2018, Volume 15, Issue 1

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Andrey L. Toporkov
A. M. Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy Sciences
Moscow, Russia

Proper Names in the 17th Century Olonets Codex of Verbal Charms

Voprosy onomastiki, 2018, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp. 115–133 (in Russian)
DOI: 10.15826/vopr_onom.2018.15.1.005

Received 2 May 2017

Abstract: This article deals with the corpus of names found in the charms of the Olonets Codex from the second quarter of the 17th century. The author seeks to identify the background of the characters’ naming, to propose the ways of their detailed cataloguing, as well as to provide a commentary revealing the certain names’ semantics and contextual meanings (e.g. Ivan Khorober, Mari(yi)n Son, Gongoi and Gogeia, Maurij Oak, etc). The statistical analysis of the Olonets Codex texts (to comprise about 90 charms) has found several groups of personal names, including those of the Christian pantheon characters, the names of other characters from the Old and New Testaments, the names of Orthodox saints, the names of spirits — masters of the forest and natural objects. Most frequently, the charms would mention the Christ and the Mother of God either as Biblical characters or as direct recipients of the prayer (for help, patronage, healing) and subjects of certain actions aimed to protect the person or to punish their enemies. Most outstanding characters like St. George the Victorious, Wonderworkers Cosmas and Damian, Ilya the Prophet, King Solomon, and Adam can be treated both as Christian and folk-mythological images. For instance, St. George was also referred to as the lord of wolves and other wild animals; Ilya the Prophet was impersonated as the horseman and thunderer, related to heavenly, earthly, and water powers and even to the departed parents. Along with those of Christian tradition, the Olonets Codex charms mention mythological creatures as well. Namely, the king Gongoi and the queen Gogeya, the king Parphey, the king Shustiy, the king Zhazhda (Thirst). It is due to the personalization of natural objects that nominations like the dawn Ogrofena, the oak Maurij, and the oak Yegor have appeared; given that the latter names may also have their sacred precedents (oak Yegor St. George).

Keywords: Olonets Codex, onomasticon, personal names, verbal charms, literary characters, Chri stian pantheon, Orthodox saints


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