Slavonic Apocrypha


“Slavonic Apocrypha” is intentionally broad in scope despite its name and provides a platform for interdisciplinary collaboration of Biblical scholars and the scholars of Slavic studies. Our intention is to overcome the existing gap in the modern research of religious texts produced in Slavonic language and their embodiment within Slavic cultures. Therefore, this research unit includes the traditionally understood Slavonic Apocrypha as translations of Hellenistic pseudepigrapha along with a variety of sacred literature in Slavonic and secular literature that are intertwined with biblical texts in both manuscripts and religious practices. It promotes the publication of critical editions and discusses the digitization projects of Slavonic manuscripts. 


Lexicographical works and linguistic and literary analysis of Slavonic manuscripts, sound methodologies that place Slavonic literature in its religious and cultural context and its legacy are central for our research. The longstanding mechanism of intertextuality in Slavic religious literature questions the differentiation of the texts according to canonical/noncanonical and so the term, “Slavonic Apocrypha.” In order to find more adequate name for this corpus of literature we also welcome the contribution of scholars in the fields of hagiography, theology, liturgy, church history, art and music history, museum studies, anthropology, and folklore among others.


Slavonic, Manuscript, Apocrypha, Pseudepigrapha, Canon, Bible


Ljubica Jovanovic
American Public University System

Basil Lourié
Journal of Patrology and Critical Hagiography, Sociological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences

Member Area

Syracuse 2023 Call for Papers

We accept papers on all topics connected to Slavonic Apocrypha, as defined in our program. The use of "Slavonic Apocrypha" as an umbrella term for the body of literature including apocalyptic, pseudo-epigraphic and apocryphal literature until the scholarly consensus in the field is reached for a better one, is particularly relevant for this year’s venue in Syracuse. This especially applies to historical-apocalyptic texts in Slavic manuscripts related to distant Byzantine originals from Sicily, which in translation retain toponyms from that area. No less important are translated or original texts that have a parallel in the oral tradition and are still looking for a basis for a common Byzantine-Slavic origin. The design of the theme of the unit in 2023 encourages participation with previously unpublished and unexplored texts that show the commonality between Byzantine and Slavic cultural patterns. 


We welcome interdisciplinary approach and encourage the use of different methodologies in order to uncover the literary and cultural context of Slavonic and related texts. We call for papers that deal with current directions in the research as well as the new and changing biblical scholarship paradigms regarding Slavonic texts inspired by Syracuse, where religions, art, and science mingle in continuum, making history alive in space. The suggested topics are the history of religion and science inspired by Archimedes, the connection of church rituals to the ancient theatre, the role of light in purity and holiness, inspired by Saint Lucy, the patron saint of Syracuse. Santa Lucia is an important saint in Slavic Christianity started with her veneration in Split, the Emperor Diocletian’s birth place. As a patron of sight (vision) Saint Lucy has been fused with the 2nd century Saint Martyr Paraskevi, who in turn has been amalgamated with a beloved saint of Balkans of the 11th century, Saint Paraskeva (Petka). The papers on the reception history of the saints, on all Saint Paraskevi(s), on the role of visual revelation, on the pilgrimage literature, on the reception of the science in Slavonic texts, on the role of women, of the connection of virginity, purity, light, and the sacred in the Slavic hagiographical and Slavonic literature and Slavic sacred and secular culture are all welcome.


Past History and Goals

Slavonic Apocrypha has convened to meet the necessity for interdisciplinary studies conducted by the scholars of the Religion and the Slavic studies. We intend to overcome the existing gap in the modern research of religious texts produced in Slavonic language and their embodiment within Slavic cultures. Our goal is to make the Slavic Bible accessible to wider audience through examination of neglected sources by using the sound methods of interpretation. Through the joint efforts of Biblical and Slavic scholars worldwide we illuminate the development of Biblical narrative and emphasize its national and international cultural significance through the close analyses of texts and reexamination of the historical controversies. Moreover, at each EABS meeting we adapt the themes so that we recognize the past and present academic contribution to the field by our hosts. Finally, we trace our academic progress through the publications and additional meetings.





Keiko Mitani, our colleague from the University of Tokyo passed away. She was an active participant from the first meeting of “Slavonic Apocrypha” at EABS. One of the greatest Japanese Slavists, Dr. Mitani  applied historical philology to biblical topics in Slavonic texts. Her interest were in Slavonic philology, comparative and historical Slavic linguistics, Old Church Slavonic and South Slavonic recensions of Church Slavonic. Her recent articles include: “The Dream of King Jehoash: A Textual Analysis,” Scrinium 4 (2018), 298–317; “Intertextuality in Medieval Slavonic Literature: Apocalypse of Pseudo-Methodius and the Legend of the Twelve Fridays,” Scripta & e-Scripta 19 (2019), 145–164; “Slavonic Tradition of the Apocryphal Acts of Thomas in India and the MS 1789/700 of the Dragomira Monastery (Moldavia, Romania),” Scripta & e-Scripta 20 (2020), 199-225; “Linguistic Analysis of the Slavonic Translation of the Testament of Job,” Biblical Apocrypha in South-Eastern Europe and Related Areas, Proceedings of the Session held at the 12th International Congress of South-East European Studies (Bucharest, 2-6 September 2019)  89-108. We will miss her dedication, discipline, and humor.


The presentations from the 2021 virtual meeting in Wuppertal have been invited for submission for Scripta & e-Scripta 22 (2022).


Several papers from 2019 conference in Warsaw appeared in Scrinium, Journal of Patrology and Critical Hagiography 16 (2020) and 17 (2021)


A number of papers from the joint meeting with ISBL in Helsinki 2018 were published in Scripta & e-Scripta 19 (2019)


The selected papers of the conferences in Leuven (2016) and Berlin (2017) were published as “Religion, Philology, and Slavic Cultures: Slavonic Apocrypha” in Scrinium, Journal of Patrology and Critical Hagiography, 14 (2018) 195-368 

Past Meetings 

Wuppertal 2021 (virtual)

Unfortunately, we did not meet in Wuppertal, Germany because of тхе covid 19 pandemic. Nevertheless and thanks to a new technology, we hеld an annual conference through the Zoom directed by the wonderful EABS team from Wuppertal University. In this virtual conference, the members of the unit shared their polished studies through the PowerPoints and pointed out to new directions that their research took them during the lock-down.

The textual/philological methodology was used by the scholars from the Department of Polish and Classic Philology of Adam Mickiewicz University at Poznan, Poland, who presented their results from the project Old Polish Apocrypha; we heard important news from monastic sources, an invitation to reconsider the sources on the anti-Christ, some prayers against the toothache, and the way to bridge the gap between different genres such as romance and apocrypha; we had an opportunity to get familiar with the work of Moses Gaster, as well as, with the embodiment of biblical figures in the orthodox sacred places.

Dorota Rojszczak Robinska, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań: Writings of the Church Fathers as a Source of Old Polish Apocrypha of the New Testament

Wojciech Stelmach, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań: Linguistic Image of Biblical Eve in Old-Polish Historyja barzo cudna o stworzeniu nieba i ziemie (in Comparison to Slavic Apocrypha)

Anissava Miltenova, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences: Apocrypha in the Monastic Miscellanies: Accident or Premeditation?

Ekaterina Dimitrova Todorova, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences: Apocryphal Prayers ‘Against Nezhit’ in South Slavonic Literature

Fedor Veselov, Saint Petersburg State University: The Sea Called ‘Fire of the Sun’: towards Connections between the Alexander Romance and the Revelations of Pseudo-Methodius

Ivan Iliev, Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”: Hippolytus Romanus’ De Christo et Antichristo Reconsidered: New witnesses of the Slavonic Tradition

Basil Lourie, Institute of Philosophy and Law of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences: The Acta fabulosa of Peter (CANT 198): a Syrian “Colonial Discourse” about Rome

Maria Cioata, University of Manchester: Moses Gaster (1856-1939) as a collector and translator of Romanian Bird and Beast Stories

Ljubica Jovanovic, American Public University System: Patriarch Joseph (Gen 37-52) as Їѡсифь Прѣкрасни, the Beauteous Joseph, in Orthodox Iconography

Warsaw 2019 

At the meeting in Warsaw we discussed the current issues on Slavonic Apocrypha and their relationship with the Bible in the contemporary context and opened the conversation about Old Church Slavonic texts in the interpretation of Polish scholars. Because the National Library in Warsaw houses one of the oldest South Slavonic manuscript, the Codex Suprasliensis, we created a special session, “In Poland: Apocrypha and Codex Suprasliensis.” The latest academic attempts in studying the importance of the concept of light in Slavic Christian tradition were addressed in the session, “Calendars, Apocalypses, and Astronomy.”

Dorota Rojszczak Robinska, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań: Book of Psalms as the source of the Old Polish Apocrypha of the New Testament

Liudmila Navtanovich, Universitat Autónoma De Barcelona: About the Sun's Faces in the Short Recension of 2 Enoch

Sladana Mirkovic, University of South Florida: Could the Biblical Studies Save the Slavonic Apocrypha?

Vadim Vitkovskiy, Humboldt University Berlin” 711 and 760 of National Library of Serbia in the Textual History of Third Baruch

Anissava Miltenova, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences: South Slavonic Interpolations in the Apocalypse of Pseudo-Methodius

Ivan Iliev, Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski: The ‘Kingdom of the Antichrist’ in a Compilation of Bible Quotes 

Ljubica Jovanovic, American Public University System. The Figure of Joseph in the South Slavonic “Homily about Fasting, and Joseph, and the Priest, and the Prophet David.”

Alexander Grishchenko, Moscow State Pedagogical University: The Apocryphal Table of Contents in the Edited Slavonic-Russian Pentateuch from the 15th Century

Ekaterina Dimitrova Todorova, Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridsky: Between Apocrypha and The Holy Bible: Saint Pantaleon' Martyr from 17th Century

Lilly Emilova Stammler, The Institute for Literature, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences: The Erotapokriseis from The Life of Andrew the Fool in the Byzantine and Medieval Bulgarian Literary Tradition

Helsinki 2018

The joint meeting of European Association of Biblical Studies (EABS) and International Society of Biblical Literature (ISBL) allowed  our EABS session “Slavonic Apocrypha” to hold a session together with the ISBL program units “Rethinking Biblical Written Tradition through Slavonic Interpretations, ”  “Apocalyptic literature,” and “Hellenistic Judaism.”  We chose the theme “Research on Apocalyptic, Apocryphal, and Second Temple Literature in Nordic, Baltic, and North Slavic Lands” because we wanted to recognize the importance of the scholars of Finland in the field on the on Dead Sea Scrolls. 

The goal of our unit for this meeting was to reevaluate the Slavonic Apocrypha in a contemporary light through the exploration of the history of North Slavonic, Nordic and Baltic interpretative traditions in regard of the biblical and related manuscripts. 

Ivan Biliarsky, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences/Institute of History: The Testament of Abraham in a Juridical manuscript of XVI Century

Ivan I. Iliev, Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski: The Old Church Slavonic Translations of the Book of the Prophet Daniel: How Many are they and how they functioned?

Milan Kostresevic, Universität Bern - Université de Berne: TheLinguistic Analysis of the Names and Toponyms in the Slavic Apocalypse of Abraham 

Basil Lourié, Scrinium. Review of the Patrology, Critical: A Jewish-Christian Exegesis in the Slavonic Text on the Perdition of the Higher Intellect 

Anissava Miltenova, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences: South Slavonic Apocryphal Collections

Maria Vitkovskaya, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Humboldt University of Berlin: Rewriting Methods in the Palaea Historica and in the Slavic Cycle of Abraham

Sladana Mirkovic, University of South Florida: Slavic Studies and Wissenschaftliche Approach to the Bible

Vadim Wittkowsky, Humboldt University Berlin: Literary Criticism and Conservative Orthodoxy: Critics of the Q-Hypothesis in 21st century Denmark and Russia

Berlin 2017

“Slavonic Apocrypha” held a joint session with ISBL units, “Apocalyptic Literature,” “Rethinking Biblical Written Tradition through Slavonic Interpretations,” and “Hellenistic Judaism” on the topic “Slavonic Translations of the Second Temple Texts.” Our presenters discussed both literary and visual motifs of the medieval Slavic interpretations. A special session was dedicated to the legacy of Cyril and Methodius. 

Keiko Mitani, The University of Tokyo: The Inscription on Solomon’s Chalice in Vita Constantini: An Old Question Revisited 

Ljubica Jovanovic, American Public University System: The Septuagint Event in the Ninth Century Slavic Lands: Which Bible did Cyril and Methodius and their Followers Translate?

Amber Ivanova, Universiteit Gent: The Apocryphal Origin of the Martyr Act of Saint Thekla in the Medieval Slavonic Tradition 

Basil Lourié, Scrinium. Journal of Patrology and Critical Hagiography, State University of Aerospace Instrumentation, St. Petersburg: Some Pseudepigraphic Prophecies in Slavonic  

Anissava Miltenova, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences: Symbiosis between Apocryphon and Nomocanon: Apocalypsis Johannis Quarta  

Enrique Santos Marina, Universidad Complutense de Madrid: Prophet Elijah as a Weather God in Church Slavonic Apocryphal Works 

Lyubov Osinkina, University of Oxford: The Representation of Literary Motifs in the Visual Arts (in Connection with the Image of Job)

Leuven 2016

The topics of the presentations were on the current status of the research and the setting of the goals for the future scholarship on Slavonic Apocrypha.  We discussed the scope of our panel and the terminology and decided that we will keep the inadequate but easily recognizable name, “Slavonic Apocrypha,” for the historical Slavic religious literature until we agree on a competent replacement. 

Sladana Mirkovic, University of South Florida: How to Study Slavonic Apocrypha in the 21st Century?

Ljubica Jovanovic, American Public University System: Reception of Biblical Literary Models in the Slavonic Traditions

Anissava Miltenova, Bulgarian Academy of Sceinces: Slavonic Apocrypha: New Discoveries, New Perusals

Basil Lourié, Scrinium. Journal of Patrology and Critical Hagiography, State University of Aerospace Instrumentation, St. Petersburg: Rewritten Bible in the “Museum” Slavonic Translation of the Song of Songs 

Liudmila Navtanovich, Universitat Autónoma De Barcelona: Slavonic Apocrypha: the Main Problems with their Textual History (a Philological Perspective)

Keiko Mitani, The University of Tokyo: The Dream of King Jehoash: Textual Structure and Intertextuality

Martina Chroma, Institute of Slavonic Studies, Czech Academy of Sciences: Slavonic translation of the Apocryphal Questions of Bartholomew

Cornelia Horn, Freie Universitaet Berlin: The Infancy Gospel of James and Its Reception in the Caucasus: Status Quaestionis