The Thessaloniki Oktoechos in the Tradition of the South Slavic Oktoechoi Dated by 14th Century (= Cyrillo-Methodian Studies. 16) Cover Image
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Солунският октоих в контекста на южнославянските октоиси до XIV век (= Кирило-Методиевски студии. Кн. 16)
The Thessaloniki Oktoechos in the Tradition of the South Slavic Oktoechoi Dated by 14th Century (= Cyrillo-Methodian Studies. 16)

Author(s): Maria Yovcheva
Subject(s): Language studies, Language and Literature Studies, Studies of Literature, Philology, Translation Studies
ISSN: 0205-2253
Published by: Кирило-Методиевски научен център при Българска академия на науките
Keywords: codicologic and paleographic description; orthographic characteristics; language specifics
Summary/Abstract: The book contents is of three major parts: a study, a supplement and a phototype publication of the manuscript's text. The work is based on the Thessaloniki Oktoechos (further on Thess), a Bulgarian manuscript kept as two separate codices NoNo 556 and 922 at the St.St. Cyril and Methodius National Library in Sofia. The study includes an Introduction and three chapters. The Introduction outlines the position of the Oktoechos in the system of hymnographic books. The previous studies on the Oktoechos in the Byzantine and Slavic written tradition have been reviewed. The problems that had not found solution yet motivated the major aim of the research presented, the choice of its objectives and particular tasks which goal at: 1) dating and localization of Thess by subjecting to a complex investigation the composition of the offices comprised as well as the paleographic, codicologic and linguistic characteristics; 2) the usage of this codex as a starting point for the elucidation of some crucial questions about the development of the Medieval Slavic Oktoechos tradition. The first chapter Codicologic and Paleographic Description of the Thessaloniki Oktoechos presents the analysis of the data about the entire appearance of the manuscript. The data are interpreted viewing the questions of its creation in two main aspects: 1) Particularizing the time and place of Thess's origin via a comparison to Middle Bulgarian manuscripts; 2) Comparison of the codicologic and paleographic features of the manuscript to those of oktoechoi belonging to the version existing up to the 14th century and having composition with archaic characteristics. The comparison intends to establish how the manuscript under study succeeds the archaic codices and how it is related to oktoechoi of identical structure and repertoire. The first section Codicologic Description deals with the following attributes: format of the codex, way of stitching the folia, numbering, survey on the composition and reconstruction of its inventory according to the preserved parts, characteristics of the parchment and ink, binding of the quires, folia line-ruling, graphic structure of the text. The second section Paleographic Characteristics presents the study on the general characteristics of the script, the parameters of the letters and the grapheme field. The attention is drawn to those letters whose shape provides information about the chronology and localization of the manuscript. The supra line signs are treated with regard to their signal function at oral performances of the text. Three cases of ϑ - notation in the Sunday office hymns have been described. The third section of the chapter studies the chief components of the manuscript's illumination: Headpieces, Titles, Initials and Marginal marks. Their having a character more conservative than that of the letters in the main textual column has always been taken into account. The summarizing statement of this part is that Thess belongs to the official Cyrillic written tradition. Meanwhile the study reveals the archaic characteristics and innovations coexisting in the graphic design of the text. These conclusions allow dating the codex from the second half of the 13th century and its attributing to an East Bulgarian scriptorium. The second chapter Orthographic Characteristics and Language specifics of the Thessaloniki Oktoechos puts the emphasis upon solving the set tasks by exploration of the manuscript's orthography and phonetics. The distribution of letters that matter most for Middle Bulgarian codices: the nasals, jers, also ѣ, а/ꙗ, е and ѥ, ѹ/ꙋ and ю have been thoroughly revealed. Their ununiformity detects several layers in the text of the oktoechos investigated. The language specifics have not been given in the same full details being not that significant for the purposes of the study. The analyses and comparisons made indicate the close relation of Thess to the East Bulgarian manuscript tradition dating from the second half of the 13th century. The preserved more archaic layers of this codex allow the assumption that it was created in a provincial monastic center that had been under the influence of orthographic and phonetic specifics typical of the manuscripts of West Bulgarian origin. The third chapter Contents and Structure of the Offices in the Thessaloniki Oktoechos is the focus of the study. The offices comprised in Thess have been regarded within the frames of a systematized and analyzed material collected from 41 handwritten oktoechoi dating from the 12th throughout the 16th century as well as from four printed editions from the 15th to 17th centuries. The peculiarities in the composition of the offices give chronology and localization clues for the manuscript studied. Parallel with the efforts to solve the problems mentioned above goes the discussion on the history of Oktoechos in the Medieval Slavic written tradition. The stress is put upon the period prior to the occurrence of a new version in the 14th century. Three separate sections are devoted to the Sunday, the Weekdays' and Saturday offices. The composition of the Sunday offices in Thess evidences its being the closest of all old handwritten oktoechoi to the representative of the new version, MS No 19 from the collection of the Saint Catherine Monastery at Mount Sinai as well as to the printed editions. With regard to the variable components distinguishing the Slavic liturgical and writing practice that are not uniform with the printed editions, Thess is similar to the oktoechoi of East Bulgarian origin. The second section of this chapter dedicated to the Weekdays studies the elements of each office part according to their liturgical order in our oktoechos. Special attention has been paid to the hymns at two liturgical positions important for the characterization of the handwritten oktoechoi: the first series of the vesperal stichera and the matins canons. Carrying original works of Old Bulgarian lettermen and their combination with translated Byzantine accomplishments has been an essential approach to the analysis of the specifics of each office. The third section of the chapter is oriented towards the Thess's Saturday offices bearing some archaic features. The conclusions drawn in the third chapter are summarized in several aspects. Firstly, Thess has been found to belong to the old South Slavic written tradition concerning Oktoechos spreading. The composition of our manuscript highlights the discrepancy between the innovations in the Sunday offices and the good number of archaic elements in Weekdays service. This discordance is explained by the partial redaction of the Sunday offices done most probably under the influence of the Athonite redaction of the Studite typika. We conclude that the composition of Thess reveals its close relation to the oktoechoi of East Bulgarian origin. On the other hand, the considerable amount of elements differing Thess from the codices originating from West Bulgarian and Serbian scriptoria has been also reported. As far as the Oktoechos history in the Slavic world is concerned the study proves the common old archetype of the different in structure, completeness and origin oktoechoi that belong to the old version. Thus emerges the way of introducing the Oktoechos into the Slavic letters, namely the distribution of the material according to the genre of the hymns. The analysis enables the relative chronology of the structural variants of the Oktoechos in the Slavic written tradition. The old archetype used to be in two basic variants: 'parakletikai' including only canons and 'oktoechoi' comprising the rest of the hymns arranged in genre. Later on their basis occurred the representative copies of newer variants whose material is arranged on the liturgical principal. A typologization of the South Slavic Oktoechos copies preceding the Athonite redaction has been proposed. The cardinal criteria for this typologization are the availability or lack of original Old Bulgarian works in a certain codex as well as the manner of including these Slavic works into the offices (separately or in a combination with translated hymns). Three groups of oktoechoi have been outlined: archaic, redacted Preslav and redacted under the influences of Evergetian liturgical typikon. As a result of the study the third section presents the conclusion that the earliest Slavic Oktoechos used to comprise in relative completeness the hymns for the service both on Sundays and weekdays. The other conclusion is that the set up of this Slavic liturgical book was connected with the activity of Cyril's and Methodius' disciples in Bulgaria. Finally comes the summary of the data about the localization and dating derived from the three level analyses of the Thessaloniki Oktoechos. The main stages in the development of the Slavic oktoechoi produced not later than the 14th century have been surveyed presenting the compositional and textual redactions of the Oktoechos on the Slavic lands as well as their relation to the introduction of various liturgical typika. The supplement contains 7 schemes illustrating the composition of each office throughout the week. There are also 52 tables showing the structure and the particular inventory of some office parts with the beginning of the hymns and their Greek equivalence. The supplement has a glossary explaining the terms for the genres of the Orthodox hymnography and those for the structural variants of the Oktoechos in the medieval Byzantine and Slavic written tradition. The phototype copy of the Thessaloniki Oktoechos is published at the end of the book.

  • Page Count: 480
  • Publication Year: 2004
  • Language: Greek, Ancient (to 1453), Bulgarian, Old Bulgarian