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2021 Vol. 12 №1

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Pechora scrolls: St. Augustine’s miracle of the revelation of the Elder

DOI
10.5922/2225-5346-2021-1-5
Pages
71-85

Abstract

The Ust-Tsilemsky region of the Komi Republic is known for its collection of medieval handwritten books and manuscripts. These collections found in the area of the Lower Pechora River contain a rich variety of Old Believers’ written documents of different genres. The au­thors explore one of these documents — St. Augustine’s Miracle of the Revelation of the El­der, which exists in two different Pechora documents. One of them is a hagiographic text cre­ated by the famous Ust-Tsilma scribe and editor of Old Russian texts Myandin, who lived in the second half of the 19th century. The Miracle is a part of the Book of St. Augustine and has survived in only a few copies. It is noteworthy that Myandin’s works have not been previous­ly studied. Employing textual analysis, the authors came to the conclusion which of the two Myadlin’s texts is closer to the earliest surviving scroll of the Miracle (Science Library of Moscow State University, the collection of manuscripts of the Old Believers of Bessarabia and Belaya Krinitsa, No. 2194, fol. 109—115 ob). This is a text contained in the Tsvetnik, com­piled by Myandin. The study showed that the other copy is a later work of the scribe on the storyline of The Miracle, which involved the shortening of the text, the introduction of new narrative details, naming the main character, and providing a more detailed description of his appearance. The authors argue that, at a later stage of mastering the plot of the Miracle, My­andin created his own version of the events described. He employed his own vocabulary satu­rating the plot with details, which were missing in the first version. He cleared the text of unnecessary motives that distract the reader from the main idea of the story: holiness does not depend on rank or status; it can also be granted to a humble, illiterate person who is capable of performing miracles.

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