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A digitalized corpus of Slavic Old Testament apocrypha. Paleography, textual criticism, codicology.

A project financed by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Republic of Poland

Keywords:
Apocryphal literature; computer database, Polish medieval literature,
Slavs, Church Slavic literature, Old Czech literature, Old Croatian literature, Christianity

Project summary
University of Łódź; Faculty of Philology; Chair of Southern Slavic Studies, Department of Palaeoslavistic Studies and Folk Culture

A great part of Slavic medieval texts ? in the Byzantine and Roman cultural spheres alike ? represent the so-called apocryphal literature, which forms a kind of supplement and commentary to the Bible. Particularly interesting is the tradition connected with the Old Testament, which contains narratives elucidating the creation of the universe, throws light upon the events mentioned in the Old Testament as well as comments on the revelations and visions seen by various characters.

Despite the fact that most of the texts in question are translations of Greek or Latin originals, there also exists a number of original Slavic works drawing on the Old Testament tradition. Copious research on the Slavic Old Testament apocrypha has been carried out since the advent of Slavic studies in the mid-19th century; nevertheless, a complete and comprehensive edition summing up what we know about these works is wanting.

The existent catalogues, though designed to provide a systematic overview of the research conducted so far, are outdated ? both in scope and methodology. They do not take into account all the known texts and sources; neither do they provide accurate and exhaustive descriptions. Moreover, an inherent drawback of all printed materials is that they cannot be updated after being published.

Therefore, the authors of the project are convinced that creating another book catalogue of the Slavic apocrypha would not meet the modern scholarly standards;  it would also ignore the vast opportunities offered by contemporary technology, thanks to which a digital repository, once created, may be continuously enriched with new data. For these reasons, we have decided to produce a computer database, building on the experience gained from preparing the edition of South Slavic Old Testament apocrypha (cf. Apokryfy i legendy starotestamentowe Słowian południowych [The Old Testament apocrypha and legends of the South Slavs], G. ed. Minczew & M. Skowronek, Cracow 2006).

The digital catalogue of Slavic Old Testament apocrypha will indubitably be a novelty among the resources and scholarly treatments currently available in the domains of Slavic and Polish studies. It will serve to store information concerning the texts in question, their formal diversity and distribution.

The objective of the authors is to provide a parallel overview of the apocryphal tradition of the Western Slavs and the Croatians on the one hand ? closely connected with the Roman cultural sphere ? and the remaining South Slavs as well as the East Slavs on the other hand, belonging to the Byzantine domain. The data will be stored in electronic format, initially as a local database, finally to be published in the form of a webpage in Polish and English

Poprawiony: poniedziałek, 07 marca 2011 16:07