This time we turn to the Περί ἀγάπης και ἐγκρατείας — Four Centuries (400 Chapters) on Love and Self-control — of Abba Thalassius (CPG 7848), a contemporary of Maximus the Confessor. The work is made up of 400 sentences on the spiritual life and practice. Given the work’s character as apophthegmatic, it will serve as an excellent text for language learners, whether in Greek, Georgian, or Arabic (on which see GCAL I 406): the whole work is not long, many of the sentences are short and grammatically simple, and there is frequent repetition of certain lexical items.
The Greek text is readily available in (at least) two editions:
An edition of the Georgian translation, based chiefly on Athos 49, but with reference to the other two known copies, was published by my friend, Fr. Andrew Boroda (ა. ბოროდა) as an addendum to the Annual Calendar of the Georgian Orthodox Church, 1992 (Tbilisi), pp. 414-483: წმიდა აბბა თალასე „სიყვარულის, მარხვის და სულიერი მოქალაქობის შესახებ‟. The Georgian translation is thought to be the work of George the Hagiorite. At least three manuscripts are known: Athos 49 (early 11th cent.), A55 (11th/12th cent.), and the much later A66 (1710). According to Blake, who cataloged the Georgian Athos manuscripts, the Athos manuscript is the work of George the Hagiorite himself.
Before turning to the Georgian again, note that there is an accessible digitized manuscript of the Greek text in BL Add. 24375, with the saying below (1.12) on ff. 79r-v. It does not differ from the PG and Philokalia editions.
The PG and Philokalia editions for this sentence read as follows:
δυνατὸς ἀνὴρ ἐκεῖνος ὑπάρχει, ὁ πράξει καὶ γνώσει τὴν κακίαν ἀπελαύνων.
ძლიერი კაცი იგი არს, რომელი საქმით და ცნობით და სიტყჳთ და გონებით უკეთურებასა სდევნიდეს.
- ძლიერი strong, able, capable
- საქმეჲ deed, doing; thing
- ცნობაჲ understanding, grasping, recognition, perception
- სიტყუაჲ speech, talking, word(s)
- გონებაჲ thought(s), thinking
- უკეთურებაჲ evil
- ს-დევნ-იდ-ეს pres conj 3sg O3 დევნა to drive out, displace, persecute, chase
An ET of the Georgian:
Able is the man who shall by deed, by knowledge, by word, and by thought drive out evil.
The Georgian version, then, compared with the Greek text of the PG and Phil. editions, has two additional nouns. Note also the Georgian pres conj for Greek pres ptcp.
More to come, I hope, in Old Georgian phrases and sentences from this text, but for now, let this sentence suffice!