Revista Studii Teologice


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Catalogul manuscriselor românești din Biblioteca Sfântului Sinod (I)

The catalog of Romanian manuscripts in the Library of the Holy Synod

Autor(i): Arhim. Policarp CHIȚULESCU

The Library of the Holy Synod in Bucharest holds important collections of ra-re books and manuscripts. The collections of the Library were founded by the Patri-arch Justinian Marina († 1977), with the support of the first director of the Library, the renowned classic philologist and reverend Dumitru Fecioru.
The books and manuscripts have been gathered across the time from various libraries of some former theological schools, some suppressed by the law of 1893, others after the establishment of the Communist regime in Romania in 1948: The Metropolitan Nifon Seminary, Central Seminary, Theological Institute in Bucharest, also Seminaries in Galaţi, Buzău and Huşi, through acquisitions or donations from important bishops and professors of Theology. Today, the manuscript collection of the Holy Synod Library comprises more than 600 codices.
The efforts of Revd. Dumitru Fecioru focused not only on acquisitions, but al-so on the scholarly description of this collection. Thus, between 1959 and 1965 he published the descriptions of 164 Romanian manuscripts. These manuscripts are particularly valuable as a result of the efforts to translate into the Romanian langua-ge, under the influence of St. Paisius of Neamţ (St. Paisius Velichkovsky), classic texts of orthodox spirituality (Philokalic literature).
Since Revd. Dumitru Fecioru managed to catalog only a part of the Romanian manuscripts, we are trying to resume his project, which started almost 60 years ago. The manuscripts described in this short article contain translations into Romanian of the writings belonging to the following saints (the most famous ones): Thalassios of Lebanon, Symeon of Thessalonica, Hesychios of Sinai, Gregory of Sinai, Neilos of Sinai.
The manuscript collection contains codices belonging to Romanian ecclesiastical personalities, mostly hierarchs: Saint Metropolitan Andrei Saguna, metropolitans Calinic Miclescu and Conon Arămescu-Donici (both known bibliophiles), Patriarch Elie Miron Cristea, Melchisedec Ştefănescu, bishop of Roman. Other great bibliophiles were the archbishops Narcis Creţulescu († 1913), historian, whose ex-libris we often meet on codices, and Sofronie Vulpescu Craioveanul († 1923), who donated his rich library to The Metropolitan Nifon Seminary in Bucharest.
Several philokalic manuscripts also come from the library of hermit and priest Daniil Sandu Tudor, founder and animator of the hesychastic movement of Antim (Anthimos) Monastery in the 50’s of the last century. He gathered a number of ma-nuscripts from the Romanian kellia in Mount Athos, which he visited in the period of initiation in Orthodox life. Part of the rich library of Revd. Daniel Sandu Tudor ente-red the collections of the Holy Synod Library in 1966, four years after the death of her owner in the Aiud prison. Some codices kept the note: „Found at the investigati-on of Sandu Tudor”, which shows that the library had been confiscated by the Secu-ritate, the Secret Police of the Communist regime.
Since Revd. Daniil wrote verses, akathists, prayers and meditations, it is a wonder that many of the manuscripts containing his writings have survived to this day. In 1968, these manuscripts were recovered from the Securitate and handed over to the Holy Synod Library by Revd. Petroniu Tănase.
A valuable lot of manuscripts was bought in 1961, along with the entire libra-ry, from the heirs of the Revd. Gheorghe Ciuhandu, who had a passion for the histo-ry of Romanian literature in the Bihor area. Of these manuscripts the great collecti-ons of funeral sermons written in Transylvania at the end of the 17th century and the beginning of the next, in an authentic Romanian language, are of major impor-tance.
Our investigation revealed new information about some well-known copyists, among them we mention the prolific hieromonk Ioachim Bărbătescu, from Bistriţa Monastery, in Vâlcea county. He copied numerous texts and spread them through the monasteries of Wallachia and Oltenia at the end of the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th century. Information has been revealed about some Romanian monks from Mount Athos, quite unknown in intellectual circles. An extremely rare situation is that of the manuscripts multiplied by women copyists or owners, including the abbess of Văratec Monastery in Moldova. Our interest will also be directed to the manuscripts of renowned Theology professors of the 20th century: Revd. V. Gheor-ghiu, Revd. Niculae M. Popescu (member of the Romanian Academy), Teodor M. Popescu, V. Loichiță, Revd. Mihai Bulacu, Revd. Mircea Chialda, Revd. Ioan G. Co-man, Revd. Constantin Galeriu, Revd. Sebastian Chilea, Revd. Cicerone Iordăchescu, Iorgu D. Ivan, Revd. Ene. Braniște, Revd. Ilarion Felea, Archimandrite Benedict Ghiuș.
In the description of the manuscripts, we adopted the rules of the Library of the Romanian Academy, which was observed also by Revd. Dumitru Fecioru. The information about the manuscript includes the following: the title (where it was set by us, appears in square brackets), the current figure in the Library of the Holy Synod and the inventory number with the year of entry in the collection, the century or the year of copying, the pagination, the size of the folios in centimeters, inks, support on which the text is written, details about the cover.
The content is shown in chapters, all titles being mentioned. The main chapters are presented with each one’s incipit, and where we met more important texts, for the help of the scholars, we transcribed the end of the chapter (colophons). We have described also the ornaments that adorn the folios and we gave also graphic details. At the end, the notes are transcribed, one of the most important aspects of our cataloging. The round brackets in the descriptions contain the additions that we considered necessary. The title of the manuscript is in italics.
This study is meant to be a pious gesture of gratitude especially to the Patri-arch Justinian Marina, who organized this very library, but also to copyists from the monasteries and churches and to all the staff of this library throughout the years.

Pagini: 123-136