The Martyrdom of Codratus in the Codex Suprasliensis and vmč: Lexical archaization and translational techniques

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Evgeniya Turtsova

(Humboldt University of Berlin)

The Martyrdom of Codratus in the Codex Suprasliensis and VMČ:

Lexical archaization and translational techniques
A comparative study of the texts of the Codex Suprasliensis and Great Reading Menaion (Velikije Minei Čet'ji – VMČ) is interesting on the palaeographical, textological and linguistic levels. Both monuments contain texts of the March Menaia; however, the set of texts does not coincide completely and even congruent texts diverge both in extent and in language, which indicates that they sometimes have a common origin, sometimes different. This kind of research has already been started by Ch. Voss in his articles about the Annunciation homily Palin charas euaggelia and the Vita of John the Silent.

In this talk I consider two Slavic versions of the martyrdom of Codratus (Quadratus) of Corinth, feast day March 10, in the above mentioned manuscripts. My focus lies on the lexical level, in particular the features of translations. A very important question is whether text fixed in VMČ is an independent translation (such cases of independent translations, as is generally known, were not uncommon), or rather a translation editing of the text fixed in the Codex Suprasliensis.

The correlation of synonyms along with a dependency upon Greek variants, the presence of different lexical variants in the one text and greater homogeneity in the other allow us to draw a conclusion about the translational techniques. Although in the texts of VMČ the strong tendency to archaize is obvious, for the choice of lexemes it must be considered that certain changes happened in their semantics over time. In such instances the semantic exactness and transmission of sense took priority. The research also aims at making a contribution to the question about the criteria of text selection for VMČ by Macarius. Two tendencies should be noted: оn the one hand it was important to base the Reader on the ancient translated texts which preserved archaic features, оn the other hand one of the main criteria was the completeness of the text volumes, which sometimes made new translations a necessity.

Another important question discussed in this talk is the determination of Greek originals for each of the Slavic texts. The greater volume of text in the martyrdom of Codratus in VMČ suggests the presence of a Greek original different from the text known to us from Codex Leydensis Perizonianus, used by Capaldo in the Bulgarian publication of Codex Suprasliensis. The Greek text from Codex Oxoniensis Baroccianus, published by Schmidt, also only partly fills the corresponding lacunas.

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