Bishop Gregory (hgr) wrote,
Bishop Gregory

так понятно?

я попытался отдельным разделом написать, почему праздник Покрова не может иметь русского происхождения даже теоретически. буду благодарен за замечания.
на качество моего английского можно внимания не обращать, т.к. текст будет проверен носителем языка.

The main reason of the partisans of the “Russian” view is the complete silence of Byzantine sources. This argument is considered as sufficient to declare fictitious the whole Russian tradition of Constantinopolitan origin of the feast.[1] Such an approach is very doubtful because we know other examples of complete silence in the Byzantine sources on important events concerning both Byzantium and Russia, e.g., the Baptism of Rus’ in 988. As far as I know, nobody declares this story fictitious on this ground. But let us look at the methodological grounds of the “Russian” approach more closely. Rejection of some Russian sources is not its worst sin.

In fact, the “Russian” approach presupposes that Russians, for their actual needs having nothing to do with Byzantine realities, were searching Byzantine books to find something convenient to them that was not used by Greeks. On this way, they found out a story of vision in the Life of some saint who was never especially venerated in Russia before, Andrew the Salos.[2] Alternatively, if one of the Slavonic versions of the Life of Andrew became available before the hypothetical date of establishment of the feast in Russia, the idea to use as the main source this text and not another one should imply that the popularity of St Andrew in Russia arisen explosively, to this date, with no known reason. Then, Russians established their feast and invented its false history of establishment under Leo the Wise, to make this new liturgical custom more authoritative.

The probability of such chain of events is similar to that of breaking of the second principle of thermodynamics: it is more than zero but almost indiscernible from zero.

First of all, one would need to show, at least, one example of a similar history of some feast, at least, somewhere in the Christian world, not to say, in Russia. I mean an establishment of a national feast commemorating an event which took place in a foreign land and is known from a foreign book only, that is, not from a living liturgical tradition. In fact, we know only examples of contrary. It was absolutely no problem, in Russia as everywhere else, to establish a new feast commemorating some remarkable events without any need of clothing it with Byzantine dresses. Unlike some holy books, the holy feasts do not need pseudepigraphic attribution.

Even in the case if the allegedly pseudepigraphic attribution to Leo the Wise is considered as a later addition to the genuine Russian tradition of the feast, the idea of searching of an appropriate miracle of Theotokos in the Greek books is out of probability. Why not to use any of the already established feasts commemorating the miraculous intercession of Theotokos, if, in any case, it is decided that actual Russian realities must be commemorated with reconsideration of some Byzantine ones? Why such an obsession to establish a feast that is not Byzantine but, in the same time, Byzantine by its contents? All these questions must be answered not by the psychological reasons but in the frame of the laws of liturgical development. xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /

Therefore, let us consider the methodological base of the “Russian” approach in a more formal way.

This approach implies that the Russians created a new feast which

(1)    is not known to the former (Byzantine) liturgical tradition, but

(2)    is commemorating some event of the Byzantine past, with no apparent connection to Rus’,

(3)    in a way that no pertinent object (e.g., relics of Andrew etc.) appears somewhere in Rus’.

What is seen from the very beginning, it is that such an institution, if it is possible at all, would be quite unusual. Usually, two ways are available: either a modification of a previously existing liturgical tradition, in conformity with the first law of Baumstark (the Law of Organic Development),[3] or creation of a new cult on the place of commemoration of the event itself, e.g., relics (grave) of a saint. Such place (called by Delehaye “hagiographical coordinate of place”)  for the event of Pokrov is the Blachernae church in Constantinople but not its replicas which were the Russian “Blachernae” churches[4] — in accordance with the principles of cult development described by Delehaye.[5] In the latter case, however, the new cult will be patterned after previously existing analogous cults and his future will be in conformity with the Law of Organic Development of Baumstark.

In the case of Pokrov, the “Russian” approach provides neither previous liturgical tradition nor the genuine place of commemoration proper to Rus’. On the contrary, the genuine place of commemoration is clearly a Constantinopolitan one.

Is there an unusual way to take into consideration? Of course, yes. There are some legends that were created not “on the graves of martyrs” but purely from an ideology. Nevertheless, they resulted in creation of some specific cults. Among the most known examples are the fourth century Constantinopolitan legends on St Irene and on St Sophia which both resulted, at first, in the two main cathedrals of the post-Constantinian capital, Hagia Sophia and Hagia Irene.[6] A bit later modification of the Sophia legend (Sophia and her daughters Pistis, Elpis, and Agape; no later than the early fifth century) resulted in two different cults in Rome, with two different martyria and two different sets of relics, the martyrs Sapientia and her daughters Fides, Spes, and Charitas in St Pancratius church on Via Aureliana (September 30 for Sapientia, August 1 for her daughters) and the martyrs Sophia and her daughters Pistis, Elpis, and Agape (September 17) in St Cecilia church on the St Callixtus graveyard on Via Appia.[7] One can see that the holy relics appears in due quantity even in the case when the cult is duplicated in result of two different ways of borrowing and difficulties in translation.

What certainly cannot be seen, it is an appearance of a cult with no relics or any other marker of the hagiographical coordinate of place at all. The main point of Delehaye is that any cult must have, to be established, a proper coordinate of place. Normally, it is the place that appears the first but the inverse order is also allowable. What is impossible, it is creation of a new cult with no its proper coordinate of place.

Let us return to our case of the feast of Pokrov. It has no coordinate of place other than that of Constantinople. No Russian coordinates of place at all. This means that its creation in Rus’ is to be excluded. To prove the contrary, one needs to demonstrate that there was an earliest form of the Pokrov cult where the commemorated miracle is attributed to some Russian locality. Unless this demonstrated, there is only one theoretical possibility, namely, that the feast goes back to the Blachernae church in Constantinople.

Of course, this possibility faces a major difficulty in need to explain why this feast disappeared in Constantinople but was preserved in Russia.

[1] Cf., e.g., Spasskij 1898, 283–284.

[2] A correlation between the cult of Andrew the Salos and the cult of Pokrov in Russia is proven, at least, for the North-West Russian lands (Novgorod principality); see culturological and textological proofs in Yusov 2009, 58–65, and И. Е. Юсов, Службы Андрею Юродивому и Покрову Пресвятой Богородицы: историко-культурные и межтекстовые связи [I. E. Yusov, The Services to Andrew the Salos and Pokrov of the Most Holy Theotokos: historic-cultural and intertextual connexions], Древняя Русь (2008) Nr 2 (32), 85–90.

[3] The Law of Organic (Progressive) Development presupposes that the new elements in liturgy at first take their places alongside the more primitive elements but, in the course of time, cause the latter to be abbreviated and even disappear completely; A. Baumstark, Comparative Liturgy. Tr. A. R. Mowbray (London—Westminster, MD, 1958) 23–24. Cf. R. Taft, Anton Baumstark’s Comparative Liturgy Revisited, in id. and G. Winkler (eds.), Acts of the International Congress Comparative Liturgy Fifty Years after Anton Baumstark (1872-1948), Rome, 25-29 September 1998  (Rome, 2001) (OCA 265)  191–232.

[4] Evgenij Golubinskij believed that the feast could be established by some private person in one of the Russian “Blachernae” churches: Е. ГОЛУБИНСКИЙ, История Русской церкви [The History of the Russian Church]. Т. I, вторая половина тома (Moscow, 21904) 403 [there is a reprint (Moscow, 1997) with different pagination]. This would be probable only in the case if this new Russian Blachernae cult was commemorating something from the already existing Constantinopolitan Blachernae liturgical customs.

[5] See especially H. Delehaye, Les passions des martyrs et les genres littéraires. 2me éd. (Bruxelles, 1966) (SH, 13 B); idem, Les origines du culte des martyrs. 2me éd. (Bruxelles, 1933) (SH, 20); on the concept of “hagiographical coordinates” see idem, Cinq leçons sur la méthode hagiographique (Bruxelles, 1934) (SH, 21).

[6] Cf. M. van Esbroeck, Le saint comme symbole, in: S. Hackel (ed.), The Byzantine Saint. University of Birmingham XIV Spring Symposium of Byzantine Studies (London, 1981) (Studies Supplementary to Sobornost, 5) 128–140.

[7] F. Halkin, Légendes grecques de « Martyres romanes » (Bruxelles, 1973) (SH, 55) 179–180.


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