Średniowieczne herezje dualistyczne na Bałkanach. Źródła słowiańskie
Wolski, Jan Mikołaj
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It would not be an exaggeration to say that research on Bogomilism and other dualist doctrines of the Christian East has undergone an authentic renaissance in the recent decades. Dualism, or the belief in two beginnings – the good Creator of the non-material world and the evil demiurge, maker of matter – is characteristic of certain pre-Christian religious systems, of Gnosticism, and of early Christian heterodox doctrines like Marcionism and Docetism. However, the Byzantine-Slavic world knows four basic dualist movements: Manichaeism, Messalianism, Paulicianism and Bogomilism. It is only natural that the many years’ worth of research on these heresies saw the advancement of numerous hypotheses which can only be rejected in the light of the entire source material known today. Nevertheless, owing to certain works first published in the first half of the 20th century, and most recently republished (often insufficiently updated) in its last decade, some of these hypotheses have been transformed into scholarly dogmas. The refutation of stereotypes concerning the rise, diffusion, cosmology, ecclesiology, liturgical practice and social teachings of the above-mentioned heresies can only be accomplished by means of a ‘return to the sources’. This desideratum of modern scholarship have in the recent years been addressed by the publication of commented editions of previously unknown texts dealing with dualist heresies. The present anthology fits into this trend as well. We hope that the translations offered here will make the sources available to a broader scholarly community, providing researchers with a new historical, theological and culturological perspective. Bearing in mind the rather modest number of works on dualist heresies in the Byzantine-Slavic world available in Polish, the texts published here have been equipped with a basic commentary on their content and history. Based on the sources enclosed in the anthology, confronted with the crucial Greek texts, the foreword provides an attempt to reconstruct the dogmas, prayer practice and social views of the Bogomils. The analysis of Slavic sources dealing with medieval neo-Manichaeism is hampered by a certain problem concerning their originality. Merely a handful of works are genuinely original. Most of the ecclesiastical/legal documents – nomocanons, anathemas in synodica and euchologia (trebniks), etc. – are translated from Greek. However, the Slavic translator’s clear interference in each of these texts enables us to speak of a ‘translation/compilation’, indicating the name of the heresy, the distinctive features of its doctrine and the extent of its spread in Slavic lands – information missing from Byzantine sources. In view of this property, the Slavic compilations can be regarded as their authors’ independent, unique renderings of the Greek originals; for this reason, they have been included in the present collection. It comprises fifteen texts arranged in chronological order: «1. John Exarch, “Hexameron” (excerpts)» Certain erroneous views regarding John Exarch’s testimony on the dualists have been disseminated in the scholarly literature through publications by Jordan Ivanov. In his 1925 book “Bogomilski knigi i legendi”, the Bulgarian scholar concatenated two fragments of the “Hexameron”, presenting them as unitary. In actual fact, there are a number of occasions in John Exarch’s work on which he admonishes Manichaeans and Slavs who remain pagan despite having been baptized. He criticizes dualist cosmogony and pneumatology, according to which Satanael is God’s elder son, the creator of both the visible world and the human soul. Although these fragments clearly refer to Manichaeans (or Paulicians), some regard them as the oldest testimony to the existence of the Bogomil heresy on Bulgarian soil. «2. Cosmas the Priest, “Sermon Against the Heretics” (excerpts)» The oldest Slavic heresiological treatise, this text was written by a cleric well acquainted with Bogomilism, most likely owing to direct contact with its adherents. The treatise has a bipartite structure – the first part is devoted to an exposition of Bogomil teachings and practices, while the second part contains admonitions directed at orthodox clergy, urging for moral renewal in the face of the threat of heresy. Our anthology includes the first part as well as the anathemas against the Bogomils (the chapter “On Faith”) found in the second part. Contrary to the opinions of some scholars, the Sermon is an original work on the textual level. Nevertheless, it should be stressed that it presents the Bogomil doctrine as a compilation of Gnostic, Manichaean, Messalian and Paulician thought. The originality can be demonstrated primarily in the elements of social doctrine pointed out by Cosmas, although even here the Bulgarian heresy has been influenced by the anti-feudal and anti-church pathos of the Paulicians and the Messalians. The “Sermon Against the Heretics” enjoyed exceptional popularity in the orthodox Slavic world. Its full text is known from 25 recensions (all Rusian, their dates ranging from the end of the 15th to the beginning of the 19th century). «3. Anathemas from the “Palaea Historica”» The “Palaea Historica” is a text of Byzantine origin based on the content of the fi st books of the Old Testament (Gen. – 1 Sam.), relating the history of the world from its beginning until the reign of king David. It arose no earlier than at the end of the 9th century and gained considerable popularity as a text more accessible than the Bible itself, recounting the history of the creation of the world and mankind, as well as narrating stories involving various Old Testament fires and events. It is supplemented by fragments of psalms, theological writings, liturgical poetry and pseudo-canonical narratives. The excerpt included in the anthology is taken from the second Slavic translation of the Palaea, traced back to 14th-century Serbia, although the text displays certain Middle Bulgarian linguistic features. Faithfully translated from the Greek, the anathema is the only known instance of the use of the term ‘Phundagiagitae’ (used in reference to the Bogomils of Asia Minor by Euthymius of the Periblepton in the 11th century) in Slavic literature. The belief in Eve’s eldest son Cain’s purported conception by Satan, alluded to in the Palaea, is also found in the “Secret Book of the Bogomils” and was denounced by medieval heresiologists, e.g. by Euthymius Zigabenus in his “Dogmatic Panoply”. «4. Anathemas from the Bulgarian Synodicon for the Sunday of Orthodoxy (“Tsar Boril’s Synodicon”; excerpts)» The origin of the Bulgarian translation of the synodicon is related to the anti-Bogomil synod held in Veliko Tarnovo in 1211. The Comnenus dynasty Byzantine synodicon that furnished the basis for this translation was supplemented by the proceedings of the Tarnovo synod as well as a number of further minor texts. Subsequently, the contents of the synodicon were continuously expanded, which led to its becoming the most important document informing us about the history of the Bulgarian church in the 13th and 14th century. A peculiar trait of its description of the Bogomils is the clear emphasis on the Docetist elements of their faith. Docetism is ascribed to them in paragraph 38 in a passage added by the Bulgarian editor to an anathema translated from Greek, and then again in fragments 86 and 111. Importantly, in this latter fragment, located next to the account on the 1211 synod, the belief in the illusionary character of the incarnation and passion of Christ turns out to be the only characteristic of Bogomil faith. «5. Anathemas from the Serbian Synodicons for the Sunday of Orthodoxy (excerpts)» Like its Bulgarian counterpart, the Serbian synodicon is based on the Greek one. It contains original anathemas against the Babuni and the Bogomils, condemned on the grounds of their iconoclasm, flawed interpretation of the Scripture and rejecting the cult of the Cross and icons. «6. On Messalians or Bogomils» In the short text by Demetrius of Cyzicus (11th century), the Messalians-Bogomils are denounced for their deviations from orthodoxy concerning the teachings on the nature of man, the effectiveness of the sacraments and the cult of the Cross and the Theotokos. A distinctive feature of the 1272 Serbian version of the text is the identification of the Babuni with the Bogomils, as expressed in the title of the work. The text was copied in numerous nomocanons and kormchaia (‘pilot’s’) books in the Slavic lands. «7. On Priest Bogomil from the Slavic Kórmchaia» This text is a compilation of excerpts from Cosmas the Priest’s “Sermon”. The anonymous compiler copied the parts concerning the cult of the Cross, the power of the sacraments and the allegorical interpretation of the Scripture. The text was widespread in Rusian nomocanons. «8. Pseudo-John Chrysostom, “On Ecclesiastical Law” (excerpts)» The text presented here is an addition to a homily ascribed to John Chrysostom. It was presumably written in the 12th–14th century in one of the South Slavic lands. According to its testimony, the Bogomils reject the cult of the Cross, deprecate marriage, as well as forbid the consumption of wine and meat. The text can be found in a handful of Rusian and South Slavic nomocanons. «9. Anti-heretic text from the “Eremitic Rule”» Probably codified in the first half of the 14th century in the Greek language, the eremitic rule only survives in a contemporaneous Slavic translation. It includes an interesting reference to the Messalians, purportedly characterized by disobeying the rule, not keeping icons in cells and not using incense. «10. Patriarch Callistus I, “Life of Theodosius of Tarnovo” (excerpts)» The “Life of Theodosius of Tarnovo” is one of the most important sources depicting spiritual life in 14th century Bulgaria. Its author – Callistus – was the patriarch of Constantinople; he knew the protagonist of his text personally. The description of Theodosius’ anti-heretic struggles, an important element of the latter’s public activity, eludes clear-cut interpretation. The beliefs and practices that the author ascribes to Theodosius’ antagonists are drawn from an array of diverse heresies and varieties of popular piety, difficult to reconcile with each other. Whether such a portrayal of the heretics is to be regarded as credible, or rather as a figure employed to discredit religious dissidents, is to be resolved by the modern reader. The most interesting part from our point of view is the description of the activity of the nun Irene of Thessalonica and a group of her followers, two of whom – Lazarus and Cyril Bosota – reached Tarnovo. Callistus accuses Irene of following Messalianism and of immoral conduct. The group of Irene’s adherents is ostensibly identifiable with the Bogomils condemned by the superiors of the Athonite communities in 1344. The excerpts adduced by us prove that the author considered the terms ‘Bogomil’ and ‘Messalian’ synonymous. The life is only extant in a Slavic translation, which has in all likelihood undergone significant editorial changes. «11. Patriarch Euthymius of Tarnovo, “Life of Hilarion of Moglena” (excerpts)» Hilarion was the bishop of Moglena during the reign of emperor Manuel Comnenus (1143–1180). The text presented here is virtually the sole source of information on the Saint’s life. The lengthiest portion of the Life is comprised of an account of Hilarion’s actions against the heretics inhabiting Moglena: Paulicians, Monophysites and Bogomils. Their representation in the work is schematic: the narrator stresses the hypocrisy and perverseness of the heretics in many ways. Hilarion’s approach is likewise consistent with the models familiar from hagiographic literature. The Saint undertakes missionary activities culminating in great success. Those from among the dissenters who did not convert are subjected to various forms of punishment; some of them are expelled. The “Life” features the content of the debates with the Paulicians and the Monophysites. Regrettably, it appears unlikely that Hilarion’s words as presented here are a faithful record of his speeches – their text is appropriated from Euthymius Zigabenus’ “Dogmatic Panoply”. It is noteworthy that Euthymius of Tarnovo includes a description of Paulician and Monophysite beliefs in his work, but for the Bogomils an analogous characterization is not provided. The Bogomils encountered by Hilarion seem to be nothing more than monks failing to adhere to the discipline of monastic life. «12. Pseudo-Zonaras’ “Nomocanon” (excerpts)» As shown by the preliminary research on ecclesiastical law in late medieval Bulgaria, Pseudo-Zonaras’ redaction of the nomocanon was the most widespread text of this kind; consequently, it may be surmised that it was highly esteemed. It was also known in the neighboring Serbia as well as in Rusian lands. The “Nomocanon” attests a rare name of the Manichaeans – ‘Kukuvrici’, derived from a moniker given to Mani in the Bulgarian synodicon. In the further paragraphs cited in the anthology, the Messalian heresy is identifi d with Paulicianism, the Patarene movement, as well as the Autoproskoptai (otherwise never mentioned in this context). «13. Marko of Peć, “The Life of the Holy Patriarch Ephrem” (excerpt)» Ephrem was patriarch of Serbia in the years 1375–1379/1380 and ab. 1389–ab. 1391/1392. His vita was composed soon after his death in 1402 by Marko, a person closely associated with him. The text mentions the activity of a Messalian heretic by the name of Vlah, which may perhaps be indicative of his Vlah ancestry or country of origin – i.e. Wallachia proper, Great Wallachia (region of Thessaly), or Upper Wallachia (region of Epirus). «14. Sermon (‘Slovo’) on the Origin of the Paulicians» According to the most widely accepted view, this original Bulgarian pseudo-canonical work was written in the 12th–13th century in the vicinity of the Bachkovo Monastery of the Dormition of the Mother of God. It is known from nine recensions found in Bulgarian, Serbian and Ukrainian manuscripts. The text adopts a critical stance toward the heresy, tracing it back to two disciples of Satan, who took the form of a learned calligrapher. Some of the recensions contain an anathema against the Paulicians. «15. On the Messalian Heresy, Called Eutychian» This text is found in a single 15th-century manuscript. The Messalians are condemned for breaching social order, questioning the validity of marriage, offering (pagan?) sacrifices and accepting unrepentant sinners into their community. «***» The texts collected here are presented both in their original form and in Polish translation. The anthology is supplemented by a concise heresiological dictionary as well as indices of Biblical quotations, personal names and place names.
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