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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 prěžde četyrĭ kalandŭ 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 prěžde dz dĭnĭ marta is a compressed rendering of the Latin ante diem septimum Idus Martias 'the seventh day before the Ides of March'.

po trexŭ že dĭnexŭ javišę sę episkupu grada togo imenemĭ petru jako sǫtŭ sŭxran'eny kosti našę semĭ městě |

  • po -- preposition; <po> after; according to -- after
  • trexŭ -- number adjective; locative plural masculine of <trĭe, tri, tri> three -- three
  • že -- conjunction; <že> and, but -- and
  • dĭnexŭ -- noun, masculine; locative plural of <dĭnĭ> day -- days
  • javišę sę -- reflexive verb; 3rd person plural aorist of <aviti, -vl'jǫ, -viši> reveal -- they revealed themselves
  • episkupu -- noun, masculine; dative singular of <episkopŭ> bishop -- to the bishop
  • grada -- noun, masculine; genitive singular of <gradŭ> city -- of city
  • togo -- demonstrative adjective; genitive singular masculine of <> that, that one -- that
  • imenemĭ -- noun, neuter; instrumental singular of <imę> name -- by name
  • petru -- proper noun, masculine; dative singular of <Petrŭ> Peter -- Peter
  • jako -- conjunction; <jako> as, when; in order to; that; because; (introduces quotation) -- that
  • sǫtŭ -- verb; 3rd person plural present of <jes-, jesmĭ, jesi> be -- are
  • sŭxran'eny -- verb; past passive participle; nominative plural feminine of <sŭxraniti, -n'ǫ, -niši> guard, protect, preserve -- protected
  • kosti -- noun, feminine; nominative plural of <kostĭ> bone -- bones
  • našę -- possessive adjective; nominative plural feminine of <našĭ> our, of us -- our
  • semĭ -- demonstrative adjective; locative singular neuter of <> this -- in this
  • městě -- noun, neuter; locative singular of <město> place -- place

pridi ubo vĭ nošti i iznesi ny izdrěky | i poimŭ episkopŭ kliriky i mǫžę věrĭny i prišedŭ sta na brězě rěky |

  • pridi -- verb; 2nd person singular imperative of <priti, -idǫ, -ideši> come, arrive -- come
  • ubo -- conjunction; <ubo> but, even, now, therefore -- therefore
  • -- preposition; <> in, into -- during
  • nošti -- noun, feminine; locative singular of <noštĭ> night -- the night
  • i -- conjunction; <i> and -- and
  • iznesi -- verb; 2nd person singular imperative of <iznesti, -sǫ, -seši> carry out -- carry out
  • ny -- pronoun; accusative plural of <azŭ> I -- us
  • izdrěky -- preposition; <iz> out of + noun, feminine; genitive singular of <rěka> river -- out of the river
  • i -- conjunction; <i> and -- and
  • poimŭ -- verb; past active participle; nominative singular masculine of <poęti, -imǫ, -imeši> take -- took
  • episkopŭ -- noun, masculine; nominative singular of <episkopŭ> bishop -- the bishop
  • kliriky -- noun, masculine; accusative plural of <klirikŭ> cleric, priest -- the clerics
  • i -- conjunction; <i> and -- and
  • mǫžę -- noun, masculine; accusative plural of <mǫžĭ> man, husband -- men
  • věrĭny -- adjective; accusative plural masculine of <věrĭnŭ> true, real; of faith -- of faith
  • i -- conjunction; <i> and -- and
  • prišedŭ -- verb; past active participle; nominative singular masculine of <priti, -idǫ, -ideši> come, arrive -- came
  • sta -- verb; 3rd person singular aorist of <stati, stanǫ, staneši> stand -- to stand
  • na -- preposition; <na> in, on; at, against; for -- on
  • brězě -- noun, masculine; locative singular of <brěgŭ> bank, bluff -- the bank
  • rěky -- noun, feminine; genitive singular of <rěka> river -- of the river

i se prosvĭtěšę sę kosti svętyixŭ vĭ vodě aky i světilĭnici | i ašte kde ostavĭena byvaaše kostĭ světomŭ javĭjaše sę |

  • i -- conjunction; <i> and -- and
  • se -- interjection; <se> lo, behold -- lo
  • prosvĭtěšę sę -- reflexive verb; 3rd person plural aorist of <prosvĭtěti, -štǫ, -tiši> shine -- shone forth
  • kosti -- noun, feminine; nominative plural of <kostĭ> bone -- the bones
  • svętyixŭ -- adjective used as substantive; genitive plural masculine of <svętŭ> holy, blessed -- of the saints
  • -- preposition; <> in, into -- in
  • vodě -- noun, feminine; locative singular of <voda> water -- the water
  • aky -- conjunction; <aky> as, like -- like
  • i -- conjunction; <i> and -- ...
  • světilĭnici -- noun, masculine; nominative plural of <světilĭnikŭ> lamp, light -- lanterns
  • i -- conjunction; <i> and -- and
  • ašte kde -- relative adverb; <kŭde ašte> wherever, whenever -- wherever
  • ostavĭena -- verb; past passive participle; nominative singular feminine of <ostaviti, -vl'jǫ, -viši> let, leave, neglect, forget -- left
  • byvaaše -- verb; 3rd person singular imperfect of <byvati, -vajǫ, -vaješi> be -- was
  • kostĭ -- noun, feminine; nominative singular of <kostĭ> bone -- a bone
  • světomŭ -- noun, masculine; instrumental singular of <světŭ> light -- with light
  • javĭjaše sę -- reflexive verb; 3rd person singular imperfect of <aviti, -vl'jǫ, -viši> reveal -- it would shine forth

i tako sŭbŭravŭše kosti svętyixŭ mǫčenikŭ položišę ę vŭ rakaxŭ | i sice postradavŭše věnĭčani byšę |

  • i -- conjunction; <i> and -- and
  • tako -- adverb; <tako> thus, in this way -- in this way
  • sŭbŭravŭše -- verb; past active participle; nominative plural masculine of <sŭbĭrati, -berǫ, -bereši> collect, gather -- having collected
  • kosti -- noun, feminine; accusative plural of <kostĭ> bone -- the bones
  • svętyixŭ -- adjective; genitive plural masculine of <svętŭ> holy, blessed -- of the holy
  • mǫčenikŭ -- noun, masculine; genitive plural of <mǫčenikŭ> martyr -- martyrs
  • položišę -- verb; 3rd person plural aorist of <položiti, -žǫ, -žiši> lay down, set down -- they commended
  • ę -- pronoun; accusative plural feminine of <*i> he -- them
  • -- preposition; <> in, into -- to
  • rakaxŭ -- noun, feminine; locative plural of <raka> sepulchre, coffin -- coffins
  • i -- conjunction; <i> and -- and
  • sice -- adverb; <sice> thus, so -- so
  • postradavŭše -- verb; past active participle; nominative plural masculine of <postradati, -ždǫ, -ždeši> suffer -- those who suffered
  • věnĭčani -- verb; past passive participle; nominative plural masculine of <věnĭčati, -čajǫ, -čaješi> crown -- crowned
  • byšę -- verb; 3rd person plural aorist of <byti, bǫdǫ, bǫdeši> be, become -- were

i sijajǫtŭ jako i zvězdy vĭ vĭsemĭ mirě bogu věrovavŭše xrista ispovědavĭše svętaago duxa ne otŭvrĭgŭše sę proslavĭjeni byvŭše o xristě |

  • i -- conjunction; <i> and -- and
  • sijajǫtŭ -- verb; 3rd person plural present of <sijati, -ajǫ, -aješi> shine, make shine -- shine
  • jako -- conjunction; <jako> as, when; in order to; that; because; (introduces quotation) -- as
  • i -- conjunction; <i> and -- ...
  • zvězdy -- noun, feminine; nominative plural of <zvězda> star -- stars
  • -- preposition; <> in, into -- over
  • vĭsemĭ -- adjective; locative singular masculine of <vĭsĭ> all, every; whole -- the whole
  • mirě -- noun, masculine; locative singular of <mirŭ> world; peace -- world
  • bogu -- noun, masculine; dative singular of <bogŭ> god -- in God
  • věrovavŭše -- verb; past active participle; nominative plural masculine of <věrovati, -ujǫ, -uješi> believe -- having had faith
  • xrista -- proper noun, masculine; genitive singular of <Xristŭ> Christ -- Christ
  • ispovědavĭše -- verb; past active participle; nominative plural masculine of <ispovědati, -ajǫ, -aješi> announce, make known -- having confessed
  • svętaago -- adjective; genitive singular masculine of <svętŭ> holy, blessed -- the Holy
  • duxa -- noun, masculine; genitive singular of <duxŭ> spirit -- spirit
  • ne -- adverb; <ne> not, nor -- nor
  • otŭvrĭgŭše sę -- verb; reflexive past active participle; nominative plural masculine of <otŭvrěšti, -vrĭgǫ, -vrĭgeši> throw away, renounce -- did they reject
  • proslavĭjeni -- verb; past passive participle; nominative plural masculine of <proslaviti, -vl'jǫ, -viši> praise, glorify -- glorified
  • byvŭše -- verb; past active participle; nominative plural masculine of <byvati, -vajǫ, -vaješi> be -- ...
  • o -- preposition; <o> around, concerning; against -- in
  • xristě -- proper noun, masculine; locative singular of <Xristŭ> Christ -- Christ

pamętĭ vĭ žitii semĭ ostavišę na sŭpasenije vĭsjemŭ věrujǫštiimŭ vŭ otĭcŭ i synŭ i svętyi duxŭ |

  • pamętĭ -- noun, feminine; accusative singular of <pamętĭ> memory -- the memory
  • -- preposition; <> in, into -- of
  • žitii -- noun, neuter; locative singular of <žitĭje> life -- life
  • semĭ -- demonstrative adjective; locative singular neuter of <> this -- this
  • ostavišę -- verb; 3rd person plural aorist of <ostaviti, -vl'jǫ, -viši> let, leave, neglect, forget -- they cast off
  • na -- preposition; <na> in, on; at, against; for -- for
  • sŭpasenije -- noun, neuter; accusative singular of <sŭpasenĭje> salvation -- salvation
  • vĭsjemŭ -- adjective; dative plural masculine of <vĭsĭ> all, every; whole -- for all
  • věrujǫštiimŭ -- verb; present active participle; dative plural masculine of <věrovati, -ujǫ, -uješi> believe -- those believing
  • -- preposition; <> in, into -- in
  • otĭcŭ -- noun, masculine; accusative singular of <otĭcĭ> father -- the Father
  • i -- conjunction; <i> and -- ...
  • synŭ -- noun, masculine; accusative singular of <synŭ> son -- son
  • i -- conjunction; <i> and -- and
  • svętyi -- adjective; accusative singular masculine of <svętŭ> holy, blessed -- holy
  • duxŭ -- noun, masculine; accusative singular of <duxŭ> spirit -- spirit

ęti že byšę svętii mǫčenici na mǫčenije o xristě prěžde četyrĭ kalandŭ marta cir'čĭ vŭ kdz feüroara |

  • ęti -- verb; past passive participle; nominative plural masculine of <jęti, imǫ, imeši> take, seize -- held
  • že -- conjunction; <že> and, but -- ...
  • byšę -- verb; 3rd person plural aorist of <byti, bǫdǫ, bǫdeši> be, become -- were
  • svętii -- adjective; nominative plural masculine of <svętŭ> holy, blessed -- the saints
  • mǫčenici -- noun, masculine; nominative plural of <mǫčenikŭ> martyr -- martyrs
  • na -- preposition; <na> in, on; at, against; for -- in
  • mǫčenije -- noun, neuter; accusative singular of <mǫčenĭje> martyrdom -- martyrdom
  • o -- preposition; <o> around, concerning; against -- of
  • xristě -- proper noun, masculine; locative singular of <Xristŭ> Christ -- Christ
  • prěžde -- preposition; <prěžde> before -- before
  • četyrĭ -- adjective; genitive plural masculine of <četyre, četyri> four -- four (days)
  • kalandŭ -- noun, feminine; genitive plural of <kalandy> kalends, first day of the month -- the Kalends
  • marta -- noun, masculine; genitive singular of <martŭ> March -- of March
  • cir'čĭ -- adverb; <cir'čĭ> that is, i.e. -- that is
  • -- preposition; <> in, into -- on
  • kdz -- number; accusative plural masculine of <dŭvadesętĭnyi i šestyi, -oje, -aja> the twenty-sixth -- the 26th
  • feüroara -- noun, masculine; genitive singular of <feüroar'ĭ> February -- of February

prědašę že svoę dušę gospodevi prěžde dz dĭnĭ marta pri lik'inii samovladastĭci | nam že cěsarĭstvujǫštu gospodu našemu i bogu i sŭpasu vladycě našemu iisusu xristu jemuže jestŭ slava i drŭžava i čestĭ nyn'ě i prisno i vĭ věky věkomĭ aminŭ |

  • prědašę -- verb; 3rd person plural aorist of <prědati, -damĭ, -dasi> hand over, commend -- they commended
  • že -- conjunction; <že> and, but -- ...
  • svoę -- reflexive adjective; accusative plural feminine of <svoi, svoe, svoja> own, one's own -- their
  • dušę -- noun, feminine; accusative plural of <duša> soul -- souls
  • gospodevi -- noun, masculine; dative singular of <gospodĭ> lord, master -- to the Lord
  • prěžde -- preposition; <prěžde> before -- before
  • dz -- number; genitive plural masculine of <sedmyi, -oje, -aja> seventh -- seven
  • dĭnĭ -- noun, masculine; genitive plural of <dĭnĭ> day -- days
  • marta -- noun, masculine; genitive singular of <martŭ> 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
  • samovladastĭci -- noun, masculine; locative singular of <samovladastĭcĭ> monarch, autocrat -- the ruler
  • nam -- pronoun; dative plural of <azŭ> I -- us
  • že -- conjunction; <že> and, but -- ...
  • cěsarĭstvujǫštu -- verb; present active participle; dative singular masculine of <cěsar'ĭstvovati, -vujǫ, -vuješi> rule, be emperor -- having power over
  • gospodu -- noun, masculine; dative singular of <gospodĭ> lord, master -- Lord
  • našemu -- possessive adjective; dative singular masculine of <našĭ> our, of us -- our
  • i -- conjunction; <i> and -- and
  • bogu -- noun, masculine; dative singular of <bogŭ> god -- God
  • i -- conjunction; <i> and -- and
  • sŭpasu -- noun, masculine; dative singular of <sŭpasŭ> savior -- savior
  • vladycě -- noun, masculine; dative singular of <vladyka> lord, master; leader -- ruler
  • našemu -- possessive adjective; dative singular masculine of <našĭ> our, of us -- our
  • iisusu -- proper noun, masculine; dative singular of <Iisusŭ> Jesus -- Jesus
  • xristu -- proper noun, masculine; dative singular of <Xristŭ> Christ -- Christ
  • jemuže -- relative pronoun; dative singular masculine of <iže> who, which -- whose
  • jestŭ -- verb; 3rd person singular present of <jes-, jesmĭ, jesi> be -- is
  • slava -- noun, feminine; nominative singular of <slava> fame, glory -- the glory
  • i -- conjunction; <i> and -- and
  • drŭžava -- noun, feminine; nominative singular of <drŭžava> power, rule -- power
  • i -- conjunction; <i> and -- and
  • čestĭ -- noun, feminine; nominative singular of <čĭstĭ> honor, rank, reverence, feast, device, pattern -- honor
  • nyn'ě -- adverb; <nyn'ě> now -- now
  • i -- conjunction; <i> and -- and
  • prisno -- adverb; <prisno> always -- always
  • i -- conjunction; <i> and -- ...
  • -- preposition; <> in, into -- for
  • věky -- noun, masculine; accusative plural of <věkŭ> age -- ever
  • věkomĭ -- noun, masculine; dative plural of <věkŭ> age -- (and) ever
  • aminŭ -- adverb; <aminŭ> amen -- amen

Lesson Text

po trexŭ že dĭnexŭ javišę sę episkupu grada togo imenemĭ petru jako sǫtŭ sŭxran'eny kosti našę semĭ městě | pridi ubo vĭ nošti i iznesi ny izdrěky | i poimŭ episkopŭ kliriky i mǫžę věrĭny i prišedŭ sta na brězě rěky | i se prosvĭtěšę sę kosti svętyixŭ vĭ vodě aky i světilĭnici | i ašte kde ostavĭena byvaaše kostĭ světomŭ javĭjaše sę | i tako sŭbŭravŭše kosti svętyixŭ mǫčenikŭ položišę ę vŭ rakaxŭ | i sice postradavŭše věnĭčani byšę | i sijajǫtŭ jako i zvězdy vĭ vĭsemĭ mirě bogu věrovavŭše xrista ispovědavĭše svętaago duxa ne otŭvrĭgŭše sę proslavĭjeni byvŭše o xristě | pamętĭ vĭ žitii semĭ ostavišę na sŭpasenije vĭsjemŭ věrujǫštiimŭ vŭ otĭcŭ i synŭ i svętyi duxŭ | ęti že byšę svętii mǫčenici na mǫčenije o xristě prěžde četyrĭ kalandŭ marta cir'čĭ vŭ kdz feüroara | prědašę že svoę dušę gospodevi prěžde dz dĭnĭ marta pri lik'inii samovladastĭci | nam že cěsarĭstvujǫštu gospodu našemu i bogu i sŭpasu vladycě našemu iisusu xristu jemuže jestŭ slava i drŭžava i čestĭ nyn'ě i prisno i vĭ věky věkomĭ aminŭ |

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 -ĭj-. Because the jer is tense, this often becomes -ij-. The noun is declined as a soft neuter -jo- stem, like the noun znamenĭje (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'   znanŭ   znanĭje   'knowledge'
sŭpasti   'to save'   sŭpasenŭ   sŭpasenĭje   'salvation'
iscěliti   'to cure'   iscěl'enŭ   iscěl'enĭje   '(the) healing'
propęti   'to crucify'   propętŭ   propętĭje   'crucifixion'
umrěti   'to die'   -   umrŭtĭe   'death'
zabyti   'to forget'   zabŭvenŭ   zabŭvenĭje   '(the) forgetting'
        zabytŭ   zabytĭje   'oblivion'
iti   'to go'   -   sŭn-itĭje   'descent'
        -   šĭstĭje   '(the) going'
        -   šĭstvĭje   '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-ši; grě-ti 'to warm' has grě-je-ši. This category includes roots ending in a liquid diphthong, e.g. kla-ti < *kol-ti 'to stab', which has second person singular kol'ješi. The metathesis of the liquid comes about from the tendency to prefer open syllables, i.e. syllables ending in a vowel. Thus kol'ješi avoids metathesis because the syllable division is ko-l'je-ši, while the syllables *kol-ti require metathesis. This also includes verbs with root syllables ending in -ĭ + nasal, which becomes -ę- in the infinitive-aorist stem, e.g. žę-ti 'to harvest' with second singular žĭn'ješi.

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 pĭs-a-ti 'to write' yields the second singular form pišeši, 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 kupuješi.

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

The third conjugation is illustrated by the verbs

  • Category (i) znati, znajǫ, znaješi 'to know'; klati, kol'jǫ, kol'ješi 'to stab';
  • Category (ii) glagolati, -l'jǫ, -l'ješi 'to speak';
  • Category (iii) uměti, umějǫ, uměješi 'to understand'.

These verbs do not form the asigmatic or new aorists.

Present   zna-je-   kol'-je-   glagol'-je-   umě-je-
                 
1st Sg.   znajǫ   kol'jǫ   glagol'jǫ   umějǫ
2   znaješi   kol'ješi   glagol'ješi   uměješi
3   znajetŭ   kol'jetŭ   glagol'jetŭ   umějetŭ
                 
1st Du.   znajevě   kol'jevě   glagol'jevě   umějevě
2   znajeta   kol'jeta   glagol'jeta   umějeta
3   znajete   kol'jete   glagol'jete   umějete
                 
1st Pl.   znajemŭ   kol'jemŭ   glagol'jemŭ   umějemŭ
2   znajete   kol'jete   glagol'jete   umějete
3   znajǫtŭ   kol'jǫtŭ   glagol'jǫtŭ   umějǫtŭ
                 
Imperative                
1st Sg.   -   -   -   -
2   znai   kol'i   glagol'i   uměi
3   znai   kol'i   glagol'i   uměi
                 
1st Du.   znaivě   kol'ivě   glagol'ivě   uměivě
2   znaita   kol'ita   glagol'ita   uměita
3   znaite   kol'ite   glagol'ite   uměite
                 
1st Pl.   znaimŭ   kol'imŭ   glagol'imŭ   uměimŭ
2   znaite   kol'ite   glagol'ite   uměite
3   -   -   -   -
                 
Pres. Act. Part.                
Masc./Neut. N   znaję   kol'ję   glagol'ję   uměję
Fem. N   znajǫšti   kol'jǫšti   glagol'jǫšti   umějǫšti
                 
Pres. Pass. Part.                
Masc. N   znajemŭ   kol'jemŭ   glagol'jemŭ   umějemŭ
                 
Imperfect                
1st Sg.   znaaxŭ   kolěaxŭ   glagolaaxŭ   uměaxŭ
2   znaaše   kolěaše   glagolaaše   uměaše
3   znaaše   kolěaše   glagolaaše   uměaše
                 
1st Du.   znaaxově   kolěaxově   glagolaaxově   uměaxově
2   znaašeta   kolěašeta   glagolaašeta   uměašeta
3   znaašete   kolěašete   glagolaašete   uměašete
                 
1st Pl.   znaaxomŭ   kolěaxomŭ   glagolaaxomŭ   uměaxomŭ
2   znaašete   kolěašete   glagolaašete   uměašete
3   znaaxǫ   kolěaxǫ   glagolaaxǫ   uměaxǫ
                 
Sigmatic Aorist                
1st Sg.   znaxŭ   klaxŭ   glagolaxŭ   uměxŭ
2   zna   kla   glagola   umě
3   zna   kla   glagola   umě
                 
1st Du.   znaxově   klaxově   glagolaxově   uměxově
2   znasta   klasta   glagolasta   uměsta
3   znaste   klaste   glagolaste   uměste
                 
1st Pl.   znaxomŭ   klaxomŭ   glagolaxomŭ   uměxomŭ
2   znaste   klaste   glagolaste   uměste
3   znašę   klašę   glagolašę   uměšę
                 
Past Act. Part.                
Masc./Neut. N   znavŭ   klavŭ   glagolavŭ   uměvŭ
Fem. N   znavŭši   klavŭši   glagolavŭši   uměvŭši
                 
Resultative Part.                
Masc. N   znalŭ   klalŭ   glagolalŭ   umělŭ
                 
Past Pass. Part.                
Masc. N   znanŭ   -kolenŭ   glagolanŭ   uměnŭ
        -klanŭ        
                 
Infinitive   znati   klati   glagolati   uměti
                 
Supine   znatŭ   klatŭ   glagolatŭ   umětŭ
                 
Verbal Noun   (po)znanĭje   -kolenĭje   glagolanĭje   uměnĭje
                 

There are occurences of forms where the intervocalic -j- seems to have dropped, e.g. znaate < znajete. Verbs with stems ending in -i or -ě may take the ending - in the third person singular aorist: bitŭ from biti 'to beat', pětŭ from pěti '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. prěbystŭ na n'emĭ že městě dŭva dĭni '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 zimě 'in winter' and polu nošti '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 kosnǫti 'to touch'. More frequently it served as the complement of verbs with prefixes already consonant with the basic meaning of the locative: prikosnǫti 'to touch', priležati 'take care of', naležati '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 tŭčĭnŭ 'similar (to)' and ugodĭnŭ 'pleasing (to)'. Such a dative may be only tenuously associated with the action at hand, e.g. sŭmotri že mi zŭloděistvo ixŭ 'consider, for me, their crime'. The dative may also indicate that the action happens for the referent's benefit: člověku eteru bogatu ugobĭdzi n'iva 'a field yielded itself richly for a certain man'. With verbs of giving and saying these notions coalesce in the indirect object: daždĭ mi... sĭde na misě glavǫ ioana krĭstitelja 'give me the head of John the Baptist on a platter'; i reče otrokomŭ svoimŭ estŭ ioanŭ krĭstitel'ĭ '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. drugŭ mi 'my friend'. With verbs of motion or statements implying motion, the dative may have a directional meaning: se cěsar'ĭ tvoi grędetŭ tebě '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: dastŭ imŭ vlastĭ čędomĭ božiemĭ byti 'he gave to them the power to become God's children'; ne dostoitŭ ti iměti '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 dĭni že byvŭšu roždĭstva irodova plęsa dŭšti 'and with the day of Herod's birth having arrived, the daughter danced'; more že větru veliju dyxajǫštu vŭstaaše '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 že, to interrogative adverbs and pronouns to create negative adverbs and pronouns: nikŭtože 'no one'; ničĭtože 'nothing'; nikŭdeže '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 niktože ne daěše emu 'and no one gave him (anything)'. ni may be repeated in a clause, while ne usually occurs only once: pride ioanŭ ni pię ni jady 'John came, neither drinking nor eating'; položi e grobě isěšeně nemĭže ne nikŭtože nikogdaže položenŭ 'he laid it in a hewn tomb where no one had ever been laid'. neže was used after comparatives in the sense of 'than'.