What patristic authors are extant in Old Slavonic?

An interesting volume came into my hands lately:

Regarding your question as to what patristic works have been translated into Old Slavonic, the best resource to check with is a catalogue of the Old Slavonic texts prepared by a group of Russian scholars two years ago: Katalog Pam’jatnikov drevnerusskoj pismennosti XI-XIV vv. (rukopisnyje knigi), Studiorum Slavicorum Orbis (Saint Petersburg: Bulanin, 2014). This work covers XI-XIV centuries and includes one section on Scripture and one section on patristic texts with a list of MSS for each particular writing. …

The section on patristic writers is on pages 98-280, preceeded by translations of Scripture and followed by hagiographic (mostly Byzantine) works, homilies and other things.

The work is, of course, in Russian, which makes it rather difficult for the rest of us.  But I thought that I would have a go at seeing what Google Translate could make of it.  The results were less good than I had hoped, but better than I had feared.  Here is what I could make of the list of authors:

  • Augustine
  • Agapetus
  • Abba Ammon
  • Amphilochius of Iconium
  • Anastasius of Antioch
  • Anastasius Sinaiticus – a lot of this
  • Andrew of Crete
  • Anthony
  • Athanasius of Alexandria – lots
  • Basil of Amasea
  • Basil of Ancyra – lots
  • Gennadius of Constantinople
  • Gennadius of Jerusalem
  • George of Nicomedia
  • Patriarch Germanus I of Constantinople
  • Gregory of Antioch
  • Gregory the Dialogist (Pope Gregory the Great)
  • Gregory of Nyssa
  • Gregory of Sinai
  • Gregory Thaumaturgus
  • Diadochus of Photiki (?)
  • Dionysius of Alexandria
  • Dionysius the Areopagite
  • Dorotheus of Gaza
  • Dorotheus of Tyre
  • Evagrius
  • Eusebius of Alexandria
  • Eusebius of Caesarea – looks like bits of the Quaestiones ad Marinum
  • Epiphanius
  • Ephrem the Syrian
  • John Damascene
  • John Chrysostom – an awful lot of this
  • John the Faster, patriarch of Constantinople
  • John Philoponus
  • Hippolytus of Rome
  • Irenaeus of Lyons
  • Isaac the Syrian
  • Isidore of Pelusium – more than you’d expect
  • Hesychius
  • Justin the Philosopher (i.e. Justin Martyr)
  • Cyril of Alexandria
  • Cyril of Jerusalem
  • Clement of Alexandria
  • Clement of Ohrid
  • Pope Leo I – Tome to Flavian
  • Macarius the Great
  • Maximus the Confessor
  • Nemesius
  • Nicetas of Heraclea
  • Nilus of Sinai
  • Olympiodorus
  • Palladius
  • Peter of Alexandria
  • Peter of Antioch
  • Peter of Damascus
  • Saba
  • Symeon the New Theologian
  • Sosipater
  • Sophronius, Patriarch of Jerusalem
  • Timothy, Archbishop of Alexandria
  • Timothy, Presbyter of Constantinople
  • Theodoret of Cyrrhus – a fair amount
  • Theophanes
  • Theophilus of Alexandria
  • Epictetus the Philosopher

The section ends with anonymous homilies.  I’ve left the order above as it is in the Russian, for ease of location.

Happy fishing!


6 thoughts on “What patristic authors are extant in Old Slavonic?

  1. Thank you very much for posting this valuable information.
    The question that immediately comes to mind is, “Are there any significant differences between the Slavonic texts of the church fathers, and the Greek/Latin/Whatever texts of the same?” and “Are there any texts preserved in Slavonic that are not longer extant in their original languages?” I ask these two questions particularly in regard to the earliest church fathers.
    Given that there are significant differences between the version of Jewish War preserved in Slavonic, and the Greek text of Jewish War, it would not come as a shock if the Slavonic texts of the church fathers contained interesting variants.

  2. There are certainly texts in Old Slavonic now lost in Greek, e.g. Methodius. These do differ somewhat from surviving Greek fragments. But of course the first problem is to establish what exists.

  3. Do be careful with drawing conclusions from this. It is indeed an excellent book (as one would expect from its authors), but it does not answer the question “What patristic authors are extant in Old Slavonic?” As the title says, it is a catalogue of works represented in Russian (i.e. East Slavonic) MSS of the 11th to 14th centuries, which is why our friend Methodius, for example, isn’t in the list, because his works only survive in later MSS (even though they were probably translated in the 10th century). Also, because of the way the book is arranged, some works which appear as part of standard collections (e.g. some of the Eclogues of Theodore Daphnopates in the Zlatostruj) are not listed separately under author. Therefore the absence of an author from the list above does not mean that there are none of his writings extant in Slavonic.
    Actually, his presence doesn’t necessarily mean that they are, either. If one takes the very first author on the list, Augustine, his entry lists only one fragment (which, as the catalogue points out, is spurious) found in two florilegia! Therefore one should consult the catalogue, and see precisely which works are listed, and bear in mind that although the entries are probably exhaustive for the range of sources specified, these do not represent the entirety of Slavonic literature.

  4. Thank you very much for this clarification which is very helpful! Most people have no Russian or any Slavonic language, but a good many would still be interested in some kind of roadmap to what exists in the language. We could really use some kind of English language overview.

  5. In the words of Christian Hannick, “An eine ‘Clavis patrum slavicorum’ oder an eine ‘Bibliothekia hagiographica slavica’ zu denken — so erwünscht auch immer derartige Unternehmen wären — gehört für unsere Generation dem Bereich der Träume an.” This was written in 1981. Since then we have seen the appearance of Klimentina Ivanova’s “Bibliotheca Hagiographica Balcano-Slavica” (Sofia, 2008) — but this deals only with hagiography, only with South Slavonic sources, and is in Bulgarian. Meanwhile, within their respective limitations, one can glean a lot from the late Gerhard Podskalsky’s “Christentum und theologische Literatur in der Kiever Rus’ (988-1237)” (Munich, 1982) and “Theologische Literatur des Mittelalters in Bulgarien und Serbien, 865-1459” (Munich, 2000). There is a revised and expanded edition of the former, but that is in Russian; as a supplement to the latter, one can consult Francis Thomson’s review in Byzantinische Zeitschrift, vol.98.

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