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The problem of typology of the slavic paterika

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Old Church Slavonic Institute
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Abstract

The problem of typology of the slavic paterika The article includes a short review of the basic types of Greek Paterika as established up to the present, and of their parallel Slavic translation: The Sketis Paterikon, The Alphabetical Jerusalem Paterikon, The Sinai Paterikon, The Egyptian Paterikon, Dialogi de vita et miraculis patrum Italicorum et aeternitate animarum, The Rome Paterikon and The Slavic Compilation Paterikon (derived from various Paterika). This review is followed by a discussion of the problem of the Slavic Paterika, which represents one of the most complex question inthe history of Old Church Slavonic literature. The Slavic Paterika are collections of apophthegms and anecdotes of the Christian Fathers. Their contents vary both in order and choice of material. Some items occur in a number of different Paterika, of several types. They are often enlarged by completely extraneous material: didactic and homiletic texts, or quotations from "Paenitentiale". The titles of Slavic Paterika have not yet been satisfactory fixed. Paterika of different types have been given identical titles. Because of this, despite a series of separately excellent investigations (eg. the contributions of N. van Wijk and others), it is impossible to consider that the relationship of extant Slavic Paterikon texts with their Greek originals has been settled, either in their hypothetical original content, or in their subsequent variations. Though the Sketis, the Alphabetical-Jerusalem, the Sinai and also the Rome Paterika were translated into Slavic relatively very early, somewhere during OCS period, because they were indispensable to monastic literature, the problem of the classification of Slavic Paterika is so far uninvestigated. On the one hand the absence of published editions of all basic types of Paterika, and on the other hand the lack of understanding of their relationship with the Greek originals, necessitates much further study.

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