The Old Church Slavonic Version of Gregory of Nazianzus’ Homily 1: Textual Transmission and Critical Edition


The present paper investigates the textual transmission of the Old Church Slavonic version of Gregory of Nazianzus’ Homily 1 (Oratio 1: Λόγος εἰς τὸ ἅγιον Πάσχα καὶ εἰς τὴν βραδύτητα, CPG 3010.1) and offers its first critical edition. This homiletical 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 17 Old East Slavic Cyrillic manuscripts dating from the 11th up to 17th centuries as well as in two South Slavic testimonies dating respectively from the late 13th – early 14th centuries and the second half of the 16th century. The author aims at determining the textual relationship among the surviving manuscript evidence, and at creating the first stemma codicum of this tradition. The conclusion put forward is that the entire East and South Slavonic tradition derives from a single archetype (α) and that it splits into three major branches of transmission. The first corresponds to manuscript P, the second to hyparchetype β, an understanding of which may be reconstructed on the basis of the textual agreement of the Old Serbian witnesses HT, and the third to hyparchetype γ. Τhe latter can be reconstructed from the readings preserved in the various Old East Slavic testimonies of the liturgical collection. As a result, the examination of the tradition produced a tripartite stemma, thereby logically implying that a critical edition is to be based on the three variant carriers P, β, and γ. 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–10th centuries, scholars would be well-advised to pay equal attention to later copies dating from the 14th–17th centuries.

Alessandro Maria Bruni (Venice, Italy)


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