticking to a strictly structured vision of a society in which each person and social layer (at macro-level – each people or state) would occupy a well defined position. Whereas in the West, the same period will have as its climax the crystallization of the well-known horror vacui (its social equivalent being the concept of the three orders), in Byzantium it will see a sua specie amor vacui based on a biased preservation and emphasizing on the ontological difference between rhetoric and pragmatic, ideal (image) and reality, theory and practice.
This article introduces manuscript 747 of the National Library of Sofia and focuses especially on the Tale about Job in this codex, the text of which has also been published. The physical description of the manuscript and the examination of its contents supplement the information provided in Conev’s catalogue. Manuscript 747 contains the end of the Life of Alexius (1a-1b), a Tale about Job (complete; 1b-4b), part of the Passion of Charalampius (4b-12b), half a page of a narrative about Alexander the Great (13a), the Life of Alexius (complete; 13a-25b) and Rites and Prayers for the Liturgy (incomplete; 27a-34b). After the introduction of the codex as a whole, this article provides a preliminary study of the Tale about Job. This Tale has been compared with the prose frame of the Book of Job in the witnesses presented verse by verse by Hristova-Šomova. It seems closest to the text of the Ostrog Bible. Divergences of the Tale about Job from the prose frame of the Book of Job include the title, part of the first line, a few words throughout the composition and (especially) frequent omissions. This raises the issue of how much divergence is needed for a composition to be recognised as a different creation, rather than as a version of an existing composition. It has been proposed that the Tale of Job can still be described as a version of the prose frame of the Book of Job. The suggestion can be made that it represents a fifth way in which (part of) the Book of Job circulated in the Slavonic Middle Ages. Besides the versions mentioned by Hristova-Šomova (Paramejnik lessons, and four different versions of the full biblical Book (with and without commentaries)), this article has developed the argument that the Tale about Job from manuscript 747 of the National Library of Sofia represents a version of the prose frame of the Book of Job which circulated as a didactic story.
The idea of evil supremacy on the material world is largely widespread in dualistic-Bogomil texts, but not all show the demiurgic process that leads the Devil to create the material world. The aim of our work is to illustrate the Devil's demiurgic activities within some documents, in use at the Bogomil and Cathar community, like the Secret Book and the Book of Two Principles (Liber de Duobus Principiis), the Sea of Tiberias and the Fight between Satanael and the Archangel Michael. In the mentioned texts, the creation is expressed in different way: in the only Secret book the material world creation is due to the Devil; the creator power of the Devil seems to be reduced in the other texts, which are contaminated by popular culture: it is underlined his predominance on the matter, and not on his creator abilities. In the Sea of Tiberias he creates the demonic armies (but in a Russian version of the apocryphon the element is lacking, therefore Satanail does not pursue any demiurgic activity); in the Fight between Satanael and the Archangel Michael he creates a second universe, pale imitation of that of divine origin (which includes the material world). The analysed works were probably born on Bulgarian soil, or otherwise have moved to Bulgaria. The Secret Book spread within the Italian Cathar community of Concorezzo (near Milan), and became one of the main texts; therefore we discuss in the appendix about another Cathar Lombard text, the Book of Two Principles: both are extremely important because they are among the few preserved texts, which describes in depth the Cathar doctrine; though their positions are very different (the Liber de Duobus Principiis is work of an absolute dualist), it may be interesting to compare them in order to demonstrate the diversity of the phenomenon in the same geographical area. In a further appendix we illustrate a very spread topic, occurring in the Sea of Tiberias: the extraction of the ground from the sea by the Demiurge, or an emissary of him, which often assumes the form of an aquatic bird.