Language studies, Language and Literature Studies, Review, General Reference Works, Theoretical Linguistics, Studies of Literature, Philology, Translation Studies
Reviews / Radoslava Stankova. Cult and Hymnography. Offices for Local and South Slavic and Balkan Saints in Manuscripts of the ХІІІth and ХVth centuries. Sofia: Marin Drinov Academic Press, 2012, 286 pp.
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.
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.
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.