მიქაელ საბაწმიდელის უცნობი საგალობლები

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Date
2023
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ივანე ჯავახიშვილის სახელობის თბილისის სახელმწიფო უნივერსიტეტის გამომცემლობა
Abstract
At the Armenian Manuscripts Fund of the Georgian National Centre of Manuscripts is stored a 14th-century collection, number 299, in which Grigor Narekatsiʼs “Commentary on the Song of Songs” and Mekhitar Skevratsiʼs work “For the Apostles“ are preserved. As the history of the manuscript tells us D. Gordeev bought the manuscript in 1922 from the Armenian deacon Ter-Avetisyan. In its turn, the Armenian deacon once redeemed the manuscript, kept in the private library of the Shah of Iran, from the Qajar prince. The manuscript enclosed in a blind-stamped, leather-bound wooden cover is accompanied by two pages of Georgian manuscript parchments as flyleaves at the beginning and end of the cover. Since the format of the Georgian manuscript page was twice as big as the Armenian one, it seems that the binder folded it in two and thus strengthened the cover of the Armenian manuscript. Research has shown that the fragments of the parchment manuscript used as flyleaves must be part of an unknown Georgian Iadgari (Collection of hymns) and contain hymnal material for December 4, 5, 6, and 7, and show a certain peculiarity in the representation of the saints, commemoration calendar and the material itself. On December 7, a newly discovered fragment of Iadgari mentions the commemoration of Michael the Martyr, followed by his hymn. Unfortunately, the text is not fully preserved, out of 9 odes, only three odes are preserved („უგალლობდითსა“Let us sing”, „განძლიერდესა“ (My heart has become strong) და „უფალო მესმასა“ (Lord I have heard). According to the text of the hymn, Michael the Martyr mentioned in our Iadgari is Michael of Mar Saba, who was martyred in Jerusalem during the reign of Abd al-Malik (685-705 AD). The text of Michael’s martyrdom has been preserved in two redactions in Georgian. According to the opinion accepted in the scientific literature, the Vorlage of the first and old redaction must have been written in Arabic by a certain Basil monk (9th century), and then it was translated from Arabic into Georgian. From Georgian, the “Martyrdom” was translated into Greek by Eutymius the Athonite , and this translation is known as “Abuqurrah”. The second redaction of “Martyrdom of Michael” is preserved in the Vita of “Theodore of Edessa” the Georgian translation of which is presented only in one manuscript (NCM A-682). The Vita of Theodore of Edessa is considered to have been created in the second half of the 10th century, according to this text, the action is extended from the 7th to the 9th century – Theodore is Michaelʼs uncle and teacher, which is why the version of Michaelʼs torture is included in the Vita. In addition to Georgian, the Vita is preserved in Greek and Arabic. Since the publication of the Georgian text of the martyrdom of Michael until now, a large amount of scientific literature has been accumulated about the texts containing the vita of Michael of Mar Saba and Theodore of Edessa and their relationships: one part of the scientists consider Michael of Mar Saba to be a fictional figure, and his vita – an allusion to biblical history, while the other part does not doubt the existence of Michael of Mar Saba. The attitude towards Theodore of Mar Saba is also diverse, some consider him the alter-ego of Theodore Abu Qurrah. The question of which text should be given priority in the study of the history of Michael Sabatsmideli is not resolved either. That the hymn of interest to us is truly dedicated to Michael of Mar Saba, is confirmed by the extant text of the hymn, in which almost all the main participants of the “Martyrdom” are mentioned, in addition, the text is based on the very first redaction of the “Martyrdom of Michael”, because according to the text of the hymn, the teacher of Michael, like in the old redaction of the “Martyrdom”, is Moses, and not Theodore, as it appears in the Vita of Theodore of Edessa. In the Georgian hagiographic tradition, Michael of Mar Saba is commemorated on March 20 and April 17. In the Iviron and the later Q 843 manuscript, the day of commemoration of Michael of Mar Saba is defined as March 20 (On March 20, Martyrdom of Saint Michael, who was in Great Laura of Mar Saba), and in the Oxford Bodleian manuscript, the day of commemoration is named April 17 (On April 17, Martyrdom of Saint Michael, who was in Great Laura of Mar Saba). In the text of the Vita of Theodore of Edessa, Theodore and Michael are mentioned together on July 9 and 19. July 19 is the day of the commemoration of Theodore and Michael in the Greek redaction of Mar Sabas’ Synaxarion of the 12th-13th centuries (Sin.gr.1096) preserved on Mount Sinai and also in the Arab Melkite Synaxarion preserved in the same monastery. December 7, which our Iadgari indicates as the day of commemoration of Michael, is not confirmed in any other sources known to us. It is not mentioned even in the early calendar of Ioane Zosime and the Jerusalem lectionary. Synaxarion of the Great Church of Constantinople is also not familiar with Michael's martyrdom. July 19 is the easiest to explain from the mentioned commemorations because in the Vita of Theodore of Edessa, July 19 is indicated as the day of Theodoreʼs funeral (we must assume July 9 as the day of death, which is also indicated in the calendars), and tradition tells us that the commemoration of Theodore and Michael was celebrated together. In the Athos collection, it is also easy to find the key to mark March 20 as the day of commemoration of Michael: the Jerusalem tradition commemorated on March 19 Holy Fathers of Mar Saba („წმიდათა მამათა დამწუართა საბაწმიდელთა“ – Saint Fathers burned in Mar Saba). In my opinion, the commemoration of Michael on this day should be an echo of the commemoration of the fathers of Sabatsmida, especially if we recall that according to the text of the martyrdom, Michael was buried in the cemetery of the martyrs of Mar Saba („სამარხოსა მარტჳლთასა მამათა და მოწამეთა დამწუართასა“ – At the grave of the Fathers in Mar Saba). It is more difficult to understand how April 17 appeared as the day of Michaelʼs commemoration in the manuscript copied by Prokhore Kartveli in Jerusalem because there is no objective reason for commemorating him on this day. The commemoration of Michael of Mar Saba and his own hymn are preserved in the Jer. geo 42 manuscript, which is considered to be the manuscript of the first redaction of Menaion, in which April 17 is indicated as the day of commemoration, like the Bodleian collection. The text of the hymn preserved in the first redaction of Menaion is completely different from the hymn preserved in the newly discovered Iadgari. I think that the presence of the commemoration and hymn of Michael of Mar Saba in the manuscript of the first redaction of Menaion should be an indicator of the local, Jerusalem tradition. December 7, the day of commemoration of Michael preserved in our Iadgari, should also be connected with the local, but Mar Saba tradition. With this commemoration, the beginning of December in our Iadgari is almost entirely dedicated to monks of Mar Saba, on December 4 is the commemoration of John of Damascus, who according to tradition spent the last period of his life at Mar Saba, on December 5 is the commemoration of Sabas the Sanctified, the founder of the monastery, and lastly, on December 7 is the commemoration of Michael of Mar Saba. The hymns preserved in the unknown manuscript of Iadgari and in the redaction of Menaion are based on the early life of Michael of Mar Saba, both of them depict the main moments of torture, Sediaʼs enticement, dispute, and torture. The existence of two different redactions of the Vita of Michael Mar Saba and two different hymns is a solid argument for the existence of this saint in the Georgian Christian reality and is a reflection of the liturgical tradition of Mar Saba Monastery.
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ეძღვნება აკადემიკოს ზაზა ალექსიძის ხსოვნას (1935 – 2023)/ Dedicated to Memory of Academician Zaza Aleksidze (1935 – 2023)
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აღმოსავლეთმცოდნეობა, №12, თბილისი, 2023, გვ.: 121-135/ Oriental Studies, №12, Tbilisi, 2023, pp.: 121-135
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