Προβλήματα και προοπτικές στην έρευνα για τη ζωή και το έργο των Κυρίλλου και Μεθοδίου

Αντώνιος-Αιμίλιος Ν. Ταχιάος

Abstract


Research concerning the life and activity of the brothers Cyril and
Methodius has already advanced to a very high level, the relevant production
of books and articles already numbering in the thousands. Every topic of their
life, missionary and literary activity has been scrutinized by scholars to a
most satisfactory degree. For a long time now no new document that would
shed more light upon their life and activity has seen the light of publicity.
Therefore one might ask: what is really left for a scholar to keep himself
occupied with the study of the cyrillomethodian problems and which of them are left for any further study? The author of the article tries to trace some new
perspectives insisting on the necessity of viewing and interpreting the sources
Departing from the primary sources and the necessity of preparing a critical
edition of them he points out the methods applied by A. Vaillant and the
research done by G. Ziffer, which really lead to new ways of their philological
reconstruction. He then touches upon the secondary sources and proposes their
study under the perspective of finding in them traces of historical truth. To this
purpose the study of the information provided by both primary and secondary
sources in parallel order would be of great help. The fact that it was indeed
secondary sources that had provided grounds for I. Boba and M. Eggers’
launching a new theory about the territory in which Cyril and Methodius
deplored their activity it should not be passed without notice. To show how a
new interpretation of the sources would lead to new conclusions the author
treats two main problems concerning the life and activity of the Thessalonian
brothers. The one has to do with the incomprehensible reference to the
“Russian letters” in the Life of Constantine-Cyril, and the erroneous interpretation
given to that passage by eminent scholars such as R. Jakobson and A. Vaillant, who insisted on a philological interpetation of it and ignored the
historical data. The author proposes an historical interpretation that does not
justify the existence of Slavonic script before Cyril and Methodius, as accepted
by some scholars, but suggests that in that passage reference is made to a first
draft of the script invented by Cyril himself. The second problem has to do
with the administrative area inhabited by Slavs in which Methodius was
appointed governor by the emperor. A new interpretation of the sources would
lead to the conclusion that Methodius was appointed comes of Opsikion in
Bithynia, a conjecture that has more chances to be true than any other that has
been advanced up to this day. The conclusion of this article is that a new interpretation
of the sources that would take into account all data, philological and
historical, as well as all information coming from primary and secondary
sources, opens a new way for further research of cyrillomethodian problems.

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