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Old Church Slavonic Online

Lesson 8

Todd B. Krause and Jonathan Slocum

As the Slavonic liturgy gained a foothold in the Slavic speaking areas, the core ecclesiatical texts such as the Gospels and other books of the Bible came to be supplemented by other spiritual material. By this time, in the East Orthodox tradition many stories of unknown provenance were circulating which provided exemplars of lives lived nobly in the service of God. These stories also served to impress upon the reader or listener certain 'highlights' of Biblical scripture: the stories often contain a discursive section relating tales from the Bible, which generally has no direct relation to the narrative at hand. Rather such a section seemingly was intended more to edify an audience with only a second-hand knowledge of Biblical lore.

Reading and Textual Analysis

The following reading selection comes from the Suffering of the Forty Martyrs of Sebasteia. The original version of the story was in Greek. Its popularity within ecclesiastical settings, however, made it an early choice for translation into the Slavic tongue.

The story is set around the year 313, where, although elsewhere Christians had been given the right to worship alongside those of pagan belief, in the regions controlled by the ruler Licinius Christianity was being stamped out. A certain Agricolaus was in command of a garrison in the Armenian city of Sebasteia, under the control of Licinius. Within his garrison was a company of forty Cappadocians, all of them Christian. When these forty refused to sacrifice to pagan gods, Agricolaus had them put in prison. During the night, they heard a voice bidding them to persevere to the end, that they be saved.

The next day, Agricolaus tried to convert the soldiers with flattery. However they rebuked him and he ordered them put back in prison. Seven days later a judge arrived to preside over their trial. The forty remained steadfast in their refusal to adopta pagan ways, and the judge ordered them stoned. However as the stones were cast, none were able to strike the forty, and they were placed back in prison. During the night they again heard the Lord's voice heartening them and promising them eternal crowns.

Below is an English translation of the continuation of the story up to the point of the following OCS selection.

(75.29) They remained during the night rejoicing in the Lord's instruction. (76.1) But as morning turned to day, he ordered them to be taken from the prison and brought forth; and when they stood before the tyrants they said, 'Do what you will.' (5) And the Devil revealed himself on the right hand holding a sword, and on the left a snake. And he spoke into the ear of Agrikolai: 'You are mine. Move!' And the commander ordered them all, bound by the neck, to be taken in a group to the lake; (10) for there is a lake in Sebasteia having much water. And during this time, when they were torturing the saints, there was great cold. And they led them naked and placed them in the middle of the lake. The air was cold, the hour bitter, (15) for day was turning to evening. They appointed over them guards, soldiers, and two jailers.

On the shore of the lake was a bath, heated so that whoever wanted to rise up and flee would take refuge in the bath. (20) And during the first hour of the night, the saints were pressed by the cold, and their body was torn. One of the forty drifted away and fled to the bath; and as he touched to the warmth, straightaway he melted. (25) And so he gave up his soul. And the saints fell back and spoke as if from one mouth with a great voice:

'Upon the rivers are you angered, Lord; or is your fury upon the rivers; or your wrath upon the sea? (30) For he who separated from us flowed off like water, (77.1) and all his bones were scattered. But we go not from you, as you give us life; and we call upon your name, which all creation praises: (5) the snakes and all the caverns, fire, hail, snow, ice, the storm's spirit -- performing his word; the one who walked on water as if on dry land, taming the roaring waves with the beckoning of your hands. (10) And now you, Lord, are the one who heard also Moses giving signs and wonders upon Egypt, upon Pharaoh and his people, dividing the sea and leading his people into the desert; (15) you are the one who heard Jacob praying, fleeing the threat of Esau; who with Joseph sold himself and his saviour, who heard the holy apostles -- hear also us, Lord: (20) grant the watery storm not sink us, nor the deep swallow us. As we are very poor, help us, God; save us, as we stand in the depth of the sea, and our feet are wet with our blood. (25) Lighten our burdens, and the sharpness of the air, Lord our God -- so also all shall know that we believed in you and were saved; we had faith in you and were not ashamed.'

And as the third hour of the night came on, (30) the sun shone on them warm as in the harvest. (78.1) And the melted ice became warm water. But the guards were held in sleep; one jailer, however, was awake -- as he heard one of them praying, he thought: (5) 'How is it that the one who fled to the bath is not reckoned among the forty, rather he he melted straightaway from the warmth; but these ones, who have endured such great cold, are still alive?' Seeing the light which was upon them, he looked to heaven wishing to see whence came the light. (10) He saw crowns descending upon the heads of the saints, thirty-nine in number, and thought to himself, saying: 'There are forty of them, but how is it that one has no crown?' (15) And he understood that the one who fled to the bath was not reckoned among them. And as he roused all the ones sleeping, he cast off his garments before their faces and jumped into the lake, crying out and saying, 'I too am a Christian!' And he went among them and said, (20) 'Lord God, I have faith in you, in whom these also have faith. Count me among them, and deem me worthy to receive the trial of pain, so that even I may be tortured.'

And so, conquered, the Devil changed himself to the form of a man; (25) folding his hands and clasping his knees he said: 'Woe to me! Woe to me! I have been conquered by these holy men, and am a mockery for all, with no servant of like mind. For if I had one, I would not have been conquered. (79.1) Now what shall I do? I will pervert the hearts of my two princes, and they will burn the bodies of the saints and cast them into the river. This I will do that their remains be no more.' (5) But the holy Kyrion said, 'What god is great as our God? You are the God performing miracles. For those set against us you placed over us, and you filled the lack of the forty.' (10) And they began to sing: 'Save us, Lord, like the venerable one who dried up.'

But as morning came, two shameless torturers arrived, and they found the jailer sitting with them. And they asked the soldiers, 'What did he see, that he did this?' (15) And the soldiers said, 'We were with sleep as if dead, but he was awake the whole night and suddenly woke us. And we saw a great light upon them. And he straightaway cast off his clothes, (20) and jumped in among them, crying out and saying, "I too am a Christian!" ' And the torturers, vexed, ordered them to be dragged out, bound, and led to the edge of the sea, and their legs to be beaten with clubs.

(25) The mother of one attended them, for her son was youngest among them, and she feared lest he be denied. She constantly looked after him, putting her hands on him and saying, 'My sweet child, (30) endure a little longer, that you be fulfilled. (80.1) Fear not, child, for lo Christ stands near, helping you.' But while they were smashing their shins, they gave up their souls, saying, 'Our soul is freed like a bird from the snares of hunters; (5) the snare is destroyed and we are saved. Our aid is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth', and all together they said, 'Amen.' They gave over their souls. (10) But the son, taught by his mother, Meliton by name, still breathed. And the torturers ordered wagons to be brought, and having loaded the bodies of the saints, they brought them to the bank of the river -- they left the youth, expecting him to remain alive. (15) But his mother, having seen him alone to be left behind, cast off her womanly weakness, and, taking up manly strength and wisdom, placed her son squarely on her shoulder and followed after the wagon. (20) While he was being carried by his mother, rejoiceful, he gave up his soul. And his mother carried him and cast him on top of them. Then they kindled a fire and burned the bodies of the saints. And the torturers took counsel and said: (25) 'If we leave these remains so, the Christians are sure to pick them up and to fill the whole world. Rather come, that we may cast them into the river.' And having gathered the bones of the saints, and having swept together the ashes, they strew them in the river. (30) But the river... (81.1) destroyed no part of them.

Note in the closing section, the giving of dates follows the syntax of the Latin method of dating. In Latin, the common use of formulaic phrases led to an idiosyncratic word order out of sequence (from an English-speaking point of view) for the intended meaning. Thus prje'zhde tchetyri' kalandu' marta is a literal rendering of the Latin ante diem quartum Kalendas Martias. Literally this reads 'before the fourth day of the Kalends of March', which actually means 'the fourth day before the Kalends of March'. Likewise prje'zhde dz di'ni' marta is a compressed rendering of the Latin ante diem septimum Idus Martias 'the seventh day before the Ides of March'.

po trekhu' zhe di'nekhu' javishe^ se^ episkupu grada togo imenemi' petru jako so^tu' su'khran'eny kosti nashe^ semi' mje'stje' |

  • po -- preposition; <po> after; according to -- after
  • trekhu' -- number adjective; locative plural masculine of <tri'e, tri, tri> three -- three
  • zhe -- conjunction; <zhe> and, but -- and
  • di'nekhu' -- noun, masculine; locative plural of <di'ni'> day -- days
  • javishe^ se^ -- reflexive verb; 3rd person plural aorist of <aviti, -vl'jo^, -vishi> reveal -- they revealed themselves
  • episkupu -- noun, masculine; dative singular of <episkopu'> bishop -- to the bishop
  • grada -- noun, masculine; genitive singular of <gradu'> city -- of city
  • togo -- demonstrative adjective; genitive singular masculine of <tu'> that, that one -- that
  • imenemi' -- noun, neuter; instrumental singular of <ime^> name -- by name
  • petru -- proper noun, masculine; dative singular of <Petru'> Peter -- Peter
  • jako -- conjunction; <jako> as, when; in order to; that; because; (introduces quotation) -- that
  • so^tu' -- verb; 3rd person plural present of <jes-, jesmi', jesi> be -- are
  • su'khran'eny -- verb; past passive participle; nominative plural feminine of <su'khraniti, -n'o^, -nishi> guard, protect, preserve -- protected
  • kosti -- noun, feminine; nominative plural of <kosti'> bone -- bones
  • nashe^ -- possessive adjective; nominative plural feminine of <nashi'> our, of us -- our
  • semi' -- demonstrative adjective; locative singular neuter of <si'> this -- in this
  • mje'stje' -- noun, neuter; locative singular of <mje'sto> place -- place

pridi ubo vi' noshti i iznesi ny izdrje'ky | i poimu' episkopu' kliriky i mo^zhe^ vje'ri'ny i prishedu' sta na brje'zje' rje'ky |

  • pridi -- verb; 2nd person singular imperative of <priti, -ido^, -ideshi> come, arrive -- come
  • ubo -- conjunction; <ubo> but, even, now, therefore -- therefore
  • vi' -- preposition; <vu'> in, into -- during
  • noshti -- noun, feminine; locative singular of <noshti'> night -- the night
  • i -- conjunction; <i> and -- and
  • iznesi -- verb; 2nd person singular imperative of <iznesti, -so^, -seshi> carry out -- carry out
  • ny -- pronoun; accusative plural of <azu'> I -- us
  • izdrje'ky -- preposition; <iz> out of + noun, feminine; genitive singular of <rje'ka> river -- out of the river
  • i -- conjunction; <i> and -- and
  • poimu' -- verb; past active participle; nominative singular masculine of <poe^ti, -imo^, -imeshi> take -- took
  • episkopu' -- noun, masculine; nominative singular of <episkopu'> bishop -- the bishop
  • kliriky -- noun, masculine; accusative plural of <kliriku'> cleric, priest -- the clerics
  • i -- conjunction; <i> and -- and
  • mo^zhe^ -- noun, masculine; accusative plural of <mo^zhi'> man, husband -- men
  • vje'ri'ny -- adjective; accusative plural masculine of <vje'ri'nu'> true, real; of faith -- of faith
  • i -- conjunction; <i> and -- and
  • prishedu' -- verb; past active participle; nominative singular masculine of <priti, -ido^, -ideshi> come, arrive -- came
  • sta -- verb; 3rd person singular aorist of <stati, stano^, staneshi> stand -- to stand
  • na -- preposition; <na> in, on; at, against; for -- on
  • brje'zje' -- noun, masculine; locative singular of <brje'gu'> bank, bluff -- the bank
  • rje'ky -- noun, feminine; genitive singular of <rje'ka> river -- of the river

i se prosvi'tje'she^ se^ kosti sve^tyikhu' vi' vodje' aky i svje'tili'nitsi | i ashte kde ostavi'ena byvaashe kosti' svje'tomu' javi'jashe se^ |

  • i -- conjunction; <i> and -- and
  • se -- interjection; <se> lo, behold -- lo
  • prosvi'tje'she^ se^ -- reflexive verb; 3rd person plural aorist of <prosvi'tje'ti, -shto^, -tishi> shine -- shone forth
  • kosti -- noun, feminine; nominative plural of <kosti'> bone -- the bones
  • sve^tyikhu' -- adjective used as substantive; genitive plural masculine of <sve^tu'> holy, blessed -- of the saints
  • vi' -- preposition; <vu'> in, into -- in
  • vodje' -- noun, feminine; locative singular of <voda> water -- the water
  • aky -- conjunction; <aky> as, like -- like
  • i -- conjunction; <i> and -- ...
  • svje'tili'nitsi -- noun, masculine; nominative plural of <svje'tili'niku'> lamp, light -- lanterns
  • i -- conjunction; <i> and -- and
  • ashte kde -- relative adverb; <ku'de ashte> wherever, whenever -- wherever
  • ostavi'ena -- verb; past passive participle; nominative singular feminine of <ostaviti, -vl'jo^, -vishi> let, leave, neglect, forget -- left
  • byvaashe -- verb; 3rd person singular imperfect of <byvati, -vajo^, -vajeshi> be -- was
  • kosti' -- noun, feminine; nominative singular of <kosti'> bone -- a bone
  • svje'tomu' -- noun, masculine; instrumental singular of <svje'tu'> light -- with light
  • javi'jashe se^ -- reflexive verb; 3rd person singular imperfect of <aviti, -vl'jo^, -vishi> reveal -- it would shine forth

i tako su'bu'ravu'she kosti sve^tyikhu' mo^tcheniku' polozhishe^ e^ vu' rakakhu' | i sitse postradavu'she vje'ni'tchani byshe^ |

  • i -- conjunction; <i> and -- and
  • tako -- adverb; <tako> thus, in this way -- in this way
  • su'bu'ravu'she -- verb; past active participle; nominative plural masculine of <su'bi'rati, -bero^, -bereshi> collect, gather -- having collected
  • kosti -- noun, feminine; accusative plural of <kosti'> bone -- the bones
  • sve^tyikhu' -- adjective; genitive plural masculine of <sve^tu'> holy, blessed -- of the holy
  • mo^tcheniku' -- noun, masculine; genitive plural of <mo^tcheniku'> martyr -- martyrs
  • polozhishe^ -- verb; 3rd person plural aorist of <polozhiti, -zho^, -zhishi> lay down, set down -- they commended
  • e^ -- pronoun; accusative plural feminine of <*i> he -- them
  • vu' -- preposition; <vu'> in, into -- to
  • rakakhu' -- noun, feminine; locative plural of <raka> sepulchre, coffin -- coffins
  • i -- conjunction; <i> and -- and
  • sitse -- adverb; <sitse> thus, so -- so
  • postradavu'she -- verb; past active participle; nominative plural masculine of <postradati, -zhdo^, -zhdeshi> suffer -- those who suffered
  • vje'ni'tchani -- verb; past passive participle; nominative plural masculine of <vje'ni'tchati, -tchajo^, -tchajeshi> crown -- crowned
  • byshe^ -- verb; 3rd person plural aorist of <byti, bo^do^, bo^deshi> be, become -- were

i sijajo^tu' jako i zvje'zdy vi' vi'semi' mirje' bogu vje'rovavu'she khrista ispovje'davi'she sve^taago dukha ne otu'vri'gu'she se^ proslavi'jeni byvu'she o khristje' |

  • i -- conjunction; <i> and -- and
  • sijajo^tu' -- verb; 3rd person plural present of <sijati, -ajo^, -ajeshi> shine, make shine -- shine
  • jako -- conjunction; <jako> as, when; in order to; that; because; (introduces quotation) -- as
  • i -- conjunction; <i> and -- ...
  • zvje'zdy -- noun, feminine; nominative plural of <zvje'zda> star -- stars
  • vi' -- preposition; <vu'> in, into -- over
  • vi'semi' -- adjective; locative singular masculine of <vi'si'> all, every; whole -- the whole
  • mirje' -- noun, masculine; locative singular of <miru'> world; peace -- world
  • bogu -- noun, masculine; dative singular of <bogu'> god -- in God
  • vje'rovavu'she -- verb; past active participle; nominative plural masculine of <vje'rovati, -ujo^, -ujeshi> believe -- having had faith
  • khrista -- proper noun, masculine; genitive singular of <Khristu'> Christ -- Christ
  • ispovje'davi'she -- verb; past active participle; nominative plural masculine of <ispovje'dati, -ajo^, -ajeshi> announce, make known -- having confessed
  • sve^taago -- adjective; genitive singular masculine of <sve^tu'> holy, blessed -- the Holy
  • dukha -- noun, masculine; genitive singular of <dukhu'> spirit -- spirit
  • ne -- adverb; <ne> not, nor -- nor
  • otu'vri'gu'she se^ -- verb; reflexive past active participle; nominative plural masculine of <otu'vrje'shti, -vri'go^, -vri'geshi> throw away, renounce -- did they reject
  • proslavi'jeni -- verb; past passive participle; nominative plural masculine of <proslaviti, -vl'jo^, -vishi> praise, glorify -- glorified
  • byvu'she -- verb; past active participle; nominative plural masculine of <byvati, -vajo^, -vajeshi> be -- ...
  • o -- preposition; <o> around, concerning; against -- in
  • khristje' -- proper noun, masculine; locative singular of <Khristu'> Christ -- Christ

pame^ti' vi' zhitii semi' ostavishe^ na su'pasenije vi'sjemu' vje'rujo^shtiimu' vu' oti'tsu' i synu' i sve^tyi dukhu' |

  • pame^ti' -- noun, feminine; accusative singular of <pame^ti'> memory -- the memory
  • vi' -- preposition; <vu'> in, into -- of
  • zhitii -- noun, neuter; locative singular of <zhiti'je> life -- life
  • semi' -- demonstrative adjective; locative singular neuter of <si'> this -- this
  • ostavishe^ -- verb; 3rd person plural aorist of <ostaviti, -vl'jo^, -vishi> let, leave, neglect, forget -- they cast off
  • na -- preposition; <na> in, on; at, against; for -- for
  • su'pasenije -- noun, neuter; accusative singular of <su'paseni'je> salvation -- salvation
  • vi'sjemu' -- adjective; dative plural masculine of <vi'si'> all, every; whole -- for all
  • vje'rujo^shtiimu' -- verb; present active participle; dative plural masculine of <vje'rovati, -ujo^, -ujeshi> believe -- those believing
  • vu' -- preposition; <vu'> in, into -- in
  • oti'tsu' -- noun, masculine; accusative singular of <oti'tsi'> father -- the Father
  • i -- conjunction; <i> and -- ...
  • synu' -- noun, masculine; accusative singular of <synu'> son -- son
  • i -- conjunction; <i> and -- and
  • sve^tyi -- adjective; accusative singular masculine of <sve^tu'> holy, blessed -- holy
  • dukhu' -- noun, masculine; accusative singular of <dukhu'> spirit -- spirit

e^ti zhe byshe^ sve^tii mo^tchenitsi na mo^tchenije o khristje' prje'zhde tchetyri' kalandu' marta tsir'tchi' vu' kdz feiroara |

  • e^ti -- verb; past passive participle; nominative plural masculine of <je^ti, imo^, imeshi> take, seize -- held
  • zhe -- conjunction; <zhe> and, but -- ...
  • byshe^ -- verb; 3rd person plural aorist of <byti, bo^do^, bo^deshi> be, become -- were
  • sve^tii -- adjective; nominative plural masculine of <sve^tu'> holy, blessed -- the saints
  • mo^tchenitsi -- noun, masculine; nominative plural of <mo^tcheniku'> martyr -- martyrs
  • na -- preposition; <na> in, on; at, against; for -- in
  • mo^tchenije -- noun, neuter; accusative singular of <mo^tcheni'je> martyrdom -- martyrdom
  • o -- preposition; <o> around, concerning; against -- of
  • khristje' -- proper noun, masculine; locative singular of <Khristu'> Christ -- Christ
  • prje'zhde -- preposition; <prje'zhde> before -- before
  • tchetyri' -- adjective; genitive plural masculine of <tchetyre, tchetyri> four -- four (days)
  • kalandu' -- noun, feminine; genitive plural of <kalandy> kalends, first day of the month -- the Kalends
  • marta -- noun, masculine; genitive singular of <martu'> March -- of March
  • tsir'tchi' -- adverb; <tsir'tchi'> that is, i.e. -- that is
  • vu' -- preposition; <vu'> in, into -- on
  • kdz -- number; accusative plural masculine of <du'vadese^ti'nyi i shestyi, -oje, -aja> the twenty-sixth -- the 26th
  • feiroara -- noun, masculine; genitive singular of <feiroar'i'> February -- of February

prje'dashe^ zhe svoe^ dushe^ gospodevi prje'zhde dz di'ni' marta pri lik'inii samovladasti'tsi | nam zhe tsje'sari'stvujo^shtu gospodu nashemu i bogu i su'pasu vladytsje' nashemu iisusu khristu jemuzhe jestu' slava i dru'zhava i tchesti' nyn'je' i prisno i vi' vje'ky vje'komi' aminu' |

  • prje'dashe^ -- verb; 3rd person plural aorist of <prje'dati, -dami', -dasi> hand over, commend -- they commended
  • zhe -- conjunction; <zhe> and, but -- ...
  • svoe^ -- reflexive adjective; accusative plural feminine of <svoi, svoe, svoja> own, one's own -- their
  • dushe^ -- noun, feminine; accusative plural of <dusha> soul -- souls
  • gospodevi -- noun, masculine; dative singular of <gospodi'> lord, master -- to the Lord
  • prje'zhde -- preposition; <prje'zhde> before -- before
  • dz -- number; genitive plural masculine of <sedmyi, -oje, -aja> seventh -- seven
  • di'ni' -- noun, masculine; genitive plural of <di'ni'> day -- days
  • marta -- noun, masculine; genitive singular of <martu'> March -- (the Ides) of March
  • pri -- preposition; <pri> near; at the time of -- during the time of
  • lik'inii -- proper noun, masculine; locative singular of <Likinii> Licinius -- Licinius
  • samovladasti'tsi -- noun, masculine; locative singular of <samovladasti'tsi'> monarch, autocrat -- the ruler
  • nam -- pronoun; dative plural of <azu'> I -- us
  • zhe -- conjunction; <zhe> and, but -- ...
  • tsje'sari'stvujo^shtu -- verb; present active participle; dative singular masculine of <tsje'sar'i'stvovati, -vujo^, -vujeshi> rule, be emperor -- having power over
  • gospodu -- noun, masculine; dative singular of <gospodi'> lord, master -- Lord
  • nashemu -- possessive adjective; dative singular masculine of <nashi'> our, of us -- our
  • i -- conjunction; <i> and -- and
  • bogu -- noun, masculine; dative singular of <bogu'> god -- God
  • i -- conjunction; <i> and -- and
  • su'pasu -- noun, masculine; dative singular of <su'pasu'> savior -- savior
  • vladytsje' -- noun, masculine; dative singular of <vladyka> lord, master; leader -- ruler
  • nashemu -- possessive adjective; dative singular masculine of <nashi'> our, of us -- our
  • iisusu -- proper noun, masculine; dative singular of <Iisusu'> Jesus -- Jesus
  • khristu -- proper noun, masculine; dative singular of <Khristu'> Christ -- Christ
  • jemuzhe -- relative pronoun; dative singular masculine of <izhe> who, which -- whose
  • jestu' -- verb; 3rd person singular present of <jes-, jesmi', jesi> be -- is
  • slava -- noun, feminine; nominative singular of <slava> fame, glory -- the glory
  • i -- conjunction; <i> and -- and
  • dru'zhava -- noun, feminine; nominative singular of <dru'zhava> power, rule -- power
  • i -- conjunction; <i> and -- and
  • tchesti' -- noun, feminine; nominative singular of <tchi'sti'> honor, rank, reverence, feast, device, pattern -- honor
  • nyn'je' -- adverb; <nyn'je'> now -- now
  • i -- conjunction; <i> and -- and
  • prisno -- adverb; <prisno> always -- always
  • i -- conjunction; <i> and -- ...
  • vi' -- preposition; <vu'> in, into -- for
  • vje'ky -- noun, masculine; accusative plural of <vje'ku'> age -- ever
  • vje'komi' -- noun, masculine; dative plural of <vje'ku'> age -- (and) ever
  • aminu' -- adverb; <aminu'> amen -- amen

Lesson Text

po trekhu' zhe di'nekhu' javishe^ se^ episkupu grada togo imenemi' petru jako so^tu' su'khran'eny kosti nashe^ semi' mje'stje' | pridi ubo vi' noshti i iznesi ny izdrje'ky | i poimu' episkopu' kliriky i mo^zhe^ vje'ri'ny i prishedu' sta na brje'zje' rje'ky | i se prosvi'tje'she^ se^ kosti sve^tyikhu' vi' vodje' aky i svje'tili'nitsi | i ashte kde ostavi'ena byvaashe kosti' svje'tomu' javi'jashe se^ | i tako su'bu'ravu'she kosti sve^tyikhu' mo^tcheniku' polozhishe^ e^ vu' rakakhu' | i sitse postradavu'she vje'ni'tchani byshe^ | i sijajo^tu' jako i zvje'zdy vi' vi'semi' mirje' bogu vje'rovavu'she khrista ispovje'davi'she sve^taago dukha ne otu'vri'gu'she se^ proslavi'jeni byvu'she o khristje' | pame^ti' vi' zhitii semi' ostavishe^ na su'pasenije vi'sjemu' vje'rujo^shtiimu' vu' oti'tsu' i synu' i sve^tyi dukhu' | e^ti zhe byshe^ sve^tii mo^tchenitsi na mo^tchenije o khristje' prje'zhde tchetyri' kalandu' marta tsir'tchi' vu' kdz feiroara | prje'dashe^ zhe svoe^ dushe^ gospodevi prje'zhde dz di'ni' marta pri lik'inii samovladasti'tsi | nam zhe tsje'sari'stvujo^shtu gospodu nashemu i bogu i su'pasu vladytsje' nashemu iisusu khristu jemuzhe jestu' slava i dru'zhava i tchesti' nyn'je' i prisno i vi' vje'ky vje'komi' aminu' |

Translation

And after three days they revealed themselves to the bishop of that city, Peter by name, that 'our bones are protected in this place. Come, therefore, during the night and carry us out of the river.' (5) And the bishop took the clerics and men of faith and came to stand on the bank of the river. And lo the bones of the saints shone forth in the water like lanterns. And wherever a bone was left, it would shine forth with light. (10) And in this way having collected the bones of the holy martyrs, they commended them to coffins, and so those who suffered were crowned and shine as stars over the whole world, having had faith in God and having confessed Christ. (15) Nor did they reject the Holy Spirit; glorified in Christ, they cast off the memory of this world for salvation for all those believing in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The saints were held martyrs in martyrdom of Christ (20) four days before the Kalends of March, that is, on the 26th of February. They commended their souls to the Lord seven days before the Ides of March, during the time of the ruler Licinius; having power over us, however, our Lord and God and Savior, our ruler Jesus Christ, (25) whose is the glory and power and honor, now and always, for ever and ever. Amen.

Grammar

36. The Verbal Noun

The verbal noun or verbal substantive is formed from the past passive participle by addition of the suffix -i'j-. Because the jer is tense, this often becomes -ij-. The noun is declined as a soft neuter -jo- stem, like the noun znameni'je (cf. Section 3.1 in Lesson 1). Though intransitive verbs have no actual past passive participle, the verbal noun is formed by the same procedure as for transitive verbs. Where a verb has different formations as a result of -t- / -n- alternation, or as a result of forms with or without -v-, the shades of meaning may differ. The following are some common examples.

Infinitive   Translation   Past Pass. Part.   Verbal Noun   Translation
znati   'to know'   znanu'   znani'je   'knowledge'
su'pasti   'to save'   su'pasenu'   su'paseni'je   'salvation'
istsje'liti   'to cure'   istsje'l'enu'   istsje'l'eni'je   '(the) healing'
prope^ti   'to crucify'   prope^tu'   prope^ti'je   'crucifixion'
umrje'ti   'to die'   -   umru'ti'e   'death'
zabyti   'to forget'   zabu'venu'   zabu'veni'je   '(the) forgetting'
        zabytu'   zabyti'je   'oblivion'
iti   'to go'   -   su'n-iti'je   'descent'
        -   shi'sti'je   '(the) going'
        -   shi'stvi'je   'march'
37. The Third Conjugation

The third conjugation comprises verbs whose present stem is in -je-, the -j- palatalizing a preceding consonant. These verbs fall into three categories.

In the first category, the infinitive-aorist stem is identical to the root. For example, zna-ti 'to know' has second person singular form zna-je-shi; grje'-ti 'to warm' has grje'-je-shi. This category includes roots ending in a liquid diphthong, e.g. kla-ti < *kol-ti 'to stab', which has second person singular kol'jeshi. The metathesis of the liquid comes about from the tendency to prefer open syllables, i.e. syllables ending in a vowel. Thus kol'jeshi avoids metathesis because the syllable division is ko-l'je-shi, while the syllables *kol-ti require metathesis. This also includes verbs with root syllables ending in -i' + nasal, which becomes -e^- in the infinitive-aorist stem, e.g. zhe^-ti 'to harvest' with second singular zhi'n'jeshi.

In the second category, the infinitive-aorist stem ends in a consonant, to which is added the suffix -a- or -ov-a-. The final -a- is dropped in the present stem. Thus pi's-a-ti 'to write' yields the second singular form pisheshi, where the jot of the -je- suffix palatalizes the preceding consonant. When -a- is dropped from -ov-a-, -ov- becomes -u-. For example, kup-ova-ti 'to buy' forms the second singular kupujeshi.

In the third category, the root contains the suffix -a- or -je'- which remains in both the present and infinitive-aorist stems. For example, dje'l-a-ti 'to do' forms the second singular dje'l-a-jeshi. In practice, these verbs follow the same conjugational pattern as znati and grje'ti.

The third conjugation is illustrated by the verbs

  • Category (i) znati, znajo^, znajeshi 'to know'; klati, kol'jo^, kol'jeshi 'to stab';
  • Category (ii) glagolati, -l'jo^, -l'jeshi 'to speak';
  • Category (iii) umje'ti, umje'jo^, umje'jeshi 'to understand'.

These verbs do not form the asigmatic or new aorists.

Present   zna-je-   kol'-je-   glagol'-je-   umje'-je-
                 
1st Sg.   znajo^   kol'jo^   glagol'jo^   umje'jo^
2   znajeshi   kol'jeshi   glagol'jeshi   umje'jeshi
3   znajetu'   kol'jetu'   glagol'jetu'   umje'jetu'
                 
1st Du.   znajevje'   kol'jevje'   glagol'jevje'   umje'jevje'
2   znajeta   kol'jeta   glagol'jeta   umje'jeta
3   znajete   kol'jete   glagol'jete   umje'jete
                 
1st Pl.   znajemu'   kol'jemu'   glagol'jemu'   umje'jemu'
2   znajete   kol'jete   glagol'jete   umje'jete
3   znajo^tu'   kol'jo^tu'   glagol'jo^tu'   umje'jo^tu'
                 
Imperative                
1st Sg.   -   -   -   -
2   znai   kol'i   glagol'i   umje'i
3   znai   kol'i   glagol'i   umje'i
                 
1st Du.   znaivje'   kol'ivje'   glagol'ivje'   umje'ivje'
2   znaita   kol'ita   glagol'ita   umje'ita
3   znaite   kol'ite   glagol'ite   umje'ite
                 
1st Pl.   znaimu'   kol'imu'   glagol'imu'   umje'imu'
2   znaite   kol'ite   glagol'ite   umje'ite
3   -   -   -   -
                 
Pres. Act. Part.                
Masc./Neut. N   znaje^   kol'je^   glagol'je^   umje'je^
Fem. N   znajo^shti   kol'jo^shti   glagol'jo^shti   umje'jo^shti
                 
Pres. Pass. Part.                
Masc. N   znajemu'   kol'jemu'   glagol'jemu'   umje'jemu'
                 
Imperfect                
1st Sg.   znaakhu'   kolje'akhu'   glagolaakhu'   umje'akhu'
2   znaashe   kolje'ashe   glagolaashe   umje'ashe
3   znaashe   kolje'ashe   glagolaashe   umje'ashe
                 
1st Du.   znaakhovje'   kolje'akhovje'   glagolaakhovje'   umje'akhovje'
2   znaasheta   kolje'asheta   glagolaasheta   umje'asheta
3   znaashete   kolje'ashete   glagolaashete   umje'ashete
                 
1st Pl.   znaakhomu'   kolje'akhomu'   glagolaakhomu'   umje'akhomu'
2   znaashete   kolje'ashete   glagolaashete   umje'ashete
3   znaakho^   kolje'akho^   glagolaakho^   umje'akho^
                 
Sigmatic Aorist                
1st Sg.   znakhu'   klakhu'   glagolakhu'   umje'khu'
2   zna   kla   glagola   umje'
3   zna   kla   glagola   umje'
                 
1st Du.   znakhovje'   klakhovje'   glagolakhovje'   umje'khovje'
2   znasta   klasta   glagolasta   umje'sta
3   znaste   klaste   glagolaste   umje'ste
                 
1st Pl.   znakhomu'   klakhomu'   glagolakhomu'   umje'khomu'
2   znaste   klaste   glagolaste   umje'ste
3   znashe^   klashe^   glagolashe^   umje'she^
                 
Past Act. Part.                
Masc./Neut. N   znavu'   klavu'   glagolavu'   umje'vu'
Fem. N   znavu'shi   klavu'shi   glagolavu'shi   umje'vu'shi
                 
Resultative Part.                
Masc. N   znalu'   klalu'   glagolalu'   umje'lu'
                 
Past Pass. Part.                
Masc. N   znanu'   -kolenu'   glagolanu'   umje'nu'
        -klanu'        
                 
Infinitive   znati   klati   glagolati   umje'ti
                 
Supine   znatu'   klatu'   glagolatu'   umje'tu'
                 
Verbal Noun   (po)znani'je   -koleni'je   glagolani'je   umje'ni'je
                 

There are occurences of forms where the intervocalic -j- seems to have dropped, e.g. znaate < znajete. Verbs with stems ending in -i or -je' may take the ending -tu' in the third person singular aorist: bitu' from biti 'to beat', pje'tu' from pje'ti 'to sing'.

38. The Locative Case

The locative denotes the spatial or temporal expanse in which or at which a phrase or clause obtains, e.g. prje'bystu' na n'emi' zhe bje' mje'stje' du'va di'ni 'He remained in the place in which he was for two days'. By the time of the OCS texts, the locative as a stand-alone case was on its way out. Many of the instances in which the bare case was used may also be interpreted as frozen adverbial phrases, such as zimje' 'in winter' and polu noshti 'at midnight'. The locative was more often found with prepositions that strengthened its locational function, such as na 'in' and pri 'near'. The locative served as the complement of certain verbs, such as kosno^ti se^ 'to touch'. More frequently it served as the complement of verbs with prefixes already consonant with the basic meaning of the locative: prikosno^ti se^ 'to touch', prilezhati 'take care of', nalezhati 'press upon'.

39. The Dative Case

The dative case performed a wide array of functions. At a fundamental level, the dative was used for a substantive with reference to which the action took place, or to which a concept is relevant. Thus the datiev is regularly the complement of such adjectives as tu'tchi'nu' 'similar (to)' and ugodi'nu' 'pleasing (to)'. Such a dative may be only tenuously associated with the action at hand, e.g. su'motri zhe mi zu'lodje'istvo ikhu' 'consider, for me, their crime'. The dative may also indicate that the action happens for the referent's benefit: tchlovje'ku eteru bogatu ugobi'dzi se^ n'iva 'a field yielded itself richly for a certain man'. With verbs of giving and saying these notions coalesce in the indirect object: dazhdi' mi... si'de na misje' glavo^ ioana kri'stitelja 'give me the head of John the Baptist on a platter'; i retche otrokomu' svoimu' si' estu' ioanu' kri'stitel'i' 'and he said to his servants: This is John the Baptist'. The dative may have a weak possessive force, akin to the genitive, e.g. drugu' mi 'my friend'. With verbs of motion or statements implying motion, the dative may have a directional meaning: se tsje'sar'i' tvoi gre^detu' tebje' 'behold thy King cometh unto thee'.

39.1. The Dative with Infinitive

A special use of the dative occurs with the infinitive, in which the dative refers to the subject of the action of the infinitive. This usage overlaps with the dative as indirect object: dastu' imu' vlasti' tche^domi' bozhiemi' byti 'he gave to them the power to become God's children'; ne dostoitu' ti imje'ti ee^ 'it is not fitting for you to have her', 'it is not fitting that you should have her'.

39.2. The Dative Absolute

The dative absolute consists of a substantive and participle in the dative case, representing a situation related to but not directly part of the action. "Absolute" refers to the tendency for the actions described by the phrase in the dative to be grammatically unrelated to the rest of the statement. Thus the subject of a dative ought not to refer to the suject of the main verb. However in OCS this rule is occasionally broken. Examples are di'ni zhe byvu'shu rozhdi'stva irodova ple^sa du'shti 'and with the day of Herod's birth having arrived, the daughter danced'; more zhe vje'tru veliju dykhajo^shtu vu'staashe 'the sea, since a great wind was blowing, kept rising'.

40. Negation

The special relation of the genitive case with negation has been treated in Section 15 of Lesson 3.

The two particles ne and ni expressed negation in OCS. ne denoted simple negation, standing before the item it negated, while ni denoted emphatic or absolute negation. ni was added, along with the relativizing particle zhe, to interrogative adverbs and pronouns to create negative adverbs and pronouns: niku'tozhe 'no one'; nitchi'tozhe 'nothing'; niku'dezhe 'nowhere'. Clauses containg ni or a negative pronoun often placed ne before the verb, unless sometimes when ni- preceded it in the clause. The effect was one of overall negation, and not double negation as occurs in English: i niktozhe ne daje'she emu 'and no one gave him (anything)'. ni may be repeated in a clause, while ne usually occurs only once: pride ioanu' ni pie^ ni jady 'John came, neither drinking nor eating'; polozhi e vu' grobje' isje'shenje' vu' nemi'zhe ne bje' niku'tozhe nikogdazhe polozhenu' 'he laid it in a hewn tomb where no one had ever been laid'. nezhe was used after comparatives in the sense of 'than'.