“The Old Slavic Digenis Akritis (The Deeds of the Brave Men of Old): A Critical Edition”
At HURI, Romanchuk will prepare a critical edition of the Byzantine romantic epic Digenis Akritis in its Old Slavic translation, “The Deeds of the Brave Men of Old”—a work of considerable importance to Byzantine, Slavic, and oral-traditional studies. The Slavic Digenis, produced in thirteenth-century Ukrainian Galicia or fourteenth-century Macedonia, helps us glimpse the Byzantine archetype and evaluate the principal Greek witnesses; at the same time, it is the earliest uncontested witness of Slavic epic composition. The edition, based on an in situ transcription of the manuscripts, treats the Slavic Digenis as a branch of the Greek tradition. It devotes considerable attention to the “formulaic style” of oral epic poetry, as the Slavic translation expands on its source using oral-traditional formulas and themes from the Greek and Slavic traditions alike.