Information about the Life of Constantine of Preslav in the Context of His Possible Authorship of so Called Methodius’ Canon to Demetrius of Thessalonici

Summary: 

The article develops the hypothesis that the author of so called Methodius’ Canon to Demetrius of Thessalonici (CD) was Constantine of Preslav (C. P.). It was put forward by B. Mircheva within the theory that the CD contains the unusual Slavic acrostic (Мирчева 2004: 74–76). S. Temchin formulated arguments against this theory that are related to the possibility of the existence of such an acrostic (Темчин 2009: 46–47): however, they do not refute the very hypothesis that C. P. was the author of the CD. Based on the text of the CD, several hypotheses can be formulated that may be useful in further consideration of the attribution of the canon: 1. The author of the CD was a native of Thessaloniki; 2. He was one of the disciples of Methodius who were expelled from Moravia in 886; 3. The emergence of the CD was associated with the his stay in Byzantium. These hypotheses can be correlated with information and assumptions about the life of Konstantin Preslavsky: with the possibility that C. P. came from Greek Macedonia, as well as that he belonged to the expelled Methodius’ disciples that were sold into slavery, ransomed and received in Constantinople. Additional arguments in favor of C. P.’s authorship may be his thorough knowledge of the Greek language and Byzantine religious culture. The intertextual connections of the CD with the work of C. P. need a deeper and more comprehensive study. One such relationship can be seen in the combination of the motif of the Mother of God as a rod from the root of Jesse (Is.11:1) with the motif of expelling the ancestral or sinful stench, present in T/3 of CD, T/8 of  the Canon to archistratege Michael of C. P., as well as in T/4 of Canon on Thursday of the 6th week of Lent in his Triodion Canon Cycle. An important evidence could be the motif of wandering through foreign lands as a result of the confrontation with the trilinguals, that can be found in 3/9 of CD and in 3/9 of the Canon on Thursday of the 5th week of Lent in the Triodion Canon Cycle of K. P.

Martin Braxatoris (Bratislava, Slovakia)
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