Was There an Old Bulgarian Tropologion? Cover Image
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Имало ли е старобългарски Трополог?
Was There an Old Bulgarian Tropologion?

Author(s): Svetlana Kujumdžieva
Subject(s): History, Literary Texts, Cultural history, Middle Ages, Theology and Religion
Published by: Институт за литература - BAN

Summary/Abstract: The liturgical hymnographic book Tropologion was in use until about the end of the 12th century: in the 13th century, sources with such a designation are rare. In its classical complete form, this book contains hymnographic repertory for immovable and moveable feasts that are arranged sequentially according to the church calendar, for the common services and for the eight mode consequences. The movable feasts are included between the immovable ones after the Hypapante on February 2. While there is no book designated as Tropologion among extant Old Slavic books, and among Old Bulgarian books in particular, it does not mean that such a book was not known during the early Old Bulgarian era. We can assume that the earliest extant Old Slavic (Old Bulgarian) books reflect a later stage of development of liturgical books, so that the Tropologion precedes the formation of the Menaia, Triodia and Oktoechoi, in which significant portions of it were preserved at a time when the book itself was already out of use. One of the basic criteria for identifying a book as a Tropologion is its structure. The availability of a continuous sequantial arrangement according to the liturgical calendar, where the moveable are included after the Hypapante and in between immovable feasts, is typical of the earliest hymnographic books at least until about the mid-10th century. The earliest Slavic manuscript that meets this criterion is the famous Iliya’s book, the oldest Russian hymnographic codex. Scholars agree that its protograph is of Bulgarian origin. This study shows that the nucleus of Iliya’s book was formed at the time of Ss. Cyril and Methodius. Hence, the protograph of the book goes back to the 9th-10th centuries. The earliest extant copy is from the 11th-12th centuries. After the Hypapante in Iliya’s book, there is an indication for the beginning of Lent. This peculiarity clearly shows the copyist’s intention to arrange services in an uninterrupted order, as in the book of the Tropologion. The indication for Lent in Iliya’s book remains unique – it is the only such indication known in the Slavic manuscript tradition and one of the most convincing arguments that the Old Bulgarian protograph of Iliya’s book might have been a Tropologion: the hymnographic book of the Tropologion was most widely spread throughout the Eastern world, including Southern Italy, between the 7th and the 12th centuries. One more early Slavic manuscript is defined as a Topologion – the Glagolitic fragment Sinai 4/N dated from the 11th-12th centuries and also linked to the Cyrilo-Methodian era. Based on the manuscripts discussed, the author concludes that the hymnographic book used by Cyril and Methodius in their worship was most probably the Tropologion and that this book was known in Bulgaria during the early Old Bulgarian period.

  • Issue Year: 2015
  • Issue No: 51
  • Page Range: 11-38
  • Page Count: 28
  • Language: Bulgarian