Hunting for publications of Methodius in Old Slavonic and Russian

The comments to my article yesterday on the Works of Methodius are very useful.  Commenter “Maureen” has tracked down what look very like publications in Russian of some of the smaller works — precisely the ones that I want to get hold of.

I’ve never tried to get hold of material in Russian, and of course I don’t speak it.  I wonder how best to do so.   A few PDF’s seem definitely called for!

Today I have to go on a journey, so I can’t do more right now, but I shall think about this.

UPDATE: I have now identified an anglicised name for the journal in which the text appears, and a location where I can get copies.  See the comments to the Works of Methodius post for details.

I realise that all this may seem a little dry.  But the details of how I worked out, from a string of Cyrillic characters, where to find a journal in a language I don’t read, might be of general utility.  And having the details online may save me some trouble when I get confused looking for it in the stacks in a week or two!

12 Responses to “Hunting for publications of Methodius in Old Slavonic and Russian”


  1. Maureen

    I’m just sorry I didn’t give you more info to start with, and that I didn’t get back on the stick this morning for you. Clearly I gave up too soon! But you and the other commenters did get it done.

  2. Maureen

    My experience with all scholarship is that we have footnotes and references for a reason. “Trust but verify.” People are fallible, human knowledge is not infinite, and fields of study do make progress.

    Of course, in a Soviet era journal, no doubt one would want to check for both softening of messages (to avoid trouble) and interpretations chosen for their religious/political usefulness out of a range of possibilities. Also for problems caused by lack of access to useful but Soviet-disapproved scholarly materials. (And of course, the usual religious differences in interpretation may apply at any time and place.)

    But if everybody’s always checking everybody anyway, these things shouldn’t be much problem.

    Us not knowing much about Slavonic online resources or folks in the field now — that seems to be more of a problem for this project.

  3. Maureen

    This Old Church Slavonic info/reading lessons site says that there’s really not that many published texts. Apparently the easiest bibliographies to get are actually in the back of the few OCS grammar books in English.

    On the bright side, the big fat dictionary (Lexicon Palaeoslovenico) is in the public domain. http://www.archive.org/details/lexiconpalaeoslo00mikluoft Albeit it translates everything into Greek and Latin.

  4. Maureen

    Okay… I guess they really do mean “Church Slavonic” as opposed to “Old Church Slavonic”. Slavistics.org actually has a list of every OCS mss. (With links to Google Books, et al, also.)

    That doesn’t mean that works by St. Methodius of Olympus/Patara weren’t transmitted through OCS; it just means none of the Slavonic manuscripts with him in ‘em are old enough to be OCS.

  5. Maureen

    This Katarina Slecht paper, “The Question of the Episcopal See of Methodius of Olympus Reconsidered” in Studia Patristica Vol. 34 — part of the papers presented at the Thirteenth International Patristic Conference, Oxford, 1999 — has a bunch of bibliographic references, including some specific manuscript names.

    The earliest ms mentioned seems to be Q.I. 265, at the Russian National Library in St. Petersburg.

    The other mss, at least the ones mentioned in this paper, are:

    cod. no. 110, Moscow Synodal Library (Moskovskaya Sinodal’naya Biblioteka), 16th century. Sister or daughter ms of Q.I. 265.

    cod. no. 41, Moscow Theological Academy (Moskovskaya Dukhovnaya Akademya), 17th century. Copy of cod. no. 110.

    cod. no. 40, Moscow Theological Academy. 17th century. Copy of cod. no. 110.

    A. Vaillant (1930 book in French) says Methodius got translated as early as the middle of the 10th century. The earlier dating by A. Gorskij (in his 1855 description of the Moscow Synodal Library) was that it was an 11th century translation.

  6. Maureen

    Oh, the Russian National Library has an awesome English website! Nice stuff about the Ostromir Gospels anniversary. But I can’t for the life of me get it to spit up “Q.I. 265″ (and I don’t know what the Cyrillic transliteration would be), or Methodius anything. Argh argh argh.

    Maybe somebody could talk to Katharina Bracht? She wrote a book on St. M’s anthropology, so she must know the mss pretty well.

  7. Roger Pearse

    @Maureen: gosh — thank you so much! I’ll look at all these and get back to you.

  8. More on Methodius at Roger Pearse

    [...] Thoughts on Antiquity, Patristics, putting things online, freedom of speech, information access, and more « Hunting for publications of Methodius in Old Slavonic and Russian [...]

  9. Roger Pearse

    Useful paper by Bracht, that! Thank you. The list of manuscripts is also very useful.

    The Vaillant book must be the publication in the Patrologia Orientalis (which I might be able to access next week sometime).

    Thanks for looking at the NLR site. I never have any luck there myself. But if we could find a description of the manuscript, it could only be useful. I’m not at all sure that we yet have an Old Slavonic text of any of Methodius’ works in all this.

  10. Roger Pearse

    How does one find anything on Slavistics.org? The main page doesn’t give one anything! I used this, but it’s not ideal.

  11. Maureen

    “How does one find anything on Slavistics.org?”

    ‘You may hunt it with forks and hope.’

    I just searched various terms (Slavonic, manuscripts, etc.), and then skipped around through the links. But “all pages” is definitely a better way to go! To be fair, it’s obviously a work in progress; and it does make info show up on the search engines, so it’s got plenty of usefulness. Just not the usual kind. :)

  12. Roger Pearse

    I have written to Dr Katarina Bracht, asking if she can tell us where the Slavonic text is published.



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