St. Catherine’s Monastery on Mount Sinai and the Balkan-Slavic Manuscript-Tradition

Heinz Miklas (Vienna University)

Fortified and provided with a church by Emperor Justinian I in the 6th century, St. Catherine's Monastery at the foot of Mount Sinai is regarded the oldest continuously existing Christian monastery in the world. With over 3,000 codices and hundreds of book-scrolls dating from the 4th century onward, it holds one of the largest collections of early manuscripts, comprising also Old Slavonic codices and fragments, written in the Cyrillic and the Glagolitic script. The old part of the collection contains some 43 Slavic units. In 1975 further 42 units were detected.

Since the appearance of I. Tarnanidis’ catalogue of the new collection (1988) several attempts to further investigate and edit the most important of these findings have been made. The paper will give a report on a project aiming at the edition of the Glagolitic monuments: Codd. Sin. slav. 1/N-5/N and three bifolia with medical prescriptions (attached to No. 3/N), all deriving from the 11th-12th centuries. Being funded by the Austrian Science Foundation and the Balkan-Commission of Austrian Academy of Sciences, the project is also making use of the latest techniques for improving the readability of those manuscripts which contain palimpsests or are preserved in a bad condition.

The Marko's Monastery as a Literary and Cultural Center.

Maja Jakimovska – Tošiḱ (Skopje University)

Markov monastery has been a great literary and cultural center in the past. During the history it was a subject of many researches and studies concerning its history, manuscript heritage, the architecture of the church, the fresco paintings, the benefactor's inscription, and a subject of the royal portraits of Volkashin and Marko. In the different periods in the past, the monastery had been economically in powerful condition. Those were a good circumstances for accumulation of great cultural and historical wealth: manuscripts and old printing books, old icons and a great number of church articles and relics. An intensive monastic life was going on there, as well as, transcriptional and educational activities. The authentic documents, many manuscripts and the articles of high artistic value had been kept by the monastery monks until 19th century. After that difficult days for the monastery, very important manuscripts and icon, had been stolen and taken from the monastery. Only a small part of the treasure is presently housed in the libraries of Zagreb, Moscow, Sofia, Belgrade and Vienna. Nowadays, we have information about 30 manuscripts belonging to Marko's monastery in the past. The most important manuscripts date from 14th and 15th century. The active life in Marko's monastery had continued even after the arrival of the Turks, although with a lesser intensity. In the beginning of 19th century the prior of the monastery was our revivalist and literary man - Kiril Pejchinovich. He had established here a school for young people and had also written his well-known book "Ogledalo" (The Mirror). He took special care for the monastery library and manuscripts. Today, after the difficult period in 19th century, when the best part of manuscripts heritage was taken into the world's libraries, the monastery church of St. Demetrius, with its architectural appearance and its fresco-paintings, represents the greatest cultural heritage encompassed in the monastery complex.

Manuscript Heritage of the Lesnovo literary center

Ilija Velev (Skopje University)

The Lesnovo literary center was established in the second half of the XI Century, the period when the Lesnovo monastery was built in the Northern part of Macedonia and when the worshiping of venerable father Gabriel (Gavril) began. Since 1341 the writing center in the monastery had much developed when the monastery was restored and became one of the significant spiritual and literary centers in Macedonia. The only manuscript preserved from the period before the restoration of the monastery is the Lesnovo Prologue compiled by Stanislav of Lesnovo, written in 1330. From the middle of the XIV Century until the end of the XIX Century many manuscripts were copied part of which are still preserved. Unfortunately, the historical, political and military circumstances in the whole medieval period and in the period until the World War II, made it possible for the majority of the manuscript heritage of the Lesnovo literary center to be taken outside Macedonia. Today it is kept in manuscript collections in Petersburg, Moscow, Zagreb, Belgrade, Sofia and a small part, of course, in the Republic of Macedonia.

Scientific Program of Staroslavenski institut CAS

Marica Čunčić, Antonio Magdić (Staroslovenski institut, Zagreb)

This will be a presentation on the Scientific Program of our Institute which consists of four projects: 1) Grammar of the Croatian Church Slavonic Language 2) Dictionary of the Croatian Redaction of Church Slavonic 3) Croatian and European Medieval Literature, 4) Glagolitic Paleography, and also we will mention our publications. The focus will be on the process of digitalization which at the present time takes place mostly in the project of Glagolitic paleography and in publications. It will be a Power Point as well as an on-line web pages presentation.

The Digital Library of South Slavic Manuscripts in Context

Milena Dobreva (invited speaker, HATII, University of Glasgow, Scotland, and Institute of Mathematics and Informatics, Sofia, Bulgaria)

Since 1988 when the term digital library was used for the first time, we have been witnessing a gradual raise of activities aimed at developing electronic resources and at shaping the theoretical frameworks of the discipline.

Digital libraries are seen as a key factor for boosting the European economy and the Digital Libraries Initiative is currently amongst the flagship initiatives of the European Commission's i2010 strategy. The European Digital Library project has the ambitious goal to offer access to two million digital objects (books, films, photographs, manuscripts, and other cultural works) by November 2008. This number will grow to at least six million by 2010.

South Slavic manuscripts are amongst those subject domains which are still in search of their place in the digital world. The experience which had been gained so far had not delivered an end product and ways to overcome this issue would be the main concern of the SLOVO conference. The community which is interested in the development and use of South Slavic Manuscript digital library has two basic scenarios to consider. The first one is following the current developments and choosing the one which corresponds to the specific targets which this community wants to achieve. The second one is developing proprietary solutions assuring interoperability with the international digital libraries.

In my paper I will pursue these scenarios from the point of view of the Digital Library Reference Model of the DELOS project released in December 2007, which sets up the foundations of detailed and multifaceted presentation in this domain. I will then use the EDL as a model case and analyse what needs to be done in order to facilitate the inclusion of South Slavic manuscripts in it.

Standardization of the Old Church Slavonic Cyrillic Script and Its Registration in Unicode

Victor Savić (Institute of Serbian Language, SANU)

The Old Slavonic Department from the Institute for the Serbian Language started a project of computer processing of Slavic manuscripts. The aim was to make a suitable electronic system and typeface for maximal and functional work with Old Cyrillic scripts.

After several years of work of experts Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts and Institute for the Serbian Language organized an international scientific meeting on the topic of "Standardization of the Old Church Slavic Cyrillic Script and Its Registration in Unicode" (Belgrade, 15–17 October 2007).

During a workshop about 40 scholars from Serbia and abroad established the standard for the Old Church Slavonic Cyrillic script – its inventory and alphabetical order. Cyrillic characters were classified as basic, functional, and glyph forms. The standard Old Church Slavonic script was determined to have 49 basic and 46 functional characters. Also, it was determined that each character (whether basic or functional) should have its own superimposed letter both with and without titlos. A list was established of basic diacritical marks and titlos, while those remaining were transferred to the glyphs. A list was established of basic punctuation and symbols, while those remaining were transferred to the glyphs. No final position was reached as to whether ligatures should be included in the standard; the issue remains open.

It was agreed that it is necessary to register the entire standard Old Church Slavonic script, with such font extensions as are required for electronic document exchange, in order to functionally reproduce Old Church Slavonic.

It was agreed that registration should be independent of currently available fonts. Regardless of the type of registration Unicode eventually implements, whether partial or complete, Slavonic scholars should conform to the standard as proposed. In the event that insufficiencies are later noted in the standard script, the Belgrade team will recommend further codes from the Private Use Area of Unicode. Such recommendations will also be open to public discussion (see http://www.sanu.ac.yu/Cirilica/Eng.aspx ).

Unicode: Character Encoding and Fonts, Achievements, Problems and Solutions

Sebastian Kempgen (University of Bamberg)

The lecture will introduce the particants to the idea behind Unicode and its importance and will outline the status quo of encoding the alphabets and characters which are relevant for Slavic philology, especially medievalists. In the second part, four strategies will be shown that can be to solve those problems which so far have not received satisfactory solutions. The first strategy is the enhancement of the Unicode standard itself by submitting appropriate proposals, the second strategy is to use alternate fonts, the third is to use the “private area” of Unicode, and the third strategy is to make use of OpenType programming within OpenType fonts. For each solution, relevant examples will be given using Slavic material.

The Cult of John of Rila: a new data

Ivan Dobrev (Sofia University)

The present paper discusses some of the results from my research of the cult of St. John of Rila and of the Rila Monastery to which a forthcoming book of mine entitled “St. John of Rila. Vol. 1” is dedicated.

First, I argue that the so-called Rila hymnographic school of the tenth century did not exist at all and that the earliest place where St. John was praised with hymns was Sofia (Serdica, Sredec) – in the second half of the twelfth century rather than in the tenth century. The Byzantine governor of Serdica in that time, George Skylitzes, composed in Greek a Vita of St. John and a cycle of canons in eight modes in his honour together with an introductory canon. This cycle (without the introductory canon) survived only in a Middle Bulgarian translation in two Rila manuscripts (in both of them it was copied twice). The beginning of the introductory canon survived as a part of another canon – a compilation (originally composed in Greek but preserved in a Middle Bulgarian translation), whose second and more extensive part is dedicated to the translation of the saint’s relics to Hungary. Portions of this cycle of canons (using the method of reverse translation, from Middle Bulgarian into Greek, I established that the canons for the 1st, 2nd, 4th, and 6th modes contain an acrostich with the name of George Skylitzes) formed the basis of all Bulgarian services in honour of St. John of Rila -- for October 19 and August 18. The service for October 19 was composed in Serdica (Sofia), whereas the service for August 18 was composed in the Rila Mountain – but not in the tenth century, as it has been previously thought, but in the thirteenth century: it included the canon for the second mode by George Skylitzes.

Second, I put forward the hypothesis that the Rila Monastery with a church dedicated to the Nativity of the Theotokos but with a feast on August 15, that is the Dormintion of the Theotokos, was built in its present-day location in the fourteenth century in the framework of the activities of protosevastos Xreljo. There existed an earlier monastery “The Dormition of the Theotokos” in place Osenovo, located to the south of Tsarev vrăx, in Knishava, in the direction to the present-day village Osenovo in the southern foots of the Rila Mountain. The monks of this old monastery possessed a wonder-working icon of the Theotokos Osenovica, which was moved in the time of Xreljo to the newly erected Rila Monastery in its present-day location. Later this icon disappeared. It was mentioned in the inscription of Xreljo Tower. As it could be concluded from a marginal note of a Rila monk, in the seventeenth century the old monastery in Knishava dedicated to the Dormition of the Theotokos and having its feast on August 15 (in this monastery St. John was celebrated on August 18), still existed. Close to it was located the original cave of St. John and its grave.

Third, I argue that St. John of Rila did not die in 946 but at least three decades later. Also, in my view, he was not born in Skrino, a village in the Ruen Mountain in Dupinitsa region, as this village had never been in Serdica region, while according to the hagiographical materials the saint was born in a village in Serdica region. I suspect that the birth place of St. John was a village named Skrino which was located in the Western Stara Planina, near the present-day village Zimevitsa. This Skrino was located to the north of Serdica and the traveling by foot to it from Serdica took 12 hours, as it is shown in the sources.

Digitizing Rila monastery manuscripts collection

Iskra Hristova, Dimitar Peev, Andrej Bojadžiev (Sofia University)

The main project objective is to increase networking among young specialists in the humanities with special focus on the dissemination of scholarly information on the legacy of medieval manuscripts through a global network and on facilitating communication between academic and cultural centres with similar interests.

The project seeks to promote access to hi-tech infrastructures in the field of humanities, to ensure better work conditions and to contribute to avoiding “brain drain” phenomena. The project focuses on creating Virtual Library and Digital Archives of the Rila Monastery manuscript collection.

The Virtual Library and Digital Archives will provide both scholars and students interested in the Bulgarian and generally Balkan cultural legacy information on

  • the medieval manuscript heritage preserved in the oldest and biggest Bulgarian monastery and the present-day research of it
  • large-scale opportunities for investigation of the Rila Monastery manuscript collection by specialists as well as by non-specialists
  • new principles and methods of preservation and of cultural artefacts and of dissemination of the scholarly results concerning their study
  • mobility opportunities for young researchers

Further, the Project participants aim at building an internet site with a catalogue and description of Rila Monastery Slavonic manuscripts, representing the best pieces of medieval Bulgarian book-making accompanied with a sufficient amount of digital copies of the manuscripts. For this purpose the Consortium plans to:

  • digitise and update the existing catalogue;
  • make digital copies of every page of the manuscripts (over 100 000 pages) with professional digital camera and photo equipment;
  • organise a conference on problems of studying and preserving cultural legacy.

A special emphasis will be placed on the interrelations of the Balkan cultural legacy with European heritage. Further, a goal of the activities planned is also to ensure easier and more attractive dissemination of the knowledge of the interaction of the past and present among young people.

To sum up, the Project will provide the opportunities of working with highest quality digital copies of the manuscripts, better safe-keeping by not-touching them and in this way avoid their physical damage in the process of dissemination of the knowledge among specialists, students and broader public interested in the contribution of the past to the present culture and mentality.

The project "Christian Hagiology and Pagan Beliefs" (Computer data base on the basis of Balkan Cyrillic manuscripts)

Elena Tomova, Radoslava Stankova, Maya Petrova, Dilyana Radoslavova, Marina Jordanova, Rumyan Lazov (Institute of LIterature, BAS, Institute of Mathematics and Informatics, BAS)

Project objective and activities

The main objective of the project is the creation of an universal electronic data base of hagiological information based upon texts found in Balkan Cyrillic manuscripts and the electronic exposure of archaeographic, palaeographic, codicological, textological, literary, folkloristic, iconographic and general cultural information on the cults of some of the most popular saints in the literary tradition and the folklore of Slavia Orthodoxa and Slavia Romana: Theothokos, St John of Rila, St Paraskeve (Petka) of Turnovo; St Paraskeve (Petka) of Rome. "Christian Hagiology and Pagan Believes" Project was also based on the basic principles of another project of the Department of Old Bulgarian Literature – "Repertorium of Old Bulgarian Literature and Letters", in which the team members participate, too, and have gained a rich research experience.

"Christian Hagiology and Pagan Believes" research conference (2006) was one of the main practical aims of the project. The interdisciplinary approach and the modern interpretation of the literary and folklore sources were applied in order to study the relations between Christianity and Paganism as a result of a complex process. The forthcoming conference proceedings will demonstrate the state of art in the mediaeval studies concerning the project topic and will make available the literary and the folklore cults of popular saints in the culture of the Eastern Orthodoxy to a wide range of specialists.

Project Results and their application

  1. Very important aim of the project was to present in details the hagiological complexes of the cults, the literary and the folklore glorifying of the saints on a great territory of the Balkans and the Eastern Europe: Bulgaria, Serbia (monastery scriptoria), Month Athos, Greece, Romania (monasteries of Putna, Dragomirna, the libraries in Brashov and Yash), Moldavia, Poland (the Monastery of Przemysl), Slovenia (Kopitar Collection), Croatia (HAZU), Russia (from the south and central territories with the Moscow monasteries to the Northern Ocean and the most distant scetes and monasteries).
  2. The electronic processing of materials which are various in contents gives great opportunities to use the data base for various research tasks, for quick search of specific information (bibliography, genre classifications, linguistic features, iconography, relicts, churches, cult history, etc.).
  3. The on-line version of the data base will make it accessible for use and research by mediaevalists and other specialists all over the world. The project will make available the information on the problems of Christian hagiology and pagan believes, as seen by Bulgarian and Serbian scholars. Thus the project meets the modern requirements for research cooperation in the field of Mediaeval studies and Old Bulgarian and Old Slavic studies, and for the perspectives of new international projects (research forums, publications, electronic libraries, digitization of Cyrillic manuscripts in foreign libraries). A very useful idea is the intention of the team to realize an English language version of the date base within the frames of a future project.
  4. Among those who could benefit from the project results are specialists in various fields, university and school teachers, graduate and post graduate students, and the general public.

Picture Database of Balkan Cultural Heritage

Sebastian Kempgen (invited speaker, University of Bamberg)

The presentation will give an overview of a project run by the author: to build a database of photographs from the Balkans documenting various aspects of its cultural heritage and to present the results on the “Kodeks” web server. Recent photographs from Veliki Preslav, Plovdiv and Rila Monastery (especially concerning Ivan Rilski) will be shown as an example. It will also be demonstrated how current web technologies like Google, Google Earth, the Wikipedia, and Wikimapia can be used to create a new user experience and new research possibilities. A second database that will be shown is a collection of >1000 historical postcards from the Balkans.

Метаданные в системах описания средневековых славянских рукописях: глосарии, тезауруси и авторитетные файлы

Вера Подковырова (Библиотека РАН), Анисава Милтенова (Институт литературы, БАН)

Структура представления информации в любой информационно-поисковой системе определяется целями ее создания, которые в свою очередь, обусловлены потребностями реальных и потенциальных пользователей. При описании рукописных материалов в подобной системе главная сложность заключается в том, что ее пользователями являются не только исследователи-читатели, но и заполняющие систему специалисты-хранители. Система должна удовлетворять их требования: прежде всего, быть удобной, понятной и достаточно простой при заполнении, но с другой стороны – на столько четко определять процесс заполнения, чтобы допустить минимальное количество разночтений и сделать информацию (часто неизученную), максимально находимой для читателя. Для решения этих проблем главным препятствием является недостаточная разработанность терминологии, особенно при необходимости ее перевода на разные языки.

Именно здесь и проявляется насущность не только разработки значительного количества глоссариев, тезаурусов и авторитетных файлов, но и, прежде всего, необходимость четкой обусловленности самой структуры этой справочной системы. Сообщение будет посвящено описанию этой системы при представлении рукописных материалов, определению дифференциации в них функции и структуры словарной статьи, сопоставлению различий в существующих традициях описания средневековых рукописей и, соответственно, представлении метаданных в различных информационно-поисковых системах.

The Monastery of Dečani: Its history, artistic and manuscript book heritage.

Danica Popović (SANU, Belgrad)

The Monastery of Dečani, with its church dedicated to the Ascension, is situated in the region of Metohija, at the bottom of the Prokletije range. An endowment and funerary church of King Stefan Uroš III (1322–31), it undoubtedly falls among the supreme achievements created under the patronage of the Serbian holy dynasty of Nemanjić. As if by a miracle, the monastery has withstood all ordeals over the centuries, surviving into our times in a perfect state of preservation. Today, as ever, the sacral core and meaningful focus of its prayerful and liturgical life are the miracle-working relics of the Holy King Stefan of Dečani. The monastery is an architectural whole comprising within its massive enclosure wall the church, the refectory, dormitories and the archimandritia, but the complex also includes sketes and cells whose remains are scattered in its surroundings. Monumental in size and richly decorated, the church is a masterpiece of architecture and sculpture in the Romano-Gothic style. Conceived and executed as a large-scale system, the fresco programme fully conforms to the Byzantine tradition. About one thousand scenes and figures combined into some twenty liturgical and iconographic cycles offer an erudite theological illustration of salvation history through all its stages. Within this general system, the Nemanjićs have found their place: their historical, funerary and posthumous portraits communicate the message about the divine election and holiness of the dynasty. The monastery has a remarkably valuable treasury with a large number of objects, such as icons, objects of precious metals, wood, textile, dating from the fourteenth to nineteenth century.

With about 160 manuscript and 17 early printed books in its possession, Dečani falls among the most important medieval book centres in the Balkans. There predominate liturgical books – gospels, hieratika, epistle lectionaries, menaia etc, but there are also works of patristic literature and religious poetry. As evidenced by their margin inscriptions, manuscript books were copied in the cells and sketes of Dečani throughout the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, and even later, under Ottoman rule. Yet, most came to the monastery as commissions, usually from Hilandar. Some manuscripts are richly illuminated, to mention but the Parenesis of St Ephrem of Syria (1337), Epistle Lectionary No 25 (1350–60), Anthology of the Teachings of St Isaac of Syria (1360–70), Tetraevangelion No 6 (1440), Dečani Commemoration Book (1595). The use of printed books at the monastery is documented from the late fifteenth century. The monastery also possesses a small but precious collection of documents. Apart from the illustrious Foundation Charter of 1330, it includes ownership documents in Serbian and Ottoman Turkish, episcopal grammata, alms collecting permits. Even some of them are fine examples of calligraphy and manuscript illumination.

Today the Monastery of Dečani is a coenobitic male monastery with about thirty monks and novices under the leadership of abbot Teodosije, Vicar Bishop of Lipljan. In the dramatic political realities of Kosovo and Metohija, the brotherhood of Dečani pursue their liturgical and spiritual mission devotedly, and fulfil numerous daily duties, from field labour, icon painting and wood working to publishing. Therefore, the significance and radiance of this monastery extends far beyond the local and national boundaries.

Hilandar Monastery: History, Art and Manuscript Heritage

Irena Špadijer, Vladan Trijić (Belgrade University)

Hilandar, a Serbian monastery on the Athos Peninsula, was founded in 1198 by two notable monks: Simeon, the former Grand Župan Stefan Nemanja (1166-1196) and his youngest son Rastko – monk Sava, who was the founder of the independent Serbian church. In the course of its long history, Hilandar has become one of the most important spiritual and cultural centres of the Serbs, in which the cult of St Simeon and St Sava has been revered.

The architecture of the monastery katholikon, built during the reign of King Milutin (1282-1321), pyrgoi and parekklisi, wall paintings, a collection of icons, and the treasury, attest to the highest artistic achievements and the monastery’s rich past. The old Serbian literature – from its beginnings at the end of the 12th century by way of the most eminent medieval writers of the 13th and 14th centuries, and during the long subjugation under the Turks – developed and flourished on the Athos Peninsula. For more than seven hundred years (12th -19th century) Hilandar was the centre of lively bibliographical activity. The manuscripts treasured in Hilandar comprise the oldest and largest Serbian collection of that kind. Although not preserved in its full scope and glory, it numbers over 1000 Slavonic, and around 180 Greek codices. The Hilandar Archives contains a rich collection of medieval chrysobulls, charters and documents written in Serbian, Greek and Turkish.

The origin of the Hilandar collection ought to be associated with the activities of St Sava on Athos. The embryo of the future library included books needed for the liturgical service in a monastery – those which Sava could have only obtained on the Holy Mountain. As early as the monastery’s foundation, manuscripts were brought to Mount Athos from Serbian lands, the most outstanding among them being Miroslav’s and Vukan’s Gospels. In the first century of its existence, the Serbian imperial lavra became a large centre of manuscript production. Dozens of manuscripts have survived from 13th century. In 1263, Theodore Grammatikos (Spanos) copied for Domentijan the Hexameron in the Pyrgos of Transfiguration on Spasova Voda, and about the same time Theodul wrote Theodul’s Oktoechos for the hermitage in Karyes. Many linguistic and orthographic phenomena important for medieval Serbian literacy originated in Hilandar. In the 14th century, the most monumental and significant codices were either written in Hilandar, or were bestowed upon the monastery as gifts (Chil.1, 9, 13, 14, etc.), and most distinguished Serbian scribes worked in Hilandar. In the ensuing centuries, the monastery was a centre of lively literary and scribal activities.

The structure of manuscript collection of Hilandar was primarily determined by its liturgical character. Therefore, codices of liturgical content predominate; the collection also includes religious works, as well as monastic-ascetic literature and some apocryphal compositions, historiographic documents, etc.

The rich manuscript collections of Hilandar suffered various acts of plunder starting from the Middle Ages until the 19th century; fires which broke out in the monastery on several occasions (especially in 1772 and 1776) devoured a considerable number of books. In addition, many notable manuscripts were simply removed from Hilandar. As a consequence of these and many other circumstances, European manuscript collections today comprise a large number of Athonite manuscripts (in Moscow, St Petersburg, Berlin, Vienna, Paris, Sofia, etc), a considerable number of which were directly associated with Hilandar or are the works of Hilandar scribes.

A fire also broke out in Hilandar in March 2004. It destroyed the considerable part of the monastic complex, but fortunately the main church remained untouched. Also, the manuscript collection did not suffer any damage.

The State-of-Arts and New Perspectives in the Study of the Manuscript Hymnographic Heritage of the Zograph Monastery

Georgi Popov (Sofia University)

The manuscripts of hymnographic content, such as Triodia, Menaia, Octoechoi and some others, are of great importance amongst the Slavonic manuscripts preserved in St. George Zograph Monastery on Mount Athos. In the present paper, a survey of the studies of these hymnographic manuscripts is made. A special attention is paid to the Dragan’s Menaion, a Middle Bulgarian manuscript of the thirteenth century. It is argued that a complete diplomatic edition of this manuscript should be made according to the peculiarities of its content and genre. Further, it is suggested that most of the Slavonic Triodia kept in the Zograph Monastery Library contain the New Triodion Redaction executed on Mount Athos in the first half of the fourteenth century. To prove this hypothesis it is necessary to juxtapose in detail the Slavonic manuscript Triodia kept in the Zograph Monastery Library with the two Middle Bulgarian New Redaction Triodia, nos. 23 and 24, kept now in St. Catherine Sinai Monastery.

The founders of monasteries as centers of production of manuscripts in 14th century in Bulgaria.

Nina Georgieva-Gagova (Torun University, Institute of Literature, BAS)

The independent status of private religious foundations, especially rulers’ one, in medieval Byzantium and South-Slavic countries allows them to provide activities, relatively independent from the local Churches - for instance, the choice of the typikon and the organization of book production, stimulated by the presents of well-educated monks from an aristocratic origin. This text discusses the statute of monasteries of that kind and presents the information of car Joan Alexander’s foundations and some others, connected to them. All the available data about the book production in these monasteries is collected and the question of what was their role in the 14-th century’s reforms is proposed here for a discussion. Fragments of the foundation’s documents (gramoti), also photos of the biggest part of the manuscripts related to the issue are attached to the text in a digital format.

Digitization Strategy Development : Experiences from the ASO Project

Alenka Kavčič-Čolić (invited speaker, National and University Library, Ljubljana)

In June 2007 the National and University Library “St.Clement of Ohrid”-Skopje (NUL), the Library of the University of Graz (UBG) and the National and University Library of Slovenia (NUK) started a one-year project sponosored by the Austrian Science and Research Liason Office (ASO) titled: Strategy development for the digitization of a special collections within the NUL for the purpose of the protection and preservation of the Macedonian written cultural heritage (Project No. 3-11-2007). The aim of the project is to produce a strategic document on digitization at the institutional level for NUL and give a methodological overview of the digitization using the existing experience, knowledge and implementation from the partner institutions in Slovenia and Austria. At the conference different approaches to the digitisation strategies and the recent results of the project will be presented.

Electronic Edition of Brižinski Spomeniki/ Monumenta Frisingensia

Matija Ogrin (Scientific Research Centre, Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts, Ljubljana), Tomaš Erjavec (Department of Knowledge Technologies, Jožef Stefan Institute, Ljubljana, Slovenia)

The 10th century Monumenta frisingensia (Freising Manuscripts, Slovenian: Brižinski spomeniki) – are the oldest written Slovenian text and also the oldest Slavic text written in the Latin alphabet. The manuscripts consist of three religious texts, comprised within the Codex latinus monacensis 6426. The Monumenta frisingensia (MF) were written in Carolingian minuscule after 972 and before 1023. The provenance of the MF is either Upper Carinthia or Freising (now in Austria or Germany respectively); in any case, they were used in the Carinthian estates of the Freising diocese. Slovenian historians, linguistic and literary scholars consider the MF to be the very first document of early Slovenian language.

A collaborative project “Scholarly digital editions of Slovenian literature” (http://nl.ijs.si/e-zrc/index-en.html) was undertaken to provide an application of traditional text-critical principles and editorial technique to the publication of selected Slovenian texts in the digital medium. Among these editions, the MF digital edition occupies a superior position. The digital edition of the Monumenta is based upon a printed one.[1] Due to their importance, the book edition of the Manuscripts encompasses a complex apparatus with facsimile, diplomatic, critical and phonetic transcriptions, translations, glossary and more.

Besides all these components, our digital edition contains some diplomatic and critical transcriptions by earlier Slavic scholars (in full text) and enables parallel views to compare them. As another extension, specific for digital edition, we decided to include the digitized audio recordings of the read manuscripts and integrate the segmented audio files to both phonetic transcription and modern Slovenian normalization. The scope of this audio extension is to offer a phonetic reconstruction (based on historical linguistics) of mediaeval Slovenian speech which can be sensibly juxtaposed and compared with transcriptions. In this way, the two disciplines (historical phonetics and textual criticism) are juxtaposed, focused on the same object. Besides, we included some pedagogical materials, aimed for school-reading, where audio component with the archaic pronunciation can produce a clear image of historical development of the Slovenian language.

Such materials present significant challenges for encoding, esp. the high density and variety of markup, extreme parallelism (per-line alignment between the text views),[2] and special historic and phonetic characters used in the transcriptions.

The paper details our methodology used to turn the printed edition (plus extensions) into a Web edition with a standardized encoding, extensive hyperlinking, and multimedia capabilities. We concentrate on the following issues:

  • Structuring of materials
  • Adoption of standard solutions: Unicode / XML / XSLT / TEI-P4
  • Collaborative practices using fast prototyping and cyclical improvement: up-converting to XML–TEI ? down-converting to HTML ? proofs, corrections ? re-applying the up-conversion …
  • Segmentation of audio recordings, use of milestone elements
  • Data architecture and linking (commentaries, transcriptions, glossary, comprehensive bibliography on MF up to 2004)
  • New ways of research, opened by this edition.
  1. Brižinski spomeniki. Znanstvenokritična izdaja. Slovenska akademija znanosti in umetnosti, Ljubljana, 1992, 1993, 2004.
  2. C. M. Sperberg-McQueen, Lou Burnard (eds.) Text Encoding Initiative: Guidelines for Electronic Text Encoding and Interchange, TEI P4, XML-compatible edition. TEI Consortium, 2002.

XSLT and the Analysis of Textual Variation

Ralph Cleminson (University of Portsmouth, Great Britain)

It is axiomatic that one of the properties of electronic texts is their potential for multiple use. This paper, using material from Slavonic biblical manuscripts, demonstrates how this can be realised with texts marked up for the generation of critical editions. The use of XSLT to generate an edition from a text marked up with embedded variants has been described previously. The present contribution shows how the same initial encoding can be used as a basis for the automatic statistical analysis of variant readings, also by means of XSLT. The results can be used to assess the extent of diversity amongst witnesses, and also to reveal degrees of affinity between particular manuscripts. The method may similarly contribute to the establishment of a base text. The limitations of the process are also noted, in particular the fact that being automatic, it can only evaluate variation quantitatively, not qualitatively. The results are compared with those obtained by traditional critical methods with a view to determining the extent to which the two approaches are able to validate each other.

A computerized database of medieval Slavic gospel menologies

Cynthia Vakareliyska (University of Oregon), David Birnbaum (Pittsburgh University).

The presentation demonstrates features of an on-line electronic collation of medieval Slavic menologies, or calendars of saints, that is currently in development. At present, the database consists primarily of the full texts of individual Slavic menologies, but it will be expanded eventually to include other calendar genres such as menaia and typika. and to include important early Greek calendars such as the two editions of the Constantinople Typikon, and early Roman Catholic martyrologies.

The saints’ entries from each individual calendar are tagged in XML markup for searchable features. The collation allows English-language searches on the directory level, by calendar code name, manuscript genre, century, repository, and country of provenance of the manuscript; and on the text level, by generic name of a saint or event (e.g., “Theodora”, “synaxis”), by sex (male, female, and mixed-group saints), by national tradition of later saints (e.g., Serbian, Russian), and, eventually, by keyword in the Church Slavonic text. Search features for comparison of specific calendars in the corpus eventually should include percentages of corresponding or non-corresponding entries.

A Proposal for Digitizing the Hilandar Copy of the Tolkovaya Paleya

Alen Novalija (CEU, Budapest)

In my MA thesis, The World Through the Eyes of the Tolkovaya Paleya – the Story of Original Sin in the Hilandar Manuscript (written and defended at the Medieval Department of the Central European University, Budapest) I dealt with history, types, and functions of and scholarship on the Paleya, and with the Hilandar manuscript of the Tolkovaya Paleya of 1633 in particular, which is the only non-Russian copy of the Tolkovaya Paleya and which so far has been completely neglected by scholars.

A Paleya is a type of historical and exegetical writing compiled by Byzantine and Orthodox Slavic authors, and in some redactions taking on a strong anti-Judaic polemic character. The author’s addresses to the Jew range from compassionate pity to fierce offence, but in this thesis I tried to show that this was a literary, instructive, and exegetic device rather than a true attack on any specific Jews. Scholars of the nineteenth century demarcated different types of Paleyas, especially trying to establish the time the Tolkovaya Paleya emerged and its geographical provenance. Consensus on the last issue, however, has not been reached yet, as some opt for an early Bulgarian origin, while others support the hypothesis that it was compiled in thirteenth-century Russia.

In the first chapter of my thesis I presented the characteristics of all types of the Paleya, and offered an overview of the scholarly research on the Paleya to date with some critical remarks. I put the Paleya into a broader context of Byzantine and Old Russian literature and try to establish the reasons for its emergence, its functions, audience, and diffusion. As regards its functions, I hope I have managed to demonstrate that the Paleya was the substitute for the Old Testament and its chronological overview, and also helpful in the liturgical field. It was an encyclopaedic companion that offered a comprehensive worldview and guidelines for further reflection, rather than a handbook for the fight against the Jews and Judaism. At the end of the chapter I gave a detailed description of the Hilandar manuscript, discuss the copyist and reasons for his work.

The second chapter of the thesis is the edited text of the story of the Fall with my English translation, which gives the reader an opportunity to come into direct contact with the text and, for one who knows Church Slavonic, to see the seventeenth-century South Church Slavonic standard and its interaction with the East Slavic prototype. In my transcription of the twelve pages of the manuscript (48v-54r) I endeavoured to be as faithful to the original as possible, which means I included all extant types of characters (e.g. I differentiated between an ordinary ‘O’ and the ‘eyed O’, as the copyist himself made a very significant difference), superscribed and subscribed letters and marks, marginal notes and comments (at their exact place on the margins), and I accurately transferred all the nomina sacra and ‘stricken-through’ (crossed out) words precisely as they appear. In the third chapter, a commentary on the edited text, I explored its relation to the corresponding texts of the Bible, genre aspects in the text, and its sources. Moreover, I connected the Paleya’s handling of the story of original sin to the patristic tradition, and compared it to the related accounts in other Paleyas, with the special attention to their apocryphal sources.

Through the courtesy of the Hilandar Research Library, the Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, USA, I obtained high-quality xerographic copies made from the microform (one 35 mm microfilm reel) of the Hilandar Tolkovaya Paleya manuscript.

The first scholar who found and identified this codex was V. Istrin on his research trip in 1894 (he published the report from this trip in 1896). The first to catalogue all the manuscripts of the Hilandar library was Sava Hilandarac in 1896 and 1907, but he indicated the codex’s content just with the transcription of the title from 3r. When medieval Slavic and biblical studies in Russia collapsed after the 1917 Revolution, references to the Paleya in scholarly literature were sparse and vague, and the Hilandar manuscript was completely forgotten. Compiling the catalogue of Cyrillic manuscripts of the Hilandar Monastery in 1978, D. Bogdanović registered it as the Hexaemeron of John Chrysostom, and under this title the microform was stored in the Hilandar Research Library in Ohio. Just recently the correction was made in their online catalogue. T. Slavova compiled the fullest catalogue of Paleyas in 2002, but she also admits she did not know what happened with the Hilandar copy. The fact of misidentifying the Hilandar Tolkovaya Paleya and its subsequent disappearance from the scholarly scene bears witness to both relative obscurity of the Paleya genre among the South Slavs and the lack of interest in it of South Slavic experts on medieval literature.

The Hilandar manuscript could be digitized using the XML language according to the TEI guidelines. As I still own the xerographic copies, the work could be commenced without delay.

Knowledge Technologies and Digital Libraries for Presentation of Bulgarian Folklore Heritage

K. Rangočev (IMI-BAS), D. Lučev (Ethnographic Institute with Museum-BAS), D. Paneva-Marinova (IMI-BAS)

The present paper describes the scope, conceptions, relations and implementation of an ontological model of the knowledge about Bulgarian folklore artefacts, exploring the use of knowledge technologies for presenting the semantics of valuable phenomena of the traditional culture. This model is a step to the development of the digital library for the “Bulgarian Folklore Heritage” virtual exposition which is a part of the “Knowledge Technologies for Creation of Digital Presentation and Significant Repositories of Folklore Heritage” project.

Web-Applications of Full-Text Database "Manuscript" as Tools of Processing, Search, Representation and Analysis of Ancient Slavonic Texts

Viktor Baranov (invited speaker, Iževsk State Technical University)

The report is devoted to the possibilities of the information analytical system (IAS) "Manuscript" designed for the comprehensive study of Ancient Slavonic texts and publication of them on the Internet.

The IAS basis is the database comprising the transcriptions of the full texts and meta and analytical information on the texts, manuscripts and their fragments. The database filling and editing and also processing and representation of the query results are organized using special web-modules: of the editor OldEd, query and retrieval module, modules of electronic single and multi-text publications, module of morphological analysis and some other.

A special attention is given to the use of the web-forms of the new module of work with the corpus of texts for formation of retrievals on the basis of the meta and analytical information on the basis of the grammar data of the database and also to the use of the electronic morphological dictionary of the Old Russian for obtaining information on the peculiarities of the language of the ancient Slavonic written treasures.