Early Slavonic translations – An Italo-Greek connection?


Francis J. Thomson


Slavica Gandensia, 12 (1985), pp. 221-234



Photos in .pdf format (6.0 Mb)


- Notes  224

- Abbreviations  233


The presence of certain Italo-Greek traits in the ornamentation of Bulgarian Glagolitic codices of the 10th and 11th centuries has aroused comment (1). It has been suggested that it is perhaps due to Syro-Palestinian and Coptic influences on both Eastern and Western Christian art (2), but a more detailed comparison of the parallels between Italo-Greek codices and the Codex Assemanianus, the Codex Zographensis, the Euchologium Sinaiticum and the Psalterium Sinaiticum (3) would indicate a direct rather than an intermediate influence (4), although not all of the ornamentation characteristics are specific solely to the Italo-Greek region (5).


The question thus arises whether there are any indications of contacts between Bulgaria and the Italo-Greek region other than in the artistic field and more specifically in the literary sphere. Are there, for instance, any translations of Greek works not found in codices outside that area ? The Codices Messanenses 29-30, an Italo-Greek menologium copied in two parts in 1307 (6), constitute the sole traced manuscript with Eurippus’ Passio Joannis Baptistae (7), which, to judge from linguistic evidence, was translated in the 10th century and is found in codices from the late 13th century on (8). The same Italo-Greek menologium is also the sole traced copy of the Greek translation (9) of the Latin Passio S. Apollinaris episcopi et martyris Ravennae (10). The Slavonic translation of the Passio, although existing only in codices from the 16th century on (11), was clearly translated at an early period. It follows the Latin more closely than the surviving Greek text which has deliberately revised the Latin original. However, the presence of Graecisms may indicate that it was translated from a Greek text which had not been subjected to later revision (12), and even if translated from Latin, an Italian origin would be more probable than a post-Methodian Bohemian one if it could be shown that there was a Slav literary centre in the Italo-Greek region (13).


Another vita with a possible Italo-Grееk origin is the Passio S. Georgii found in only two codices, one a 9th century palimpsest perhaps of Italo-Greek origin (14), the other a 16th century codex (15). The Slavonic translation, whose language again indicates an early period, is found in codices from the 14th century on (16). The original Greek passio of the Roman martyrs Fides, Spes, Caritas (Pistis, Elpis, Agape) and their mother Sapientia (Sophia) has been lost and only three later redactions exist, again with, unsurprisingly perhaps, a strong Italo-Greek connection. The version closest to the lost original is BHG 1637y, which survives only in one codex of 890 (17). BHG 1637x, which in §§ i-vii is close to BHG 1637y, although it omits the first half of § i, and varies considerably in §§ viii-xiv, survives only in one 11th century Italo-Greek menologium (18), while BHG 1637z is a considerably revised version which survives in but two codices, an 11th to 12th century Italo-Greek menologium (19) and an 11th century September menologium (20).





The Slavonic translation is found in codices from the 14th century on (21) and reveals that the surviving Greek redactions do not reflect the full textual tradition of the original since it has basically the text of BHG 1637y but with many readings of BHG 1637x (22).


Not only vitae, however, have an Italo-Greek textual tradition. One of the four Slavonic translations of the Visio Danielis (23) is found in two versions, each in only one codex. The basic translation is found in the 13th - 14th century Serb Hilandar codex 382 (24) and an interpolated version is in the 13th - 14th Serb Dragolj florilegium (25).


Many of these interpolations take the form of glosses on place names, e.g. the island invaded by the Ishmaelites is called the Danube (26), Turandida has the gloss Sardica (27), Erma the gloss Kyustendil (28), Chuza (viz. the biblical Chorazin) the gloss Strumitsa (29), while the emperor, whose reign heralds the appearance of antichrist, is called Michael and he enters Thessalonica instead of the city of the seven hills, viz. Constantinople (30). Clearly the Slav interpolator of these glosses was associating the apocalyptic events recounted in the Visio with events which had taken place in the region between Sardica (Sofia) and Thessalonica and various attempts have been made to date them, based principally on the identification of the Emperor Michael (31); however, the sole explanation which takes all of the interpolations into account dates the interpolations to the period 1078-1081 (32).


The interest of the interpolations is thus that they date the translation to before that period, while the interest of the basic text of the Visio, which has not been traced in this form in Greek, is that it has interpolations of historical value dealing with events in Byzantine Sicily immediately preceding and after the Arab invasion of 827 (33) and must clearly be of Italo-Greek origin.


Another Greek work emanating from the same region is the typicon drawn up by abbot John for his monastery on the island of Pantelleria (34). The original has not been traced but an abridgment has survived in a Slavonic translation which can on linguistic evidence be dated to the 10th century and is found in codices from the 13th century on (35).


The question naturally arises as to the origin of possible links between the Italo-Greek region and early Slavonic translations.


It has been baldly stated that :


Quando si parla di riflessi della religiosità italo-greca nel mondo slavo ortodosso, ciò deve concepirsi come un fenomeno sempre strettamente aollegato con Bisanzio : Costantinopoli, centro politico, religioso e culturale, servira da intermedario, essendo i contatti diretti fra la "Slavia orthodoxa" e le regioni italo-greche per meglio dire italo-bizantine, scarsissimi e talvolta, in realtà inesistenti (36).





This is, of course, true with reference to the works of Italo-Greek authors which are commonly found in Byzantine manuscripts in general, e.g. the canons by Joseph Hymnographus found in the menaea (37), Theophanes Cerameus of Taormina’s Homilia lx. In illa verba : 'Intravit Jesus in quoddam castellum' (38), or the vitae of Italo-Greek saints such as Pancratius of Taormina (39), Leo of Catania (40) and Gregory of Agrigento (41), but it hardly applies in cases where the manuscript tradition of a text does not go beyond the confines of the Italo-Greek region.


The presence of Slavs in Southern Italy is well attested from the 7th century on. Paulus diaconus in his Historia Langobardorum (1. iv, c. 44) talks of Slavs settling in the region of Siponto on the Apulian coast in 642 (42) and they continued to live in the region north and south of the Gargano peninsula under the administration of their own župans down to the 11th century (43). Contacts between Bari and Bulgaria in the 11th century are shown by the fact that the 11th - early 12th century author from Bari known as Lupus Protospatarius reveals in his Chronicon a knowledge of Bulgarian events in 1014-1015 (44). In the 11th century, however, the Slavs in Calabria were more numerous than those in Apulia and Gaufredus Malaterra in his De rebus gestis Rogerii Calabriae et Siciliae Comitis et Roberti Guiacardi Ducis fratris eius (l.i, c. 16) talks of Slavs settled near S. Marco Argentario (between Malvito and Bisignano) who knew all of Calabria (45). The presence of Slavs in Sicily is also reported near Taormina by Gaufredus Malaterra (46) and bishop Evagrius’ Vita S. Panaratii episcopi Tauromenii mentions a Slav quarter in Syracuse (47).


It has been suggested that there may have been a Slavo-Greek milieu in late ninth-century Rome (48). It is true that Cosmas of Bulgaria in his Tractatus contra haeresim recenter manifestatam Bogomilorum complains of Bulgarians abandoning their families to go on pilgrimages to Jerusalem, others to Rome and other cities and urges the virtue of stability in monastic life and resistance to the seductive idea of pilgrimages to those cities (49), but even if this is not merely a topos there is no evidence of Slavs living at Rome at this time (50).


However, whereas there is evidence for Slav settlements in the Italo-Greek region there is none for the existence of a centre of Slav literary activity there. The Vita et conversatio sancti et deiferi patris nostri Nili abbatis Cryptae Ferratae, probably by his disciple Bartholomew, states that when in the mid-10th century Nilus passed through his native Rossano in a strange garb so as not to be recognized he was mocked and stoned by street urchins who called him a Bulgarian monk, although others thought he was a Frank or an Armenian (51). Since Nilus lived from 910 to 1004 this event took place in the 10th century and it has been interpreted in various ways. The idea that Bulgarian monk is used as a term of opprobrium because pillaging bands of Bulgarians had raided the region on occasions (52) hardly explains monk, while the explanation that it is a reference to heterodox, not orthodox religion and hence means Bogomil while Armenian means Monophysite (53) not merely presupposes theological learning among street urchins but fails to elucidate Frank.





The most obvious explanation is that Bulgarian monks were known in Calabria in the 10th century, but it would be hazardous to conclude (54) that there was at least one Bulgarian monastery there since no trace has been found of its existence.


There is no reason why there should not have been links between Bulgarian and Italo-Greek monasteries, just as there were between Byzantine and Italo-Greek ones (55), but a review of the available evidence does not convincingly substantiate the idea of Bulgarian literary activity in some Italo-Greek monastery. Indeed it could be argued that the existence of Slavonic translations of Greek works known only in an Italo-Greek textual tradition or of works emanating from that region whose Greek originals have been lost illustrates nothing except the vagaries of Greek textual tradition and hence the title of this article ends with a ?


Finally, even if the existence of such a centre were proved the translations made there would still have to be viewed within the context of mediaeval Bulgarian culture as they would have been made by and for Bulgarians. (56)


Francis J. THOMSON

University of Antwerp.




1. K. Weitzmann, Illustrated Manuscripts at St. Catherine’s Monastery on Mount Sinai, Collegeville 1973, 12-13. The principal elements are the form of the initials and the coloured background of titles and rubrics.


2. V. Ivanova-Mavrodinova and A. Dzhurova, Asemmievoto evangelie. Starobâlgarski glagolicheski pametnik ot X vek. Khudozhestveno-istorichesko prouchvane, Sofia 1981, 42, although, ibid. 32, they seem prepared to admit a certain Italo-Greek influence.


3. Clearly only facsimile editions enable the truth of this assertion to be evaluated. The best such, being in colour reproduction, is that of the codex Assemanianus : Asemanievo evangelie. Faksimilno izdanie, Sofia 1981, to which the book referred to in note 2 is the companion volume. The other codices available in facsimile are

the Euchologium Sinaiticum, ed. R. Nahtigal, Euchologium Sinaiticum. Starocerkvenoslovanski glagolski spomenik, vol. i, Laibach 1941 (= Dela. Filozofsko-filološko-historicni razred. Akademia znanosti in umetnosti v Ljubljani, vol. i) and

the Psalterium Sinaiticum, ed. M. Altbauer, Psalterium Sinaiticum. An 11th Century Glagolitic Manuscript from St. Catharine’s Monastery, Mount Sinai, Skopje 1971.


4. See

·       Ševčenko, Report on the Glagolitic Fragments (of the Euchologium Sinaiticum ?) Discovered on Sinai in 1975 and Some Thoughts on the Models for the Make-up of the Earliest Glagolitic Manuscripts, Ukrainian Harvard Studies, vi, 1982, 119-151 , cf. 141-147 and the plates on 123-131;


·       Guillou and K. Tchérémissinoff, Note sur la culture arabe et la culture slave dans le katépanat d’Italie (Xe-XIe s.), Mélanges de l'Ecole française de Rome. Moyen Age. Temps modernes, lxxxviii, 1976, 677-692, cf. 689-690.

The latter, ibid. 685-689, also adduce the evidence of the Greek codex Atheniensis 149, but Ševčenko, Report 143n.42, points out that this evidence is irrelevant as it concerns 14th century Slav additions to a 10th-11th century Greek codex.





On the codex see

·       Marava-Chatzinicolaou and Ch. Toufexi-Paschou, Catalogue of the Illuminated Byzantine Manuscripts of the National Library of Greece, vol. i, Athens 1978, 51-55, and

·       F. Halkin, Catalogue des manuscrite hagiographiques de la Bibliothèque nationale d'Athènes, Brussels 1983 (= SH, vol. lxvi), 7.


5. Thus the coloured background to titles may reveal an Asia Minor origin; see R. Devreesse, Les manuscrits grecs de l'Italie méridionale. (Histoire, classement, paléographie), Vatican City 1955 (= Studi e testi, vol. clxxxiii), 29-30, 36.


6. 30 in fact contains the first part, 29 the second.On the NS see

·       Ehrhard, Überlieferung und Bestand der hagiographischen und homiletischen Literatur der griechischen Kirche von den Anfängen bis zum Ende des 16. Jahrhunderts. Part I. Die Überlieferung, vol. 3, pt. i, Leipzig 1943 (= TUU, vol. lii, pt. i), 443-450;

·       H. D. (= Delehaye), Catalogue codicum hagiographicorum graecorum monasterii S.Salvatoris nunc bibliothecae universitatis Messanensis, AB, xxiii, 1904,19-75, cf.33-47;

·       F. Halkin, Manuscrits grecs à Messine et à Palerme, AB, lxix, 1951, 238-281, cf. 250-253.


7. Codex 30, ff. 9v-10v. The Greek vita BHG 831 has not yet been published although an excerpt is to be found in ASS, November vol. iii, Paris 1910, 17.


8. The earliest is the late 13th - early 14th century Bulgarian codex Berolinensis slavicus 54 (Wuk 48), ff.132r-135r. There is a large literature on the codex and datings vary from the 13th to the 14th century. It has also been argued that it is a Serbian copy of an early Bulgarian codex, see inter alios

·       V. Jagič, Opisi i izvodi iz nekoliko južnoslovinskih rukopisa, Starine, v, 1873, 1-108, cf. 43-47;

·       Yatsimirsky, Opisaniye yuzhno-slavyanskikh i russkikh rukopisey zagranichnykh bibliotek, vol. 1, SORYa, xcviii, 1921, 418-427;

·       H. Miklas, Einige Bemerkungen zum sogenannten "Berlinski Sbornik", Die slawischen Sprachen, i, 1982, 39-41.


There are two editions of the text :

·       VMCh, Sentyabr’ dni 1-13, ed. P. Savvaitov, St. Petersburg 1868, 278-281;

·       Franko, Apokrify i legendy z ukrains'kykh rukopysiv, vol. ii, Lemberg 1899, 146-148, from the 16th century Lemberg University codex I.F.15. [[ Апокріфи і лєґєнди з українських рукописів ]]


·       A. Berendts, Studien über Zacharias-Apokryphen und Zacharias-Legenden, Leipzig 1895, 71-80, gives a German translation of the Slavonic


·       idem, Die handschriftliche Überlieferung der Zacharias- und Johannes Apokryphen. Über die Bibliotheken der Meteorischen und Ossa-Olympischen Klöster, Leipzig 1904 (= 2W, NF vol. XI), 3,


a bibliography of MSS, which is more reliable than that given by

·       de Santos Otero, Die handschriftliche Überlieferung der altslavischen Apokryphen, vol.ii, Berlin 1981 (= Patristische Texte und Studien, vol. xxiii), 4-32,


·       F. Thomson, Apocrypha Slavica II, SEER, Xxiii, 1985, 73-98, cf. 74,

although Berendts’ idea, Studien 86 and Überlieferung 47, that the Slavonic preserves a better text than the Greek is incorrect and is the result of comparing the Slavonic with BHG 833 f instead of 831.


9. BHG 2038, as yet unpublished.





10. BHL 623. There are many editions, e.g. ASS, July, vol. v, Paris 1868, 344-350.


11. It has been edited twice from a 1594 menologium, State Public Library, Leningrad, codex F.I.686 :

·       A. Sobolevsky, Mucheniye svyatogo Apollinariya Ravenskago po rusakomu spisku XVI veka, IORYa, viii, 2, 1903, 103-120, cf. 106-118 (there is an offprint of this article published with some other of his articles under the title Zhitiya svyatykh v drevnem perevode na tserkovnoslavyansky s latinskogo yazyka, St.Petersburg 1904),


·       F. Mareš, An Anthology of Church Slavonic Texts of Western (Czech) Origin, Munich 1979 (= Slavische Propyläen, vol. cxxvii), 178-191.


12. See F. Thomson, A Survey of the Vitae Allegedly Translated from Latin into Slavonic in Bohemia in the Tenth and Eleventh Centuries, Atti dell' 8 Congresso internazionale di studi sull'alto medioevo, Spoleto 1983, 331-348, cf. 339-340.


13. Which applies to all the vitae allegedly translated from Latin, see Thomson, Survey passim.


14. Codex Vaticanus Palatinus graecus 205, the fragments of the Passio are on ff. 216 and 219. On the codex see

·       Ehrhard, Überlieferung, pt. I, vol. i, Leipzig 1937 (= TUU, vol. 1), 95-97, 711-712;

·       P. Canart, La collection hagiographique palimpseste du Palatinus graecus 205 et la Passion de S. George BХG 970g, AB, c, 1982, 87-109, cf. 86-93.

On the hesitation over its origin see Canart, Collection 87n. 3 and 90n. 18.


15. Codex Atheniensis 343, ff.86v-96v. On this codex see

·       Ehrhard, Überlieferung nt. I, vol. ii, Leipzig 1938 (= TUU, vol. ii), 63-64;

·       Halkin, Catalogue 42-43;

·       Canart, Collection 93.

The passio in question is BHG 670g and has been edited by Canart, Collection 95-109


16. The earliest traced codex is a 14th Serbian panegyricon, State History Museum, Moscow, Khludov codex 195, ff. 327v-332v, see

·       Popov, Opisaniye rukopisey i katalog knig tserkovnoy pechati biblioteki A.I. Khludova, Moscow 1872, 406.

An excerpt is in the 14th century Palaea interpretata, State Public Library, Leningrad, St.Petersburg Theological Academy codex A I 119, see Sochineniya N.S. Tikhonravova, ed. M. Speransky and V. Yakushkin, vol. i, Moscow 1898, 248 n.5.


It has been thrice edited, twice from the Khludov codex by A.Veselovsky, Razyskaniya v oblasti russkikh dukhovnykh stikhov, pt. ii, SORYa, xxi, 2, 1880, 163-172, and Mareš, Anthology 169-178, and from a slightly revised text in a 16th century MS; State History Museum, Moscow, Synodal codex 421, by N.Tikhonravov, Pamyatniki otrechennoy russkoy literatury, vol. ii, Moscow 1863, 100-111.


There is no need to posit a Bohemian origin for the translation, see Thomson, Survey 333-334. Later redactions, some of which have been edited, need not be listed here.


17. Codex Parisinus graecus 1470, ff. 67r-73v. On this codex see

·       H. Omont and hagiographi Bollandiani, Catalogue codiцum hagiographicorum graecorum bibliothecae nationalis Parisiensis, Brussels 1896, 147-151;

·       Ehrhard, Überliefeрung pt. 1, vol. i, 258-266;





·       F. Halkin, Manuscrite grecs de Paris. Inventaire hagiographique, Brussels 1968 (= SH, vol. xliv), 172-173.


This version has been edited by F. Halkin, Légendes grecques de "martyres romaines", Brussels 1973 (= SH, vol. lv), 185-204.


18. Codex Ambrosianus P 144 sup., on which codex see Ehrhard, Überlieferung pt. I, vol. i, 346-349. The variants to BHG 1637y §§ i-vii are listed by Halkin, Légendes 185-196, who edits §§ viii-xiv, ibidem 204-213.


19. Codex Vaticanus graecus 866, ff. 18v-21v, on which codex see

·       P. Franchi de’ Cavalieri and hagiographi Bollandiani, Catalogue codicum hagiographicorum graecorum bibliethecae Vaticanae, Brussels 1899, 83-93;

·       Ehrhard, Überlieferung pt. I, vol. i, 388-346;

·       Bibliothecae Apostolicae Vaticanae codices momu scripti recensiti. Codices Vaticani graeci, vol. iii. Codices 604-866, ed. R. Devreesse, Rowe 1950, 434-440.


20. Royal Library, The Hague, Meerman-Hestreenen codex 10 A 5, on which MS see Ehrhard, Überlieferung, pt. I, vol. i, 442-444. BHG 1637z is edited from these two codices by Halkin, Légendes 213-228.


21. The earliest traced is the 14th Serb Gračanica menologium, Jugoslav Academy of Sciences, Agram, codex III. c. 24 + 22, ff. 35r-39v V. Mošin, Ćirilski rukopisi Jugoslavenske Akademije, vol. i, Agram 1955, 166.

The sole edition is that of the Macarian nenologim, VMCh, Sentyabr’ dni 14-24, ed. P. Sawaitov, St.Petersburg 1869, 1231, 1219-1220, 1232-1242 : this strange pagination is due to the fact that by scribal error a passage of the text has been interpolated into the Acta S. Euphemias Virginie et martyris (BHG 619-619e), viz.


22. For example

The Slavonic does little to solve the problem of the date of the Saints' feast as it contains conflicting data :


23. The other three are the one edited by

·       Popov, Bibliograficheskiye materialy, pt. xix, ed. M. Speranskv, ChIOI, vol. cl, 1889, 95-98, and

·       Franko, Apokrify vol. iv, Lemberg 1906, 255-257;


that edited by

·       V. Makushev, O nekotorykh rukopisyakh narodnoy biblioteki v Belgrade, Russky filologichesky vestnik, vii, 1882, 1-29, cf . 23-26, and

·       Yatsimirsky, Is istorii slavyanskoy pis’mennosti v Moldavii i Valakhii xv-xvii vekov, St. Petersburg 1906 (= Pamyatniki drevney pis’mennosti i iskusstva, vol. clxii), 133-136;





the third is that edited by Popov, Materialy pt. xix, 58-64. The first two are of the Greek redaction BHG 1874, ed. E. Klostermann, Analecta zur Septuaginta, Hexapla und Patristik, Leipzig 1895, 115-120; the third corresponds to BHG 1874d, which is unpublished but whose variants to 1874 are noted by Klostermann, ibidem.


24. It is on ff. 68r-69v and the beginning is missing due to lost folia. It has been edited twice :

·       V. Istrin, Otkroveniye Mefodiya Patarskogo i apokrificheskiye videniya Daniila v vizantiyskoy i slavyana-russkoy literaturakh. Teksty (= vol. ii), ChIOI, vol. clxxxiv, 1898, 156-158, and

·       P. Lavrov, Apokrificheskiye teksty, SORYa, lxvii, 4, 1899, 1-5.


25. Formerly Belgrade National Library codex 466/651, ff. 266v-281v. The codex was lost during evacuation in the First World War. The text had been edited by P. Srećković, Zbornik popa Dragolja. Sadržina i prorčstva, Spomenik Srpske Kraljevske Akademije, v, 1890, 1-20, cf. 17-20.


26. ѡстрова Доунаı-а, ed. Srećković, Zbornik 11.


27. Тоураниды, Срѣд‘ца, ed. ibidem.


28. Ѥньнеи, Вельблоуда, ed. ibidem.


29. вь в‘си Хоузѣ, вь Строумицѣ, ed. ibidem.


30. вьнидеть вь Солоунь, ed. ibidem·, cf. Hilandar: вьнидеть вь з҃ врьхь, ed. Lavrov, Teksty 4.


31. Thus M. Sokolov, Materialy i zametki po starinnoy slavyanskoy literature, vol. i, Moscow 1888, 18, identifies him as Michael VIII (1259-1282), while A. Vasiliev, The Russian Attack an Constantinople in 860, Cambridge (Mass.) 1946 (= The Mediaeval Academy of America Publication No. xlvi), 161, sees in him Michael III (842-867).


32. At this time there was a) a Patzinak invasion of the Balkans; b) a rebellion against Byzantium in Bulgaria; c) an expedition by the Norman Duke of Apulia, Robert Guiscard, into Macedonia in 1081; d) an imposter mascarading as Michael VII (who had abdicated in 1078) aiding Guiscard in his anti-Byzantine schemes, see P. Alexander, Historical Interpolations in the Zbornik Popa Dragolia, Actes du XVIe Congrès international des études byzantines, vol. ii, Bucharest 1976, 23-38, who, however, 38, admits that this is in fact only a plausible hypothesis.


33. On this version of the Visio Danielis as a historical source for these events see

·       P. Alexander, Medieval Apocalypses as Historical Sources, American Historical Review, lxxiii, 1968, 997-1018, and

·       idem, Les débuts des conquêtes arabes en Sicile et la tradition apocalyptique byzantinoslave, BCSFLS, xii, 1973, 7-35.


34. He is almost certainly to be identified with John the Confessor, abbot of Pantelleria, who is commemorated in the Greek synaxarium on August 4th, see H. Delehaye, Synaxarium ecclesiae Constantinopolitanae e codice sirmondiano adiectis synaxariis selectis, Brussels 1902 (= Propylaeum ad Acta Sanctorum Novembris), 865.





He is also commemorated in Greek menaea on 3 August but only as an abbot, not as a confessor, see Delehaye, ibidem. Nothing else is known about him, see

·       Martinov, Annus ecclesiasticus graeco-slavicus, Brussels 1863, 193, and

·       Sergy (Spasskyj, Polny mesyatseslov Vostoka, vol. ii, Vladimir 1901, 235.


Ye. Golubinsky, Istoriya russkoy tserkvi, vol. i, pt. i, Moscow 1901, 653, considers that the title of confessor means that he lived during the iconoclastic period, but that is purely speculative. Neither is anything known of the monastery, although another abbot of it, Basil, is commemorated in some synaxaria on 21 June, in others on 22 June, see Delehaye, Synaxarium 762, 763; also Martinof, Annus 157 and Sergy, Mesyatseslov, vol. ii, 188. The island of Pantelleria, c. 83 km2 in size, lies between Sicily and Tunisia.


35. The earliest traced codex is the Novgorod nomocanon copied in C.1280, State History Museun, Moscow, Synodal codex 132, ff. 549v-554v, see I. Sreznevsky, Obozveniye dvevnikh russkikh spiakov kormchey knigi, SORYa, lxv,2, 1897, 108. There is a vast literature on this codex and its precise date, which cannot be examined here. It is also found in the so-called Moravian nomocanon, e.g. 13th-14th century Ustyug codex, Lenin State Library, Rumyantsev codex 230, ff. 126r-130v, see Sreznevsky, Obozveniye 127-128, but it did not form part of the original contents of that nomocanon. It has been edited from the 16th century Joasaph nomocanon, Lenin State Library, Moscow Theological Academy collection 54, by I. Mansvetov, Tsevkovny ustav (tipik) - yego obrazovaniye i sud’ba v grecheskoy i russkoy tserkvi, Moscow 1885, 442-445; a facsimile edition of the text in the 16th-17th century Bodleian codex 995-92 is given by

·       Dujčev, Il tipico del monastère di S. Giovanni nell ’ isola di Pantelleria, Bollettino della Badia greca di Grottaferrata, N.S. xxv, 1971, 3-17, cf. 5-12.


The dating of the translation to the 12th century by

·       P.de Meester, Les typiques de fondation (Τυπικὰ κτγτορικά), Studi bizantini e neoellenici, vi, 1940, 489-508, cf. 501,

and repeated by A. Kazhdan in his review of an article by Janin, Vizantiysky vremennik, xxvii, 1967, 349-350, cf. 350, is without foundation, as are the doubts about whether the place concerned was really Pantelleria, as expressed by

·       S. Mercati, Sul tipico del monastero di S.Bartolomeo di Trigona tradotto in italo-calabrese in trascrizione greca da Francesco Vucisano, Archivio storico per la Calabria e la Lucania, viii, 1938, 197-223, cf. 205.


36. I. Dujčev, Riflessi della religiosità italo-greca net mondo slavo ortodosso, IS, xx, 1973, 181-212, cf. 182


37. See C. Hannick, Aux origines de la version slave de l’hirmologion, Monumenta musicae Byzantinae. Subsidia, vol. vi, Copenhagen 1978, 5-120, cf. 13, 36





38. In the 1479 codex copied by Vladislav Grammaticus, Rila codex 4/8 (61), ff. 203r-205r, see E. Sprostranov, Opis na râkopisite v bibliotekata pri Rilskiya manastir, Sofia 1902, 109.


39. BHG 1410-1410 b. The original has not been edited in full but excerpts are found in A. Veselovsky, Iz istorii romana i povesti. Materialy i issledovaniya, vol. i, SORYa, xl,2, 1886, 73-110.

The Slavonic translation is found in codices from the 13th-14th century on, e.g. 13th-14th century Serb codex Q.p.1.33, ff. 1r-140v, in the State Public Library, Leningrad, see

·       Ye. Granstrem, Opisaniye russkikh i slavyanskikh pergamennykh rukopisey. Rukopisi russkiye, bolgarskiye, moldovlakhiyskiye, serbskiye, Leningrad 1953, 98.


Apart from minor excerpts it has not been published. It was translated by a certain John the Presbyter, but whether he lived in the 10th or 11th century is a matter of controversy, see with bibliography B. Angelov, Iz starata bâlgarska, ruska i srabska literatura, vol.ii, Sofia 1967, 106-108, 130-132, and excerpts from the above codex : 132-138.


40. BHG 981 b, edited by B. Latyshev, Neizdannyye grecheskiye agiografioheskiye teksty, Zapiski Imperatorskoy Akademii nauk po istoriko-filologicheskomu otdeleniyu, xii, 2, 1914, 12-28.

The Slavonic translation, which has not been edited is found in codices from the 15th century on, e.g. 1479 Vladislav Grammaticus’ florilegium (see note 38), ff. 586v-596v : Sprostranov, Opis 104.


41. BHG 707-707e, ed. PG, xcviii, 1865, 549-716.

Of the Slavonic translation a fragment exists of the 14th-15th century, see L. Zhukovskaya, Pamyatniki russkoy i slavyanskoy pis'mennosti XI-XIV vekov v knigokhranilishchakh SSSR, Sovetskoye slavyanovedeniye, i, 1969, 57-71 cf. 62 n.30; complete MSS date from the 15th century on, e.g. 15th century Serb codex Rila 2/22 (38), ff.38r-134r, see Sprostranov, Opis 43. It is edited in VMCh, Noyabr’. Vypusk IX. Chast’ 2-ya, Tetrad’ I. Dni 23-25, ed.N. Popov, Moscow 1916, 3123-3224. Its precise relation to the various Greek redactions has not been studied.


42. MGH. Scriptores rerum Langobardicarum et Italicarum saec. VI-IX, ed. G. Waitz, Hannover 1878, 45-187, cf. 135


43. See

·       M. Spremić, La migrazione degli Slavi nell'Italia méridionale e in Sicilia alla fine del Medioevo, Archivio storico italiano, cxxxviii, 1980, 3-15, cf. 4;

·       F. Gestrin, La migrazione degli Slavi in Italia nella storiografia jugoslava, Quaderni storici, xl, 1979, 7-30;


on the župan administration see

·       A. Guillou, L'Italie byzantine du IXe au XIe siècle. Etat des questions, in : E. Bertaux, L'art dans l'Italie mêriodionale. Aggiomamento dell'opera di Emile Bertaux, ed. A. Prandi, vol. iv, Rome 1978, 3-47, cf. II;


some of the donations to the Benedictine monastery of Santa-Maria on Tremiti in the 11th century were made by Slavs of the Gargano region, see

·       A. Pétrucci, Codice diplomatico del monastero benedettino di S. Maria di Tremiti (1005-1237), vol. ii, Rome 1960 (= Fonti per la storia d'Italia, vol. xcviii, pt. ii), nos. 32, 42, 48, 51 on pp. 102-104, 134-135, 153-156, 160-163.





On this see

·       Guillou, Migration et présence sleeves en Italie du VIe au XIe siècle, Zbornik radova vizantinološkog instituta, xiv-xv, 1973, 11-16, cf. 14, and

·       idem, Italie méridionale byzantine ou byzantins en Italie méridionale ?, Byzantion, xliv, 1974, 152-190, cf. 157.


44. MGH, vol. vii, Scriptores, vol. v, ed. G. Pertz, Hannover 1844, 52-63, cf. 57; reprinted in PL, clv, 1854, 124-144, cf. 132. His Chronicon covers the period 855-1102 and he used the Annales Barenses, ed. MGR, ibid. 52-56; PL, ibid. 123-131, but these do not contain the information. He has misdated the events to 1015-1016. On this see

·       Dujčev, La Bulgaria medioevale fra Bisanzio e Roma. Relazioni culturali della Bulgaria con Bisanzio e con l’Italia, Felix Ravenna, xlvi, 1968, 67-97, cf. 92, and

·       idem, I rapporti fra la Calabria e la Bulgaria nel Medioevo. Atti del IV Congresso storico Calabrese, Naples 1969, 235-250, cf. 241-242.


45. totius Calabriae gnaros, Rerum Italicarum scriptores. Raccolta degli storici italiani dal cinquecento al millecinquecento, vol. v, pt. i, ed. E. Pontieri, Bologna 1928, 16.

On this see

·       Spremić , Migrazione 5, and

·       M. Capaldo, Un insediamento slavo presso Siracusa nel primo millenio d. C., Europa Orientalis, ii, 1983, 5-17, cf. 11-12.


46. l. iii, c.15, ed. Pontieri 66. On this see Capaldo, Insediamento 11. On links between Sicily and Bulgaria in the Middle Ages see

·       I. Dujčev, Accenni alla Sicilia nella letteratura bulgara medioevale, BCSFLS, v, 1957, 87-96.


47. Ed. Veselovsky, Istorii vol. i, 94. On the vita see note 39. This information is only contained in the longer version of the vita, viz. BHG 1410-1410a, and not in the shorter, viz. BHG 1410b, or in the Slavonic translation. The original version is of the 8th century but as yet it is uncertain whether this is the longer or the shorter. If the longer is the original, the information applies to the 8th century, if it is not then it refers to the late 9th or early 10th century as the earliest codices of the longer version are of the 10th century. See on this Capaldo, Insediamento 8-10, 12-13. Veselovsky, Istorii vol. i, 110, is undecided whether the information is fact or fiction, but there is no reason to doubt it. On the possible presence of Slavs in Palermo see Sprémic, Migrazione 4, and Capaldo, Insediamento 11: the evidence is uncertain.


48. Ševčenko, Report 146.


49. Ed. Yu. Begunov, Kozma Presviter v slavyanskikh literaturakh, Sofia 1973, 351 and 359. This work is generally dated to the 10th century but could be of the 11th, or even early 12th, see

·       F. Thomson, Cosmas of Bulgaria and His Discourse against the Heresy of Bogomil, SEER, liv, 1976, 262-269, cf. 266-267.





50. See J. Santerre, Les moines grecs et orientaux à Rome aux époques byzantine et carolingienne (milieu du VIe s. - fin du IXe s.), 2 vols., Brussels 1983 (= Mémoires de la classe des lettres de l'Académie Royale de Belgique, vol. lxvi, 1, i-ii, 1983). On Cyril and Methodius at Rome see vol. i, 90, 143-144, 161.


The idea that the teachers sent to Moravia from Italy before the arrival of Cyril and Methodius whom Rostislav mentions in his epistle to Michael III preserved in the Vita S. Methodii, c.v, ed. F. Grivec and F. Tomšič, Constantinus et Methodius Thessalonicenses. Fontes, Agram 1960 (= Radovi staroslavenskog instituta, vol. IV), 155, were Italo-Greek monks, thus

·       F. Zagiba, Die Italogriechen und die Slavenmiesion im 9. Jahrhundert, IS, xxii, 1973, 919-925, cf. 919,

is aberrant - they clearly came from the Patriarchate of Aquileia, viz. Cividale and not the rival Grado, but this question cannot be dealt with here.


The activities of Italo-Greeks living outside their native region may be of importance for Slav history but are irrelevant to the question under discussion, unless it could be shown that they included the propagation of Italo-Greek works among the Slavs, which is not the case. To give two examples: Peter of Sicily was sent in 869-870 on an imperial mission from Constantinople to the Paulicians at Tephrice (now Divrighi) near Melitene in Asia Minor. While there he learned that the Paulicians were preparing a mission to Bulgaria and so he compiled an account of their heresy, which he addressed to the archbishop of Bulgaria :


·       Historia utilis et refutatio atque eversio haereseos Manichaeorum qui et Pauliciani dicuntur Bulgarian archiepiscopo nuncupata, ed. D.Papachryssanthou in Les sources grecques pour l'histoire des Pauliciene d’Asie Mineure, ed. C. Astruc et al., Paris 1970 (= TM, vol. iv), 7-67, on the Paulician plans cf. 9.

(This edition supersedes that in PG, civ, 1860, 1240-1304, cf. 1241). Nothing else is known of Peter. There is no substance to the claim that this work was used by Cosmas of Bulgaria in his Tractatus, see Begunov, Kozma 233-237 for details and bibliography.

On Peter's mission there is a vast literature, see inter alios

·       S. Runciman, The Medieval Manichee. A Study of the Christian Dualist Heresy, Cambridge 1955, 42, 65;

·       M. Loos, Dualist Heresy in the Middle Ages, Prague 1974, 38-39;

·       Dujčev, Accenni 93-94.


The condemnation of John Italus in 1082 was entered into the Synodicon Orthodoxiae, ed. J. Gouillard, Le synodikon de l’Orthodoxie. Edition et commentaire, Paris 1967 (= TM, vol. ii), 45-107, cf. 57-61. This was taken over into the Bulgaricon synodicon of 1211, ed. M. Popruzjenko, Sinodik tsarya Borila, Sofia 1928 (= Bâlgarski starini, vol. viii), 3-96, cf. 30-40 (Palauzov codex), 33-39,43 (Drinov codex). It has been suggested that this was done deliberately since a pupil of John Italus, the Georgian John Petric’i, did most of his work at the Georgian Petric’oni monastery, viz. Bačkovo in Bulgaria, thus Dujčev, Riflessi 188-189. This is, of course, possible, but there is no evidence to support such a claim and it is far more likely that the condemnation was simply translated because it was in the Greek codex used for the translation.





On John Petric’i see M. Tarchnišvili, Geschichte der kirchlichen georgischen Literatur, Vatican City 1955 (= Studi e testi, vol. clxxxv), 211-225; on the monastery ibid. 76-78.


51. c.vi, § 41, ed. G. Giovanelli, Βίος καί πολιτεία τοῦ ὁσίου πατρὸς ἡμῶν Νείλου τοῦ Νέου. Testo originale greco e Studio introduttivo, Grottaferrata 1972, 47-135, cf. 86: "Αἱ οὐ Βούλγαρε καλόγηρε". Καὶ ἔτεροι Φράγγον αὐτὸυ άπεκάλουν, καὶ ἅλλοι Ἀρμένιον. (This edition supersedes that in ASS, September, vol. vii, Paris 1867, 262-319, cf. 286, reprinted in PG, cxx, 1880, 16-165, cf. 80).

On Bartholomew as the author see Giovanelli, Βίος 12-22, and G. da Costa-Louillet, Saints de Sicile et d'Italie méridionale aux VIIIe, IXe et Xe siècles, Byzantion xxix-xxx, 1960, 89-173, cf. 146-147.


52. Thus G. Giovanelli, Vita di S. Nilo fondatore e patrona di Grottaferrata. Versions e note, Grottaferrata 1966, 158-159.


53. Thus Dujčev, Rapporti 238-240, and idem, Bulgaria 87.


54. As does Guillou, Note 679.


55. See A. Pertusi, Rapporti tra il monachesimo italo-greco ed il monachesimo bisantine nell’ alto Medio Evo, IS, xxi, 1972, 473-520. These links were not affected by the events of 1154 as the travels of Bartholomew of Simeri, founder of the monastery of S. Maria del Patire at Rossano, in the Byzantine Empire in the early 12th century reveal, see M. Scaduto, Il monachismo basiliano nella Sicilia medievale. Rinascita e decadenza, sec. XI-XIV, Rome 1947, (= Storia e letteratura, vol. xviii), 171-172. These links include the passage of manuscripts. On such literary connections between the Italo-Greek monasteries and the monastery of Studios at Constantinople see Devreesse, Manuscrits 19 n.12, 36.


56. Had they been made by Italo-Slavs they would betray specific linguistic features - which these translations do not - and had they been made for Italo-Slavs there must have been an Italo-Slav literary culture of which there is no trace.







AB — Analecta Bollandiana.


ASS — Acta Sanctorum quotquot toto orbe coluntur, vel a catholicis scriptoribus celebrantur ex latinis et graecis, alianmque gentium antiquis monumentis collecta, digesta, illustrate.


BCSFLS — Bollettino del Centro di studi filologici e linguistici Siciliani.


BHG — Bibliotheca hagiographica graeca, ed. F. Halkin, 3 vols., Brussels 1957 (= SΗ, vol. viii A), and Novum auctarium Bibliothecae hagiographicae graecae, ed. F. Halkin, Brussels 1984 (= SH, vol. lxv).


BHL — Bibliotheca hagiographica latina antiquae et mediae aetatis, ed. Socii Bollandiani, 2 vols., Brussels 1899–1901.


ChIOI —Chteniya v Imperatorskom Obshchestve istorii i drevnostey rossiyskikh pri Moskovskom universitete.


IORYa — Izvestiya otdeleniya russkogo yazyka i slovesnosti Imperatorskov Akademii nauk.


IS — Italia sacra. Studi e documenti di storia ecclesiastica.


MGH —Monimenta Germaniae historica inde ab anno Christi quingentesimo usque ad annum millesimum et quingentesium.


PC — Patrologiae cursus completus. Series graeca et orientalis, ed. J. Migne.


PL — Patrologiae cursus completus. Series latina, ed. J. Migne.


SEER — The Slavonic and East European Review.


SH — Subsidia hagiorraphica.


SORYa — Sbornik otdeleniya russkogo yazyka i slovesnosti Imperatorskoy Akademi i nauk.


TM — Travaux et mémoires du Centre de recherche d'histoire et civilisation byzantines.


TUU — Texte und Uhtersuchungen zur Geschichte der altchristlichen Literatur.


VMCh — Velikiye Minei Chetii, sobrannyye vserossiyskim mitropolitom Makariyem.


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