Archive for the ‘devil’ Tag

Old Georgian phrases and sentences 66 (Book of Adam 11)   Leave a comment

This is our second passage from the Georgian Book of Adam in OGPS, the first being № 26, where some basic data about the text will be found. The text for today is from p. 111.18-27 in the edition (the paragraphs are not numbered in the ed., but they are in Mahé’s FT; these at least roughly correspond to the paragraph numbers in Stone’s ed. and tr. of the Armenian version: see The Penitence of Adam, CSCO 429, p. 4//430, p. 3). Below I give the Georgian text, broken into smaller chunks and accompanied by Mahé’s FT and some vocabulary notes, and finally an ET follows.

ესე რა ესმა ევას, რამეთუ ეშმაკი არს, რომელმანცა აცთუნა იგი, დავარდა იგი წინაშე მისსა,

Quand Ève entendit cela, que c’était le diable qui l’avait trompée, elle tomba devant lui

  • ა-ცთუნ-ა aor 3sg ცთუნება to tempt, deceive, seduce
  • და-ვარდ-ა aor 3sg დავრდომა to fall down (cf. დავრდომილსა below)

ხოლო ადამს ორ წილ ექმნა სალმობაჲ იგი ევაჲსი, რამეთუ ხედვიდა იგი მას დავრდომილსა ქუეყანასა ზედა ვითარცა მკუდარსა.

et la douleur d’Adam pour Ève en fut doublée, car il la voyait tombée par terre comme une morte.

  • წილი part, lot
  • სალმობაჲ pain, grief, sorrow
  • ხედვ-იდ-ა impf 3sg ხედვა to see
  • დავრდომილი fallen down
  • მკუდარი dead

შეჭუვნა და თქუა დიდითა კუნესითა, ჴმა-ყო:

Il s’affligea et dit en s’écriant dans un grand gémissement:

  • შე-ჭუვნ-ა aor 3sg შეჭუვნება to be/become sad, sorry, sorrowful
  • კუნესაჲ moaning, groaning, sighing
  • ჴმა-ყო aor 3sg ჴმა-ყოფა to cry out

“ვაჲ შენდა, მბრძოლსა მაგას ჩუენსა, რაჲ ბოროტი გიყავთ შენ, რამეთუ შენითა შეტყუვილითა იყო გამოჴდაჲ ჩუენი სამოთხით.

Malheur à toi, notre ennemi! Quel mal t’avons-nous fait? Car c’est par tes calomnies que s’est produite notre sortie du paradis.

  • მბრძოლი fighter, warrior, combatant, enemy
  • გ-ი-ყავ-თ aor 1pl O2 ყოფა to do
  • შეტყუვილი deception, lying, cheating
  • გამოჴდაჲ casting out, chasing away, expulsion
  • სამოთხეჲ garden (for this and the previous word, cf. the sentence from Kurc’ikiże, ქართულის ვერსიები აპოკრიფებისა მოციქულთა შესახებ, 31.34-35, cited in Sarjveladze-Fähnrich 147b s.v. გამოჴდაჲ: შენ ჰყავ პირველისა მის კაცისა გამოჴდაჲ სამოთხით “Du hast den ersten Menschen aus dem Paradies verstoßen”)

უკუეთუ ჩუენ განგაგდეთ შენდა ჩუენდა მომართ არს მდურვაჲ შენი?

Est-ce parce que nous t’aurions (fait) chasser que tu as contre nous ta colère?

  • გან-გ-ა-გდ-ე-თ aor 1pl O2 განგდება to cast out, throw away
  • მდურვაჲ charge, accusation, reproach

ანუ ჩუენ მიერ მოგეძრცუა დიდებაჲ შენი?

Et (serait-ce) par nous que ta gloire t’aurait été ravie?

  • მო-გ-ე-ძრცუ-ა aor pass 3sg O2 მოძრცუა (or მოძურცა?) to rob, steal, plunder (words built on the same root, but with a different preverb, include აღძრცჳლი stolen, plundered; აღძურცაჲ plundering; განმძრცუელი robber; განუძრცუელი not plundered, looted; განძრცუაჲ plundering, looting)

ანუ სადამე ჩუენითა შექმნითა ეგრეთ ნაკლულევან ხარ, ანუ ჩუენ ხოლო ვართა დაბადებულნი ღმრთისანი, რამეთუ ჩუენ ხოლო გუბრძავ{თ}?”

Est-ce, en quelque façon, de notre fait que tu es en telle misère? Ou sommes-nous les seules créatures de Dieu, pour que tu nous combattes seuls?

  • სადამე sometime, anytime, once, soon
  • შექმნაჲ making, causing
  • ნაკლულევანი lacking, incomplete, poor
  • ვ-არ-თ-ა pres 1pl ყოფა to be + interr. particle
  • დაბადებული created, creature, creation
  • გუ-ბრძავ{-თ} K’urc’ikiże’s text has გუბრძავთ (variant given in A: გვბძავთ; not helpful), and Mahé translates this sentence: “Est-ce, en quelque façon, de notre fait que tu es en telle misère? Ou sommes-nous les seules créatures de Dieu, pour que tu nous combattes seuls?” The Armenian (ed. Stone) has for the last part of the sentence զի մարտնչիս ընդ մեզ ի տարապարտուց “that you fight with us for no reason” (the Latin [ed. Meyer], textually unrelated directly, of course, has quid persequeris nos, inimice, usque ad mortem impie et invidiose?) On the basis of the Armenian, we would expect the Georgian verb to be pres 2sg O1pl, that is, გუბრძავ (with no -თ). The form as given in the edition can only be analyzed as pres 2pl O1pl, a plural subject does not fit the context. An unheralded shift to second-person plural with the devil and his fallen angels in view seems unlikely. (Pres 1pl O2 would be გბრძავთ.) So the -თ, which can only mark the number of the subject, must be an error, and indeed Mahé (p. 234) notes that we should read გუბრძავ, not გუბრძავთ.

(Many thanks to Kevin Tuite and Jost Gippert for discussing the last verb form with me.)

Here is an English translation of the passage:

When Eve heard that it was the devil who had deceived her, she fell down before him, but Eve’s sorrow was doubled for Adam, for he was seeing her fallen down like a corpse. He was sad and said with great sorrow, he cried out, “Damn you, enemy of ours! What evil have we done to you that our expulsion from the garden was due to your deception? If we have cast you out, is this the reason for your reproach against us? Or has your glory been stolen by us? Or are you somehow by our doing lacking something, or are we alone God’s creations that you are fighting only against us?”

A scribe addressing a reader’s spiritual condition   Leave a comment

Here is a colophon from a manuscript I cataloged last week (CFMM 155, p. 378). It shares common features and vocabulary with other Syriac colophons, but the direct address to the reader, not merely to ask for prayer, but also to suggest that the reader, too, needs rescuing is less common. We often find something like “Whoever prays for the scribe’s forgiveness will also be forgiven,” but the phrasing we find in this colophon is not as common.

CFMM 155, p. 378

CFMM 155, p. 378

Brother, reader! I ask you in the love of Jesus to say, “God, save from the wiles of the rebellious slanderer the weak and frail one who has written, and forgive his sins in your compassion.” Perhaps you, too, should be saved from the snares of the deceitful one and be made worthy of the rank of perfection. Through the prayers of Mary the Godbearer and all the saints! Yes and yes, amen, amen.

Here are a few notes and vocabulary words for students:

  • pāgoʿā reader (see the note on the root pgʿ in this post)
  • ḥubbā Išoʿ should presumably be ḥubbā d-Išoʿ
  • pṣy D to save; first paṣṣay(hy) D impv 2ms + 3ms, then tetpaṣṣē Dt impf 2ms
  • mḥil weak
  • tāḥub weak
  • ākel-qarṣā crumb-eater, i.e. slanderer, from an old Aramaic (< Akkadian) idiom ekal qarṣē “to eat the crumbs (of)” > “to slander” (see S.A. Kaufman, Akkadian Influences on Aramaic, p. 63) (cf. διάβολος < διαβάλλω)
  • ṣenʿtā plot (for ṣenʿātēh d-ākel-qarṣā cf. Eph 6:11 τὰς μεθοδείας τοῦ διαβόλου)
  • mārod rebellious
  • paḥḥā trap, snare
  • nkil deceitful
  • šwy Gt to be equal, to be made worthy, deserve
  • dargā level, rank
  • gmirutā perfection

Old Georgian phrases and sentences 48 (the devil as a horse)   Leave a comment

Again I have found the Sarjveladze and Fähnrich dictionary to be of interest even as a reading-book of isolated passages. (See similarly these posts here, here, and here.) The isolated quotation this time comes from I. Imnaišvili’s ქართული ენის ისტორიული ქრესტომათია II (Tbilisi, 1963), 96.15-16, found in the Altgeorgisch-Deutsches Wörterbuch on p. 724b, s.v. მკბენარი and p. 872b, s.v. მწიხნარი.

ეჩუენა ეშმაკი მსგავსად ცხენისა ბოროტისა და მწიხნარისა და მკბენარისა

Ihm erschien der Teufel in Gestalt eines bösen, ausschlagenden und beißenden Pferdes.

  • ე-ჩუენ-ა aor 3sg ჩუენება to appear
  • მსგავსად similar to, corresponding to, as (here adv.)
  • ცხენი horse
  • მწიხნარი kicking (< წიხნა to kick)
  • მკბენარი biting, stinging (< კბენა to bite, sting)

So in English:

The devil appeared to him as an evil horse, kicking and biting.

I don’t have a copy of Imnaišvili’s Chrestomathy here, so I don’t know where this quote comes from, but with such an equine satanic apparition, it’s bound to be an interesting tale! (For other malicious super-equine horses we may mention Keśi and the Mares of Diomedes.)

Old Georgian phrases and sentences 41   1 comment

The memorable line below is quoted in Sarjveladze & Fähnrich, Altgeorgisch-Deutsches Wörterbuch (Brill, 2005), 1452, s.v. ციდამტკაველი “Affe” (cf. Rayfield, 1570b), from the manuscript A-199 2r, 14-17b (saints’ lives, 12th/13th cent.). The context is not indicated, but in any case the theme is along the lines of the shoulder angel; the English expression “monkey on your back” may also come to mind. In addition to providing an example of the irregular verb სხდომა “to sit”, here with a second-person object marker (O2), we have an anatomical vocabulary item, “shoulder”, and the animal-word ციდამტკაველი, which in later Georgian also occurs, not surprisingly, several times in Sulxan-Saba Orbeliani’s, Kilila da Damana.

კაცო, სიძჳრისა ეშმაკი, ვითარცა ციდამტკაველი გიზის მჴართა ზედა

  • სიძჳრეჲ malice; miserliness
  • ეშმაკი demon, devil
  • ციდამტკაველი monkey
  • გ-ი-ზი-ს pres 3sg O2 სხდომა to sit (irreg.; see Fähnrich, Die georg. Spr., pp. 275-276)
  • მჴარი shoulder

Man! The malicious demon sits there like a monkey on your shoulders!

Mensch, der Teufel des Bösen sitzt dir wie ein Affe auf den Schultern. (S-F)

Jacob of Serug on the Temptation of Jesus: Two homilies   1 comment

12th-cent. mosaic in Basilica di San Marco, Venice. Source.

12th-cent. mosaic in Basilica di San Marco, Venice. Source.

A couple of days ago UPS delivered a box with copies of my new book on two homilies by Jacob of Serug. These homilies are on the Temptation of Jesus (Mt 4:1-11, Mk 1:12-13, Lk 4:1-13), and the book, my second contribution (the first is here) to Gorgias Press’ series for Jacob within Texts from Christian Late Antiquity (TeCLA), includes vocalized Syriac text with facing English translation, introduction, and a few notes. As far as I know, neither homily has been translated before, so hopefully, even with some inevitable imperfections in this first translation, they will both now meet with more readers. The introduction has a few words about manuscripts, broader history of the interpretation of the pericopes on the Temptation, and the Syriac vocabulary Jacob uses for fighting, humility, and the devil.

And for your viewing pleasure, in addition to the one above, here is another representation of the encounter between Satan and Jesus, this one from Vind. Pal. 1847, a German Prayer Book dated 1537 (more info here, and on the image here), a copy of which is available through HMML. (Two more related images from Vivarium I would highlight are this one, with the image of the devil smudged, and this one from the Moser Bible, with a very different kind of Satan.)

Temptation of Jesus. Vind. Pal. 1847 (16th cent.) See further here.

Temptation of Jesus. Vind. Pal. 1847, f. 18v. See further here.

Finally, from Walters 539, an Armenian Gospel-book from 1262, here is Jesus post temptation, being ministered to by angels. The text on this page is Mt 4:8b-411.

Walters 539, p. 52.

Walters 539, p. 52.

“Satan” upside down in an Arabic manuscript   Leave a comment

I’ve mentioned here before the writing upside down of names as a means of cursing, dissociation, or the like (here, here, and cf. here). Today, while cataloging an Arabic manuscript from Mardin — CCM 17, 18th century, which contains accounts of miracles of Mary and other saints — I found another example, this time with “Satan”, and notably, in Arabic script, not Syriac, as was the case with the other examples I’ve pointed out. In this image, you can see al-šayṭān upside down in lines 2, 5, and 7.

CCM 17, f. 47r.

CCM 17, f. 47r.

Old Georgian phrases and sentences 12   1 comment

Our next Old Georgian excerpt comes from an episode in the story of Symeon the Stylite, § 21 (Garitte, CSCO 171-172, with text also available at TITUS here), two sentences reporting a fiendish onslaught by some devil-inspired beasts.

და ბრძოლა სცა ეშმაკმან მას შინა ბრძოლითა დიდითა, და მოიყვანნა მის ზედა მრავალნი მჴეცთაგანნი, გუელნი და ვეშაპნი, რომელნი ჰბერვიდეს და ისტუენდეს მის ზედა…

…et pugnam dedit ei diabolus in eo pugna magna, et adduxit super eum multas e bestiis, lupos [!] et dracones, qui sufflabant et sibilabant super eum… (Garitte’s LT)

…and the devil gave him a fight with a great fight within him, and brought against him many beasts, snakes and dragons, which were breathing and hissing at him…

Here are a few grammatical and lexical helps for those that might want them:


  • ს-ც-ა aor 3sg O3 ცემაჲ to give (the phrase with მას შინა here strikes me as a little strange, and that strangeness is also reflected in my translation, as well as Garitte’s LT)
  • მო-ი-ყვან-ნ-ა aor 3sg + N-infix მოყვანება to bring in
  • ჰ-ბერვ-ი-დ-ეს impf 3pl O3 ბერვა to breathe, blow (Z. Sarjweladze and H. Fähnrich, Altgeorgisch-Deutsches Wörterbuch [2005], 101: “blasen, hauchen, einhauchen”)
  • ი-სტუენ-დ-ეს impf 3pl სტუენა to hiss (cf. სტუენა “hissing” in Rayfield et al., Comprehensive Georgian-English Dict.,1197, which also agrees with Garitte’s LT, but Sarjweladze-Fähnrich, 1116, “pfeifen”!)

Other vocabulary

  • ბრძოლაჲ fight, struggle
  • ეშმაკი devil, demon
  • მჴეცი wild animal, beast (here analyzed as მჴეც-თა-გან-ნი)
  • გუელი snake (e.g. ὄφις in versions of Mt 7:10 and Jn 3:14; but compare Garitte’s LT!)
  • ვეშაპი δράκων (cf. Arm. վիշապ, etc.; see H. Ačaṙian, Arm. Etym. Dict., IV 341-342)

Old Georgian phrases and sentences 8   Leave a comment

რად უქმ ხარ, სიკუდილო, და არა შეჰკრებ სნეულთა საუნხეთა შენთა?

(The Devil speaking to Death) Why are you idle, Death, and not gathering the ill into your hoards?

Source: Homily on Death and the Devil, attributed to Ephrem, 3.4. See Gérard Garitte, “Homélie d’Éphrem «Sur La Mort et Le Diable»: Version géorgienne et version arabe.” Le Muséon 82 (1969): 123–163; here p. 142. As usual, Garitte gives a fine literal Latin trans. for the Georgian; the Arabic version was published by Krachkovsky (“Новозаветный апокриф в арабской рукописи 885–886 г.” Византийский Временник 14 (1907): 246-275), and Garitte adds more from Mingana Chr. Arab. 93, and a Latin trans. of Krachkovsky’s text.

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