Semitic inscriptions in the St. Sophia Cathedral in Novgorod: a reply to alternative interpretations
In the present article, we offer a detailed reply to alternative interpretations of our explanation of two eleventh-century phrases inscribed many times on the walls of the St. Sophia Cathedral in Novgorod: коуни рони and парехъ мари. According to our previous article in this journal, the phrases have a Semitic origin: Hebrew qūmī ronnī and Syriac /barren̲k mār/, respectively. In both instances new empirical evidence is provided by S. Ju. Temčin. In the case of коуни рони we argue that his alternative hypothesis cannot be maintained for a number of compelling reasons; our interpretation stands as it is. In the case of парехъ мари we basically agree with Temčin and provide evidence that sheds further light on its path of transmission into Slavic.