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Francis J. THOMSON

SS.

CYRIL AND

METHODIUS

AND A MYTHICAL WESTERN

HERESY:

TRILINGUISM

A Contribution to the Study of Patristic and Mediaeval Theories

of Sacred Languages•

Sermo rei et non res sermoni subjecta.

Pope Gregory IX,

Decr.

V, 40,

61

According

to the

Vita

of St.

Cyril, opponents

of the Cyrillo-

Methodian mission to Moravia claimed that the use of Slavonie in the

praise:

arguments and which can be

to describe them, be-

for his

Hebrew, Greek

coined

equally interpreted

cause Pilate had used these three languages in the superscription on

Cyril once again refutes

the

In the

the adherents

the Cross2.

liturgy was illicit as God had elected but three tongues

and Latin,

but

Cyril refuted

their

the clearly

equivocal term

Tf

tdR.51:.IYbNHICô,

as

trilinguist

or

tripagan,

At Venice, on his way to Rome,

of the theory, now qualified by the hagiographer as

3,

by reference to

Scripture and precedent4.

tri! inguist heresy

•This

article is a

revised version

of a paper read

at

the confercnce

"The

11 OO th

Anniversary

of the Arrivai

of the

Disciples

of SS. Cyril and

Methodius

in

Bulgaria",

organized by

the

Bulgarian Orthodox Church in November 1986.

The papcrs delivcred

have not been published. List of abbreviations,

see p.

107-121.

1

Corpus

iuris canonici,

ed. E.

FRIEDBERG,

II,

Leipzig, 1881, p.

913.

This

maxim,

inspired by Gregory's encouragement of missions

to

Moslems

Pope Innocent IV's rescript of 1248 permitting the use of the

quoted in

Slavonie Glagolitic liturgy,

and Mongols,

is

edited in L.

JELié,

Fontes

historici /iturgiae glagolito-romanae a

xm

usque

ad

XIX

sae-

culum,

Veglia,

1906, saec. xrn, p.

9.

2Vita S.

Constantini-Cyrilli

(hereafter

VC),

p.

131.

That the hagiographer was being

deliberately

inspired by the

see R.

equivocal

is

shown

by

the fact

TpbcAA> TblH

that

he

says

ed.

that

Cyril's

opponcnts

wcre

thrice-cursed devil,

Sketches for

AÏl>&OAb,

of the

ibidem.

O/dest Slavic Hymnody:

On the equivocality

Commemo-

JAKOBSON,

the His tory

ration of Christ's Saint and Great Martyr Demetrius,

Hague,

1985, p. 297,

and P1ccmo,

Questione,

p.

67.

in

Tt

m.,

to

Constantine only took the name of Cyril keeping with English scholarly usage.

the superscription

on

the Cross is

made

by

on his

Cyril,

deathbed,

not

VI, 1, The

should be notcd that the rcfcrencc

Although

in

opponcnts.

Se/ected Writings,

by his

the latter namc

is

uscd hcrc

3

4

vc.

VC,

p.

pp. 134-136.

134.

ment of a treatise on the

The theory that the account of the debate in the

VC

is

an abridg-

Metho-

subject written by Cyril and translated into Slavonie by

dius,

thus

most recently

D.

TRIFUNOVICH

[=

vyanskite ezitsi,

in

Kirilo-Metodievski studii,

TRIFUNov1é],

4 (1987),

Darât na

Svetiya

dukh

i

sla-

p. 76, is just one more unsubstan-

tiated hypothesis.

Analecta Bollandiana,

110

(1992),

p.

67-122

68

F. THOMSON

heat of the debate Cyril calls his adversaries scribes, Pharisees and hypocritess and his departure from them is depicted in the words describing Christ's departure from the Pharisees and Sadducees at Magdala: He left them and departed 6. At Rome he falls ill and on his deathbed he calls upon God to destroy the trilinguist heresy 1 . The Vita of St. Methodius places the debate at Rome and this time the adversaries expressly refer to the superscription on the Cross in support of their theory; Pope Hadrian II, however, having coined a new term to describe them: Pilatists8, curses them9. This bas some- times been taken to mean that he anathematized themt 0 , but, to the extent that any credence may be placed on the assertion, it can only mean that he excommunicated them, since it was precisely in the ninth century that both at Romell and in the Frankish Empire 1 2 a clear distinction between anathema, involving eternal damnation, and ex- communication, involving exclusion from the sacraments, was drawnn. Slavonie sources dealing with the Cyrillo-Methodian mission vir- tually all mention in fairly strong terms the defeat of the trilinguists,

5 He quotes Matthew xxiii,13 and tells them that it applies to them, VC, p. 134.

6 VC, p

136;

cf. Matthew xvi,4.

7 norll&H Tpbi.i.3bl%Nll1<> epecb, VC, p. 141. (The orthography has here and elsewhere been slightly modified).

8 Vita S. Methodii (hereafter VM), p. 156: nHilàTlNbl. 9 VM, ibidem: npoti1.t.n.

IOE.g. DVORNIK, Légendes, p. 386, and VAILLANT, Textes, Il, p. 38.

11 Cf. the epistle sent by pope John VIII (872-882) to Archbishop Liubert of Mainz

(863-889) in the affair of Count Boso's fugitive wife Engiltrude:

Bosonis noveris non solum excommunicatione, que a fraterna societate separat, sed et anathemate, quod ab ipso corpore Christi, quod est aecclesia, recidit, crebro percussam.

(Epistola Liuberto archiep. Mogunt., in MGH, Epist. t. VII, ed. P. KEHR, Berlin, 1928, p.

280).

12 Canon 56 of the synod of Épernay of 846 lays down: Ut nemo episcoporum quem- libet, sine certa et manifesta peccati causa, communione privet ecclesiastica. Anathema autem sine consensu archiepiscopi aut coepiscoporum, praelata etiam evangelica admoni- tione, nu/li imponat, nisi unde canonica docet auctoritas, quia anathema aeternae mortis est damnatio et non nisi pro mortali debet imponi crimine, et illi qui aliter non potuerit corrigi. (MGH, Leg. t. 1, ed. G. PERTZ, Hanover, 1835, p. 392.)

Hengeltrudim uxorem

the Middle Ages, Berkeley, 1986, p. 16, is cor-

rect to point out that the distinction was not consistently made everywhere at this time,

but there is no reason to doubt that it was made at Rome itself. The distinction between excommunication, viz. exclusion from the sacraments, and anathema, viz. total separa- tion from the church, was clearly drawn by Gratian (t c. 1150) in his Decretum (Pars Il, causa XI, quaestio Ill, c. 24, in PL 187, coll. 849-851).

13 E. VODOLA, Excommunication in

TRILINGUISM

69

some rather briefly, e.g. according to the

Proprium

S.

Cyrilli

the saint

stifled the trilinguists14,

while according to the

Proprium

S.

M ethodii

the

more expressive ways, e.g. in the

brothers,

saint's labours

suffered from

evil

the trilinguist devils

Laudatio

SS.

5,

1

but others in

the

(it),

Cyrilli et Methodii

destroyed

having refuted the

of the trilinguists,

casting

Laudatio

it out like tares from wheatt6,

S.

Cyrilli

declares

that Cyril

while Clement of Ochrid in his

shut the mouths of the wolves,

the

made themselves the accomplices

trilinguist heretics11

and the second redaction

in evil of Pilate,

adds that the latter

whose gibberish he

(viz. Cyril)

Moravia

hymns:

demolishedtB.

by

e.g.

the

The expulsion of Methodius' disciples from

liturgical

trilinguists

is

also bewailed in

several

1)

2)

3)

a canon for St. Demetrius (ed.

ANGELOV,

Literatura,

1,

p.

32)19;

5th) week in Lent by

Constantine of Preslav (ed. PoPov,

by

Theodore Studites for vespers on Friday in the 4th (Orthodox 5th) week in Lent21.

a canon for

a

revised

Thursday in the

4th (Orthodox

Proizvedeniya,

translation

of a

p. 594)20;

version of the

Slavonie

prosomoion

Other Slav

sources

too mention

the controversy

but

add

nothing

new22.

14 rpbhl.3bl%NHtbl,

o~AàKH

ed. P. LAVROV,

istorii vozniknoveniya drev-

Trudy S/avyanskoy komissii Akademii nauk SSSR,

heretical gibberish,

Materialy po

to

neyshey slavyanskoy pis'mennosti

(=

1), Leningrad, 1930, p. 109.

6MAH

EPETHYbCWll'>

ed.

ibid.,

121.

The later redaction refers also

p.

their

15w

6"&Cb

rpbhl.3bl%NHtb,

ed.

ibid:,

p. 124.

For the

Proprium

SS.

Cyrilli et Methodii

see

ibid.,

p. 115.

16Ed. ANGELOV,

Kliment,

1, p. 471; cf. Matthew

xiii, 24-30.

For later redactions see

ed.

ibid.,

pp. 487 and 507. The ascription of the eulogy variously tu Clement of Ochrid or

Constantine of Preslav cannot

be

examined here.

17

.s.i.TbYE

o~cn

&AbtOMb

rpbhl.3blYNblM6

Epn1-1toM•

18 npWlECTNblllH 3A060!0 n1-1Aà Tl!:

T&OPEWE

1

9The

suggestion that

rpbhl.3b1%NHt6

CE

1

H)('it\E

in the

ed.

ibid.,

1, p. 426.

6AEAH

p.i.sopb1

1

canon merely

ed.

ibid,

1.,

p. 438.

means

pagan,

thus

VoRONov,

Voprosu,

p.

227,

or altematively is

a scribal mistake for

rpH3NHt6,

thus

ibid.,

p. 227, n.

l, is unacceptable.

Ascriptions of the canon variously to Cyril, Methodius

or

Clement of Ochrid are ail purely speculative.

20Qn this see PoPOv,

For juxtapositions

2

1

Spomenavane,

pp. 86-90

of the

original translation

and

the revised

version see

KARA-

BINOV,

Triod',

p. 227; MosIN,

Heretici,

p.

118; SLAVEVA,

Eres,

p.

165; POPOV,

Proizvede-

niya,

p. 27.

The wording varies in the codices; for an attempted reconstruction see Mo-

SIN,

Heretici,

p. 123; Popov,

Spomenavane,

p.

88.

22 To give but two examples: the Bulgarian monk Khrabr deals with it in his treatise

De

litteris,

a defence

of a Slavonie alphabet (whether Cyrillic or Glagolitic is disputed)

writtcn in the latc 9th or early lOth century, ed. GIAMBELLUCA-KossovA,

Chernorizets,

pp.

70

F. THOMSON

Latin sources dealing with the history of the Moravian mission also contain accounts of the controversy over the use of Slavonie in the liturgy which are in at least one respect more accurate than the Slavonie ones in that they record initial papal suspicion of the inno- vation23. Nowhere, however, do the opponents of the innovation advance anything resembling the trilinguist theory, indeed in the Le-

genda Moravica (Tempore Michaelis imperatoris) when Cyril quotes

I Corinthians xiv,39 - forbid not to speak with tongues - in support of the innovation, they quite rightly protest at this misuse of a passage concerning glossolalia in a debate about liturgical language24 and retort:

Quamvis apostolus loqui linguis persuaserit, non tamen per hoc in ipsa, qua statuisti, Zingua divina solempnia voluit canere. (Ed. MMF, II, p. 263.)

The existence of a Western theory of trilinguism is, however, apparently borne out by Byzantine sources. Four polemieal cata- logues of Latin errors include trilinguism. in the Cyrillo-Methodian sense, the earliest being the Opusculum contra Francos, which in some codices is anonymous, in others is ascribed to Patriarch Photius of Constantinople (858-867, 877-886)25, a false ascription since not only is its style not Photian, it also contains anachronisms which clearly date it to the period after the schism of 105426. It must have

113-143, see pp. 126-131; the Russian Primary Chronicle of the late 1lth century contains an account which clearly goes back to the VM, ed. PSRL, I, Leningrad, 1926, col. 27;

II, St. Petersburg, 1908, col. 19. For a juxtapostion of the chronicle account and the

ibid

VM see A. SHAKHMATOV, "Povest' vremennykh let" i yeye istochniki, ed. M. PRISELKOV, in Trudy otdela drevnerusskoy literatury, 4 (1940), p. 88.

23 See, for example, 1) Christian's Vita et passio S. Wenceslai et S. Ludmile ave eius, ed. MMF, II, pp. 189-190; 2) the Legenda Moravica (Tempore Michaelis im- peratoris), ed. ibid., pp. 261-264; 3) the Legenda Bohemica (Diffundente sole), ed. ibid., pp. 278-279; 4) the legend Quemadmodum, ed. ibid., pp. 292-293.

24 The misinterpretation of tangues in I Corinthians xiv,1-40 to mean foreign lan- guages instead of glossolalia has a long history and is already found in the Comment. in XII epistolas b. Pauli of the 4th century wrongly ascribed to Ambrose ("Ambrosiaster"), in PL 27, coll. 269-270.

25 0n the codices see HERGENROTHER, Photius, III, pp. 173-174; ed. m., Monumenta, pp. 62-71.

26 On these see HERGENROTHER, Photius, III, pp. 172-224. Why so many Slavists still repeat the ascription to Photius, e.g. ANGELov, Kiril, p. 63; DuYCHEV, Episodio, pp. 115-116; KuEv, Chernorizets, p. 73, Eres, p. 86, Geschichte, p. 54 and lstoriya, p. 29; ÜGIYENKO Yeres' (33), p. 6; VARTOLOMEEV, Konstantin, p. 249, is inexplicable, especially since Hergenrother's proof was accepted by contemporary Slavists, e.g. MALYSHEVSKY, Kiri/l, pp. 202-203.

TRILINGUISM

71

been compiled before 1112/3, when it was

cited by Nicetas

Seides of

Iconium

whom is uncertain2s.

Etherianus29

in the

the

(fl.

l 1-12th

but by

It was translated in c. 1178 into Latin by Hugo

c.)

in his

Schediasma

ad

Latinos

21

,

(t before the end of 1182) and twice into Slavonie, once

and once in the

14th century31.

Opusculum

Trilinguism appears as lists:

13th30

19th of the 28 errors which the

AÉyoucrt

µÎj

lieîv

c'iA.A.mç

y;\oocrcrmç

mui:mç

68.)32

È~pciicri:i,

ÈÂÂT\VtO"'tt,

proµmcri:i.

i:o

0EÎov

yEpaipE0"0m

ei

µÎj

mîç i:ptcrt

(Ed.

HERGENRÔTHER,

Monumenta,

p.

The second

catalogue

was compiled

by Metropolitan

Cyril

of

Cyzicus, better known by his secular name

after 1204)

his sources was which features

The third catalogue is found in a codex copied in

Leo, but whether it was also compiled by him

of Constantine Stilbes

(t

33

,

soon after the fall

the

Opusculum,

of Constantinople in 1204.

from

which

he took

1281 by

is uncertain35.

One of

trilinguism,

104 errors that he lists34.

as the 9th of the no less than

a certain

It lists

the 33rd, have

39 errors, of which the last 20, including trilinguism as

27 Unedited in full; excerpts ed.

ta/is perpetua consensione /ibri tres

L. ALLATIUS,

De ecclesiae occidentalis atque orien-

,

Cologne,

1648,

pp.

209,

211-213, 475-477, 1111-

1112,

and A.

PAVLOV,

Kriticheskiye

opyty po istorii drevneyshey greko-russkoy po/emiki

protiv,

Latinyan,

St.Petersburg,

1878,

pp.

186-188.

On it

see DARROUZÈS,

Mémoire,

pp.

52-56.

28

In

the

translations

into Latin

and

Slavonie,

on

which see

below, it

is

also ano-

nymous.

The

ascriptions to Leo of Ochrid,

thus

SNOPEK,

Opusculum,

pp.

288-289,

or to

Michael Cerularius, thus

Cyril, bishop ofTurov

Juorn,

Schisme,

p.

216,

are

purely

also

hypothetical,

pp.

68-69,

140,

coll.

is

a

while

541-544.

that to

(1169-1182),

thus BIENER,

pp.

Col/ectionibus,

PG

curiosum.

The

29Ed.

HERGENRÔTHER,

Monumenta,

62-71;

translator has in places abridged the original.

30 Asc.

51 of the Serbian nomocanon, whence it was included in the Russian nomo-

canon as c.

40.

It is found

in ail printed editions

of the Russian nomocanon

since

1650,

e.g.

the

1650

Moscow

Obzor,

pp.

58-69.

editio princeps,

ff.

400'-403'.

Modern

editions

includc

PoPov,

31 Ed.

TSONEV,

Râkopisi,

pp.

72-75.

3 2The Latin translation ed.

ed.

TsoNEV,

Râkopisi,

p.

ibidem,

74.

also

PG

140,

coll.

542-543;

the

second Slavonie

not

translation

included in the first Slavonie translation, which thus lists only

For some unknown reason trilinguism was

27 errors.

33Qn him see J.DIETIIART,

Der Rhetor und Didaskalos Konstantinos Stilbes,

Vienna,

1971

(dissertation),

passim.

 

34Ed.

DARROUZÈS,

Mémoire,

pp.

61-91,

cf.

p.

63;

on his

sources see

ibid.,

pp.

91-

100,

especially p. 92 for trilinguism, and DIETHART,

Op.

cit.,

p.

24.

 

35Ed.

Byzantion,

J.

DAVREUX,

10 (1935),

pp.

Le

Codex Bruxellensis (Graecus)

103-106,

sce p.

105

for trilinguism.

Il 4836

(De haeresibus),

in

72

F. THOMSON

been taken directly from the Opusculum 36 . The fourth list of Latin errors is found in an epistle written in Slavonie by, or rather for, Metropolitan Nicephorus 1 of Kiev (1104-1121), a Greek from Lycia, and addressed to Yaroslav Svyatopolkovich of Vladimir in Volhynia (t 1123) to warn him against close contacts with the West37. It lists 19 errors3s, all taken from the Opusculum39, the 15th being a trans- lation of the latter's text on trilinguism:

MOA&tb. Tb GO TIH 7 tb.ICO N€ AOCTOHTb HN"l>Mb tô.SbllCOMb ,X&AAHH1 DOrA 7 NO TOICMO TP€MH tô.SbllCH, lKHAO&bCICblMô tô.SbllCOMb, €AAHNbCICHMb H PHMCICHMb 40.

All Byzantine references to Western trilinguism are thus unconnected with the Cyrillo-Methodian mission and derive from the Opusculum contra Francos, a scurrilous catalogue of puerile accusations com- piled between 1054 and 1112/1113 and more an illustration of odium theologicum than a reliable historical source 4 1. The sole Greek source which linked trilinguism with the Cyrillo-Methodian mission was the now lost Historia Chilandarica, which was used by Athanasius of Paros (1721-1813) as the source for many of the interpolations which

3 6 Qn the sources see ibid., p. 106.

37 Yaroslav indeed had very close ties with the "Latins": his first wife was a daughter of King Ladislaus 1 ofHungary (1077-1095), his second wife a daughter of Duke Wladyslaw-Herman of Poland (1081/2-1102), where he twice sought refuge (1097 and 1119); his sister Zbyslava married Duke Boleslaw III of Poland (1107/8-1138); another sister Predslava married Almos, a son of King Géza 1 of Hungary (1074-1077), in 1104;

see N. DE BAUMGARTEN, Généalogies et mariages occidentaux des Rurikides russes du x• au xm• siècle(= Orientalia christiana, IX,1), Rome, 1927, pp. 10-11.

38 The original version of the epistle, which also deals with the question of azymes

in some detail. has not been published in full, but the list of errors has been edited by Po.

POV, Obzor, pp. 111-116. There are two later redactions, one with a defective text and with no indication of the addressee, ed. MAKARY, Istoriya, II (1889 3 ), pp. 336-341, the

other being a conflation of the epistle with passages from Nicephorus' epistle to Vladimir

II Monomachus of Kiev (1113-1125) and addressed to Yaroslav Svyatoslavich of Murom

(t 1129), ed. ibid., II, pp. 341-349.

3 9Nicephorus omits 7 of the Opusculum's 28 errors, viz. 13, 15, 24-28, but combines 6 and 7 and again 8 and 9, thus giving a total of 19 instead of 21. The idea that Ni- cephorus' source was John of Claudiopolis' Tractatus contra Latinos, thus GoLUBINSKY, Istoriya, 1,2 (19042), p. 821, is erroneous.

40 Ed. Popov, Obzor, p. 115; cf. the later redactions, ed. MAKARY, Istoriya, II, pp.

338 and 344.

Both TUNITSKY, Kliment, p. 244, n. 3, and KUEV, Chernorizets, p. 78,

wrongly state that the error is listed in Nicephorus' epistle to Vladimir II Monomachus, cf. the latter ed. KALAYDOVICH, .Pamyatniki, pp. 157-163.

41 Beck rightly dismisses it as eine Flugschrift für die Massen der wenig gebildeten Kleriker: H. BECK, Kirche und theologische Literatur im byzantinischen Reich(= Hand-

buch der Altertumswissenschaft, 12. Abt., 2. Teil, 1), Munich, 1959, p. 538.

TRILINGUISM

73

he included in the second version of his account of St. Clement of Ochrid42. However, the Historia was obviously a completely legen- dary post-Byzantine compilation whose author was acquainted with late legends about Cyril and Methodius43 and its account of trilin- guism has no value as an independent source44. From this brief review of the sources dealing with Western trilinguism one salient fact emerges: not one can name a single per- son, let alone a leading ecclesiastic or theologian, who adhered to the theory: its partisans are referred to by terms such as bishops, priests

and monks 4 5, many other people 4 6, ail those with the

Pope47, etc.

The first modern scholar to draw attention to the Vitae of SS. Cyril and Methodius, Alexander V. Gorsky (1812-1875), in 1843 pointed out that Carolingian synods, such as those at Frankfurt in 794 and Mainz in 813, had explicitly denied that it was licit to pray in only three languages and had enjoined the clergy to preach and teach in the vernacular, from which he concluded that evidently German clergy later in the ninth century had opposed a similar policy towards the Slavs4s. In 1854 Ernst Dümmler (1830-1902) claimed that the theory of trilinguism was already to be found in the works of Isidore

(the title runs to 131 words), Leipzig, 1805,

pp. 83-133. The idea that this is a second edition of his account of St. Clement which he published at Venice in 1784 in his book 'AicoÂ.ou0ia ~oû ev ér:yio1ç 1ta-rpoç Î]µrov KÂ.il- µev~oç UPXlEltl<JlCOltOU BouÂ.yctpiaç wû oµoÂ.OYll~OÛ is Still being repeated, e.g. PODSKAL· sKY, Theologie, p. 364, n. 1531, even though it has long been shewn to be incorrect, see TUNITSKY, Kliment, pp. 22-25.

43 In so far as Athanasius has correctly reproduced the Historia, it apparently linked the Cyrillo-Methodian mission with Bulgaria, not Moravia. The idea that it goes back to a Greek account of the mission antedating even the VC and VM, thus TUNITSKY, Kliment, pp. 31-39, is clearly incorrect, see JAGié's review, pp. 579-580, and there is no reason to suppose that it antedates the 17th century.

44 The passages dealing with Cyril and Methodius are edited by TUNITSKY, Kliment, pp. 263-270, in parallel with the Slavo-Serbian translation published at Buda in 1823 by Bishop Dionysius Popovié; for trilinguism see pp. 269-270.

42 Published in his Otipctvoû icpimç

45 vc. p. 134.

46 VM, p. 156. 47 Opusculum, ed. Popov, Obzor, p. 59. This cannot, in the case of the VC and VM, be explained as the consequence of a hagiographical preference for the abstract as the two vitae narne rnany historical personages connected with the events in Moravia. 48 A. V. GoRSKY, Zhitiya svyatykh Kirilla i Mefodiya, in Kirillo-Mefodiyevsky sbor- nik v pamya( o sovershivshemsya tysyashcheletii slavyanskoy pis'mennosti i khristianstva v Rossii, ed. M. PoGODIN, Moscow, 1865, p. 35, n. 33.

74

F. THOMSON

of Seville

(c.

560-636)49 and over the years

since then a whole series

of scholars

have elaborated

a history

with Hilary

of Western

trilinguist heresy

310/320-367)

which

and was fully formulated by Isidore of Seville

allegedly originated

of Poitiers (c.

50

.

The

scholar who

traced

its development in

the greatest detail,

its evolution against the back-

the varying poli-

and the never-ending struggle

Kuyo

Kuev (1909-1991)51, viewed

ground of changes in ecclesiastical administration,

tical aims of Rome and Constantinople, against heresy:

Formulated by such an eminent scholar and ecclesiastic as Isidore was in

the

it was considered to

Chernori-

his day, the minds of the

be heresy and suffered the corresponding consequences.

trilinguist dogma

entire middle ages.

rapidly

spread and imposed itself upon

(KUEV,

Every deviation from

zets,

p. 73;

cf.

ID.,

Geschichte,

p. 53; Eres,

p.

86; lstoriya, p.

29; Bortsi,

p.

153.)

It

reached its

apogee (nadir?) in the ninth century when it was refuted

tenth century the again demolished

by Cyril and Methodius

and in the

late ninth-early

De

litteris52

Bulgarian monk Khrabr in his it:

treatise

And thus the

early Bulgarian .scholars

of the ninth and tenth

centuries

dealt a severe blow

Greek,

democratic ideas

linguism rapidly lost ground and in the course of time disappeared.

Eres, p. 94;

to

the

Latin

mediaeval prejudice about the sacredness of the

tangues

and collaborated in

life.

the development of After this blow tri-

(KUEV,

H ebrew and

cf.

ID.,

in people's culture and religious

lstoriya, p.

39; Bortsi, p. 156.)

That

trilinguism

was prevalent in

the West at

the time

of the

Cyrillo-Methodian mission is taken as axiomatic by virtually ail scho-

lars

and statements to

the effect that

routine

thinking

in

Rome

was

180.

49 DüMMLER,

Légende,

p.

179,

n.

4;

he too refers

to the

Carolingian synods,

ibid.,

p.

50

Amongst those

order)

RAèKI,

Viek,

pp.

to

contribute

to

the

160-162;

BIL'BAsov,

growth

of the theory

were

(in

Kirill,

II,

pp.

86-87;

VoRoNov,

chronological

Istochniki,

pp.

671-675;

60;

MALYSHEYSKY,

pp.

Kirill

(2),

pp.

198-200, 384-385;

ÜGIYENKO,

Yeres'

POTKANSKI,

pp.

Konstantyn,

pp.

12-16;

SLAYEYA,

58-

Eres,

TUNITSKY,K/iment,

131-132;

(31-32),

p.

166;

VARTOLOMEEY,

Konstantin,

p.

249.

51

Quite

apart from

devoting

considerable

attention to

Chernorizets,

schichte,

pp.

72-84,

Eres, Istoriya,

KUEv devoted

Bortsi.

four

articles toit, viz.

5

2

See above n.

22.

it

in

other of his

works,

(in chronological order)

e.g.

Ge-

TRILINGUISM

75

close

to

that of the

trilingual heretics53

and that all opposition to it

the

Dujcev

was

face

could remark about trilinguism:

declared heresy, error and superstition

54

of such unanimity it is

are commonplace.

1954

1.

In

scarcely surprising that in

Il problema essendo

stato studiato in

modo soddisfacente, non pare

necessario ritornavi ancora una volta.

(DUYCHEV,

Episodio,

p.

115.)

Seldom can that eminent scholar have been so mistaken: the passages

from the works

context, while the Carolingian synodal decisions have been cited with

no regard for their historical background,

is

respects:

of Hilary, Isidore and others have been quoted out of

so that the resultant picture

of reality

and

is erroneous

in

several

major

a

gross distortion

a. trilinguism does not go back to Hilary of Poitiers;

b. it

c.

it

was not formulated by Isidore of Seville;

was

never

advocated by

any

known theologian

church;

of the Western

was not

against the in-

vention of an entirely new alphabet. Moreover, to be historically accurate it is necessary to add that e. Hebrew was not one of the three languages of the superscription on the Cross, neither was it a liturgical language of the early Church.

d. Western opposition to Cyril

so much

directed

and Methodius'

innovations

as

against the use

of Slavonie

In Christ's

day Biblical Hebrew was a dead languagess and while

Mishnaic

the

maic57, the dialect spoken in Palestine being West Aramaicss.

Hebrew

may

still have been spoken by some in Judaeas6,

linguafranca

in the Near East had been since Assyrian times Ara-

When-

53

SEvéENKO,

Paradoxes,

p. 222, n.

then held by the Western Church.

8; cf. DIITRICH,

Christianity,

p. 136:

the opinion

4

5

PoNOMAREV,

Vopros,

p. 158.

The assertion that:

the concept of "trilinguism"

was

contrai of the

affirmed as the ideological basis for the church's claims to the monopolistic

spiritual life of society,

thus

GoRSKY,

Znacheniye,

p. 408,

is just one more example

of

fa-

tuous modern jargon.

55 Although finds

at Qumran and Masada

shew that it was still occasionally used in

non-scriptural texts,

979; for the texts

see

see LonsE,

ScHORER,

Texte,

History,

II, (1979), pp.

pp.

4-278.

23-27; W1Lcox,

Semitisms,

p.

5

6

See ScHÜRER,

History,

II, pp. 27-28; on the general question of Hebrew

and Ara-

maic at this time see RABIN,

Hebrew,

pp. 1033-1037; BARR,

Hebrew,

pp. 110-114.

57rts widespread use

is reflected in the

Old Testament, where Ezra iv,8-vi,!8; vii,

accurate, it

Semitic

be

12-26; Daniel ii,4-vii,28

was not so

and Jeremiah x,11 are

as a body

in

Aramaic.

To

strictly

much one language

of dialects

of the N.W.

branch

of the

76

F. THOMSON

 

ever

in

St. John's

Gospel

the

term

'Ej3pa.ïcni

is

used59,

it does

not

mean

in Hebrew

but

in Aramaic.

Thus

in

xx,16

èK:eiv11

À.Éyet

a.Ù't<Îl

'Ej3pciicr'ti,

Pa.j3j3ouv1,

oÀ.Éye'tm

the word can only be Ara-

 

~tôacrica.À.e

 

maic

.,

J

1.:i1.

while

in

xix, 17

eiç

'tOV

À.eyoµevov

Kpa.viou

't07tov,

o

l.éye'tm

'Ej3pciicni

rol.yoea.

it can

only

be

interpreted as a distorted

form of Aramaic

~r:b~7.;i.

in which the second lamed has been omitted60.

Hence the statement in xix,20 that the superscription on the Cross was

a

fact pointed out by Nonnus of Panopolis

the spoken language was

Aramaic64 and the evidence of the Gospels plainly reveals that Christ's

his words to Jairus' daughter 'ta.À.t0a.

native tongue was

in Hebrew, Latin and Greek6t means in Aramaic, Latin and Greek62,

In Galilee,

(fl.

5th

century)63.

where Jesus was l:>rought up,

Aramaic,

e.g.

icouµ,

viz.

mp

~!)"7~,

65 and his cry of dereliction from the Cross el.rot,

family; for a brief survey see BEYER,

chapter of

idem, Texte,

see pp. 23-76.

Language, passim,

which is a translation of the first

58 See P.

KAHLE,

Das zur Zeit Jesu

in Paliistina

gesprochene Aramiiisch,

in

ID.,

Opera minora von Paul Kahle.

Festgabe zum 21. Februar 1956, Leiden,

1956,

pp. 90-92.

59 It does not occur in any other Gospel.

6

°Compare

However,

Hebrew

in the

The term

is

also used

in John

and

xix,13.

which it refers, e.g.

n';i.:i'?~.

former

v,2

'E~paùni

case there are

so

many variant forms

of the word to

p.

208,

B119Çao9a, B119oa'i8a,

B119Eo8a see METZGER,

Commentary,

that

the

original

reading

remains conjectural, while

in

the latter case

ra~~aea

is

definitely

suggestions

of

Aramaic origin,

!J3A

high ground,

On Aramaisms

but

its

derivation

is much

disputed.

Of the various

seems to correspond most closely to the Greek equivalent

pp. 602-610;

À19oo'tprotov.

in the New Testament see ROGER,

Aramiiisch,

WILCOX,

Semitisms,

pp. 978-1029; SCHWARZ,

Jesus,

pp. 5-51.

the

since the mention in Luke xxiii,38

6 1

.

This

is

sole

original reference

to the

three

languages

of the superscription

is a later addition based on John xix,20, see METZGER,

Commentary,pp.180-181.

62 The argument that it may have been in Hebrew because it was

a kind of official

document,

thus

ELLINGWORTH,

Hebrew,

p.

339, is

invalid

as administrative

documents

were not drawn up in Hebrew by either Romans or Jews at this time.

63

Paraphrasis

S;

evangelii

secundum Joannem,

ed.

early writers, Nonnus did not distinguish between Aramaic by the latter term; see also below n. 68.

PG

901.

Like other

and Syriac, referring to both

43, col.

64

See KUTSCHER,

History,

p. 116; BARR,

Hebrew,

On the Galilean dialect at the time of Christ see BEYER,

p. 112; RABIN,

Hebrew,

Language,

p. 39.

p.

1036.

6 5Mark v,41. The masculine form of the singular imperative is usually explained as

the loss of the unstressed final vowel in West Aramaic,

see SCHWARZ,

Jesus,

p. 40; BARR,

Hebrew,

Aramaic

p. 97; WrLcox, see DALMAN,

Ta.ti9a,

Grammatik,

pp. 472-473.

On the Joss of unstressed final vowels in

122-125 (for 1wuµ

p.

95-96,275 and BEYER,

Texte,

p.

see

pp. 123-124).

However,

many

codices have the

correct feminine form

1wuµ1

viz.

'01p,

for the

variants see

METZGER,

Commentary,

p.

87; WrLcox,

TaÂ.i9a,

p.

471;

SCHWARZ,1esus,

p.

40,

Il.

4.

TRILINGUISM

77

eÂ.COt,

kµa

c:ml3ax0avt,66

viz.

67

"~tp~tq ~~7 "i'.17~ "i'.1~~.

which must be

contrasted with the Hebrew "J(OW

i1~? .,~ .,?~

68 • Although very little is

known

of Christian worship69 before the mid-second century,

there

can

be little

doubt

but

that the

new

forms

of worship

were

in

the

native language of Christ and the first Jewish Christians, viz. Aramaic,

which

formula

Aramaic liturgical

is

clearly implied by

µapavaea10.

Sorne

St. Paul's use

of the

common prayers may,

of course,

have

been

recited

in

Hebrew,

but,

just

as

in

the

synagogues,

Aramaic

targums were used for the scriptures11.

 
 

As

the result of the widespread use

of Greek

as

both

a cultural

and a commercial medium throughout the Roman Empiren,

a process

 

66Mark xv,34; for the variants see METZGER,

Commentary,

pp. 119-120.

67

The

sole Hebraism is the

omega instead of alpha in

EÂ.rot,

which reflects

'i11'?~.

The form of the cry in Matthew xxvii,46 is

Hebrew

secondary since the repeated invocation

and hence the cry is partly in Hebrew, partly in Aramaic.

i',~

T\Â-t

i~

68 Already Epiphanius of Salamis (c. 315-403) pointed out that the cry was in

Syriac,

Panarium

2,

2, 66, in

PG

42,

col. 312.

By Syriac he,

of course, meant Aramaic, as did

Nonnus,

see above n. 63.

There

is

a vast literature on Christ's

1, pp.

317-318, and WILCOX,

native language,

Semitisms,

pp.

Greek,

see that listed by HosPERS,

The old idea that he

39-40,

Bibliography,

but is

1021-1029.

Language,

pp.

34-37.

lt is,

spoke Mishnaic Hebrew was recently argued by B!RIŒLAND,

pp.

24-27,

untenable, see the remarks

of SEVENSTER,

of course, pos-

sible that he knew at least some Hebrew and

upon the solemn

occasion

it

has been argued that he may have used it

JEREMIAS,

La dernière Cène.

Les

of the Last

Supper, see J.

paroles de Jésus(= Lectio

divina,

75), Paris, 1972, pp. 232-240; BLACK,

268-269, but it was not his native tongue.

Approach,

pp.

69 0n parallels between early Christian worship and synagogue services see E. WER-

NER,

The

Sacred Bridge.

The Interdependence

London,

and

The Jewish

Chris-

Time and Community: In Honor of Thomas

of Liturgy and Music

1951, pp.

17-42; L.

in Synagogue

Church during

the First Mi/lenium,

HOFFMAN,

Lectionary,

tians and Jews in the First Three Centuries,

Julian Tal/ey,

the Great Sabbath and the Lenten Calendar: Liturgical Links between

ed. J.

ALEXANDER,

in

Washington,

see Acts

1990, pp.

seem

to have

visited synagogues mainly for

3-20.

missionary purposes,

The early Christians wor-

ii,46; Romans xvi,5; 1 Corinthians xvi,19; Colossians

see Acts

shipped mainly in homes,

iv,15,

and

vi,9; xiii,5; xiv,1.

70 1 Corinthians

~!J~.

lJI?

xvi,22. Whether this is

KING,

Rites,

1, p.

an imperative, viz.

p. 124.

or a perfect,

~r;i

~ni?

viz.

gical language

is here irrelevant; see BEYER,

see, e.g.,

Texte,

On Aramaic as the first litur-

Languages,

p.

3; SALAVILLE,

14; KOROLEVSKY,

Introduction,

71

See

p.

M.

31.

McNAMARA,

The

New

Testament

and

the Palestinian Targum

to

the

38-45, 251-261; E. LEVINE,

The

Pentateuch (=Analecta Biblica,

Aramaic Version of the Bible. testamentliche Wissenschaft,

27A), Rome,

19782, pp.

Contents and Context

(=

Beiheft zur Zeitschriftfür die alt-

174), Berlin, 1988, pp. 8-13, 20-21.

72For a brief survey see

L.

ZausTA,

Die Rolle des Griechischen im Romischen Kai-

serreich,

in

Die Sprachen

im Romischen Reich der Kaiserzeit.

10. April 1974, ed.

G.

NEUMANN and J.

UNTERMANN

(=

Beihefte

40), Cologne,

1980, pp. 121-145, with a good bibliography,

ibid.,

Kolloquium

vom 8.

bis

der Bonner Jahrbücher,

pp. 141-145.

78

F. THOMSON

of Hellenization had affected some elements of Jewish society 73 and the earliest converts to Christianity included Greek-speaking Jews 74 , so that Greek as well as Aramaic must have been used in Christian worship from the earliest times7s. ln this context it is significant that the overwhelming majority of Old Testament quotations in the New go back to the Septuagint text76. With the increasing conversion of gentiles the importance of liturgical Aramaic declined and the disper- sal of the Jewish population of Palestine after the capture of Jerusalem by Titus in 70, together with the suppression of Bar Cochba's revolt of 132-135, marks the end of the Aramaic period of the church 7 7, although the use of Aramaic as a liturgical language lingered on among the Christian Jewish Nazarenes in Syria until the fourth cen- tury7s. There is no evidence to support the theory that Hebrew as

73 On the process of Hellenization see M. HENGEL, Juden, Griechen und Barbaren. Aspekte der Hellenisierung des Judentums in vorchristlicher Zeit (= Stuttgarter Bibel·

Studien zu ihrer

Begegnung unter besonderer Berücksichtigung Paliistinas bis zur Mitte des 2. Jahrhun- derts vor Chr. (= Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament, 10), Tü-

bingen, 1988 3 , passim. For brief summaries see ID., The lnterpenetration of Judaism

Hellenism in the Pre-Maccabean Period, in DAvœs, History, II (1989), pp. 167-228, and ScHüRER, History, II, pp. 29-80. Sorne Jews had been influenced by Greek thought and were no longer orthodox, see M. S1MoN;St. Stephen and the Hel/enists in the Primitive Church, London, 1958, pp. 9-19, and ID., Les sectes juives au temps de Jésus(= Mythes et religions, 40), Paris, 1960, pp. 84-88. It is not impossible that Christ himself knew some Greek, see SEVENSTER, Greek, pp. 184-190; BARR, Language, pp. 9-10; MUSSIES, Greek, pp. 1054, 1056; BIRKELAND, Language, pp. 17 and 39; WILCOX, Semitisms, p. 981, but the blunt assertion: Dass er zweisprachig aufwuchs, steht [est, thus C. SCHNEIDER, Geistesgeschichte des antiken Christentums, I, Munich, 1954, p. 51, is unproven.

and

studien, 16), Stuttgart, 1976, passim and ID., Judentum und Hellenismus.

74 See Acts vi,l; ix,29; xi,30. It is significant that in reporting his conversations with leading Christians at Jerusalem, Paul refers to Simon by both the Aramaic (Cephas) and Greek (Peter) forms of his agnomen, see Galatians ii,6-1 O.

75 See C. JoNES, The Eucharist. The New Testament, in The Study of Liturgy, ed. C. JoNES et al., London, 1978, p. 162. To see in this the beginning of a process ofHelleniza- tion of the Gospel involving an alteration in content, thus ScHNEEMELCHER, Problem, p. 58, is to overlook the preceding influence of the LXX on the development of religious terminology in Greek, on which see C. MoHRMANN, Linguistische Probleme bei den Kir- chenviitern, in EAD., Études, VI (1977), pp. 183-184.

76 For those in the Pauline epistles see O. MICHEL, Paulus und seine Bibel (= Bei-

triige zur Forderung christlicher Theo/agie, Reihe II, 18), Gütersloh, 1929, pp. 55-68.

77 See TORREY, Period, pp. 205-223; SCHWARZ, Je sus, pp. 316-326. The Syriac, viz. East Aramaic, liturgy does not derive from the (West) Aramaic one but from the Greek liturgy, see SALAVILLE, Introduction, pp. 34-35.

78 On them see PRITZ, Christianity, passim, who favours the idea that the gospel which they used was in Hebrew, but admits that it may have been in Aramaic, ibid., pp. 70, 84-85, 109. On early Jewish Christian movements see TAYLOR, Phenomenon, pp.

313-334.

TRILINGUISM

79

opposed to Aramaic and Greek was Church.

in the

Old Testament79, none is found in the New, indeed the equality of all

menso implies the equality of all languages

costst consecrates their use. This ways by the early Fathers: lrenaeus

Cle-

clares that while languages vary, the message remains the same

215) defends the merits of "barbarous"

a liturgical language in the early

and

faith

is found

and the miracle of Pente-

is

expressed

in various

Although

an

association

of language

equality

of Lyons (c. 130/140 - c. 202) de-

8

Z;

ment of Alexandria (c.

150-c.

tongues and quotes the famous dictum attributed

to Anacharsis:

'Eµoi

naV'tEÇ

"EUTJVEÇ

crJCu0iÇouow83;

Origen (c. 185-c.

253/4) declares that

as if they were

while the anonymous "Ambro-

God is

said in one and the same languages4,

siaster"

hide

use languages in church not understood by

the lord of every tongue and hears all prayers

(fl.

4th

century)

considers that it is only

who try to

in incomprehensibility and expressly condemns those who

the congregationss. For

pagans

sacra

Theodoret of Cyrrhus

(c.

393-c. 466)

all languages

are equal because

human nature is

one and

the sames6

and,

as a Syrian

whose native

language was

Syriac, he attacks the idea of the pretended superiority

knew no Greek87,

superior to

Greek

of Greek by pointing out that the Hebrew prophets

and

anyway Latin and Persian conciseness

can be

79E.g.

the strictures

and

against Jewish

men

who

had married

Ashdodite, Ammonite

speak Hebrew in Nehemiah

sacred language set apart from

and

xiii,23-27. Nowhere, however, is

other tangues.

Moabite women

half of whose children could not

Hebrew referred as a

8o

81

See Acts xvii,26; Romans x,12; xiv,11; Galatians

See Acts

iii,28; Colossians iii,11.

in our

own

languages,

ii,1-11:

it is God

who addresses

us

not we who

have to learn a special one to know Him.

82 Contra haereses

I, 10, 2, in

PG

7, coll. 552-553.

83Stromata

PG

Episto/ographi graeci,

I, 16, in

8, col.

792; cf.

Anacharsis'

Epistola prima Atheniensibus,

102:

'Avcixap<nç rrap'

'Ae11vaio1ç

86.

The claim, thus

BARTAK,

Versuch,

ed. R. HERCHER,

croÀou<ÎÇEt,

Paris, 1873, p.

'A811vai:ot

ôÈ

itapà l:Ku8mç. See also below note

VIII, 37, in

PG

11, col.

1573.

84 Contra Celsum

p. 20, n.10, that this refers

solely to private prayer is untenable.

85Commentaria in epistolam b. Pauli ad Corinthios primam

XIV, in

PL

17, col. 255.

That he is not referring simply to

sermons is

shewn by the use of

cantare

in

sicut adsolent

Latini homines Graece cantare, oblectati

8 6Graecarum

affectionum curatio

dictum,

see above note 85.

81

/bid.,

col. 945.

sono verborum,

nescientes tamen quid dicant.

V, in

PG

83, col.

949; he tao quotes Anacharsis'

80

F. THOMSON

verbosityss. Gregory the Great (c. 540-604) points out that there is nothing more transient than language89. Already in the fourth century, however, the idea that the three languages of the superscription on the Cross had special merit had been growing in the West. That it was Western Latin theologians who showed most interest in the superscription is hardly surprising, since Latin, unlike Greek and Hebrew, is not a Biblical language and the sole reference to it in the Bible is precisely that in the super- scription9o, which thus for them had special significance. For Hilary of Poitiers (c. 310/320-367) the three languages were especially im- portant in the economy of salvation (Heilsgeschichte) since despite the conversion of many barbarian peoples Christendom was still largely confined to the Empire, which was predominantly Roman but in- cluded also Jews and Greeks:

Quia his maxime tribus linguis sacramentum voluntatis Dei et beati regni expectatio praedicatur: ex quo illud Pilatifuit, ut in his tribus linguis regem Judaeorum dominum Jesum Christum esse praescriberet. Nam quamvis multae barbarae gentes Dei cognitionem secundum apostolorum praedica- tionem et manentium hodie illic ecclesiarum fidem adeptae sint, tamen spe- cialiter evangelica doctrina in Romano imperio, sub quo H ebraei et Graeci continentur, consistit. (Instructio psalmorum, in PL 9, coll. 241-242.)91

However, Hilary neither claims that the three languages are sacred92, nor does he mention their liturgical use93. Jerome (c. 342-420), the vir trilinguis, by implication allows them a privileged status because of the Cross:

Nunc vero passionem Christi et resurrectionem eius cunctarum gentium et voces et litterae sonant. Taceo de Hebraeis, Graecis et Latinis, quas na- tiones fidei suae in Crucis titulo Do minus dedicavit. (Epistola LX, 4, in PL

22, col. 591.)

88 Ibid., coll. 949-952.

89 XL homiliarum in evangelia lib. I, 1, 4 in PL 76 col. 1080.

See on his interest in

language KARL, Papst, pp. 190-196. 90 See above n. 61.

91 This forms the introduction to his Tractatus super psalmos (PL 9, coll. 251-908), in which the Greek LXX and Vetus Latina texts of the Psalms are for the first time compared.

92 MoHRMANN, Language, p. 155, and idem, Probleme, p. 178, wrongly asserts that he does. For a correct assessment see RESNICK, Lingua, p. 64.

9 3 QaIYENKO, Yeres' (31-32), p. 14, incorrectly claimsthathe does.

TRILINGUISM

81

However, in that capacity they are not sacred tongues, they merely represent all languages:

scriptum est H ebraicis

litteris, Graecis et Latinis: 'Jesus Nazarenus rex Judaeorum' in signum Crucis et in testimonium universarum gentium, quae nunc Aegyptus appel- lantur. (Comm. in lsaiam proph. VII, 19, verss. 19-21, in PL 24, col. 257 .)9 4

Et titulus Domini continens passionem, in quo

This thesis is repeated by later writers, e.g. Anselm of Laon (t 1117)9 5 and Jacob of Voragine (c. 1230-1298)96. Jerome remarks, moreover, on the poverty of Greek and Latin with regard to Hebrew97, which is for him the mother of all tongues98. Jerome's contemporary Augustine (354-430) not implicitly but expressly allows a pre-eminent status for the three languages of the Cross:

Nam cum Dominus crucifigeretur, titulus inscriptus est a Pilato et posi- tus 'Rex Judaeorum' tribus linguis, Hebraea, Graeca et Latina; quae linguae

toto orbe maxime excellunt. (ln psalmum LVIII enarratio 1, 1, in PL 36, col.

692.)

and goes on to explain why they were chosen:

Hae quippe tres linguae ibi prae ceteris eminebant: Hebraea, propter Ju- daeos in Dei /ege gloriantes; Graeca, propter gentium sapientes; Latina, propter Romanos multis ac pene omnibus iam tune gentibus imperantes (ln Joh. evangelium, tract. CXVII, 4, in PL 35, col. 1946.)

This idea that Hebrew was pre-eminent with regard to the divine law, Greek with regard to philosophy99 and Latin with regard to adminis- tration came to dominate mediaeval exegesis and Augustine's words were often quoted down the centuries, e.g. by Becte (c. 673-735)100, Alcuin (c. 730-804)101, Smaragdus (t c. 825)102 and the G/ossa ordi-

94By Egypt he means this world.

95 Enarrationes in Apocalypsin IX,

96See below note 156.

9 7 Comment. in Isaiam proph. XII, 40, vers. 12 seqq., in PL 24, col. 407. 98 Comment. in Sophoniam proph. III, vers. 14 seqq., in PL 25, col. 1384.

in PL 162, col. 1534.

99 Augustine elsewhere talks of the superiority of Greek over ail other languages for the expression of abstract ideas: Quaestionum in Heptateuchum VII, 41, in PL 34, col.

805.

lOOin Lucae evangelium expositio, VI, 23, in PL 92, col. 618. They are also quoted in two commentaries falsely ascribed to Bede, viz. In Matthaei evangelium expositio IV,

27, ibid., col. 124, and In Joannis evangelium expositio 19, ibid., col. 910.

101 Comment. in S. Joannis evangelium VII, 19, vers. 19-20, in PL 100, col. 981.

82

F.THOMSON

naria103, the standard mediaeval exegetic commentary on the Bible, which was begun by Anselm of Laon (t 1117)104 and only lost its importance towards the early 18th century. They also clearly in- fluenced the great scholastic theologians such as Albertus Magnus (c. 1200-1280)105 and Thomas Aquinas (1225/6-1274). The latter, having given Augustine's reasons for their pre-eminence, goes on to elaborate upon their roles in philosophy:

Vel per hebraeam significabatur quod Christus dominari debebat theo- logicae philosophiae, quae significatur per hebraeam, quia Judaeis est tra- dita divinarum rerum cognitio; per graecam vero philosophiae naturali et philosophicae: nam Graeci erga naturalium speculationem insudaverunt:

per latinam vero philosophiae practicae, quia apud Romanos maxime viguit scientia moralis: ut sic in captivitatem redigantur omnes intellectus in ob- sequium Christi. (Expositio in evangelium b. Joannis XIX, 8.)106

Thomas was not the only person to elaborate upon this Augus- tinian concept of the historical pre-eminence of the three languages. Thus Bede considered that Hebrew was also pre-eminent because it was the first language created at Babe1101, while Latin was pre-eminent as the common language of scholars1os. Honorius 'of Autun' (fi. 1100)109 succinctly stated:

Hebraea mater omnium linguarum, Graeca doctrix omnium linguarum,

(Gemma animae III, 94, in PL 172,

Latina imperatrix omnium linguarum

col. 667.)

a formulation repeated by the Middle High German writer Hugo von Trimberg (c. 1235-c. 1313):

l02Collectiones in epistolas et evangelia, in PL 102, col. 190.

103 See the marginal glosses edited in PL 114, col. 421 (on John XIX, 19).

104 The idea that Walafrid Strabo (c. 808-849) began them can no longer be main- tained, see DE Buc, Œuvre, pp. 5-28.

105 Expositio in evangelium Joannis XIX (ed. P. JAMMY, B. Alberti Magni Ratisbon. Ord. Praedicat. Commentarii in Joannem, in Apocalypsim. Operum tomus unde-

episc

cimus, Paris, 1651, p. 309).

106 Edited in S. Thomae Aquinatis doctoris ange/ici In evangelia S. Matthaei et S.

Joannis. commentaria, t. II, Turin, 1925, p. 480. Augustine had a considerable influence on Thomas' linguistic theories, see MANTHEY, Sprachphilosophie, pp. 173-175.

101 Hexaèmeron I. in PL 91, col. 50.

A similar idea is

expressed with regard to ail three languages by Paschasius Radbertus (c.790-c.859), see

his Expositio in evangelium Matthaei XII, 27, in PL 120, col. 946.

!0 8 Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum I, 1, in PL 95, col. 26.

l09 Augustodunensis probably does not mean of Autun.

 

TRILINGUISM

 

83

Wenne aller sprâche lêrerîn

Jst kriechisch,

sô muoz jüdisch sîn

 

Der sprâche muoter über alliu lant,

Daz ist den wîsen wol bekant:

Aber aller sprâche künigîn Über aile die werlt îst latîn.

(Der Renner;

22327-22332)110

A

clear expression

of the idea of the historical pre-eminence

of the

three languages at the time of Cyril

Nicholas I's

had called Latin a barbarous tongue:

and Methodius

is found

in Pope

(842-867), who

(858-867) epistle to Emperor Michael III

ln tantum vero furoris abundantiam prorupistis, ut linguae Latinae

riam

irrogaretis,

inju-

hanc in epistola vestra barbaram et Scythicam appellantes

ad injuriam Ejus,

qui fecit eam;

omnis

enim

operis derogatio

ad opificis

redundat injuriam.

0 furorem!

Qui nec linguae novit parcere, quam Deus

fecit,

fitetur,

et quae

inter caeteras

in

nomine Domini

hortante Apostolo: 'Con-

in gloria est Dei patris' (Phi-

quia Dominus noster Jesus Christus

lipp.

Il,

11).

Et quae cum Hebraea arque Graeca in titulo Domini a reliquis

discreta,

Nazarenum regem Judaeorum;

voluerunt, sieur vos nunc

struere,

insignem principatum tenens omnibus nationibus praedicat Jesum

quem titulum multi Judaeorum corrumpere

linguae tentatis insigne de-

huius celeberrimae

86,

in

sed minime potuerunt. (Epistola

PL

119,

col.

932.)111

languages

For Martin Luther (1483-

sacred as they had been chosen by God

in which the

Gospel had been propagated. As he put it in an expressive metaphor:

for

The notion of the historical pre-eminence of the three

the principal language

was by no means foreign to the reformers.

1546), Greek and Latin were

the Bible,

while Latin was

Die sprachen sind die scheyden,

darynn dis messer des geysts stickt,112

and

in 1526

he stated that if Hebrew

and Greek

had been

as well

known

as Latin,

he would

have advocated

mass being

said

in Ger-

man, Latin, Greek and Hebrew on altemate Sundaysm.

110

Ed.

G.

EHRISMANN,

Der Renner von Hugo

von Trimberg,

terarischen Vereins in Stuttgart,

252), Stuttgart,

1909, p. 223.

III

(=

Bibliothek des

li-

111

RESNICK,

Lingua,

p. 67,

considers that Nicholas

to

Latin,

but the

1 is

here claiming that amongst

is true that in-

the three languages of the Cross it is Latin which has the pride of place.

signem principatum gether with Hebrew

It

tenens refers

and Greek.

sense is

surely that

it holds this to-

2 An die Burgermeyster und Radherrn allerley stedte ynn Deutschen Landen,

Martin Luthers Werke.

Kritisc;he Gesammtausgabe,

XV, Weimar,

und ordnung

Gottis diensts,

ed. ibid.,

XIX, Weimar,

11

edited

1899, pp. 27-53,

in D.

see p. 38. 113Deudsche Messe 72-113, see p. 74.

1897, pp.

84

F. THOMSON

Clearly Pilate's

choice

of languages

was providential:

as Theo-

dore Polikarpov

with the

Slavonico-Graeco-Latin dictionary of 1704:

(t 1731 ), the first Rus si an to reveal any acquaintance

put

it

in the

preface

to

his

Augustinian formulation,

Tres

linguas

narrat

Sacra

pagina fuisse

in

Cruce

Saluatoris

nostri

CHRISTI Domini, Hebraeam,

hoc

trilinguio,

nam

Graecam et latinam. Mysterium certe latuit in

Zingua est

Hebraea /ingua

est

Zingua sacra,

Graeca

Zingua sapientiae,

narium,

latina Zingua

7].)114

f.

4r

[reprint p.

est Zingua imperii.

(POLIKARPOV,

Dictio-

It is nevertheless incorrect to interpret Augustine's theory of the histo-

rical pre-eminence of the

their

sacred was Isidore

three languages

as involving the notion of

perse

sacredness11s.

The first to call all three languages explicitly

of Seville (c. 560-636):

Tres autem sunt linguae sacrae: Hebraea, Graeca, Latina, quae toto orbe

His namque tribus Unguis super crucem Domini a Pilato

maxime excellunt.

fuit causa Ejus scripta. Unde et propter obscuritatem sanctarum Scriptura-

rum harum

ratur si quam dubitationem nominis vel interpretationis sermo unius linguae

trium linguarum

cognitio necessaria est,

ut ad alteram recur-

attulerit. Graeca autem Zingua

inter caeteras gentium clarior habetur.

Est

enim et Latinis et omnibus Unguis sonantior.

(Etymologiae IX,

1,

3-4,

in

PL

82, col. 326.)

are

The obvious meaning sacred because they are

knowledge of all three is required for the correct interpretation of the

sacred scriptures and a

of this passage is

the languages

that the three

of the

languages

biblical text,

similar terms by Augustine116.

an idea which had already been expressed in remarkably

To quote only the first two sentences

114

It should be noted

that Latin

does

mystical character of the superscription on

not merit

a capital letter

!

The

idea

of the

the Cross was,

of course,

not new,

cf. the

Liber de promissionibus et praedictionibus Dei

usually attributed to Bishop Quodvultdeus

of Carthage (t before 454):

Pilato conscriptus ostendit.

Primam vero Hebraeam esse linguam,

(1,

16 [cap. IX], in

PL

51, col. 741).

mysticus ille titulus a

115

As

does

J.

SCHWERING,

Die Jdee

der drei

hei/igen Sprachen

im Mittelalter,

in

1925, Stutt-

Festschrift August Sauer.

Zum 70. Geburtstag des Gelehrten am 12. Oktober

gart, no date[=

1926], p.

5.

116

Cf.

De doctrina christiana

Il, 11, in

PL

34, col. 42.

On the use

of Greek and

Hebrew

in early

and mediaeval

Latin

biblical exegesis see

DE

LUBAC,

Exégèse,

11,1

(1961),

pp. 238-262.

Isidore himself was

in fact almost entirely ignorant of Greek, see

FONTAINE,

Isidore,

pp. 849-851, 11,77-1178.

 
 

TRILINGUISM

85

of the passage111, which

are clearly

influenced by