46th International Philological Research Conference

Is the Vilnius 262 Biblical Collection a part of the Judaizer Corpus of Translations from Hebrew?

Moshe Taube
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

кафедра библеистики
13:40 - 14:00

Ключевые слова, аннотация

Slavic Translations from Hebrew, Grand-Duchy of Lithuania and Muscovy.


In the second half of the 15th century a series of works were translated from Hebrew into the variety of East Slavic in use in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. These include:
(a) Al-Ghazālī’s Intentions of the Philosophers: only the sections on Logic and Theology.
(b) (pseudo?-) Moses Maimonides’ Logical Terminology.
The two items (a, b) constitute in Slavic the Logika.
(c) Johannes de Sacrobosco’s Book of the Sphere.
(d) Emmanuel Bar Yakov Bonfils’ Six Wings.
(e) pseudo–Aristotle’s  Secret of Secrets, including in Slavic the following interpolations:
— Maimonides’ On Coitus;
Maimonides’ On Lethal Poisons and their Antidotes (2nd part on mineral poisons);
Maimonides’ Book of Asthma (chpt. 13 on ecology and personal hygiene);
Rhazes’ Kitab al-Manṣuri fi-l-ṭibb (chapter on physiognomy).
(f) An eight-line sorites (cyclical maxim) on the soul in the Muscovite ‘Laodicean Epistle’.
(g) possibly: the nine Old Testament Hagiographa in the 16th-century Vilnius Codex 262/19, which contains in order: Ruth, Psalms, Song of Songs, Ecclesiastes, Proverbs, Lamentations, Job, Daniel and Esther. The texts were translated from Hebrew, probably by Jews (practicing or converted) with the help of a Slavic (Christian) collaborator. The Vilnius collection was not exclusively translated from the Hebrew. Thus Daniel, bilingual (Hebrew — Aramaic) already in the original, kept its bilingual nature in the Slavic. Such non-exclusivity, however, is found also in the Secretum Secretorum, where beside the identified interpolations, all of them from Hebrew, there is a number of unidentified smaller excerpts which seem to be of non-Hebrew origin.
The paper will weigh the criteria for and against considering this group of translations a single corpus, perhaps by a single translator.