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Book chapter

Ирландское "Плавание Брендана" и византийское "Сказание отца нашего Агапия": возмодные точки пересечения

С. 697-716.
Пенская Д. С.

 

The paper is dedicated to the possibile interconnections between the Latin version of the Irish “Navigatio Sancti Brendani” dated from 9-10th cent. and the “Narration of Our Father Agapius”, Byzantine apocryphon, presumably, attested to the area of Syro-Palestinian monasticism  4-6th cent.

In both cases the diverting form, recalling the one of the fairy-tale, reveals a story of the monastic life.

Some episodes of the “Navigatio” (the events before monks’ depature to Paradise; the monastery of St. Ailbe and the Promised Land) are supposed to prove an influence of the “Narration”. The whole set of motives and their sequence in the scenes mentioned above seems to be traced back to the corresponding episodes in the “Narration”. If the author of the “Navigatio” indeed used the “Narration” as a source, certain tendency in its’ adaptation is discerned: motives and images that formed in the “Narration” a unique description of a symbolic ascent to Christ and to Wisdom, in the  “Navigation” lost their symbolic substance and were plunged back into folklore. 

This relation of unique and symbolical in one case and standard and folk in the other is systematically followed in the paper. For example the snow white bread as the main symbol of Christ, brought by Agapius from Paradise back to earth in the “Navigatio” is replaced by white and wonderful food of the otherworld. To the symbolical sequence of helpers in the “Narratio” representing the Holy Trinity (the eagle, the child, the handsome man) in the “Navigatio” correspond just a handsome man and a youth, met by Barinthus and Brendan in the Promise Land; they are simply helpers similar to standard characters of the fairy-tales.

In case that our hypothesis turns to be true, it clarifies the origin of some motives of the “Navigation” and the text of the “Navigation” in its turn testifies that the plot of the “Narration” was known in the Celtic world. Thus the discussion on the relations between Ireland and Eastern Orthodoxy (especially the one in Syria) in the early period that goes on nowadays, acquires a new source.