For the last two centuries and a half historians have been accustomed to quote, as an authority for several curious facts connected with the emperor Justinian and his scarcely less famous wife the empress Theodora, a life of Justinian by a certain Theophilus, described as an abbot and as the preceptor of Justinian. One of these facts is the Slavonic origin of the family of Justinian, a circumstance not only interesting in itself, but important as showing that Slavonic tribes had settled in Upper Macedonia or Western Thrace in, or soon after, the middle of the fifth century, a date considerably earlier than we should otherwise be entitled to accept. Another is the sojourn of the young Justinian as a hostage at Ravenna in the court of Theodoric the Great, a sojourn from which the future emperor must have derived a knowledge of the condition of Italy under Ostrogothic rule of supreme value for his subsequent war against the successors of Theodoric. A third is the opposition made by the mother of Justinian to his marriage with Theodora, and the fact that the graces and accomplishments of that lady did not prevent her from being regarded as a source of danger to Justinian and the empire. These points were all of historical significance. But of the authority on which they rest, of Theophilus himself, nothing has been known beyond the curt statements of the undoubtedly learned writer who cites him, and whom all subsequent historians seem to have followed as a sufficient voucher for the genuineness and worth of the original Theophilus himself.
This learned writer is Nicholas Alemanni, scrittore in the Vatican library. In 1623 he published at Lyons the first edition of the 'Anecdota' or unpublished history of Procopius of Caesarea, which, as all the world knows, treats of the life, acts, and character of the emperor Justinian and the empress Theodora, of Belisarius and his wife Antonina. In the preface which Alemanni prefixed, and in the very full and valuable notes which he appended to his edition, he refers several times1 to a 'Life of Justinian' by a p658 person whom he calls 'Theophilus Justiniani praeceptor,' 'Theophilus Abbas.'
Alemanni neither tells us where he found or read this 'Life of Justinian,' nor gives us any other clue whatever to it. In fact, the extracts given in the footnote, together with the mention in the preface of 'Theophilus Justiniani praeceptor' as a writer contemporary with Procopius, are all that he says regarding this personage, who is not mentioned by any other writer.
It came to be supposed that as Alemanni was himself an official of the Vatican library, and had printed the 'Anecdota' from two manuscripts which he found there, the manuscript of this 'Life of Justinian' by Theophilus must also be preserved in that library. Repeated searches were made, but failed to discover the book or any trace of it. Later writers, however, assumed Theophilus to have been what Alemanni's references implied him to be, a contemporary and trustworthy authority; and went on quoting from Alemanni the statements regarding Justinian above given. I need refer to a few only of the more important of these writers.
Ludewig, the famous jurist and chancellor of Halle, in his elaborate 'Life of Justinian and Theodora'2 says of the 'Life' by Theophilus, after referring to Alemanni's extracts, cujus copia nobis non est; and again, Nomen Biglenizae prodidit solus Theophilus, Justiniani biographus; cujus testimonium laudamus fide Alemanni, qui eum legit in membranis Vaticanis (p128). (Alemanni, however, did not say he read Theophilus in a Vatican manuscript.)
p659 The learned Philippo Invernizi, in a note to the preface to his book on the reign of Justinian, says:—
His [sc. scriptoribus] quendam Theophilum historicum addit Alemannus, quem fuisse Justiniani praeceptorem Ludewigius putavit. Quis autem novus hic Theophilus fuerit, semper est ignoratum: nec Ludewigius, nec Hoffmannus, nec, cujus fide creditur extare, Alemannus, demonstrare id veterum auctoritate potuerunt. Quin etiam vir clarissimus Guillelmus Otto Reitz in tertia adnotatione ad Historiam Theophili JCti Joannis Henrici Mylii cap. I, solide Alemannum refutavit. Quare ut opinor de hac re desitum est disputari. Est autem qui censeat hanc Theophili Historiam Alemannum in Vaticana Bibliotheca legisse; in qua tamen cum diu et ab aliis et a me doctorum hominum et laudatae Bibliothecae peritissimorum opera fuerit quaesita, nullus codex profecto in quo extaret Theophili historia, nulla est pagina reperta.3
Gibbon ('Decline and Fall,' chapter XL) assumes Theophilus on the evidence of Alemanni. 'For this curious fact [that Justinian had lived as a hostage at the court of Theodoric] Alemannus quotes a manuscript history of Justinian by his preceptor Theophilus.' (Alemanni, however, did not say that the history of Theophilus was in manuscript.) Gibbon quotes other statements, such as the names Vpravda, Istok, Bigleniza, without hesitation.
More recent writers seem to have simply accepted and followed Alemanni without further inquiry, taking the names he gives as genuine, and endeavouring to explain their etymology. See among others Schafarik ('Slavische Alterthümer,' vol. II p160) and Ujfalvy ('Imperator Justinianus Genti Slavicae vindicatus'), both p660 of whom, like some writers of our own day, take the Slavonic origin of Justinian as proved by these apparently Slavonic names. No one, however, explored the mystery of Theophilus and his Life; and the general belief has, I think, been that Alemanni drew upon some ancient manuscript of a real writer contemporary with Justinian, which manuscript, then in the Vatican, has long since disappeared. Theophilus had in fact passed into one of the minor riddles of history, which there seemed no prospect of ever solving.
In January 1883, being engaged in studies relating to the history of Justinian and especially to the Ostrogothic war, I visited Rome, and inquired at the Vatican library regarding the supposed manuscript of Theophilus. The officials of the library, whose courtesy I desire to acknowledge cordially, informed me that it had often been searched for, but in vain. After an examination of the manuscripts of Procopius in the library, from which no light on the subject could be gained, I determined to pursue my inquiries in some of the greater private libraries of Rome, following in this the advice given to me shortly before at Florence by the distinguished head of the Laurentian library there, the Abate Anziani, and by my friend Signor Giorgi, head of the Vittore Emanuele library in Rome. Having heard that Nicholas Alemanni had been in intimate relations with the Barberini family, I proceeded to the library in the Barberini palace, and there, after a short search, found a manuscript entitled 'Vita Justiniani,' written on paper of quarto size and bound up with some other manuscripts in a small book. I copied it out, and here give the whole of it verbatim. It is written on paper in a seventeenth century handwriting, 27 cent. long by 20 cent. wide (about 10 inches by 8), is marked Barb. XXXVIII.49, has a modern binding on which, on the back, are the words Suares Opuscula, and is described as follows in the catalogue of the library made by the librarian Pieralisi: Opuscula quae erant inter schedas Josephi Mariae Suaresii alienis manibus exaratas. Cod. chart. in fo. saec. XVII.4
The 'Life of Justinian' which is bound up among these opuscula is followed by a sort of commentary, which bears the heading 'Explicationes.' Both the Life and the explanations are contained in two sheets of paper (folded), and are in the same handwriting. I copied them out; and the copy then made has been recently carefully collated with the original by Signor Levi of the Reale Società Romana di Storia Patria, to whom my best thanks are due for this service. I give here the text of the 'Life' and notes in full before proceeding to make some observations upon them.
Ex opusculo continenti Vitam Justiniani Imperatoris scripto literis et characteribus Illyricis usque ad annum imperii ejus 80 per Bogomilum Pastorem seu Abbatem monasterii S. Alexandri martyris in Dardania prope Prizrienam civitatem natale solum eiusdem Justiniani, quod opusculum asservatur in bibliotheca monacorum Illyricanorum regulam S. Basilii profitentium in monte Atho seu sacro in Macedonia supra Aegaeum mare. Hic Bogomilus cum diutius fuisset pedagogus Justiniani factus est episcopus Sardicensis dictusque a Latinis et Graecis D D6 vir magnae sanctitatis et in catholica religione tuenda constantissimus.
Natus est Vpravda (1)7 (nomen Justiniani gentili sermone) in Prizriena (2)8 sub imperio Zenonis Regis Constantinopolitani et Patriarchatu Acacii novae Romae, postquam imperatores in veteri Roma esse desierunt: quasi Deus vellet edere Regem qui recuperaturus esset occidentale imperium et cum orientali in antiquum splendorem restituturus.
Pater ejus fuit Istok (3) ex progenie et familia sancti Constantini (4) — magni Regis Romanorum et maximi monarcharum Christianorum. Mater vero Bigleniza (5) — soror Justini qui regnavit in nova Roma. Istoki soror fuit Lada, quae nupsit Selimiro (6) Principi Slavorum, qui complures filios habuit, inter hos Rechiradum quem singulari certamine, ut dicetur, interfecit Justinianus.
Istok cum esset Ilnez,9 hoc est, Dynasta inter Dardanos, dedit filio Vpravdae pedagogum egregium sanctum virum Bogomilum (7) pastorem seu Abbatem monasterii S. Alexandri martyris, vitae Justiniani scriptorem, qui puerum summa diligentia sanctissimis moribus inde literis Latinis et Graecis instruxit. Verum cum ab avunculo Justino enixe diligeretur, ab eodem ad castra trahebatur, Bogomilo nunquam a latere adolescentis abscedente.
Tyrocinium deposuit jubente Justino, qui jam pridem primos ordines Romanorum ductabat; quo tempore idem Justinus contra Caesarides (8) Zenonidas pro Anastasio rege decertabat, cum avunculo miles in Illyricum revertitur ob Bulgaros Romanis cervicibus imminentes, a quibus cum esset interfectus Rastus (9) dux militiae Illyricanae cum primoribus Ducibus Justinus Barbaris occurrens plus nimio insultantes repressit.
Et quia Bulgaris auxilio affuerat Rechirad (10) Selimiri filius, nec ullis precibus aut promissibus eum Justinus a societate Bulgarorum abstrahere poterat, ob idque simultas gravissima inter Justinianum et germanum suum Rechiradum exarserat, unde ad jurgia et probra in quodam colloquio p662 devenerant, res ad singulare certamen inter eos est deducta, in quo certamine Justinianus nondum vigesimum annum attingens adversarium mira virtute ad ripas fluminis Muravae (is Latinis est Moschus) prostravit, quas ob res ingentia munera tum ipse tum dux militiae Justinus et ejus milites Illyricani accepere. Quoniam autem periculosum vulnus in eo certamine Justinianus acceperat, Constantinopolim curandus mittitur, ubi Anastasio regi acceptissimus fuit, qui eum studuit a verae Religionis cultu abducere, quod ubi Bogomilus pedagogus ejus animadvertit, sollicitus de salute adolescentis eundem ad Justinum in castra, mox in patriam ad matrem viduam nuper ab Istoko relictam reduxit. Sed Justinianus pertesus atrium domesticum brevi ad avunculum rediit, quem ad Margum Pannoniae oppidum reliquias exercitus Sabiniani Ducis a Gothis fusi colligentem invenit, a quo ad Theodoricum regem Gothorum Analimiri10 filium in Italiam mittitur, ad suorum Ducum, qui paulo ante Sirmiensem Regionem Bulgaris abstulerant, auxilia impetranda, a quo benigne acceptus et auxilia obtinuit et diutius tanquam obses Ravennae detentus quamdiu Justinus Gothorum militum opera usus est, habitusque est Theodorico loco fratris, quin immo Illyrico more fraternitatis (11) vinculo sese colligarunt.
Ad avunculum reversus cum Justinus nullam ex Vukcizza (12) conjuge sobolem speraret, jubente eo connubio illigatur, ducta Bosidara (13) egregia puella, licet reclamante Biglenizza, quippe quae indolem puellae alioquin scitissimae et eruditissimae sed sevioris et arrogantioris ingenii aliquando obfuturam fortunae et pietati filii pertimescebat, praesertim quia vetula quaedam divinationibus addicta Bosidaram futuram Vraghidaram (14) Romano Imperio, inflexuramque rectitudinem Vpravdae, ex sortium augurio consulenti Biglenizzae praedixerat. Verumtamen mores tunc temporis excultissimi variarumque scientiarum peritia cum eximia forma conjunctae apud Justinum et ipsum Justinianum praevaluerunt, quamobrem Biglenizza paulo post moerore consumpta e vivis excessit antequam fratrem fastigium Romani regni conscendisse gaudere potuisset.
Trigenario maior cum Anastasius Rex Bogomilum ad Sardicensem episcopatum favore Justini promotum cum multis aliis episcopis ob Catholicam Religionem Constantinopolim evocatos vexaret, Justinianus cum avunculo Justino a Ducibus Illyricanae militiae destinantur [sic] ad Anastasium obtestando nisi impetum tumultuantis militiae vellet experiri ab insectatione Catholicorum Antistitum desisteret, quorum libertate deterritus cum subornasset delatores qui eos conjurationis in Regium caput initae accusarent, carceribus utrumque mancipavit, mox in eosdem capitalem tulit sententiam. Verum apparentibus ei in somnio Sergio et Bacho martyribus quorum cultus insignis habetur inter Dardanos, et dira minantibus si homines innocentes et imperio digniores quam ipse foret perdere auderet, absolutos cum episcopis Catholicis dimisit, cui tamen brevi Justinus regno successit.
Sub imperio Justini Justinianus dignam principe viro ecclesiam in Illyrico sub Scodrensi urbe supra Barbenam fluvium Sergio et Bacho martyribus extructam dicavit. Idem auctoritate avunculi Ecclesiam olim a Marciano oeconomo Constantinopolitanae ecclesia Constantinopoli Gothis concessam Catholico ritu per Joannem Romae veteris pontificem p663 consecrari curavit, retento tamen psalmodiae et liturgiae usu Gothico sermone in gratiam suae gentis Illyricae eandem linguam cum Gothis colentis. Justino succedens templum ad imitationem illius quod in Regia urbe divinae sapientiae dicaverat Sardicae (15) in gratiam Episcopi Bogomili seu Domnionis olim sui pedagogi condidit.
Explicationes quorundam nominum quae leguntur in praecedenti fragmento observatae per Joannem Tomco Marnavich Canonicum Sibensem11 fragmenti interpretem.
1. Vpravda vox Illyrica derivata a Pravda, hoc est Justitia. Vpravda autem cum illa praepositione V significat directam Justitiam, quo nomine ab Illyricis scriptoribus tam Justinianus quam uterque Justinus dicti sunt.
2. Prizriena. Ita scribitur patria Justiniani tam ab antiquis quam recentioribus Illyricis sita eo prorsus loco quo Procopius Tauresium ponit, nimirum inter Dardanos super Epydamnum. Hoc Agathias de bello Gothico Bederinam appellat et hodie sub Turcis inter fines antiquae Dardaniae et recentioris Hercegovinae seu Ducatus Sancti Sabae visuntur tam intra quam extra civitatem complura vestigia et rudera eximiorum vestigiorum aedificiorum estque titulus nunc Petri Calitii episcopi nuper cum missione Patrum Societatis Jesu ad curandas Christianorum reliquias sub Turcica tyrannide per Macedoniam Dardaniam et Pannonias misere gementum a Smo Dno Nro Paoloº V destinati.
3. Istok vox Illyricana Orientem significans intra nomina nostratum antiquis usitatior quam recentioribus, qui saepius nominibus sanctorum virorum quam gentilibus appellare filios consueverunt.
4. Familiam Constantini professi sunt complures ex Illyricis principibus usque quo a Turca sedibus pulsi cum familiis interierunt. Ita Reges et Despotae Serviae Reguli Scardi montis, Duces S. Sabae, etc.
5. Biglenizza nomen Illyricum ab albedine ductum, Latinis Albulam sonans.
6. Selimiri filii a Justiniano Rege saepius nomen regium super Dalmatas petierunt nec unquam impetrarunt, eo quod Rechirad Selimiri filius a Justiniano occisus a Bulgaris contra Romanos stetisset.
7. Bogomilus Illyrica vox Deo carum significans.
8. Caesarides Patronimicum nomen usitatissimum apud Illyricos apud quos Zar Regem seu Imperatorem significat Zarevichi ut habet author Caesaridae interpretantur.
9. Rastus nomen Illyricum Crescentem significans: hunc puto esse quem Marcellinus Comes Aristum appellat, Ductorem militiae Illyricanae.
10. Rechirad nomen Illyricum compositum a rechi, hoc est loqui, et rad, hoc est cupidum, ita ut requirad loqui cupidum significet. Cuiusmodi nomen aliquorum Regum Gothorum in Hispania fuit, quae tamen nomina ab ignaris linguae Gothicae seu Illyricae male per Precaredos12 efferuntur et scribuntur.
11. Solemnitas vinculi fraternitatis ad hunc usque diem tanti fit apud Illyricos ut non solum inter Christianos homines credatur vera jungi fraternitas, sed etiam inter Christianos et Turcas habeatur validissima.
p664 12. Vukcizza nomen Illyricum lupae proprium. Unde Latini Graecique authores scribunt uxorem Justini ubi is ad regum assumptus fuit Lupicinae nomen in Euphemiam commutasse.
13. Bosidara nomen Illyricum compositum a Bogh, idest Deo, et Dar, hoc est dono, ut Bosidara nihil aliud sit nisi a Deo donata vel Dei donum, quod idem est cum Graeco nomine Theodora.
14. Vraghidara nomen itidem Illyricum, a Vrag, hoc est Diabolo vel hoste, et dar, hoc est dono, compositum ut Vraghidara sit diaboli vel hostis donum oppositum Theodoro.
15. Sardica progressu temporis a templo Justiniani Sophiae nomen ad hodiernum usque diem usurpavit. Ante fores dicti templi Justinianus nobile sarcophagum Bogomilo seu Domnioni santissimoº viro excitavit, carminibusque super crustas marmoreas illustravit.13
The discovery of this manuscript and an examination of its contents give rise to several questions which I shall endeavour to discuss as briefly as possible.
I. The first of these questions is: Is this the 'Life of Justinian' by Theophilus which Alemanni quotes in the notes to his edition of the 'Anecdota' of Procopius, and for whose existence he has hitherto been the sole authority?
On this it may be observed that all the facts which Alemanni gives in his notes on the authority of Theophilus are found in this manuscript. They are:
1. That a church was erected by Justin and Justinian at Skodra (or Scutari) on the river Barbena (Boyana) (in northern Albania) to SS. Sergius and Bacchus.
2. That Justinian was born in the reign of Zeno and patriarchate of Acacius.
3. That Justinian was over thirty years of age when he came to Byzantium near the end of the reign of Anastasius.
4. That Justinian contracted the rite of fraternitas with Theodoric the Ostrogothic king.
5. That Justinian was as a youth a hostage at Ravenna with Theodoric.
6. That Bigleniza, the mother of Justinian, opposed his betrothal to Theodora.
7. That Bigleniza distrusted the character of Theodora, having been warned by an aged female soothsayer that she would prove not a gift of God but a gift of the devil.
8. That the original names of the mother of Justinian, of Sabatius, his father, and of Justinian himself were Bigleniza, Istok, and Vpravda respectively.
9. That Justinian before he ascended the throne was instructed in theology by the abbot Theophilus.
p665 Alemanni does not quote Theophilus for a few other facts stated in the manuscript. But these are mostly facts in themselves improbable, which he may well have doubted, e.g. that 'Istok,' father of Justinian, was a prince among his own people, that Justinian killed Rechirad in single combat, that Justinian's mother died after his marriage with Theodora but before the accession of her brother Justin. It might perhaps have been expected that he should also mention that Theophilus calls the empress Euphemia, the wife of Justin I, Vukcizza. But as Alemanni quotes Theodorus Lector and Theophanes (p384 of his notes) for the statement that her real name had been Lupicia, he may have thought it undesirable to quote Theophilus for a less well-attested name, although one which Marnavich, the fragmenti interpres, explains as the Slavonic equivalent of Lupicina.
From this it may be concluded that Alemanni had before him our present manuscript of Theophilus and nothing else. If any one suggests that there may then have existed and been read by him a full life of Justinian bearing the name of Theophilus which has now disappeared, and which contained all that the present manuscript contains together with other matters, the answer is not only that Alemanni would probably have quoted from it some of those matters, not appearing in our manuscript, but also that the passage (beginning licet reclamante) which he copies in full from Theophilus (p415 of his notes in Bonn edition) tallies word for word with the present manuscript, except that Alemanni gives levioris where the word in the manuscript (which is obscurely written) seems to be sevioris or sævioris. Considering these facts, and considering that no trace has ever been discovered of any other life of Justinian by any Theophilus, although repeated searches have been made, and considering also that the manuscript is of the same date as Alemanni, was among the books belonging to Suares, the friend of Alemanni, and was placed in the library of the Barberini, patrons of Alemanni, it seems practically certain that we have here the materials, and all the materials, which Alemanni possessed, and that no further authority is therefore attributable to his statements quoted from Theophilus than can be shown to belong to this present manuscript; although it is of course possible that Alemanni may have had stronger grounds for attaching value to the manuscript than those which we now possess. Apparently he did value it. He quotes it with respect, and he seems to have rather expected that 'Theophilus' would, like a regular historian, have given the date of Justinian's birth by reference to the consul of the year (consulem reticet Theophilus, see above, note 1, p658).
That is to say, we have in this manuscript the Theophilus of Alemanni, the biographer of Justinian, and there is no other. If there be any Theophilus who wrote Justinian's life, this is he.
p666 II. The next question is: Who wrote our present manuscript? It is all, both the text of the fragmentum and the notes (explicationes) which follow the fragmentum, in the same ink and handwriting and on paper of the same make and size. Moreover the explicationes are stated to be by the person who translated the fragmentum — fragmenti interpretem. The manner and substance of the fragmentum, and the fact that Bogomilus (the Slavonic equivalent of Theophilus), who is called the author of the life, is nevertheless always spoken of in the third person, make it clear that the fragmentum is not a literally translated extract from a book purporting to be written by a person named Theophilus or Bogomilus, but can only be an abstract of that book or parts of it. Even supposing that the original book did not purport to be composed by Bogomil in his own person, but to relate facts about him, as the book of Deuteronomy (or at least large parts of it), although attributed by the Jews to Moses, does not itself purport to be composed by Moses, who is always spoken of in the third person, still the character of the fragmentum is that of an abstract rather than of a simple translation from an original treatise in another language.
It may therefore be taken that the text, no less than the notes, is in its present form the work, and is probably actually written by the hand, of the person described as the author of the notes, who, however, professes to be, as regards the text, nothing more than a translator.
This person is John Tomco Marnavich, canon of Sebenico in Dalmatia, and afterwards archdeacon of Agram and bishop of Bosnia. Of him something must be said, because our estimate of the worth of the fragmentum depends largely on our judgment of him.
When I discovered the manuscript and found that it was evidently from a Slavonic source, I applied at once for help to my friend Mr. Arthur John Evans, keeper of the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford, whose travels in Slavonic countries and writings on Slavonic history and antiquities have won for him a deserved reputation. In tracing the life and writings of Marnavich I have received much help from him, as well as from the kindness of M. Constantin Jireček, the distinguished historian of the Bulgarians, and of my friend Count Ugo Balzani. Help was the more needed because Marnavich's books are scarcely to be found in England — the Bodleian library containing only one of them, and that of no value for the present purpose, the British Museum one only, and the University library at Cambridge none at all. M. Jireček has sent me a valuable letter, which will be found at the end of this article, and for which my best thanks are due to him.
Ivan Tomko Marnavich (written in Serb Mernjavćić or Mrnavić), a person of note in his day, was born in the episcopal city of Sebenico, p667 then under Venetian rule, in 1579, being, according to his own account, the scion of an ancient family of Bosnian nobles, but, anyhow, the son of a customhouse officer in the Turkish service.14 He went early to Rome, was educated there by the Jesuits, and attracted, by his quick intelligence, the regard of some eminent men, among others of Cardinals Baronius and Sacchetti, of Francis Barberini, afterwards cardinal, and of Cardinal Pazmany, archbishop of Gran and primate of Hungary.15 His literary career began with a book entitled 'De Regno Illyrico Caesaribusque Illyricis Dialogorum Libri Septem,' which is referred to you some as having been printed and published at Rome in 1603, but which, according to others, was not printed, but remains in manuscript. Some years later he entered the service of Faustus Verantius, bishop of Csanad in Hungary, and in 1614, on the recommendation of this Dalmatian, was summoned to Rome to be employed in making translations into and from the Serbo-Croat language.16 In 1622 he was appointed archdeacon of Agram. In 1626 he aspired to the bishopric of Sebenico, with the support of Cardinal Francis Barberini; but the Venetians, who disliked him as an adherent of the Jesuits, prevented his nomination, alleging that he was a Turkish subject. However, in 1631 the emperor Ferdinand III, king of Hungary, nominated him bishop of Bosnia and Diacova, and the nomination was confirmed by Pope Urban VIII. (In the same year he had received the honour of Roman citizenship by diploma.) He seems to have never visited his see, which, to be sure, was in the hands of the Turks, but when not employed in ecclesiastical missions to have lived at Rome, continuing his literary labours.17 We hear that his retention of the post of lector in the p668 chapter of Agram (which was deemed to imply residence) after he had become titular bishop of Bosnia caused many heartburnings between him and the other canons of that church. He died in 1639, probably in Rome, although the place of his burial is not known.18
As this manuscript describes Marnavich as canon of Sebenico (a preferment he had received as early as 1609 or 1610), but not as archdeacon of Agram, it would seem to be posterior to 1609, and probably to 1614, but anterior to 1622. We have already seen reason to think that Alemanni read it before 1623, the year of the publication of the Anecdota of Procopius; and this date is confirmed by the reference in the explicationes to opportune Paul V as the reigning pontiff — for Paul V was pope from 1605 to 1621.
Marnavich was evidently a fanciful or fraudulent genealogist, and so ignorant of history and ethnology as to suppose the Goths — the Visigoths of Spain, as well as the Ostrogoths — to have spoken the same language as the Slavonic Serbs. But in these points he was probably not below the average of learned men in his day: Luccari, the historian of Ragusa, and other writers of that and the following century identify the two races. Even in our own day we see men otherwise intelligent commit incredible follies when they enter the field of genealogy, while, as to philology, Victor Hugo believed the language of the Basques and that of the Irish Celts to be the same. Marnavich was obviously a wholly uncritical person. Whether he was also untruthful we have no sufficient materials for judging, and it is therefore hard to say now much weight is to p669 be attached to his statement regarding the manuscript which he declares to exist in the monastery at Mount Athos. His book, 'De Caesaribus Illyricis,' may probably throw some light on the contents of the present manuscript. But I have been unable to procure a copy, and am informed that it is exceedingly rare. M. Jireček says that the most learned Croatian bibliographer, M. Kukuljević, has never seen it.19
III. From Marnavich who purports to translate an ancient author, we naturally turn to that author himself, and ask: Was there ever any person called Bogomil by those who spoke Slav and Theophilus by those who spoke Greek, a person who was the preceptor of Justinian, abbot of S. Alexander near Prizrend, and preferred by the emperor Anastasius to the bishopric of Serdica?
So far as I have been able to ascertain, no trace of any such person exists in any author of the sixth or next succeeding centuries. We hear of no preceptor of Justinian, of no contemporary biographer of Justinian, of no Theophilus who in anywise answers to the account given in the Barberini MS. of the author of the supposed Life. The reader will have observed that the name Theophilus occurs nowhere either in the fragmentum or in the explicationes. We hear only of Bogomilus, and the only suggestion of Theophilus is in the remark in the explicationes that Bogomilus = Deo carus, which would in Greek be Theophilus.20 The name Theophilus would therefore seem due to Alemanni, who may have had his doubts about this 'Illyric' (i.e. Slavonic) name of Bogomil for a bishop at the beginning of the sixth century, though he accepted the 'Illyric' names of Justinian and his family.
The fragmentum, however, as well as the explicationes, identifies Bogomil, the preceptor of Justinian, with Domnio, bishop of Serica (Sofia). Now Domnio is an authentic personage, mentioned by Marcellinus Comes (ad A.D. 516) in a passage to be quoted presently. Is there any ground for believing that this p670 Domnio was the preceptor of Justinian, or was called either Bogomilus or Theophilus? I have not been able to find any, and am led to conclude (on grounds which will appear later) that Bogomil the preceptor and biographer of Justinian is a purely legendary personage, who at some date long subsequent to the sixth century was identified with the historical Domnio. For the purposes of our present inquiry Theophilus and Bogomilus are mere names of which it has pleased Alemanni and Marnavich to attach to what they call a life of Justinian.
IV. The next question is, What is the relation of our Barberini library manuscript to the 'Life of Justinian' by Bogomil (Theophilus), from which it purports to be extracted?
The only evidence we have for the existence of such a 'Life' bearing the name of Bogomil is that which the manuscript itself supplies, i.e. the evidence of Marnavich, who calls himself, in the explicationes, 'fragmenti interpretem'. It is quite possible, and consonant with what we know of other literary forgeries, that Marnavich should have simply invented this Slavonic original in the monastery on Mount Athos in order to provide a plausible source and apparently historical basis for his legendary tales. External evidence for the existence of the original there is none, beyond that in the present Barberini MS., and a passage in a later book of Marnavich's in which he refers to Bogomil as an authority for the fact that the descendants of the emperor Constantine were in his (i.e. Bogomil's) day still living 'above the sources of the Rhine between Italy and Germany,' adding that Bogomil is called Theophilus by Alemanni in his notes to Procopius.21 But the p671 internal evidence seems to me to point slightly the other way, and to favour the view that Marnavich believed in some sort of an original which he was using, however freely. He was not publishing a book for which he sought to gain credence by representing it as a translation of an extract from an ancient writing, for the present manuscript bears no signs of having been intended for the world. The ordinary motive for falsification is therefore absent. Nor is there again in the fragmentum which we can perceive Marnavich to have had any personal reason for forging, as if, for instance, he had endeavoured to support by it his derivation of his own family from the gens Marcia. It may be said that we do not now know for what purpose the fragmentum was composed. But, in fact, it seems to have no special point or purpose. It is a collection of scattered observations which, so far as can be discovered, have not been put together for any of the objects usually contemplated by a literary falsifier. These notices redound to no one's credit or discredit. They prove nothing of any present interest to any party, sect, or family. They have nothing that can be called literary quality; they have not even any literary or historical unity.22 And as to the 'Notes' they do not look as if the fragmentum had been written with a view to them, so that they might develop it and confirm its themes by references to other sources. One reference to an historical source there is which might have this aim (see post as to Comes Marcellinus), but on the theory I am stating we should have expected many; and the impression made by the 'Notes' rather is that the writer is in good faith explaining names and facts which he has somewhere read or heard, but has not himself invented. Thus he justifies his translation 'Caesarides' by p672 reference to 'Zarewichi,' ut habet author. Had he wished to give these statements further verisimilitude, it would have been easy for him to insert in the fragmentum things which he could in the 'Explanations' show to fit neatly in with the statements of recognised historical authorities.
It is therefore at least a possible view that Marnavich himself believed in the existence of this 'Life of Justinian' written in Illyric (Slavonic) letters and characters, in the library of the Basilian Slavonic monks on Athos. He had probably read some old Slavonic writings even in his youth, when he produced 'Dialogi de Caesaribus Illyricis' and edified Cardinal Baronius by stories about the emperor Constantine; and his position as Slavonic translator at Rome after 1614 would give him opportunities of perusing many others, and doubtless also meeting persons who brought manuscripts to Rome from the East. It is not likely that he ever visited Mount Athos — he does not even himself profess to have done so — but he may have been shown what purported to be copies of originals preserved there. And in another of his works he refers, though indeed in disparaging terms, to documents collected by the monks of Athos.23 Moreover, we shall see presently that the there are traces in other quarters of some of the legends and names referred to in the fragmentum. On the whole, therefore, the probabilities are that Marnavich has given in this manuscript statements which he was not inventing, but was drawing from some document or documents which he had seen, or whose contents had been repeated to him. It is characteristic of himself and of the school to which he belonged that he should be utterly loose and uncritical, not only in accepting documents shown him and reporting their substance, but also in giving the vaguest indications of the source whence he derived them.
Be this as it may, the fragmentum has not the character of a direct translation from an ancient original couched in narrative form. It is a series of detached notes; but whether the alleged original consisted of such detached statements regarding Justinian and the events of his time, or had the form of a regular narrative, we have no grounds for conjecture. The original, whatever it was, was apparently short (it is called opusculum), and may have contained few facts of importance beyond those which the Barberini fragmentum purports to give. As Alemanni in all probability knew Marnavich at Rome between 1603 and 1623,24 and had obtained p673 the statements which he quotes in the notes to the Anecdota either from Marnavich directly or from this manuscript in which Marnavich is named, it may be assumed that Alemanni would desire to get from Marnavich all possible information of historical value for the illustration of the Anecdota.25 As Alemanni gives nothing save what we find in the manuscript, we may conclude either that the alleged original contained little more, or that Marnavich remembered or possessed little more drawn from that original. There may, of course, have been abundance of semi-mythical matter in the original, but this Alemanni, who was critical as well as learned, would not transfer to his pages. It is an obvious guess that Marnavich may have written our present manuscript at the suggestion of Alemanni, and the latter, when he had done with it, have placed it in the library of his patrons, the Barberini, which was then being formed, or given it to Suares, who was then librarian in that library. Perhaps it contained whatever Marnavich, interrogated by Alemanni, could recall to mind from what had been shown him as a copy of the book in the Mount Athos library, or could find in his notes made from that copy, and was put on paper in this form for the purpose of Alemanni's notes to the Anecdota. It is of course also possible, but perhaps less likely, that Marnavich is simply romancing, that he is putting together a number of statements drawn from various sources, fathering them upon one original, and localising that original on Mount Athos.26
The evidence we possess seems to me insufficient to enable us to decide between several hypotheses which may be formed regarding the relation of Marnavich to the fragmentum and to the alleged original. But whatever hypothesis be true — and this is the point of practical consequence for the historical student — no greater authority can be allowed to the fragmentum, even supposing it to be a series of genuine extracts from a then existing Slavonic original bearing the name of Bogomil, than would be due to a book in which Marnavich would have recorded the Slavonic traditions he had himself collected from such old manuscripts as he had seen in Dalmatia or at Rome.
Does there now exist in a monastery of Slavonic monks professing the rule of S. Basil on Mount Athos any such manuscript relating to Justinian, and bearing the name of Bogomil, as the fragmentum describes? Mr. Arthur Evans, when he visited the p674 monasteries of Athos in 1885, made, at my request, inquiries regarding the manuscripts preserved in the Slavonic monasteries there, but was unable to discover any trace of such a book. But as the contents of the Slavonic libraries are in great confusion, no proper catalogue exists, except at the Russian monastery, and the monks do not seem to know what they possess, it is possible that if it ever was there it may be there still. It may, however, have been since the beginning of the seventeenth century transferred to Russia, whither many manuscripts from Athos have gone. Careful inquiries ought to be made both in the Slavonic monasteries of Athos and at Petersburg and Moscow.
It need hardly be said that the Athos manuscript referred to in the fragmentum could not possibly have been written in the lifetime of the alleged Bogomil himself, for it is stated to be written in Slavonic characters, and these were not invented till three centuries after Justinian's time. Neither could any contemporary of Justinian have used any Slavonic tongue for literary purposes. If there was ever any life of Justinian written by a contemporary ecclesiastic, it must have been composed in Greek or Latin, and a Slavonic book purporting to contain it could only be a translation from one of those classical languages executed long afterwards.
V. What is the character of the contents of the Barberini manuscript? I do not now attempt to give a thorough examination of these contents, reserving such criticism for a future occasion, but confine myself to the following observations.
1. The fragmentum obviously betrays a Slavonic source. Whatever is new in it relates to the Slavonic tribes, or personages alleged to be Slavonic, including even Theodoric. Now in the days of the supposed Bogomil the Slavonic tribes were fierce heathen, dwelling in the northern frontiers of the empire, and frequently ravaging it. A certain number of Slavs may possibly have already settled within the empire, in northern Macedonia and Thrace. These would, however, be still in a condition of great rudeness,27 and their language was not reduced to literary shape for centuries afterwards. The great migration which slavonised the countries east of the Adriatic falls in the first half of the seventh century; there p675 seems to be no evidence of Slavonic settlements either at Prizrend or Ochrida or Uskiub as early as the end of the fifth.
2. The romantic and indeed semi-mythical character of much of the manuscript (fragmentum) is palpable. For instance, Istok, the father of Justinian, is presented as a chieftain among the Dardanians, and as also a scion of the family of Constantine the Great. Without necessarily accepting the statement of Procopius in the Anecdota that the emperor Justin, the uncle of Justinian, was a peasant, it is abundantly clear that if the father of the emperor Justinian had been a prince and a descendant of Constantine, that sovereign and his adulators (among others Procopius in the De Aedificiis) would have recorded the fact.
The young Justinian, as befits the son of a prince, is accompanied even in his campaigns by a tutor, who occupies the intervals of drill in giving theological instruction.
Justinian sustains his character of the young hero by encountering and killing in single combat his cousin, Prince Rechirad, son of Selimir, prince of the Slavs. It need hardly be said that this exploit, as well as the name of Rechirad, is unknown to authentic history. (Pursuant to his information of Slavs and Goths, Marnavich in his notes makes out the name to be the same as the West-Gothic Recared.)
The Bulgarians are conceived as already near and dangerous enemies to the empire. As we shall see presently, they are mentioned by Marcellinus as making an irruption in 502 A.D. (as also in 499 and 530). In other authors, however, they do not appear as being at this time formidable, and we hear nothing of Justin's having held a command against them. Not only the whole family of Justinian, but apparently even Theodora, are conceived of as Slavonic: at least the name Bosidara (explained etymologically to be the 'gift of God') is given as if her original name, and Justin represented as the suggestor of her marriage with Justinian. It is implied that this marriage took place before the emperor Justin I reached the throne, but we gather from Procopius that in reality it occurred towards the close of Justin's reign.
There is a marked ecclesiastical flavour about the narrative. Besides the prominence given to Bogomil (who is described as abbot of the monastery of S. Alexander near Prizrend and bishop of Serdica (Sofia), we are reminded of the heretical proclivities of Anastasius (who leant to Monophysitism); he is presented as a persecutor of Catholic bishops, and a desire to pervert the orthodoxy of Justinian is attributed to him when that young hero goes to Constantinople to be cured of the wounds received in his single combat with Rechirad. There is a mixture in this part of the narrative of the religious tract with the fairy tale. Reference is made to the consecration as a catholic church of the Gothic (i.e. Arian) p676 church at Constantinople by Pope John I, with the retention, however, of the Gothic, i.e. Slavonic, tongue in the liturgy.
Notice is taken of the foundation of two famous churches, the monastery (catholic) of SS. Sergius and Bacchus near Skodra (or Scutari) in northern Albania, and the church of S. Sophia at Serdica. I do not say that the tales here related are to be connected with those churches, though the apparition of SS. Sergius and Bacchus may have something to do with the building of the monastic church at Skodra; but the mention of them points to an ecclesiastical source.28
The most curious and novel feature of the manuscript is the nomenclature which it supplies of the members of Justinian's family — Istok, Bigleniza, Vukcizza, Lada, Vpravda, Rechirad.29 Of these Istok30 is not alleged to have any connection with Sabatius, the name which Procopius and Theophanes give as that of Justinian's father, and which seems to be a genuine Thracian name, connected with a Thracian solar deity akin to the Greek Dionysos. Bigleniza may have been slavised from Vigilantia or Biglantia, which Alemanni conjectures to have been the name of Justinian's mother, p677 and which we know was the name of his sister, the mother of Justin II. Vukcizza is said by Marnavich to have the same meaning (she-wolf) in Slavonic as Lupicina, which Victor Tununensis and Procopius (Anecdota), or Lupicia, which Theophanes and Theodorus Lector give as the original name of the empress Euphemia; so it may be a Slavonic equivalent invented in the same way as Bosidara for Theodora.
The same origin may be suggested for the name Vpravda, which on the faith of this manuscript, or rather of Alemanni's quotation from it, has been assumed to have been the original name of Justinian — the notes to the manuscript say, of both the Justins also. It is a Slavonic version of Justinus, Justinianus, taken as derived from justus, justitia. For this name, however, another authority may be cited, which, though nearly as late as the Barberini manuscript, refers to an earlier source. Luccari in his 'Annali di Rausa,' published at Venice in 1605, two years after Marnavich wrote his 'Dialogi de Caesaribus Illyricis,' says (lib. I):—
Selemir dopo questo (come si vede nell' Efemeridi di Dioclea)31 prese per moglie la sorella d' Istok barone slavo, il quale avea per moglie Bigleniza sorella di Giustiniano e madre di Giustino [Justin II] imperatori romani, i quali, come ho veduto in un Diadario in Bulgaria in lingua slava, sono chiamati Urauda, che significa Giustiniano o Giustino.
Here we have the names of the Barberini manuscript, but Istok is the brother-in‑law, not the father, of Justinian, and Bigleniza is the emperor's sister.
The Slavonic origin of Justinian seems to have largely accepted by the Slavs in the middle ages, and was a natural belief for those who localised his birth-place either at Prizrend or Ochrida, the Bulgarian tradition fixing on the latter spot, the Servian on the former. So Mauro Orbini of Ragusa, in his book, 'Il Regno degli Slavi' (Pesaro, 1601), says (p175):—
Fu eziandio slavo Giustiniano primo di questo nome imperadore. Il quale (secondo il Platina ed il Bosen) nacque nella città di Prizren, ch' è nella Servia: o (come vole Niceforo Callisto) nella città di Achrida, la quale, egli dice, fu ancora chiamata Giustiniana Prima; e hoggi la chiamano Ochrida.
It often happens that the descendants of an incoming people appropriate, after a few generations have passed, the heroes of those among whom they have settled. So the Celtic Arthur was a sort of national hero to the Anglo-Normans of the middle ages. And it is natural that the inhabitants of a place should give themselves the credit of any famous native of that place, though born before their ancestors settled there; for immigrations are after a p678 time forgotten, and people assume that their predecessors were their progenitors.
M. Jireček, whose authority is of course of the highest, informs me (see his letter at the end of this article) that the names Vpravda, Istok, Vukcizza, Vraghidara, Bigleniza, are all of them suspicious from the point of view of Slavonic etymology, and can hardly be referred to a date even so early as the middle ages, much less the sixth century. It is of course possible that they may be late forms, or corrupted forms, of genuine old Slavonic names. But it seems more probable that they are not natural growths, but either translations, more or less happy, of Latin and Greek names (e.g. Justinianus, Lupicina, Theodora), or essential Slavonic names of comparatively recent origin.
Mr. Arthur Evans suggests to me an ingenious theory regarding these names, which may be stated as follows:—
Justinian's father was of Dardanian origin, and his name, as we know from Procopius, was Sabatius. Now Sabatius is the name of a Thracian god who, as Roesler has shown, may from some points of view be regarded as the sun god. Thracian was still a spoken language in the sixth century, and the name might retain a solar or kindred meaning — perhaps that of Oriens. Assuming that in the land of Justinian's birthplace a Thracian population was subsequently slavonised, the name, together with the glorious traditions attaching to it, may have been taken over in a translated form as Istok, which, at least in the later Slavonic dialects, means the East or the rising sun. So too Justinianus, who represents the romanised Thracian element, had been translated into Vpravda. M. Jireček has observed that the words Istok and Vpravda are not genuine and natural Slavonic name-forms. Some explanation is therefore needed for them. But they appear as names of persons, of Slavs in Dalmatia and Herzegovina, as early, Istok as the twelfth century, Vpravda as the fifteenth (see note 30, ante). May not this fact be explained by the existence of Slavonic legends regarding Justinian and his family received before that date from the earlier indigenous elements of the peninsula which the Slavs had assimilated? These names, passing as those of national heroes, would come to be bestowed on persons as proper names.
It is anyhow clear that both names are anterior to Marnavich, and not invented by him; and this increases the likelihood that the other names, with regard to which we have no clue at present, are similarly not of his making, but taken from some pre-existing source.
But any such source is plainly legendary and not historical. There is no ground whatever for accepting the ascription to Justinian of a Slavonic origin. He came from a region, whether p679 Ochrida, or Prizrend, or Uskiub (as Hahn and Tozer and Evans hold), in which we find Slavs established not long after his time. But the probabilities are that his family were Thracians and not Slavs.32
The references to the wars between the empire, the Slavs, and the Goths, contained in the manuscript, seem drawn partly from the narrative of Marcellinus Comes, partly from the Slavonic legend, some fragments of which are preserved in the chronicle of the priest of Dioclea.33
Marcellinus says (ad ann. 499):—
Aristus Illyricianae ductor militiae cum XV millibus armatorum et cum DXX plaustris armis ad praeliandum necessariis oneratis contra Bulgares Thraciam devastantes profectus est. Bellum juxta Zyrtum fluvium consertum, ubi plus quam milia IV nostrorum aut in fuga aut in praecipitio ripae fluminis interempta sunt. Ibique Illyriciana virtus militum periit, Nicostrato Innocentio et Aquilino comitibus interfectis.
He does not, however, mention Aristus as killed. Again, ad ann. 505, Marcellinus describes the defeat of Sabinianus ductor militiae by Mundo (not Mundus) Geta (the Goth) on the banks of the Margus. This seems to be the ground for the reference to the reliquiae Sabiniani exercitus a Gothis fusi. Selimir does not appear in Marcellinus. But we find him in the chronicle of Presbyter Diocleas, where he is described as king of Dalmatia and the adjoining regions. According to this book (which I quote from the edition of it in Latin subjoined to the 'De Regno Dalmatiae' Joannis Lucii (Frankfort, 1666)), Totila and Ostroylus are two brother kings of the Goths, who are Slavs. As they descend upon the empire, Totila takes Italy for his share, which he ravages, passes into Sicily and dies there.34 Ostroylus conquers Illyria and Dalmatia, being opposed by the armies of Justinian. Ostroylus leaves a son Sevioladus or Senudilaus, who reigns twelve years and is succeeded by his son Syllimirus or Selemirus, who, though himself a heathen, is peaceful, p680 and protects the christians; he makes a treaty with them, and they become his tributaries. He is succeeded by his sons, first by Bladinus, then by Ratomir, who persecutes the christians. Here we have legends different from those of Marnavich, because Selimir in the latter is Justinian's uncle, while in Presbyter Diocleas he is the grandson of an invading heathen enemy of Justinian.35 Of Rechirad I find no trace here, nor of Istok or Bigleniza, but Luccari tells us that in his Presbyter Diocleas Selemir is the brother-in‑law of Istok, and Istok the brother-in‑law of Justinian.
The story of Justin and Justinian rescuing the orthodox bishops seems to refer to the event described by Marcellinus as follows (ad ann. 516):—
Laurentium Lychnidensem [episcopum], Domnionem Serdicensem, Alcissum Nicopolitanum, Gaianum Naisitanum et Evangelum Pautaliensem, catholicos Illyrici sacerdotes, suis Anastasius [Imperator] praesentari jussit obtutibus. Alcissus et Gaianus episcopi apud Byzantium vita defuncti sunt, Domnione et Evangelo ad sedes proprias, ob metum Illyriciani catholici militis, extemplo remissis.
Marnavich in his notes identifies the Bogomilus of the Barberini manuscript with this Domnio. Bogomil may have been the legendary name of the Serdican prelate whom a local tradition commemorated as the orthodox confessor who withstood the Monophysite emperor, this tradition connecting itself with the inscription on the tomb in front of the church at Serdica. Possibly we have here the germ of the legend. When it was supposed that Justinian, himself a Slav, rescued the pious Slavonic bishop, it would come to be believed that the bishop had been the instructor in theology of the champion of orthodoxy.
It is remarkable how little there is in the manuscript of historical interest or value beyond these new names, themselves, as has been indicated, more than suspicious. The chief fact is the visit of Justinian to the great Theodoric, his being received by the latter into a species of artificial brotherhood (ἀδελφοπιστία), and his subsequent sojourn as a hostage at Ravenna. Unhappily the circumstances narrated as having led to these events are so questionable as to throw great doubt on the events themselves. They are wholly unconfirmed by other historians, and they assume an importance both for Justin twelve years before he reached the throne and for Justinian at the age of twenty (or a little more), which is in itself improbable. Note that both the author of the manuscript and Marnavich (assuming them to be different) conceive of the Goths as speaking Slavonic, and doubtless therefore of Theodoric as a Slav.
As already observed, the author of the fragmentum (or rather of p681 the statements contained in it) evidently knew the chronicle of Marcellinus Comes, a book which had considerable value for the catholic clergy of the middle ages in the Slavonic countries, because it has a certain Latin colouring.36
Marnavich in his notes refers to Marcellinus, to Procopius (the De Aedificiis), and to Agathias. Whether, however, either the author of the statements contained in the manuscript or Marnavich (supposing them to be different persons) knew the Anecdota is not clear. There are three passages in the manuscript which may have been suggested by that book. One is the shadow which is felt to rest on the empress Theodora. This, however, may be sufficiently explained by the reputation of that lady for heterodoxy, which had led to her being severely handled by ecclesiastical writers from Victor Tununensis down to Cardinal Baronius. The second is the opposition of the ladies of the imperial household to the marriage of Justinian and Theodora, attributed by Procopius to the empress Euphemia, Justinian's aunt, by our manuscript to his mother Bigleniza, whom Procopius does not name.37 The third is the legend as to the imprisonment and deliverance from death of the emperor Justin — an anecdote which recalls the story told in chap. 6 of the Anecdota, though the colour of the narratives is different. But instead of the dream by which John Crookback, the general in the Isaurian expedition, was forbidden to put Justinian to death, we hear in the manuscript of an apparition of SS. Sergius and Bacchus. Other writers (Zonaras, Cedrenus, Ephraemius) also tell the tale of Justin's imprisonment and release; and it is more likely that the author of the manuscript drew from one of them, who give a religious turn to the tale, than from Procopius.
If it be thought that these points of contact are sufficient to show that the writer of the manuscript must have seen the Anecdota, the argument will be strong that Marnavich was either the author or the very free redactor of the manuscript, because the Anecdota, although not unknown before their publication in 1623 (seeing that Suidas refers to them), were unlikely to have been seen by any Slavonic author of the alleged 'Vita Justiniani' of p682 Mount Athos; whereas Marnavich in Rome might have learnt about them from Alemanni before they were published in 1623. But the presumption seems to be rather the other way. Had Marnavich read the Anecdota, he would probably have referred in his notes to several passages in it which would have suited him. But he has not done so.
It is worth while to notice an omission singular in an author desiring to claim Justinian and his family for the Slavonic race. Nothing is said about Belisarius, who plays so great a part in the wars of Justinian, who was undoubtedly of Thracian birth (he came from Germania, near Serdica), and for whose name the plausible Slavonic etymology of Beli Tsar or White Prince has been suggested, and was, for a while, generally accepted. It is now, I believe, rejected by Slavonic scholars on the ground that the word tsar is itself later than the sixth century, being probably (though perhaps not certainly) formed from Caesar.
These observations on the contents of the Barberini manuscript may be summarised as follows:—
The substance of the book is semi-mythical and romantic, and in some points diverges widely from the truth of history.
The names given are apparently of comparatively late origin; and as regards those which have Greek or Latin equivalents, it is far more probable that they have been formed by translating the Greek or Latin names into Slavonic than that they are themselves Slavonic originals from which the Greek and Latin names were formed by translation.
The origin of the facts given is to be found partly in Slavonic legends which had grown up round the famous name of Justinian, partly in the conscious harmonising and working up together of legend and of authentic history to be found in existing sources, some of which, such as Marcellinus Comes, perhaps also Theophanes and Zonaras, the author of the statements contained in the manuscript knew.
VI.º We may now proceed to state the general conclusions to which the foregoing inquiry seems to have led us. These conclusions may be modified by further information as to Slavonic legends of this order, possibly even by an examination of Marnavich's book 'De Caesaribus Illyricis,' if a copy of it can be found. So far as present data enable us to go, we may, I think, adopt the following propositions.
1. This Barberini manuscript of ours is the 'Vita Justiniani' quoted by Alemanni, and which subsequent writers have quoted from him.
2. This book is, however, not a life of Justinian, nor even an extract from a life of Justinian, but an abstract from an original (whether real or supposed), which, though called by the abstractor p683 a life, was more probably a collection of notices relating to Justinian and the churches he founded.
3. The Barberini manuscript, as well as the explicationes which follow it, was written by Marnavich, and probably at Rome, and before 1621.
4. The existence of the original 'Vita Justiniani' said to exist in the Basilian monastery on Mount Athos cannot be assumed, for we have no evidence regarding it except that of Marnavich, and he is a witness not above suspicion. On the whole, however, in the absence of positive grounds for holding Marnavich to have invented it, there seems reason to think that some book of the kind did exist, though perhaps not on Athos, or at least that he believed in its existence.
5. There is nothing to show that there ever existed either a preceptor of Justinian or a bishop of Serdica named Bogomilus or Theophilus, the identification of such a person with the historical Domnio being apparently arbitrary and baseless. Much less then have we any ground for accepting the authorship of the opusculum on Mount Athos (assuming its existence) as that of this alleged contemporary of Justinian.
6. Assuming this original on Mount Athos to have existed, it cannot have been very old in the form in which Marnavich used it, probably, to judge by the forms of the Slavonic names it contains, not older than the fourteenth century.
7. The legends it contains may of course be older, but how much older it is impossible to say in the absence of sufficient evidence from other quarters regarding them. They have a marked ecclesiastical tinge, and may have arisen from local traditions connecting the great and orthodox emperor with Prizrend and its churches on the one hand, Serdica and its church on the other. The former would be Servian traditions, the latter Bulgarian. There would thus seem to be here a mixture, perhaps an internal harmonising, of Servian and Bulgarian legend.38 Both meet in Domnio-Bogomilus-Theophilus, who is abbot at Prizrend and bishop at Serdica.
8. No veritable historical authority can be claimed for any one of the statements of this manuscript. Even the assumption, made for a long time past on the faith of Alemanni's citations from it, that Justinian's true name was Vpravda, and he of Slavonic race, must now be considered unfounded. He doubtless came from Thrace or Macedonia, but to which of the races then dwelling in those countries he belonged it seems impossible to determine; for although the name Vpravda is given also by the writer whom Luccari cites, that writer is doubtless also the mere repeater of a tradition, and entitled to no more weight than this mysterious Bogomil of ours. The name of his father, Sabatius, seems to point to the old Thracian stock.
p684 What the manuscript does is to give us a glimpse into a sort of cyclus of Slavonic legends attaching themselves to the great name of Justinian, as other Slavonic legends were connected with Alexander the Great, as Aquitanian legends were connected with Charlemagne, German legends with Theodoric and with Attila, British legends with Arthur, Italian legends with Totila. Other traces of such legends are found in the priest of Dioclea, and others may possibly exist in Slavonic books which have not become known to western scholars.
One may feel inclined to regret that the results to which this inquiry into the supposed biographer of the emperor has led us should be so purely negative, teaching little more than that Justinian had become a legendary hero among the South Slavonic races. There is nevertheless some satisfaction in destroying assumptions which we now find to be groundless, and in clearing up what has been, since Marnavich and Alemanni launched their Theophilus upon the world two centuries and a half ago, one of the standing puzzles of later Roman history.
1. Le nom Upravda pour l'empereur Justinien ne se trouve dans aucun des ouvrages historiques compilés ou traduits en slavon pendant le moyen âge, à ce qu'ils me sont connus et à ce qu'ils sont déjà publiés et accessibles.
2. L'auteur de la Vita Justiniani s'est servi évidemment de la chronique du Comes Marcellinus. De là viennent Domnion, évêque de Serdica (Marc. ad a. 516), slavisé avec un second nom Bogomil, 'Aristus Illyricianae ductor militiae' (ad a. 499, changé en 'Rastus dux militiae Illyricianae,' Sabinianus avec la bataille de Margus (Marc. ad 505). 'Selimir princeps Sclavorum' est un personnage mythique, pris de la Chronique du Diocleas, cap. IV, où il figure comme roi de Dalmatiae. Une source dalmate se trahit par la mention du célèbre monastère catholique (ordinis Sti Benedicti) St. Sergii et Bacchi, qui se trouvait sur la Boyana, 6 milles de Scutari, 18 milles de la mer, jusqu'au XVIe siècle un port commercial très fréquenté, San Sergiº des Italiens, Sveti Srgj des Slaves. S. Alexandre, à qui la Vita attribue un couvent dans la contrée de Prizren, est le martyr romain de Drusipara entre Adrianople et Constantinople, dont la légende se trouve dans les Acta SS. Boll. Mai III 197. L'église de St.º Sophie à Sardica n'a pu être fondée par Justinien 'in gratiam Bogomili seu Domnionis olim sui pedagogi ;' c'est un édifice byzantin d'une époque plus récente, apparemment de la même époque, c. à d. du XIe siècle, lorsqu'on a construit l'église de St.º Sophie à Ochrida qui a le même plan que celle de Sophia, opinion prononcée déjà par le voyageur russe V. Grigorovič en 1845.
3. Il est intéressant de remarquer que l'auteur de la Vita fait Justinien p685 originaire de Prizren. Il adopte évidemment l'opinion, prononcée vers 1600 par les Dalmatins Orbini ('Regno degli Slavi,' 1601, p175) et Luccari ('Annali di Rausa,' 1605, p61) que Justiniana Prima est Prizren. Les indigènes et surtout le clergé de ces pays identifiaient au contraire Justiniana Prima toujours avec Ochrida, idée qui se maintient dans les actes et les titres de l'église d'Ochrida à partir du XIIIe siècle.
4. Miklosich ('Bildung der slavischen Personennamen,' Wien, 1860) n'a trouvé aucun nom de personne formé de pravda, justice. J'en connais cependant un exemple, un gentilhomme herzégovinien Radiz Oprouda (sic), qui est mentionné dans les protocolles du sénat de Raguse, rédigés en latin et en italien, 1459, 1462, 1469‑1471, 1476‑1477, comme ambassadeur du 'herceg' de la Herzégovine Stefan et plus tard de son fils Vlatko. La forme slave de ce nom, qui paraît avoir été un sobriquet (différent des patronymiques en ‑ich = ‑ić, avec lesquels sont écrits les collègues de ce Radić : Grupković, Paskanić &c.), était sans doute Opravda, du verbe opravdati, opravditi, justum censere, justa ratione regere, purgare, defendere, to justify, to vindicate, rechtfertigen (cf. Miklosich, 'Lex. palaeoslovenicum,' et Daničić, 'Dict. du vieux serbe,' II, 225).
D'ailleurs le nom Opravda ne peut pas être d'ancienne date ; au moyen âge prédominent les noms composés de deux thèmes : Rado-Slav, Vъlko-drug, Slavo-mir (cf. les formes grecques Ἀλέξ‑ανδρος, Καλλι‑κράτης, Δημο‑σθένης, et les anciens noms germaniques) ; les contractions, plus familières (le premier thème avec un suffixe), ne commencent à se répandre que vers la fin du moyen âge.
5. Les autres noms de la Vita sont également suspects. Le soi-disant Istok est comme nom de personne un ἅπαξ εἰρημένον de la légende sur Justinien. Dans les dialectes slaves de la presqu'île Balcanique istok au moyen âge signifie seulement fons, effluvium, ostium fluminis ; il y a aussi une rivière Istok en Serbie (au 14e siècle) ; l'adjectif istočьn, fontanus, πηγαῖος. L'orient est au moyen âge toujours vъstok, orientalis vъstočьn ; istok, oriens, istočьn, orientalis, ne paraît qu'au 15e siècle.
Vukcizza (nom qui se trouve aussi ailleurs, mais qui sonnait au moyen âge en serbe et bulg. Vlъčica), Bozidara (dans les monuments seulement le masc. Bozidar), Vraghidara (tout à fait isolé) portent aussi le type d'une époque récente. Vraghidara est, outre cela, mal formé dans sa phonétique, avec une consonne gutturale au lieu d'une palatale (g avant i devient ž): de vrag, diabolus, on peut dériver seulement vražidara, comme de bog, deus, božidar.
Vigilantia = Bigleniza n'a pu être compris comme slave ('Albula' de Marnavich) en Dalmatie et Croatie que lorsqu'on y écrivait, depuis le 15e siècle, gl pour le l mouillé ; cependant de bieli, albus (aux dialectes bîli), on peut s'attendre seulement à Bieleniça, Bileniça (un nom sans parallèle) avec un l dur.
6. Ivan Tomko Marnavich (lisez Mrnavić), né à Sebenico 1579, mort à Rome 1639, ne mérite pas beaucoup de confiance. Le prof. Armin Pavić a publié une biographie détaillée de cet historien, hagiographe et poète, dans les actes de l'académie d'Agram ('Rad jugoslavenske akademije,' vol. XXXIII (1875) pp58‑127. Marnavich, qui avait aussi le défaut de construire sa généalogie, en se déclarant lui-même descendant du roi serbe Vukašin 'Mrnjavčević' (1366‑1371) et même de la gens Marcia de Rome, et cela naturellement en se basant sur des documents falsifiés, a débuté à Rome en p686 1608, comme jeune homme encore, par la publication d'un livre De Illyrico Caesaribusque Illyricis. Cet ouvrage est cité par Valentinelli comme De Illyrico Caesaribusque Illyricis Dialogorum libri septem 1608 ; mais ni Kukuljević, le premier bibliographe croate de nos jours, ni Pavić lui-même n'a eu la chance d'en trouver un exemplaire. Il serait intéressant de voir ce qu'il raconte là sur l'origine illyrique de Justinien.
Il est difficile de dire si Luccari, qui a signé la préface de ses 'Annali di Rausa' (Venezia, 1605) le 1 janvierº 1604, a déjà pu avoir dans ses mains ce livre, paru en 1603. Il ne le nomme pas dans le catalogue des 'auctori citati nella presente opera.' Il nous raconte (p3) qu'un 'barone Slavo' Istok était père de Justinien, et que Justin et Justinien ' com' ho veduto in un Diadario in Bulgaria in lingua slava, sono chiamati Vprauda (alors tous les deux), che significa Giustiniano ò Giustino.' On pourrait aussi supposer que Luccari a pris (peut-être dans quelque récit sur le rétablissement de l'orthodoxie après Anastase par Justin et Justinien, inséré dans une chronique slavonne) l'aoriste opravdȧ (de opravdati 'justifier') pour un nom d'homme, mais d'un autre côté le nom Istok chez lui fait penser qu'il a puisé déjà d'une source semblable aux productions de la fantaisie de Marnavich.39
Prague : 1 janvierº 1886.
Post-scriptum. — Le gothisme ou la gothomanie, comme l'appellent les historiens actuels de la Croatie, c'est à dire la confusion des Gothes avec les Slaves, est très vieille en Dalmatie. On la rencontre déjà chez le presbyter Diocleas (XII s.) et chez Thomas, archidiacre de Spalato (XIII s.). D'après l'analyse de l'historien croate Rački (président de l'académie d'Agram) dans sa dissertation sur les sources de l'histoire croate et serbe (en croate, Agram, 1865, p59) la première partie du Diocleas (chap. I‑XIX) n'est qu'un libellus Gothorum, qui est antérieur même à Diocleas, évidemment une composition indigène, faite en Dalmatie.
Licinius et sa femme, soeur de Constantin le Grand, figurent comme ancêtres des Nemanjides serbes dans la biographie du despote Etienne Lazarević (1389‑1427), écrite par Constantin le 'Philosophe' en 1431 (publiée par Iagić dans le 'Glasnik,' journal de la société savante serbe, vol. 42), et dans la seconde rédaction des annales serbes, rédigée à la même époque. La première rédaction, de la fin du XIV s., ne connaît pas encore cette fantaisie généalogique, de même que toutes les biographies des Nemanjides composées aux XIII et XIV siècles. C'est une traduction de la chronique de Zonaras, faite en Serbie vers 1400, qui débute par l'identification des Daces avec les Serbes, qui nomme Licinius un Serbe etc. (Cf. Iagić, 'Ein Beitrag zur serbischen Annalistik,' Archiv für slaw. Philologie, Bd. II.
Le voyageur Schepper en 1533 (Mém. de l'académie de Bruxelles, t. XXX, 1857) a reçu des moines du monastère de Mileševa en Herzégovine la même généalogie de saint Sava, fils de Nemanja, descendant de Licinius.
Justinien, au contraire, ne joue aucun rôle remarquable dans ces compositions.
Prague : 3 août 1887.
1 These references are as follows (I give them by the numbers of the pages of Alemanni's notes in the Bonn edition of the Anecdota: A Justino et Justiniano superbissimum templum ad urbem Scodram Barbenamque fluvium Sergio et Bacchio martyribus excitatum fuit, ut pluribus narravit Theophilus Justiniani praeceptor (p363). Theophilus Justiniani praeceptor licet sub Zenone et Acacio patriarcha dicat [Justinianum natum], consulatum tamen reticet (p368). Sub finem Anastasii dominatus Byzantium venisse Justinianum trigenario majorem, Theophilus ejus praeceptor affirmat (p369). Hac ratione et fide (i.e. ἀδελφοπιστία) Justiniani frater fuit Theodoricus Gotthorum rex, ut Theophilus Justiniani praeceptor explicat (p371). Venit Ravennam Justinianus plane adolescens, eoque missus est obses ad Theodoricum Gotthorum regem a Justino avunculo exercitus duce, ut Theophilus Justiniani praeceptor exponit (p383). Justiniani mater Bigleniza repugnabat [sc. quominus Justiniano Theodora desponderetur], quod cum evincere illa nequivisset, ut Theophilus in Vita Justiniani affirmat, moerore contabuit (p384). Duxit Justinianus Theodoram egregiam puellam, licet reclamante matre Bigleniza, quippe quae indolem puellae alioqui scitissimae et eruditissimae, sed levioris et arrogantioris ingenii aliquando obfuturam fortunae et pietati filii pertimesceret, praesertim quia vetula quaedam divinationibus addicta Theodoram futuram Daemonodoram Romano imperio, inflexuramque rectitudinem Justiniani ex sortium augurio consulenti Biglenizae praedixerat (p415). Bigleniza soror Justini, mater Justiniani imperatoris. . . . Nomen Biglenizae Theophilus in Vita Justiniani prodidit (p418). Sabatius Justiniani pater Istokus appellatus est ab Illyriensibus. Theophilus in Vita Justiniani (p418). Justinianus imperator Uprauda a suis gentilibus dictus est. Idem Theophilus (p418). Antequam imperium caperet, a Theophilo abbate praeceptore suo theologicis jam erat studiis imbutus Justinianus (p438).
2 J. P. Ludwig, Vita Justiniani atque Theodorae Augustorum; necnon Triboniani, jurisprudentiae Justinianeae proscenium. Halae Salicae, 1731.
3 Invernizi, Phil., De rebus gestis Justiniani Magni, Romae, 1783. W. O. Reitz in his edition of the paraphrase of Justinian's Institutes by the famous jurist Theophilus, one of the authors of the Institutes, says (II.1039, note 3 to Chap. I) that he is surprised that none of those who have written about the various Theophili has mentioned Theophilus Abbas, the preceptor and biographer of Justinian. 'I do not know,' he proceeds, 'whether this life of Justinian has ever been published or still lurks in the Vatican library, for I cannot find it anywhere. I think that this abbot was not our paraphrast, seeing that the latter died in A.D. 534, and could not have written the life of Justinian who died in 568. Moreover, a preceptor could not have written the life of a person who lived to the age of eighty-three. Forte igitur Alemannus humani aliquid passus est, qui abbatem hunc eidem Justiniano cujus vitam scripsit praeceptorem adsignaverit, quum alium Justinianium magni Justiniani ex patre nepotem (cujus pater Germanus fuit quique sub Justino secundo contra Persas feliciter pugnavit et deinde Tiberio imperatori insidias fecerit) illi abbati discipulum dare deberet.' Reitz, therefore, also accepts Alemanni's Theophilus as a good authority, though he desires to put him a generation later than that to which his being the instructor of the emperor Justinian would assign him.
So the learned Le Beau in his Histoire du Bas Empire (edition of St. Martin, Paris, 1827) and M. Debidour in his very recent Dissertatio de Theodora Justiniani Uxore (Paris, 1877) and in his monograph L'Impératrice Theodora (Paris, 1885) quotes Theophilus without hesitation as an indubitable authority. So also Mr. C. E. Mallet in the number of this Review for January 1887. At p55 (note) of his monograph, M. Debidour doubts whether this Theophilus the biographer of Justinian is or is not to be identified with Theophilus the jurist and paraphrast of the Institutes.
4 Joseph Maria Suares was born at Avignon in 1599 and died at Rome 1666. He was a man of considerable learning, and soon after 1622 was placed by Cardinal Francis Barberini in charge of the library formed by this magnate. In 1633 Pope Urban VIII (uncle of the cardinal) named him bishop of Vaison.º
5 This title is written in a different hand from that of the MS., and in different ink.
7 It is hard to say what the fifth letter of this word is, whether a u or an n or a v, for the writing in the MS. is obscure. But I believe it to be a v, and have consequently printed the name all through as Vpravda. The numbers in brackets, which in the original are placed over instead of after the words to which they belong, refer to the Explicationes which follow.
Thayer's Note: "Brackets" actually refer to what in modern American English are called parentheses; in this Web transcription, these notes are marked in the following style — (1) — and are linked to the corresponding Explicatio, and vice-versa.
8 In the MS. the words aut Prizriota, or perhaps Prizrieta; are interlined in a different hand.
9 Read Knez, which in Slavonic means a prince.
10 Ought to be Amalamiri.
11 So apparently in the MS. Read Sicensem.
12 Or Procaredos.
13 At the bottom of the last page of the MS. are the words, written in a different hand from that of the MS., ad procopium Alemannus, f. 9; a little lower, the words missum ab urbe.
14 The Count of Sebenico writes to Venice of Marnavich, in 1626: Morlacco, nato qui, quando suo padre era qui datiario per il Turco, poi cacciato suo padre per ordine publico, alievo de' Gesuiti.
15 He tells us (p147 of the Regiae Sanctitatis Illyricanae Foecunditas) that Baronius (who died in 1610) was so much moved by what he (Marnavich) told relating to Constantine the Great, that tantus heros lacrymis prae pietate effusis, in meum proruens complexum, magnas se mihi debere gratias, et a juvene imberbi tali didicisse minime pudere, disertis verbis non solum sit protestatus, sed conscenso curru ad easdem (nempe Constantini) sacras imagines adorandas statim sese contulit. Was this at hearing that the emperor Constantine was a Slav?
16 M. Jireček remarks that at this time the Holy See favoured the use of the national tongue in the South Slavonic countries, in order to combat the influence of the books printed in Slavonic at Tübingen by protestant Slavs from Dalmatia and Istria.
17 Among the works of Marnavich I find references to the following: Oratio in laudem Fausti Verantii ep. Chanadiensis (Venet. 1617); Vita Petri Berislavi Bosnensis ep. Vesprimensis (Romae, 1620); Oratio in adventu ad urbem Sicensem illustr. viri Fr. Molini, sereniss. Reipublicae Venetae legati (Venet. 1623); Sacra Columba ab importunis vindicata suaeque origini restituta (Romae, 1625); Unica gentis Aureliae Valeriae Salonitanae Dalmaticae Nobilitas (Romae, 1628); Regiae Sanctitatis Illyricanae Foecunditas (Romae, 1630); Indicia Vetustatis et Nobilitatis familiae Marciae vulgo Marnavitiae Nissensis, per Joannem Tomcum ejusdem generis (Romae, 1632; with portraits of the author of Vukassin, king of Servia); S. Felix episcopus et martyr Spalatensi urbi vindicatus (Romae, 1634); Vita Magdalenae Modrussiensis sanctae mulieris (Romae, 1635); Pro sanctis Ecclesiarum ornamentis et donariis (Romae, 1635. This is said to be the best of his works); Vita Beati Augustini Casotti ep. Zagrabiensis (Vindob. 1637); translation into Slavonic ('Illyrian') of the Doctrina Christiana of Cardinal Bellarmin (Romae, 1627); an Italian life of S. Margaret, daughter of Bela, king of Hungary. He was also the author of sundry dramatic and other poems in his vernacular tongue, which he wrote with some force and spirit. A life of S. Sabbas, which he left in manuscript, was published by Ivan Lucić at Venice in 1789.
18 Further information regarding Marnavich may be found in Farlati, Illyrici Sacri, tom. IV, pp80, 81; Engel, Fortgesetzte Litteratur der Nebenländer des ungarischen Reiches (Halle, 1798); Schafarik, Geschichte der südslawischen Litteratur (Prague, 1865); Alberto Fortis, Viaggio in Dalmazia (Venice, 1774). This last-named writer accuses (p146) Marnavich of having found in the papers of Bishop Veranzio, and published as his own composition, the life of Bishop Peter Berislav, which had really been written by Antonio Veranzio a century before, 'adding a few sentences to it to make it appear to be his own, and leaving out the few lines which reveal the real biographer, Antonio Veranzio.' This charge is doubted by G. G. Paulovich Lucić, who, however, rebuts it only by saying that 'our excellent Marnavich left such rich and abundant fruits of his own genius that he did not need to steal from any one else.' Its Latin is far better than that of Marnavich's other works, a fact which increases the suspicion. Professor Armin Pavić has written a full biography of Marnavich in the Acts of the Academy of Agram (vol. XXXIII 1875), from which, as I cannot read Serb, some interesting facts have been supplied to me by M. Jireček, Mr. Evans, and Mr. W. R. Morfill of Oxford.
19 It is hard to make out whether this book was ever printed. The abate Alberto Fortis (already quoted) says Marnavich wrote in 1603 un grosso manoscritto, che si conserva ancora, quantunque sia un po' mutilato. Perhaps the MS. is still in some Roman library. Marnavich refers to it in one of his later books (the Gentis Aureliae Nobilitas) as written by himself 'olim,' but without saying whether it had been printed or not. When in Ragusa some little time ago, I was informed that a copy existed there, but it was said to have been sent to Pesth. My friend, Mr. Arthur J. Patterson, professor of English literature in the university of Pesth, tells me that no copy can be found in any of the three chief libraries of that city or in any of the libraries of Agram. Dr. Konrad Maurer tells me it is not in the university library at Munich; and has kindly ascertained for me that it is not in the university library at Tübingen, which is rich in Slavonic books of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
20 It is natural to fancy that the name Bogomil may have something to do with the remarkable sect, bearing that name in Slavonic vernacular, who subsequently arose in Bulgaria, and who are commonly known in history as Paulicians. There does not, however, seem to be anything to connect this manuscript or the legends it refers to with that sect.
21 In the dedication of his book Regiae Sanctitatis Illyricanae Foecunditas (Rome, 1630) to the emperor Ferdinand III, king of Hungary (who next year nominated him as bishop of Bosnia), Marnavich, wishing to prove that the house of Habsburg is descended from Constantine the Great, writes as follows: Constantinum autem gentis tuae conditorem exstitisse praeter animi corporisque omnium tuorum gentilium dotes a tot seculis ipsum sanctissimi principis exemplar perpetuo praeferentium ipsimet in ea tellure progeniti quae urbem a Constantini posteritate utpote in eadem a declinatione Romani imperii dominante Constantiam idcirco adhuc appellatur sub tuorum sceptris continent, facile conjecture concedunt, tum quia nullus qui tuae familiae Augustalem antiquitatem maturiori stylo prosequitur aliunde natales ejus quam ex antedicta tellure educit, tum Justiniani magni Romani imperatoris infantiae institutor ejusdemque vitae et maxima ex parte imperii scriptor, Illyricis Bogomilus, Latinis et Graecis Theophilus apud Nicolaum Alemannum in notis ad Procopii fragmenta appellatus, Constantini posteros suo tempore supra Rheni fontes intra Italiae Germaniaeque fines, longe a turbis superstites fuisse, potestate in vicinas gentes claros, est author. On this passage (which I owe to the kindness of Count Ugo Balzani, the book not being to be found in any English library) it may be observed: (1) The absence of any reference to the Barberini MS. and to the (alleged) original of Bogomil on Mount Athos may be thought to cast doubt on Marnavich's recollection of these two documents. But he did not need, in a passing mention of Bogomil, to say where his book existed, and the Barberini MS. had never been published; indeed, it may have been in the hands of Alemanni or Suares, whereas Alemanni's edition of the Anecdota had appeared in 1623. (2) Marnavich here refers to Alemanni only as an authority for the name Theophilus. The name Bogomil is not in Alemanni, but is the name given throughout the Barberini MS. (and, so far as I know, nowhere else) to our supposed biographer. (3) The statement that the descendants of Constantine were living near the sources of the Rhine is not to be found among Alemanni's citations from Theophilus. Neither is it in the fragmentum, which merely says that Justinian, born at Prizrend, was descended from Constantine. Was it then in some part of the original (alleged) Bogomil which the fragmentum does not give, or is it an invention of Marnavich's, attributed to his Bogomil? It is a statement not likely to have formed part of any Slavonic legend, which would not trouble itself about descendants of Constantine far away in the north-western Alps, however desirous to find them in Pindus or the Balkan. One naturally suspects that Marnavich is here using Bogomil-Theophilus as a name upon whom to father statements for which he wishes to claim authority. But be this as it may, the reference in this dedication not only confirms, if that wanted confirming, the connexion between Marnavich and the Barberini MS., but shows that ten years or more after the date of the MS. he still believed, or professed to believe, in his Bogomil. It is odd that, in the absence of all other clues to the Theophilus of Alemanni, this clue, slight as it is, should not have been laid hold of.
22 It may be thought that Marnavich, stimulated by Alemanni's discovery of the Anecdota, wished to have a share in the fame and talk which that discovery was likely to make, and volunteered his information about Justinian accordingly, to be inserted into Alemanni's notes. But Alemanni, though he quotes Theophilus, never refers to Marnavich in any way. So that even the motive of a desire for notoriety seems wanting.
23 In the Vita S. Sabbae he says: Vitae ejus (i.e. S. Sabbae) fusiori stylo prosequendae non defuit occasio ex iis monimentis quae a solitariis viris Athos incolentibus collecta ad memoriam posteritatis habentur transmissa, verum cum ea Graeca fide laborare non ambigamus, utpote posterioribus temporibus conscripta quibus extincto Latinorum imperio in Graecia latinae quoque sinceritatis puritas evanuit, Palaeologis regnantibus principibus, &c. Cited by Pavić in the article mentioned above.
24 Alemanni, born in 1583, had been secretary to Cardinal Scipio Borghese, who apparently finding him unsuitable, got him a post in the Vatican library in 1614. He died in 1626.
25 I am inclined to suspect that Marnavich got from Alemanni some of the learning with which he has enriched his explicationes, e.g. the statement that 'Latin and Greek authors' gave the original name of the empress Euphemia as Lupicina, and the reference to the name Bederina in Agathias. See Alemanni's notes at pp360, 367, 384 of Bonn edition.
26 Cardinal Barberini, uncle of Francis, Marnavich's patron, became pope under the title of Urban VIII in 1623, and reigned till 1644.
27 There are a few, but only a few, names which seem to be of Slavonic origin in the long list of forts built or repaired in the northern provinces which Procopius gives in the De Aedificiis. M. Jireček, however, says (in a letter to me): 'Les noms de certains châteaux chez Procope ont une ressemblance avec les noms slaves, mais rien de plus ; il y a aussi des explications du zend (le thrace d'après les recherches de mon collègue, le professeur Wilhelm Tomaschek à Vienne, paraît avoir été une langue iranienne), et de l'albanais. Cf. Krek, Einleitung in die slaw. Literaturgeschichte, 2de éd., p279, sqq.'
Schafarik (Slawische Alterthümer, II.12‑14) thinks that by the end of the fifth or beginning of the sixth century the Slavonic tribes held the north bank of the Lower Danube, and were beginning to settle quietly south of that river. But he does not bring them in Upper Macedonia and Northern Albania till the seventh.
28 Marnavich in his notes refers to Bogomil as the person to whom there existed a marble-cased monument with an inscription in the church of S. Sophia at Serdica (Sofia), identifying him with Domnio, a bishop of Serdica mentioned by Marcellinus Comes. I owe to the courtesy of Mr. N. R. O'Conor, her Majesty's representative at Sofia, the following information regarding the ancient cathedral there, which he has obtained for me from some of the archaeologists of that city. 'The ruins of the old cathedral church named S. Sophia stand over those of a smaller church bearing the same name, which is said to have been built in the sixth century by Justinian. The local traditions confirm these historical statements, and add that, the wife of Justinian having found relief from a sickness for which she had come to Serdica to be cured, the emperor erected the said church. The original church had not, however, the form of the cathedral of S. Sophia in Constantinople, any more than such form can be discovered in the ruins of the present church. The present building was erected in the thirteenth century by one of the Comneni (?). It was converted into a mosque when the Turks took the city. In the great earthquake of 1858 its minaret fell down, and ever since it has remained abandoned. In the course of some diggings made in 1884 at the back part near the altar, there were found two sarcophagi of brown stone, which are now in the building of the Gymnasium. The skeletons were far gone in decay. No inscription is to be seen anywhere. Excavations have not been made at or round the porch of the church.' M. Jireček, however, informs me that the existing church belongs to the eleventh century, and thinks that it is the ruins of the apse that have given rise to the belief that there was previously 'a smaller church.' See his remarks in an article on the antiquities of Bulgaria in the Archäologisch-epigraphische Mittheilungen of Vienna for 1886, vol. X. He observes that the traditions of the people began very early to connect this S. Sophia with the S. Sophia of Constantine and the old emperors.
29 It need hardly be said that the names of places in the fragmentum are some of them obviously later than the sixth century. The whole fragmentum is so evidently long posterior to that age that it is not worth while to go into this point further.
30 The name Istok appears in Luccari (Annali di Rausa) as that of a Narentine of the twelfth century. It is said to be also the name of a river and of a town near Prizrend. And Luccari also mentions a Herzegovinian, in A.D. 1464, who bears the name Vpravda — Vpravda Katunar di Dabar. This may be the same person as the Radiz Oprouda mentioned in M. Jireček's letter at the end of this article.
31 The name Istok does not appear in the version of Presbyter Diocleas which we now possess. Luccari probably read a different one.
32 To make Justin, the uncle of Justinian, a Slav, it would be necessary to suppose the Slavs to have begun to settle in Western Thrace or Upper Macedonia as early as A.D. 450. And if he and his nephew Justinian had belonged to a race of lately entered and rude barbarians, whose tribes were perpetrating horrible cruelties and ravages on the northern frontiers of the empire during Justinian's own time, Procopius would probably in his Anecdota, where he seeks to heap every disgrace upon Justin and Justinian, have availed himself of the fact as one discreditable to both sovereigns. But that spiteful historian merely says that Justin was the unlettered son of a peasant who came from his Dardanian home to Constantinople with nothing but a bag of biscuits on his back.
33 This chronicle is ascribed to the twelfth century. Dioclea is Dukli in Montenegro near the lake of Skodra.
34 There is evidently in these legends a mixture of Totila and of Alaric. I found another curious instance of the mixture when, in visiting Caprara in Umbria, the place where Totila probably expired after his defeat in the great battle of A.D. 522, I was told by the inhabitants that a great barbarian king was buried beneath the channel of the river.
35 Near the beginning of Luccari's Annali di Rausa Selemir is presented to us as a sort of eponymus of the South Slavonic race, having three brothers, Lech (for the Poles), Cech (for the Bohemians), and Russ (for the Russians).
36 Although by that time monophysitism had quite died out in the eastern church, there was an opposition, strong down to and in our own days, between the catholics looking to Rome, and the orthodox looking to Constantinople. In Marcellinus's time there was also an opposition, though one rather due to the fact that whereas the Latins were all opposed to monophysitism, there was a considerable monophysite party (to which, indeed, Anastasius and Theodora belonged) in Constantinople and the Greek-speaking districts generally.
37 The tale of the feminine opposition to Justinian's marrying Theodora certainly seems to suggest the story in Procopius. But it must be remembered not only that in Procopius the opposing person is different, but the events are differently conceived altogether. Here Justin arranges the match, and does so before he comes to the throne; in the Anecdota Justin, being a weak and aged emperor, is induced to consent to it, apparently at the end of his reign, and to change the law in order to make it possible.
38 It is noteworthy that Luccari also refers to a Bulgarian source (the Diadario) as well as a Serb one (Presbyter Diocleas).
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