Slovene (Aug 2017)

On the Problem of Biblical and Liturgical Citation by Mikhail Lomonosov

  • Yevgeniy M. Matveev

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 6, no. 1


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The main objective of this paper is to describe the types and functions of biblical and liturgical citation in M. V. Lomonosov’s works. This research into Lomonosov’s text corpus shows that explicit biblical and liturgical citation can be revealed in the texts of different genres—both in his poetry and in his prose works (and not only in “poetic” rhetorical prose). The paper focuses on different forms of biblical and liturgical contexts in Lomonosov’s panegyric odes, natural science texts, working papers, and letters. Three sources of biblical and liturgical parallels were used: the Moscow Bible (1663), the Festal Menaion (1730), and the Octoechos (1715); the latter includes Lomonosov’s notes in the margins. The research shows that Lomonosov proceeds in various ways: he might mention a Bible source without citation; he might use marked citations; and he might include biblical and liturgical citations into his own speech without reinterpretation, sometimes giving them some additional semantics. Biblical and liturgical phraseology can be described as using the following specific forms: a) phrases that actuate biblical and liturgical semantics in Lomonosov’s panegyric odes (an important issue is to reveal which context is relevant—the biblical or the liturgical); b) those that demonstrate logical consistency between science and religion in Lomonosov’s natural science texts; c) those that construct polemic and ironic context in prose works of different genres; and d) those that emphasize some statements in Lomonosov’s letters, creating the effect of “switching the languages.”