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Ulfilas and Gothic Christianity (from the commemoration of Niketas the Goth in Greek, Georgian, and Armenian)   Leave a comment

APIB 2, p. 127, rubric for Niketas the Goth, Hoṙi 6/September 15

APIB 2, p. 127, rubric for Niketas the Goth, Hoṙi 6/September 15

In the synaxarion for Sept 15, we find in the commemoration of Niketas the Goth (cf. BHG 1339-1340) a brief mention of the famous Ulfilas. As an exercise for students of Armenian, here is the passage from two 17th-century manuscripts, along with vocabulary, followed by some related excerpts from the metaphrastic version of the commemoration.

The knowledge of Ulfilas’ role in the spread of Christianity among the Goths, including the creation of a script for Gothic and the translation of the Bible into Gothic, is well known. Here is a brief statement from Sokrates’ Eccl. hist. (4.33.6, P. Maraval and P. Périchon, Socrate de Constantinople, Histoire ecclésiastique (Livres I-VII), Paris, 2004-2007):

Τότε {δὲ} καὶ Οὐλφίλας ὁ τῶν Γότθων ἐπίσκοπος γράμματα ἐφεῦρεν Γοτθικά, καὶ τὰς θείας γραφὰς εἰς τὴν Γότθων μεταβαλὼν τοὺς βαρβάρους μανθάνειν τὰ θεῖα λόγια παρεσκεύασεν.

See further these resources, some older, some newer, on Ulfilas and Gothic:

To return to our Armenian manuscripts, on APIB 1, dated 1637, see also this post. The similar manuscript APIB 2, with APIB 3 a large two-volume manuscript, is dated 1684.

APIB 1, p. 112

APIB 1, p. 112

Here are the texts from APIB 1 and, for comparison, Bayan’s ed. of a different text in PO (here):

APIB 1 Սո՛ւրբ նիկիտաս է՛ր ի խուժադուժ երկրէն գո՛թացւոց որէ յարեվմուտս ի հիւսիսային կողմն յայնկոյս գետոյն դանուբայ. յամս մեծին կոստանդիանոսի։

  • խուժադուժ, -ից barbarous, savage
  • արեւմուտք, -մտից the West
  • հիւսիսային northern
  • կողմն, -մանց side, quarter, region, land
  • յայնկոյս over, beyond, on the other side
  • գետ, -ոց, -ից river

B Սուրբ վկայն Քրիստոսի Նիկիտաս, էր ի խուժադուժ երկրէն Գոթացւոց, յայնկոյս գետոյն մեծի Դանուբայ, ի ժամանակս մեծի արքային սրբոյն Կոստանդիանոսի։

APIB 1 եւ էր հա՛ւատովն քրիստոնեայ խրատեալ ի մեծէն թէոփիլոսէ գա՛ւթացւոց ե(պիսկոպո)սէն։ Որ էր մի եւ նա. զճ՟ եւ ժը՟ հայրապետացն որ ի նիկիայ։

  • հաւատ, -ոյ, -ք, -ոց faith, belief, creed
  • խրատեմ, -եցի to admonish, instruct
  • NB the spelling of գա՛ւթացւոց for Գոթացոց, a kind of hypercorrection
  • զճ՟ եւ ժը՟ = 318, which is fully spelled out below

B Եւ էր խրատեալ եւ ուսեալ զուղղափառ հաւատս քրիստոնէութեան յերանելոյն Թէոփիլոսէ Գոթացոց եպիսկոպոսէն, որ էր մի ի յերեք հարիւր ութ եւ տասնիցն Նիկիոյ առաջին ժողովոյն։

  • ուսեալ ուսանիմ, ուսայ, ուսիր to learn, study, be instructed
  • ուղղափառ, -աց orthodox
  • երեք հարիւր ութ եւ տասնիցն 318 (Meillet, Altarm. Elementarbuch, § 78)
  • առաջին, առաջնում, -ջնոյ, -ջնմէ, -ջնոց first, ancient
  • ժողով, -ոց assembly, council, synod

And several lines later Ulfilas is mentioned. Here are images from APIB 1 and 2:

APIB 1, p. 112

APIB 1, p. 112

APIB 2, p. 127 (cont.)

APIB 2, p. 127 (cont.)

APIB 2, p. 128

APIB 2, p. 128

The texts, then, from APIB 1 and Bayan are:

APIB 1 Եւ յետ մահուանն թէոփիլոսի. եղեւ եպ(իսկոպո)ս ուրփիլոս յայնմ աշխարհին գո՛թացւոց. եւ գիր եւս արար այնմ լեզուին։ եւ բազմացոյց զքրիստոնեայսն՝ յորոց մի էր եւս ս(ուր)բն նիկիտաս։

  • յետ after
  • մահ, -ու/-ուան, -ուց death
  • եւս also, still, more
  • բազմացուցանեմ, -ուցի to enlarge, increase, multiply

B Եւ յետ մահուանն Թէոփիլոսի եղեւ Ուրփիլոս եպիսկոպոս Գոթացւոց, եւ գիրս եւս երեւեցոյց այնմ բարբառոյն եւ ընդարձակագոյն ուսոյց զխուժադուժ ազգն եւ բազմացոյց զքրիստոնէութիւնն, յորոց էր եւ սուրբն Նիկիտաս։

  • երեւեցոյց երեւեցուցանեմ, -ուցի to cause to appear, show, produce
  • բարբառ, -ոյ speech, language, dialect
  • ընդարձակագոյն larger, vast, very long, lengthy
  • ուսուցանեմ, ուսուցի to teach, instruct (cf. above ուսանիմ)

Now here are some selections from the metaphrastic version of the hagiography in Greek and Georgian. These texts, rather more detailed than the Armenian above, line up closely, but differ a bit in vocabulary (cf. φίλτρον სარწმუნოებაჲ). The Greek is from PG 115, cols. 705, 708, §§ 1 and 3 (see beginning here) and the Georgian is from Nargiza Goguaże, ძველი ქართული მეტაფრასული კრებულები სექტემბრის საკითხავები, ძველი ქართული მწერლობის ძეგლები 7 (Tbilisi, 1986), this part beginning here at TITUS. Due to the length of these extracts added to the Armenian above, I have been more sparing than usual in the amount of lexical help I have supplied.

From § 1

Ἴσασι πάντες τὸν ποταμὸν Ἴστρον μεγέθει καὶ εὐθηνίᾳ, ὅσα φέρουσι, τὸ περιβόητον ἔχοντα, ὃν καὶ Δανούβιον ἡ ἐπιχώριος οἴδε γλῶττα καλεῖν.

უწყიან ყოველთა მდინარე ისტროჲ სიდიდითა და იეფობითა, რაოდენი მოაქუს მდინარეთა მქონებელი საჩინოებისაჲ, რომლისაჲ დანუბ წოდებაჲ იცის მსოფლიომან ენამან.

  • იეფობაჲ abundance
  • საჩინოებაჲ distinction, brightness

Οὗτος οὖν ὁ θαυμαστὸς Νικήτας, Γοτθικῶν σπερμάτων ἐκφὺς καὶ τιμὴν τὴν πρώτην παρ᾽ ἐκεῖνοις λαχὼν

ამათ გუთთა თესლისაგან საკჳრველი ესე ნიკიტა აღმოეცენა და პირველობისა პატივი ხუდა მათ მიერ.

  • თესლი seed
  • საკჳრველი wondrous
  • აღმოცენება to sprout, grow, come up
  • ხუდომა to be bestowed

διά τε τὸ περιφανὲς τοῦ γένους καὶ τὴν ἄλλην τοῦ σώματός τε καὶ τῆς ψυχῆς εὐφυῖαν ὅσην καὶ δεξιότητα, οὐ Γότθου ἦν τὸν βίον, οὐ τοὺς τρόπους, οὐδὲ τὴν πίστιν.

ხოლო ტომთა საჩინოებისათჳსცა და სხჳსა სულისა და ჴორცთა აზნაურებისა და სიმარჯჳსა არა გუთ იყო ცხორებითა, არცა სახითა, არცა სარწმუნოებითა;

  • აზნაურებაჲ honor, nobility
  • სიმარჯუეჲ goodness, kindness; proficiency

Ἐνίκα γὰρ ἡ μὲν γνώμη τὸ γένος, τὸ δὲ εἰς Χριστὸν φίλτρον τὴν βάρβαρον δόξαν, ὁ δὲ τῶν ἀρετῶν ἔρως τὴν Γότθικὴν ἀκρασίαν καὶ ἀγριότητα.

რამეთუ ცნობაჲ სძლევდა თჳთებასა, ხოლო ქრისტეს მიმართი სარწმუნოებაჲ ბარბაროზებრსა ნებასა და სათნოებათა ტრფიალებაჲ გუთებრივსა უზავ-ველურებასა.

  • ძლევა to conquer
  • ნებაჲ will, wish
  • სათნოებაჲ goodness, virtue
  • ტრფიალებაჲ love
  • უზავ-ველურებაჲ irreconcilability, unruliness, implacability

From § 3

Οὔρφιλος δὲ διάδοχος μὲν τῶν ἀρχιερατικῶν θεσμῶν ἐχρημάτιζε Θεοφίλου, συμπαρὼν δὲ αὐτῷ πάλαι κατὰ τὴν Νίκαιαν καὶ τὰ ἴσα φρονῶν,

ხოლო ურფილოს იყო მონაცვალე მღდელთმთავრობისა შჯულთა თეოფილესთა, ვითარცა ძუელვე მის თანა ყოფილი ნიკეას და სწორ მზრახვალი მისი,

  • მონაცვალეჲ inheriting, inheritor
  • სწორი similar, like
  • მზრახვალი counseling, advising, speaking

συνήδρευσεν ὕστερον καὶ οἷς ὅτ᾽ ἐν Κωνσταντινουπόλει ἁγία καὶ οἰκουμενικὴ δευτέρα συνεκροτήθη σύνοδος.

რომელი თანა-მოდასე იქმნა უკუანაჲსკნელ კრებასა მას წმიდასა მსოფლიოდ მეორესა კოსტანტინოპოლის შეკრებულსა.

  • თანა-მოდასეჲ similar, like
  • უკუანაჲსკნელი last

Οὗτος ἀνὴρ λόγιός τε καὶ νουνεχὴς ὢν, τύπους γραμμάτων καὶ ἀπηχήσεις αὐτῶν τῇ Γότθικῇ συμβαίνοντας ἐξεῦρε φωνῇ·

ამან კაცმან ვითარცა გონიერმან და სიტყჳერმან სახენი ასოთანი და ჴმიანობანი მათნი შესატყჳსად მოუპოვნა გუთთა ენასა,

  • ასოჲ letter
  • ჴმიანობაჲ pronunciation, sound
  • შესატყჳსი corresponding
  • მოპოვნება to invent (also, to win, earn)

τούτοις τε τὴν ἱερὰν ἡμῶν Γραφὴν καὶ θεόπνευστον ἀπὸ τῆς Ἑλλάδος εἰς τὴν Γότθικὴν γλῶσσαν μεταβαλὼν τοὺς ὁμοφίλους ἐκμανθάνειν πάσῃ σπουδῇ παρεσκεύασε.

რომლითა წმიდანი და ღმრთივ სულიერნი წერილნი ჩუენნი ელადელთაგან გუთთა ენად მიცვალებითა ყოველთა თანა-მეტომეთა მისთა მოსწრაფებით სწავლად მოუმზადნა.

  • მიცვალებაჲ death (?!)
  • თანა-მეტომაჲ compatriot
  • მოსწრაფებაჲ effort, striving
  • მომზადება to prepare

Old Georgian phrases and sentences 64 (Luke 4:34)   Leave a comment

Today’s lines are from the Gospel: the demoniac’s words of recognition to Jesus in Lk 4:34. The Georgian is straightforward, but first, here’s the Greek:

ἔα, τί ἡμῖν καὶ σοί, Ἰησοῦ Ναζαρηνέ; ἦλθες ἀπολέσαι ἡμᾶς; οἶδά σε τίς εἶ, ὁ ἅγιος τοῦ θεοῦ.

On ἔα, an exclamation especially common in Greek drama, see LSJ here; some translators, however, ancient (e.g. Peshitta, Harqlean, Armenian,* Vulgate) and modern (e.g. KJV), have taken the word to be the pres impv 2sg of ἐᾶν, spelled (and accented) the same way. For the Hebrew Vorlage (מה לי ולך) of τί ἐμοὶ/ἡμῖν καὶ σοί (cf. Lk 8:28, Jn 2:4), cf. Jdg 11:12, 1 Kgs 17:18, 2 Kgs 3:13; Hos 14:9 (Eng 14:8), 2 Chr 35:21.

Here’s the Georgian Adishi text:

ეჰა, რაჲ არს ჩემი და შენი, იესუ ნაზორეველო? მოხუედ წარწყმედად ჩუენდა, გიცით შენ, ვინ ხარ წმიდაჲ ეგე ღმრთისაჲ.

  • ეჰა An exclamation, this Georgian version, along with the Pre-Athonite and Giorgi’s, thus standing apart from both Syriac and Armenian.
  • მო-ხ-უედ aor 2sg მოსლვა to come
  • წარწყმედა to destroy
  • გ-ი-ც-ი-თ pres 1pl O2 ცოდნა to know (cf. Aronson, §9.1.4)

*The Armenian in Künzle’s ed. is թուղացո՛; the Zohrab Bible has the spelling թուլացո՛. In either case, it’s aor impv 2sg թուղ/լացուցանեմ, թուղ/լացուցի to let, permit, relax, loosen (cf. Nor Baṙgirk’ 1: 821a-b, Künzle, 2: 277).

Old Georgian phrases and sentences 62 (Raka!)   Leave a comment

In Sarjveladze-Fähnrich, 960a, s.v. რაკა (and 1167b, s.v. უთჳსესი), the following line is cited from manuscript A-689 (13th cent.), f. 69v, lines 20-23:

კითხვაჲ: რაჲ არს რაკა? მიგებაჲ: სიტყუაჲ სოფლიოჲ, უმშჳდესადრე საგინებელად უთჳსესთა მიმართ მოპოვნებული

Frage: Was ist Raka? Antwort: Ein grobes Wort, den nächsten Angehörigen gegenüber als leiser Tadel gebraucht.

This is a question-and-answer kind of commentary note on the word raka in Mt 5:22. There is probably something analogous in Greek or other scholia, but I have not checked. For this word in Syriac and Jewish Aramaic dialects, see Payne Smith 3973-3974; Brockelmann, LS 1488; DJPA 529b; and for JBA rēqā, DJBA 1078a (only one place cited, no quotation given). For the native lexica, see Bar Bahlul 1915 and the quotations given in Payne Smith.

For this word in this verse, the Syriac versions (S, C, P, H) all have raqqā, Armenian has յիմար (senseless, crazy, silly), and in the Georgian versions, the earlier translations have შესულებულ, but the later, more hellenizing translations have the Aramaic > Greek word რაკა on which the scholion was written. Before returning to the Georgian scholion above, let’s first have a look at parts of this verse in Greek and all of these languages. Note this Georgian vocabulary for below:

გან-(ხ)-უ-რისხ-ნ-ეს 3sg aor conj (the -ნ- is not the pl obj marker) განრისხება to become angry | ცუდად in vain, without cause | შესულებული dumbfounded, stupid | ცოფი crazy, fool

Part 1

  • πᾶς ὁ ὀργιζόμενος τῷ ἀδελφῷ αὐτοῦ
  • kul man d-nergaz ʿal aḥu(h)y iqiʾ
  • ամենայն որ բարկանայ եղբաւր իւրում տարապ֊արտուց
  • A89/A844 რ(ომე)ლი განხოჳრისხნეს ძმასა თჳსა [ცოჳ]დად
  • Ad ყოველი რომელი განურისხნეს ძმასა თჳსსა ცუდად
  • PA რომელი განურისხნეს ძმასა თჳსსა ცუდად
  • At რომელი განურისხნეს ძმასა თჳსსა ცუდად

Part 2

  • ὃς δ’ ἂν εἴπῃ τῷ ἀδελφῷ αὐτοῦ· ῥακά
  • kul d-nēmar l-aḥu(h)y raqqā
  • որ ասիցէ ցեղբայր իւր յիմար
  • A89/A844 რ(ომელმა)ნ ხრქ(ოჳ)ას ძმასა თჳსსა შესოჳლებოჳლ
  • Ad რომელმან ჰრქუას ძმასა თჳსსა: შესულებულ
  • PA რომელმან ჰრქუას ძმასა თჳსსა რაკა
  • At რომელმან ჰრქუას ძმასა თჳსსა რაკა

Part 3

  • ὃς δ’ ἂν εἴπῃ· μωρέ
  • man d-nēmar lellā (P, H; while S, C have šāṭyā)
  • որ ասիցէ ցեղբայր իւր մորոս
  • A89/A844 NA
  • Ad და რომელმან ჰრქუას ძმასა თჳსსა: ცოფ
  • PA რომელმან ჰრქუას ძმასა თჳსსა ცოფ
  • At რომელმან ჰრქუას ძმასა თჳსსა ცოფ

So now we return to the scholion given above.

კითხვაჲ: რაჲ არს რაკა? მიგებაჲ: სიტყუაჲ სოფლიოჲ, უმშჳდესადრე საგინებელად უთჳსესთა მიმართ მოპოვნებული

  • კითხვაჲ question
  • მიგებაჲ answer
  • სოფლიოჲ worldly (< სოფელი)
  • უმშჳდეს-ად-რე < უმშჳდესი quiet, peaceful, calm adv + -რე a particle meaning “a little, slightly”
  • საგინებელად to berate, chide, scold
  • უთჳსესი neighbor, nearby person
  • მოპოვნებული found

Finally, here is an English translation of the scholion:

Question: What is raka? Answer: An impolite word found [when one wants] to berate one’s neighbor in a slightly gentle way.

That is, according to the scholiast there are harsher, stronger vocatives with which to berate someone, but when just a little verbal aggression is needed, raka is the word to choose!

A camel or a rope in the eye of a needle? The Old Georgian witness   2 comments

In Mt 19:24, Mk 10:25, and Lk 18:25 Jesus famously paints the difficulty of a rich person’s ability to get into the kingdom of God with the picture of a camel going through the eye of a needle. The strangeness of the image has not been lost on Gospel-readers from early on. Origen, followed by Cyril, reports that some interpreters took the word κάμηλος ≈ κάμιλος not as the animal, but as some kind of thick rope. This interpretation from Cyril is known also in Syriac, both in the Syriac translation of the Luke commentary, and in Bar Bahlul, and probably elsewhere. I noticed recently in my Georgian Gospel reading that the early translations also bear witness to the reading “rope”, but the later translations — not surprisingly, given the predominant hellenizing tendencies of the period — line up with the standard Greek reading, “camel”, in most (but not all!) places. Below I list a few of the Greek exegetical places, followed by the three synoptic Gospel verses in Greek, Armenian, and Georgian; I have translated into English everything quoted below except for the Greek Gospel verses. The Syriac versions (Old Syriac, Peshitta, Harqlean), at least in Kiraz’s Comparative Edition of the Syriac Gospels, all have “camel” (gamlā), not “rope” (e.g. ḥablā). As usual, for Armenian and Georgian I provide a few lexical notes. I’ve used the following abbreviations:

  • A89 = the xanmeti text A89/A844, ed. Lamara Kajaia (not extant for the whole of the Gospel of text), at TITUS here (given in both asomtavruli and mxedruli)
  • Ad = Adishi, at TITUS here
  • At = Athonite (Giorgi the Hagiorite), at TITUS here
  • Künzle = B. Künzle, Das altarmenische Evangelium / L’évangile arménien ancien, 2 vols. [text + Armenian-German/French lexicon (Bern, 1984)
  • Lampe = G.W.H. Lampe, A Patristic Greek Lexicon
  • PA = Pre-Athonite, see here at TITUS
  • PG = Migne, Patrologia Graeca

As a side note, for the Qurʾān verse that cites the phrase in question, see the following:

  • W. Montgomery Watt, “The Camel and the Needle’s Eye,” in C.J. Bleeker et al., eds., Ex Orbe Religionum: Studia Geo Widengren, vol. 2 (Leiden, 1972), pp. 155-158.
  • Régis Blachère, “Regards sur un passage parallèle des Évangiles et du Coran,” in Pierre Salmon, ed., Mélanges d’Islamologie, volume dédié à la mémoire d’Armand Abel par ses collègues, ses élèves et ses amis (Leiden, 1974), pp. 69-73.
  • M.B. Schub, “It Is Easier for a Cable to go through the Eye of a Needle than for a Rich Man to Enter God’s Kingdom,” Arabica 23 (1976): 311-312.
  • Samir Khalil, “Note sur le fonds sémitique commun de l’expression ‘un chameau passant par le trou d’une aiguille’,” Arabica 25 (1978): 89-94.
  • A. Rippin, “Qurʾān 7.40: ‘Until the Camel Passes through the Eye of the Needle'” Arabica 27 (1980): 107-113.

A similar phrase with “elephant” (pīlā) instead of “camel” appears in the Talmud: see Strack-Billerbeck, Kommentar, vol. 1, p. 828, and Sokoloff, Dict. of Jewish Babylonian Aramaic, s.v. qwpʾ.

Some Greek and Syriac exegetical and lexical references

Origen, Fragment on Mt 19:24: οἱ μὲν τὸ σχοινίον τῆς μηχανῆς, οἱ δὲ τὸ ζῷον (cited in Lampe, 700a, s.v. κάμηλος)

Some [say the word means] the rope of some apparatus, others [say it means] the animal [the camel].

Cyril of Alexandria, Fragment on Mt 19:24 (PG 72: 429) Κάμηλον ἐνταῦθά φησιν, οὐ τὸ ζῶον τὸ ἀχθοφόρον, ἀλλὰ τὸ παχὺ σχοινίον ἐν ᾧ δεσμεύουσι τὰς ἀγκύρας οἱ ναῦται.

He says that kámēlos here is not the beast of burden, but rather the thick rope with which sailors tie their anchors.

Cyril, Comm. on Lk 18:23 (PG 72: 857) Κάμηλον, οὐ τὸ ζῶον, ἀλλὰ τὸ ἐν τοῖς πλοίοις παχὺ σχοινίον.

Kámēlos is not the animal, but rather the thick rope found in boats.

With this Greek line from the Luke commentary we can compare the Syriac version, ed. Payne Smith, p. 338.15-17: gamlā dēn āmar law l-hāy ḥayutā mālon ellā l-ḥablā ʿabyā. ʿyāda (h)w gēr l-hānon d-šappir yādʿin d-neplḥun b-yammā da-l-hālēn ḥablē d-yattir ʿbēn gamlē neqron.

He says gamlā, [meaning] not the animal, but rather a thick rope, for those who know well how to plow the sea are accustomed to call the very thick ropes that they use gamlē.

One more place in Syriac attributed to Cyril has this interpretation, a few lines in the fragmentarily preserved work Against Julian (CPG 5233), ed. E. Nestle in Karl Johannes Neumann, Iuliani imperatoris librorum contra Christianos quae supersunt (Leipzig, 1880), here p. 56, § 21: d-qaddišā Qurillos, men mēmrā d-16 d-luqbal Yuliyanos raššiʿā. mqabbel hākēl l-taḥwitā: ḥrurā da-mḥaṭṭā w-gamlā, w-law ḥayutā a(y)k d-asbar Yuliyanos raššiʿā wa-skal b-kul w-hedyoṭā, ellā mālon ḥablā ʿabyā da-b-kul ellpā, hākanā gēr it ʿyādā d-neqron ennon aylēn d-ilipin hālēn d-elpārē.

Cyril, from book 16 of [his work] Against Julian the Wicked. He accepts, then, the example: the eye of the needle and the gamlā, but not the animal, as the wicked, completely stupid, and ignorant Julian thought, but rather the thick rope that is on every ship, for thus those sailors who are expert are accustomed to call them.

Theophylact of Ohrid, Ennaratio on Mt (PG 123: 356): Τινὲς δὲ κάμηλον οὐ τὸ ζῷόν φασιν, ἀλλὰ τὸ παχὺ σχοινίον, ᾧ χρῷνται οἱ ναῦται πρὸς τὸ ῥίπτειν τὰς ἀγκύρας.

Some say that kámēlos is not the animal, but rather the thick rope that sailors use to cast their anchors.

Suda, Kappa № 282: Κάμηλος: τὸ ζῷον. … Κάμιλος δὲ τὸ παχὺ σχοινίον.

Kámēlos: the animal. … Kámilos a thick rope.

Ps.-Zonaras, Lexicon: Κάμηλος. τὸ ἀχθοφόρον ζῶον. κάμηλος καὶ τὸ παχὺ σχοινίον, ἐν ᾧ δεσμεύουσι τὰς ἀγκύρας οἱ ναῦται. ὡς τὸ ἐν εὐαγγελίοις· κάμηλον διὰ τρυπήματος ῥαφίδος διελθεῖν.

Kámēlos: the beast of burden. Kámēlos is also the thick rope with which sailors tie their anchors, as in the Gospels: “for a kámēlos to go through the eye of a needle.”

As mentioned above, Cyril’s report on the verse re-appears among other things in Bar Bahlul: ed. Duval, coll. 500-501, s.v. gamlā: gamlā tub maraš [sic! cf. maras]. ba-ṣḥāḥā Qurillos gamlā qārē l-ḥablā ʿabyā d-āsrin bēh spinātā. Moše bar Kēpā gišrā ʿabyā d-mettsim l-ʿel b-meṣʿat benyānē qārē gamlā, haw da-ʿlāw(hy) mettsimin qaysē (ʾ)ḥrānē men trayhon gabbāw(hy) w-taṭlilā d-a(y)k hākan gamlā metqrā. (ʾ)ḥrā[nē] dēn d-ʿal gamlā d-besrā w-da-kyānā rāmez wa-b-leššānā yawnāyā qamēlos metemar. (ʾ)ḥrā[nē] dēn āmrin d-gamlā haw d-emar māran b-ewangelyon sgidā — da-dlil (h)u l-gamlā l-meʿal ba-ḥrurā da-mḥaṭṭā — l-hānā gamlā d-ḥayy āmar, w-law d-a(y)k (ʾ)ḥrā[nē] šāṭrin l-gamlā. ba-ṣḥāḥā (ʾ)nāšin dēn āmrin d-šawšmāna (h)w arik reglē w-lā šarririn. w-gamlā b-meṣʿat ḥaywātā dakyātā w-ṭaʾmātā itāw(hy), b-hāy gēr d-metgawrar, men ḥaywātā dakyātā metḥšeb, wa-b-hāy d-lā ṣāryā parstēh, men ṭaʾmātā.

A gamlā is also a rope [Arabic]. In one copy: Cyril calls the thick rope with which people tie their ships a gamlā. Moše bar Kēpā calls the thick beam people place at the top of buildings in the middle a gamlā, the one on which other pieces of wood are placed from either side, and a ceiling like this is called a gamlā. Others [say] that it means the natural animal [? lit. of flesh and of nature] gamlā (camel), and in Greek it is called kámēlos. Others say that the gamlā that the Lord mentioned in the Gospel — i.e., “it is easier for a gamlā to enter the eye of a needle” — by this he means a living gamlā, and not, as some foolishly say, a [non-living] gamlā [i.e. a rope, as in the interp. above?]. In one copy: Some people say that it is an ant with long, unstable legs. A camel is midway between the categories of clean and unclean animals: since it chews the cud, it is counted among clean animals, and since it does not split the hoof, among unclean.

[NB with this ant mentioned here cf. Brockelmann, Lexicon Syriacum, 2d ed., 120b (s.v. gamlā mng. 2c), JBA gamlānāʾāh (Sokoloff, Dict. Jewish Babylonian Aramaic, 289-290); also Persian uštur mūr (camel-ant).]

The Gospel verses in Greek, Armenian, and Georgian

(English translations in the next section.)

Mt 19:24

πάλιν δὲ λέγω ὑμῖν, εὐκοπώτερόν ἐστιν κάμηλον διὰ τρυπήματος ῥαφίδος διελθεῖν ἢ πλούσιον εἰσελθεῖν εἰς τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ θεοῦ.

Դարձեալ ասեմ ձեզ· դիւրի́ն է մալխոյ մտանել ընդ ծակ ասղան. քան մեծատան յարքայութիւն ա՟յ մտանել։

դիւրին easy, light | մալուխ, -լխոյ rope (supposedly also “camel”; see note below) | ծակ, -ուց hole | ասեղն, ասղան, -ղունք, -ղանց needle | մեծատուն, մեծատան, -անց rich NB on մալուխ, see Lagarde, Armenische Studien, № 1404; Ačaṙean, 3.226-227; Künzle 2.437 says “Die Bedeutung ‘Kamel’ ist wohl durch diese NT-Stellen irrtümlich in die armen. Lexika eingegangen.” The proper Arm. word for camel is ուղտ, Lagarde, Arm. St., № 1760 (cf. MP uštar, NP uštur; Sanskrit उष्ट्र uṣṭra).

A89 ႾႭჃႠႣႥႨႪჁႱ ႠႰႱ ႬႠႥႨႱႠ ႫႠႬႵႠႬႨႱႠ ႱႠႡႤႪႨ ჄႭჃႰႤႪႱႠ ႬႤႫႱႨႱႠႱႠ ႢႠႬႱႪႥႠႣ Ⴅ~Ⴄ . . . . . . . ႸႤႱႪႥႠႣ ႱႠႱႭჃႴႤႥႤႪႱႠ Ⴖ~ႧႨႱႠႱႠ

ხოჳადვილჱს არს ნავისა მანქანისა საბელი ჴოჳრელსა ნემსისასა განსლვად ვ(იდრ)ე . . . . . . . შესლვ[ა]დ სასოჳფეველსა ღ(მრ)თისასა

ხ-ოჳ-ადვილ-ჱს easier (< ადვილი easy) | ნავი ship | მანქანაჲ mechanism, machine | საბელი cable, rope, cord | ჴურელი hole | ნემსი needle

Ad მერმე გეტყჳ თქუენ: უადვილესა ზომთსაბლისაჲ ჴურელსა ნემსისასა განსლვაჲ, ვიდრე მდიდრისაჲ შესლვად სასუფეველსა ღმრთისასა.

უადვილეს easier (< ადვილი easy) | ზომთ(ა)-საბელი cable, thick rope (cf. Rayfield et al., 695a; ზომი measurement) | მდიდარი rich

PA და მერმე გეტყჳ თქუენ: უადვილეს არს მანქანისა საბელი განსლვად ჴურელსა ნემსისასა, ვიდრე მდიდარი შესლვად სასუფეველსა ღმრთისასა.

At და მერმე გეტყჳ თქუენ: უადვილეს არს აქლემი განსლვად ჴურელსა ნემსისასა, ვიდრე მდიდარი შესლვად სასუფეველსა ცათასა.

აქლემი camel

Mk 10:25

εὐκοπώτερόν ἐστιν κάμηλον διὰ [τῆς] τρυμαλιᾶς [τῆς] ῥαφίδος διελθεῖν ἢ πλούσιον εἰς τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ θεοῦ εἰσελθεῖν.

դիւրի́ն է մալխոյ ընդ ծակ ասղան անցանել. քան մեծատան յարքայութիւն ա՟յ մտանել։.

անցանեմ, անցի to pass, flow, run

Ad უადვილეს არს ზომსაბელისა განსლვაჲ ჴურელსა ნემსისა, ვიდრეღა <არა> [?] მდიდარი სასუფეველსა ღმრთისასა შესულად.

PA უადვილჱს არს მანქანისა საბელი ჴურელსა ნემსისასა განსლვად, ვიდრე მდიდარი სასუფეველსა ღმრთისასა შესლვად.

At უადვილეს არს აქლემი ჴურელსა ნემსისასა განსლვად, ვიდრე მდიდარი შესლვად სასუფეველსა ღმრთისასა.

Lk 18:25

εὐκοπώτερον γάρ ἐστιν κάμηλον διὰ τρήματος βελόνης εἰσελθεῖν ἢ πλούσιον εἰς τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ θεοῦ εἰσελθεῖν.

դիւրագոյն իցէ մալխոյ ընդ ծակ ասղան անցանել. քան մեծատան յարքայութիւն ա՟յ մտանել։.

դիւրագոյն easier

A89 ႾႭჃႠႣႥႨႪჁႱ ႠႰႱ ႫႠႬႵႠႬႨႱ ႱႠႡႤႪႨ ჄႭჃႰႤႪႱႠ ႬႤႫ ႱႨႱႠႱႠ ႢႠႬႱႪႥႠႣ Ⴅ~Ⴄ ႫႣႨႣႠႰႨ ႱႠႱႭჃႴႤႥႤႪႱႠ Ⴖ~ႧႨႱႠႱႠ

ხოჳადვილჱს არს მანქანის საბელი ჴოჳრელსა ნემსისასა განსლვად ვ(იდრ)ე მდიდარი სასოჳფეველსა ღ(მრ)თისასა

Ad უადვილეს არს მანქანისსაბელი ჴურელსა ნემსისასა განსლვად, ვიდრე მდიდარი სასუფეველსა ღმრთისასა შესლვად.

PA = Ad

At უადვილეს არს მანქანისა საბელი ჴურელსა ნემსისასა განსლვად, ვიდრე მდიდარი შესლვად სასუფეველსა ღმრთისასა.

English translations of these verses

Mt 19:24

Arm Again I say to you: it is easier for a rope to enter the eye of a needle than for the rich to enter the kingdom of God.

A89 It is easier for a rope from a ship’s apparatus to go through the eye of a needle than [for the rich] to enter the kingdom of God.

Ad Again I say to you: It is easier for a cable to go through the eye of a needle than for the rich to enter the kingdom of God.

PA And again I say to you: It is easier for the rope of an apparatus to go through the eye of a needle than for the rich to enter the kingdom of God.

At And again I say to you: It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for the rich to enter the kingdom of heaven. [sic! Not “of God”]

Mk 10:25

Arm It is easier for a rope to pass through the eye of a needle than for the rich to enter the kingdom of God.

Ad It is easier for a cable to go through the eye of a needle than for the rich to enter the kingdom of God.

PA It is easier for the rope of an apparatus to go through the eye of a needle than for the rich to enter the kingdom of God.

At It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for the rich to enter the kingdom of God.

Lk 18:25

Arm It would be easier for a rope to pass through the eye of a needle than for the rich to enter the kingdom of God.

A89 It is easier for the rope of an apparatus to go through the eye of a needle than for the rich [to enter] the kingdom of God.

Ad It is easier for the rope of an apparatus to go through the eye of a needle than for the rich to enter the kingdom of God.

PA = Ad

At ≈ Ad

Conclusion

So here is how the witnesses stand:

Camel Rope
Greek
Some Greek exeg.
Armenian
Syriac
Geo early, PA
Geo Athonite ✓ (Lk only)

For Greek, I wonder about the real existence of the word κάμιλος (with iota, not ēta, but both words pronounced the same at this period). I don’t know that it is attested anywhere that is certainly unrelated to the Gospel passages. More generally, is there an explanation for the two opposed readings “camel” and “rope”? There is in Arabic a similarity between ǧamal (camel) and ǧuml/ǧumla (“thick rope”, see Lane 460), but it is treading on thin ice to have recourse to this similarity as an explanation for earlier texts with no palpable connection to Arabic. It may simply be the case that, as Cyril says, in nautical argot ropes went by the name “camels”. (And we should remember that there were sailors in Jesus’ circle.)

The earliest reading may well have been “camel”, but a change to “rope” does not really make for an easier reading: one can put a thread through a needle’s eye, but a rope will go through it no more than a camel will! In any case, some traditions clearly side with “rope”, such that those traditions’ commonest readers and hearers of the Gospel passage would have known nothing of a camel passing through the eye of a needle, only a rope, and apparently one large enough to handle marine functions!

There is no early evidence among the sources above for “camel” in Georgian (or Armenian), while Greek knows both, as does Syriac (via Greek sources, to be sure). This variety of readings, attested without a doubt, adds to the richness of the textual witness of the Bible and the history of its interpretation. There are probably further exegetical and lexical places in Greek, Syriac, Armenian, and Georgian that bear on this question of what we’re dealing with here, a camel or a rope, but this is, I hope, at least an initial basis for some future work on the question for anyone interested.

Old Georgian phrases and sentences 59: Fingernails and claws in three texts   Leave a comment

The content of this post stems from a chance sighting of a word in the Altgeorgisch-Deutsches Wörterbuch of Sarjveldze and Fähnrich: მოფრჩხენა “kratzen, zerkratzen” (794b). The lexicographers cite there the manuscript Jer.-149 (saints’ lives, 11th cent.), 144r, lines 14-16:

ფრჩხილითა თუისითა მოჰფრჩხენდა პირსა მისსა

Mit seiner Fingernägeln zerkratzte er ihm sein Gesicht.

  • ფრჩხილი (also ფრცხილი) fingernail, claw
  • თუისითა = თჳსითა
  • მო-ჰ-ფრჩხენ-დ-ა impf 3sg მოფრჩხენა to scratch, claw

He was scratching his face with his fingernails.

This reference to fingernails or claws brought to my mind Dan 4:33 (Theodotion):

αὐτῇ τῇ ὥρᾳ ὁ λόγος συνετλέσθη ἐπὶ Ναβουχοδονοσορ, καὶ ἀπὸ τῶν ἀνθρώπων ἐξεδιώχθη καὶ χόρτον ὡς βοῦς ἤσθιεν, καὶ ἀπὸ τῆς δρόσου τοῦ οὐρανοῦ τὸ σῶμα αὐτοῦ ἐβάφη, ἕως οὗ αἱ τρίχες αὐτοῦ ὡς λεόντων ἐμεγαλύνθησαν καὶ οἱ ὄνυχες αὐτοῦ ὡς ὀρνέων.

At the same time, the sentence was completed against Nabouchodonosor, and he was driven away from humans and ate grass like an ox, and his body was bathed with the dew of heaven until his hair lengthened like that of lions and his nails like those of birds. (NETS)

In Georgian (Oshki/Jer), Dan 4:30 (= Theod) is as follows:

მასვე ჟამსა შინა აღესრულა ნაბუქოდონოსორის ზედა, და კაცთაგან განიდევნა, და თივასა ვითარცა ზროხაჲ ჭამდა, და ცუარისაგან ცისა ჴორცნი მისნი შეიღებნეს, ვიდრემდე თმანი მისნი ვითარცა ლომისანი იქმნნეს, და ფრცხილნი მისნი ვითარცა მფრინველისანი.

  • აღ-ე-სრულ-ა aor 3sg აღსრულება to complete, fulfill, end (also kill)
  • გან-ი-დევნ-ა aor pass 3sg განდევნა to drive out, chase away
  • თივაჲ grass, hay
  • ზროხაჲ cow
  • ჭამ-დ-ა impf 3sg ჭამა to eat
  • ცუარი dew
  • შე-ი-ღებ-ნ-ეს aor pass 3pl შეღებვა to dip, wet
  • თმაჲ hair
  • ლომი lion
  • ი-ქმნ-ნ-ეს aor pass 3pl ქმნა to make
  • ფრცხილი fingernail, claw (ფრჩხილი above)
  • მფრინველი bird

Finally, one more verse with nails/claws came to mind: Lev 11:4.

πλὴν ἀπὸ τούτων οὐ φάγεσθε· ἀπὸ τῶν ἀναγόντων μηρυκισμὸν καὶ ἀπὸ τῶν διχηλούντων τὰς ὁπλὰς καὶ ὀνυχιζόντων ὀνυχιστῆρας· τὸν κάμηλον, ὅτι ἀνάγει μηρυκισμὸν τοῦτο, ὁπλὴν δὲ οὐ διχηλεῖ, ἀκάθαρτον τοῦτο ὑμῖν·

ხოლო მათგანი არა შჭამოთ, რომელნი აღმოიცოხნიან და რომელთაჲ არა განყოფილ არს ჭლაკი და რომელნი ფრცხენენ ფრცხილითა: აქლემი, რამეთუ აღმოიცოხნის და ჭლაკი მისი არა განპებულ არს, არაწმიდა არს ესე თქუენდა

  • შ-ჭამ-ო-თ aor conj 2pl ჭამა to eat [with სჭ > შჭ]
  • აღმო-ი-ცოხნ-ი-ან pres 3pl აღმოცოხნა to ruminate, chew the cud
  • განყოფილი divided, split
  • ჭლაკი hoof
  • ფრცხენ-ენ pres 3pl ფრცხენა (as with the noun, also ფრჩხენა) to scratch
  • აქლემი camel
  • აღმო-ი-ცოხნ-ი-ს pres 3sg აღმოცოხნა to ruminate, chew the cud
  • განპებული split, torn (განპება to split, tear) [NB a different word than that above, even though referring to the same thing; cf. the Greek]
  • არაწმიდაჲ impure

So we have three texts, one a manuscript citation of an unpublished text (at least as far as I know) in a lexicon, and two from the Bible, all stemming from one word: ფრცხილი and its variant ფრჩხილი. I hope it’s obvious that these lexical and textual chains can be instructive for language-learners and philologists generally.

Old Georgian phrases and sentences 58 (Psalm 151:7)   Leave a comment

This time our Georgian lines come from Psalm 151 in a tenth-century Sinai manuscript. Among the following Georgian manuscripts of the Psalms in the old Sinai collection, only № 42 (see Garitte, Catalogue, pp. 156-158) has Psalm 151 (ff. 257v-258r, image 263), there following the Odes and the Beatitudes:

  • 22 (10th/11th, nusxuri)
  • 29 (10th, asomtavruli)
  • 42 (10th, asomtavruli)
  • 86 (14th/15th, nusxuri)

The others listed here only have the 150 Psalms and the Odes, except for № 22, which is incomplete at the end, and so it is not known what it had in addition to the 150 Psalms. Ps 151 not in the Graz manuscript, which ends with the Odes, but it is in Red. A, ed. M. Shanidze (at TITUS here).

Here is an image of our verse from the aforementioned Sinai manuscript (thanks to E-corpus):

Ps 151:7 in Sinai geo. 42, f. 258r

Ps 151:7 in Sinai geo. 42, f. 258r

Here is the asomtavruli and a transliteration into mxedruli:

Ⴞ(ႭႪႭ) ႫႤ ႱႠႾႤႪႨႧႠ ႳႴႪႨႱႠ Ⴖ(ႫႰ)ႧႨႱႠ ႹႤႫႨႱႠჂႧႠ ႫႭႥႨႶႤ ႫႠႾჃႪႨ ႨႢႨ ႫႨႱႨ ႣႠ ႫႭႥჀႩႭჃႤႧႤ ႧႠႥႨ ႫႨႱႨ ႣႠ ႠႶႥჄႭႺႤ ႷႭჃႤႣႰႤႡႠჂ ႻႤႧႠ ႢႠႬ Ⴈ(ႱႰႠ)ჁႪႨႱႠႧႠ

ხ(ოლო) მე სახელითა უფლისა ღ(მრ)თისა ჩემისაჲთა მოვიღე მახჳლი იგი მისი და მოვჰკუეთე თავი მისი და აღვჴოცე ყოჳედრებაჲ ძეთაგან ი(სრა)ჱლისათა.

  • მო-ვ-ი-ღე aor 1sg მოღება to take, get
  • მახჳლი sword
  • მო-ვ-ჰ-კუეთ-ე aor 1sg O3 მოკუეთა to cut off
  • აღ-ვ-ჴოც-ე aor 1sg აღჴოცა to destroy, remove
  • ყუედრებაჲ reproach, derision, abuse

Finally, for comparison, here is the verse in Greek, Armenian, and Syriac. The Georgian text is unique in having “with the name of the Lord, my God” at the beginning of the verse. (Syriac from Harry F. van Rooy, “A Second Version of the Syriac Psalm 151,” Old Testament Essays 11:3 (1998): 567-581; see also William Wright, “Some Apocryphal Psalms in Syriac,” Proceedings of the Society of Biblical Archaeology 9 (1886-1887): 257-266.)

ἐγὼ δὲ σπασάμενος τὴν παρ᾽ αὐτοῦ μάχαιραν ἀπεκεφάλισα αὐτὸν καὶ ἦρα ὄνειδος ἐξ υἱῶν Ισραηλ.

Ես հանի զսուսեր ՛ի նմանէ եւ հատի́ զգլուխ նորին, եւ բարձի զնախատինս յորդւոցն ի(սրաէ)լի։

հանեմ, հանի to draw, pull out | սուսեր sword | հատանեմ, հատի to cut | բառնամ, բարձի to lift, remove | նախատինք injury, blame, reproach, dishonor

9SH1 enā dēn kad šemṭēt saypēh pesqēt rēšēh w-arimēt ḥesdā men bnayyā d-Isrāʾēl

šmṭ to draw | saypā sword | psq to cut | rwm C to lift, remove | ḥesdā shame

12t5 enā dēn šemṭēt menēh ḥarbēh w-bēh nesbēt rēšēh w-aʿbrēt ḥesdā men Isrāʾēl

ḥarbā sword | nsb to take | ʿbr C to remove

Old Georgian phrases and sentences 57 (Isa 5:22)   Leave a comment

In the previous post we had the word თაფლუჭი. Here is another occurrence of the word in Isa 5:22 (Oshki).

First, the Old Greek has

οὐαὶ οἱ ἰσχύοντες ὑμῶν οἱ τὸν οἶνον πίνοντες καὶ οἱ δυνάσται οἱ κεραννύντες τὸ σικερα

The Old Georgian version reads

ვაჲ ძლიერთა მაგათ თქუენთა რომელნი ღჳნოსა სუმენ, და მძლავრნი იგი თქუენნი <რომელნი> იწდევენ თაფლუჭსა

  • მაგ- is the obl. stem for ეგე
  • სუმ-ენ pres 3pl სუმა to drink (aor 3pl is სუ-ეს, NB no -მ-)
  • მძლავრი strong, mighty
  • ი-წდევ-ენ pres 3pl წდევა to pour
  • თაფლუჭი mead (cf. თაფლი honey)

Until next time, გაგიმარჯოთ! Prost!

Posted June 8, 2015 by adamcmccollum in Bible, Georgian, Grammar, Greek, Lexicography

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