Archive for the ‘Virgin Mary’ Tag

Gregory the Illuminator and saints-for-idols replacement   Leave a comment

Here are a few lines from today’s reading in the Armenian synaxarion (text and FT in Bayan, Aug 25, PO 5: 433). The title of the reading is:

Տօն է ամենասրբուհւոց Աստուածածնին զոր կարգեաց սուրբն Գրիգոր Լուսաւորիչ։

  • ամենասրբուհւ all-holy, very holy
  • Աստուածածնին Mother of God
  • կարգեաց aor 3sg կարգեմ, -եցի to arrange, fix, establish

The Feast of the All-Holy Mother of God, which Saint Gregory the Illuminator Established

This paragraph explains how the famous Armenian saint replaced idol-worship in Caucasia with feast-days for the saints. See similarly Agat’angełos, §§ 48ff., and on Anahit and Aramazd, see Thomson’s remarks in the introduction to his edition and translation of Agat’angełos, pp. xxxviii-xlii. (For an earlier report on Anahit among the Armenians, see Strabo 11.14.16.) Anahit is in other places identified with the Greek Artemis, but here with Aphrodite.

Gregory the Illuminator, of course, was hardly the only idol-basher in the early centuries of Christianity. For Theodosius as one, for example, see Movsēs Xorenac’i, History of the Armenians, § 3.33 (Thomson, ET, p. 286). For a general reflection, see lines 867-884 of Grigor Magistros’ poem recently edited and translated by Abraham Terian: Magnalia Dei: Biblical History in Epic Verse by Grigor Magistros, Hebrew University Armenian Studies 14 (Leuven: Peeters, 2002; ET pp. 61-62, comm. pp. 98-99, Arm. 161-162).

Սուրբ Գրիգոր Լուսաւորիչն եւ մեծ հայրապետն ամենայն Հայոց Մեծաց կործանեաց զամենայն պատկերս կռոցն եւ եբարձ զդիւապաշտութիւնն յաշխարհէս Հայոց եւ Վրաց եւ Աղուանից,

  • հայրապետ patriarch
  • կործանեաց aor 3sg կործանեմ, -եցի to overthrow, destroy
  • պատկեր, -աց statue, idol, figure, icon, image, painting (< Parthian, Middle Persian patkar; cf. Aramaic paṯkar)
  • կուռք, կռոց (pl. tantum) idol, image, statue
  • եբարձ aor 3sg բառնամ, բարձի to lift up, raise, take away, destroy (NB the ե- augment, added as usual to aorist forms that would otherwise be monosyllabic)
  • դիւապաշտութիւն idolatry (demon-/devil-worship; cf. դեւ demon, devil [Middle Persian dēw] + պաշտեմ to worship, serve)
  • Վիրք Georgians
  • Աղուանք (Caucasian) Albanians

եւ փոխանակ շինեաց եկեղեցիս յանուն սուրբ աստուածածնին Մարիամու եւ սուրբ Կարապետին Յովհաննու։

  • փոխանակ substitute, alternative, exchange (cf. փոխեմ below)
  • շինեաց aor 3sg շինեմ, -եցի to found, build, construct
  • կարապետ, -ի forerunner, precursor, guide (for կար- here cf. the Iranian root in Middle Persian kārawān “caravan” and kārdāg “traveler”)

Եւ զտօնս պղծութեանն՝ փոխեաց ի տօնս սրբութեան, զի մինչ ի կռապաշտութիւն էր աշխարհս, տօնէին այսօր Անահիտ տիկնոջն եւ կոչէին զնա ծնունդ այրոյն Արամազդայ որ է Ափրոդիտէս ըստ յունականին։

  • պղծութիւն contamination, stain, impurity, pollution
  • փոխեաց aor 3sg փոխեմ, -եցի to change, transform, displace, transfer
  • կռապաշտութիւն idolatry, idol-worship
  • տօնէին impf 3pl տօնեմ, -եցի to feast, celebrate
  • այսօր this day (also today)
  • տիկին queen, empress, princess (decl. like կին; < *տի- + կին, as տէր < *տի- + այր)
  • կոչէին impf 3pl կոչեմ, -եցի to call, name
  • ծնունդ, ծննդեան, -դոց child, offspring (also birth, origin)
  • այրոյն (presumably an aberrant form of the gen.sg of այր, the usual classical form being առն)
  • յունական Greek

English translation:

Saint Gregory, the Illuminator and great Patriarch of all Armenia, overthrew all the statues of the idols and removed demon-worship from the land of the Armenians, Georgians, and Albanians, and as a substitute he founded churches in the name of the holy Mother of God, Mary, and the holy forerunner, John [the Baptist], and he changed the feasts of impurity to feasts of holiness. [The feast is today] because while the land was in idol-worship, on this day [Aug 25] they would celebrate Lady Anahit and they would call her the offspring of her husband Aramazd; she was Aphrodite among the Greeks.

(Thanks to Ed Mathews for discussing այրոյն with me.)

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Notes on some manuscripts of the Mar Behnam Monastery   Leave a comment

Readers of this blog are undoubtedly aware of the recent reports of the destruction of the Monastery of Mar Behnam and Sara (see here, here, and elsewhere). The fate of the monastery’s manuscripts is now unknown. Not long ago, at least, HMML and the CNMO (Centre numérique des manuscrits orientaux) digitized the collection. A short-form catalog of these 500+ manuscripts has been prepared for HMML by Joshua Falconer, and I have taken a more detailed look at a select number of manuscripts in the collection. From this latter group I would like to highlight a few and share them with you. The texts mentioned below are biblical, hagiographic, apocryphal/parabiblical, historical, poetic, theological, medical, lexicographic, and grammatical. Here I merely give a few rough notes, nothing comprehensive, along with some images, but in any case the value and variety of these endangered manuscripts will, I hope, be obvious.

These manuscripts, together with those of the whole collection, are available for viewing and study through HMML (details for access online and otherwise here).

MBM 1

Syriac Pentateuch. Pages of old endpapers in Syriac, Garšūnī, and Arabic. Very many marginal comments deserving of further study to see how they fit within Syriac exegetical tradition. The comments are anchored to specific words in the text by signs such as +, x, ~, ÷. According to the original foliation, the first 31 folios are missing.

  • Gen 1r-58v (beg miss; starts at 20:10)
  • Ex 59r-129v
  • Lev 129v-180v
  • Num 181r-241r
  • Deut 241r-283v (end miss; ends at 28:44)
MBM 1, f. 105v, with marginal note to Ex 28:37, with the Greek letter form of the tetragrammaton.

MBM 1, f. 105v, with marginal note to Ex 28:37, with the Greek letter form of the tetragrammaton.

MBM 1, f. 275v, with marginal note on Dt 25:5 explaining ybm as a Hebrew word.

MBM 1, f. 275v, with marginal note on Dt 25:5 explaining ybm as a Hebrew word.

MBM 20

Syriac texts on Mary and the young Jesus. Folio(s) missing, and the remaining text is somewhat disheveled. In addition, some pages are worn or otherwise damaged. Colophon on 79v, but incomplete.

  • The Book of the Upbringing of Jesus, i.e. the Syriac Infancy Gospel, 1r-12v. Beg. miss. See the published text of Wright, Contributions to the Apocryphal Literature of the New Testament, pp. 11-16 (Syr), available here.
  • The Six Books Dormition 13r-79r (beg and end miss?). See Wright, “The Departure of my Lady from this World,” Journal of Sacred Literature and Biblical Record 6 (1865): 417–48; 7: 110–60. (See also his Contributions to the Apocryphal Literature) and Agnes Smith Lewis, Apocrypha Syriaca, pp. 22-115 (Syr), 12-69 (ET); Arabic version, with LT,by Maximilian Enger, Ioannis Apostoli de transitu beatae Mariae Virginis liber (Elberfeld, 1854) available here. In this copy, the end of the second book is marked at 24v, and that of the fifth book on 30v. As indicated above, there are apparently some missing folios and disarranged text.
MBM 20, f. 24v. End of bk 2, start of bk 3 of the Six Books.

MBM 20, f. 24v. End of bk 2, start of bk 3 of the Six Books.

MBM 120

Another copy of Eliya of Nisibis, Book of the Translator, on which see my article in JSS 58 (2013): 297-322 (available here).

MBM 141

Bar ʿEbrāyā’s Metrical Grammar. Colophon on 99r: copied in the monastery of Symeon the Stylite, Nisan (April) 22, at the ninth hour in the evening of Mar Gewargis in the year 1901 AG = 1590 CE.

MBM 144

Bar ʿEbrāyā’s Metrical Grammar, d. 1492/3 on 78v. Clear script, but not very pretty.

MBM 146

Bar ʿEbrāyā, Book of Rays. Lots of marginalia in Syriac, Arabic, and Garšūnī.

MBM 152

Bar Bahlul’s Lexicon, 18th cent. Beg. miss. Some folios numbered by original scribe in the outer margin with Syriac letters, often decorated. Nice writing. Beautiful marbled endpapers, impressed Syriac title on spine.

MBM 152, spine.

MBM 152, spine.

MBM 152, marbled endpapers.

MBM 152, marbled endpapers.

MBM 172

The Six Books Dormition, Garšūnī, from books 5-6, 16th cent. (?).

MBM 207
Hagiography, &c., Garšūnī, 16th/17th cent. According to the original foliation, the first eleven folios are missing from the manuscript.

  • 1r end of the Protoevangelium Jacobi (for the corresponding Syriac part, cf. pp. 21-22 in Smith Lewis’s ed. here). Here called “The Second Book, the Birth”.
  • 1r-31v Vision of Theophilus, here called “The Third Book, on the Flight to Egypt…” Cf. GCAL I 229-232; Syriac and Arabic in M. Guidi, in Rendiconti della Accademia dei Lincei, Classe di scienze morali, storiche e filologiche, 26 (1917): 381-469 (here); Syriac, with ET, here.
  • 31v-37v book 6, The Funeral Service (taǧnīz) of Mary
  • 37v-39r Another ending, from another copy, of this book 6
  • 39r-62r Miracle of Mary in the City of Euphemia
  • 62r-72v Marina and Eugenius
  • 72v-96r Behnam & Sara (new scribe at ff 83-84)
  • 96r-104r Mart Shmoni and sons
  • 104r-112v Euphemia (another scribe 112-114)
  • 112v-124v Archellides
  • 124v-131r Alexis, Man of God, son of Euphemianus
  • 131v-141v John of the Golden Gospel
  • 141v-147v Eugenia, Daughter of the King/Emperor (incom)

MBM 209

19th cent., Garšūnī, hagiography. Not very pretty writing, but includes some notable texts (not a complete list):  Job the Righteous 3v, Jonah 14v, Story of the Three Friends 24r (?), Joseph 73r, Ahiqar 154v, Solomon 180v, and at the end, another Sindbad text 197v-end (see the previous posts here and here).

MBM 209, f. 197v. The Story of Hindbād and Sindbād the Sailor.

MBM 209, f. 197v. The Story of Hindbād and Sindbād the Sailor.

MBM 250

Medical, very nice ES Garšūnī. Includes Ḥunayn’s Arabic translation of the Summary of Galen’s On the Kinds of Urine (fī aṣnāf al-bawl), ff. 1v-8r; cf. here. For a longer Greek text, see Kuehn, Claudii Galeni Opera Omnia (Leipzig, 1821-33), vol. 19, pp. 574-601. These now separate folios seem originally to have been the eighth quire of another codex.

MBM 250, f. 1v. Beg. of Ḥunayn's Arabic translation of the Summary of Galen's On the Kinds of Urine.

MBM 250, f. 1v. Beg. of Ḥunayn’s Arabic translation of the Summary of Galen’s On the Kinds of Urine.

MBM 270

John of Damascus, De fide Orthodoxa, Arabic (cf. Graf, GCAL II, p. 57, this ms not listed). Fine writing. 16th/17th cent.

MBM 270, f. 5v. John of Damascus, Arabic.

MBM 270, f. 5v. John of Damascus, Arabic.

MBM 342

A late copy (19th cent.), but with a fine hand, of the Kitāb fiqh al-luġa, by Abū Manṣūr ʿAbd al-Malik b. Muḥammad al-Ṯaʿālibī, a classified dictionary: e.g. § 17 animals (82), § 23 clothing (155), § 24 food (173), § 28 plants (205), § 29 Arabic and Persian (207, fīmā yaǧrá maǧrá al-muwāzana bayna al-ʿarabīya wa-‘l-fārisīya).

MBM 364

Syriac, 15th cent. (?). F. 10v has quire marker for end of № 11. The manuscript has several notes in different hands:

  • 29v, a note with the year 1542 (AG? = 1230/1 CE); Ascension and Easter are mentioned
  • 31v, note: “I had a spiritual brother named Ṣlibā MDYYʾ. He gave me this book.” (cf. 90v)
  • 66v, note: “Whoever reads this book, let him pray for Gerwargis and ʿIšoʿ, the insignificant monks.”
  • 90v, note: Ownership-note and prayer-request for, it seems, the monk Ṣlibonā (cf. 31v)
  • 132v, longish note similar to the note on 168v
  • 157r, note: “Theodore. Please pray, for the Lord’s sake.”
  • 168v, note: “I found this spiritual book among the books of the church of the Theotokos that is in Beth Kudida [see PS 1691], and I did not know [whether] it belonged to the church or not.”

For at least some of the contents, cf. the Syriac Palladius, as indicated below.

  • Mamllā of Mark the Solitary, Admonition on the Spiritual Law 1r-17r
    Second memra 17r
    Third memra 41v
    Fourth memra 48r
  • Letters of Ammonius 67r-78v (see here; cf. with Kmosko in PO 10 and further CPG 2380)
  • “From the Teaching of Evagrius” 78v-100r
  • Confession of Evagrius 100v
  • Abraham of Nathpar 101r-117v
    2nd memra 105r
    3rd memra 109v
    4th memra 110v
    5th memra 115v
  • Teachings of Abba Macarius 117v
  • Letter (apparently of Macarius) 130r-130v
  • Letter of Basil to Gregory his Brother 131r-139v
  • Letter from a solitary to the brothers 139v-142r
  • Sayings of Evagrius 142r-146v
  • Gluttony 147v
  • The Vice of Whoring (ʿal ḥaššā d-zānyutā) 147v
  • Greed 148r
  • Anger 149r
  • Grief 149v
  • On the Interruption of Thought (ʿal quṭṭāʿ reʿyānā) 149v
  • Pride 150r
  • From the Tradition (mašlmānutā) of Evagrius 151r
  • On the Blessed Capiton (here spelled qypyṭn) 151r (cf. Budge, Book of Paradise, vol. 2, Syr. text, p. 223)
  • The Blessed Eustathius 151v
  • Mark the Mourner 151v
  • A student of a great elder in Scetis 152r
  • A student of another elder who sat alone in his cell 155v
  • A student of a desert elder 156r
  • (more short saint texts) 157v-161r
  • Tahsia 161r-164r (cf. Budge, Book of Paradise, vol. 2, Syr. text, p. 173)
  • An Elder named Zakarya 164r
  • Gregory 168r
  • Daniel of Ṣalaḥ 180v
  • Philemon 180v (cf. Budge, Book of Paradise, vol. 2, Syr. text, p. 427)
  • One of the Blessed Brothers 181r
  • Pachomius, with various subtexts and miracles 182v
  • Didymus 188v-190v

MBM 365

Arabic, 15th century (?). Second, but probably contemporaneous with the first, scribe begins at 80r.

  • 1r-34r Pss 38:17-150 (end)
  • 34r-79v maqāla 11 by Saint Simʿān, maqāla 12 by Simʿān, … maqāla 16 by Simʿān on 67r. There is some apparent disarray and missing folios: the end of this group of texts seems really to be 78v, but 79r has “Sayings and Questions of Abū ‘l-qiddīs Simʿān”
  • 80r-114r Jn 7:20-21:25 (i.e. end of the Gospel)
MBM 365, f. 79r, the beginning of the Saying and Questions of Saint Simʿān

MBM 365, f. 79r, the beginning of the Saying and Questions of Saint Simʿān

MBM 367

Two loose folios of an Arabic tafsīr of the Gospels, one of which has the quire marker for the original thirty-first quire (so numbered with Syriac letters). Perhaps 16th cent. From Mt 10, with commentary (qāla ‘l-mufassir), on 1v (image below); Lk 6:20 ff. on f. 2r.

MBM 367, f. 1v. Mt 10:19-23 with the beginning of the commentary.

MBM 367, f. 1v. Mt 10:19-23 with the beginning of the commentary.

MBM 368

Garšūnī (very nice, clear script). Memre and other texts on theological, monastic, and spiritual subjects.

MBM 386

17th cent., Garšūnī, hagiography. Note the Qartmin trilogy beginning on 105v.

  • The Book of the Ten Viziers / Arabic version of the Persian Baḫtīār Nāma 1r (beg miss). (On this work, see W.L. Hanaway, Jr., in EIr here.) It is a frame story spread over several days with a boy (ġulām) telling smaller stories (sg. ḥadīṯ) to a king. As it now stands in the manuscript, it begins in the eighth day, ending on the eleventh. (ET of the Persian here by William Ouseley; ET by John Payne of an Arabic version with Alf layla wa-layla here, eighth day beg. on p. 125). Here are the subdivisions:
    The Story of [the city of] Īlān Šāh and Abū Tamām 1v
    Ninth day 7r
    King Ibrāhīm and his son (on 9r, marginalia in Arabic: “this is an impossible thing!”)
    Tenth day 14r
    Story of Sulaymān 15v
    Eleventh day, 29v
  • Infancy Gospel of Jesus 33v-55r
  • John of Dailam 55r-68v
  • Behnām and Sara 68v-73v
  • Mar Zakkay 73v-105r (at 105r it says Mar Malke)
  • Mar Gabriel 105v-132r (much of f. 111 torn away; partly f. 127, too)
  • Mar Samuel 132v- (folios miss. after ff. 141, 157)
  • Mar Symeon -163v (begins where?)
  • Memra of Ephrem on Andrew when he entered the land of the dogs 163v
  • Miracle of Mary 170v
  • Miracle of Mark of Jabal Tarmaq 172v

MBM 388

17th cent., ES Garšūnī, mostly hagiography. Colophon on 135v.

  • Story of Susanna
  • Ephrem on Elijah 14r
  • Story of a Jewish Boy and what happened to him with some Christian children 31v (hands change at 34r)
  • Story of some royal children 40v (some Syriac, hands change at 47r)
  • Story of Tatos the martyr (f.), martyred in Rome 51r
  • Story of a Mistreated Monk 58v
  • Story of Arsānīs, King of Egypt 66v
  • John of the Golden Gospel 70v (folio(s) missing after 70v)
  • Elijah the Zealous 88v
  • Andrew the Apostle 100v
  • Text by Eliya Catholicos, Patriarch 111r
  • Zosimus and the Story of the Rechabites 116r
  • Story of the Apple 131r (several other copies at HMML: CFMM 350, pp. 717-722; CFMM 109, ff. 179v-182r; CFMM 110, 182v-185v; ZFRN 73, pp. 382-390 and more)

MBM 390

17th cent., WS Garšūnī, some folios missing, hagiographic, homiletic, &c.

  • Ahiqar 1r (on 27r dated 2006 AG in Arabic script)
  • Merchant of Tagrit and his Believing Wife 27v
  • Chrysostom, On Receiving the Divine Mysteries 34r
  • Chrysostom, On Repentance and Receiving the Divine Mysteries 44v (s.t. miss. after 51v)
  • Ephrem, (beg. miss.) 52r ? (s.t. miss. after 67v)
  • Jacob of Serug, On Repentance 69v (s.t. miss after 69v)
  • Ephrem ? 94r
  • From the Fathers, That everyone has a guardian angel 102v (hands change just b/f this)
  • Story of Petra of Africa 110r (no other Arabic/Garšūnī at HMML; for Syriac, see CFMM 270, pp. 291-302)
  • Zosimus and the Story of the Rechabites, 119v-132r
  • Life of John the Baptist 132r
  • Five Miracles of John the Baptist 150r
  • Story of Macarius (end miss) 152v-153v

MBM 469

Ecclesiasticus, Garšūnī, with some Turkish-Arabic/Garsh equivalents at beginning.

MBM 469, f. 1v. Turkish words with Arabic/Garšūnī equivalents.

MBM 469, f. 1v. Turkish words with Arabic/Garšūnī equivalents.

Here are the forms on this page, first in Turkish, then Arabic:

  • ıslattı naqaʿa [he soaked]
  • aramış fattaša [he searched]
  • aradın fattašta [you searched]
  • aradım fattaštu [I searched]
  • aramışlar fattašū [they searched]
  • işitti samiʿa [he heard]
  • içti šariba [he drank] *The Turkish root here is written with š for ç, as in Kazakh; on the previous page the verb also appears and is spelled ʾyǧty, i.e. içti (Garšūnī ǧīm = Turkish c or ç.)

Note that for the forms of aramak [to search], the third person forms are past indefinite, while the first and second person forms are past definite.

MBM 485

From a Gospel lectionary, Syriac, Estrangela. Here is f. 6v, with Mt 18:15-17, 20:1-3.

MBM 485, f. 6v. Mt 18:15-17, 20:1-3.

MBM 485, f. 6v. Mt 18:15-17, 20:1-3.

MBM 489

French drama translated into Syriac by Abraham ʿIso in Baghdad, 1972-1974.

  • [5r] title page
  • [6r-7v] introduction
  • pp. 5-122 Athalie by Racine
  • pp. 125-244 Le Cid by Corneille
  • pp. 247-380 Polyeucte by Corneille
  • pp. 381-463 Esther by Racine
MBM 489, f. 74r = p. 125. Title page to the Syriac translation of Corneille's Le Cid.

MBM 489, f. 74r = p. 125. Title page to the Syriac translation of Corneille’s Le Cid.

With the first page of the Syriac Le Cid cf. the original text here. Note that the Syriac translation is in rhyming couplets like the French.

MBM 489, f. 77r = p. 131. The beginning of the Syriac Le Cid.

MBM 489, f. 77r = p. 131. The beginning of the Syriac Le Cid.

MBM 509

19th cent., Arabic. ʿAbd al-Laṭīf al-Baġdādī. Starts with excerpt from Ibn Abī Uṣaybiʿa on him (cf. the end of the ms). On 14r begins the K. al-Ifāda wa-‘l-iʿtibār fī ‘l-umūr wa-‘l-mušāhada wa-‘l-ḥawādiṯ al-muʿāyana bi-arḍ Miṣr. See De Sacy’s annotated FT here.

Here is the part from ch. 4, on monuments (beg. 30r), about the burning of the library of Alexandria by ʿAmr b. al-ʿĀṣ “with the permission of ʿUmar” and on the Pharos of Alex (bottom of 34v = de Sacy p. 183).

MBM 509, f. 34v.

MBM 509, f. 34v.

MBM 514

Printed work. Mariano Ugolini. Vasco de Gama al Cabo das Tormentas, dodecasillabi siriaci con versione italiana. Rome, Tipografia Poliglotta, 1898. “Poesia letta in Roma nella solenne accademia per le feste centenarie della scoperta delle Indie, il giorno 21 Maggio 1898.” 6 pages. Bound with Rahmani’s Testamentum Domini.

Here are the first six lines:

MBM 514, p. 4.

MBM 514, p. 4.

And the same in Italian:

MBM 514, p. 5.

MBM 514, p. 5.

The tradition about the origin of Saint Mark’s Monastery from a 19th-century colophon   Leave a comment

In the colophon to SMMJ 187, ff. 388v-389r — this part of the manuscript was originally earlier in this codex, but it has been partly split up and rebound — the scribe has recorded a little about the tradition of Saint Mark’s Monastery. (The ms is № 21* in the catalog of Baumstark et al.) Students of Arabic and/or Garšūnī might appreciate it as a reading exercise, and for others, a tentative English translation is given below.

SMMJ 187, ff. 388v-389r

SMMJ 187, ff. 388v-389r

I first give a transcription of the Garšūnī text itself, followed by a transliteration into Arabic letters. In the former, where some of the marks of non-standard literary Arabic will be noted, I have strictly followed the manuscript, but in the latter I have added a few diacritics. (The Garšūnī text is complete, but for the Arabic and the ET I stopped with the tradition of the monastery and have left off the common colophon part.)

Garšūnī text

ܩܕ ܟܬܒ ܦܝ ܣܢܗ̈ ܒܩܟܚ ܝܘܢܐܢܝܗ ܦܝ ܕܝܪ ܐܠܩܕܝܣ ܐܠܒܫܝܪ ܡܐܪ ܡܪܩܘܣ ܐܠܐܢܔܝܠܝܗ ܘܟܐܢ ܩܕܝܡܐ ܒܝܬܗ. ܘܦܝ ܗܕܐ ܐܠܕܝܪ ܟܐܢ ܡܓܡܥ ܠܐܪܣܠ ܟܘܦ ܡܢ ܐܠܝܗܘܕ ܘܐܟܝܪܐ ܒܥܕ ܐܠܨܠܒܘܬ ܐܬܬ ܣܬܢܐ ܡܪܝܡ ܐܠܥܕܪܝ ܘܣܟܢܬ ܦܝܗ ܘܒܥܕܗ ܒܛܪܣ ܐܠܪܣܘܠ ܪܣܡܗ ܟܢܝܣܗ̈ ܥܠܝ ܐܣܡ ܐܠܥܕܪܝ ܐܘܠ ܒܕܐܝܗ ܟܢܐܝܣ ܦܝ ܩܕܣ ܐܠܫܪܝܦ ܘܠܐܓܠ ܕܠܟ

‏389r

ܝܩܘܠܘܐ ܒܝܬ ܡܐܪ ܡܪܩܘܣ ܐܠܐܢܔܝܠܝ ܟܢܝܣܗ̈ ܣܬܢܐ ܡܪܝܡ ܐܠܥܕܪܝ ܥܠܝܗܐ ܐܫܪܦ ܐܠܣܠܐܡ ܘܐܠܩܘܠ ܐܢܗܐ ܐܥܬܡܕܬ ܦܝ ܔܪܢ ܐܠܡܘܛܘܥ ܦܝ ܐܠܟܢܝܣܗ ܘܗܕܗ ܗܝ ܡܥܡܘܕܝܬܗܐ ܘܐܠܝ ܐܠܐܢ ܝܩܘܠܘܢ ܐܠܛܘܐܝܦ ܐܢܗܐ ܡܥܡܘܕܝܗ̈ ܐܠܥܕܪܝ ܒܪܟܗ̈ ܨܠܐܬܗ ܘܨܠܐܗ̈ ܔܡܝܥ ܐܠܪܣܠ ܘܐܠܡܒܫܪܝܢ ܘܐܠܩܕܝܣܝܢ ܬܟܘܢ ܡܥ ܐܠܟܐܬܒ ܐܠܟ̣ܐܛܝ ܐܠܚܩܝܪ ܐܠܕܠܝܠ ܦܝ ܚܝܐܬܗ ܘܡܡܐܬܗ ܘܪܘܚܐܢܝܗ ܐܠܓܡܝܥ ܬܪܐܦܩܗ ܦܝ ܐܢܬܩܐܠܗ ܡܢ ܗܕܐ ܐܠܥܐܠܡ ܐܡܝܢ ܘܐܡܝܢ ܘܢܣܐܠ ܟܠ ܐܒܐ ܘܐܟܐ ܡܥ ܡܢ ܝܩܪܐ ܦܝ ܗܕܗ ܐܠܚܪܘܦ ܐܠܕܡܝܡܗ ܝܬܪܚܡ ܥܠܝ ܐܠܟܐܬܒ ܐܠܟ̣ܐܛܝ ܘܟܠܡܢ ܝܬܚܪܡ ܝܓܕ ܐܠܪܚܡܗ ܒܨܠܘܐܬ ܣܬܢܐ ܡܪܝܡ ܐܠܥܕܪܝ ܘܐܠܩܕܝܣܝܢ ܐܡܝܢ ܐܡܝܢ

Transliterated into Arabic letters

قد كتب في سنة ٢١٢٨ يونانية في دير القديس البشير مار مرقوس الانجيليه (!) وكان قديمًا بيته. وفي هذا الدير كان مجمع الرسل خوفًا من اليهود واخيرًا بعد الصلبوت أتَتْ ستنا مريم العذراء وسكنَتْ فيه وبعده بطرس الرسول رسمه كنيسة على اسم العذراء اول بداية كنائس في قدس الشريف ولاجل ذلك

389r

يقولوا بيت مار مرقوس الانجيلي كنيسة ستنا مريم العذراء عليها اشرف السلام والقول انّها اعتمدت في جُرْن الموضوع في الكنيسة وهذه هي معموديتها وإلى الآن يقولون الطوائف انّها معمودية العذراء

English translation

[This] was written in the year 2128 AG [=1809/10 CE] at the Monastery of Saint Mark the Evangelist. It was formerly his house. There was a gathering of apostles there in fear of the Jews, and later, after the crucifixion, our Lady the Virgin came and lived in it. After that, the apostle Peter consecrated it as a church in the name of the Virgin at the beginning of the churches in Jerusalem, and because of this they say, “the House of Saint Mark the Evangelist, the Church of our Lady Mary the Virgin,” on whom be the most exalted peace! It is said that she was baptized in the font there in the church, and this is her baptismal font. Even now the different denominations say that it is the baptismal font of the Virgin. …

For further information on the monastery, one can start with the entry on it in GEDSH, 269-270, by G.A. Kiraz.

Excerpta synaxarica Armeniaca   1 comment

The synaxarion has made its appearance here in various languages many times. These collected hagiographic texts in brief arranged according to the church calendar offer students of the languages of the Christian east and students of Christianity more generally unique opportunities for learning the language and traditions. Not in terms of content, but of form, synaxarion entries are to the longer hagiographic texts dedicated to a saint’s legends almost what short stories are to novels. There are pleasures and benefits specific to the longer time required of a novel or a long hagiographic text, but there are likewise benefits and pleasures that derive from the shorter modes of the synaxarion and the short story. With the synaxarion, we collect some basics of the stories, either for the first time or as a review, and we can see the whole in minutes or hours, as opposed to days. Not all saints have a long vita, martyrdom, or encomium, but for those that do, their synaxarion reading may be a kind of praelectio or praeexercitamentum. Synaxarion selections often focus on the interesting bits that for this or that reason easily hold our attention, but they also present enough lexical and syntactic variety to be instructive for learners, yet without being too overwhelming in length. Selections from the synaxarion may even serve as a kind of chrestomathy with some appropriate helps (grammatical notes, glossaries, and/or translations).

https://hmmlorientalia.files.wordpress.com/2013/09/19734-0902st_mamant.jpg

St. Mamas on a lion. Image from here.

Below are a few excerpts from the readings for the past few days, Aug 31-Sept 2 (disregarding the difference between Old Style and New Style dates). Of course, since these are excerpts, we don’t get the whole story here, but hopefully you’ll learn (or re-learn) something, as I did in copying them. Most of these are simple sentences with basic forms and vocabulary, but a few were chosen simply because they struck me as memorable for some reason or other.

What’s the purpose of having picked out these excerpts and sharing them here? First, to highlight some hagiographic material readers might not otherwise regularly come across, and that chance meeting might lead to some story, passage, or text of interest and use to someone. The readings excerpted here come from longer or shorter remembrances of Photina (the woman at the well; cf. BHO 992), the invention of the cincture of Mary, Joshua, Symeon the Stylite (cf. BHO 1121-1126), Martha (cf. BHO ), Longinus (cf. BHO 565-566), and Mamas (cf. BHO ).

Second, especially for students of classical Armenian, these excerpts will provide some practice reading and also show how passages like these might be of use in studying the language. How much grammar might we divine, how much common and not-so-common vocabulary do we see in action in these selections from just a few pages of Armenian text? To list only a few examples, consider this vocabulary associated with tortures and martyrdom from the selections below:

  • հատանեմ, հատի to cut (off)
  • կտրեմ, -եցի to cut (off)
  • քերեն, -եցի to scratch
  • մարմին, մարմնոյ body
  • սուր, սրոյ sword
  • մուրճ, մրճոց hammer
  • հուր, հրոյ fire
  • դեղ, -ոց/-ից poison (here followed by the gen. մահու, lethal)
  • արիւն, -եան blood (e.g. with հեղում, հեղի to pour [here aor pass], հեղաւ արիւնն յերկիր the blood flowed on the earth)
  • բանտ/դ, -ից prison

And here are some terms associated with some aspect of Christianity:

  • յիշատակ, -աց remembrance, commemoration
  • երանելի blessed, happy (referring to a saint)
  • հաւատամ, -ացի to believe
  • խոստովանեմ, -եցի to confess

For verbs we have the ubiquitous participial forms as well as, given the genre, a host of past narrative forms that can be found in almost every line. This is not even to mention the very frequent function words and general vocabulary.

Thirdly, for readers with any interest at all in hagiography who may have less inclination to study classical Armenian, this little notice might serve as a reminder of what an important source hagiography, including the versions of the synaxarion in whatever language, is for questions of history, legend, literature, religious devotion, and religious memory. I do not know of an English translation of the Armenian synaxarion, but there is a complete French translation in the PO volumes. (An English version of the Armenian would be welcome, but it would be a long undertaking.)

Bibliography

Adontz, Nicholas. “Note sur les synaxaires arméniens.” Revue de l’Orient Chrétien 24 (1924): 211–218.

Aßfalg, Julius. “Synaxar(ion).” In H. Kaufhold, ed., Kleines Lexikon des christlichen Orients. 2d ed. Wiesbaden, 2007. Pp. 448-449.

Cowe, S. Peter. “Armenian Hagiography.” In The Ashgate Research Companion to Byzantine Hagiography, edited by Stephanos Efthymiadis, 1:299–322. Ashgate, 2011.

Mécérian, Jean. “Introduction à l’étude des synaxaires arméniens.” Bulletin arménologique, Mélanges de l’Université de S. Joseph 43 (1953): 99–128.

The excerpts

These lines (with the corresponding French translation) are taken from PO 5: 461-483, ed. and tr. G. Bayan. (See a list here, with links, of synaxarion texts in Armenian and other languages published in PO.) They are cited by page number in PO 5.

5.461

հաւատաց ի Քրիստոս եւ երտեալ ի Կարթագինէ ի քաղաքն Ափրիկիոյ մկրտեցաւ եւ անունեցաւ Փաւտինէ։ Elle crut au Christ, se rendit à Carthage, dans la ville d’Afrique…

Եւ քարոզէր զանուն Տեառն մերոյ Յիսուսի Քրիստոսի ամենեցուն, եւ լուսաւորէր զբազումս ի կռապաշտիցն։ Elle prèchait à tous le nom de notre Seigneur Jésus-Christ, et instruisait bon nombre d’idolâtres.

5.462

Եւ հրամայեաց զի սրով հատցեն զձեռսն Il ordonna de lui couper avec l’épée, les mains…

եւ ոչ կարացին հատանել զձեռսն։ … mais [ils] n’arrivèrent pas à lui couper les mains.

Հրամայեաց Ներոն արքայն զի մրճօք կտրեսցեն զձեռսն Néron ordonna alors de lui détacher les mains avec les marteaux.

Եւ ապա հուր բորբոքեցին եւ ընկեցին անդ զաղախինն Քրիստոսի On alluma ensuite un grand feu et on y jeta la servante du Christ.

Հանին ի հրոյն եւ արբուցին երկիցս անգամ դեղ մահու եւ ոչ վնասեցաւ նա։ On la fit sortir du feu, et on lui fit boire par deux fois du poison mortel, elle n’eut aucun mal.

5.463

Եւ ապա կախեցին զփայտէ եւ քերեցին զմարմին նորա եւ յոյժ հեղաւ արիւնն յերկիր Ensuite on la suspendit à un arbre, on lui déchira le corps, le sang coula abondamment à terre…

Եւ յորժամ իջուցին ի փայտէն հանին զերկոսին աչսն եւ բարձեալ տարան զնա ի խաւարյին եւ ի ժահահոտ բանտ յորուն էին օձք եւ թունաւոր սողունք։ Lorsqu’on la descendit de l’arbre, on lui creva les deux yeux et on la transporta dans une prison obscure et infecte, où se trouvaient des serpents et des reptiles venimeux.

Եւ մինչեւ ցայսօր որք իցեն աչացաւ եւ աչաչեն զԱստուած եւ զսրբուհի վկայն իւր զփօտինէ առժամայն բժշկին ե լուսաւորին աչք իւրեանց։ Et jusqu’aujourd’hui, ceux qui souffrent des yeux et prient Dieu et sa sainte martyre Photine guérissent aussitôt et recouvrent la vue.

5.465

Եւ ի ժամանակս Լեւոնի որդւոյ Վասլի թագաւորի՝ բազում սքանչելագործեաց գօտի սուրբ աստուածածնին բժշկիւթիւնս ի թագուհին Զոյի, յորմէ հալածեաց ի նմանէ զդեւն, որ բազում ամօք չարչարէր զնա, եւ յայլ ամենայն նեղեալս։ Sous le règne de Léon, fils de l’empereur Basile, la ceinture de la sainte mère de Dieu fit de nombreux miracles et guérisons sur la personne de l’impératrice Zoë, en chassant le démon, qui la tourmentait depuis de longues années, et sur tous les autres infirmes.

5.467

Սա ետ հրաման արեգականն եւ լուսնին եւ դադարեցին ի գնացից, մինչեւ կոտորեաց զՔանանացիսն ի Գաբաւոն։ C’est lui qui commanda au soleil et à la lune, et ils s’arrètèrent dans leur course jusqu’à ce qu’il eût massacré les Chananéens à Gabaon.

5.467-468

Symeon the Stylite on a 6th-7th century token (Walters Art Mus.,  48.2666; see here)

Symeon the Stylite on a 6th-7th century token (Walters Art Mus., 48.2666; see here)

Եւ մինչդեռ պատանեակն էր լսէր յեկեղեցւոջն հանապաց զգրելսն ի Պօղոսէ առաքելոյն եւ ի ծերունի ումեմնէ աստուածասիրէ տեղեկանայր եթէ վասն փրկութեան հոգւոց են գրեալքն։ Pendant qu’il était tout jeune il entendait continuellement à l’église les épîtres de l’apôtre Paul, et il apprit d’un viellard zélé qu’elles étaient écrites pour le salut des âmes.

5.468

Եւ նախանձեալ կրօնաւորացն ընդ ճգնութիւն արդարոյն ստիպեցին զհայր վանացն հանել զնա։ Les religieux devinrent jaloux de l’ascétisme du juste et obligèrent l’abbé du couvent de le renvoyer.

Իսկ երանելին ելեալ լալով գտանէ ջրհոր մի ցամաք, եր խոր յոյժ, լի թիւնաւոր զեռնօք եւ ընկէց զանձն իւր ի մէջ օձիցն, ոչ ինչ ճաջակելով։ Le bienheureux partit en pleurant, trouva un puits à sec et très profond, plein de reptiles venimeux, et se jeta parmi les serpents, sans prendre de nourriture.

5.469

Եւ նորա արարեալ անդ աւուրս ինչ՝ գնաց յանապատ եւ անդ շինեաց իւր արգելանոց նեղ եւ բնակեցաւ անդ ամս չորս. Il y demeura quelques jours, et se rendit dans un désert; il s’y fabriqua un abri étroit et y demeura quatre ans;

եւ ոչ ինչ ճաշակեաց բայց միայն ոսպն թրջեալ։ il ne se nourissait que de lentilles mouillées.

Եւ յետ այնորիկ շինեալ սիւն բարձրագոյն յերկրէ գիրկս չորս եւ ելեալ եկաց անդ ամս եօթն։ Il construisit ensuite une colonne élevée de la terre de quatre coudées, y monta et y demeura sept ans.

Եւ աղօթիւք զբազում հիւանդս բժշկէր, եւ ուսուցանէր առնել զկամս Աստուծոյ եւ կեցուցանել զհոգիս։ Par ses prières il guérissait beaucoup de malades et leur enseignait à accomplir la volonté de Dieu et à sauver leur âme.

հանգիր առ խարսխի սեան իմոյ եւ ննջեա. Repose-toi au pied de ma colonne et endors-toi.

եւ նորա եդեալ զգլուխ առ սեանն՝ աւանդեաց զհոգին։ Elle posa la tête auprès de la colonne et rendit son âme.

Եւ հրամայեաց դնել զմարմին մօրն իւրոյ առ սեանն. Il ordonna d’enterrer le corps de sa mère près de la colonne.

Եւ ի տեսանել զմայր իւր տխրեցաւ։ A la vue de sa mère il devint triste.

Եւ թաղեցին զնա ի տեղւոջն յայնմիկ վասն տեսանելոյ միշտ զգերեզմանն եւ յիշելոյ զհոգի նորա։ On l’enterra en cet endroit, pour qu’il ait toujours sous les yeux son tombeau et pour qu’il se souvienne de son âme.

5.470

Եւ ընդ աւուրսն ընդ այնոսիկ տեսեալ որսորղաց ոմանց եղն մի, զհետ մտեալ ոչ կարացին ըմդռնել զնա. En ces jours, quelques chasseurs ayant aperçu une biche, la poursuivirent, sans pouvoir l’atteindre.

եւ որսորղացն ըմբռնեալ զնա զենեցին եւ կերան. Les chasseurs la saisirent, la tuèrent et la mangèrent.

եւ նոյնժամայն ատամունք նոցա անկան ի բերանս իւրեանց առ հասարակ։ Aussitôt toutes leurs dents tombèrent dans leur bouche.

Կին ումն ի գիշերի ջուր ըմպելով՝ եմուտ յորովայն նորա ընդ ջրոյն ձագ օձի, եւ սնեալ ի փորին՝ աճեաց եւ յոյժ չարչարէր զկինն. Une femme en buvant de l’eau la nuit avait introduit dans son estomac, en même temps que l’eau, un petit serpent, qui continua à se nourrir et à croître dans le ventre et causait beaucoup de douleurs à la femme.

եւ գնացեալ առ երանելին աղաչեաց։ Elle alla trouver le bienheureux et la pria.

Եւ սուրբն Սիմէեոն աղօթիւք եհան զօձն ընդ բերան կնոջն. եւ առժամայն սատակեցաւ եւ էր կանգուն մի։ Saint Siméon, par ses prières, fit sortir le serpent par la bouche de la femme; il creva aussitôt. Il était long d’une aune.

5.470-471

եւ կեայր ի վերաի սեանն բացօթեաի, յամարայնի արեգակնակէզ լինելով եւ ի ձմերայնի ցրտանք եւ ձիւնով ժուժկալեալ։ Il vivait sur la colonne en plein air, brûlé par le soleil en été et subissant le froid et la neige l’hiver.

5.471

Եւ բազում վտանզաւորք ի ծովու եւ ի ցամաքի կոչէին յօգնականութիւն զանուն սրբոյն Սիմէոնի, եւ առժամայն փրկէին ի նեղութենէ իւրեանց։ Et beaucoup de gens en danger, sur mer et sur terre, appelant au secours et invoquant le nom de saint Siméon, furent aussitôt délivrés de leurs peines.

Եւ յաւուրսն յայնոսիկ այր մի ցանկացեալ կնոջ ումեմն եւ ոչ կարացեալ հասանել պիղծ ցանկութեանն: En ces jours, un homme convoitant une femme ne parvint pas à réaliser ses désirs impurs.

Իսկ յորժամ վածճանեցաւ կինն, երթեալ գաղտնաբար ի գիշերի առ տապան կնոջն կամէր պառնընկել ընդ նեռեալ մարմինն եւ կապեցաւ ընդ տապանին եւ ոչ կարէր ելանել։ Lorsque la femme mourut, il se rendit en secret et pendant la nuit à la tombe de la femme dans l’intention de violer le cadavre; il resta lié à la tombe, et ne pouvait en sortir.

5.471-472

Եւ յորժամ անցուցանէին դագաղօքն զմարմին սրբոյն Սիմէոնի մերձ ի տապանն յայն, աղաղակեաց այրն ասելով. Au moment où l’on faisait passer dans un cercueil le corps de saint Siméon près de cette tombe, l’homme se mit à crier:

5.472

Ողողմեա ինձ սուրբ Աստուծոյ Սիմէոն։ Aie pitié de moi, saint de Dieu, Siméon.

Եւ առժամայն արձակեցաւ, ել ի տապանէն եւ խոստաովանեցաւ զմեղս իւր։ Il se dégagea aussitôt, sortit de la tombe et confessa son péché.

Եւ թաղեցին զերանելին մերձ ի սիւնն։ On enterra le bienheureux près de la colonne.

Եւ Անտոն աշակերտ սրբոյն եւ ապասաւոր նորին գրեաց զաստուածահաճոյ վարս նուրա։ Et Antoine, le disciple du saint et son serviteur écrivit la vie du saint, si agréable à Dieu.

Ի ժամանակս պատկերամարտիցն զանարատ աստուածածնին զերանելի պատկերն՝ ունելով ի գիրկս զտղայացեալ Աստուածն մեր՝ որ էր ի տախտակի նկարեալ ի վանսն որ կոչի Միասինոն, ընկեցին ի ծովակն որ կոչի Ղազարու (?)։ A l’époque des iconoclastes, on jeta dans le lac dit Zagourou [sic] la bienheureuse image de l’immaculé mère de Dieu, tenant dans ses bras notre Dieu comme enfant, [image] peinte sur bois et qui se trouvait au couvent dit Miasinon.

Որ եւ զբազոմ ժամանակս անդէն անփուտ պահեցաւ տախտակն, եւ անապական ի նմին՝ դիւրաջինջ նկար դեղոց։ Le bois s’y conserva incorruptible pendant de longues années, et les couleurs délicates n’eurent à souffrir aucune détérioration.

5.473

Ի սոյն յիշատակ է սրբուհւոյն Մարթայի մօր երանելւոյն Սիմէոնի՝ որ է բարեշնորհ։ En ce jour commémoration de sainte Marthe, mère du bienheureux Siméon, qui est rempli de grâces.

5.474

Յայսմ աւու յիշատակ Կեսարիա կապադովկեցւոց Ղունկիանոսի զինուորի եւ վկայի, զորմէ ասի թէ նա էր որ եբաց գեղարդեամբ զկողս Տեառն ի խաչին եւ յետոյ մկրտեցաւ յառաքելոցն. En ce jour, commémoration, en Césarée de Cappadoce, du soldat et martyr Longinos, duquel on dit que ce fut lui qui perça de sa lance le côté du Seigneur sur la Croix, et qu’il fut baptisé ensuite par les apôtres.

եւ մերձ ի կապպադովկիա սրբութեամբ կենցաղավարելով եկաց։ Il vécut d’une sainte vie près de Cappadoce.

Յետոյ եղեւ ի յՕքտաւիդիս դատաւորէ եւ վասն խոստավանութեամ հաւատոցն հատաւ լեզուն եւ կորզեցան ատամունքն եւ սրով հատաւ գլուխն։ Il fut ensuite saisi par le juge Octavidis et pour avoir confessé la foi on lui coupa la langue, on lui arracha les dents et on lui trancha la tête avec la glaive.

5.475

Եւ էր Ռուփինա յղի։ Rufina était enceinte.

Եւ հարցեալ քննէր զնոսա եւ նոքա խոստովանեցան համարձակութեամբ զանունն Քրիստոսի։ Le juge les interrogea et ils confessèrent avec hardiesse le nom du Christ.

Եւ բարեպաշտին Ռուփինայ լցան աւուրք յղութեանն եւ ծնաւ ի բանդին արու մանուկ Quant à la pieuse Rufina, les jours de sa grossesse s’étant accomplis, elle mit au monde, dans la prison, un garçon.

5.476

Եւ մինչեւ զարգացաւ մանուկն ետ զնա ի դպրոց եւ ուսաւ գիր Lorsque l’enfant grandit, elle l’envoya à l’école et il y apprit les lettres.

եւ ձաղկեցին դահիճքն եւ այրեցին հրով զմարմինն. Les bourreaux le flagellèrent et brûlèrent son corps au feu:

եւ տարան ի ծովն եւ կապեցին ծանր կապար ի պարանոց նորա, եւ կամեցան ընկղմել զնա ի ծովն, ils l’amenèrent à la mer, attachèrent à son cou du plomb lourd, et voulurent le noyer dans la mer,

եւ հրեշտակ Տեառն կորզեաց զնա ի դահճացն, եւ եհան զնա ի մերձակայ լեառն Կեսարու։ mais l’ange du Seigneur le délivra des bourreaux, et le conduisit sur la montagne qui se trouvait près de Césarée.

Եւ ժողովէին առ նա երէք վայրիք եւ յորժամ ընթեռնոյր զաւետարանն երկիր պագանէին ամենայն կենդանիքն։ Les animaux sauvages s’assemblaient de lui et lorsqu’il lisait l’évangile tous ces animaux se prosternaient.

5.477

Եւ կթէր զեղունսն եւ առնէր պանիր եւ բաշխէր աղքասաց եւ որբոց հրամանաւն Աստուծոյ։ Il trayait les biches, fabriquait du fromage et le distribuait aux pauvres et aux orphelins sur l’ordre de Dieu.

Եւ աղաւնի բերէր նմա կերակուր. եւ նա տայր եւ այլ կապելոցն որ էին ի բանդին։ Une colombe lui apportait sa nourriture: il en distribuait aux autres détenus dans la prison.

Եւ բերին այլ առիւծ ահաւոր, զայն որ մինչ ի լերինն էր գնաց առ նա, On introduisit un autre lion terrible, celui qui était allé vers lui lorsqu’il était sur la montagne.

եւ տեսեալ առիւծուն ծանեաւ զերանելին եւ երթեալ երկիր եպագ նմա եւ խօսեցաւ մարդկային բարբառով եւ յանդիմանեաց զամպարշտութիւն դատաւորին. Le lion l’ayant aperçu, reconnut le bienheureux et se prosterna devant lui et parlant le langage humain, reprocha au juge son impiété:

եւ զբաբումս ի կռապատիցն սատակեաց. եւ ինքն գնաց ի տելի իւր։ il tua beaucoup d’idolâtres, et retourna à sa place.

Եւ ըմբիշ մի երեքժանի սուսերաւ եհար զսուրբն։ Un athlète armé d’un trident aigu en frappa le saint.

5.478

հեղոյր ի մարմնոյ նորա արիւնն որպէս աղբիւր։ … le sang coulait de son corps comme une fontaine.

Եւ ելեալ ի վերայ վիմի օրհնեաց զԱստուած Il monta sur un rocher, bénit Dieu…

եւ այնպէս աւանդեաց զհոգին իւր ի ձերս Աստուծոյ։ … il rendit ainsi son âme entre les mains de Dieu.

Maximus the Confessor on the Dormition of Mary (in Georgian)   Leave a comment

The Dormition of Mary is celebrated August 15 (for those that follow the old calendar = Aug 28 in the Gregorian calendar), so today is an opportune time to study a few lines on the Dormition from the Georgian version of Maximus the Confessor‘s Life of the Virgin, which survives only in that language.

The Georgian text was edited (and translated into French) by Michel-Jean van Esbroeck, Maxime le confesseur. Vie de la Vierge, CSCO 478/Scr. Iber. 21 (Louvain, 1986). Here is the text from § 103, pp. 133.25-134.14:

ოდეს იგი იგულებოდა ქრისტესა ღმერთსა ჩუენსა ამიერ სოფლით განყვანებად ყოვლად წმიდისა მის და უბიწოჲსა დედისა თჳსისა, და სასუფეველად ზეცისა მიყვანებად რაჲთა სათნოებათა და ბუნებისა უვაღრესთა მოღუაწებათა მისთა გჳრგჳნი საუკუნაჲ მიიღოს, და ფესუედითა ოქროანითა პირად-პირადად შემკობილი შუენიერად დადგეს მარჯუენით მისა, და დედუფლად იქადაგოს ყოველთა დაბადებულთა, და შევიდეს შინაგან კრეტსაბმელისა და წმიდასა წმიდათასა დაემკჳდროს. წინაჲთვე გამოუცხადა დიდებული იგი მიცვალებაჲ მისი. და მოუვლინა მას კუალად მთავარანგელოსი გაბრიელ მახარებელად დიდებულისა მის მიცვალებისა მისისა, ვითარცა იგი პირველ საკჳრველისა მის მუცლადღებისა. მოვიდა უკუჱ მთავარანგელოსი და მოართუა რტოჲ ფინიკისაჲ რომელი იგი იყო სასწაული ძლევისაჲ, ვითარცა ოდესმე ძესა მისსა მიეგებვოდეს რტოებითა ფინიკისაჲთა მძლესა მას სიკუდილისასა და შემმუსრველსა ჯოჯოხეთისასა, ეგრეთვე წმიდასა მას დედუფალსა მოართუა მთავარანგელოსმან რტოჲ იგი სახე ძლევისა ვნებათაჲსა და სიკუდილისა გან უშიშობისა.

We are fortunate to have an English translation of this text, only recently published (2012), by Stephen Shoemaker, The Life of the Virgin: Maximus the Confessor. Here is his rendering of the passage given above (p. 130):

When Christ our God wanted to bring his all-holy and immaculate mother forth from the world and lead her into the kingdom of heaven so that she would receive the eternal crown of virtues and supernatural labors, and so that he could place her at his right hand beautifully adorned with golden tassels in many colors (cf. Ps 44:10, 14) and proclaim her queen of all creatures, and so that she would pass behind the veil and dwell in the Holy of Holies, he revealed her glorious Dormition to her in advance. And he sent the archangel Gabriel to her again to announce her glorious Dormition, as he had before the wondrous conception. Thus the archangel came and brought her a branch from a date palm, which is a sign of victory: as once they went with branches of date palms to meet her son (cf. John 12:13), the victor over death and vanquisher of Hell, so the archangel brought the branch to the holy queen, a sign of victory over suffering and fearlessness before death.

Turning back to the Georgian text, the structure of this little excerpt falls along these lines. There are four sentences, beginning with, respectively,

  1. ოდეს იგი იგულებოდა…
  2. და მოუვლინა მას…
  3. მოვიდა უკუჱ…
  4. ვითარცა ოდესმე…

The main clause of sent. 1 comes at its end, წინაჲთვე გამოუცხადა დიდებული იგი მიცვალებაჲ მისი, the temporal setting for which comes at the beginning, ოდეს იგი იგულებოდა ქრისტესა ღმერთსა ჩუენსა…. Precisely what he wishes (იგულებოდა) to do in this temporal setting is given immediately thereafter by means of two verbal nouns in the adverbial case (განყვანებად and მიყვანებად), the object of both being Jesus’ mother, only explicitly said in the first instance, and in the genitive case according to the normal construction with a verbal noun. These two verbal nouns have  for their purpose (or result) five clauses following რაჲთა built with a string of aorist conjunctive verbs with either Mary or Jesus as subject.

The other sentences are much simpler. Sent. 2’s main clause is მოუვლინა მას კუალად მთავარანგელოსი გაბრიელ, with the archangel being sent as a messenger or announcer (მახარებელად). This clause is correlated with the next one, ვითარცა იგი პირველ საკჳრველისა მის მუცლადღებისა, for which the same participle in the adverbial case is again understood. What I am calling sent. 3 is two compound clauses, მოვიდა უკუჱ მთავარანგელოსი and მოართუა რტოჲ ფინიკისაჲ, this last word being extended by a relative clause to state what the branch (რტოჲ) is a sign (სასწაული) of. The last sentence again has two main clauses, this time correlated by ვითარცა and ეგრეთვე. The first of these clauses has a verb with an unnamed plural agent (მიეგებვოდეს), the indirect object of which, ძესა მისსა, is extended by two appositive noun phrases, მძლესა მას სიკუდილისასა and შემმუსრველსა ჯოჯოხეთისასა, both in the dative case in agreement with the noun they further identify, while the second clause has a singular verb, მოართუა, already seen in this passage, the agent being the archangel Gabriel. In the last clause of the passage, the direct object რტოჲ იგი — in the nominative case as direct object of an aorist verb — is followed by the appositive სახე, itself extended by two genitive noun phrases (ძლევისა ვნებათაჲსა and სიკუდილისა გან უშიშობისა).

(A PDF document including most of the material from this post along with some further grammatical details is available: maxim_conf_dormition.)

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