Slavonic Pseudepigrapha Project

Andrei Orlov of Marquette University, author of From Apocalypticism to Merkabah Mysticism: Studies in the Slavonic Pseudepigrapha (Brill, 2007), has published an extremely helpful, interesting and well-done website, The Slavonic Pseudepigrapha Project. I’ll give you three guesses as to what it’s about….

He provides numerous bibliographies (from his book), texts, translations, articles, and links to grammars and other resources related to the Slavonic pseudepigrapha. It’s fascinating and well done, and I can’t wait to lose myself in it.

It’ll be particularly interesting also religiously, as, being Eastern Orthdox myself and with Slavonic being one of the Church languages, the ties of these pseudepigrapha to Russian Orthodoxy will no doubt be fascinating to investigate and learn of, as well as any connections to particularly the Bogomil heresy, links to background material on which Andrei provides, indicating something very interesting in store in that regard.

A side project I’ve been interested in starting for some time is investigating the potential relationship of the post-NT apocrypha and pseudepigrapha to various theological controversies in the history of the Church, with the working hypothesis that the various apocrypha and pseudepigrapha were written by either side in order to support a particular position through the convenient validation of pseudepigraphy. This sometimes comes up briefly in discussions on the origins of various individual works, but I have yet to see all such information on all such pseudepigrapha collected into one convenient source for all the Greek, Syriac, Slavic, etc, pseudepigrapha in conjunction with detailed discussions of the theological controversies. It’s a potentially extremely fruitful approach not only for narrowing down the dates of the creation of the works, but also their locations, as many individual theological controversies were in fact quite localized.

In any case, my regards and thanks to Andrei Orlov for his magnificent new website.

OTP Works by Date

I’ve just uploaded a new page to my website which is a list of the works included in the two volumes of Charlesworth’s Old Testament Pseudepigrapha arranged in order of the date given by the translators. It’s pretty handy. I thought I’d put it up some time ago, but just realized it was missing. Enjoy!

Pseudepigraphic Music

The Hillard Ensemble recording of the Orlando de Lassus works Missa pro defunctis and Prophetiae Sibyllarum is in print again.

The Prophetiae Sibyllarum includes selections from the oracles of the Sibyls of Persia, Libya, Delphi, Cimmeria, Samos, Cumae, the Hellespont, Phrygia, Europe, Tibur, Erythraea, and Agrippa. It is de Lassus’ only experiment in extreme chromaticism, a quite striking and rather esoteric work, an oddly haunting blend “of pagan hysteria and Christian epigram,” as the booklet says. The Latin text of the oracles used by de Lassus first appeared in a Venetian printing of 1481, so their relation to the OT Pseudepigrapha Greek Sibylline Oracles is tenuous at best. Still, it’s fun to have a recording of such an unusual subject!

The Missa pro defunctis is, of course, another fine example of the polyphony for which de Lassus is so justly renowned.

If anyone knows of other recordings of Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, let me know. It would be fun to put together a collection of such.