Textological problems in Vita Constantini (= Cyrillo-Methodian Studies. 22. Cyrillo-Methodian sources. V. 1) Cover Image
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Текстологически проблеми в Пространното житие на Константин-Кирил Философ (= Кирило-Методиевски студии. Кн. 22. Кирило-Методиевски извори. Т. 1)
Textological problems in Vita Constantini (= Cyrillo-Methodian Studies. 22. Cyrillo-Methodian sources. V. 1)

Author(s): Maya Ivanova
Subject(s): History, Language studies, Language and Literature Studies, Studies of Literature, Middle Ages, 13th to 14th Centuries, Philology
ISSN: 0205-2253
Published by: Кирило-Методиевски научен център при Българска академия на науките
Keywords: Vita Constantini; Clement of Ohrid; Slavonic Apostle; Solovetsky Monastery;
Summary/Abstract: Vita Constantini (VC) is the first hagiographic work written in Slavonic language. It is viewed as an anonymous work of early origin and unlike the prior practice is not attributed to Clement of Ohrid. Although there is no textual tradition between the presumed time of its creation – the last quarter of the 9th с. – and the first surviving full Cyrillic copy – first half of the 15th с. – the scientific interest in the work is still growing since it presents the holistic picture of the life of the Slavonic apostle and his deeds. Up to now the research efforts have been focused on deciphering the hagiographic code and verifying the historic reliability. The recent development of the Slavonic studies shows that without systemizing the manuscripts and without exploring the manuscript tradition and without a critical edition of the text of VC, the efforts in this direction will remain incomplete. The present study systemizes and corrects the scientific experience on VC accumulated throughout the years. The topic of the textological problems in VC is positioned chronologically. It covers the period from 1 843 to the first decade of the 21 st с. This is how a rather comprehensive review of the history of the problems of VC is being shaped, including the discovery and the introduction of the text into Slavic studies, textological studies and editorial principles of the last three hundred years. Another important issue tackled in the present study is the systemized list of full Cyrillic copies of VC. It offers the details of the extant copies in a brief and uniform way. The focus is on detailed specifications which are crucial today when the knowledge of the manuscript tradition of VC must have fundaments as solid as possible. The List of the copies comprises some contributions related to information about some copies that have been neglected so far. Special attention is paid to the later research copies made by scholars from the 19th c: only 4 copies were known to the researchers, but it turned out that their number was much higher. This enriched the list with 20 witnesses, the antigraph of 18 of which has been identified. The List of the full Cyrillic copies can now be used by researchers without any hesitations for the years to come. Based on this the very textological study of VC starts, stepping on the traditional grouping in its two main branches: Russian (groups A, В, С and the later identified H and F) and South Slavonic (groups D and E). The work with the copies enabled me to look for their place in the traditional grouping or outside. This is how a new Russian group was formed, K, represented by a 16th с. copy. I haven't tried to change the group names because the attempts to label the tradition in an entirely new way in my opinion does not contribute to the clarity and breaks the connection to the previous textological studies. The initially adopted approach to the material was macrogeneric and paratextual and based on four main criteria: 1. Types of codices comprising VC; 2. Date to which VC is related in the different menologia; 3. Convoying texts, i.e. the different complexes of Cyrillo-Methodian texts surrounding VC; 4. Types of headings in the different copies. It has been established that the themes, the arrangement of the lectures and the physical characteristics of the codices help to establish the origin and the route of the copies they comprise. The independent positioning of CV or its combination with the Eulogy to Cyril, Eulogy to Cyril and Methodius or other works mark different stages in the development of the textual tradition. The interrelation between the heading (paratext) and the text of the vita turned out to be of special importance. Since the heading was the most mobile and changeable part of the medieval texts no global conclusions could be drawn based on the headings alone. But even the subtlest movement in the headings of VC is a clear sign that the text of the vita shows some particularities. Every omission, addition, reordering are signs that the text of the vita should be read carefully, and this was proven by the further textological analysis. The analysis follows the order of the groups and each of them was treated per se. The guiding principle is to focus on the previously underexplored fields. Еg. groups A and В have been presented comparatively. The compositions of the October and February menologies have been studied as well as the omissions, scribal errors and the vocabulary. The February copies of the Russian branch of the tradition present the full text of VC. Compared to them the text in all copies of Russian group A seems corrupted and incomplete starting from chapter 14. Special attention is paid to the monastery copying tradition of VC in the Solovetsky Monastery. The comparison of the four full Cyrillic copies revealed that they stem from a single text which has undergone various changes between 15th and 17th cc. The four extant incomplete Solovetsky copies on the other hand – two fragments and two compilations – showed that from a certain moment on the scribes in the monastery library did have access to manuscripts from group C. Special attention has been paid to the place of VC in the Russian collections, or group C. It became clear that not all copies contained in the codices defined as collections belonged to a single text group. Some of them are autonomous or judging by typology criteria have been assigned to other stable groups – for instance groups H and F. For a long time, group С remained the most complicated and unexplored due to two main reasons: it contains copies from the first half of the 15th с. to the 18th c., which are not homogeneous and are thus hard to reduce to a common denominator while at the same time some of them were practically underexplored. For many years the group was represented only by three copies published by O. Bodyansky, which were perceived emblematic for the whole group. What they have in common is that they feature innovative readings and these characteristics have been assigned to the whole group. After the 1970s three new copies have been introduced, which have been included in the textological analyses only recently. It became clear that tradition С has been developing much more intensively than the menaion and therefore it offers numerous variants of different layers. The material was rationalized through an internal regrouping and separation of sub-groups. After specifying the quantity of copies belonging to group С their textological study was undertaken, including: description and analysis of internal rubrics, used as a typology marker; selected variant readings which are compared with the rest of the manuscript tradition; vocabulary – in its representation the same model and the same complex of selected lexemes as with group A and В were used. The South Slavonic branch of the tradition was paid relatively less attention by briefly presenting the characteristics of the copies through the conclusions made in the previous studies. The variant readings and the vocabulary have been compared with the rest of the tradition: the full concurrences and the connections with the readings in the Russian groups are registered and the conclusions are drawn therefrom. The present book, which has been written as a study of the textological tradition of VC, offers scholars a sufficiently secure basis for the next textological task: the identification of the genealogical relations between the groups. In a certain sense it maps out the problems around the Cyrillic fragments of VC characteristic of the Russian literature. They reveal particularities different from the tradition of the full Cyrillic copies that could also form a future monograph.

  • Page Count: 336
  • Publication Year: 2013
  • Language: Bulgarian