Summary of Orientalia Christiana Periodica 82 (2022), vol. I
Orientalia Christiana Periodica began publication in 1935. Two fascicles are issued each year, which contain articles, critiques, and reviews about the Christian East, including its theology, history, patrology, liturgy, archaeology, canon law, and other closely connected topics. You may subscribe to Orientalia Christiana Periodica here.
The Peshitta of 1 Samuel 21:2-7 and its Reception History
The short biblical story of David in Nob received very much attention in the Syriac interpretation, both in east-Syrian and west-Syrian Commentary, and was interpreted in a very unique way. Unlike the Greek and Latin commentators, who preferred to interpret the biblical story through the story of Jesus and his disciples in the grain field, where it is mentioned by Jesus himself, the Syrian commentators interpreted the biblical story directly, being the successors of the Antiochene school, which emphasized the literal and historical meanings in its interpretation of the Bible. The occurrence in Nob, in which David asked for and received from Aüimelech the priest the Showbread, which is permissible to eat only for the priests, received in Syriac Christianity a unique interpretation. This was made possible due to changes in the text already introduced in the translation of the Bible into Syriac, the Peshitta, in the second century AD. In addition to differences in the names of the places, whether intentionally or due to a lack of understanding of Hebrew, a very essential element is different in the Syriac version, namely the abstinence from a woman – which was necessary for eating the holy bread – was replaced by abstinence from a sacrifice. And so the Syrian commentators could link the occurrence in Nob, the centerpiece of which was the bread, to the Eucharist ceremony, as well as to see the persecuted David with his young men as a prefiguration of the persecuted Jesus with his disciples.
Armenia’s Treasure Trove: Its Liturgy Revisited
This survey on Armenia’s Liturgy consists of the following parts: I. The Teaching (Didaskalia) and the Concern for Orthodoxy includes the observation that Armenia’s creedal statements initially followed Syriac models which subsquently were reshaped to reflect more closely Greek terminology, brought about by the Christological disputes; II. The Issue of Memory is moored in Jerusalem’s Holy Places and how they came to influence the body of Lectionaries; in addition, the problem of the ‘Third Hour’ in Stepanos Siwnec‘i’s 8th-cent. Commentary is addressed; III. Traces of Expansion become evident in the translation of Byzantine Anaphoras (which were, however, never used); the formation of the Armenian Liturgy of Athanasius replaced the Anaphora attributed to Gregory the Illuminator (in reality an important version of the Anaphora of Basil); IV. Cilician Creativity and Constraints are visible not only in the creation but also translation of several liturgies into Armenian (also never adopted in the Armenian Church); V. Matters of the Spirit refers to Saint Paul’s Christocentric theology, absent in the early Syrian, Maronite, and Armenian sources.
La notice sur le Livre de Job transmise dans la Synopse de la Sainte Écriture attribuée à Jean Chrysostome
Francesca Prometea Barone
The note on the book of Job, that has been transmitted by part of the manuscript tradition of the Synopsis Sripturae Sacrae (CPG 4559), falsely attributed to John Chrysostom, is an interpolation because the biblical text underlying the summary is not compatible with the Antiochian provenance of the text. The note however is a composite with certain short passages arising from an Antiochian milieu. It is impossible to know if an authentic note on Job ever existed, before disappearing due to a lacuna that might have mutilated the first branch of the tradition.
The Intimate Conversations of God with Moses on Mount Sinai (Munājāt Mūsā): An Apocryphon from Islam to Christianity to Judaism
The Munājāt Mūsā or ‘the Intimate Conversations of God with Moses on Mount Sinai’ is a Moses apokryphon, probably originally written in Arabic, that describes how God gave Moses a series of moral injunctions and rituals and how Moses questioned God about His being and His power. The exchange between the two also features cosmogonic and soteriological themes and culminates in God’s promise of a fuller and final revelation in the future. In the Christian version God announces the Divine incarnation, while in the case of the Islamic Munājāt Mūsā, God gives a preview of the advent of Muhammad. Judging from the vast amount of surviving manuscripts from all over the Islamicate world (including translations into Aljamiado, Swahili, Hausa, Persian and Malay), these versions must have been very popular. Eastern Christians also had versions in Syriac, Ethiopic and Armenian, while Ethiopian Jews reworked it into a Jewish text. In this paper I introduce the various versions, list their manuscripts, and analyze and compare some of the narrative strategies through which they appropriate Moses and the revelation on Sinai as known the Hebrew Bible. I also argue that there are elements in the apocryphon pointing to an Islamic origin.
An Edition of the New-found Forgery of Constantine Paleocappa — the Treatise of Nicholas of Methone: Πρὸς τοὺς διαστάζοντας καὶ λέγοντας, ὅτι ὁ ἱερουργούμενος ἄρτος καὶ οἶνος οὐκ ἔστι σῶμα καὶ αἷμα τοῦ Κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ
The treatise «To those who doubt and say that the sacred bread and wine are not indeed the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ» (PG 135, coll. 509- 518) by Nicholas of Methone (XII c.) first appeared in print in the well-known edition in 1560 along with the editio princeps of the Greek text of the Liturgy of James. Following J. Dräseke all previous scholars recognized this work as authentic and suggested that this short treatise was written in the 40s of the XII c. in connection with the Bogomil heresy. However, recently, we proved that the treatise does not belong to Nicholas and that it is another compilation and forgery of a famous copyist of Greek manuscripts and author of forged works in the XVI c. Constantine Paleocappa. Our research was based on the textual analysis of the treatise, appealing to other forgeries of Paleocappa and the original work of Nicholas — Λόγος περὶ τῶν πρὸς λατίνους ἀζύμων. In this paper we present a new edition of the Greek text of the treatise based on Paleocappa’s autograph Paris. Suppl. gr. 143 with indication of the quotes and reminiscences. The edition perfectly illustrates the results of our research and the method of compilation of original texts by Cretan forger. An English translation is included.
The Ruthenian Editions of the Slavonic Slu zhebnik and Trebnik
Part 2: The Trebniki Printed in Vilnius before 1650
In this article, the author identifies and describes the editions of the Slavonic Trebnik printed in Vilnius prior to 1650, comparing their content and organization, as well as some features of the rites that they contain. Two editions of the Trebnik printed in 1606, one in Stryatyn and the other in Ostroh, prove to be defining for the subsequent history of this liturgical book in the PolishLithuanian Commonwealth. Thus, the four Trebniki printed in Vilnius between 1621 and 1641 are based on the Ostroh edition, adding to it a number of additional texts. They appear to reflect the established usage of the Ruthenian Orthodox community. The 1618 Vilnius edition, on the other hand, is based on the Stryatyn edition and contains a number of further peculiar usages influenced by Latin sacramental theology. These include the separation of baptism and chrismation into two distinct rites and the introduction of a declaratory formula of absolution into the rite of confession. These features reveal that “latinization” was indeed occurring among the Ruthenian Uniate community. However, some copies of the 1618 edition contain the confession rite from the Ostroh edition, lacking the declaratory formula, which indicates that the latinizing reforms were controversial.
Quelques aspects du style de Joseph Simon Assémani dans les Préfaces de la Bibliotheca Orientalis Clementino-Vaticana
The Præfatio totius operis of the Bibliotheca Orientalis Clementino-Vaticana by Joseph Simon Assemani provides a rich literary material to which a linguistic approach should be applied. Based on the Latin rhetoric of Cicero and Quintilian, this article aims to show that Assemani expresses himself in a classical style which reflects the influence of the Greek and Latin heritage, and develops a humanist culture loyal to Homer, Plato, Ovid, Cicero, Horace and other classical authors. The sentence of the Maronite bibliographer is similar to the traditional Latin sentence. His language aspires to a level of elegance suitable to the eminence of the pontifical personalities, by the use of a grandiloquence appropriate to the epistolary art of the Holy See. The scriptor gives preference to certain stereotypes, such as the Christian imagery of the tree, precious to the Apostle Paul and Saint Augustine, to glorify the action of God; or the polemical metaphors of heresy, when he intends to denounce the heterodoxies.
An Anti-Catholic Georgian Treatise by Patriarch Bessarion:
Polemical Pathos and Theological Arguments
In the entire history of Georgian theological literature there is one exception: a theological treatise written in the 18th century by a Georgian author, Catholicos-Patriarch Bessarion Orbelishvili. The treatise is the only text written in the Georgian language vehemently criticizing the Roman Catholic Church and its doctrine. For centuries Orthodox Georgians had a cordial disposition towards Roman Catholics. This was evident in everyday secular life, as well as in the religious sphere: prayerful union, joint missionary activities in other countries, theological openness. This is corroborated by written sources, such as official epistles of Georgian monarchs and Church leaders, in which a readiness to recognize the supremacy of the Pope was expressed, and theological texts. For example, after the Great Schism (1054), the prominent Georgian theologian, St. George the Hagiorite bravely translated the so-called Athanasian Creed containing the Filioque. Another later distinguished Georgian theologian, St. Arsenios of Ikalto, clearly was not pleased by the anti-Latin stances of the Orthodox Greeks and this is markedly manifested in his literary activity as well. The research paper examines the several major issues (dogmatic as well as non-dogmatic), showing the author’s incorrect notions and perceptions concerning controversial doctrinal issues and church customs of the Roman Catholic Church and propagandistic nature of his treatise.
Il Pontificio Istituto Orientale nella visione del beato Ioan Bălan
It has been taken in consideration an old article signed by Blessed prof. Ioan Bălan and published in 1914 in Revista Catolică with the title Institut Oriental la Roma in which the author paid his attention on how at that very time there was a real interest along with involvement in the possible creation of the institute and consequently getting focused on the problems related to the possibility of carrying out a union between Catholics and Orthodox. It was analyzed the foresight with which Blessed Ioan Bălan prior the decision of Benedict XV, hoped for the creation of the Oriental Institute in Rome, clearly and precisely outlining how It should have been organized in order to give effective support to a major diffusion of the above mentioned union with the Church of Rome.
La basilica a transetto di Tlos: un nuovo libro sulla Licia bizantina
This paper analyses the results of a recent archaeological excavation in Tlos (Lycia) where a Japanese-Turkish team has brought to light a transept basilica with mosaics, sculptures, tombs and a great variety of other small finds. However, the inexplicable assumption of a late 4th-early 5th cent. date for the foundation of the church leads to an erroneous understanding of the urban shifting of the city in the early Middle Ages, taking no account whatsoever of the urban history of the nearby Lycian cities (Xantos, Pinara, Patara, Telmessos).
Nuova stagione di studi in contrada Realmese, Calascibetta, Sicilia
Elie Essa Kas Hanna and Antonina Arena
“Civilization between the two rivers. Forms of life and religiosity between the valleys of Morello and southern Imera, from prehistoric facies to Byzantine memories” is a research project promoted by the Pontifical Oriental Institute. It aims to document and study all the archaeological evidence in the territory of the Archaeological Park of Morgantina and the Villa del Casale in the province of Enna-Sicily. The project pays more attention to the Byzantine rockcut memories of the island, which are mostly made up of frescoed rock-hewn caves. In the summer of 2021, after the approval of the project by the Region of Sicily, the first surveys were carried out at the pre and protohistoric necropolis in Contrada Realmese, as the starting point of the research. Since the first week of the investigations, we have noticed a clear and strong use of the territory not only in pre and in protohistoric periods, but we also identified signs of transformations and changes dated from the Byzantine age until the modern age. On the plateau of the Cozzo S. Giuseppe overhanging the necropolis, and in spite of the presence of thick Mediterranean vegetation, an unpublished hilltop settlement has been discovered, which presents typical characteristics of Sicilian fortifications starting from the VII century in Sicily. Within the following pages, we will present preliminary data collected from the field up to the end of last September. The data indicate that we are dealing with one of the most important sites ever found recently in the province of Enna, which deserves more study and exhaustive archaeological investigation in the coming years.
V. Ruggieri reviews Stefan Alexandru, A never yet deciphered Greek palimpsest codex Athous Zographou Il’inskiy 40.
L. Lechintan reviews Giunta Pisano e la tecnica pittorica del Duecento, ed. Michele Bacci and Caterina Bay.
V. Ruggieri reviews Leonid and Rimma Brailovskij, Visioni della Vecchia Russia. Браиловские, Леонид и Римма, Видения Староӣ Руси, edited by Gianpaolo Rigotti.
S. Rossano reviews Sistematica e tecnica nelle codificazioni canoniche del XX secolo, ed. Giuliano Brugnotto, Jürgen Jamin, and Sébastien Naonyr Somda.
G. Ruyssen reviews Georges Dédéyan, Ago A. Demirdjian, Nabil Saleh, Les Justes et gens de bien du génocide des Arméniens, preface by Yves Ternon.
P. Dufka reviews Isacco di Ninive, Discorsi ascetici: Prima collezione, Introduction, translation, and editorial note by Sabino Chialà.
A. Fyrigos reviews Το Βυζάντιο και η Ρωσία του Κιέβου (882- 1240), Εθνικό Ίδρυμα Ερευνών, Ινστιτούτο Ιστορικών Ερευνών, Τομέας Βυζαντινών Ερευνών (Το Βυζάντιο σήμερα 8), edited by ΓΕΩΡΓΙΟΣ Θ ΚΑΡΔΑΡΑΣ.
E. G. Farrugia reviews Identità europea e radici cristiane, Atti del Convegno Internazionale di Studio, Veliko Tarnovo, 26 maggio 2018, edited by Kiril Plamen Kartaloff.
E. Vergani reviews Thomas Koonammakkal, The Theology of Divine Names in the Genuine Works of Ephrem.
A. Fyrigos reviews Κωνσταντίνος Άμαντος, Δάσκαλος Επιστήμων Πολίτης. Πρακτικά Επιστημονικού Συνεδρίου, Χίος, 6-8 Μαΐου 2016 [Konstantinos Amantos, Mentor Scholar Citizen, Proceedings of the Scientific Symposium, Chios, May 6th-8th, 2016].
E.G. Farrugia reviews Let us be attentive! Proceedings of the Seventh International Congress of the Society of Oriental Liturgy, Prešov (Slovakia), 9-14 July 2018, edited by Martin Lüstraeten, Brian Butcher, and Steven Hawkes-Teeplees.
H. Teule reviews Antony Mecherry, De Syrorum orientalium Erroribus. Auctore P. Francisco Ros S.I. A Latin-Syriac Treatise from Early Modern Malabar (1586).
Ph. Luisier reviews Manoël Pénicaud, Louis Massignon: Le “catholique musulman.”
V. Ruggieri reviews Gli studi di storiografia: Tradizione, memoria e modernità, edited by Alba Fedeli, Rosa Bianca Finazzi, Claudia Milani, Craig E. Morrison, and Paolo Nicelli.
Ph. Luisier reviews Tracing Written Heritage in a Digital Age, edited by Ephrem A. Ishac, Thomas Csanády, and Theresa Zammit Lupi.