Constantine of Preslav’s Didactic Gospel and the South Slavonic Homiletic Texts (9th-13th Century) Philological and Interdisciplinary Aspects: Proceedings of the International Scientific Conference in Sofia, April 25-27, 2023. [FULL-TEXT]. Edited by Lora Taseva, Achim Rabus, Ivan P. Petrov. (Studia Balcanica 37). Sofia: Institute of Balkan Studies and Centre of Thracology – Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, 2024. ISBN: 978-619-7179-49-1 (print) e-ISBN: 978-619-7179-50-7 (online) DOI:

The volume Constantine of Preslav’s Didactic Gospel and the South Slavonic Homiletic Texts (9th-13th Century) Philological and Interdisciplinary Aspects is comprised of 22 articles based on the talks given at the conference held in Sofia under the same name. The authors – scholars from eight European countries – propose new perspectives to the artistic activity of Constantine of Preslav and, mainly, to his Didactic Gospels, to the reception of the homiletic genre from a broader literary-historical angle as well as to the horizons that the digital humanities open before the modern Medieval Studies.

Dobriela Kotova. The Byzantine Sources of Constantine of Preslav’s Uchitel’noe Evangelie [IN BULGARIAN]. –  Starobulgarska Literatura 67-68 (2023): 13-46.

Because of the lack of a catena to Mark, in the Uchitel’noe evangelie there are either no separate sermons on this Gospel or there are sermons compiled from C110.1 and therefore attributed to John Chrysostom. The attribution of seven sermons to Isidore of Pelusium is erroneous and is probably due to the fact that he is the most-cited author in C130. The appearance of his name in the heading of Sermon 35 is correct to some extent: a fragment of a letter of Isidore quoted in the catena is indeed included into its commentary part, while the rest of the catena text translated by Constantine comes from a scholium by Severus of Antioch. The scholia in the sermons attributed to Isidore are anonymous in C130, but probably belong to Cyril of Alexandria. Recently discovered evidence about translations of texts from C130 in sermons outside of the Uchitel’noe evangelie allows the conclusion to be drawn that the set of three catenae to the Gospels of Matthew, John, and Luke compiled by the same compiler – catenae primae Typus A in Matthaeum et Iohannem (C110.1, C140.1) and catena Typus A in Lucam (C130) – circulated in a Slavic environment in the late ninth and early tenth centuries.

Ekaterina Dikova. Towards the History of Words for Hunger in the Old Bulgarian Corpus: On Material from the So-Called Uchitel’noe evangelie by Constantine of Preslav. – Konštantínove listy/ Constantine’s Letters 16/1 (2023): 22-33.

The article is focused, firstly, on a substantive that has remained outside the scope of study on the 9th-century Uchitel’noe evangelie – ал(ъ)кота. Its 6 appearances in this collection are observed together with their Greek corresponding words and direct respective contexts in the source and target texts. The derivatives of the same root are also traced in the monument together with their Greek counterparts. Then, a visual thesaurus is presented of the concurrent nouns with the root *alk- according to the main diachronic dictionaries. Finally, two synonymic roots – пост- and глад- are presented in terms of their distribution in the monument and their semantic peculiarities. The conclusions are that the words for hunger in Uchitel’noe evangelie are of three roots and that each of these roots has its exact Greek counterpart: глад- translates λιμ- and signifies ‘acute need for food’; пост- corresponds to νηστ- and is related to ‘voluntary deprivation of food’, and ал(ъ)к- is related to πεῖν- only in its more general meaning of ‘need for food’ (but not in its meaning related to ‘gluttony’). The word ал(ъ)кота is relatively rare in the older written monuments. Nevertheless, it completes the thesaurus of nouns with ал(ъ)к-/лак-, it is inherent in the Old Bulgarian literary language, and, in particular, in Constantine of Preslav’s language.

Ivan P. Petrov. Towards the Equivalents of the Greek Term Διάνοια in Life of Anthony the Great’s South Slavonic Translations and the Old Bulgarian Literacy [IN BULGARIAN]. –  Кирило-Методиевски студии 32 (2023): 247-270.

The article focuses on the lexical equivalents of the Greek διάνοια attested in the three known translations of the Life of St Anthony the Great. The research aims at contextualizing the renderings regarding other early and later translations from Greek in Old and Middle Bulgarian. Additionally, the article comments and adduces new data unavailable in the paleoslavonic lexicography, but crucial for our understanding of the Greek-Old Bulgarian lexical parallels – this includes but is not limited to material from the Scete Patericon, Hexameron, Učitel’no Evangelie and the Izbornik of 1073. The analysis of the lexical data is accompanied by comparative tables. Commentary on specific key points in the text of Life of St Anthony is further provided. Keywords: Life of St Anthony, Greek-Old Bulgarian translations, Greek-Slavonic lexical parallels, Ascetic literature, Spiritual terms.garian writer. Nevertheless, the content and intention of the poem indubitably target the neophyte Slavonic audience.

Martin Ruskov and Lora Taseva. Computer-Aided Modelling of the Bilingual Word Indices to the Nineth-Century Uchitel’noe evangelie. In Leonardo Candela, Gianmaria Silvello (ed.) Proceedings of the 26th International Conference on Theory and Practice of Digital Libraries – Padua, Italy, September 20, 2022, 19-31.

The development of bilingual dictionaries to medieval translations presents diverse difficulties. These result from two types of philological circumstances: a) the asymmetry between the source language and the target language; and b) the varying available sources of both the original and translated texts. In particular, the full critical edition of Tihova of Constantine of Preslav’s Uchitel’noe evangelie (‘Didactic Gospel’) gives a relatively good idea of the Old Church Slavonic translation but not of its Greek source text. This is due to the fact that Cramer’s edition of the catenae – used as the parallel text in it – is based on several codices whose text does not fully coincide with the Slavonic. This leads to the addition of the newly-discovered parallels from Byzantine manuscripts and John Chrysostom’s homilies. Our approach to these issues is a step-wise process with two main goals: a) to facilitate the philological annotation of input data and b) to consider the manifestations of the mentioned challenges, first, separately in order to simplify their resolution, and, then, in their combination. We demonstrate how we model various types of asymmetric translation correlates and the variability resulting from the pluralism of sources. We also demonstrate how all these constructions are being modeled and processed into the final indices. Our approach is designed with generalisation in mind and is intended to be applicable also to other translations from Greek into Old Church Slavonic.

Dobriela Kotova. Sermon 42 of Uchitel’noe Evangelie: Translation and Originality [IN BULGARIAN]. –  Starobulgarska Literatura 65-66 (2022): 99-126.

This article tackles the question of whether the commentary part of Sermon 42 of Constantine of Preslav’s Uchitel’noe evangelie (Didactic Gospel) is original or translated. It is peculiar for its brevity and lack of real clarification. The whole sermon has hitherto been considered to have been authored by Constantine, as no correspondences have been found in a Greek source. Its comparison, however, with different types of catenae commenting on Lk 17:12–19 shows that the middle part of this sermon is translated. This translation was made mainly from a manuscript which contained a Type A catena to the Gospel of Luke (CPG C 130, sixth century). Some differences with it, however, point to other types of catenae. The brevity and peculiarity of the sermon also stem from the Greek source. The deviations from the main Greek source text have parallels in the commentary of Type B catenae (CPG C 131, seventh century) to the same passage from the Gospel of Luke, but Dobriela Kotova argues that they are rather related to certain fragmentspreserved in the eleventh-century catena of Nicetas of Heraclea (CPG C 135). It might be assumed that the additions and changes made in the middle part of Sermon 42, as compared to the main source, resulted from the influence of a larger catena or another source which somehow became common to both the Slavonic translator and Nicetas of Heraclea.

Lora Taseva. The Paradigm of Translational Correlates to the Two-Root Words with ин- ‘one’ [IN BULGARIAN]. – Palaeobulgarica 46/4 (2022): 51-78.

The article studies the Greek lexemes which motivate the appearance of Slavonic compound words with their first component ин- in direct singulative meaning or in denotations resulting from it. Their Slavonic transponents in translated writings from the ninth to the fifteenth century are systemized on the basis of both classical Palaeoslavic dictionaries and several dozens bilingual word indices to particular written monuments. The analysis undertaken allows the author to draw the following conclusions: 1) the root ин- ‘one’ takes part in words which translate 22 Greek lexemes and their Slavonic counterparts are 159 lexical units in total; 2) the spectrum of meanings conveyed by the morpheme ин- ‘one’ covers two main groups – first, a numerically small group of lexemes with a specific singulative meaning always parallel to Greek counterparts containing μονο , and, second, a numerically larger group of words which are characterized by meanings related to ‘gathering, cooperation, totality, integrity, unity’ and which are motivated by various Greek morphemes such as ὁμο , συν-, ὁλ(ος), (ἅ)πας; 3) there is certain evidence that the archaic root ин- was characterized by a semantic range which was broader than its main successor in the development of the language – the pronoun base ѥдин-.

Ekaterina Dikova. A Byzantine Poetic Form in a Ninth-Century Bulgarian Poem. –  Studia Metrica et Poetica9/2 (2022): 63-91.

The paper measures the extent to which the most characteristic features related to the so-called Byzantine dodecasyllable are applied in buchna molitva (‘Alphabetic Prayer’) noted to be written in dodecasyllabic verses. This alphabetic acrostic is dated back to the very end of the ninth century and is attributed to Constantine of Preslav. In this article its text is given after its earliest copy, MS Syn. 262, as it is the only representative of the version closest to the Glagolitic archetype, now lost. The piece is studied in comparison with St Gregory the Theologian’s alphabetic acrostic (as published in PG 37) which Constantine of Preslav quotes just after the end of his poem and which is considered its rhythmical model. The main conclusions are that the Alphabetic Prayer is an early replica of the Byzantine dodecasyllable, follows its rhythmical peculiarities to an extent similar to St Gregory’s alphabetic acrostic, all the previously supposed deviations are motivated by genre peculiarities and rhetorical requirements, which reveals Byzantine schooling of the Old-Bulgarian writer. Nevertheless, the content and intention of the poem indubitably target the neophyte Slavonic audience.

Ivan P. Petrov. The Greek Sources of Učitel’noe Evangelie Revisited: Sermon 20. –  Palaeobulgarica – 46/2 (2022): 3-29.

The article presents the Greek text of sermon 20 from Constantine of Preslav’s Učitel’noe Evangelie (UE) based on the standard Cramer’s edition of the Greek Catenae, yet, extended by the text of ten other manuscripts. The Greek text is juxtaposed to the Old Bulgarian one and the text of the relevant John Chrysostom’s Homily. A detailed analysis is provided for all passages where the newly adduced variant readings correspond better to the UE’s text. Often, the UE’s compiler seems to have used the text of the Homily. In other instances, however, it appears that the Catena and the Homily texts were used simultaneously by him. Cramer’s text is further rechecked after the primary source of the edition (Cod. Coisl. 23) together with the witness used by Cramer for the Supplementum to its edition – Bodl. Auct. T. I. 4. Thus, the Greek text corrects some misprints in Cramer’s edition while at the same time provides new readings that stay closer to UE’s text. In conclusion, some observations are drawn regarding the relations between the witnesses of the Greek tradition that might be useful in a future critical edition of UE’s Greek Vorlage.

Georgi Mitov. Byzantine New Testament Catenae and Constantine of Preslav’s Uchitel’noe Evangelie (‘Didactic Gospel’): From Catena to Homily (Some Preliminary Remarks). [IN BULGARIAN] –  Palaeobulgarica 46/2 (2022): 29-43.

The paper focuses on the Greek New Testament catenae and the ways Constantine of Preslav utilised them as the main sources for his Uchitel’noe evangelie (‘Didactic Gospel’). In the second half of the 19th century, it was convincingly demonstrated that for the largest part of his homilies in the Uchitel’noe evangelie Constantine of Preslav had extensively borrowed material from the Greek New Testament catenae. In most of the cases the translated texts from Greek into Slavonic remained unaltered and, thus, formed the exegetical core of the homilies. Nevertheless, in order to present a more expressive homiletic text, Constantine of Preslav added some salutations, rhetorical questions, and exhortations addressed to his audience to the introductory and concluding parts of his homilies. In addition to that, the some of the homilies contain extensive catechetical sections, e.g., the one on the significance of the Eucharist (homily fifty-one), as well as prayer texts, e.g. the short opening prayer in the third homily, which are deemed to be originally composed by Constantine of Preslav himself.

Ivan P. Petrov. The Greek Term Διανοια in Učitel’noe Evangelie and the Classical Old Church Slavonic Texts. – Балканско езикознание / Linguistique balkanique 61/1 (2022) 49-67.

The article analyses the translations of διάνοια in the Old Church Slavonic texts considered to be translated in the first literacy period, i.e. 9-11 century. The Greek term is positioned in its development in the Classical and Post-Classical Greek culture. Except for the data provided from the lexicological manuals and databases, the paper presents excerpted Slavonic material from sources that are not supplied with Greek-Slavonic indices, such as Symeon’s Miscellanea of 1073, the Hexaemeron translated by John the Exarch, Athanasius Alexandrinus’ Third Oration against the Arians, and the Didactic Gospel, the last two translated by Constantine of Preslav. Conclusions are drawn based on other early texts preserved in later copies.

Lora Taseva. The Chronotope of the Old Church Slavonic Composita with ин- ‘one’ [IN BULGARIAN]. – Palaeobulgarica 46/1 (2022) 51-80.

The article summarizes the data about compound words with the first component ин- ‘one’ in the Slavonic literature up to the fifteenth century. The sources used are both texts from the Old Bulgarian time (including those preserved in later copies) and later medieval translations. The systemized material is analyzed from the perspective of the type of works in which the lexemes are attested, the chronology of their appearance and their presence in the manuscript tradition. The research confirms the existence of 30 lexemes of the type, which belong to 15 word-formation nests. They are found in written sources of various genres but their distribution is not uniform and many of them are hapaxes. No data are obtained on the regional distribution of this type of words but it is confirmed that, as a whole, the compound words with ин-, meaning ‘one,’ belong to the archaic lexical layer. Their place was gradually occupied by other two-root models (mostly with ѥдин‑). The morpheme ин- ‘one’ completely lost its derivational ability and remained attested only in copies of early texts. Among the three relict uses in translations of the post-Old Bulgarian time – ѥнодоушьно, иночѧдъ and инорогъ – only the latter appears more than once and in more than one work and its longevity is to be explained with the fact that it is known from the Bible.

Dobriela Kotova. Sermon 19 in Constantine of Preslav’s Uchitel’noe Evangelie (Didactic Gospel) and Its Greek Sources [IN BULGARIAN].Palaeobulgarica 46/1 (2022) 3-28.

The article discusses the question of the original or translated nature of the commentary part of Sermon 19 in the Uchitel’noe Evangelie. This part contains passages which have been thought to be of Constantine of Preslav’s own authorship, since they have no counterparts in his main Greek source, that is the catenae – i.e. the excerpted and compiled fragments of John Chrysostom’s commentaries on the Gospel of Matthew. Indeed, the examination of twenty manuscripts which attest catenae C110.1 and C110.2 but which differ from C110.4, published by Cramer, being usually compared to the Slavonic translation, confirms the lack of a parallel text. Yet, the homiletic nature of the main part of Sermon 19 directs the search for a parallel Greek text to John Chrysostom’s 61st homily on the Gospel of Matthew.

The analysis undertaken shows that the commentary part of Sermon 19 is entirely a translation. Homily 61 is the Greek source text for all the passages attributed to Constantine of Preslav . He knew and actively used the text of Chrisostom’s homily. In the shortened commentary in the catena, which was also simplified regarding rhetorical devices, he incorporated passages, phrases, and words from the original homily. His own thoughts – and words – also found their place in this newly-created compilation. Their character, the specifics of the translation and the way in which he achieved a kind of symbiosis between the fragments of the two sources to accomplish a coherent and impressive text, reveal the great artistic knowledge and skills of the prominent Preslav bishop.