A Greek Origin of the “Tarnovo” Version of the Hymnographic Office for St Paraskeva of the Balkans
The hymnographic office for St Paraskeva of the Balkans (Paraskeva of Epivates, Petka of Tarnovo) is known in several versions, significantly different in their composition and set of hymns, primarily in canons. One of the most recent is the “(new, expanded) Tarnovo” version, known at least in sixteen copies, starting from the 15th century, and containing two canons with incipits Ѿврьзи ми ѹсне... (1st mode) and Въ свѣтъ невещьстьвни... (8th mode), which are characteristic of this version of the office.
It was published by S. Kozhukharov who discussed its possible translated character (from Greek), but did not doubt its Slavonic origin and dated it to the decades preceding the Ottoman conquest of Tarnovo (1393). G. Popov established the translated character of its first canon, guided by the indication of the presence of an alphabetic acrostic in it, preserved in the manuscript tradition, and using the reverse translation of the troparia incipits from Slavonic into Greek (he published merely his conclusion, but not the reconstruction itself).
This article presents a reconstruction of the original Greek acrostic of the first canon and demonstrates that the second canon of the same version is based on the Byzantine canon for St. Hilarion the New (†845, commemorated June 6). This reworking was made on Greek soil and only later translated into Slavonic. This version of the hymnographic office is chronologically associated with the transfer of St. Paraskeva’s relics from Kallikrateia to Tarnovo, which took place on July 26, 1231, and is to be dated to a moment prior to the introduction of the new date for venerating this saint (October 14).
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