Friday, 17 May 2019

Catherine Mary MacRobert: The multiple-author catena on the Psalms translated into Church Slavonic by Maximus Triboles

Between 1518 and 1522 Maximus Triboles and his Russian assistants translated a multiple-author catena on the Psalms from Greek into Russian Church Slavonic. In MSS Hilandar 116 and 117, which date from the mid 16th century and probably constitute the earliest complete copy of this translation, the catena occupies 1350 folia (measuring 29 or 30 cm by 20 cm); in an edition printed in Moscow in 1896, based on a manuscript of 1592, the text apparently takes up 1042 pages.  Maximus’ introduction to the text names nineteen commentators on whose works it draws either systematically or occasionally: Origen, Didymus, Eusebius of Caesarea, Apollinarius of Laodicea, Asterius of Amasia, Basil the Great, John Chrysostom, Athanasius of Alexandria, Cyril of Alexandria, Hesychius, Theodoret of Cyrrhus, Theodore of Antioch (i.e. of Mopsuestia?) and another Theodore (of Heraclea?), Diodorus, Severianus, Gregory of Nazianzus, Gregory of Nyssa, Cyril of Jerusalem, John of Alexandria; there are also four additional sources of comments on the Canticles: the ‘two priests’ Victor and Nicholas, Eudoxius ‘the philosopher’, and Maximus the Confessor. The various authors cited in each section of the catena are indicated in text.Starting from the analytical method devised by Gilles Dorival, my presentation at the workshop will outline the component elements of the commentaries on a selection of psalms in the catena and the order in which those elements occur. The aim of this analysis is to assist the potential identification of Maximus’ Greek source.

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