Archive for the ‘martyrdom’ Tag

Saint Christopher the Dog-headed (Armenian & Georgian; Old English)   2 comments

Some time ago I shared some excerpts in English translation from the Syriac version of the Martyrdom of Christopher. One of my favorite aspects of hagiographic study is the fact that so many texts are available in some form or other in more than one language (an aspect investigated by Paul Peeters and others): translators active in the languages of the Christian east spared little effort in effectively broadcasting these versions across the lands of the eastern Mediterranean, in Africa as far as Nubia and Ethiopia, at least, and along the Silk Road further east (in Syriac, Sogdian, and other languages). An incomplete picture of this translation activity can be seen in the outdated but still essential Bibliotheca hagiographica orientalis (1910), incomplete because of its age, because it reflects only published (as opposed to manuscript) resources, and because not all languages were included, the almost complete absence of Georgian being especially noteworthy. (See the bibliography I am compiling here.) These translated texts offer readers a lot to compare, whether in terms of content — how are the versions different or the same, for example, and why? — or in terms of specific linguistic categories, i.e. within the study of translation technique. Editions and studies of hagiographic text materials often take place along the lines of a single language (whether the original or a translation), less frequently with texts in two languages, but a great many hagiographic texts offer the possibility and promise of multilingual synoptic editions.

That said, nothing so grand here and now: without going into detail about the possible textual relationships of the versions of this story, here is only a short look at an Armenian and Georgian version of the martyrdom-tale, with a bit on Old English at the end. What follows is a single paragraph from the beginning about the saint’s appearance, origins, and first impulse towards martyrdom; the text is from Kekelidze’s edition of the Christopher tale (§ 2) from manuscript Tbilisi A-95, which is thankfully available electronically at TITUS here, along with bitonal, and unfortunately quite small, images of the manuscript itself. Even a quick comparison with the published Greek text (ed. G. van Hooff in the very first issue of AB [1882], this part on pp. 122-123) shows that an exact alignment of the two is impossible, and so, too, with the Armenian (here in Վարք եւ վկայաբանւթիւնք, vol. 2; “dog-headed” in Armenian is շանագլուխ, in case you’re wondering). Here are the beginnings of the aforementioned Armenian and Georgian texts with English translation and, for students of those languages, some lexical and grammatical notes. For comparison, note these synaxarion-readings: Arm. in PO 21: 429-433; Arab. in PO 16: 278-280; Gǝʿǝz in PO 46: 490-493.

Armenian

Եւ էր այր մի Շանագլուխ, գտեալ զնա կոմսի մի ի պատերազնի, եւ ած զնա առ թագաւորն եւ զինուորեցոյց զնա ընդ զօրս իւր. որոյ անուն էր Մարգարիտ։ Եւ տեսեալ զգործս ամպարըշտութեանն՝ խռովէր, եւ շարժեալ սիրտ նորա ի շնորհաց սուրբ Հոգւոյն՝ աղաչէր զԱստուած լինել ձեռնտու եւ օգնական յամենայնի, զի համարձակեսցի խօսել զբանն կենաց նովին բարբառով եւ լեզուաւ, եւ ոչ էր տեղեակ լեզուին։

There was a dog-headed man, whom a count, after having found him in battle, brought him to the king and enlisted him in his army, the name of which was Margarit [Greek ἐν τῷ νουμέρῳ τῶν μαρμαριτῶν]. Having seen the works of wickedness [there], [the dog-headed man] was troubled, and his heart having been moved by the grace of the Holy Spirit, he would ask God to be favorable and assisting in everything, that he might be permitted to speak the word of life with the same language and speech, and he was not skilled in speech.

  • գտեալ root ptcp գտանեմ to find
  • կոմէս, կոմսի count (< Gr.)
  • պատերազն, -ի, -ունք, -աց war, battle, fight, combat
  • ած aor 3sg ածեմ, ածի to lead, bring
  • զինուորեցոյց aor 3sg զինուորեցուցանեմ, -ուցի to enlist, train as a soldier, arm (analogous to ցուցանեմ to show [aor 1sg ցուցի, 3sg եցոյց], ուսուցանեմ to teach [aor 1sg ուսուցի, 3sg ուսոյց]) (for the root, cf. ultimately Middle Persian zēn, also Aramaic zēnā/zaynā, “weapon”)
  • զօր, -ու, -աց army
  • տեսեալ root ptcp տեսանեմ, տեսի to see
  • գործ, -ոյ work, thing, matter, action
  • ամպարըշտութիւն (ամբարշտութիւն) impiety, ungodliness, wickedness
  • խռովէր impf 3sg խռովեմ, -եցի to trouble, vex, disturb (here passive)
  • շարժեալ root ptcp շարժեմ, -եցի to move, agitate
  • սիրտ, սրտից heart
  • շնորհ, -ի, -ք, -աց grace, favor, pardon, mercy
  • աղաչէր impf 3sg աղաչեմ, -եցի to implore, ask
  • լինել inf. լինիմ to become
  • ձեռնտու helping, aiding, favorable
  • օգնական assisting, aiding
  • համարձակեսցի aor subj m/p 3sg համարձակեմ, -եցի to embolden; permit, allow
  • խօսել inf խօսիմ, -եցայ to speak, talk
  • բան, -ից speech, word, discourse
  • կեանք, կենաց life
  • նովին inst sg նոյն the same, the very
  • բարբառ, -ոյ speech, voice, language, dialect; cry; sound
  • լեզու, -ի/-ոյ, -աց tongue, language, speech
  • տեղեակ skilled, expert, well-versed

Georgian

იყო ვინმე კაცი მდაბალი და მოშიში ღმრთისაჲ. უცხოთესლთა ნათესავი, და ძაღლის-თავი იყო იგი. რამეთუ იყო იგი სოფლისაგან კაცის-მჭამელთაჲსა ტყუედ მოყვანებული გუნდისა ერთისაგან; და იქცეოდა იგი წინაშე მეფისა, და ნაქმევსა პირისა მისისასა შესცხრებიან. ხოლო ხედვიდა იგი დაჭრასა მას ქრისტიანეთასა და დევნასა ეკლესიათასა. და რამეთუ არა იცოდა მან ჩუენებრი სიტყუაჲ, ამისთჳს ფრიად და მწრაფლ მას-ცა ეგულებოდა მარტჳლობაჲ და ღუაწლი ქრისტჱსათჳს.

There was a certain man, humble and God-fearing, of barbarian stock, and he was dog-headed, since he was from the region of cannibals, brought as a prisoner from a troop. He would spend time before the king, and they enjoyed looking on the appearance of his face. But he noticed with concern the injury being done to the Christians and the persecution of the churches. Since he did not know speech like ours, for this reason he was greatly and quickly desiring martyrdom and a struggle for Christ.

  • მდაბალი humble
  • უცხოთესლი barbarian
  • ნათესავი relative, related
  • ძაღლი dog
  • მჭამელი eating (კაცის-მჭამელი man-eating, cannibal)
  • ტყუეჲ prisoner
  • მოყვანებული brought
  • გუნდი troop (cf. Middle Persian gund, Armenian գունդ, Aramaic gundā; see Jeffery, Foreign Vocabulary of the Qurʾān, 104-105, and more briefly, Fraenkel, Die aramäischen Fremdwörter im Arabischen, 238-239)
  • ი-ქც-ე-ოდ-ა impf 3sg ქცევა to go, move, walk around
  • ნაქმევი form, appearance
  • პირი face, mouth
  • შე-ს-ცხრ-ებ-ი-ან pres 3pl O3 შეცხრომა to take pleasure in, look on fondly
  • ხედ-ვ-იდ-ა impf 3sg ხედვა to see, care for, look after
  • დაჭრაჲ cutting, hurting
  • დევნაჲ persecution
  • იცოდა impf 3sg “to know”. An irregular verb, it takes, not only in the aor (3sg იცნა), but also in the impf (as here), subjects in the ergative and objects in the nominative. (This particular irregularity, manifest as such in assuming იცოდა is Series I — it thus being peculiar in having an ergative subject — points to this verb’s complex history, one in which the ending -ოდა has caused a Series II form to be taken as Series I [imperfect].)
  • მწრაფლ quick
  • ე-გულებ-ოდ-ა impf 3sg (indirect verb) გულება to wish, want
  • მარტჳლობაჲ martyrdom (also მარტჳრობაჲ < μάρτυς)
  • ღუაწლი struggle

Old English

Finally, and for fun, here is mention of dog-headed people, this time in Egypt, in The Wonders of the East in the famous Old English manuscript, Cotton MS Vitellius A XV, f. 100r (see here), presented essentially as in the manuscript, with a few vocabulary items.

Eac swẏlce þær beoð cende
healf hundingas ða syndon
hatene conopenas hẏ hab-
bað horses mana & eoferes
tuxas & hunda heafda & heo-
ra oruð bið swẏlce fẏres leg
þas land beoð neah ðæm bur-
gu(m) þe beoð eallum worldwe-
lum gefylled þ(æt) is on þa suðhealfe egẏpta-
na landes.

  • cennan give birth
  • healf-hunding cynocephalus
  • syndon = sind are
  • hātan to call, name
  • eofor wild board (cf. L. aper)
  • tux = tusc (NB the variability of cs [x] and sc)
  • oroþ breath
  • līg, lēg flame
  • weorld-wela worldly wealth
BL, Cotton Vitell. A XV, f. 100r

BL, Cotton Vitell. A XV, f. 100r

Note that immediately preceding this text is a life of Saint Christopher (ff. 94r-98r; mod. ET here), but it is acephalous (pun intended), and Christopher’s dog-head is not mentioned, it seems, but in the Old English Martyrology (April 28; pp. 66-69 in Herzfeld’s ed.), we find the description on Christopher as above (and as in Syriac), and with vocabulary similar to that of the passage in The Wonders of the East. Herzfeld’s text and modern ET):

…of þære þeode þær men habbað hunda heofod ond of þære eorðan on þære æton men hi selfe. he hæfde hundes heofod, ond his loccas wæron ofer gemet side, ond his eagan scinon swa leohte swa morgensteorra, ond his teð wæron swa scearpe swa eofores tuxas. he wæs gode geleaffull on his heortan, ac he ne mihte sprecan swa mon.

…from the nation where men have the head of a dog and from the country where men devour each other. He had the head of a dog, his locks were exceedingly thick, his eyes shone as brightly as the morning star, and his teeth were as sharp as a boar’s tusk. In his heart he believed in God, but he could not speak like a man.

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Procopius’ pre-martyrdom prayer (Armenian)   Leave a comment

Commemorated on July 8 is the saint Procopius (BHG 1576-1582; BHO 1002-1003). As an exercise for students of Armenian, here is the prayer he is made to utter just before he is decapitated. (Rough English translation at the end.) It contains many imperative forms (addressed to God) and several participles. Most of the vocabulary is fairly common, but I have been liberal in those I have included in the notes below. The text is available from an Armenian synaxarion in PO 21: 688-689. (Stylistically, note the placement of the imperatives: partly at the end of each main clause, partly at the beginning.)

Եւ յորժամ տանէին ի տեղին տարածեաց զձերս իւր յերկինս եւ ասէ. Տէր Աստուած իմ արարիչ երկնի եւ երկրի, հայր Տեառն մերոյ Յիսուսի Քրիստոսի, լո՛ւր աղաչանաց իմոց եւ կատարեա՛ զխնդրուածս իմ։

  • տանէին impf 3pl տանիմ, տարայ to carry away, lead away, bring
  • տարածեաց aor 3sg տարածեմ, տարածեցի to spread, stretch out
  • արարիչ creator
  • լո՛ւր impv 2sg լսեմ, լուայ to hear
  • աղաչանք prayer (pl. tantum)
  • կատարեա՛ impv 2sg կատարեմ, -եցի to accomplish, fulfill
  • խնդրուածք, -ծաց/-ծոց prayer, request (pl. tantum)

Պահեա՛ զքաղաքս զայս եւ սրբեա՛ ի կռապաշտութենէ,

  • պահեմ, -եցի to preserve, keep, watch over
  • սրբեմ, -եցի to sanctify, purify
  • կռապաշտութիւն idolatry

յիշեա եւ զամենայն ժողովուրդս քո եւ սրբեա՛ ի կռապաշտութենէ,

  • յիշեմ, -եցի to bear in mind, remember
  • ժողուորդ, -վդեան, -վրդոց people, assembly

եւ բժշկեա՛ զամենայն հիւանդութիւնս նոցա։

  • բժշկեմ, -եցի to cure
  • հիւանդութիւն illness, infirmity

Նեղելոց անդորրիչ լե՛ր,

  • նեղելոց ptcp gen.pl նեղիմ, -եցայ to be afflicted, troubled
  • անդորրիչ quieting, calming, comforting
  • լե՛ր impv 2sg լինիմ, եղէ to be

որբոց եւ այրեաց օգնական,

  • որբ, -ոց orphan
  • այրի, -րեաց widow
  • օգնական aid(ing), help(er)

եւ որոց ի բանդին այցելու,

  • բանդ/տ, -ից prison
  • այցելու, ,-ուի, -աց visitor

զնաւակոծեալս ի ծովու խաղաղութեամբ հասո՛ ի նաւահանգիստն,

  • նաւակոծեալս ptcp acc.pl. նաւակոցիմ to suffer shipwreck
  • խաղաղութիւն peace
  • հասո՛ impv 2sg հասուցանեմ, հասուցի to cause to reach, bring to (caus. of հասանեմ, հասի to arrive at, reach, the impv 2sg of which is հա՛ս)
  • նաւահանգիստ port, haven

ճանապարհորդաց ուղեկից, փախուցելոց ի բռնաւորաց ապաւէն,

  • ճանապարհորդ traveler, wayfarer
  • ուղեկից fellow traveler
  • փախուցանեմ, -եցի to put to flight, cause to flee
  • բռնաւոր violent; usurper, tyrant
  • ապաւէն, -ւինի, -նաց asylum, refuge

զիտանգեալսն ի ծառայութենէ ազատեա՛,

  • վտանգիմ, -եցայ to be in danger, peril, etc.
  • ծառայութիւն slavery, captivity
  • ազատեմ, -եցի to free, liberate, save

զդեւս ի մարդկանէ հալածեա՛,

  • մարդիկ, gen.sg. մարդկան humanity, the human race, people
  • հալծեմ, -եցի to expel, cast out, persecute, chase

զգլորեալսն կանգնեա՛,

  • գլորիմ, -եցայ to sink, fall
  • կանգնեմ, -եցի to raise, lift up, re-establish

զմոլորեալսն դարձո՛,

  • մոլորիմ, -եցայ to wander, go astray, err
  • դարձո՛ impv 2sg դարձուցանեմ, -ուցի to return, restore, bring back

մեղաւորաց թողութիւն շնորհեա՛,

  • մեղաւոր sinful, sinner
  • թողութիւն forgiveness, release
  • շնորհեմ, -եցի to give, grant, forgive

զսատանայական խորհուրդս խափանեա՛,

  • խորհուրդ, -ոց thought, intention
  • խափանեմ, -եցի to hinder, impede, intercept

բա՛ց զարքայութիւնդ քո ամենայն հաւատացելոց քոց,

  • բա՛ց open
  • հաւատամ, -տացի to believe

եւ որոց յանուն իմ եկեղեցի շինեն կամ յոսկերաց իմոց մասն առնուցուն, կամ զիշատակս իմ կատարեն,

  • շինեն, -եցի to found, built, construct
  • ոսկր, -աց bone
  • մասն, -սին, -սանց part, piece, relic
  • առնուցուն pres subj 3pl առնում, առի to take
  • յիշատակ, -աց commemoration, remembrance

պարգեւեա՛ նոցա զքո անբաւ ողորմութիւնդ,

  • պարգեւեմ, -եցի to give, present with
  • անբաւ, -ից infinite, innumerable
  • ողորմութիւն pity, mercy

եւ մի՛ եկեսցէ ի վերայ նոցա սատանայական փորձութիւնք,

  • եկեսցէ aor subj 3sg գամ, եկի to come
  • փորձութիւն temptation

եւ մի՛ բռնութիւնք ի թշնամեաց եւ յիշխանաց,

  • բռնութիւն violence, tyranny, assault
  • թշնամի, -նւոյ, -մեաց enemy, foe
  • իշխան, -աց sovereign, magistrate, ruler, governor

եւ ընկա՛լ զհոգիս իմ խաղաղութեամբ։

  • ընկա՛լ impv 2sg ընդունիմ, ընկալայ to receive

An English translation:

And as they were bringing him to the place [of his martyrdom], he spread his hands to heaven and said: Lord, my God, creator of heaven and earth, father of our Lord Jesus Christ, hear and fulfill my request. Watch over this city and cleanse it of idolatry. Remember, too, all your people: cleanse [them] of idolatry and cure every infirmity. Be a comforter to the afflicted, a helper to orphans and widows, a visitor to those in prison. Bring those who have suffered shipwreck on the sea to the haven in peace. [Be] a fellow traveler to wayfarers, a refuge to those put to flight by the violent. Free those in peril in slavery. Cast out demons from humanity. Raise up the fallen. Bring back those who are astray. Grant forgiveness to sinners. Impede satanic intentions. Open your kingdom to all who believe in you, those who will build a church in my name, take up the relics of my bones, or celebrate my commemoration. Grant them your infinite mercy. Do not let satanic temptation come upon them, nor violence from foes or magistrates. And receive my spirit in peace.

Old Georgian phrases and sentences 50 (Mart. ʿAbd al-Masīḥ 22.1-3)   Leave a comment

Not too long ago I pointed to a place in a Christian Palestinian Aramaic text translated from Greek where there was a conspicuous confluence of languages (see here). Here is a similar place in a Georgian hagiographic text translated from the Armenian version of a Syriac text, referring to a name in Arabic, that of the saint, ʿAbd al-Masīḥ.

Gérard Garitte published the Georgian text with a Latin translation in “La passion géorgienne de Saint ʿAbd al-Masīḥ,” Le Muséon 79 (1966): 187–237. If you wish to compare the Georgian with other versions of this text, here is the information: The Syriac was published by Corluy in AB 5 (1886): 5-52 (here, 43.11-44.5); the story is also in Bedjan’s AMS 1: 173-201. There are (at least) three recensions in Armenian, one of which is in Vark’ ew vkaybanut’iwnk’ srboc’ 1: 6-25 (here, 22.5-13). Finally, Peeters published the Arabic (tr. from Syr.) in AB 44 (1926): 270-341 (here, 332.4-9).

The Martyrdom of ʿAbd al-Masīḥ 22.1-3 (Garitte, p. 230)

22.1 ხოლო რაოდენისამე ჟამსა კუალად წარვიდეს ვაჭარნი იგი მასვე გზასა, და გულსმოდგინე იყვნეს ყოვლითა ღონისძიებითა რაჲთამცა ეუწყა სახელი წმიდისაჲ მის; და ვითარცა მიეახლნეს ადგილსა მას და იხილეს ეკლესიაჲ, განუკჳრდა და განიხარესცა;

  • რაოდენი-მე some
  • ჟამი time
  • კუალი trace, step, foot (here adv., again, back; cf. Garitte’s note)
  • წარ-ვიდ-ეს aor 3pl წარსლვა to leave, depart
  • ვაჭარი merchant (cf. վաճառ, etc., < Parth. wāžār, MP wāzār)
  • გზაჲ way, road
  • გულსმოდგინეჲ anxious, eager
  • ღონის-ძიებაჲ attempt, means
  • -მცა particle used with indicative verbs to express a wish
  • ე-უწყ-ა aor pass 3sg უწყება to tell, inform
  • სახელი name
  • მი-ე-ახლ-ნ-ეს aor N 3pl მიახლება to draw near
  • ადგილი place
  • ი-ხილ-ეს aor 3pl ხილვა to see
  • გან-უ-კჳრ-დ-ა aor 3sg (indir. vb, w/ the CV -უ- for 3rd person, here pl, object) განკჳრვება to be amazed (for იხილეს და განუკჳრდა, as here, cf. Lk 2:48 and Acts 12:16). On the apparent confusion of impf and aor with -დ- in verbs of this kind, see Deeters, § 374, with this root on p. 202.
  • გან-ი-ხარ-ეს aor 3pl განხარება to rejoice

22.2 და ვითარ შევიდეს ეკლესიასა მას, იხილეს ლოდი იგი საშუალ, და ზედა მისსა საუფლოჲ ჯუარი ბრწყინვიდა; ჰკითხეს მსახურთა ეკლესიისათა, ვითარმედ: «რაჲ სახელი ჰრქჳან წმიდასა ამას, ანუ ვითარ სახედ იყო წამებაჲ მისი?»

  • შე-ვიდ-ეს aor 3pl შესლვა to enter
  • ლოდი stone
  • საშუალ there in the middle
  • საუფლოჲ of the Lord, dominical (< უფალი)
  • ჯუარი cross
  • ბრწყინვ-ი-დ-ა impf 3sg ბრწყინვა to shine
  • ჰ-კითხ-ეს aor 3pl O3 კითხვა to ask
  • მსახური servant
  • ჰ-რქჳან aor iter 3pl O3 რქუმა to say, name
  • სახეჲ nature, thing

22.3 ხოლო მნეთა მათ ჰრქუეს: «სახელი მაგისი არს აბდალმესია, რომელი ითარგმანების ქრისტედოლე, ხოლო ქართულად მონაჲ ქრისტჱსი»; და აუწყეს ვითარ სახედ იწამა.

  • მნეჲ administrator, chief (NB not მონაჲ servant, slave; Garitte tr. “Ministri”)
  • ჰ-რქუ-ეს aor 3pl რქუმა to say
  • ი-თარგმან-ებ-ი-ს pres pass 3sg თარგმანება to translate
  • ქართულად in Georgian
  • მონაჲ servant, slave
  • ა-უწყ-ეს aor 3pl უწყება to tell, inform (contrast the CV of the form here with the form in 22.1 above)
  • ი-წამ-ა aor 3sg წამება to bear witness, be martyred

“Evil head!” A term addressed to martyrs in hagiographic literature   2 comments

While perusing the Armenian synaxarion over the weekend, I came across an expression that I remembered seeing in a Syriac text that I edited a few years ago. In the Syriac Martyrdom of Theonilla (my edition and translation, in Analecta Bollandiana 128 [2010]: 312-328, are available here), § 9, when they are trying to get Theonilla to renounce Christianity, they say to her, lā tpakknin, qarqaptā bištā!, which I translated as “Stop chattering, wretch!” and in a note on “wretch” I indicated the literal meaning, “evil head”, and I pointed to Hoffmann’s Iulianos der Abtruennige: Syrische Erzaehlungen (Leiden, 1880), 82.12, which is cited by both Brockelmann and Payne Smith, s.v. qarqaptā. I also cited the similar expression ὦ κακὴ κεφαλή from the Martyrdom of Domnina (Lackner, “Eine unedierte griechische Passion der kilikischen Märtyrin Domnina,” AB 90 [1972]: 241-259, here p. 254, § 4). In the Armenian synaxarion reading that commemorates Fausta on Mehekan 8/Feb 14 (PO 21: 39-42; for the Greek synaxarion, see Feb 6 here, and further BHG 658 [mainly catal. references]), this same expression occurs twice, again with the “bad guys” using it to address a Christian martyr-to-be, here the recently converted Evilasius.

Եւ առաքեաց զեպարքոսն Մաքսիմիանոս ի Կիզիկոն, եւ երթեալ հարցանէր ընդ Եւիլասիոս. Ով չարագլուխ, ո՞րպէս իշխեցեր թեթեւացուցանել զաստուածսն մեր, եւ լինել քրիստանեայ։ (40.15-17)

He [the emperor] sent the eparch Maximianus to Cyzicus and [the latter], having arrived, was questioning Evilasius, “You evil head, how have you dared to think lightly of our gods and to become a Christian?”

And not many lines later Maximianus addresses Fausta herself with the title, this time with a preceding adjective:

Կոչեաց եպարկոսն զՓաւստեա եւ ասէ. Ով փոքրիկ չարագլուխ, ո՞րպէս իշխեցեր զայնպիսի մեծ իշխան թագաւորին եւ զաստուածոց քահանայն կորզել ի մէնջ եւ մատուցանել Աստուծոյն քոյ։ (41.6-8)

The eparch called Fausta and said, “You little evil head, how have you dared to snatch from us such a great prince of the emperor and priest of the gods [i.e. Evilasius] and to offer him to your god?”

The Armenian word (չարագլուխ) is a compound, and it does show up in Bedrosian’s dictionary (582a), with the meaning “malignant, malevolent,” etc. There are terms of abuse in English (and other languages) with the suffix -head and -skull (blockhead, numbskull, etc.), but I know of nothing quite like “evil head”. This expression almost certainly appears in other hagiographic tales (and elsewhere?), in these and other languages. If you know of or come across any, please note them in the comments.

UPDATE Feb 17, 2015. I mentioned the Greek ὦ κακὴ κεφαλή above. A quick search in TLG reveals its occurrence in a few other martyrdom texts (there are, of course, many such texts not yet in TLG), but also four times in Aesop’s fables; Dem. De falsa leg. 313; Nicolaus, Frag. 10.56 (see FHG 3, pp. 348‑464); twice in Plutarch (Alexander 9.8.2, 51.1.2); six times in Libanius (Decl. 12.2.25.2, 12.2.32.2; Prog. 7.1.26.4, 7.3.21.2, 7.4.12.1, 7.4.17.1); and Achilles Tatius, Leucippe et Clitophon 5.17.8.3. (This list is not exhaustive.) The expression is especially used in questions. In his epigrams to the Bible (Luke 250a, on Lk 22:31), Theodore Prodromos uses this vocative expression to address Satan, and finally, here is a memorable curse from the Scholia to Lucian’s Μυίας ἐγκώμιον (§ 7): ἀλλ’ ἔρρ’ ἐς μυίας καὶ σκώληκας, κακὴ κεφαλή. “To flies and worms with you, evil head!” (Ἔρρε, with or without qualifiers, is used this way.)

From the Armenian synaxarion, Feb 9: Victorinus and companions in Corinth, with English translation   Leave a comment

The martyrdom story of Victorinus, Victor, Nicephorus, Claudius, Diodore, Serapion, and Papias (cf. BHO 1245 for Syriac, see here; for Greek here, on Jan 31), set in the time of Decius, offers students of Armenian — at least those with a strong stomach — a worthwhile opportunity for reading practice and vocabulary learning, especially for terms for body parts. Below is the Armenian text from PO 21: 13-14, vocabulary, and my English translation.

Զսրբոյն Բիքտորինոսի հանին զաջոյ ակն, եւ ի մամուլս ջախջախեցին զմարմինն, եւ սրով հատին զամենայն մատունսն ոտիցն եւ ձեռացն։

  • հանին pres 3pl հանեմ, հանի to remove, pull out
  • աջ, -ոյ, -ու right
  • ակն, ական eye
  • մամուլ, մամլոց press
  • ջախջախեցին aor 3pl ջախջախեմ, -եցի to crush
  • սուր, սրոց sword
  • հատին aor 3pl հատանեմ, հատի to cut (off)
  • մատն, մատին, մատանց finger, toe
  • ոտն, ոտին, ոտից foot
  • ձեռն, ձեռին, ձեռաց hand

Եւ զսուրբն Վիքտորոս կապեցին ի չորս ցիցս զձեռս եւ զոտս, եւ հատին զլեզուն, եւ քերանօք քերթեցին զամենայն մարմինն։

  • կապեցին aor 3pl կապեմ, -եցի to bind, tie
  • ցից, ցցոյ stake, post
  • լեզու, -ի/-ոյ, -աց tongue
  • քերանք (act of) scratching, scraping
  • քերթեցին aor 3pl քերթեմ, -եցի to flay, peel off

Եւ զսուրբն Նիկիփորոս պնդեցին ի մեքենայս մինչեվ հոսեաց արիւնն ի քթացն եւ ի բերանոյն եւ յականջացն, եւ ապա կախեցին զհերացն յարմաւենի ծառ։

  • պնդեցին aor 3pl պնդեմ, -եցի to strain, tighten
  • մեքենայ, -ից machine, device
  • հոսեաց aor 3sg հոսեմ, -եցի to flow, gush, stream
  • արիւն, արեանց blood
  • քիթ, քթաց nose
  • բերան, -ոց mouth
  • ականջք, -աց ears (plurale tantum; a single ear is ունկն, ունկան)
  • կախեցին aor 3pl կախեմ, -եցի to hang, suspend
  • հեր, -աց hair
  • արմաւենի palm tree
  • ծառ, -ոց tree

Եւ զսուրբն Կղաւդիոս խիստ տանջեցին, եւ կախեցին գլխիվայր, եւ աղբ ծխեցին յերեսն. եւ արկին ի հոտոտելիսն քացախ խիստ, եւ ապա կտրեցին զձեռսն եւ զոտսն։

  • խիստ harshly, cruelly, severely
  • տանջեցին aor 3pl տանջեմ, -եցի to torture
  • գլխիվայր head downwards, upside down (< գլուխ, գլխոց head)
  • աղբ, -ոց, -ից excrement, dung
  • ծխեցին aor 3pl ծխեմ, -եցի to smoke
  • երեսք, երեսաց (plurale tantum) face
  • արկին aor 3pl արկանեմ, արկի to cast, throw
  • հոտոտելիք, -լեաց (plurale tantum) nose
  • քացախ, -ոյ vinegar, acid
  • կտրեցին aor 3pl կտրեմ, -եցի to cut (off)

Եւ զսուրբն Դիոդորոս յետ բազում չարչարանաց հրով այրեցին։

  • չարչարանք, -նաց (plurale tantum) suffering, torment, torture, pain
  • հուր, հրոյ fire
  • այրեցին aor 3pl այրեմ, -եցի to burn

Եւ զսուրբն Սրապիոն սրով գլխատեցին։

  • գլխատեցին aor 3pl գլխատեմ, -եցի to behead, decapitate (< գլուխ, գլխոց head)

Եւ զսուրբն Պապիաս բեւեռեցին ի փայտի, եւ կապեալ վիմաւ ընկեցին ի ծովն։

  • բեւեռեցին aor 3pl բեւեռեմ, -եցի to nail (< բեւեռ, -ի, -աց nail)
  • փայտ, -ից wood, tree
  • կապեալ ptcp կապեմ, -եցի to bind, tie
  • վէմ, վիմաց stone, rock
  • ընկեցին aor 3pl ընկենում, ըկեցի to throw, cast
  • ծով, -ուց sea

Եւ այնպէս կատարեցան ի Քրիստոս։

  • կատարեցան aor m/p 3pl կատարեմ, -եցի to finish, end, complete; m/p to die

English’d:

They plucked out Saint Victorinus’ right eye, crushed his body in a press, and cut off all his fingers and toes with the sword. They bound Saint Victor to four stakes with his hands and feet, cut out his tongue, and lacerated his whole body. They pressed Saint Nicephorus in a machine until the blood gushed from his nose, mouth, and ears, and then they hung him from a palm tree. They harshly tortured Saint Claudius, hung him upside down, burned excrement in his face, poured vinegar down his nose, and then they cut off his hands and feet. Saint Diodore, after much suffering, they burned with fire. They beheaded Saint Serapion with the sword. They nailed Saint Papias to a piece of wood and they threw him, bound with a stone, into the sea. And thus they died in Christ.

From the Armenian synaxarion, Feb 6: Abraham of Arbel and King Leo II   Leave a comment

Here again from the synaxarion are some short passages especially suitable for students of the language. I’ve included some vocabulary and grammatical notes. A French translation is in the PO volume, and we can expect an English translation of the Armenian synaxarion for the month of February before too long from Edward G. Mathews, Jr. (see a few comments on the first volume here).

Abraham of Arbel

PO 19: 148 (cf. BHO 12; perh. also 13?)

Զայս երանելի եպիսկոպոսս տարան կապանօք առաջի մոգպետին Ադելփոռայ, եւ հրամայէր նմա երկիր պագանել արեգականն եւ հրոյ եւ զոհս մատուցանել։

  • տարան aor 3pl տանիմ, տարայ to carry away, lead, bring
  • կապանք bonds, handcuffs, irons
  • մոգպետ chief magus
  • հրամայէր impf 3sg հրամայեմ, -եցի to command
  • երկիր պագանել to kiss the earth > to prostrate o.s. in worship (with the thing worshiped in the genitive)
  • արեգակն, արեգական sun
  • հուր, հրոյ fire
  • զոհ, -ից sacrifice, victim, host
  • մատուցանել inf մատուցանեմ, -եցի to present, offer

Եւ նորա բացեալ զբերան իւր յերկար բանիւք ի սուրբ գրոց յանդիմանէր զսնոտի հաւատս Սաբիւռոսի.

  • բացեալ ptcp բանամ, բացի to open
  • երկար, -աց long
  • գիր, գրոց writing, scripture
  • յանդիմանէր impf 3sg յանդիմանեմ, -եցի to reprimand, reproach, rebuke sharply
  • սնոտի, -տւոյ, -տեաց useless, worthless
  • հաւատ, -ոյ, -ք, -տոց faith, belief, religion

անարգեաց եւ զմոգպետն Ադելփորա, եւ զունայն օրինադրութիւնն։ Եւ հրամայեաց հատանել զգլուխ նորա ի քաղաքին Թելոմ։

  • անարգեաց aor 3sg անարգեմ, -եցի to disparage, despise, find fault with
  • ունայն, -ից empty, void, useless
  • օրինադրութիւն law, decree, institution
  • հրամայեաց aor 3sg հրամայեմ, -եցի to command
  • հատանել inf հատանեմ, հատի to cut (off)

Եւ յորժամ տարան ի տեղին, հարցանէր դահիճն. Դառնա՞ս ի հաւատս մեր եթէ մեռանիս։

  • հարցանէր impf 3sg հարցանեմ, հարցի to ask, interrogate, question
  • դահիճ, դահճաց hangman, executioner, torturer
  • դառնաս pres 2sg դառնամ, դարձայ to turn, be converted
  • մեռանիս pres 2sg մեռանիմ, մեռայ to die

Եւ նա ասէ. Ոչ ուրանամ զճշմարտութիւնն, եւ ոչ դառնամ ի պիղծ դաւանութիւնդ ձեր.

  • ուրանամ, -ացայ to deny, disown, disavow
  • պիղծ, պղծոց impure, filthy, foul, detestable
  • դաւանութիւն (confession of) faith, belief

հաւատամ ի Հայր եւ յՈրդի եւ յամենասուրբ Հոգի, ի միասնական սուրբ Երրորդութիւնն։

  • հաւատամ, -ացի to believe
  • միասնական consubstantial, united
  • Երրորդութիւն Trinity

Եւ մինչդեռ խոստովանութիւնն ի բերանն էր՝ հատին զգլուխ նորա Փետրուարի Զ։

  • խոստովանութիւն confession, declaration
  • հատին aor 3pl հատանեմ, հատի to cut (off)

King Leo II (on whom see here)

PO 19: 150

Յայսմ աւուր հանգեաւ ի Քրիստոս Լեւոն թագաւոր երկրորդ՝ որդի արքային Հեթմոյ։

  • հանգեաւ aor m/p 3sg հանգչիմ, հանգեայ to go to rest, die
  • NB the two words for king: թագաւոր and արքայ

Սա էր բարեպաշտ յոյժ եւ առաքինի, հեզ, երկայնամիտ, պարկեշտ, ժուժկալ, եւ ողորմածութեամբ առաւելեալ քան զամենեսին։

  • բարեպաշտ pious, religious
  • առաքինի, -նւոյ, -նեաց valiant, courageous
  • հեզ mild, meek, gentle (as in Mt 5:5, 11:29, 21:5)
  • երկայնամիտ, -մտաց patient
  • պարկեշտ, -ից moderate, temperate; pure
  • ժուժկալ, -ից/-աց patient; abstinent, sober, temperate; chaste
  • ողորմածութիւն mercy, compassion, charity, goodness
  • առաւելեալ ptcp առաւելում, -ելայ to abound
  • ամենեսին acc of ամենեքին everybody

Շինեաց եւ հիւրանոցս եւ հիւանդանոցս, նորոգեաց զվանորայս եւ հաստատեաց ի նոսա դպրոցս. եւ աստուածահաճոյ վարուք փոխեցաւ առ Աստուած։

  • շինեաց aor 3sg շինեմ, -եցի to found, build, construct
  • հիւրանոց hospice, guest lodging (հիւր, -ոց/-ից guest, visitor, stranger)
  • հիւանդանոց hospital (հիւանդ, -աց sick)
  • նորոգեաց aor 3sg նորոգեմ, -եցի to repair, restore
  • վանորայք monasteries, convents
  • հաստատեաց aor 3sg հաստատեմ, -եցի to restore; to institute, found, create
  • դպրոց, -աց school
  • աստուածահաճոյ god-pleasing
  • փոխեցաւ aor m/p 3sg փոխեմ, -եցի to change, remove, transfer (m/p to go, depart, die)

The education of Isidore of Pelusium; the martyrdom of Philo Persicus   Leave a comment

For your synaxarial enjoyment and entertainment, here are two passages from the reading for Amšīr/Yäkkatit 10 (Feb 4), each in both Arabic and Gǝʿǝz, with a rough English translation and some vocabulary.

On Isidore of Pelusium

(For Greek, see here.)

Arabic in PO 11: 814.10, 815.1-2 (here)

ولم يكن لوالده سواه فأدّبه بكل ادب نفساني وجُسماني وعلّماه كتب البيعة فأتْقنها ظاهرا ثم تعلّم العلوم اليونانية والدينية فأتْقنها وفاق على كثيرين فيها وكان مع ذلك ناسكا ومتواضعا

  • addaba to educate
  • adab education
  • ʿallama to instruct, teach
  • atqana to master, know well
  • ẓāhiran clearly, obviously, evidently
  • taʿallama to learn
  • nāsik pious, ascetic

His father had no child except him, so he educated him in every subject, spiritual and physical, and they [dual: the patriarchs Theophilus and Cyril] taught him the books of the church and he mastered them clearly. Then he learned the Greek and religious sciences and he mastered them, and he surpassed many in these things. In addition, he was pious and humble.

Gǝʿǝz in PO 45: 520.21-26

ወኢኮኖሙ ፡ ለአበዊሁ ፡ ውሉድ ፡ ዘእንበሌሁ ፡ ወመሀርዎ ፡ ኵሎ ፡ ትምህርተ ፡ መንፈሳዌ ፡ ወሥጋዌ ፡ ወመሀርዎ ፡ ኵሎ ፡ መጻሕፍተ ፡ ቤተ ፡ ክርስቲያን ፡ ወአጽንዖሙ ፡ ወዓቀቦሙ ፡ ገሃደ ። ወእምዝ ፡ ተምህረ ፡ ትምህርታተ ፡ ዮናናዊያን ፡ ወአእምሮ ፡ ከዋክብተ ፡ ሰማይ ፡ ወዘየዐውድ ፡ ኵሎ ፡ አጽናፈ ፡ ዓለም ፡ ወተለዐለ ፡ ላዕለ ፡ ብዙኃን ፡ በአእምሮቱ ፡ ወበጥበቡ ፡ ወኮነ ፡ ጽሙደ ፡ ወመስተጋድለ ፡ ወትሑተ ።

  • መሀረ፡ to teach
  • ትምህርት፡ teaching
  • አጽንዐ፡ to learn by heart
  • ገሃደ፡ plainly, clearly, openly, publicly
  • ተምህረ፡ to be taught, to be versed in
  • ዖደ፡ to encircle, encompass
  • ጽንፍ፡ pl. አጽናፍ፡ edge, extremity, confines
  • ጽሙድ፡ (ፅሙድ፡) pious, devout
  • መስተጋድል፡ fighter, combatant, ascetic
  • ትሑት፡ humble

His parents had no child except him, and they taught him every subject, spiritual and physical, and they taught him the books of the church, and he learned them by heart and kept them openly. Then he learned the teachings of the Greeks and the knowledge of the stars of heaven and that which encompasses altogether the edges of the universe, and he surpassed many in his knowledge and wisdom and was pious, ascetic, and humble.

On Philo Persicus

Arabic in PO 18: 815.11, 816.1-2 (here)

وفيه ايضا تنيّح القدّيس فيلوا اسقف ارض فارس الذي استشهد على يد ملك الفرس حتى لا يعبد النار ولا يسجد للشمس فعاقبه كثيرا واخيرا استشهد بحدّ السيف صلاته تكون معنا امين

  • tanayyaḥa to go to rest, die
  • ḥattá must be causal here (cf. Lane, p. 509a, “denoting a cause or motive”)
  • ʿāqaba to punish, torture
  • ḥadd side, edge

On this day, too, Saint Philo, bishop of the land of Persia (Fāris), went to rest [i.e. died]. He was martyred by the king of the Persians (al-Furs) since he would not worship the fire or bow down to the sun, so he tortured him a lot and finally he was martyred by the edge of the sword. May his prayer be with us! Amen.

Gǝʿǝz in PO 45: 522.8-11

ወበዛቲ ፡ ዕለት ፡ ካዕበ ፡ ኮነ ፡ ቅዱስ ፡ አባ ፡ ፊሎ ፡ ሰማዕት ፡ ወኤጲስ ፡ ቆጶስ ፡ ዘሀገረ ፡ ፋርስ ፡ ዘኰነኖ ፡ ንጉሠ ፡ ፋርስ ፡ ሶበ ፡ ኢሦዓ ፡ ለእሳት ፡ ወኢሰገደ ፡ ለፀሐይ ። ወሶበ ፡ ደክመ ፡ አምኵነኔሁ ፡ መተረ ፡ ርእሶ ፡ በሰይፍ ፡ ወነሥአ ፡ አክሊለ ፡ ስምዕ ፡ በመንግሥተ ፡ ሰማያት ። ጸሎቱ ፡ ወበረከቱ ፡ የሀሉ ፡ ምስሌነ ፡ አሜን ።

  • ኰነነ፡ D to punish
  • ኵነኔ፡ torture
  • ሦዐ፡ to sacrifice
  • ደክመ፡ to be(come) weak
  • መተረ፡ G/D to cut

Also on this day was [the death of] the holy Abba Philo, martyr and bishop of the land of Persia (Fārs). The king of Persia (Fārs) tortured him when he [Philo] did not sacrifice to the fire and did not bow down to the sun. When he [Philo] had become weak from the torture, he [the king] cut off his head with the sword, and he received the crown of martyrdom in the kingdom of heaven. May his prayer and blessing be with us! Amen.

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