The Old Bulgarian Translation of Gregory of Nazianzus’ Apologeticus (Oratio 2): Textual Criticism


The present paper offers a text-critical study of the Old Church Slavonic version of Gregory of Nazianzus’ Apologeticus (Oratio 2: Ἀπολογητικὸς τῆς εἰς τὸν Πόντον φυγῆς ἕνεκεν; CPG 3010.2). This work, originally composed in Greek ca. 362 A.D., was translated in Bulgaria between the late 9th and the early 10th century. The text has come down to us in four Old East Slavic Cyrillic manuscripts dating from the 11th to 16th centuries. The oldest testimony is a codex unicus, which preserves a collection of thirteen homilies (P = St Petersburg, National Library of Russia, Q.п.I.16, second half – late 11th century). The other witnesses belong to three different types of the Slavonic liturgical collection of the sixteen homilies (K = St Petersburg, National Library of Russia, K/B № 82/207, second half of the 15th century; L = Moscow, Russian State Library, F. 304/I № 8, 14th century; X = Russian State Library, F. 242 № 118, late 15th – early 16th centuries). The author undertakes a first attempt of collating the entire legacy of manuscript evidence. The approach is based on the stemmatic method, namely on the method of the significant errors (Leitfehler). The conclusion put forward is that the Slavonic tradition derives from a single archetype (α) and that it splits into two major branches of transmission. The first corresponds to manuscript P, while the second to hyparchetype β, an understanding of which may be reconstructed on the basis of the textual agreement of KLX. As a result, the examination of the tradition led to a bifid stemma. The author shows that a number of archetype readings are to be detected in β and that a critical edition should therefore be based not only on P, but on the whole manuscript evidence. Therefore, almost 150 years after the diplomatic edition of codex P by A. Budilovič, restricting attention to the earlier manuscripts can be safely assumed to exclude any possibility of reaching well-founded conclusions on textual criticism. Rather, while studying Old Church Slavonic texts, composed in the 9th – 11th centuries, scholars would be well-advised to pay equal attention to later copies dating from the 14th – 15th centuries or even after.

Alessandro Maria Bruni (Venice, Italy)


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