Archive for the ‘Christmas’ Tag

The Christmas story (Luke 2) in Old Georgian   3 comments

As I mentioned in a recent post, I’ve been at work on a little document presenting the Christmas story in Old Georgian. From a philological perspective, and from the perspective of language pedagogy, the Gospels stand out as a special group of texts, because in many languages we have multiple translations or revisions of earlier translations. In addition, of course, there is the fact that a number of passages exist in more or less similar versions across the four Gospels. All that to say, the Gospels offer students of this or that language and those interested in the variety of ways a text may appear in different translations an excellent opportunity for study. (Other genres where similar benefits accrue from the same kind of surviving multiple translations are philosophy and patristics.) The benefit derivable from a study like this to some extent depends on the format of its presentation. (For an excellent presentation of the Syriac Gospels, see George Kiraz’s Comparative Edition of the Syriac Gospels, 4 vols.) A digital presentation of the requisite texts certainly offers promising possibilities, but at least strictly for the texts, a conventional 2-D display with one layer, whether on paper or on screen, can be very valuable for those who read it closely.

From here (unidentified ms).

From here (unidentified ms).

It is this conventional single surface and single layer presentation that I have followed here. Since we’re in the Christmas season now, it’s a fitting time to read over any relevant texts, whether for language practice or some other reason. In the New Testament, the Christmas story, of course, is found in Matthew 1:18-25 and 2:1-12 and in Luke 1:26-38 and 2:1-20. It is only the last section that I have included here. In this document (xmas_story_old_georgian) I’ve given that text verse-by-verse first in Greek as a kind of anchor point, then in Georgian in each of the Adiši, Pre-Athonite, and Athonite redactions, all of which are freely available online thanks to TITUS/Armazi. Following the text in these versions, comes an almost comprehensive lexicon and full verbal concordance, hopefully to make the document a more useful reader for students and because lexical tools for Old Georgian in English are quite meager, and any addition to that small list of instrumenta will, I think, have value. (I have similar documents, too, for the Temptation and Transfiguration pericopes, and outside of the Gospels, some other passages from the rest of the Bible, both OT and NT.)

I welcome any comments on the document, not only corrections, but also remarks on the layout, on the worth of a lexicon for such a small text selection, whether more grammatical information should be supplied (and if so, how much), &c.

As always, thanks for reading and best wishes in your studies!

Old Georgian phrases and sentences 16: Luke 2:7   1 comment

It’s been too long since an update to “Old Georgian phrases and sentences”, so here is a seasonably fitting selection, Luke 2:7, given below in Greek and in three Georgian versions (Adiši, Pre-Athonite, and Athonite [the last two actually identical]).

καὶ ἔτεκεν τὸν υἱὸν αὐτῆς τὸν πρωτότοκον, καὶ ἐσπαργάνωσεν αὐτὸν καὶ ἀνέκλινεν αὐτὸν ἐν φάτνῃ, διότι οὐκ ἦν αὐτοῖς τόπος ἐν τῷ καταλύματι.


და შვა ძე იგი თჳსი პირმშოჲ და შეგრაგნა იგი და შთააწვინა ბაგასა, რამეთუ არა იყო მათდა ადგილ სავანესა მას.

Pre-Athonite and Athonite

და შვა ძჱ იგი მისი პირმშოჲ და შეხჳა იგი სახუეველითა და მიიწვინა იგი ბაგასა, რამეთუ არა იყო მათა ადგილ სავანესა მას.

Starting with the Adiši version, the vocabulary is:

  • შობა to bear (aor 3s)
  • ძეჲ son
  • პირმშოჲ firstborn
  • შეგრაგნა to wrap up (aor 3s)
  • შთაწვინა to lay down (aor 3s)
  • ბაგაჲ manger
  • -და to, for
  • ადგილი place
  • სავანეჲ housing, habitation

And the additional items for the other (identical) versions, differing from the Adiši version for ἐσπαργάνωσεν αὐτὸν καὶ ἀνέκλινεν, are:

  • შეხუევა to wrap up (aor 3s)
  • სახუეველი cover, wrapper, blanket (NB cognate acc.)
  • მიწვენა to lay down (aor 3s)

I hope to have something to post in a few days for the whole Xmas story from Luke in Old Georgian, so stay tuned!

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