Polystoria: Цари, святые, мифотворцы в средневековой Европе
This article calls in question some stereotypes concerning alleged Muscovite «notorious» judeophobia. It deals with evidence on Muscovite “Judaizers” of the last quarter of the XVth century, and “Judaizers”’ traces in Muscovy under Ivan the Terrible (Feodosiy Kosoy and his followers), and in Ruthenia (Podol’e) in the same epoch (recently found “Beseda na gusov”). Russian “Judaizers” were, in fact, interested in Judaism, and most of them were members of clergy. So called “literature of Judaizers” contains borrowings from Judaic tradition. The “Laodicean Episle”, compiled by d’iak Fiodor Kuritsyn in the end of the XVth century, is one of rather unquestionable manifestation of Jewish influences among Muscovite élites. The explanation of this phenomenon lies, most probably, in the confessionally peculiar features of the traditional Byzantine-Orthodox attitudes to Jews and Judaism.
Franciscan theologian an industrious collector of exempla John of Wales († ca. 1285) was a forerunner of so-called “classicizing” movement within the Franciscan order. “Classicising friars” had a special concern in Antiquity and inclined to combine scholastic background and classical tradition and literature while working on educational and didactic texts. John who was definitely fascinated by lives of pagan philosophers and intended to use their stories as sources of moralising exempla, had to face a “problem of paganism” (term introduced by J. Marenbon). He felt the need to justify the application of ancient exempla in sermons.
Current article aims at tracing his arguments for the use of “pagan” exempla. As a result of analysis of John’s “-loquia” sequence, following pros were brought to light: first of all, he makes references to the authority of Church fathers and other theologians who also mentioned Seneca and other philosophers. Secondly, he stated (cunningly, of course) that whereas biblical exempla were already well-known for the preachers, he felt the need to introduce some new stories. John believed that the preacher had to have a convenient sermon for every moment, not only while preaching but for didactic talks in mensa as well. Finally, his third argument was inspired by St. Augustin who affirmed that human deeds have to be classified according to their goal or motivation (finis). So, John proved the virtuosity of pagan’s deeds by showing that this act aimed at utility (utilitas) or honour (honestas).
This article is an introduction to some most important texts, linked to the so called School of Chartres: the De sex dierum operibus by Th ierry of Chartres, the Cosmographia by Bernard Silvestris, the Philosophia by William of Conches. Th ese scholars combined commenting on authoritative texts of the past, from the Genesis to Vergile, Boethius, Macrobius etc. with sometimes profoundly innovating attempts to describe the world in prosaic and poetic texts of their own. Th e author tries to analyse these diff erent forms of writing and teaching, the style of its expression in order to understand better the doctrinal achievements, traditionally ascribed to this eminent center of the XIIth century Renaissance. He compares “chartrian” texts with some no less infl uent texts of the same period: from Guibert of Nogent and Abaelard to Hugh of Saint-Victor.
The study is centered on one curious text that spread in manuscripts and prints in the Slavic countries of Eastern Europe from the 16th through the 17th century. The document seems to have been composed in Bohemia in the 15th, maybe even in the mid 14th century. This was a charter, ascribed to Alexander the Great, endowing the Slavs with his privilege to possess all lands “reaching from the utmost North down to the Italy’s southern boundaries”. The “Alexander’s Slavic charter” is transmitted in several deviating versions, whereas the most peculiar of them was written in one of the (western?) Russian regions, probably as early as in 1556–1576. According to this specific Russian interpretation of the Alexander’s generosity, the pagan Slavs — the direct ancestors of the Muscovites — received from the King not the ‘usual’ lands but other vast territories — from the Baltic to the Caspian Sea. The article argues that the intention of the original “Russian version” had differed seriously from the political tendency of the official Chronograph, where this text was finally inserted (presumably between 1646 и 1661) and where it later became visible for scholars.