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Title: The textual history of Ecclesiastes in Church Slavonic
Author: Osinkina, Lyubov
ISNI:       0000 0001 3460 6420
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2008
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So far only a limited number of biblical books in Church Slavonic has been studied and edited, and the book of Ecclesiastes does not feature among these. Ecclesiastes is not a mainstream book such as the Gospels and the Psalter but rather a peripheral biblical text never used in Eastern Orthodox liturgical services. Its late date and small number of witnesses, which also reflect its marginal status, are additional reasons why this particular book has not attracted much scholarly attention in the past. This thesis is intended to contribute to studies in the history of the Church Slavonic Bible by editing the unpublished text of Ecclesiastes including its catenary versions and discussing its textual tradition. Ecclesiastes surfaces as a complete text relatively late: the earliest extant Cyrillic manuscripts are from the 15th century. Such a late date may be an indication that there was no pressing need for translating the non-liturgical book of Ecclesiastes. Two Church Slavonic translations of Ecclesiastes are extant: one, attested in Cyrillic manuscripts, survives in three distinct types: a continuous version of the text (32 manuscripts of the 15th-17th centuries), a fragmentary commentated version (1 manuscript of the 16th century), a fragmentary commentated insertion (8 manuscripts of the 15th-16th centuries). The other translation is a Croatian Church Slavonic version in Glagolitic breviaries (17 manuscripts of the 13th-16th centuries). The structure of the thesis is determined by the nature of the subject, which deals with textual criticism. The chapters are organised into a series of sections which all have headings. This somewhat 'atomistic' approach is necessitated by the fact that we are faced with fragmentary and incomplete evidence of manuscript sources, and therefore only detailed examination and comparison of various manuscripts and versions of the text will enable us to solve, at least in part, the textual history of the book in question. The limitations of the present study are the scarcity of manuscripts and the lateness of the tradition. These, however, are familiar 'obstacles' recognised by Slavists working on similar subjects. The thesis consists of an introduction, which presents a brief historical outline of the Church Slavonic biblical translations, 4 chapters, conclusion, bibliography and 2 appendices: the first of these contains a variorum edition of the continuous text of Ecclesiastes; the second, the parallel texts from continuous, commentated and interpolated versions. Chapter 1 gives a list of all the extant manuscripts of Ecclesiastes with short descriptions including dating (on palaeographical grounds), and investigates the textual relationships between various groups of manuscripts using the classical method of textual criticism and stemmatics. This leads on to a discussion of the type of edition to be used. At the end of the chapter a stemma codicum is constructed. Analysis of the language is carried out in an attempt to date the translation on linguistic grounds. Chapter 2 provides an overview of the Greek and Slavonic catena and explores some of the key issues arising out of the existence of several versions and early fragments of Ecclesiastes. It deals with problems concerning the date and place of the translation of Ecclesiastes. Detailed analysis sheds some light on the textual peculiarities of the three versions: commentated, interpolated and continuous. The complex interrelationship between these three versions is investigated further and a comparison with the earlier extant fragments of the catena is also carried out. Chapter 3 deals with the quotations from Ecclesiastes in early translated texts and in original Old Russian literature. Quotations found in medieval Slavonic texts, both translated and original, appear to be independent of the translation of continuous Ecclesiastes known from manuscripts of around the 15th century. However, the quotations prove that parts of Ecclesiastes were known in some form of exegetical compilations. Chapter 4 investigates the translation of Ecclesiastes in the Croatian Church Slavonic breviary tradition. It examines claims made by scholars in the past and present with regards to its authorship and to the language of the source from which this text was translated. The conclusion is drawn that the text was translated purely from Latin. This conclusion is based on a number of findings: errors of translation, divergences in wording and grammatical forms between the Croat Glagolitic and Cyrillic Church Slavonic texts, and certain syntactical constructions such as periphrastic expressions for the future, which point unambiguously to a Latin original. In addition the date of the translation is placed roughly between the 12th and the 13th centuries. The conclusions summarize the findings of the study: textual analysis of the continuous text of Ecclesiastes indicates that all the extant Cyrillic manuscripts come from a single translation; this translation was made at some time between the 10th century and the beginning of the 15th century. Commmentated and interpolated versions should be treated as redactions deriving from a fuller catena. This fuller catena may have given rise to the continuous text through the removal of the commentary. Alternatively, the orginal plain text may have been added to the newly translated commentary to produce a commentated version. Bearing in mind that it is hard to decide conclusively between these possibilities, the difficulties of reconstructing archetypes of the plain text and the commentary are shown. The investigation of the text in the Croatian tradition demonstrates that the translation in the breviaries was made from Latin, and thereby eliminates the hypothesis that Methodius was the translator of this version. GB is chosen as a base text for the edition in Appendix 1. The main reason for doing so is pragmatic, for it offers as complete a text as is available to us. Besides, the availability of information on the cultural and historical circumstances surrounding the production of GB, in addition to its importance for the history of the East Slavonic biblical tradition makes it more worthwhile. By publishing the text from manuscript Sinodal'nyj 915 (GB) with a critical apparatus, supplying variants from other manuscripts, the editorial 'control' which the compilers of GB exercised while working with the text translated from Greek is illustrated. They appear to have compared their exemplar with another Slavonic witness to fill a lacuna in the middle of the text, and they shortened the interpolation by removing the commentary. It seems that they deliberately left the biblical verses in the interpolation intact. The textual evidence does not support the supposition that the compilers of GB collated their text of Ecclesiastes with any Greek or Latin sources. The choice of GB for the edition constitutes a significant step towards wider research into and eventual publication of the Gennadian Bible, which has received little attention hitherto, despite its significance as the first complete Church Slavonic Bible. In appendix 2 three versions of Ecclesiastes are presented in a tabular form: the continuous version is taken from the manuscript Sinodal'nyj 915 (GB), the commentated version from the manuscript Undol'skij 13, and the interpolated version from the manuscript Pogodinskij 1 with variant readings from the manuscripts of group 1. In the thesis several new findings are presented. These are: the absence of any link between the versions of Ecclesiastes in the Cyrillic and in the Glagolitic manuscripts, and the implausibility of a Methodian origin for the Croatian Church Slavonic text.
Supervisor: MacRobert, C. M. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Criticism, interpretation, etc ; Criticism, Textual ; Church Slavic language ; Manuscripts ; Manuscripts, Cyrillic ; Manuscripts, Slavic