Archive for the ‘Satan’ 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?”

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.)

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.

Devils and fire-breathing jackals   Leave a comment

For this simple post, I just want to share a few lines from a memorable scene in the Life of the famous Ethiopian saint Täklä Haymanot (ተክለ፡ ሃይማኖት፡; BHO 1128-1134). It comes from the Däbrä Libanos version, as published by Budge (1906); for more details on this and the other versions, see Denis Nosnitsin in Enc. Aeth. 4: 831-834. For the setting: the people of a “high mountain” called Wifat (ዊፋት፡) are responding to the saint’s question of how they know when their god is coming to them.

ወይቤልዎ ፡ ይመጽአ ፡ እንዘ ፡ ያንጐደጕድ ፡ ከመ ፡ ነጐድጓደ ፡ ክረምት ፡ለቢሶ ፡ እሳት። ወተፅዒኖ ፡ ዝዕበ ፡ ወብዙኃን ፡ መስተፅዕናነ ፡ አዝዕብት ፡ እምለፌ ፡ ወእምለፌ ፡ የዐውድዎ ፡ ወኵሎሙ ፡ ያበኵሁ ፡ እሳተ ፡ እምአፉሆሙ።

f. 67ra-67rb (text in Budge, vol. 2, p. 39)

My translation (for Budge’s, see vol. 1, p. 97):

And they said to him, “He comes thundering like the thunder of the rainy season, clothed in fire, riding on a jackal, and many jackal-riders surround him on each side, all of the [mounts] blowing fire out of their mouths.


  1. ክረምት፡ the rainy season is June/July-September
  2. ዝእብ፡ (pl. አዝእብት፡) jackal; hyena; wolf. Specific possibilities include:
  3. Budge’s text mistakenly has መስተፅናነ፡ for the correct reading መስተፅዕናነ፡.
  4. The text could mean that the jackal-riders are breathing out fire, but the image in the manuscript (BL Or. 728; see Budge’s pl. 38) obviously takes that predicate as referring to the jackals themselves.
Pl. 38 from Budge, Life of Takla Haymanot, vol. 1

Pl. 38 from Budge, Life of Takla Haymanot, vol. 1


“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.

Saint Marina/Margaret   3 comments

Image source.

The saint known as Marina (Margaret in the west) — not to be confused with Marina the Monk — is in some churches celebrated on July 30. In the synaxaria available to me, I find her story only in the Gǝʿǝz for Hamle 23 (see PO 7:386-389, with a sälam). Her tale, quite fantastic, is known in many languages. Here is an outline of the version of the aforementioned Gǝʿǝz synaxarion, with some excerpts in that language.

Her father, Decius (ዳኬዎስ፡), was a chief of the idol-priests (ሊቀ፡ገነውተ፡አማልክት፡ዘሀገረ፡አንጾኪያ፡), and with the saint’s mother dead, he gave her over to the care of a nurse or guardian (ሐፃኒት፡), who was a Christian and who taught her the faith (ወመሐረታ፡ሃይማኖተ፡ክርስቶስ፡). One day, inspired by hearing about the martyrs (ሰምዓት፡እንዘ፡ትትናገር፡ሐፃኒታ፡ጻማ፡ተጋድሎቶሙ፡ለሰማዕታት፡), the young saint, then around fifteen years old, went out to seek martyrdom herself (ሖረት፡እንዘ፡ተኃሥሥ፡ከዊነ፡ስምዕ፡). On meeting a “wicked magistrate” (፩መኰንን፡ዓላዊ፡), who characteristically inquires as to her identity, she equally characteristically responds, “I am of the people of Jesus Christ, and my name is Marina” (አነ፡እምሰብአ፡ኢየሱስ፡ክርስቶስ፡ወስምየ፡መሪና፡). The magistrate noticed Marina’s beauty and splendor (ስና፡ወላሕያ፡) and could not control himself (ስእነ፡ተዓግሦ፡), so he tried to persuade her with all kinds of talk to make her agree to give herself to him (ወሄጣ፡ብኵሉ፡ነገር፡ከመ፡ኦሆ፡ትብሎ፡), but she would not, of course, and instead she cursed him and slandered his gods (ረገመቶ፡ወፀረፈት፡አማልክቲሁ፡). This results in the magistrate’s command that she be beaten with iron bars, cut and lacerated (አዘዘ፡ይቅሥፍዋ፡በአብትረ፡ሐፂን፡ወይምትሩ፡መለያልዪሃ፡ወይሥትሩ፡ሥጋሃ፡) “until her blood flowed like water” (እስከ፡ውኅዘ፡ደማ፡ከመ፡ማይ፡). The saint prays and Michael the archangel heals her (ፈወሳ፡), but she is then thrown into prison, an especially dark one (ቤተ፡ሞቅሕ፡ዘምሉእ፡ጽልመት፡). There she again prays, Michael comes and illumines the prison, and he takes her to heaven and before returning her he shows her the habitation of the saints and the just (ወአዕረጋ፡ውስተ፡ሰማይ፡ወአርአያ፡ማኅደረ፡ቅዱሳን፡ወጻድቃን፡). Once, while she is praying, having endured more tortures and having received subsequent archangelic healing, a huge serpent (or dragon) comes to her “from one of the corners of the prison” (መጽአ፡ኀቤሃ፡እማእዘንተ፡ቤተ፡ሞቅሕ፡ዐቢይ፡ተመን፡). She is afraid of it, and it swallows her whole  as she has her arms extended in prayer in the shape of a cross (ወውኅጣ፡እንዘ፡ስፉሕ፡እደዊሃ፡በአምሳለ፡መስቀል፡ወትጼሊ፡በልባ፡)! Just then, the serpent’s belly splits open, and the saint emerges unharmed (ተሠጥቀ፡ከርሡ፡ወወፅአት፡እምኔሁ፡ዘእንበለ፡ሙስና፡)! On her way back through the prison in another direction, she sees Satan sitting down in the form of a black man (በአምሳለ፡ብእሲ፡ጸሊም፡), his hands gripping the top of his knees (ወጽቡጣት፡እደዊሂ፡ዲበ፡አብራኪሁ፡); she marks him with the sign of the cross, grabs him by the hair and beats him with some kind of scourge (አኃዘቶ፡በሥዕርተ፡ርእሱ፡ወዘበጠቶ፡በበትረ፡መቅሠፍት፡)! After that, in a vision of the cross with a talking white dove on it (ተከሥተ፡ላቲ፡ዕፀ፡መስቀሉ፡ለኢየሱስ፡ክርስቶስ፨ወዲቤሁ፡ትነብር፡ርግብ፡ፀዓዳ፡), she knows her time of departure is near. The next day, the magistrate orders her stripped (አዘዘ፡መኰንን፡ያዕርቅዋ፡ልብሰ፡), hung upside down (ወይስቅልዋ፡ቍልቍሊተ፡), burned (ወያውዕይዋ፡በእሳት፡), and thrown into a cauldron of boiling liquid (ወይደይዋ፡ውስተ፡ጽሕርት፡ዘቦቱ፡ማይ፡ፍሉሕ፡). As she is praying inside the cauldron, a dove with a golden crown in its mouth comes and frees her bonds and baptizes her in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and the saint emerges from the liquid. The magistrate has had enough and orders her decapitated (ወአዘዘ፡ከመ፡ይምትሩ፡ርእሳ፡በሰይፍ፡), but before she dies, Jesus comes to her and promises (ወወሃባ፡ኪዳነ፡) that her name and story will have an especially effective intercessory power.

So much for the tale of Saint Marina/Margaret. This fabulous (in the original sense of the word) story offers readers quite a spectacle of hagiography. We have several martyrological topoi, and students of Gǝʿǝz will find the excerpts, if not the whole, worth their time to pore over.

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.

%d bloggers like this: