Studi Slavistici XVIII (2021) 2

Serbian Translation of the Verse Prologue. Towards the Problem of Text Reconstruction for September

Marina Vladimirovna Chistiakova
Institute of the Lithuanian Language, Vilnius
Published February 2, 2022
  • Medieval Literature,
  • Church Slavonic Manuscripts,
  • Translations from Greek to Church Slavonic,
  • Serbian Handwritten Tradition,
  • Verse Prologue,
  • Text Reconstruction for the Month of September,
  • Macedonian menaion no. 17
  • ...More
How to Cite
Chistiakova, M. V. (2022). Serbian Translation of the Verse Prologue. Towards the Problem of Text Reconstruction for September. Studi Slavistici, 18(2), 7-22.


The Verse Prologue was translated from Greek into Church Slavonic twice in the first quarter of the 14th century, in connection with the introduction of the Typicon of Jerusalem into the Balkans. One of the translations originated in the Bulgarian book environment, while the other was made by Serbian scribes. The translations were made in the process of translating various Greek originals by scribes working independently from each other. The Bulgarian translation has a large number of transcripts; yet few manuscripts of the Serbian translation have survived. A total of 11 transcripts of the Serbian translation are known to me, and in three of them only part of the manuscript corresponds to the text of the Serbian translation. Moreover, only one of the said transcripts (UBSM 16) contains readings for the first trimester. The text remaining from this manuscript begins with September 26. In an attempt to find the missing fragments for September 1–25, I turned to the South Slavic liturgical menaia, which contain readings from the Prologue. A comprehensive review of the menaia proved that most of them had been supplemented with readings from other versions of the Prologue. However, a menaion for September with readings from the Prologue of the Serbian translation was discovered in the manuscript collection of the National and University Library St. Clement of Ohrid in Skopje no. 17. The said menaion allows for the reconstruction of the lost readings, but with some reservations. Firstly, the scribes eliminated some brief memories from the Prologue, thus making it a collection of excerpts. Secondly, as a result of the loss of the text in the antigraph of the Serbian translation, the menaion M-17 contains insertions from the oldest translation of the Prologue for September 1 and September 26–28. Any future study of the texts of the Prologue of this menaion must take these features into account.


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