As the Russian Orthodox Church celebrates the “Days of Slavic Culture”, which yearly begins on the feast of Sts. Cyril and Methodius (May 11/24), Pravoslavie.ru/OrthoChristian.com would like to note a useful website created as an aide to anyone interested in learning more about the Church Slavonic language. This language has liturgically united Russian, Ukrainian, Serbian, Bulgarian, and other Slavic Orthodox peoples for many centuries. Many modern converts to Orthodoxy also attend churches that use this liturgical language. Contemporary Slavs rarely study Church Slavonic language academically; they find that they begin to understand it naturally according to their zeal for attending services and praying in this language of their fathers, the language of their saints. It is encouraging to see that resources are appearing for the benefit of those who would like to know more about Church Slavonic but have no previous knowledge of any Slavic language.
An important manuscript was discovered in Topkapi Palace in Istanbul. Topkapi was the residence of the Ottoman sultans for almost 400 years. The manuscript found is of significant meaning, because it consists of information regarding the years before the Fall of Constantinople in 1453, but it also describes the early years after Constantinople was turned into Istanbul and became capital of Turkey.
The document belongs to Michael Critovoulos, a Greek politician, scholar and historian, who lived between 1410 and 1470. His birth-name was Kritopoulos, but he changed it to sound more ancient Greek-like.
He experienced the Siege and Fall of Constantinople and wrote about Mehmed II the Conqueror.
Iconographer and Russian historian launches unique website featuring "Hagia Sophia," Church of the Holy Wisdom25. May 2012 - 10:28
An interesting new site illustrating the history of Constantinople’s Church of the Holy Wisdom — popularly known as “Hagia Sophia” — recently appeared on the internet.
A “must visit” for Orthodox Christians, especially those interested in Church history, iconography, mosaics, and ecclesiastical architecture, the site gives special attention to the magnificent “Deesis” mosaic in the church’s south gallery. Depicting Christ flanked by the Theotokos and Saint John the Forerunner, the exquisite mosaic was uncovered in the 1930s. It is one of the world’s most beloved images of Our Lord.
The Ascetic Homilies of St Isaac the Syrian were translated from the original Syriac into Greek at the turn of the 9th century by monks Abramios and Patrikios of St Saba Monastery in Palestine. They were widely read, primarily by monks, and bore crucial influence on all of the spiritual tradition and literature of the Eastern Church. The Ascetic Homilies are preserved in a plethora of manuscripts featuring significant differences. In 1770, Nikephoros Theotokis published an edition of the Ascetic Homilies based on two manuscripts. Theotokis’ edition was reprinted in 1895 by Ioakeim Spetsieris; in 1871, Kallinikos Pantokratorinos produced a vernacular version. To this day our knowledge of St Isaac’s work rests on these editions.