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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).

Lk 4:23 in Persian   Leave a comment

We recently took a look at Lk 4:23 in Old Georgian and some other versions. To those texts let’s now add the Persian witness, which includes (at least) three versions: the Gospel text published in the London Polyglot [L] and Abraham Wheeloc(ke)’s edition [W] and the Persian Gospel Harmony [GospHarm] (the so-called Persian Diatessaron, although it is distinct from Tatian and the Arabic Diatessaron). In the Roman representation below, I have included vowels, but it is still closer to a transliteration than a phonetic transcription. The three texts stand far enough apart to be treated differently, with different word order and different vocabulary — e.g. “heal!” is tīmār kun, tan-durust kun, or šifā bi-de — across all three texts.

Lk 4:23 GospHarm (3.2, ed. Messina, p. 192, ll. 15-17)

وگفت ديگر بار اين مثل با من ميگوييد ای پزشك نفس خودرا تيمار كن وهرچه شنيديم در كُفرناحوم كردى اينجا در شهر خود بكن

va-guft dīgar bār: īn maṯal bā man mī-gūyīd: ay bizišk, nafs-i xūd-rā tīmār kun va-harče šinīdīm dar Kufarnāḥūm kardī, īnǧā dar šahr-i xūd bi-kun!

Lk 4:23 W

گفت با ايشان مگر مى گوييد اين مثل كه اى طبى خودرا تندرست كن و هر چه شنيديم كه كردى در كفرناحوم اينجا نيز بكن در شهر خود

guft bā īšān magar mī-gūyīd īn maṯal ke: ay ṭibbī [sic! prob. leg. ṭabīb], xūd-rā tan-durust kun, va-har če šinīdīm ke kardī dar Kafarnāḥūm, īnǧā nīz bi-kun dar šahr-i xūd!

  • ṭibbī medical > physician, or better, read ṭabīb?

Lk 4:23 L

عيسى گفت باز اين مثل مى گوييد اى طبيب خودرا شفا بده وهرچه شنيديم كه در كفرناحوم كردى اينجا در شهر خود بكن

ʿĪsá guft bāz: īn maṯal-rā bā man mī-gūyīd: ay ṭabīb, xūd-rā šifā bi-de, va-harče šinīdīm ke dar Kafarnāḥūm kardī, īnǧā dar šahr-i xūd bi-kun!

Old Georgian phrases and sentences 32 (1Tim 5:23)   Leave a comment

1Tim. 5:23 Μηκέτι ὑδροπότει, ἀλλὰ οἴνῳ ὀλίγῳ χρῶ διὰ τὸν στόμαχον καὶ τὰς πυκνάς σου ἀσθενείας.

The two Georgian recensions differ little, most importantly in იმსახურე vs. იჴუმიე.


ნუ ხოლო წყალსა ჰსუამ, არამედ ღჳნოჲცა მცირედ იმსახურე სტომაქისათჳს და ზედაჲ-ზედა უძლურებისა შენისათჳს.


ნუ წყალსა ხოლო ჰსუამ, არამედ ღჳნოჲცა მცირედ იჴუმიე სტომაქისათჳს და ზედაჲზედა უძლურებისა შენისათჳს.

Vocabulary and gramm. remarks

  • წყალი water
  • ჰ-სუამ pres 2sg O3 სუმა to drink
  • ი-მსახურ-ე aor impv 2sg მსახურება to use (also, to serve; მსახური servant)
  • ზედაჲსზედა one after another, often, frequently (< ზედა on)
  • უძლურებაჲ weakness, sickness (უძლუერი weak, sick)
  • ი-ჴუმი-ე aor imv 2sg ჴუმევა to use [the added -ი- (the second one) marks the verb as a so-called strong aor.]

Picturesque language in an East Syriac colophon   Leave a comment

For some brief Friday fun, here’s part of a colophon that shows a little playful cleverness from a scribe. The manuscript CCM 58 (olim Mardin 7), a New Testament manuscript dated July 2053 AG (= 1742 CE) and copied in Alqosh, has a long colophon, including the following few colorful (literally and figuratively) lines near the end, at the bottom of one page and the top of the next:

CCM 58, f. 227v

CCM 58, f. 227v


CCM 58, f. 228r

That is:

Lord, may the payment of the five twins that have toiled, worked, labored, and planted good seed in a white field with a reed from the forest not be refused, but may they be saved from the fire of Gehenna! Yes, and amen!

The “five twins” are the scribe’s ten fingers, the “good seed” is the writing, the “white field” is the paper, and the “reed” is the pen. At least some of this imagery is not unique to this manuscript. In any case we have a memorable way of thinking about a scribe’s labor.

Old Georgian phrases and sentences 15 (“Foxes have holes”)   1 comment

In a previous episode of this series, I gave part of Luke 9:58 (// Mt 8:20) without any further explanation. Here’s the whole verse (minus the introduction of Jesus’ direct speech) in the Adishi version. The Pre-Athonite and Athonite versions have only small differences, which are indicated below. (Incidentally, it is usually instructive to read these three versions side-by-side. I am preparing some documents for the synoptic study of these Georgian versions of the Transfiguration and the Temptation of Jesus pericopes.)

First, some vocabulary:

  • მელი fox
  • მიდრეკა to lean
  • [მფრინველი bird]
  • საყუდელი refuge, residence
  • ფრინველი bird (Rayfield et al. 1293; as such not in Sarj.-Fähn., but note ფრინვა to fly)
  • ჩენა to appear to/for (i.e. to be seen to belong to, with the CV უ- to mark an indirect object as possessor). For the second occurrence of this verb in the verse, the Pre-Ath. and Ath. versions have აქუს. (For უჩს, another place is Vep’xistqaosani 82a: მეფესა ესე ამბავი უჩს, ვითა მღერა ნარდისა, “This news seemed to the king [or The king held this news] as [lightly as] playing backgammon.”)
  • ჴურელი hole

αἱ ἀλώπεκες φωλεοὺς ἔχουσιν
მელთა ჴურელი უჩნს

καὶ τὰ πετεινὰ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ κατασκηνώσεις,
და ფრინველთა ცისათა საყუდელი,
(Pa and At have მფრინველთა for ფრინველთა.)

ὁ δὲ υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου οὐκ ἔχει ποῦ τὴν κεφαλὴν κλίνῃ.
ხოლო ძესა კაცისასა არა უჩს, სადა თავი მიიდრიკოს.

Astute Gospel-readers will remember that this is not the only place where Jesus uses the word “fox”: he calls Herod one at Lk 13:32 (here again in the Adishi version):

καὶ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς·
ხოლო თავადმან ჰრქუა მათ:

πορευθέντες εἴπατε τῇ ἀλώπεκι ταύτῃ·
მივედით და არქუთ მელსა მას:

ἰδοὺ ἐκβάλλω δαιμόνια
აჰა, ესერა, განვასხამ ეშმაკთა

καὶ ἰάσεις ἀποτελῶ σήμερον καὶ αὔριον
და კურნებასა აღვასრულებ დღეს და ხვალე,

καὶ τῇ τρίτῃ τελειοῦμαι.
და ზეგე აღვესრულები.

A Syriac Gospel page as pastedown   5 comments

SMMJ 68, pastedown at end

SMMJ 68, pastedown at end

Pages don’t always turn up where we expect them to. The image above is of a pastedown at the end of a Syriac liturigical manuscript (SMMJ 68), a Beth Gazo missing its beginning and end, dated 1580; according to a note on f. 186v, it was repaired in October, 1910 as part of Saint Mark’s collection, and it was probably at that time bound in the cover of an English Bible published much later by the British and Foreign Bible Society (see below)! (Incidentally, the original binder of the Bible was Watkins, as can be seen from the emblem at the top left of the photo above, on the inside of the original front cover; a search reveals other known copies of English Bibles bound by Watkins in the 19th century.) The page above is from an older (and prettier) manuscript, a Gospel lectionary containing Jn 5:29 and Mt 24:36-39 (Peshitta) in a clear Estrangela hand, including some diacritical marks and vowels. It is an iffy business attempting to date a single manuscript page, but this one might be from the 13th century.

The current cover of the book, originally a Bible from the British and Foreign Bible Society..

The current cover of the book, originally a Bible from the British and Foreign Bible Society.

The beginning of Mark’s Gospel in an Armenian manuscript from Istanbul   1 comment

A large collection of Armenian manuscripts was digitized by HMML and is available for study. Edward Mathews, Jr., is now cataloging these manuscripts, and he has recently finished the particular collection called Armenian Patriarchate of Istanbul, Patriarch’s Collection (APIP); his records will be available online in their entirety in the near future. Below is an image from APIP 33, an undated but later copy of the Gospels in Armenian; the book is incomplete and breaks off near the end of Mark. Here is the beginning of that Gospel, with a painting of the Evangelist (there is also a painting of Matthew earlier in the volume), a nice zoomorphic Ս, and other usual features of Armenian manuscript decoration.

APIP 33, pp. 169-170

Künzle’s edition (see below) for this part of the Gospel reads as follows:

Awetaran ǝst Markosi
Skizbn awetarani YI K’I orpēs ew greal ē yĒsayi margarēs. Ahawasik es aṙak’em zhreštak im aṙaǰi k’o or handerjesc’ē zčanaparh k’o aṙaǰi k’o.

The text in APIP 33 differs from Künzle’s ed. in some minor points, including the presence of որդւոյ այ՟ “son of God” (cf. the Peshitta, and see also the apparatus criticus of the Greek text); the accusative marker on ըզհրե{ե}շտակ in the manuscript also includes a written preposed helping vowel.

Künzle, Beda O. L’Évangile arménien ancien / Das altarmenische Evangelium. 2 vols. Bern, 1984.
For further bibliography on the Bible in Armenian, see R. Thomson, A Bibliography of Classical Armenian Literature to 1500 AD (Turnhout, 1995), 239-249.

On artwork in Armenian manuscripts, see this (very selective) list:
Buchhausen, Heide, and Helmut Buchhausen. 1976. Die illuminierten Armenischen Handschriften Der Mechitaristen-Congregation in Wien. Vienna.
Izmailova, T. 1986. Miniature arménienne, Hovhannes Sandoghkavanetsi. Erevan.
Janashian, Mesrop. 1966. Armenian Miniature Painting of the Monastic Library of San-Lazzaro, Venice. Venice.
———.1970. Armenian Miniature Paintings. Trans. Bernard Grebanier. Venice.
Mathews, Thomas F., and Alice Taylor. 2001. The Armenian Gospels of Gladzor: The Life of Christ Illuminated. Los Angeles.
Mathews, Thomas F., and Roger S. Wieck, eds. 1994. Treasures in Heaven: Armenian Illuminated Manuscripts. New York.
Der Nersessian, S. 1933. “La Peinture Arménienne Au VIIe Siècle Et Les Miniatures De l’Évangile d’Etchmiadzin.” In Actes Du XIIe Congrès International D’études Byzantines, Ochrid, 10-16 Septembre, 1961, 3:49–57. Belgrade.
———. 1993. Miniature Painting in the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia from the Twelfth to the Fourteenth Century. Washington, DC.
Nersessian, V. 1987. Armenian Illuminated Gospel-Books. London.
Der Nesessian, Sirarpie, and Arpag Mekhitarian. 1986. Armenian Miniatures from Isfahan. Brussels.
Weitzmann, Kurt. 1933. Die Armenische Buchmalerei Des 10. Und Beginnenden 11. Jahrhunderts. Istanbuler Forschungen 4. Bamberg.

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