Table of Contents of the issue Scripta 10-11 (2012)
The publication provides full documentation for the project "Repertorium of the Old Bulgarian Literature and Letters", a long-term initiative of the Department of Old Bulgarian Literature at the Institute of Literature (Bulgarian Aacademy of Sciences), which is based on XML technologies. The guidelines include an overview both of the principles and techniques of encoding with explanation of different options and solutions for the description of the Slavic manuscripts drawing on scholars experience. Numerous examples illustrate mark up used in the electronic description of the codicology, textology and language of the medieval manuscripts.
Written in 1095/1097 by Philippos Monotropos, the Dioptra represents a work of app. 7000 political verses consisting of five books: the Klauthmoi, a poem of contrition addressed to the soul, and four books of a dialogue between the soul and the body treating various theological and philosophical issues. The Dioptra was immensely popular throughout the Byzantine and Post-Byzantine periods. One of the reasons for this popularity was doubtlessly its language and style, which appealed mainly to a literate, though not scholarly public: a simple Schriftkoine with elements of unclassical grammar and syntax. Occasionally vernacular expressions are used as a stylistic element, while figures of speech are applied rather rarely. In the second quarter of the 14th century the work was translated into the Middle Bulgarian redaction of Church Slavonic. The abundant manuscript tradition – presently we know about 200 Bulgarian, Serbian and Russian manuscripts containing either the complete Slavonic Dioptra or parts of it – attests its enormous popularity among the Orthodox Slavs. In the present paper author examines data from orthography and phonetics and compares the language of the Greek and the Slavonic version with special regard to the translation technique.
Les origines de la littérature arménienne, au début du Ve siècle, sont directement associées à une entreprise de traduction d'œuvres religieuses. Les Arméniens traduisirent tout d'abord la Bible et les écrits des Pères de l'Église grecque et syriaque dans le but de parachever l'évangélisation de l'Arménie commencée un siècle auparavant. Essentiellement religieuse d'abord, l'activité des “écoles” de traduction arméniennes s'ouvrit néanmoins très tôt à d'autres courants. À la fin du Ve siècle, les Arméniens tournèrent leur attention également vers les œuvres profanes qu'ils avaient pu connaître grâce à la fréquentation des écoles grecques de l'Antiquité. A l'époque de l'“Ecole hellénisante” (Ve-VIIIe s.), ils traduisirent ainsi des œuvres de grammaire, rhétorique et philosophie dans le but de favoriser en Arménie aussi la création d'un cursus studiorum. Le corpus philosophique arménien en particulier, qui comprend les traductions d'une partie des œuvres d'Aristote, Porphyre, David, Philon, etc., révèle plusieurs coïncidences avec les programmes en usage dans les Ecoles néoplatoniciennes d'Athènes et d'Alexandrie. La comparaison du corpus arménien avec le répertoire des œuvres philosophiques traduites en syriaque à la même époque montre par ailleurs plusieurs affinités qui permettent de supposer la circulation d'un corpus d'œuvres grecques commun dans ces deux régions. Il convient ainsi de souligner l'importance de ces deux communautés orientales pour la transmission de l'héritage classique à une époque où l'on a pu parler de “siècles obscurs” à propos du cœur même de l'Empire. Si la filiation gréco-syro-arabe de l'aristotélisme est bien connue, la réception du corpus philosophique grec en arménien reste un domaine peu exploré, qui mériterait d'être mieux étudié et de sortir du cadre exclusif des études arméniennes. Le but de cette communication est de présenter dans ses lignes principales ce corpus, en partant de l'expérience d'un projet de recherche récemment dirigé par l'Université de Genève, en collaboration avec l'Institut des manuscrits d'Erevan, portant sur les Commentaria in Aristotelem Armeniaca (Davidis Opera).Literary Texts // Armenian literature // Early 5th c. // Neoplatonic School of Athens and Alexandria // David the Invincible //
Gregory the Nazianzen's poetry was translated into Georgian several times in the 10th-13th cc. Pro-Hellenic anonymous figures alongside Gregory's gnomic poetry translated his hymnographic-confession poems for educational purposes, which had its nfluence on the Georgian poetry of the folowing periods. Comparing the 4th c. early Christian and the 19th c. Romantic poetries allows us to make the subsequent conclusion: It is evident that if in Gregory the Nazianzen's Christian poetry a person ("ego") and the implied God stand face to face to show the conflict between the man's inner world and the evil spirit as well as to reveal the hope over the transcendent, in Romantic poetry it is the faith- crushed double that stands by the person ("ego") - the other poetic "ego" (an expression of the so called poetics of doubles). Indicative of the fact that the Evil Spirit represents N. Baratashvili's inner double is the phrase "Avaunt! Begone!". We see a similar in form phrase in Gregory the Theologian's hymns presented in the article: "Go away", "Stay away from me", although, in contrast with Gregory's Christian hymns, it is in the poem of the Romantic poet that it really acquires the meaning of a double and through Biblical-Christian vocabulary creates the impression of an archetype antiquity. On the other hand, differences in meaning and Weltanshauung between Romantic and Christian poetries, basically between religious faith and "blind faith", indicate the novel, romantic revaluation of the traditional form, namely, the correlation between the person and the evil spirit, shown on the example of N. Baratashvili's one poem "Evil Spirit". This makes it essentially different from Gregory the Nazianzen's hymnographic cicle "To the Evil". The Greek toposes of the latter as well as its old Georgian translations have undeniably influenced the Georgian literature of subsequent periods.
The Abgar legend is an apocryphal story about a letter written and an image miraculously imprinted on the towel by Christ himself during his lifetime. The detailed and colourful story narrating how these relics were created became enormously popular during the Middle Ages. Various versions in different languages constitute parts of the historical writings, as well as of the ecclesiastical collections. The Abgar Legend can be found in Syriac, Greek, Latin, Georgian, Armenian, Coptic, Ethiopic, Old Church Slavonic, Anglo-Saxon, and Dutch. Not all the legends belong to a single written cycle. In some of the local versions the Abgar legend underwent interesting changes and revealed independent interpolations, some of which I will briefly treat. In these cases, either the plot of the legend was enriched with new elements unknown to the Syriac or Byzantine traditions, such as nationalization of the legend in Armenian historiography, and partial attribution of painting of the Image of Christ to Luke the Apostle in Old Church Slavonic tradition; or, using a particular element of the legend new, independent stories were created, such as the story of the translation of the Hierapolis Keramidion to Georgia by Andrew the First-Called Apostle, or of the Keramidion of Edessa by Antony Matkopeli, one of the Syrian fathers in Georgian tradition, and attribution of the story of the Seamless Tunic of Christ (Khiton) and the 30 Silver Pieces of Judas to the Abgar legend in Armenian tradition.Literary Texts // Medieval Georgian // Medieval Armenian // Medieval Slavonic tradition // Abgar Legend //
Religious polemics is not the most developed genre of the medieval Georgian literature. Compared to the neighbouring Armenia medieval Georgia was far less affected by various Christian denominations and has produced rather few original theological works in the first five centuries of literacy. We know of very few samples of writing that targeted various Christian denominations or non-Christian religions. Instead the medieval Georgian literature abounds of translations of Greek texts that were adapted to suit immediate needs, whether educational or polemical. The true outburst of religious polemics coincides with the so-called Athonite period of the Georgian literature, when a number of such works were translated and actively edited on the Holy Mountain, Mt. Sinai, Petition monastery and other cultural centers. In the eleventh century Arsenic Vačesdze created a compilation of various dogmatic and polemical treatises nowadays know as the Dogmatikon, apparently a study book for the monastic schools. The compendium comprises over seventy-three dogmatic and polemical treatises and is attested in twenty-three manuscripts, which suggests its high popularity in the Georgian tradition. Despite the numerous translations the medieval Georgians both in Georgia and in the monastic centers abroad were concerned mainly with two problems: the anti-Armenian polemics, which has its roots in the Caucasian ecclesiastical separation of the early seventh century and which became especially ardent in the tenth and eleventh centuries, when a need for political and ecclesiastical integration of northern Armenia into the Georgian kingdom arose, and the anti-Byzantine one, when the Georgians had to protect their canonical rights against the attacks from the Byzantine Church. Due to the lack of historical knowledge of concrete ecclesiastical developments in the Late Antique Georgia and also due to lack of experience in theological polemics, the Greek sources were translated and used to defend the Georgian case. It is in this political and ideological framework that the Georgian polemical literature developed further and created a need for intensive translating.
Translation, and in the broader sense, meditation are important concepts in the study of the development of legends and other text to do with the figure of Job. It has been argued that ancient Near Eastern (Babylonian, Sumerian and Egyptian) righteous sufferer motifs have been ‘translated’ into the figure of Job in the Hebrew Bible, and this figure then finds himself ‘translated’ again in the Hellenistic Jewish milieus of the Septuagint version of the Book of Job, and of a different composition about Job, the Testament of Job. This composition differs significantly from the earlier traditions, as it is a narrative rather than (mainly) a poetic philosophical treatise, and the theme of the righteous sufferer is almost absent. The Testament of Job is better viewed as an independent composition about Job, rather than as a ‘translation’ (commentary, interpretation) of the Book of Job. Being aware of these wider issues, this paper will zoom in on the Testament of Job as a text in translation. While earlier scholars advocated the view that there was a Semitic (Hebrew or Aramaic) original, this view has now been abandoned in favour of the thesis that this composition was composed in Greek, probably in a Hellenistic Jewish milieu. Later this story was adopted by Christians and translated first in Coptic and later in Slavonic, and the Greek text also continued to be copied and adjusted in Byzantine Christian contexts. This paper will examine some of the differences between these three translations and try to come to an understanding of the nature of each the existing versions of the Testament of Job as a translation from the now lost original.Literary Texts // Testament of Job // Mediterranean and Middle Eastern tradition // Slavonic translations //
This paper presents the author’s personal views on the problems of critical editions of Byzantine and Old Slavonic services. The most significant problem of all relates to the nature and structure of these works. Their form is subject to constant change, because every component of the Orthodox service can easily be changed, removed or added. Moreover, the Slavonic texts present language-related problems which are largely absent from the Byzantine texts: the less imposition of the classical linguistic norm, which results in too many variations and the infiltration of elements from the Mediaeval idioms and, later, from the languages of the Slavic peoples into which the works were rendered; the well-documented differences in rhythm and stress introduced during the process of translating Byzantine texts into Old Slavonic. All the above formulated renders the classic concept of a critical edition inapplicable in the case of Mediaeval Orthodox services. The critical edition of these texts can seek only to restore the ancient core of a service and the older texts that are included in all its known variations. In the same time the edition’s aim should be to present a text that is readable and comprehensible in contemporary terms, and which is readily accessible to a readership beyond specialists in its specific period and subject. Less serious difficulties, related to the critical editions of the services, are: the multitude of copies of even a single service, coupled with the fact that many of these copies are to be found in collections which remain inaccessible, the lack of an all-embracing study of the history, the structure and evolution of the canon as a literary genre, and as far as the Old Slavonic texts are concerned, the lack of certain basic instrumenta studiorum.
The article is focused on the structure of the first part of the so-called Slavic version of the Chronicle of George Synkellos. Narrative refers to the years from the Creation to the Resurrection of Christ and is organized entirely according to the chronological and the Christological concept of early Christian writer and historian Julius Africanus. Dates are calculated according to the testimony of the Bible based on the so-called прэимьнаа лэта, i.e. the age of the Biblical patriarchs at the birth of their firstborn sons, and according to the years of managing various leaders of the Jewish people the so-called воеводами. Most of them, as well as relevant considerations coincide chronologically with preserved chronologies and fragments by Julius Africanus. Additional chronological axis by Olympic cycle that synchronizes the year of the first Olympiad of the reign of Ahaz, and input data for the Olympic history of the Hellenistic states and Ancient Rome, it takes us back again to Julius Africanus. Following A. Geltser the author assumes that the fragment of Julius Africanus chronicle was founded on Greek soil in the early ninth century and was used to create the historiography compilation preserved in Slavonic translation misidentified as a Chronicle of George Synkellos.
The process of Byzantine intellectual influence on the newly baptized Slavic states has attracted considerable scholarly attention. However, the question of the remodelling of Byzantine literary traditions in the course of their transmission to the Slavs awaits a comprehensive study. Our paper focuses on literary genres and particular texts which undergo changes in their generic characteristics and function when translated into Slavonic. We analyse the appearance of hybrid literary forms unknown in Byzantium as well as the refashioning of the cults of certain saints and the texts related to them. Special attention is paid to historical-apocalyptic literature, to some short narrative forms, and apocrypha (translations and compilations). Observations are also made regarding the tradition of Holy Foolery, which undergoes a variety of transformations in different cultures. A key illustration is St Andrew the Fool for Christ’s sake, whose Byzantine Life is not only translated several times into Slavonic but is also remodelled into a constellation of texts: didactic, apocalyptic, questions and answers, etc. Our principal goal is to trace the causes of the rethinking of the well-established and authoritative Byzantine tradition, looking into inter-textual and extra-textual reasons for the transformations.
The study reviews the Medieval Bulgarian translations from Greek as a multi-centennial process, preconditioned by the constant contacts between Byzantium and its Slavonic neighbor and dependant on the historical and cultural circumstances in Medieval Bulgaria. The facts are discussed from the prospective of two basic determining factors: social and cultural environment (spiritual needs of the age, political and cultural ideology, translationsʼ initiator, centers of translation activities, degree of education/literacy). The chronological and typological analysis of the thematic and genre range of the translated literature enables the outlining of five main stages: (1) Cyrillo-Methodian period (the middle of the 9th centuty – 885) – reception of the corpus needed for missionary purposes; (2) The First Bulgarian Tsardom period (885–1018) – intensive translation activities, founding the Christian literature in Bulgaria; (3) The period of The Byzantine rule (1018–1185) – a standstill in the translation activities and single translations of low-level literature texts; (4) The Second Bulgarian Tsardom – the period of Asenevtsi dynasty (the late 12th and the 13th centuries) – a partial revision of the liturgical and paraliturgical books; (5) The Second Bulgarian Tsardom – the Athonite-Tarnovo period (the 14th – early 15th century) – extensive relations with Byzantium and alignment to the then-current Byzantine models, intensifications of the translations flow and a broad range of the translation stream.
On the Developing Iconography of the Ascent of the Prophet Elijah: Inscriptions to Miniatures and Text Commentaries in Manuscripts of the Ninth to Thirteenth Centuries / Peter Landesmann’s important treatise Die Himmelfahrt des Elija systematises the written and pictorial sources of iconography for the Ascent of the Prophet Elijah. Since Landesmann concentrates his attention on artistic monuments up to and including the fifth century AD, and on written sources describing that stage in development of this iconography, his research does not extend to its further evolution. Leslie Brubaker examines the particularities of ninth-century miniatures depicting the Ascent of the Prophet Elijah in her book Vision and Meaning in Ninth-Century Byzantium: Image as Exegesis in the Homilies of Gregory of Nazianzus, ascribing all the images to a single biblical source –4 Kings 2: 11–13. Consequently scholars have so far disregarded the fact that most scenes portraying the Ascent from the fifth century onwards belong to one of two variants: one shows an area of empty space between the Prophets Elijah and Elisha, and in the other both figures are contiguous – their hands hold the mantle which forms the obvious centre of the composition. The paper examines additional sources on the given topic, specifically the inscriptions to miniatures or the corresponding places in illustrated texts. In result it reaches to the conclusion that the two iconographic variants come from a common biblical source, but represent events described in different verses of 4 Kings 2: the first, the most ancient version, from verses 11 to 13; the second variant, based on the first, from verses 9 to 10. In the examples mentioned here the shift of emphasis from one event to another (from the Ascent of Elijah to his proffering the mantle to Elisha) is expressed by both pictorial and written means.
The Psalter of John Alexander (1331–1371), a copy dating from 1337 (Sofia, BAS 2) is both the only genuine “aristocratic” psalter in Bulgarian mediaeval art and the only royal codex kept in Bulgarian libraries. Even if modestly illuminated, with one miniature at Ps. 77, some of its features are rather peculiar. In this paper they are analysed in the light of certain Byzantine concepts, like that of the “mid-Psalm” in the two-fold composition of the Book of Psalms, the imperial ideology and the encomiastic genre. The author offers an explanation of the unique arrangement of the text-pictorial units in the book as a result of sophisticated references between the theological concepts in the image of the Ancient of Days, the comments on the Creed and Lord’s Prayer on the folios preceding the image, and the religious and political situation around the enthronement of Bulgarian king.
At the cemetery of the village of Mrzen Oreovec near Kavadarci (Republic of Macedonia), a single-nave church of St Nicholas was erected and painted in 1584. The author’s attention is confined to two of the fresco compositions which are generally known as the Fountains of Wisdom of the Holy Fathers St John Chrysostomos and St Gregory the Theologian. Such scenes are rare in the mural paintings, and until now have been known only as part of the thematic programmes of monastic churches. Both compositions in Mrzen Oreovec have corresponding allegorical meaning and function in a soteriological and eschatological context. The iconographic similarities and analogous scenes in Lesnovo and Poganovo monasteries indicate the same painting tradition related to Kastorian ateliers from the mid-fourteenth to the last quarter of the fifteenth century. The person who commissioned the programme might had chosen this topic from the two older monuments or from another one not preserved to this day but his knowledge in theological subjects is apparent.
The subject matter of this paper are the prophets and Old-Testament scenes represented in the St Nicholas of Šiševo Church in the region Matka in vicinity of Skopje. The analyses based on juxtaposing of the captions in the two groups of prophets show that all the images in the nartex dome are presented also in a gallery of prophets on the nave vault. Compared with other ensembles, the nave choice of prophets in Šiševo shows that half of them have been replicated on the vault of the middle bay of the Holy Apostles Church in Peć (1633/34), which is yet another argument in support of the established thesis that both ensembles were completed by the members of the same atelier. The prophets selected in the Šiševo nave and the nartex hold texts with heterogeneous symbolic meanings. This conceptual approach highlights the idea that every single prophet with his written scroll is part of the general foundation of christocentric teaching. The four Old Testament scenes depicted in the niches below the dome represent allegories of the Theotokos. Located in the nartex, they emphasize the presence of the Holy Mother of God in its interior, in line with the geo-morphological symbolism of the Matka toponym.Literary Texts // Šiševo Monastery of St Nicholas (1630) // The fresco compositions on the Old Testament // Allegories of the Theotokos //
This text is the outcome of a research made by the author during his stay in Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin in October–December 2012 and is based on the public lecture held by him in the same institution. Texts of other scholars are taken as a starting point to view the role, function and typology of the images, signs and inscriptions on the reverse of the Eastern Orthodox icons. The author attempts at a more convincing differentiation between the icons with equal by its quality bilateral painting and the icons with only decorative elements on the back. The first have been used in the service while the latter were designed to hang on the wall. Therefore the messages on their invisible side have addressees limited in numbers and with obscure training. In this light the thesis of the main apotropaic function of such inaccessible decoration is criticized with the argument of lacking of mechanism for attracting and neutralizing the evil. Actually, for any Orthodox Christian the image of holiness probably has no “face” and “back”. All these considerations however remain in the sphere of the interpretative hypotheses because there are no sources about the theological treatment of the case or instructions in the painters’ guides, nor are there evidences about the recipients’ behavior in front of this aspect of the icon.Literary Texts // Invisible side of the icon // Orthodox Christian the image of holiness // Decoration elements // Theological treatment //
The author of the paper analyses the volumes and contents of songs in both original kanons dedicated to St. Methodius: of St. Clement of Ohrid and of Konstantin of Preslav. The basic unit of measurement shall be the verse. The difference between troparia of I-VI song and VII to IX is illustrated. The proposed explanation for this difference in the total number of verses takes into account the presence of two stanzas inserted after VI song (kontakion and ikos) which do not belong to the kanon. Perhaps the authors have sought to build two relatively equal parts of a whole liturgical composition “kanon and kontakion and ikos”. This formal feature could be the exception to be typical of the style of both authors, or it could be specific to a certain period of development of the hymnological genre.
This article explores the quotidian functions and roles of the supernatural powers, attested by Bulgarian charms from the middle Ages and Early Modern times. Using the textual source material as a starting point, the focus is put on the supernatural presence as a cultural phenomenon in the context of quotidian sphere. The supernatural power of evil and good act within the frames of a crisis and its seizure is analyzed. They are integral part of the system of charms and other powerful words, the purpose of which is to counteract the serious challenges in everyday life. Thus the supernatural powers create dynamic and constant interaction between the human and supernatural world. These interactions could be seen also as complicated relations of the powers which sustain the verbal magic as effective network for crisis management.
The illumination of numerous Balkan manuscripts of the sixteenth century has not been carefully described or studied. Among them is the Psalter NBKM 13, the data about which is re-considered in this paper and some previously unnoticed facts are brought forward. After the detailed analysis of the ornaments, put in the context of the illuminated manuscripts of the well-known copyist priest Ioan (John) of Kratovo, the author offers the hypothesis that the original part of the psalter was written and embellished by another scribe from Kratovo – priest Lazar. His manuscripts known so far include a Miscellany of 1564 (CIAI 1521), comprising the only preserved copy of the Vita of St Nicholas the New of Sofia, compiled by Matthew the Grammarian, a December Menaion of 1571 (GIM Khlud. 148), and a Prologue for June-December of 1572 (HAZU III c 14). This way not only the importance of priest Lazar in the literary life of the epoch was confirmed, but a new witness to the prestigious character of Kratovo Literary School has been presented.
The paper presents the illumination of the Four Gospels MNIR 131507 from the National Historical Museum in Bucharest, the first illuminated codex made in the Principality of Wallachia. It has been copied and embellished by Nicodemus of Tismana in 1404–1405, presumably in the Monastery of Voditsa. Comparative examples taken from the Byzantine manuscript tradition, mainly luxury manuscripts of the Blütenblattstil, demonstrate the models Nicodemus could have seen during his stay on Mount Athos or in Wallachia, where such a codex could be brought at the late fourteenth or early fifteenth century. It is important to notice that the ornamental decoration of the Gospels remains isolated and does not penetrate the Wallachian scriptoria where in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries the ornamental language is that of the geometric Balkan interlace style. A return to the ornamental illumination, introduced by Nicodemus, is testified only in the seventeenth century but within the context of a different aesthetic concept.Literary Texts // Wallachian scriptoria // Illumination // Mount Athos // Nicodemus of Tismana //
Reviews / Vassilka Tăpkova-Zaimova, Anissava Miltenova. Historical and Apocalyptic Literature in Byzantium and Medieval Bulgaria. Sofia, East-West Publishers, 2011, 608 pp.
Reviews / Das Corpus des Dionysios Areiopagites in der Slavischen Übersetzung von Starec Isaija (14. Jahrhundert). Edited under the supervision of H. Goltz and G.M. Prokhorov. Weiher–Freiburg–St.Petersburg 2011 (Monumenta Linguae Slavicae Dialecti Veteris / Fontes et Dissertationes, LV).Literary Texts //
Reviews / Andreas Schminck und Dorotei Getov. Repertorium der Handschriften des byzantinischen Rechts. Teil II. Die Handschriften des kirchlichen Rechts I (Nr. 328–427). Frankfurt a. Main: Löwenklau-Gesellschaft, 2010, XXVI+297 S. (Forschungen zur byzantinischen Rechtsgeschichte. Band 28).
Reviews / Водени знаци хиландарских српских рукописа XIV–XV века [Watermarks of the Hilandar Serbian Manuscripts of the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Centuries]. Belgrade, 2007, 543 pp. and Водени знаци хиландарских српских рукописа XVI века [Watermarks of the Sixteenth-Century Hilandar Serbian Manuscripts]. Belgrade, 2010, 302 pp.
Reviews of published books in the domain of slavic studies and literature
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.Literary Texts // Zlatostruy collection // MS Voskr. 11514th c. // State Historical Museum (Moscow) // 14th c. // Hilandar monastery // Preservation of ancient protographs //
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.
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.Literary Texts // Tale about Job // MS 747 of the National Library of Sofi // 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.
The purpose of this article is to illustrate how erroneous interpretations or spelling mistakes of foreign, quite often odd, place names can be used to determine relationships between manuscripts. The paper analyses three cases of false toponimy found in Onuphrius vita. One reading, pointing out the location of the monastery where Onuphrius grew up before his escape to the desert, consists of an incomprehensible string of words. The corresponding Greek text is of no help in solving the problem. Not until we examined several available Greek versions and a considerable number of Slavonic manuscripts could we reconstruct the emergence of that enigmatic toponym. The name of the well-known Egyptian city Hermopolis lacking one syllable caused confusion, and an erroneous stress mark over the Greek word (nomos) suggested a completely different sense of meaning (‘low’ instead of ‘district’). The most widely spread Slavonic version of the vita contains both of the above-mentioned slips of the pen. The defective name probably originated as far back as in one of the intermediate Greek manuscripts. It is obvious that the Slavs tried to understand the weird forms without questioning the erroneous Greek readings. We suggest a reconstruction of the conceivable original reading based on a deviating reading of a single south Slavonic (serbian) manuscript, a reading confirmed by one Greek manuscript). The Slavonic tradition also reflects two interpretations of another place name, Scete, which is used as a proper noun only in parts of the manuscripts. Further, a group of manuscripts are distinguished by an unusual and consistent, therefore conscious, replacement of the toponym Egypt. Thus far there is no explanation why this place name was censured in a subgroup of south Slavonic manuscripts. To summarize, misunderstandings and erroneous forms of toponyms veil clues about how the transmission of texts from Greek into the Slavonic tradition occurred. Such errors might contribute to the identification of translations and redactions, they can provide valuable insight into the understanding of cultural transmissions.
Among the valuable manuscripts found in the Sinai monastery “St Catherine” in 1975, is the codex No 20N. It contains only the Vita of St. Basil the New in Middle Bulgarian translation of the 14th c. The manuscript contains 120 sheets of paper that are kept in a very good condition. At the end of the manuscript is preserved the author's colophon who notes that its name is Father Peter, it provides also information on how he works, the place and time when the manuscript was created. The paper includes the publication of the Vita of St. Basil the New, published in this translation for the first time. The edition follows the orthography and punctuation of the manuscript all possible accuracy preserving the superscripts and accent signs. The publication is crucial for research work on the language and history of Bulgarian literature in the 14th c.
The destruction of a place or the desolation of a space may be just as laden with information and affective responses associated with political, social, or religious change as their construction. This article aims to establish this thesis by focusing on the example of the Anonymous Story of the Martyrs of the Monastery of Zographou, a source related to the destruction of the Monastery of Zographou on Mount Athos in 1275. The article begins by reviewing the existing scholarship on such unresolved problems as the dating, author, genre, and aims of the medieval text, as well as the circumstances that may have led to its creation. The article then proceeds to offer answers to these problems based on a new interpretation of the text, one that suggests novel connections between the literary qualities of the text and the aims of its author, as well as between its content and its intended audience. The article also proposes a re-evaluation of the historicity of the Anonymous Story of the Martyrs of the Monastery of Zographou, arguing in favor of the possibility that a writer could have departed from the known facts and employed legendary material in order to propagate certain ideas.Literary Texts // Story of the Martyrs of the Monastery of Zographou // Destruction of the Monastery of Zographou // Theology of history //
В публикации представлены опись недавно найденной южнославянской копии „Слова о двенадцати снaх царя Шахиншаха“ и текстологическое исследование доступных для автора южнославянских копий и одной рукописи русского произхождения, являющейся представительной для первой русской редакции. Цель исследования – оределить место этой поздней рукописи начала XIX века в окружении более ранней средневековой традиции – в основном среди копий XV–XVI века, а также раскрыть еe особенности в ракурсе переплетения традиций Средневековья и Возрождения. Текст Слова очень интересный – это символическое толкование двенадцати снов царя Шахиншаха, имеющее эсхатологический характер. Представлена картина „последних времен“ земли в битовых и нравственных измерениях. По мнению некоторых авторов корни этого текста – очень древние – тибетского или персийского происхождения. Представляет интерес проследить, с точки зрения языка и литературы, наступившие изменения в тексте под влиянием разницы во времени и этно-культурном окружении.
Georgi Petkov is a Professor, Doctor of Sciences at the University “Paisij Xilendarski”, Plovdiv. He is working in the fields of the medieval Slavonic literature, Slavonic textology, Byzantine-Bulgarian translations, archeography and history of Old Bulgarian manuscripts. He also has remarkable contributions to comparative research of medieval Serbian, Wallachian, Moldavian and Russian literature, as well as documents of the period of Bulgarian and Balkan Revival.
Book reviewsReviews // Literary Texts //
The article traces the earliest history of the Slavonic Menaion for December, based on the textological research of a wide range of manuscripts of East Slav, Serbian and Bulgarian origin, dating from the 11th and until the 14th century. The multiple layers of the contents of South-Slavonic codices of the 13th - 14th century are outlined, proving, at the same time, the unconvincingness of the hypothesis for the significant influence of Old Russian originals in their formation. The study confirms the textological connection of the non-standard Russian menaia (RGADA, Synod. Typ. 98; RGADA, Synod. Typ. 130; RGADA, Synod. Typ. 131) to the Old-Bulgarian protographs. The article discloses also the unhomogeneousness of a number of offices in the East Slav menaia for December, where a more archaic layer is incorporated. The data show that the formation of the 12-volume East Slav collection is the result not of a single translation, but of a longer and gradual process of reception of the Byzantine hymnographic repertoire, starting as early as the 9th - 10th century at the literary centres of the First Bulgarian Kingdom. Therefore the Old Russian menaia reflect not the opening stage of that liturgical book in the Slavonic environment, but an older, comparatively established stage, marked by its unification, backed by approximately a century and a half of tradition.Literary Texts // South-Slavonic codices of the 13th-14th c. // Slavonic Menaion // Textological research //
The author analyzes the Fourth Oratio against the Arians by Athanasius of Alexandria in Slavic translation of Constantine of Preslav. Assumptions are made on the principles of calculation of Passover, which – on the one hand are in line with tradition during the fourth century, and, on the other hand, there are arguments for possible intervention by Bulgarian author in the text to prove the purity of the Eastern tradition. In appendix the edition of the Slavic text of the Oratio is published for the first time (the copy of year 1489 in the manuscript ? 968, collection of M. Pogodin, RNL, St. Petersburg, f. 209r-222v).Literary Texts // Constantine of Preslav // Old Church Slavonic // Dating of the text // Oratio structure //
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 //
The veneration of St Paraskeve/ Petka of Rome became widespread rather early among the Orthodox Slavs on the Balkans, as is clear by a well-known historical record from 1234 (which states that at that time the Life and the Office of this Roman martyr were accessible everywhere in medieval Bulgaria) and by the numerous manuscript copies of the texts dedicated to her. Her Live is preserved in several different versions witnessing both to independent translations from Greek and to attempts to create a free narrative based upon the already existing Slavic texts. Furthermore, the literary tradition of St. Paraskeve of Rome, in addition to being interesting in itself, has proved to be important for the Balkan cultural and religious history in at least two other ways: it deeply influences the cult of St Parakeve/Petka of Epibatai (the most popular Balkan woman-saint) and it was fundamental for building-up the popular cult of St Paraskeve/Petka on the Balkans. The article provides an edition of a little-known passion of this Roman martyr made according to the three preserved South-Slavic transcripts of the text (Savina Monastery, MS 29, 1380; Moscow, State Historical Museum, Xludov collection, MS 241, middle of the 15th century; and Plovdiv, National library, MS 101, end of the 16th-beginning of the 17th century).Literary Texts // Cult of St. Paraskeve-Petka // Functions of hagiographic text // Late medieval literature //
В статье вводится в научное обращение неизвестный до сих пор список апокрифного Сказания о 12-ти пятницах, найденный в рукописи 1837 г. возрожденческого книжника Панчо поп Димитриевича, из деревни Новоселци, Софийской области. Список подвергается детальному анализу, приводятся сведения об истории и рукописной традиции апикрифа, прослеживается его распространение среди восточых и южных славян. Текст сказания ставится в контекст апокрифной книжнины Византии, Востока и Средиземноморья. Акцентируются две функции Сказания – его роль в качестве табуистического текста и его связи с гностическими и эзотерическими верованиями. Сказание о 12-ти пятницах является свидетельством об устойчивости апокрифных мотивов в традиционой народной культуре по болгарской земле вплоть до середины XIX века.
Ivan Dobrev;Ljupka Vasiljev; Miroslava Grozdanovich-Pajich;Anisava Miltenova;Elena Tomova;Radoslava Stankova
Reviews of new books published in the period 2002-2008
The studies of the life and writings of Gregory Camblak are numerous: they started 200 years ago. Still, there are many controversial issues that await further research. This article suggests answers concerning the following two questions: 1. What is the origin of Camblak's name and family? and 2. Did he witness the fall of Tarnovo under the Ottomans? The author of the paper put forward the following hypotheses: the name of Camblak is of Proto-Bulgarian origin; his family was Bulgarian by origin although some of his relatives lived in Byzantium; Gregory Camblak was born between 1356-1359 (most probably in 1357) and during the Council of Konstanz he was 60-62 years old; Camblak left Tarnovo before its fall under the Ottomans and he never came back: his mastery in the depiction of the enslaved Tarnovo cannot be used as a sound argument that he witnessed the fall.
The hymn devoted to the finding and the subsequent translation of the relics of Saint Clement of Rome shows a double interest: it is one of the earliest hymnographical compositions in Old Church Slavonic, and it contains clearly ideological elements. The relics of Saint Clement, third Pope after Saint Peter, played a main role in two important periods of the christianisation of the Slavs: the mission of the byzantine brothers Constantine-Cyril and Methodius in Moravia (863–869), and the baptism of the Rus’ian prince Vladimir in 988. Therefore, the study of the canon on the translation of the relics of Saint Clement can provide us a valuable evidence of the ideological use of biblical motifs and quotations. Several scholars con¬sidered a newly discovered Russian version of the hymn as the work composed by Constantine the Philosopher on the occasion of his finding of the relics in 861. On the contrary, the Russian historian E. V. Uxanova, basing on the ideological use of biblical quotations, came to the conclusion that such hymnographical composition would have a Russian origin, dating from the period of the christianisation of the Kievan Rus’. In this article, we will show how a careful rereading of those biblical motifs and quotations don't allow us to support either of these hypothesisLiterary Texts // Biblical quotation // Hymnography // St. Clement of Rome // St. Cyril (Constantine) the Philosopher //
В статье в сопоставлении с аналогичными сербскими рукописями рассматривается самая древняя болгарская праздничная минея ХІІІ-го века, находящаяся в Софии (НБКМ, № 522). Сделаны кодикологические и палеографические заметки. Обстоятельственно рассмотрены содержание и состав минеи с точки зрения календаря. Структура служб анализирована с позиции литургической практики ІХ/Х–ХІІІ вв. На основе анализа сделаны следующие выводы: 1) Скопльская праздничная минея содержит ранний состав Константинопольских памятей ІХ–Х вв. и десять оригинальных произведений древнеболгарской книжности. Это свидетельство о времени перевода данного типа богослужебной книги; 2) В рукописи сочетаются елементы кафедрального Константинопольского богослужения с элементами неосавваитской манастырской (вероятно святогорской) богослужебной практики. Кодекс показывает смешивание литургических традиций вне зависимости от календаря.
The patriarchal library in Belgrade keeps a parchment collection under the number 219 (PC 219 below), II + 192 leaves (384 pages), format 4?, written in 1381. It has never been studied or compared to other similar manuscripts until now. The miscellany comes from Sremski Karlovci. The preliminary observation of the cycle of works dedicated to the Virgin in the miscellany PL 219 demonstrates once again that manuscripts containing undetermined source material can present the researcher with many surprises. Putting the works into cycles (without observing the calendar order) and their placement at the opening of the miscellany could be interpreted as intentional. Most probably the miscellany has been compiled for a church or monasteries dedicated to the Mother of God or rather to her Dormition because the texts provided for this holiday are three. This accumulation of the texts is an exception in the whole manuscript tradition with which I am acquainted. Detailed comparative examination of the texts and their translation, as well as of the history of the codex itself is yet to be carried out.
Object of a research interest is the literary history of the so called Third Russian revision of the Tarnovo prologue vita of the national Bulgarian St. John of Rila. The revision is resented in six copies from the end of the 15th to the 17th century (the earliest in prologue for September – February from the end of the 15th century, RNB, Main assembly, No F. I. 297) and it is distributed in collections with permanent and mixed structure: in prologues about the winter half of the church year, in codex with vitas, instructions and stories, in collections with services and vitas. Discussed are issues about the Third revision of the Prologue, whose origin is connected with the literature of Novgorod and Pskov, and in whose composition we find the earliest copies of the new version. In the Bulgarian, Serbian and Moldovan-Romanian hagiographic tradition this version is not known. The new version of the Tarnovo prologue vita later penetrates the literature of the Moscow state and the Moscow cultural centers, and its distribution continues in the 16th and 17th century. In this way it turns into a significant element of the entire cult of the Bulgarian saint in the medieval Slavonic Cyrillic tradition. The results from the textological study of the copies and the interrelations between the separate texts have been presented.
The article studies the possible ethno-cultural content of one of the anathemas in the Synodicon of Boril from the 14th century, connected with the day of John the Baptist (Midsummer Day), in the context of the doctrinal and socio-historical aspects of the dual heresies of the Bulgarian Bogomils and the Catars from Langdoc, South France. Its main purpose is to comment, not to solve the complex problem of the interaction of the folklore culture and the ritual practices of the heretics, as it remains insufficiently documented by the written sources and suggests a great number of, often controversial or mutually incompatible, interpretations. By producing separate facts from studies on South French ethnographic material and emphasizing on the main semantic codes of the holiday in the collective memory of the European Middle Ages, the authoress supports the view of identity of the assessing paradigms towards the heresies and the paganism. An attempt has been made to parallel these – hypotheses more than conclusions – to a manuscript text material where it allows relevant perusals. The raised question is added to a number of others, which do not have a definite answer and which involve a more thorough examination on the paradoxes of the nomination on the topic The Bogomils about Themselves and the Others about Them.
Having in mind that the specially organized rhythmic phrase is one of the most characteristic peculiarities in the style of Euthimius of Tarnovo, the authoress of this article focuses her attention to the figure of speech isocolic. Her purpose is to mark the main principles of structuring the isocolic in the Saint Euthimius vitas and eulogies, and also the analysis principles of these isocolics. The authoress prefers to concentrate on only one isocolic, as a thorough analysis of the rhythmic in the Saint Euthimius style cannot be the object of such a brief study. An isocolic of the Vita of St. Petka has been taken as an example. In it analyzed is the punctuation, the syntagmatic structure, the rhythmic, the grammatical and lexical structure. The observations bear evidence that the meaning, syntax and rhythm form a united structure, where we can clearly distinguish two halves with a complex symmetry between each other. The accumulation of several markers about the structure of the columns in the isocolic may be interpreted as a defense mechanism, coded by the author, against later interventions in the text and the text structure at its copying and performing. The main principles of isocolic structuring are a complicated parallelism and contradistinction. The complicated parallelism is manifested between respective columns, as well as between the halves of the isocolic period. This peculiar parallelism finds expression in the following: 1) presence of syntactic, semantic and rhetoric similarities and differences in the respective columns of the isocolic, 2) the number of the accents in the two halves of the period is the same, but their distribution in the composing columns is different and 3) by given markers (mainly rhetoric) the first two columns in each half of the isocolic are parallel, and the rest are not. The analysis of the syntagmatic structure reveals that the punctuation simultaneously follows syntactic, as well as rhetoric principles.
The study is aimed at a specific moment from the Bulgarian history – the time from the Christianization (864) to the invasion of East Bulgaria by the emperor John Cimishiy (971). This period of the Bulgarian history gives the possibility to examine the phases of formation of a new cultural and political model in a newly converted to Christianity state: the Foundation of a state of an imperial type, which happens in almost all orthodox states, building their identity under the influence of Constantinople. Object of study are the following legislative monuments: The Law to judge people, The Code of church laws of XIV Titul, Eclogue, The Prohiron and the Agriculture law. The study poses two accents: 1. Sources and content of the canonic and judicial collections. The first group of problems the topic poses is connected with the clarification of the question of which judicial monuments existed in early medieval Bulgaria, entirely or their separate parts; what are their textological interrelations towards their Greek prototypes. 2. Meaning of the judicial monuments. In the First Bulgarian kingdom the translated Byzantine legislative monuments first of all play the part of a cultural (literary) testament and secondly, of real legislative acts. On the basis of the content of the juridical literature, in the article an attempt is made to clarify to what degree and how the Byzantine ideological and cultural models are copied and transformed with the purpose of: 1) accepting the newly converted to Christianity Bulgarian state within the framework of the Christian community; 2) the building, on the basis of Christianity, of a new concept of a state, nation and a ruler; 3) the regulation of the relations between the state (the ruler) and the Church.
The description and the examination of the preserved Slavonic Cyrillic texts of the Apocalypses have so far been focused mainly on the most numerous Russian interpretation copies, on the accepted as textologically earliest Bosnia copies and Croatian Glagolhic fragments. The latest studies are aimed at finding, systematization and research of the preserved South Slavonic copies, which have not yet found their due place in the entire textological history of the book. As a result of this research up to now three versions at the distribution of the text have been known, which differ in structure, purpose and location in the content of the collections where they appear. These are: the interpretational version of the book by Andrey Kesariisky, divided in 24 orations, 72 chapters and 314 verses, distributed mainly amongst the Eastern Slavs; the Bosnia Cyrillic copies, non-interpretational, divided in 72 chapters, and the Serbian copy HM 474, also divided in 72 chapters (the first 5 are written, the rest are noted with an initial); the Croatian Glagolhic texts, separated in 22 chapters by the Latin tradition. In the present article introduced in scientific use is one more unknown up to that moment South-Slavonic tradition of distribution of the text. This is the Bulgarian panegyric version, presented by the Bulgarian copy from the middle of the 14th century, predatonic connected with the East-Bulgarian Tarnovo literature. The revision of the book in the Serbian interpretational copies, kept from the 15th to the 16th century, which is probably a result of the work of the Mount Athos scholars, also has not been object of scientific attention. The purpose is to trace the tradition they reflect on the bases of the lexical data. Thanks to the study of K. Grunberg the lexical exchanges, consequently done between the accepted as initial translation of the book from the 15th century and the editing of the text from the 14th and the 15th century are examined. The translation taken as initial is presented by the Bosnia Cyrillic copies from the 15th century (H), and the editing of the text from the 14th and 15th century – from the earliest Bulgarian copy (MS), the Serbian interpretational copies (PI), the earliest Serbian copy (HM), the Apocalypses of the Miracle New testament and its copy from 1493 (?), supported by the data from the Eastern-Slavonic interpretational copies (NI) and the text from the Ostrojka Bible (O).
In the article reported is a newly discovered copy of “Vision of the prophet Isaiah of the last times” in the collection “Zlataya Matitza” (HCPK № F.312), from the 70s of the 15th century, collection of the Russian National Library in Saint Petersburg. It is mechanically attached to the text of the early Slavonic composition „Слово святого Григория изобретено в толцех о том, како первое погани съще языци кланялися идолом и требы им клали, то и ныне творят”. The last text is an instruction against the pagan rituals, which belongs to a very early epoch of the history of the Slavonic literatures and cultures. It is established that the historical-apocalyptic work “Vision of the prophet Isayah” according to the newly discovered copy is close to the earliest known copy – in the Dragol collection from the third quarter of the 13th century. The author analyzes the manuscript tradition of “Слово святого Григория изобретено в толцех”, defines the history and the specific of the work, and at the same time makes suggestions about the penetration of “Vision of the prophet Isaiah” in the Russian manuscripts. The text of the collection “Zlataya Matitza” is published with different readings by the rest of the copies, accompanied by an analysis of some important linguistic peculiarities.
The article studies the repeatedly published text of the Penitential of the Glagolitic Sinai Euhologion, X-XI century, in comparison with the archaic Cyrillic copy of the same text of Ustiujka Kormchaia, XIII-XIV century and with other later Cyrillic copies. The stability of the text model is studies, as well as the linguistic changes it is subject to. The authoress defends the view that the Glagolhic and the Cyrillic copies advance to one and the same unremaining archetype – this of the first and only Slavonic translation of the model of Poenitentiale Merseburgense, type ? or of a source very close to it. The latter, dating from the end of the VIII or the beginning of the IX century, is representative of the practice of the Franks Empire and Church and most likely it was respected and influential in its Latin aspect in the close west-Slavic lands oven before being translated into Slavonic. It is impossible to determine the authorship of the translation. Nevertheless, a number of considerations of historical-cultural and linguistic nature make the authoress support the most distributed thesis about the Moravian-Panonic origin of the translation. In that sense the text undoubtedly should be added to the church-juridical heritage, created during the Cyril-Metodii’s mission. The influence of the canonic apparatus of the Orders is also searched – especially of the formula “bread and water” on another early juridical monument, such as Law to judge people.Literary Texts // Old-slavic penitentia // Glagolitic Sinai Euhologion // Ustiujka Kormchaia //
In the article examines are the function, language and distribution of childbirth and new-born till the 40th day prayers and of apocryphal prayers for an easy birth in South Slavonic manuscripts (XIV-XVII century) in comparison with Byzantine sources. The more archaic variants of prayers for the after birth period stand out, compared with the widespread later scheme, including texts about the old woman-midwife. The medieval Glagolhic and Cyrillic repertoire of prayers for an easy birth is based on one and the same evocative formula, added with instructions, dialogues, biblical quotations or names with sacred meaning. Regardless of the similarity of the texts, we can see the dynamics of their use and their functioning on the dictated by ritual border between written and oral, a border, in which the written is constantly activated by the oral, and the oral is never fully authentic.
The study is dedicated to two Bulgarian texts, which appeared in the collections with mixed content in XIV century. One of them is Vita of Simeon Jurodivy, and the other one is Vita of St. Andrey Jurodivy. The purpose of the study is to examine the two vitae and outline the broad context in which they enter in the Bulgarian, as well as in the Byzantine culture. The article does not aim to exhaust the questions connected to these saints, but rather to determine and find new ways of research and examination of the phenomenon. The main sources are two copies – in manuscript No. 434 of the Hilendar Monastery in Mount Athos, containing the text with the vita of St. Andrey and in manuscript No. 152 of the National Library of Vienna, containing that of St. Simeon. The study consists of four parts. In the first one the examined are peculiarities of the jurodivy saints and their manuscript and cultural Byzantine context. The second one is dedicated to the appearance of the Bulgarian translations of the vitae of St. Simeon and St. Andrey, the collections in which their eventual relations with the epoch of hesychasm are published. The last two parts look at each vita in detail with its Greek and Bulgarian variants.
Author(s): Irina Kuzidova-Karadzhinova
Subject(s): Literary Texts
Published by: Институт за литература - BAN
Keywords: text headings; anthologies of wise sentences; genre typology; alphabethical composition; lexical analysis