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Re: Does ROCOR have a standard text for the synaxarion?

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  • tomamallett
    I hate to say it, Nathaniel, but I m pretty sure that the Russian Church doesn t have a standard text for ANYTHING in English. Certainly not with troparia, at
    Message 1 of 12 , Aug 31, 2009
      I hate to say it, Nathaniel, but I'm pretty sure that the Russian Church doesn't have a standard text for ANYTHING in English.
      Certainly not with troparia, at any rate.
      Toma

      --- In orthodox-rocor@yahoogroups.com, "natwoon" <natwoon@...> wrote:
      >
      > Dear all,
      >
      > I hope this is not a strange question but I was wondering if The Russian church has a standard text of the lives of the saints.
      >
      > Nathaniel in Malaysia
      >
    • jamesdm49
      Yes, it does - St. Demetrius of Rostov s 12-volume Great Collection of the Lives of the Saints. It is being translated into English and printed by Chrysostom
      Message 2 of 12 , Sep 1, 2009
        Yes, it does - St. Demetrius of Rostov's 12-volume "Great Collection of the Lives of the Saints." It is being translated into English and printed by Chrysostom Press in House Springs, Missouri. The series is being printed as the volumes are translated. I believe seven are currently available: Sept (Vol. 1) through March. The URL for their website is https://www.chrysostompress.org/lives-of-the-saints

        David James

        --- In orthodox-rocor@yahoogroups.com, "natwoon" <natwoon@...> wrote:
        >
        > Dear all,
        >
        > I hope this is not a strange question but I was wondering if The Russian church has a standard text of the lives of the saints.
        >
        > Nathaniel in Malaysia
        >
      • criostoir1971
        Is there any validity to the criticism of (now retired OCA) Archbishop Lazar Puhalo, who wrote: It should be remembered that Dmitry of Rostov did not use
        Message 3 of 12 , Sep 2, 2009
          Is there any validity to the criticism of (now retired OCA) Archbishop Lazar Puhalo, who wrote:

          "It should be remembered that Dmitry of Rostov did not use Orthodox sources for his collection of Lives of the Saints. His collection is taken from Polish Catholic and other Roman Catholic versions. In notable instances, Dmitry of Rostov's versions of the lives differs significantly from the Greek originals and one might wish to approach his collection with some caution."

          In Christ,
          Chris Gorman


          --- In orthodox-rocor@yahoogroups.com, "jamesdm49" <Jamesdm49@...> wrote:
          >
          > Yes, it does - St. Demetrius of Rostov's 12-volume "Great Collection of the Lives of the Saints." It is being translated into English and printed by Chrysostom Press in House Springs, Missouri. The series is being printed as the volumes are translated. I believe seven are currently available: Sept (Vol. 1) through March. The URL for their website is https://www.chrysostompress.org/lives-of-the-saints
          >
          > David James
          >
          > --- In orthodox-rocor@yahoogroups.com, "natwoon" <natwoon@> wrote:
          > >
          > > Dear all,
          > >
          > > I hope this is not a strange question but I was wondering if The Russian church has a standard text of the lives of the saints.
          > >
          > > Nathaniel in Malaysia
          > >
          >
        • antiquariu@aol.com
          Dear in Christ List! Succinctly, there is no standard text for any of the many synaxaria, because they are indeed not completed works. Even in the Russian
          Message 4 of 12 , Sep 2, 2009
            Dear in Christ List! 
             
            Succinctly, there is no standard text for any of the many synaxaria, because they are indeed not completed works.  Even in the Russian Church, synaxaria were frequently produced at the diocesan level, and whereas most folks agree on the major saints, there is not a requirement- anywhere in Orthodoxy - to duplicate someone else's local practice.  There is nothing wrong with using Roman Catholic sources to determine pre-schism lives of the saints; when you consider that the entire corpus of lives was standardized within the Catholic church before the schism, and maintained through the various other schisms, fall of Constantinople, and multiple Rome theories, you will find that you have a better product.  The Catholic product is by far not perfect, but it is very extensive: nether Constantinople nor Athos really paid much attention to what happened in many parts of the Western Church or the African Church.  If it had, we would not be squabbling so much about SS Monica and Augustine, both of whom were and are considered saints of the one Church.  Then comes the problem of the utility and nature of the particular Synaxarion.  The vast majority of Lives are not biographies, but hagiographies.  Hagiographies are not intended to be biographical, but rather icons in words.  This is why there are so many hagiographies, particularly of Slavic local saints, which use the word 'pious' much as the halo is used on icons.  The particular saint is so pious that he even refused mother's milk on fast days while an infant.  Then there is the problem of the allegorical saints, which the Roman Catholics have already identified as worthy of veneration, but historically spurious (basically, anything with thousands of martyred virgins (S. Ursula and the 11,000 Virgins of Cologne), children (Infants of Bethlehem, where the number is statistically impossible - from a Coptic number of 144,000, to 64,000 in the Syrian Protosynaxarion, to the 14,000 in the Byzantine, there is historical evidence of somewhere between 6 and 25; even such noted observers as Flavius Josephus never even mentioned it, and outside of Matthew, the first Church sources that cover it are fourth century.  Have you ever been in Bethlehem?  The historical heart of Bethlehem had a population significantly smaller than the low number!), companions, etc.).   Another great example are the alltime Russian, Greek and Catholic favorites: Wisdom, and her children Faith, Hope and Charity.  Outside of the fact that St Paul extols these are the four great Christian character components, there is no historical evidence at all in support of this cult.  What's worse, there is no consistency between synaxaria and menaia.  Tradition has it that a group of companions by that name was martyred and buried in a tomb on the Appian Way.  The same story shows up on the Aurelian Way.  These stories both show up in early Pilgrim's Guides, but interestingly enough, never showed up on the Church Calendar in Rome at all, despite having happened in Rome.  The Mother-Daughter relationship shows up in Eastern Church literature in the 11th century.  What all of these have in common is that they make good iconography and liturgical art, in short, that they are teaching steps. 
             
            Now, all that aside, here's a great link by Hieromonk Makarios of Simonos Petra, which pretty much says it all and explans that the Synaxarion is a living and by no means all-inclusive document, nor was it ever intended to be:
             
             
             
            As far as the validity of Archbishop Puhalo's observations, yes, they are correct, particularly with respect to S Dmitri of Rostov.  But, succinctly, so what?  Greek sources can't even straighten out real historical figures, such as Saint Jerome.  Frequently Jerome (Hieronymos) is confused with Gerasimos.  Both are historical figures (Jerome translated the Vulgate, and is regarded one of the four Doctors of the Ancient Church; Gerasimos attended the 4th Ecumenical Council); Both are venerated by both churches as separate individuals, but iconographically, both are depicted with a lion as a familiar.  Most of the Greek priests I have asked about this problem state that they are one and the same, or that the Catholic Doctor of the Church is not real.  The lion legend (pulls thorn from paw of lion, lion remains loyal companion for decades, exists for both, and is the source of the iconographic depiction.  In my collection of iconography is a copy of a podlinnik from Danilevski Val clearly identifying Jerome (of translating fame) as Gerasimos of the Jordan, with the lion.  Interestingly,  Jerome gives us good reason to regard synaxaria as 'icons' and not biographies.  As a historical figure, Jerome made Augustine and Vladimir look like meek, neutered specimens instead of the lusty 'joie de vivre' characters they remained until after they had seem the light.  An active bisexual who womanized and engaged in public homosexual activity on a broad scale, later remorse caused him to change his ways. Still managed to be ordained a Bishop, at which time he was supported by Paula, who indulged him with a book allowance.  Now check the hagiography in the synaxarion.  What a difference!
             
            Enjoy,
             
            Vova Hindrichs
            Washington DC    
             
             
            In a message dated 9/2/2009 10:33:16 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time, criostoir1971@... writes:
            Is there any validity to the criticism of (now retired OCA) Archbishop Lazar Puhalo, who wrote:

            "It should be remembered that Dmitry of Rostov did not use Orthodox sources for his collection of Lives of the Saints. His collection is taken from Polish Catholic and other Roman Catholic versions. In notable instances, Dmitry of Rostov's versions of the lives differs significantly from the Greek originals and one might wish to approach his collection with some caution."

            In Christ,
            Chris Gorman
             
             
          • Fr. Steven Ritter
            I have heard this criticism before, and perhaps it does have validity. However it should be stated that there is no official Synaxarion that ROCOR uses--many
            Message 5 of 12 , Sep 2, 2009
              I have heard this criticism before, and perhaps it does have validity. However it should be stated that there is no "official" Synaxarion that ROCOR uses--many parishes work with any number of English sources.

              In XC,
              Fr. Steven Ritter

              criostoir1971 wrote:
              Is there any validity to the criticism of (now retired OCA) Archbishop Lazar Puhalo, who wrote:
              
              "It should be remembered that Dmitry of Rostov did not use Orthodox sources for his collection of Lives of the Saints. His collection is taken from Polish Catholic and other Roman Catholic versions. In notable instances, Dmitry of Rostov's versions of the lives differs significantly from the Greek originals and one might wish to approach his collection with some caution." 
              
              In Christ,
              Chris Gorman
              
              
              --- In orthodox-rocor@yahoogroups.com, "jamesdm49" <Jamesdm49@...> wrote:
                
              Yes, it does - St. Demetrius of Rostov's 12-volume "Great Collection of the Lives of the Saints." It is being translated into English and printed by Chrysostom Press in House Springs, Missouri. The series is being printed as the volumes are translated. I believe seven are currently available: Sept (Vol. 1) through March. The URL for their website is https://www.chrysostompress.org/lives-of-the-saints
              
              David James
              
              --- In orthodox-rocor@yahoogroups.com, "natwoon" <natwoon@> wrote:
                  
              Dear all,
              
              I hope this is not a strange question but I was wondering if The Russian church has a standard text of the lives of the saints. 
              
              Nathaniel in Malaysia
              
                    
              
              
              
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              -- 
              Fr. Steven Ritter
              St. Mary of Egypt Orthodox Church (ROCOR)
              Atlanta, Ga.
              www.stmaryofegypt.org
              
              
              
            • Dimitra Dwelley
              I would say that there is no validity at all to the criticism of anyone who does not put St. in front of St. Dimitri of Rostov s name.  Some Saints,
              Message 6 of 12 , Sep 2, 2009
                I would say that there is no validity at all to the criticism of anyone who does not put "St." in front of St. Dimitri of Rostov's name.  Some Saints, themselves, appeared to him to fill in or correct the accounts of their lives--which undoubtedly would not have been allowed by God if St. Dimitri's collection of Lives of Saints had been displeasing to God.  His relics were found incorrupt and worked many healings.
                 
                ---Dimitra Dwelley


                From: Fr. Steven Ritter <frsteven@...>
                To: orthodox-rocor@yahoogroups.com
                Sent: Wednesday, September 2, 2009 9:07:35 PM
                Subject: Re: [orthodox-rocor] Re: Does ROCOR have a standard text for the synaxarion?

                 

                I have heard this criticism before, and perhaps it does have validity. However it should be stated that there is no "official" Synaxarion that ROCOR uses--many parishes work with any number of English sources.

                In XC,
                Fr. Steven Ritter

                criostoir1971 wrote:

                Is there any validity to the criticism of (now retired OCA) Archbishop Lazar Puhalo, who wrote:
                
                "It should be remembered that Dmitry of Rostov did not use Orthodox sources for his collection of Lives of the Saints. His collection is taken from Polish Catholic and other Roman Catholic versions. In notable instances, Dmitry of Rostov's versions of the lives differs significantly from the Greek originals and one might wish to approach his collection with some caution." 
                
                In Christ,
                Chris Gorman
                
                
                --- In orthodox-rocor@ yahoogroups. com, "jamesdm49" <Jamesdm49@.. .> wrote:
                  
                Yes, it does - St. Demetrius of Rostov's 12-volume "Great Collection of the Lives of the Saints." It is being translated into English and printed by Chrysostom Press in House Springs, Missouri. The series is being printed as the volumes are translated. I believe seven are currently available: Sept (Vol. 1) through March. The URL for their website is https://www. chrysostompress. org/lives- of-the-saints
                
                David James
                
                --- In orthodox-rocor@ yahoogroups. com, "natwoon" <natwoon@> wrote:
                    
                Dear all,
                
                I hope this is not a strange question but I was wondering if The Russian church has a standard text of the lives of the saints. 
                
                Nathaniel in Malaysia
                
                      
                
                
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                -- 
                Fr. Steven Ritter
                St. Mary of Egypt Orthodox Church (ROCOR)
                Atlanta, Ga.
                www.stmaryofegypt. org
                
                
                

              • Dale Dickerson
                  Pages 5-7, volume one Lives of the Saints September by St. Demitri of Rostov (Veliky) has a list of his sources for the first few volumes. If you want to
                Message 7 of 12 , Sep 2, 2009
                   
                  Pages 5-7, volume one Lives of the Saints September by St. Demitri of Rostov (Veliky) has a list of his sources for the first few volumes. If you want to see where he drew much of the material.  I do not think it is fair to write "His collection is taken from Polish Catholic and other Roman Catholic versions."
                   
                  St. Theophan the Recluse makes use of St. Demitri's collection in The Spiritual Life - And to be attuned to it. Chapter 36 makes heavy use of it. I do not think St. Theophan held Archbishop Lazar Puhalo view of the collection.
                   
                   
                  A visit to Rostov Veliky to venerate St. Demitri's relics is a wonderful experience. Спасо-Яковлевский монастырь  is need of much restoration work. It is slowly being restored after years of Soviet forced neglect. The Rostov Bells are amazing and the sound a few km from the Kremlin is hard to express in words. I have not heard any Orthodox bells like the set in Rostov. My first experience seeing icon frescoes was the churches of Rostov Veliky. I have made two visits to these churches. It is heart breaking that they are state museums and not functioning Orthodox temples. 
                   
                  Dale Dickerson

                • Dale Dickerson
                  I just remembered that Archbishop Lazar Puhalo in 1980 was a Deacon and a debate over the Aerial Toll Houses. He see St. Demtri as scholastic. I refer you
                  Message 8 of 12 , Sep 2, 2009
                    I just remembered that Archbishop Lazar Puhalo in 1980 was a Deacon and a debate over the Aerial Toll Houses. He see St. Demtri as scholastic. I refer you to  meeting on 19 November/2 December, 1980, the Synod of the Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia.
                     
                     
                     
                     
                    Dale Dickerson

                     
                     


                    criostoir1971 wrote:
                    Is there any validity to the criticism of (now retired OCA) Archbishop Lazar Puhalo, who wrote:
                    
                    "It should be remembered that Dmitry of Rostov did not use Orthodox sources for his collection of Lives of the Saints. His collection is taken from Polish Catholic and other Roman Catholic versions. In notable instances, Dmitry of Rostov's versions of the lives differs significantly from the Greek originals and one might wish to approach his collection with some caution." 
                    
                    In Christ,
                    Chris Gorman
                    
                    
                    --- In orthodox-rocor@ yahoogroups. com, "jamesdm49" <Jamesdm49@.. .> wrote:
                      
                    Yes, it does - St. Demetrius of Rostov's 12-volume "Great Collection of the Lives of the Saints." It is being translated into English and printed by Chrysostom Press in House Springs, Missouri. The series is being printed as the volumes are translated. I believe seven are currently available: Sept (Vol. 1) through March. The URL for their website is https://www. chrysostompress. org/lives- of-the-saints
                    
                    David James
                    
                    --- In orthodox-rocor@ yahoogroups. com, "natwoon" <natwoon@> wrote:
                        
                    Dear all,
                    
                    I hope this is not a strange question but I was wondering if The Russian church has a standard text of the lives of the saints. 
                    
                    Nathaniel in Malaysia
                    
                          
                    
                    ------------ --------- --------- ------
                    
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                    -- 
                    Fr. Steven Ritter
                    St. Mary of Egypt Orthodox Church (ROCOR)
                    Atlanta, Ga.
                    www.stmaryofegypt. org
                    
                    
                    

                  • antiquariu@aol.com
                    Dear in-Christ list! Let s not be quite so touchy on this topic. If S Dmitri used Polish Catholic and other Roman Catholic versions as sources, he did us
                    Message 9 of 12 , Sep 2, 2009
                      Dear in-Christ list!   Let's not be quite so touchy on this topic.  If S Dmitri used Polish Catholic and other Roman Catholic versions as sources, he did us all a big favor.  Without a Catholic received text, there would not have been a base document. Let's be serious St Gallen, Fulda, Braunschweig and the 1000 or so Catholic monasteries which cranked out manuscripts in Europe between the fifth and 16th centuries created tens of 1000s of documents.  Slavonic manuscripts are number in the low hundreds, and don't go back all that far with one or two notable exceptions.  There was little culture of monasteries existing to store learning until much later.  Take away legendary and fictionalized origins, and take away St Catherines, you would be hard pressed to find a major literary or theological monastic outpouring in Orthodoxy.  Athos was founded almost a millenium after Christ, and more than 400 years after the major document centers in the Alps were created.  Never forget that it was more than 100 years after printing flourished in the rest of the world that we finally had a Slavonic texted, Slavic produced and printed Apostol.'  Prior to that, Slavonic scholarship and text came from Venice and Venetian-influenced monasteries in what is now Slovenia and what is now Bosnia and Croatia.  It wasn't much better for Greek texts.  At least the first 52 years of Greek printing (through 1550) were done in Venice, Freiburg and Hagenau.  Without exception, ALL Orthodox theological printing from the beginning of printing until the mid-16th century was done by Roman Catholics on Roman Catholic presses in Italy, German, and Switzerland.  The expansion that followed did not take it to Orthodox countries.  There was a printing press on Athos as early as 1759, but there is only one copy of one book, a psalter, know from it.  Greece itself is even more pathetic than the Slavonic outpourings.  At least there were a handful of Slavonic things after 1563.  They were even printed in Poland and Ukraine, which qualify as Slavonic areas.  Outside of that spurious press on Athos, there was no printing in Greece until after 1821, and then only because a printer from Fermin Didot in Paris came to show the Athens Greeks how to operate their press.  Compare this, if you would, to a small pioneer press in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley.  Ambrose Henkel opened the Henkel Press in 1789 and over the years published the Bible, the Psalter, Gospels, theological tracts, grammars and textbooks in three different languages, as well as lives of Saints, while remaining a circuit riding Lutheran minister.  The Henkel Press is still flourishing today.
                       
                      Bookman Vova Hindrichs
                      Washington DC
                      In a message dated 9/2/2009 11:52:09 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time, hobbitofny@... writes:
                      Pages 5-7, volume one Lives of the Saints September by St. Demitri of Rostov (Veliky) has a list of his sources for the first few volumes. If you want to see where he drew much of the material.  I do not think it is fair to write "His collection is taken from Polish Catholic and other Roman Catholic versions."
                       
                      St. Theophan the Recluse makes use of St. Demitri's collection in The Spiritual Life - And to be attuned to it. Chapter 36 makes heavy use of it. I do not think St. Theophan held Archbishop Lazar Puhalo view of the collection.
                       
                       
                      A visit to Rostov Veliky to venerate St. Demitri's relics is a wonderful experience. Спасо-Яковлевский монастырь  is need of much restoration work. It is slowly being restored after years of Soviet forced neglect. The Rostov Bells are amazing and the sound a few km from the Kremlin is hard to express in words. I have not heard any Orthodox bells like the set in Rostov. My first experience seeing icon frescoes was the churches of Rostov Veliky. I have made two visits to these churches. It is heart breaking that they are state museums and not functioning Orthodox temples. 
                       
                    • Fr. John Whiteford
                      If we consider manuscripts of the New Testament in Greek, prior to the fall of Byzantium, there were very few to be found in the west.  With the fall of
                      Message 10 of 12 , Sep 3, 2009
                        If we consider manuscripts of the New Testament in Greek, prior to the fall of Byzantium, there were very few to be found in the west.  With the fall of Byzantium came an influx of Greek scholars as well as documents, and this was in large part what sparked the Renaissance.

                        One of the great centers of ancient manuscripts was Constantinople itself.

                        Fr. John Whiteford
                        St. Jonah Orthodox Church
                        Parish Home Page: http://www.saintjonah.org/
                        ROCOR Discussion Group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/orthodox-rocor/
                        Parish News: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/saintjonah/
                        Blog: http://fatherjohn.blogspot.com/

                        --- On Wed, 9/2/09, antiquariu@... <antiquariu@...> wrote:

                        From: antiquariu@... <antiquariu@...>
                        Subject: Re: [orthodox-rocor] Re: Does ROCOR have a standard text for the synaxarion?
                        To: orthodox-rocor@yahoogroups.com
                        Date: Wednesday, September 2, 2009, 11:35 PM



                        Dear in-Christ list!   Let's not be quite so touchy on this topic.  If S Dmitri used Polish Catholic and other Roman Catholic versions as sources, he did us all a big favor.  Without a Catholic received text, there would not have been a base document. Let's be serious St Gallen, Fulda, Braunschweig and the 1000 or so Catholic monasteries which cranked out manuscripts in Europe between the fifth and 16th centuries created tens of 1000s of documents.  Slavonic manuscripts are number in the low hundreds, and don't go back all that far with one or two notable exceptions.  There was little culture of monasteries existing to store learning until much later.  Take away legendary and fictionalized origins, and take away St Catherines, you would be hard pressed to find a major literary or theological monastic outpouring in Orthodoxy.  Athos was founded almost a millenium after Christ, and more than 400 years after the major document centers in the Alps were created.  Never forget that it was more than 100 years after printing flourished in the rest of the world that we finally had a Slavonic texted, Slavic produced and printed Apostol.'  Prior to that, Slavonic scholarship and text came from Venice and Venetian-influenced monasteries in what is now Slovenia and what is now Bosnia and Croatia.  It wasn't much better for Greek texts.  At least the first 52 years of Greek printing (through 1550) were done in Venice, Freiburg and Hagenau.  Without exception, ALL Orthodox theological printing from the beginning of printing until the mid-16th century was done by Roman Catholics on Roman Catholic presses in Italy, German, and Switzerland.  The expansion that followed did not take it to Orthodox countries.  There was a printing press on Athos as early as 1759, but there is only one copy of one book, a psalter, know from it.  Greece itself is even more pathetic than the Slavonic outpourings.  At least there were a handful of Slavonic things after 1563.  They were even printed in Poland and Ukraine, which qualify as Slavonic areas.  Outside of that spurious press on Athos, there was no printing in Greece until after 1821, and then only because a printer from Fermin Didot in Paris came to show the Athens Greeks how to operate their press.  Compare this, if you would, to a small pioneer press in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley.  Ambrose Henkel opened the Henkel Press in 1789 and over the years published the Bible, the Psalter, Gospels, theological tracts, grammars and textbooks in three different languages, as well as lives of Saints, while remaining a circuit riding Lutheran minister.  The Henkel Press is still flourishing today.
                         
                        Bookman Vova Hindrichs
                        Washington DC
                        In a message dated 9/2/2009 11:52:09 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time, hobbitofny@... writes:
                        Pages 5-7, volume one Lives of the Saints September by St. Demitri of Rostov (Veliky) has a list of his sources for the first few volumes. If you want to see where he drew much of the material.  I do not think it is fair to write "His collection is taken from Polish Catholic and other Roman Catholic versions."
                         
                        St. Theophan the Recluse makes use of St. Demitri's collection in The Spiritual Life - And to be attuned to it. Chapter 36 makes heavy use of it. I do not think St. Theophan held Archbishop Lazar Puhalo view of the collection.
                         
                         
                        A visit to Rostov Veliky to venerate St. Demitri's relics is a wonderful experience. Спасо-Яковлевский монастырь  is need of much restoration work. It is slowly being restored after years of Soviet forced neglect. The Rostov Bells are amazing and the sound a few km from the Kremlin is hard to express in words. I have not heard any Orthodox bells like the set in Rostov. My first experience seeing icon frescoes was the churches of Rostov Veliky. I have made two visits to these churches. It is heart breaking that they are state museums and not functioning Orthodox temples. 
                         


                      • antiquariu@aol.com
                        Father bless! You are absolutely correct! Unfortunately, all of those manuscripts did nothing for promoting a standard synaxarion in Russia. Moreover, they
                        Message 11 of 12 , Sep 3, 2009
                          Father bless!  You are absolutely correct!  Unfortunately, all of those manuscripts did nothing for promoting a standard synaxarion in Russia.  Moreover, they did little for providing accurate and standardized Orthodox texts in Europe and the Slavic lands.  One of the major complaints encountered by Froben, the humanist publisher of Erasmus in Basel, was that more errors crept in to, specifically, the New Testament printed editions because none of the manuscripts were complete.  A thousand years of history led to a thousand years of telephone game error, to the point that the Vulgata (St Jerome) was translated BACK INTO GREEK in the 16th century just to account for text lacunae in the manuscripts coming from Constantinople.  Although sharply rebuked at the time, the Froben comments were later proven in text comparison to C. Sinaiticus.  No one is challenging Byzantium as having been a powerhouse of money, art, and literature.  It was, however, not a distributor of same, at least when they had anything to say about it.  The Venetian sack of Constantinople and the Crusades did more to diffuse knowledge than most folks realize, and pillaging is a remarkably efficient manner in which to redistribute property.  Many times we are too busy crowing about the virtues of Orthodoxy and fail to remember that it was a joint effort with considerable - even predominant - Roman involvement before the Great Schism, and that the Great Decline of Byzantium didn't just happen on one day in the 15th century.  I would also venture to say that the library at St Gallen probably had more manuscripts of theological texts than Byzantium in aggregate ever had.  There's an attitudinal difference.  The great universities never existed in the Byzantine east, where knowledge was power, and tightly controlled. This is in sharp contrast to the Islamic world, which actually functioned much like Northern Europe.  Individuals, and not just Imperial treasuries, churches, seminaries and storehouses, owned books.  There was a flourishing book trade, something Constantinople was not known for.  I have one manuscript in my collection which lists an unbroken chain of owners since the 10th century (al Farabi's Al Madina al-Fadila, an Islamic take-off on Plato's Republic).  So, yes, there were lots of scholars and lots of manuscripts that went to Italy, and yes, they did have an influence on the Renaissance.  So did Islam.  So did the Crusades.  So did Venice (probably more than all the others).
                           
                           
                          Keep me in your prayers,
                           
                          Vova Hindrichs
                          Washington DC  
                           
                          In a message dated 9/3/2009 6:17:44 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time, frjohnwhiteford@... writes:
                          If we consider manuscripts of the New Testament in Greek, prior to the fall of Byzantium, there were very few to be found in the west.  With the fall of Byzantium came an influx of Greek scholars as well as documents, and this was in large part what sparked the Renaissance.

                          One of the great centers of ancient manuscripts was Constantinople itself.

                          Fr. John Whiteford
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