Bieniasz Budny's Apophthegmata from Poland to Venice



The article investigates the peculiarities of the book Apofthegmata, printed in Venice in 1765 by the Greek printer Demetrios Theodosios. It is the reedition of a Russian book, printed in Moscow in 1749. The Russian Apofthegmata are in turn a translation from an earlier Polish collection, composed by Bieniasz Budny and first published in 1599. After reporting the results of previous research on the comparison between the Russian text and its source, the paper concentrates on the Venetian edition. The most striking peculiarity is the fact that, unlike the Russian versions, printed with the new civil alphabet, the Venetian book was issued using the traditional Cyrillic alphabet. The works presents the hypothesis that the Serbian intellectual Zaharija Orfelin took active part in the publishing process, and that the choice of the alphabet belongs to him. While the decision to have the work printed in traditional Cyrillic alphabet was very probably just dictated by the fact that the Venetian printer did not possess the characters, the nearly total lack of supralinear signs was a conscious choice of the editor. The article examines other cases in which such a “simplified” version of the traditional Cyrillic alphabet is used. This usage acquired a functional status, and Orfelin’s innovation influenced other publishing houses





Third Cyril-Methodian Meeting at Ca' Foscari