Diana Atanassova-Pencheva

Assoc. Prof., PhD Sofia St Kliment Okhridski University, Bulgaria


Klimentina Ivanova at 80

  • Summary/Abstract
    On February 13 this year, one of the most brilliant minds in Bulgarian mediaeval literary studies, Prof. Dr. Klimentina Ivanova, turned 80. Her life has been dedicated to research into mediaeval Slavonic manuscripts, which she herselfsays are like a time machine that allows a return to times quite different from the present and a sharing of the experience of the people who created the books. Klimentina Ivanova’s passion and love for manuscripts is quite tangible both in her engaging texts accessible even to young readers not interested in mediaeval studies, such as In the Beginning Was the Book, 1 and in academic and expert editions like the description of manuscripts from the collection of Mikhail Pogodin2 or the volume of the works of Clement of Ohrid.3 Her work as a researcher began in the Institute of Literature at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences where, even as a doctoral student, she did not only study medieval Slavonic manuscripts, but was also involved in describing those of them that had not yet been studied – a difficult task requiring competence in different fields. That was when she met with the noted Russian scholar Dmitry Sergeyevich Likhachov, with whom she discussed her ideas about hesychasm and at whose invitation she went to Russia, where she specialized at the Old Russian Literature Sector at the Institute of Russian Literature in St Petersburg (1968–1969). Although short, the period she spent in Russia was full of new discoveries while she described the manuscripts from the Pogodin collection, the pages of which proved to preserve works by Bulgarian writers such as Clement of Ohrid and Constantine of Preslav.
    Keywords: Personalia //

Translating the Subtleties. The Philosophical Categories in the Symeon Collection (Symeon’s Miscellany

  • Summary/Abstract

    When we study translations from classical or Byzantine Greek into Old Bulgarian, we usually encounter two aspects of the question how: firstly, the how of the linguistic rendering, the how of the translation techniques used for one term or another. The second aspect is that of evaluating the how: shall we praise or, on the contrary, express regrets in respect of the translator’s work. Besides these two inherent aspects of the question how, a third one has arisen in the last three decades in Bulgaria. We have a long tradition of translating Old Greek and Byzantine texts into Old Bulgarian, but with respect to the philosophical and theological terminology used nowadays, are we obliged to follow the patterns of the past, the forms of the language, suggested by this millennium long tradition? With respect to the formation of the Bulgarian philosophical and theological language, the Symeon’s Miscellany is an extremely important source because from f. 222 to f. 237 a range of issues is discussed as answers to questions 29 and 30. This section of the writing includes clarification of terms, categories and concepts from the classical Greek and/or the Christian philosophy and demands profound interdisciplinary research.


Vis et sapientia: Studia in honorem Anisavae Miltenova. Нови извори, интерпретации и подходи в медиевистиката

Vis et sapientia: Studia in honorem Anisavae Miltenova. New sources, interpretations, and approaches in medieval studies

Multiple Translations and Their Context. Praxis de stratilatis in the Medieval South Slavic Tradition

  • Summary/Abstract

    My paper focuses on the earliest account of St Nicholas of Myra (Praxis de stratilatis) and its adaption in the South Slavic literary tradition. Praxis de stratilatis dates back to the fourth century and it was the only narrative of the saint for more than three centuries. Even after the eight century when the local cult grew and other narratives about the saint appeared Praxis de statilatis remained one of the most authoritative texts in the literature and the art. The text was translated not only once but twice at the dawn of Old Bulgarian literature, probably as early as the tenth century. The appearance of more than one translation is considered as a witness of the specificity of the literature translated from Greek in the Old Bulgarian tradition, on the one hand, and of the needs and attitude of the readership, on the other. Main hypothesis of my paper is that different kinds of manuscripts provoked the double translations of the text. These are, on the one hand, the Panegyricomartyrologia (known as Minejno­Triodni panegyritsi in the Slavic tradition), which are calendar miscellanies consisting of narratives and eulogies for both cycles of feasts – the movable and the immovable, and, on the other hand, the Menologia (known as Čet’i­Minei), consisting of texts only for the immovable feasts. The textual and contextual analysis of the preserved witnesses of both translations of Praxis de stratilatis shows the cultural and literary needs of the readership which turned out to be important for copying and disseminating the translated text.


Constructing a Hagiographic “Canon” in the South Slavonic Literary Tradition. Stanislav’s Menologion: A Case Study

  • Summary/Abstract

    Stanislav’s Menologion (NBKM 1039) is dated to the fourteenth century but it is believed that it preserves much earlier translations originating in the early period of Bulgarian literature. Thus Stanislav’s Menologion is viewed in scholarship as a key codex to the history of the early medieval Slavic hagiographic texts. It represents what we can call medieval hagiographic "canon", a compendium of works disseminated until a later period (until around the 17th c.) among South Slavs. The article addresses issues related to the composition of the manuscript and cultural conventions proved to be important for its formation. Since Stanislav’s Menologion does not reproduce Byzantine pre-Metafrastov menologia (at least not from those described in the capital work of A. Erhard), the reasons for the formation and the reasons for the relative stability of the composition are sought elsewhere. One hypothesis of the study is that the prescriptive-legislative nature of its contents is connected with Typikon. Therefore, the composition of the manuscript is compared to the Typikon that was authoritative in the fourteenth century. Also, the contents of this manuscript is compared to the contents of Service Menaia. The study traces the links of the prescriptions of Typika, institutionalized reading and the formation of a significant corpus of Church feasts that led to the codification of the corpus of texts which were copied and disseminated in Slavic milieux in the late Middle Ages.


The Miracles of the Great Martyr Menas in the Medieval Slavic Pre-Metaphrastic Menaia-Cheti (critical edition of the text, based on MS 1039 from the N Scripta & e-Scripta vol 6, 2008 floyd Fri, 12/26/2008 - 07:54

This publication aims to introduce an interesting hagiographic work in Slavic translation – cycle miracles of Martyr Menas, allegedly written by Timothey from Alexandria. Critical edition is based on the copy in the MS 1039 from the collection in NLCM (placed under the date 11 November). The text of the miracles is collated with all available for the author copies of pre-metaphrastic menaia-cheti: compositions in which texts of so called Old redaction are included: No 94 of Dechani monastery, III c 24 Archive of Croatian Academy, No 441 of Hilandar monastery, No 59 of National Library of Serbia in Belgrade. They contain only six out of thirteen miracles. The order of miracles in No 1039 NLCM follows source materials described in BHG (Halkin 1957: 112–114). It can be assumed that the initial composition in the Slavic pre-metaphrastic menaia-?eti was included the whole cycle, which was abridged in later tradition. Enclosed is the edition of the text.

Literary Texts // Archetype of Preslav Menaia-Cheti // Tradition of miracles // Popular literature //
Subscribe to Diana Atanassova-Pencheva