Zur Verbreitung der «Hexabiblos» des Harmenopoulos im slawischen Raum

Charalambos K. Papastathis


Constantinos Armenopoulos’ Έξάβιβλος, chronologically the last private Byzantine codification (Thessaloniki 1345) enjoyed widespread dissemination in the post-Byzantine period. It was employed by the courts of the Ecumenical Patriarchate to resolve private differences among the multi-ethnic Orthodox flock of the Balkans. Given that the official language of the Patriarchate was Greek, it was not necessary to translate the 'Εξάβιβλος for the Serbs and Bulgars of the Ottoman Empire ; but this necessity existed for the Serbs of Austro-Hungary. At the instigation of Stefan Stratimirovic, Archbishop of Karlovci, Petar Vitkovié, the priest of Eger (in Hungary), accomplished the translation (1797-1798). Because of the Serbian rebellion (1804) and after other
troubles, the translation remained unpublished. The 'Εξάβιβλος was translated into Russian by Spyridon Destounis and saw five editions (1831, 1850, 1854, 1904, and 1908); this was because it had authority as civil law in Bessarabia, which from 1812 to 1918 belonged to Russia. In the other parts of the Russian Empire, the 'Εξάβιβλος was used as an interpretative aid for certain chapters of the Kormčaja kniga.

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