The Common Canon for Cyril and Methodius. Analysis Problems and Editorial Issues

Vittorio Springfield Tomelleri


The paper gives a brief overview of some relevant aspects, relating to both the form and content of the common canon for Cyril and Methodius, which is preserved in East Slavic manuscripts. This text poses several challenges, pertaining to its provenance, author and relationship to other works of the Cyrillo-Methodian tradition. A short history of the editions, translations and publications of this text (§ 1) is followed by a thorough analysis of the hirmoi and the hymns to the Mother of God (theotokia), contained in the canon, with additional evidence from the rest of the Slavic liturgical tradition (§ 2-3); here special attention is devoted to the liturgical work by Kliment Ohridski. The next sessions discuss certain passages of the text, referring to the life of the saints or taken from the Holy Writing (§ 4), and show an interesting intertextual connection between the common canon and the Panegyric in honour of Cyril and Methodius, which is also believed to have been written by Kliment (§ 5). The collected material can be used as a starting point for further research work on a text which still remains, in many respects, quite marginal and at the same time somehow enigmatic.

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