“BEGIN AS YOU MEAN TO GO ON”: THE OPENING CHAPTERS
OF THE PALAEA HISTORICA IN GREEK, SLAVONIC, AND ROMANIAN
Abstract: The aim of this paper is to provide a starting point for a comparison between the four edited versions of the Palaea Historica: the Greek one, the first Slavonic translation, the Romanian translation and the recently published second Slavonic translation. The four versions diverge from the very beginning, with the Greek and the first Slavonic translation providing a discussion on the Holy Trinity before moving on to God’s creation of the world, whereas the Romanian version omits the theological introduction and expands the cosmogonical portion with a paraphrase of Epiphanius’ Hexaemeron. The second Slavonic translation omits the entire description of the six days of creation in order to focus on Adam and the symbolic importance of his name. Another point of interest is the treatment of a fragment condemning the heretical view that Satan was Cain’s father, which is not conserved in the first Slavonic version and the Romanian versions.
Keywords: Biblical Apocrypha, Byzantine Literature, Dualist Heresies, Old Romanian Translations, Old Slavonic Translations
Institute for South-East European Studies,