St. Basil’s Prayers in the Euchologium Sinaiticum and in Slavic Hand-written Prayer Books of the 18th–19th Centuries

Summary: 

The article deals with a group of six prayers, known as St. Basil’s ‘dreadful’ exorcism prayers. They are taken from copies in Slavic manuscripts – from their early use in the Glagolitic Euchologium Sinaiticum of the 11th century to their appearance in handwritten prayer books of the 17th–18th  centuries where they are used as part of sequences against evil spirits. The internal comparison of the late copies of the prayers showed only structural, not textual differences. The comparison of the late prayer copies with the text of Euchologium Sinaiticum and the Greek text published by Jan Frchek shows that in the Euchologium Sinaiticum and the later copies two different translations are attested, which are characterized in the article. It is suggested that the first translation is Cyrillo-Methodian, and the second one is related to the activity of the bookmen from Mount Athos during the 14th century, although it is attested in copies that are considerably younger. The supplement contains the texts of St. Basil’s prayers in both translations: one from R. Nahtigal’s edition of the Euchologium Sinaiticum and one from manuscript № 976 from Sofia National Library. To this is added the Greek text from Jan Frchek’s edition.

Ivona Karachorova (Sofia, Bulgaria)
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