Voytenko Anton

The hybridized versions of the Life of St. Onnophrius the Great

Voytenko Anton (2018) "The hybridized versions of the Life of St. Onnophrius the Great ", Vestnik Pravoslavnogo Sviato-Tikhonovskogo gumanitarnogo universiteta. Seriia III : Filologiia, 2018, vol. 55, pp. 32-51 (in Russian).

DOI of the paper: 10.15382/sturIII201855.32-51


This article studies the hybridised version of the Life of St. Onnophrius the Great, which includes parts of the original Life and the Legend of Nativity and Childhood of St. Onnophrius. I suggest that originally there was no separate text of the Legend, it being part of the hybridised version of the Life. Two Latin manuscripts serve as the earliest evidence of the hybridised version, but they have not been published nor studied. Only their brief descriptions made by C. Janning and J. Soons are accessible. I assume that the hybridised version of the Life appeared in the 14th century in Italy, which was a natural consequence of rising veneration of St. Onnophrius. The Latin text was most likely a basis for compiling some Italian hybridised versions in the 17th century. One of them, the version by Pietro da Propono di Caserta, has additional episodes that seem to be based on certain folklore traditions of Southern Italy. Another version, by Paulo Regio, became a source for compiling the French and Polish hybridised versions. The Polish version, in turn, became the basis for compiling at least two Church Slavonic versions, several shortened versions in Polish and at least one brief version in Russian.


St. Onnophrius the Great, hagiographic studies, medieval and modern literature, black-letter books


  1. Åkerman Sarkisian K., Zhitie Onufriya Pustynnika v rukopisnoj tradicii srednevekovoj Rusi, Uppsala, 2007.
  2. Cubrzyńska-Leonarczyk M., “Z dziejów kultu św. Onufriego w Warszawe XVIII–XIX wieku”, in: Rocznik Warszawski, 38, 93–113.
  3. Czerniatowicz J., Mazur Cz., Receptija Antyku chrześcij ańskego w Polsce: Materiały bibliograficzne. Lublin, 1978, 1, 1.
  4. Czerniatowicz J., Mazur Cz., Receptija Antyku chrześcij ańskego w Polsce: Materiały bibliograficzne, Lublin, 1983, 1, 2.
  5. Elliott A. G., Roads to Paradise. Reading the Lives of the Early Saints, Hanover, London, 1987.
  6. Halkin F., ed., Hagiographica inedita decem, Turnhout; Leuven, 1989.
  7. Fagnoni A. M., “Volgarizzamenti italiani della Vita Onuphrii. Prime linee di ricerca”, in: Studi vari di lingua e letteratura italiana in onore di G. Velli, Milano, 2001, 1, 25–62.
  8. Fedotov G. P., Stihi duhovnye. Russkaya narodnaya vera po duhovnym stiham, Moscow, 1991.
  9. Fros Н., ed., Bibliotheca hagiographica latina antiquae et media aetatis. Novum supplementum, Bruxelles, 1986 (Subsidia hagiographica 70).
  10. Hannick Chr., Maximos Holobolos in der Kirchenslavischen homiletischen Literatur, Wien, 1981.
  11. Labyncev Yu. A., Shchavinskaya L. L., Narodnaya literatura belorussko-russko-ukrainskogo pogranich’ya, Moscow, 2009.
  12. Missia Bialska xx. Bazylianów, Lublin, 2009.
  13. Polyakova S. V., Vizantijskie legendy, Moscow, 1994.
  14. Soons J. J., “La vie de saint Onuphre”, in: Neophilologus, 24, 1939, 161–178.
  15. Stieglecker R., Die Renaissance eines Heiligen. Sebastian Brant und Onuphrius eremite, Wiesbaden, 2001.
  16. Trubacheva M. S., ed. Ikona “Onufrij Velikij s Zhitiem v 14-ti klejmah”: pamyatnik russkoj severnoj zhivopisi Petrovskoj epohi, Moscow, 2005.
  17. Vivian T., Journeying into God: seven early monastic lives, Minneapolis, 1996.
  18. Vojtenko A. A., “Grecheskie redakcii Zhitiya sv. Onufriya Velikogo i arhiv o. Zhozefa Paramelya”, in: Vestnik PSTGU. Seriya II: Istoriya. Istoriya Russkoj Pravoslavnoj Cerkvi, 4 (65), 2015, 37–49.
  19. Vojtenko A. A. “Razlichie v dne pamyati sv. Onufriya Velikogo”, in: Vestnik PSTGU. Seriya II: Istoriya. Istoriya Russkoj Pravoslavnoj Cerkvi, 1 (68), 2016, 7–19.
  20. Vojtenko A. A. “Legenda o rozhdenii i detstve sv. Onufriya”, in: Vestnik PSTGU. Seriya III: Filologiya, 50, 2017, 11–25.

Information about the author

Voytenko Anton

Academic Degree: Candidate of Sciences* in History;
Place of work: Russian Academy of Science, Centre for Egyptological Studies; 29 Leninsky prospect, Moscow 119071, Russian Federation;
Post: Leading Research Fellow;
ORCID: 0000-0002-3895-990;
Email: cesras@cesras.ru.

*According to the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) 2011, the degree of Candidate of Sciences (Cand.Sc.) belongs to ISCED level 8 — "doctoral or equivalent", together with PhD, DPhil, D.Lit, D.Sc, LL.D, Doctorate or similar.


We are grateful to the Polish Committee for UNESCO, which granted a scholarship for scientific work in the libraries of Warsaw, where we were able to see we need incunabula Polish edition.