Translation Studies

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


Text or Paratext? The Synopsis Apostolorum of Dorotheus of Tyre

  • Summary/Abstract

    The article discusses the Synopsis Apostolorum attributed to Dorotheus of Tyre, which purports to be a list of the Seventy Apostles. It gives a brief overview of the history of the text in Greek and Slavonic. In contrast to the Greek tradition, where it may be found in miscellanies of various types and also in manuscripts of the Apostolos which are provided with relatively extensive apparatus, in Slavonic it is found exclusively in Apostolos manuscripts. The redaction of the Synopsis, moreover, corresponds to the redaction of the Apostolos; there are discernible differences between the texts in each of the three Slavonic redactions in which it is represented. This indicates that it was translated as part of the accompanying text each time that the Apostolos itself was translated. This means that the Slavonic version (unlike the Greek) exists exclusively as paratext, but that this paratextual status, being dependent on the version, is not intrinsic to the work but a function of its history. This in turn points to the necessity of taking the paratext into account in any study of the text of the Bible.

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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.

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Указатели названий и инципитов разделов и глав славянских списков Откровения Иоанна Богослова как поисковый аппарат и основа для изучения редакций текста 

Indexes of Names and Incipita of Sections and Chapters of the Slavonic Witnesses of the Revelation of John the Theologian as a Search Tool and a Basis for Studying Versions of the Text


Иерархическая модель гимнографической терминологии: дигитальное приложение

A Hierarchical Model of the Hymnographic Terminology: Digital Application


Проложные жития в средневековой южнославянской книжности

The Prologue Vitae in the Medieval South-Slavonic Literature


Textological Notes on De Christo et Antichristo by Hippolytus of Rome in the Greek and Slavonic Manuscript Tradition

  • Summary/Abstract

    The article has two main focuses – first, it follows the most significant and important Antichrist myth researches, and secondly, the Greek tradition of De Christo et Antichristo by Hippolytus of Rome and the Slavonic versions of the text. The Slavonic witnesses are examined according to their omissions, additions, grammatical and morphological variations, and also some of the changes in the Bible quotations are highlighted. This work does not pretend to present new information on the Greek sources but to demonstrate how important the Slavonic translation is to the interpretation of the Greek original. The most interesting results are pointed out in the relation with the Greek text itself, where the proximity between the Greek fragment of Meteora Monastery 573 and the Slavonic tradition is presented.

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Daily Life and Religion: The Vienna Euchologia Project

  • Summary/Abstract

    The study of the Euchologia (singular: Euchologion), the prayer books to be used by the clergy, has long been neglected by medieval historians. This is beginning to change, as more and more scholars discover the potential of the Euchologia as a source for social history. Indeed, Euchologia contain besides Eucharistic and sacramental liturgies also prayers for various occasions of the daily life of women, men and children from various strata of society and every geographical region of the Byzantine world. Thus, the Euchologia offer a different perspective than most Byzantine written sources, which concentrate on urban, male, often ordained elites. In 2015 a new research project dedicated to the study of Euchologia was initiated at the Division of Byzantine Research of the Austrian Academy of Sciences. The project seeks to study Greek-language Euchologia copied up to the year 1650 and the prayers they contain.

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Аріевъ ледъ

Ares Ice

  • Summary/Abstract

    The paper discusses the translation of Ἄρειος πάγος into Slavonic, which until the late seventeenth century is almost invariably Аріевъ ледъ. It is suggested that although this does not correctly render the original meaning of the Greek, translators (and others, including their Greek contemporaries) did not necessarily perceive place names as literally meaningful. Аріевъ ледъ was thus simply the established Slavonic name for the Areopagus, and known as such to Slavonic writers. The principle place where it occurs is in the Acts of the Apostles, where it is used consistently, and there is a varied body of commentary in Slavonic attached to this passage, which is discussed in detail. The use of the toponym in a number of non-Biblical texts is also traced.

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The Earliest Slavonic Translation of the Song of Songs from Greek: A Possible Influence from the Vulgate?


Byzantines, Bulgarians and Serbs in the Vita of Saint Vladimir in the Gesta Regum Sclavorum


The Isaiah Code: Highlights in the History of a Catena in Slavic Tradition

  • Summary/Abstract

    This study seeks to trace out the structure of the Book of Prophet Isaiah with commentaries and to explore what that structure reveals about the text in some manuscripts of the East Slavonic and South Slavonic traditions. There are three conclusions made as a result of the present study. Firstly, the analysis of the structure and the identification of the readings in Catena Slavonica in Isaiam shows a translation of a catena which occupies an intermediate position between the Catena in Isaiam by John Drungarios and the one by Andrew the Presbyter whichever is the earliest. The CSI resembles both. Secondly, the value of the CSI should not be underestimated, because it includes a translation of scholia by Theodulus whose work is now almost entirely lost. Therefore the CSI could provide new evidence for the content of the lost Byzantine original of Theodulus’ Commentary on Isaiah. Thirdly, the comparison of the numerals in the margin of РНБ F.I.461 with the sequence and number of the biblical pericopes and relevant scholia in the Russian manuscripts clearly and unequivocally demonstrates that although F.I. 461 is the earliest evidence of Preslav translation in a Tărnovo redaction, it is still a single link in the chain of the Slavonic tradition and has a many shortcomings compared to the CSI in the Russian tradition.

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The Parable of the Unicorn in the Story of Barlaam and Josaphat


Двойная рецепция при формировании княжеской службы: служба св. Александру Невскому как модель

A Double Reception in the Formation of a Princely Service: The Service of St Alexander Nevsky as a Model

  • Summary/Abstract

    The Service of St Alexander Nevsky was written by Monk Michael of the Roždestvenskij monastyr’ (Nativity monastery) in Vladimir. He was one of the writers, belonging with the circle of Metropolitan Macarius, who composed princely services (and sometimes vitas) for new Russian saints. Most of the services are compilations of verses and hymns and more or less exact borrowings (and sometimes compositions according to models). In the Service of St Alexander Nevsky, the most refined of Monk Michael’s works, the hymnographer utilized various models to combine them into one canon, thus giving it the colour of an original work. It is important to add that Monk Michael used Slavic translations instead of original Greek texts, a fact proved by textological comparison. The service, dedicated to a saint prince, canonized in the sixteenth century, was the only one included in the Menaion. Together with the especial respect and veneration of the new saint, it was one of the reasons why his service became a model of other princely services. It is worth noting that instead of hymns, originally borrowed for the new service, exactly the adapted hymns to St Alexander were taken as standard for princely services, thus allowing a double reception of the translated hymns. For the purpose of the investigation the author analyzes the services of St Roman of Ugleč, St Daniel of Moscow, the Service of Finding of his Relics including, as well as the service to St Dowmant of Pskov.

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Chronological Layers in Translated Texts: Observations on a Sticheron of Archangel Michael


Неизвестный пергаментный отрывок кириллического Евангелия апракос полного из библиотеки Духовной семинарии Госианум в Ольштыне

An Unknown Parchment Fragment of the Cyrillic Gospel (Full Lectionary) from the Seminary’s Library in Olsztyn

  • Summary/Abstract

    The author introduces a new (previously unknown) parchment fragment (one leaf) of the Full Gospel lectionary from the Library of the Hosianum Seminary of the Archdiocese of Warmia in Olsztyn (Poland). The article presents a concise description and a general characteristic (with textological analysis) of the fragment along with its publication (with three photos). Cyrillic fragment of the Gospel manuscript, which was used together with Latin one to bind several early printed Latin books, is dated to the end of fourteenth or beginning of fifteenth century, but not later than the year 1420. The article presents also a short history of the Library of the Hosianum Seminary as far as it concerns the history of the Cyrillic Gospel fragment.

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Двуязычные индексы в палеославистичной лексикографической традиции как инструмент изучения истории перевода в Slavia Orthodoxa

The Bilingual Indexes in the Paleoslavistic Lexicographical Tradition as a Tool of Studying the History of Translation in Slavia Orthodoxa


К вопросу о переводе агиографического синаксаря (простого пролога) в свете новейших исследований

Towards the Question: When and Where the Simple Prologue Was Translated in the Light of the New Studies

  • Summary/Abstract

    The article examines the current hypotheses about time and place of translation of so-called Simple Prologue (hagiographic Synaxarium) in the Slavonic environment. Special attention is paid to the latest studies in the field. As additional arguments to answer the question are given the data on Russian and South Slavonic (mostly Bulgarian) commemorations in the early version of the Prologue. These data allowed to reject the existing hypotheses and to support the conclusion that the Simple Prologue was translated in the time of Samuil of Bulgaria in Archbishopric of Ohrid at the end of tenth – beginning of eleventh century. The translation was made very soon after the occurrence of Synaxarium in Byzantium and was due to the liturgical necessity.

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Reconsidering the Textual Transmission of the Slavonic Quaestiones adAntiochum ducem

  • Summary/Abstract

    The present contribution addresses questions concerning the textual history of the Slavonic translation of the Quaestiones ad Antiochum ducem (CPG 2257) and challenges some of the positions taken by William Veder in his recent edition (2016) of this eratopocritic collection. A selection of key text witnesses (among which the Izbornik of 1076, the Troitskij sbornik and the Laurentian florilegium of 1348) are examined in order to distinguish the different textual layers and to arrive at a better understanding of the text’s transmission history. It is argued that there is no firm proof for the existence of a full corpus of QAD questions in Slavonic prior to the thirteenth century and that the textual tradition of the QAD is marked by progressive expansion and continuous conflation.

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The Greek Tradition of Hippolytus’ Commentarii in Danielem and the Slavonic Translation

  • Summary/Abstract

    The article highlights the Greek manuscripts, containing Hippolytus of Rome’s Commentarii in Danielem, the history of their research and their content, as well as the relation among them and the Slavonic translation. The author reveals all Greek and Slavonic sources, known today, and demonstrates how the two versions of the text correspond to each other. The main focus is placed on the cod. Meteoron 573, of the tenth century, proven to be the closest and mostly related to the Slavonic translation. This matter was profoundly revealed by comparison of contents, titles and structure of the texts of both versions, which is briefly presented in this paper.

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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.

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A Byzantine Epigram in the Pictorial Cycle of Akathistos Hymn for the Virgin from the Narthex of Kremikovtsi Monastery St George (1493)

  • Summary/Abstract

    The research paper presents an unpublished inscription in Greek language from the narthex of the Kremikovtsi Monastery St George near Sofia – an epigram of the famous Byzantine poet Theodoros Prodromos, who lived at the court of the Komnenian Dynasty in the twelfth century. Being part of the scene Flight into Egypt and – more precisely, – being written in the scroll of a female figure – a personification of the city, no parallel of this inscription has been attested so far in post-Byzantine art. The only other scroll like this has been discovered in the church of the Seslavtsi Monastery St Nicholas near Sofia, but the text there is probably just a decorative detail. A complete study of the preserved part of the damaged inscription is conducted, together with a discussion about its linguistic and literary specifics in the context of the high Byzantine poetry and the Biblical exegesis. The aim is to outline and to describe the raison d’être of this religious epigram (ἱερὸν ἐπίγραμμα) as an expressive instrument for direct communication with the audience through its main stylistic feature – the dialogue between the Saviour and the layman, between the divine and the human nature of Christ. The poetical form chosen by Theodoros Prodromos immediately draws the viewers’ attention and it compels them to reflect upon the scene. Theodoros Prodromos’ epigram in the Kremikovtsi Monastery offers an exceptional and significant proof that the connection of Balkan art to the achievements of the Christian culture of the former Byzantine empire was still alive in the fifteenth century.

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Scholia from Gregory of Nyssa’s Apologia in Hexaemeron in the Fourteenth-Century Slavonic Hexaemeron Collection


The Neapolitan Wall Calendar From a Medieval Slavic Perspective


The Fourteenth-Century Slavonic Version of the Longer and Shorter Rules of Saint Basil: Text of the Questions and Remarks

  • Summary/Abstract

    In this paper the text of the questions in the Longer Rules (Ὅροι κατὰ πλάτος, Regulae fusius tractatae, PG 31, 901–1052) and the text Shorter Rules (Ὅρoι κατ᾿ ἐπιτομήν, Regulae brevius tractatae, PG 31, 1052–1305, CPG II 2875 Asceticon magnum sive quaestiones) of St. Basil in their medieval Slavonic version are presented according to Zografou 3, a manuscript, dating from the 14th century. Some observations are made about the text of the questions on the basis of comparison on orthographical and lexical level between Zografou 3 and three other manuscripts: British Library Additional MS 27442, National Library in Sofia 1045 (Slepčenskij sbornik) and Zografou 126, dating from the same period. The quotations from the Scripture in the text of the questions are an object of special interest. The results of the comparative analysis give a good reason to suppose that Zografou 3 preserves the oldest text in comparison to the other three witnesses.

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Motifs of Bulgarian History in Chronologia Magna and Satyrica Historia by Paulinus of Venice

  • Summary/Abstract

    This paper contains the first publication of printed excerpts related to Bulgarian history from two historical compilations by Paulinus of Venice. Chronologia Magna sive Compendium is presented according to lat. 4939, National library, Paris (14th c.) and Satyrica historia – according to Ms 445, Jagiellonian library, Cracow (15th c.). As the study and analysis of these manuscripts demonstrate, the compendia contain many accounts related to Bulgarian history – from the formation of the Bulgarian state in 681 up to the dynastic marriage of the Latin emperor of Constantinople Henry in 1213. All of the motifs from Bulgarian history, which Paulinus selected and included, are significant and fully aligned with the aims, which he had set himself in the prologue to Satyrica historia. These motifs are not merely a compilation of successes and failures, but are to form a body of well researched information, which will serve to edify posterity, based on the historical experience of the Roman and other kingdoms. Interpreting the evidence in Paulinus’ accounts in light of his stated approach, it appears that after their appearance on the European stage (681) the Bulgarians played the role of the defenders of Christian Europe (717) and the armament of God (811 г., 1205 г.). Their joining the Christian family of the European people is also recounted (865) through the example of the determination and beatitude of the Bulgarian ruler who defended the new faith even against his own son. Additionally, the Bulgarians are described as participants in events related to Byzantine history (705), as well as being adversely affected by the expansion of the unconverted Hungarians (907, 970, 1003). The accounts related by Paulinus are re-workings of earlier sources he was apparently well acquainted with. It can be argued that the present publication identified those sources with significant accuracy. The mistakes in the dating that occur in Paulinus’ compilations are often attributable to him connecting events to significant historical episodes or historical personalities, around which he builds a whole chapter or rubric of the narration. Sometimes the anachronisms are due to the sources he used. The study of the context, in which motifs related to Bulgarian history are placed allowed me to identify the sources of the material and the method of compilation employed by Paulinus of Venice. Last but not least, the analysis of the content of the motifs allowed me to establish that Dandolo mainly used information from Historia satyrica, but perhaps also consulted with Chronologia magna. He included in his chronicle almost all the motifs from the works of Paulinus, with the exception of the chronological note on the death of Nicephorus I Genik and the episode on Walter Senzavohir. Thus, the publication of the fragments from Historia satyrica and Chronologia magna clarified the origin of those passages in the chronicle of Andrea Dandolo about which D. Angelov wrote that they are connected to earlier historiographical sources but their origins are in need of further investigation.

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Text and Context: Story about the Handsome Joseph in the Miscellanies with Mixed Content

  • Summary/Abstract

    The present article provides an analysis of transmission of apocryphal Story about the Handsome Joseph and a critical edition of the text (unpublished MS No. 1161 CHAI–Sofia) with readings from Tikveš copy (MS 677 NBKM Sofia) and Prague copy (No. ІХ.H.16 National Museum, Prague). The “dialogue” between a separate text (article) and its environment in miscellany manuscripts is presented, which is very important for the method of compilation and re-editing. The alterations in the separate text correspond with alterations in the macrostructure of the miscellany. The coexistence and interweaving of texts is indicated as an important process, particularly for the chronology of

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Semantics of the Book’s Macro-Compositional Level? A Visualisation Method of Analysis

  • Summary/Abstract

    The publication opens for discussion an approach to macrostructural analysis of certain calendar miscellanies with selected readings which belong to the Medieval Balkan tradition. The author proposes that the selection of feasts and saints’ commemorations, as well as the order of the corresponding texts might be interpreted as determined by certain overall theme(s) / thematic fields and could be „read“ on the level of the book’s content. This approach was encouraged by the outcomes of a study on the calendar-thematic composition of Damaskenos Studites’s Thesauros and its transformations in Bulgarian literary tradition in the 16th-18th century. Aiming at a search for similar preceding models, the survey makes comparison on macro-compositional level between some panegyrica, such as Mihanović Homiliar and Jagić Zlatoust of the late 13th – early 14th century, the 1358/59 Miscellany of German, and the 16th-century Panegyricon No. 85 from the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. In addition, the study explores the relevancy of a method for visualisation, which can be supportive of a thematic analysis.

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Употребление причастий в Енинском апостоле

Use of Participles in the Eninski Apostol


Divine Chrysostom Liturgy from Manuscript D. Gr. 143 (AD 1368) in the Ivan Dujčev Centre for Slavo-Byzantine Studies


Hellenophilism in Georgian Literature as Cultural Orientation towards Byzantine Thought: Ephrem Mtsire‘s Cultural Orientation. Part I

  • Summary/Abstract

    This paper is part of a more extensive study on the medieval Georgian writer and translator Ephrem Mtsire who continued the traditions with his works that gradually acquired clearly Hellenophile character, thus beginning the formation of Hellenophilism as a trend in Georgian literature. Hellenophilism is not considered in this paper only in its narrower linguo-literary aspect which meant attaining the formal equivalence to the original. Hellenophilism is regarded here in its wider sense of special interest of non-Greek scholars towards the thinking processes of Byzantine culture of different periods. The study of both aspects reveals the positive influence of Hellenophilism on Georgian literature. Hellenophilism as cultural orientation begins with Ephrem Mtsire‘s literary activities.

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Illuminated Manuscripts from the Family of the Hippiatrika Codex (Berlin, Staatsbibliothek, Phillipps 1538)

  • Summary/Abstract

    Two manuscripts discussed in this paper – the Homilies of Gregory the Theologian GIM Syn. gr. 63 (Vlad. 144) and the Four Gospels ÖNB Theol. gr. 240 – were examined for a special study, the results of which were published in 2009 and 2013. They both are unique examples of tenth-century Byzantine book illustration, remarkable for their unusual ornamental style. The study revealed the decoration, datable to the 940s, as a work of one and the same artist, conditionally referred to as the ‘Master of the Arabesque Style’. His ornamental style is unique in the history of the Byzantine manuscript book, only existing for a short period and evidently corresponding to the activity of this one illuminator. The manuscript Berlin, Phillipps 1538, which contains a Treatise on Horse Medicine, has appeared in many publications. However, its artistic decoration has not yet received the elucidation it merits. After a new research using colour reproductions it transpired that many of the Berlin codex folios were actually decorated by the same artist as the Vienna and Synodal manuscripts. The assumption that one artist devised the three manuscripts under scrutiny brings to the conclusion that the Vienna Gospels should be classed among manuscripts from the Imperial scriptorium and dated to the period from 945 to 959. With regard to the development of minuscule script, the scribe responsible for the Hippiatrika obviously was regarded as a distinguished calligrapher, whose earliest activities should be sought in the first quarter of the century. The archaic characteristics found in the codex are in accordance with the illumination. Therefore the Berlin manuscript should be used as a reference for the attribution of manuscripts from the second half of the tenth century.

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Katharina Bracht. Hippolyts Schrift In Danielem: Kommunikative Strategien eines frühchristlichen Kommentars (Studien und Texte zu Antike und Christentum 85). Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2014. XX, 448 pp.


Jan Stradomski. Rękopisy i teksty. Studia nad cerkiewnosłowiańską kulturą literacką Wielkiego Księstwa Litewskiego i Korony Polskiej do końca XVI wieku. [Krakowsko-Wileńskie studia slawistyczne. T. 10.] Kraków 2014

Jan Stradomski. Manuscripts and texts. Church Slavonic studies of the literary culture of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and Polish crown to the end of the sixteenth century. [Cracow-Vilnius Slavic studies. T. 10.] Krakow 2014


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