Scripta & e-Scripta vol. 19, 2019

Scripta & e-Scripta vol. 19, 2019

Recognizing Handwritten Text in Slavic Manuscripts: a Neural-Network Approach Using Transkribus


Создание и использование исторических корпусов славянских письменных памятников

Creation and Using of Historical Corpora of Slavonic Manuscripts

  • Summary/Abstract
    The requirements for historical corpora of medieval texts 1) are determined by properties of the data and the historical-linguistic, textological and linguo-textological tasks to be solved; 2) and should be realized with the help of special tagging, processing procedures, query parameters and retrieval demonstrations. The corpus should a) have metadata concerning both texts and manuscripts, and involving both linguistic and analytical tagging; b) support the rendering of documents (facsimile and transcription), concordances, lists, and comparison of subcorpora data; c) simplify graphic-orthographic variation during data search and visualization; d) provide tools both for processing and searching linguistic material and its further analysis according to traditional methods; and e) support problem description and resolution by applying corpus methods that engage with the quantity, distribution, co-occurrence, and variation of linguistic units in big data arrays. The realization of these requirements is demonstrated on a subcorpus of three copies of chronicles (Laurentian, Hypatian, Radzivilovsky) from the historical corpus project “Manuscript” (manuscripts.ru).

Studies of the Old Church Slavonic Menaion: The State of the Art and Some Opportunities for Development Using Computational Tools


The Pseudepigraphal Prophecies on the Virginal Birth: From the Slavonic, Greek, and Georgian to the Second Temple Jewish Background

  • Summary/Abstract
    The study is dedicated to the prophecies on the virginal birth of the Messiah ascribed to the Old Testament prophets other than Isaiah with his famous Isaiah 7:14 LXX. Such prophecies are collected within a florilegium put into the mouth of archdeacon Stephanus in some recensions of the Passio Stephani. The “pre-Stephanic” origin of this florilegium remains unknown. The relevant recensions are BHG 1649d and 1649h with the Slavonic version slightly different but very similar to them, as well as the (unknown in Greek) Georgian recension whose earliest manuscript is dated to 864 AD (whereas the earliest Greek manuscript is of the 10th century). The prophetic florilegium in Georgian is shorter than in Greek/Slavonic but preserves some older features. The prophecies are either explicitly mentioning the Virgin or without any mention of Virgin at all but dedicated to a “stone/rock”. Therefore, the second group is somewhat surprising. Nevertheless, it goes back to the messianic prophecy about the rock in Zion ascribed to Joshua and preserved in the Dead Sea Scrolls (4Q522, fr. 9, col. ii), which would have been easily re-edited as referring to the Virgin. Indeed, in the Georgian, a prophecy explicitly mentioning the Virgin is ascribed to Joshua. The Greek/Slavonic florilegium does not mention Joshua but ascribes the same prophecy to Nathan. Under the name of Nathan, it became especially popular. It is quoted in the Slavonic The Prophecy of Solomon (its 13th-cent. Greek original is lost) and represented at a ninthcentury fresco in the Sabereebi cave monastery in Georgia (the first publication of this fresco is provided in the article). In the Greek/Slavonic recension, this prophecy of Nathan quotes, in addition to the properly prophetic part, a little studied story of Nathan preserved within the Sondergut of recension D of the Testament of Solomon).

Biblical Quotations in the Athonite Translation of the Homilies Against the Aryans by St. Atanasios of Alexandria

  • Summary/Abstract
    The article is devoted to the Athonite translation of the Orations against the Arians by Athanasius of Alexandria, preserved in the so-called Ragagolnik of Epiphanius Slavinetsky. Late copy of the translation is saved in a manuscript from the Synodal collection 112 (No.360). from the 17th century, State Historical Museum, Moscow. The author makes observations on the language in a manuscript from the Pogodin collection 968, the Russian National Library, St. Petersburg and No.360 from the GIM confirms the general genesis of the copies in MS No. 360 and it. Biblical quotations testify that the translation from Mount Athos was made directly from the Greek language, without reference to the canonical books of the 10th century, but in accordance with the orthographic and grammatical standards of the Hesychastic Reform in 14th century. The translator knows and uses the translation of Konstantin of Preslav, but the similarities between the Old Bulgarian and the Athonite translations are mostly in the quotations of the New Testament. The differences between the Russian and Serbian versions are mainly due to the corrections made by Epiphanius Slavinetsky or the reference to Epiphanius of a protograph of another Greek tradition used on Mount Athos.

Їѡсифь Прѣкрасни: The post-biblical Development of the Image of Joseph, Son of Jacob, in the Slavonic Tradition

  • Summary/Abstract
    This paper examines the development of the image of the biblical Joseph (Genesis 37-50) in the Slavonic tradition. Although Joseph appears in the Slavonic Bible and the Christian tradition in many forms, e.g. as a righteous martyr, pious believer, merciful caretaker of the poor, ideal ruler, and as the prefigurement of Jesus Christ, the image of Joseph as a Christian spiritual expert has not been studied methodically. Based on the denomination that medieval Slavic Christians gave to Joseph, i.e. Їѡсифь Прѣкрасни, which literally means, “the most beautiful Joseph,” I argue it refers to his inner beauty, which makes him radiate with divine light and turns him into a spiritual expert in the interpretation of the messages from God. Slavs took over the biblical traditions about Joseph from the Greek translations before enriching them with their own creativity and spirituality. The fact that Їѡсифь Прѣкрасни is clearly the translation of Ἰωσὴφ ὁ Πάγκαλος, and that the Syriac History of Joseph does not exist in Slavonic, precisely because it had never existed in Greek despite its literary quality, supports this premise.

Intertextuality in Medieval Slavonic Literature: Apocalypse of Pseudo- Methodius and The Legend of the Twelve Fridays


New Late Church Slavonic Version of the Revelation of Methodius Patarensis


A Possible Anti-Jewish Trace in the Figure of the Antichrist in the Early Christian Patristic Literature and its Connection to the Slavonic Studies?

  • Summary/Abstract
    The article traces back all early patristic pieces of evidence of the nature and appearance of the Antichrist, summarizes out his mentions in the Old Testament and New Testament and gives additional information for the calculation of the number 666. A peculiar Anti-Jewish trace is highlighted, as well as the reasons for its presence in the early Christian literature is discussed. The paper also focuses on De Christo and Antichristo by Hippolytus of Rome and points out its importance for the patristic studies and their connection to the Slavonic manuscript tradition.

‘Apocrypha’ and ‘Pseudepigrapha’ as ‘Popular Literature’: Moses Gaster’s Contributions in Conversation with Current Debates

  • Summary/Abstract
    The aim of the article is to contribute to “current issues” via critical evaluation of past (pre-disciplinary) scholarship. It experiments with ways to assess the contribution of nineteenth(-early twentieth) century “intellectuals”, examining the contribution of Moses Gaster to the broad area of “apocrypha” as a case study. Moses Gaster (1856–1939) already worked on compositions which only recently have been “formally” included in the first volumes of the anthologies of “apocrypha” in English translations More Old Testament Pseudepigrapha (MOTP, 2013) and More New Testament Apocrypha (MNTA, 2016). His very broad approach to “apocrypha” stands in contrast to the narrow compartmentalisation into different “fields” (such as Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, New Testament Apocrypha, Patristics, Hagiography, etc) which became common in the twentieth century (especially in Biblical Studies, less so in other historical philological disciplines which retained a broader understanding of apocrypha).
    Keywords:

Литературный феномен «переписывания» (‘rewriting’) в Исторической Палее и Авраамовом цикле славянских сборников

The Literary Phenomenon of ‘Rewriting’ in the Palaea Historica and the Cycle About Abraham in Slavic Collections

  • Summary/Abstract
    In 1961, Geza Vermes coined the term “rewritten Bible,” which originally was meant as a designation for antique and medieval Jewish legends about the patriarch Abraham in different ways transforming the text of chapters 11 to 25 of Genesis. Later this term was assigned to a broader circle of Jewish texts and more recently it is often in use in scholarly works on Early Christian literature. At the same time, there is no doubt that the legends about Abraham are still one of the best examples of the rewriting method. This is true especially for Abrahamic texts which were in use since 9th century in Byzantium and among Southern (partly also Eastern) Slavic peoples. The paper deals with rewriting methods used in the Palaea Historica (including its Slavonic translations) and in the texts of Abraham’s cycle contained in many Slavic miscellanies (sborniki), which probably also had Greek origins.

Liturgical Theology and Church (Byzantine- Slavic) Music and HymnoGraphic Practice

  • Summary/Abstract
    The purpose of this research is to reveal the influence of Hesychastic teachings on the creation, development and the liturgical application of the church music and hymnography, through the discussion of different problems, based on written and oral testimonies, preserved till nowadays. This purpose is also achieved through an interpretation of the source materials (the liturgical, musical and hymnographic works) in the context of Orthodox belief and the teaching of the Holy Fathers, closely connected to the liturgical tradition of the Church in the 14th–15th century in terms of the teaching of Hesychasm. The depth of meaning of the musical phenomena from the tradition of the Middle Ages has been revealed based on the theological cognitive foundation – the foundation of belief. This research is based on data, connected with the liturgical Greek and Slavonic tradition and also with the mystical perception and interpretation of the musical and hymnographic works in the 13th–15th century – in the period of blossoming forth of the theological cognition of Hesychasm. The testimonies of one of the most important theological, musical and hymnographic resources from this period have been used involved in this research.

Axiological Aspects of Concept “Nation” in the History of Bulgarian Language and Traditional Culture

  • Summary/Abstract
    This paper examines the semantic usage and verbalization of the concept of nation in the history of Bulgarian language and traditional culture. It uses linguistic facts from 9th-11th century Old Bulgarian manuscripts, original writings of Patriarch Euthymius and 17th century Modern Bulgarian damascenes. The system of words and phrases that present the concept of nation and its distribution in different cultural contexts are analyzed in relation to medieval Christian ideas, the cultural situation in the 17th century and the new ideas of modern times. The most important features of the concept of nation in traditional culture are presented by Bulgarian proverbs.

Axiological Aspects of Concept “Justice” in the History of Bulgarian Language and Culture

  • Summary/Abstract
    The paper examines the semantic realizations and verbalizations of the concept of justice in the history of Bulgarian language and culture. It studies linguistic facts from 9th-11th century Old Bulgarian manuscripts and 17th century Modern Bulgarian damascenes. The system of words and phrases that present the concept of justice and its distribution in different cultural contexts are analyzed in relation to Christian ideas in the Middle Ages, the cultural situation in the 17th century and new ideas of the period before the National Revival. The most important feature of the concept of justice is the precept that God is always a fair judge. However, human behavior is dualistic: one can be just and righteous and abide by Christian requirements and another can be unjust and act against God according to his own interest.

Dietetic Texts in Medieval Slavonic Literature. Preliminary Remarks


Iskra Hristova-Shomova. Dragotin Menaion: A Bulgarian Manuscript from the Beginning of the 12th Century. Sofia: St. Kliment Ohridski University Press, 2018, 752 pp.


Korogodina, M. V. Kormčie Knigi of the 14th – First Half of the 17th Century. Vol. 1. Studies. 598 pp., 36 ills. Vol. 2. Description of Versions. 647 pp. Moscow-St. Petersburg: Al'jans-Arheo, 2017

  • Summary/Abstract
    Korogodina, M. V. Kormčie Knigi of the 14th – First Half of the 17th Century. Vol. 1. Studies. 598 pp., 36 ills. Vol. 2. Description of Versions. 647 pp. Moscow-St. Petersburg: Al'jans-Arheo, 2017
    Keywords:

Laudator temporis acti. Studia in memoriam Ioannis A. Božilov. Vol.1. Religio, istoria. 510 с. Vol. 2. Ius, imperium, potestas, litterae, ars et archaeologia. 636 с. Curavit Ivan Biliarsky. Sofia: IK Gutenberg, 2018.

  • Summary/Abstract
    Laudator temporis acti. Studia in memoriam Ioannis A. Božilov. Vol.1. Religio, istoria. 510 с. Vol. 2. Ius, imperium, potestas, litterae, ars et archaeologia. 636 с. Curavit Ivan Biliarsky. Sofia: IK Gutenberg, 2018.
    Keywords:

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