Thursday, December 17, 2020

philosophizing women in Bulgaria


Women Philosophers in South-Eastern Europe – Past, Present and Future

(December 15–17, online)

Institut za filozofiju Zagreb

Hrvatska zaklada za znanost

The tide is turning: more and more philosophizing Bulgarian women

Dimka Gicheva-Gocheva

Sofia University

First of all, let me clarify why in the title I have put philosophizing Bulgarian women and not women philosophers. Because it is difficult to specify who is philosopher. Is there a definition widely accepted nowadays? If in a possible definition it is stated that philosopher is a person, who is professionally studying and/or teaching philosophy, we see that some important thinkers of the past, but also our contemporaries will not be qualified as philosophers.



In the past: Important sources

1.      Biographical and bibliographical survey: There are colleagues, who have studied and investigated The Bulgarian philosophical culture in the XIX-XX century and they have written a book, entitled like that (Sofia, 2000, LIK Publishers, 306 pages). I entirely rely for the short outline of the situation in the past on their work. The authors of the book are Athanas Stamatov, Dobrin Todorov, Nina Dimitrova, Diana Velcheva, Dimitar Denkov and Dimitar Dimitrov. 

The book includes encyclopedic entries about 400 authors, (let’s pay attention to it), with the most significant facts in their biographies and the titles of their major publications. The book is not only rich in facts, data, lists of the public sources of information etc. It has a strict conceptual ground and highly elaborated methodological reflections on all important phases of the conduct of the long research on the demography of the philosophical collegium in Bulgaria.

It is not possible to enter into details here, but let me mention just few of the methodological and conceptual tools, used in the final concluding analysis, written by Prof. Dobrin Todorov, and entitled Founders and transmitters of the Bulgarian philosophical culture (p. 264-305). First, he clarifies the distinction between philosophical community and philosophical culture, and after that discusses at length the fundamental question about the criterion. There are several possible formal criteria and all of them suffer from their inner limits: what is the criterion for the recognition of someone as philosopher: the educational background? the topic of the dissertation? the thematic scope of the habilitation? the teaching position? the employment in a research institution? All these are relevant, but in the formation of the philosophical culture in Bulgaria in the previous century a highly active role have had some writers, translators, teachers in secondary schools, scholars from other spheres in the humanities and distinguished scientists. So, the authors of the survey have included in the book some outstanding figures from these groups in the entries.


                  Generations in the Bulgarian philosophical community


According to Prof. Dobrin Todorov there are 7 generations in the philosophical  community in Bulgaria: people born till 1840; born between 1841-1860; 1861-1880; 1881-1900; 1901-1920; 1921-1940; 1941-1960. One of the conclusions of this generation-based analysis of Prof. Todorov is worth paying attention:

     Up to the middle of the XXth century the philosophizing persons have been marginal personalities, with the sole exception of the very few professors of the SU.(op. cit., p. 271)


The institutions, where the philosophers work – only one in the past, 34 in the present day; in institutes of the BAS, universities, academies, colleges.

Gender and place of birth (for those, who have been active between 1888 and 1999) – 84% men; 16% women.

The habilitated women philosophers appear only in the 5th generation, the ones, who are born between 1921-1940.

The gradual augmentation of the percentage – in the 7th generation the women philosophers are 25%.

Place of birth of the women philosophers in this period 1888-1999: in a village 17%; in a small town – 32, 1%; in a large city 15, 1%; in Sofia – 32, 1%; abroad – 3, 7%.


The research interest and the publications of the women philosophers in the period 1888-1999 according to the analysis of Prof. Dobrin Todorov are as follows: publications in ontology 7,8%; epistemology (called here gnoseologia) – 3,9%; logic 2,0%; ethics 11,8%; esthetics 19,6%; social philosophy 21,5%; history of philosophy 15,7%; philosophical anthropology 5,9%; philosophy of science 11,8%; axiology 21,4%; global problems 7,1; theory of the arts 14,3%; cultural studies 28,7%; psychology and pedagogy 7,1; political studies 7,1; religious studies 14, 3; (idem, ibidem, p. 295)

The outstanding figures: Prof. Ivanka Apostolova (Dean of the Faculty of Philosophy for two mandates in the 80-ies), Prof. Elena Panova, Prof. Emiliya Mineva, Assoc. Prof. Iskra Tzoneva, Assoc. Prof. Volga Todorova

2.     For other useful information: see the web of the Institute for Bulgarian philosophical culture


3.    Another point of view and the general context in the humanities, especially in the Sofia University, according to The History of the Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski in its first half of a century 1888-1938 by Prof. Mihail Arnaudov. Curious discrepancies, needing explanation: the number of the female students, who have been enrolled and the female students, who have graduated from the Faculty of history of philology is greater than the male students, both enrolled and graduated.


Just two observations: 1. From these data, provided at the end of the brilliant History…, written by Prof. Mihail Arnaudov in 1938, it is clearly seen that the number of the women students, who have been enrolled and the number of them, who have graduated in the Faculty of history and philology (the great humanitarian faculty in the first 50 years of the SU)

exceeds the number of the male students.

The women, who have studied and graduated in the humanities in the University of Sofia have been more than the men. The same tendency is seen in the socialist period. But after that few of them have continued with a doctoral study (earlier called aspirantura) and even fewer pursue academic career in some specialties as history and philosophy.


2. The misguiding label humanities. There are at least two types of humanities – from some of them are recruited the men, who gain power and rule all the institutions in the country.

Especially, law, history and philosophy. From others – in a much lesser degree.

In the last two decades there is even a drastic tendency to feminization in the humanities and the philological specialties. Some male colleagues are feeling like an endangered minority. 

The current situation: The Index of the Bulgarian philosophical collegium, published or shared via e-mail every year by Prof. Dobrin Todorov (Указател на Българската философска колегия)

In the beginning of 2020 : 198 philosophers on full-time contracts – in institutes of the BAS, universities, academies, colleges etc., all over the country: in Blagoevgrad, Burgas, Varna, Veliko Tarnovo, Gabrovo, Pleven, Plovdiv, Svishtov, Sofia, Stara Zagora and Shumen (the teachers in the secondary schools are not included)

The retired, but active colleagues, are not included in the Index, and also the philosophizing persons with different humanitarian institutional affiliations are not in the Index.

According to the Index, issued in the beginning of 2020 by Prof. Dobrin Todorov, in the group of the habilitated academics (Professors and Assoc. Prof.) there are 133 colleagues, 52 from them are women.

In the group of the assistants and assistants with PhD degree there are 65 colleagues, 34 from them are women.

In the Faculty of Philosophy in the four philosophical Departments there are 48 teaching academics, 18 women

Contemporary philosophizing women in and from Bulgaria

Entirely subjective and inevitably biased list, based mainly on the ground of my competence and professional focus on the ancient, mediaeval and Renaissance studies 

1.      Three colleagues, who are born in Bulgaria and have studied in the Sofia University, now working abroad:

Assoc. Prof. Svetla Slaveva-Griffin (Florida State University), Dr. Lubomira Radoilska and Dr. Evelina Miteva

Dr. Lubomira Radoilska:

Dr. Evelina Miteva

2.      Several colleagues, distinguished in my professional area:

Prof. Lydia Denkova (New Bulgarian University)

Assoc. Prof. Antoaneta Nikolova, teaching ancient philosophy and philosophy of the East in the SWU Neofit Rilski in Blagoevgrad, translating from Old Chinese; poet and writer; in September 2020 received the National award Christo G. Danov for best book for children: Fairytales from the country Is (Sonm Publ., S., 2019)

Assoc. Prof. Silvia Kristeva – philosopher, logician, writer of fiction:

Assoc. Prof. Nevena Panova - Department of Classics, SU, FCNPh:

Dr. Kamelia Spassova: - Department Theory of Literature, FSlPh, SU

  Dr. Kamelia Spassova is a senior assistant professor in Comparative Literature in the Department of Theory and History of Literature at Sofia University.  She has been lecturer at the Slavic Institute, Department of Philosophy, University of Cologne (2016-2018) and Junior Fellow at the Centre for Advanced Study in Sofia (2014-2015). She has published the book Event and Example in Plato and Aristotle (in Bulgarian, 2012), which deals with the tension between literary examples and exemplarity work in philosophical and theoretical research. At present, she is completing a book on of the transformations of the concept of mimesis in the 20th century. Spassova has taught a number of courses involving the intersection between literature, philosophy and science, including  “Chaos and Disorder (Philosophy, Literature, Science)” (2015, Sofia); “The Power of Example: Philosophers read Literature” (2017, Sofia); “Self-Reflexivity in Literature, Philosophy and Art” (2018, Köln). She is editor of the cultural weekly Literaturen vestnik.

Dr. Bogdana Paskaleva is a Bulgarian scholar, theorist, and translator. In the center of her work are the literature, culture, and philosophy of West European Renaissance, as well as Classical Antiquity. Her PhD thesis regarded the philosophy of Nicholas of Cusa, focusing on the usage of imagery in his works, and more generally, the perception and functioning of images within the framework of Medieval and Early Renaissance culture. Among her translations are works by Marsilio Ficino (Commentaries on Plato’s Phaedrus and Ion, treatises on light and vision), Giovanni Pico della Mirandola (Commentary on a love song by Girolamo Benivieni), Nicholas of Cusa (On the beryl). Her latest translations regard Giordano Bruno with two of his Italian dialogues, On the infinite, the universe, and the worlds (a dialogue on cosmology) and On cause, principle, and the one (a dialogue on metaphysics).

Her articles regard Renaissance and Ancient literature and philosophy, mainly the visual culture of these periods, but also touch upon other aspects of their mentality, literary production, philosophy, science.


Two colleagues experts in the history of philosophy of music (not included in the Index):

Prof. Kristina Yapova and Prof. Neva Kristeva

Prof. Neva Kristeva:


In the Faculty of Philosophy, SU

Prof. Silvia Mineva – Faculty of Philosophy, SU, history of ethics and contemporary ethics:

Prof. Dr. hab. Aneta Karageorgieva (epistemology):,

Prof. Dr. hab. Maria Dimitrova (contemporary philosophy, social philosophy):,

Assoc. Prof. Anna Beshkova (logic and analytical philosophy):

Assoc. Prof. Valentina Kaneva (ethics) in English:

Assoc. Prof. Zvetina Racheva (ontology, classical German philosophy phenomenology)

Assoc. Prof. Gergana Dineva (ancient and medieval philosophy):

Assist. Prof. Dr. Maria Vaneva (ancient and medieval philosophy):

 Assist. Prof. Dessislava Danyanova (philosophy of the East):

Assist. Prof. Lydia Kondova (Modern philosophy):

Assist. Prof. Nikoletta Nikolova (philosophy of education):

Assist. Prof. Tzena Zhelyazkova (ontology, philosophy of nature and environment):

Assist. Prof. Velislava Todorova (logic)

It’s a pity that the Faculty doesn’t have a web in English and their work and publications are invisible for the international community.


Prof. Dr. hab. Nonka Bogomilova (BAS)

and many other colleagues from the Institute for Philosophy and Sociology in BASProf. Nina Dimitrova, Prof. Tanya Batuleva, Prof. Ivanka Stupova, Assoc. Prof. Sylvia Borisova, Assoc. Prof. Sylvia Serafimova, Assoc. Prof. Doroteya Angelova, Assoc. Prof. Julia Vaseva and others:  see the web of the Institute

Prof. Yvanka B. Raynova, working in Wien and the Institute in BAS in Sofia:

Prof. Dr. Pravda Spassova in the National Academy for Arts:

Assoc. Prof. Boryana Angelova-Igova in the National Sports’ Academy:,367


Prof. Dr. hab. Dilyana Boteva (Faculty of History, SU), ancient history and ancient Thracian religion and culture

Prof. Dr. Hab. Vesselina Vachkova (BAS), mediaeval history, culture and religion:

Dr. Sofia Angelova from the Technical University

Dr. Divna Manolova (medieval philosophy):

The champions of the feminist philosophizing and theory: Prof. Miglena Nikolchina (SU), Prof. Krassimira Daskalova (SU), Director of the MP History of Women and Gender Studies. Prof. Milena Kirova (SU), Prof. Nedyalka Videva (SU), Assoc. Prof. Emiliya Dvoryanova (NBU)

Prof. Miglena Nikolchina

Prof. Krassimira Daskalova

Philosopher and prolific writer Emiliya Dvoryanova:

Prof. Nedyalka Videva (1951-2020):


Many other feminist theorists, publications, collections of articles, etc., on the web of the Bulgarian Association of the University Women

Last, but noy least: three translators of contemporary philosophy with tens of precious translations, introductions and commentaries to them: Todorka Mineva, Antoinette Koleva and Maria Dobrevska (literary pseudonym Maria Karo) 













Monday, July 23, 2018

translating the subtleties

Translating the Subtleties. The Philosophical Categories in the Symeon Collection (Symeon’s Miscellany)
Dimka Gicheva-Gocheva, Diana Atanassova

Pre-print  publication of an article expected to be published in vol. No 18 of


We express once again our gratitude to Prof. Anisava Miltenova, who is the editor of the journal and who has invited us to participate in the International conference 
The medieval Slavonic literatures in the digital epoch: taxonomy of terms and real text in the manuscripts

Our work on the Old Bulgarian translation of the philosophical and theological categories in the Symeon’s Miscellany (Simeonov Sbornik) began in the autumn of 2016 – the year of the 2400 anniversary of Aristotle’s birth. We are still in the very beginning of a research, which might take years to be properly accomplished, and the primary results shared in this paper should be considered rather as a program for a future study and work hypotheses, not as indisputable conclusions.
It the autumn of 2016 we realized that it is no longer so difficult to start a study on this thought-provoking topic due to several important favorable circumstances, to which we are greatly indebted.
First, there are three excellent volumes of the Symeon’s Miscellany  at the disposal of the scholarly community. The Old Bulgarian translation and the studies done so far are published in the first volume, the dictionary and the indexes are in the second volume, and the Greek original is in the third volume.
Second, what is of great help for all interested in the problem: we have an excellent translation in modern Bulgarian of The Book of Salvation (Спасителна книга)  – which is the Greek original of the Symeon’s Miscellany.
Third, the Bulgarian translations of the most important texts of the classical Greek philosophy, and especially of the treatises of Aristotle, published in the recent decades, are also considerable. Moreover, all these publications , which have appeared in the past quarter century, are supplied with meticulous notes and abundant commentaries, and possess extremely rich indexes of thousands of terms, categories and concepts. Precisely the ones, which have been fundamental not only for the classical Greek and Byzantine philosophy of the remote past, but are an immanent part of the philosophical and theological discourse of the present day as well.
This has been one of the most motivating stimuli for our research, which, let us reiterate it once again, is still in the initial status. When we study translations from classical or Byzantine Greek into Old Bulgarian made centuries ago, we usually encounter two aspects of the question how: firstly, the how of the linguistic rendering, the how of the translation techniques used for one term or another. Morphemic imitation of the structure of the translated word, coining of new words, semantic rendering of the sense, accompanied with an explanation of the meaning, etc. This is the most obvious first step of every study in this field. The second aspect is that of evaluating the how: shall we praise or, on the contrary, express regrets in respect of the translator’s work. What engenders and causes the positive or negative evaluation of the techniques used by the Old Bulgarian translators centuries ago, which some contemporary scholars do not hesitate to express ? What are the conceptual premises for some of their judgements, especially when they are not favorable towards the writings of the past, and particularly to some of their translations available in Old Bulgarian?
Besides these two inherent aspects of the question how, a third one has arisen in the last three decades in Bulgaria. We have a long, in fact millennium long tradition of translating old Greek and Byzantine texts into Old Bulgarian, but with respect to the philosophical and theological terminology used nowadays, are we obliged to follow the patterns of the past, the forms of the language, suggested by this millennium long tradition? This question is not only ardently debated theoretically, but has also had practical implications for the translation of some of the most important treatises of Aristotle. Among these newer publications there are some which present Aristotle to the Bulgarian readers as Aristoteles latinus. Aristotle speaks to our reader using words such as substantia, accidentia, subiectum etc., because of the strong conviction of some of our respectable scholars that especially the six logical writings, comprised in the Organon, should not follow the linguistic matrix of the Old Bulgarian equivalents of the most important terms and categories, but stick to their Latin translations. Thus, these theoretical disputes and practical issues of present-day academic and cultural life have made the research on the Symeon’s Miscellany both urgent and rewarding.

1. The Importance of the Symeon’s Miscellany with regard to the formation of the Bulgarian philosophical language

This precious Miscellany, compiled in the so-called Golden age of Bulgarian culture and the literacy during the reign of king Symeon the Great, has tremendous value. The content and the structure of this encyclopedic compilation, its language and style, its appearance and distribution, its influence and legacy, have received attention from the best Slavic studies scholars .  In order to be brief, let us refer to two estimations in recent works.
Firstly, in the conclusion of the Introduction to their translation of the Book of Salvation (into modern Bulgarian), Prof. Petya Yaneva and Sergei Ivanov summarize the rich variety of the encyclopedia. The Miscellany impresses with the amazing thematic scope of answers to general and specific questions – from fundamental dogmatic problems, posed by the Old and the New Testament, through issues with which every educated person should be familiar, to some everyday life and style matters. Prof. Petya Yaneva and Sergey Ivanov stress the fact that the number of the quoted writings and authors is respectable. Moreover, besides the explicit ones, there are plenty of hidden quotations from numerous ancient writers – geographers, historians, philosophers.
“This variety tells a lot about the multifaceted interests and tastes of the medieval reader and rejects the opinion of the limited role of these collections in the medieval intellectual and spiritual life. People were interested in the highest Christian dogmatic and liturgical practice, but also in ancient philosophy, in literary theory, in geography, in human nature, but in precious stones as well; in the garments of priests and the symbolics they carry; in medicine; in the female character and many other topics. At the same time, the extreme difficulty of some of these texts testifies that in the society there were individuals possessing immense erudition and capable of understanding them. In Bulgaria there had been people, who not only had been capable to understand, but also to translate them. That is why this collection is among the proofs that the so-called Golden age during the reign of king Symeon in Bulgaria is not a mirage, fancied by scholars, but reality, which includes our territories in a broader cultural areal…
With respect to the formation of the Bulgarian philosophical and theological language, the Symeon’s Miscellany is an extremely important source because from f. 222 to f. 237 a range of philosophical issues is discussed as answers to questions 29 and 30. This section of the writing includes clarification of terms, categories and concepts from the classical Greek and/or the Christian philosophy. This part of the encyclopedia is a real thesaurus for the historians of philosophy and theology, conceived and expressed in Greek, because:
1. the entries are many; 2. the terms are not just mentioned, but are properly defined and their meaning is explained;  3. the provided explanations of their meaning and sense are heterogeneous and point to different philosophical ancestors: some of them have Platonic and/or Aristotelian origin; others are part of the Neoplatonic conceptual and linguistic universe; a third part has strictly Christian genealogy.
If we add to these three features of the philosophico-theological section of the Symeon’s Miscellany the question of how these entries have been rendered into Old Bulgarian by the translator(s) millennium ago (in the three aspects of the how, mentioned above), we will realize that this segment of the writing represents a considerable challenge for scholars from several disciplines and demands profound interdisciplinary research.
 Compared with the numerous studies devoted to the general historic, cultural, linguistic, literary, paleographic, ornamental etc. merits of the Symeon’s Miscellany, the segment with the philosophical and theological categories has received relatively less attention so far. One recent study should be taken into account as groundbreaking. This is the article Conceptual structure and linguistic characteristics of the categories andlinguistic terms in the Symeon’s Miscellany by Dr. Adriana Christova and Prof. Ivan Christov . The study is preoccupied with the lexico-morphological and syntactic formation of the terms. It is to be followed by a monograph, which will clarify the significance of these terms as concepts in the thinking of several important philosophers, starting of course with Aristotle - the most important thinker to have exerted powerful influence on the Byzantine compilers of this segment of the encyclopedia. In the conclusion to their rigorous study founded on the idea of the ontological dominance of the terms in the philosophical chapter, Prof. Christov and Dr. Christova state that they have demonstrated all the types of lexico-morphological and syntactic formation of the terms. The overwhelming majority, accounting for 90% of the overall number of terms, are terms-words. The study shows the formative prefixes and suffixes. The evaluation of the work of the translator(s) is highly positive and rejects some negative assumptions: the translation is not literal and does not imitate the morphemic structure of the Greek terms, which are not calqued without genuine understanding. On the contrary - the translator has very often substituted one type of substantivized linguistic unit with another, belonging to a different part of speech, because the intuition of the mother tongue and the contextual meaning of the text have prompted it. Prof. Christov and Dr. Christova have also pointed out that the number of the Old Bulgarian suffixes and suffixoids is twice bigger than that of the Greek ones.
 The application of the strictest quantitative linguistic methods and the scrutiny of the conceptual analyses bring Prof. Christov and Dr. Christova to the following conclusion:
„From the point of view of the history of philosophy we have to admit the depth of the text. It contains a sketch of the fundamental ontological categories elaborated for the needs of the Orthodox theology. The Old Bulgarian translator faced a serious challenge, but his efforts constituted a high initial achievement of the national philosophical culture. A part of the terms used by the translator create a permanent lexical layer sustaining the contemporary philosophical usage in Serbian, Bulgarian and Russian. Some examples are: видъ (εἶδος), родъ (γένος), своиство (ἰδιότης), ѥстьство (φύσις), лишениѥ (στέρησις), бꙑтиѥ (ὕπαρξις, τὸ εἶναι), раꙁѹмъ (λόγος), мѣра (μέτρον), качьство (ποιότης), количьство (ποσότης), тождьство (ταυτότης) etc. That is why this translation occupies a prestigious place not only in the Bulgarian, but also in the Slavic philosophical tradition.” .
We support the conclusion of the two colleagues and could add to their list many other important ontological terms omitted by them because of the already mentioned controversy: the theoretical disputes and the translational practices of the past three decades in Bulgaria surrounding the dilemma of how. How to translate the classical Greek logical categories and ontological concepts: according to our millennium long tradition or in conformity with their Latin equivalents? At the top of this mountain of controversies is the debate how to translate οὐσία – as „същност” or битие, or as „субстанция”. There are at least ten more ontological concepts whose translation may be inspired nowadays by the achievements of the translators of the Symeon’s Miscellany.

2. Immanent difficulties in the analysis of the philosophical categories

Even when the section of the Symeon’s Miscellany (f. 222-237) with the philosophical and theological categories is read only in the original, without tackling the issue of translation, the study is thought-provoking for the historian of philosophy. In the first place, there are fundamental terms of the classical Greek philosophy which have triadic nature. Many of them have three facets - logical, linguistic and ontological. The difficulties of their proper interpretation and translation derive from the impossibility to separate this unity of the three aspects in any other language.
Another problem arises from their genealogy. Some of them belong to the most inherent conceptual kernel of the Platonic, and especially of the Aristotelian thinking. These are the ontological pillars οὐσία, φύσις, γένος, εἶδος as well as all the terms listed in the conclusion of the study of Ivan Christov and Adriana Christova, quoted above.
Some of the other philosophical terms in this section are either never mentioned by Plato and Aristotle in classical Greek philosophical texts, or although appearing in some texts as words, their usage is peculiar, non-terminological, every-day and technical. They have become ontological concepts much later. In the history of the late pagan and early Christian philosophy there is clear evidence about several humble words which have remained unrecognized as possible philosophical tools for centuries, and whose dialectical strength was appreciated only in Late Antiquity. There are concepts which have Neoplatonic origin, and in the Symeon’s Miscellany they come close to the definitions proposed by Plotinus in the Enneads, book VI, chs.1-3, or the Introduction (*Eisagoge) to the Categories of Aristotle by Porphyry. Undoubtedly, ὑπόστασις – собьство – ипостаса (ипостас) is one such concept. In modern Bulgarian, it is translated as ипостас in Christian writings, and as хипостаза in the case of pagan philosophers adhering to the Neoplatonic school. Only a further detailed analysis may prove or refute the conjecture that the Byzantine philosopher, who wrote these chapters of the Symeon’s Miscellany, followed the thinking of Plotinus, book V, ch. 1. Of course, in the Symeon’s Miscellany, this essential Neoplatonic concept is appropriated and follows the conception model of the Cappadocian Fathers .
The third group of concepts has explicit Christian and theological origin, and in the first place among them is πρόσωπον – лицe - лице (лице). This is the great conceptual novelty of the early dogmatics of the 3rd and the 4th centuries, which became widespread after 381 AD and after the changes in the Creed, approved at the Second Council of Constantinople.
Another cluster of questions arises around the definitions and the explanations of the concepts ἴδιον, διαφορά, συμβεβηκός and the predication of γένος and εἶδος. Are there hidden quotations from Porphyry’s Eisagoge in the Book of Salvation, and if there are such tacit borrowings, to what extent are they applied?
Let us give an example with regards to διαφορά - раꙁличьѥ - разлика (видово различие in the contemporary translations in modern Bulgarian). To whom stands closer the Byzantine philosopher when he defines it like that: Διαφορὰ δέ ἐστι το κατὰ πλειόνων καὶ διαφερόντων τῷ εἴδει ἐν τῷ τί ὲστι κατηγορούμενον. Does the Byzantine philosopher remain faithful to Aristotle, who vastly uses this conceptualization not only in the Metaphysics, but in all the biological treatises as well, or does in this case the Byzantine author of this part of the encyclopedia adheres much more to the Neoplatonic paradigm of thought?
There are many similar general questions, which might receive proper answers only after profound study.  For the purposes of the present paper, let us confine ourselves to the statement that they exhibit the discussed section of the Symeon’s Miscellany as an extremely interesting sketch of topics in philosophical, theological, linguistic and literature terms and concepts with millennium long history.

3. Exemplifying the subtleties

Let us focus on two conceptual pairs, discussed in two chapters: Περὶ ποσοῦ καὶ ποσότητος О количьствѣ и о мѣремꙑихъ; Περὶ ποιοῦ καὶ ποιότητος О качьствѣ и о творитвьнѣѣмь

Symeon’s Miscellany, 3 (Симеонов сборник, Т. 3, стр. 1076-1079)

Περὶ ποσοῦ καὶ ποσότητος

Ποσότης μέν ἐστιν αὐτὸ τὸ μέτρον καὶ ὁ ἀριθμός, ὁ μετρῶν καὶ ὁ ἀριθμῶν, πόσα δὲ τὰ τῷ ἀριθμῷ καὶ μετρῷ ὑποκείμενα· ἤγουν τὰ μετρούμενα καὶ ἀριθμούμενα. Τῶν δὲ ποσῶν τὰ μέν εἰσι διωρισμένα, τὰ δὲ συνεχῆ. Διωρισμένα μέν εἰσι τὰ ἀπ’ ἀλλήλων κεχωρισμένα, ὡς ἐπὶ δέκα λίθων ἢ ι´ φοινίκων· ταῦτα γὰρ κεχωρισμένα εἰσὶν ἀπ’ ἀλλήλων καὶ ἀριθμεῖσθαι λέγονται, εἰ μὴ διὰ σμικρότητα καὶ πλῆθος μετρηθῶσι μοδίῳ ἤ τινι τοιούτῳ, ὥσπερ σῖτος καὶ τὰ ὅμοια. Συνεχῆ δέ, ὅτε ἕν ἐστι τὸ μετρούμενον, ὥσπερ ἓν ξύλον  εὑρίσκεται δίπεχυ καὶ τρίπεχυ ἢ λίθος, ἤ τι τοιοῦτον καὶ ἓν ὑπάρχον μετρεῖται, καὶ διὰ τοῦτο λέγεται συνεχὲς ποσόν. Ποσὸν τοίνυν λέγεται, ἤτοι καὶ ποσότης, ἀριθμὸς καὶ ὄγκος, καὶ χρόνος, καὶ τὰ διαστήματα. Ἀριθμὸς μὲν οἷον μονάς, δυάς, τριὰς καὶ οἱ ἐφ’ ἑξῆς ἀριθμοί. Ὄγκος δὲ οἷον μικρόν, μέγα, στατήρ, τάλαντον καὶ τὰ τοιαῦτα. Χρόνος δὲ οἷον ὥρα, ἡμέρα καὶ μήν, καὶ ἐνιαυτὸς. Διάστημα δὲ οἷον μῆκος, πλάτος, βάθος.
О количьствѣ и о мѣремꙑихъ

Количьство оубо ѥсть сама та мѣра мѣрѧштиꙗ  и чьтѹштиꙗ· коликоже ѥже подъ чисменьмь и мѣроѭ подъложить· рекъше мѣримаꙗ и чьтомаꙗ· количьства же ова сѫть раꙁлѹчѧѥма· ова же съдрьжима· раꙁлѹчаѥмаꙗ же сѫть ꙗже сѧотъ себе раꙁлѹчаѭть· ꙗкожесе три десѧти камꙑкъ или о десѧти фѹникии та бо раꙁлѹчена сѹть отъ себе и чьтома наричѫть сѧаште не мальствомь и множьствъ-м-ѣ-рима бѹдѹть· спѹдъмь илиинѣмь тацѣмьжде акꙑ пшеницаи прокоѥ· съдрьжаштаꙗ же сѧѥгда ѥсть мѣримоѥ<ѧ>кожесе ѥдино дрѣво обрѣтаѥть сѧдъвоѭ локътѫ· или трии локътъ· или камꙑкъ иличьто такꙑихъ иѥдино сꙑ мѣрить сѧ· да сего дѣлѧнаричеть сѧсъдрьжимаꙗ мѣра· число же наричеть сѧрекъше раꙁночьтомоѥи множьство и врѣмѧи растоꙗниꙗ·числоѹбо рекъше ѥдиньница дъвоица троица·и прокаꙗ числа· мѣра же рекъше малъ великъ· статирь талантъ и такаꙗжде· врѣмѧ же рекъше чѧсъ дьнь и мѣсѧць и лѣто· дальство же рекъше длъгота широта глѹбꙑни.

Symeon’s Miscellany, 3 (Симеонов сборник, Т. 3, стр. 1078-1080)

Περὶ ποιοῦ καὶ ποιότητος

Ποιότης ἐστὶν ἐνούσιος δύναμις οἷον ἐπὶ μὲν τῶν γενῶν αἱ συστατικαὶ διαφοραί, τουτέστι λογικότης, θνητότης, ἀθανασία καὶ τὰ ὅμοια, ἐπὶ δὲ ἀσωμάτων λογικῶν νοερότης, ἀυτεξουσιότης, ἀεὶ κινησία, ἐπὶ δὲ τῶν σωμάτων χρῶμα οἷον λευκότης, μελανότης, ξανθότης καὶ τὰ τοιαῦτα, καὶ σχῆμα οἷον περιφερές, εὐθύ, καμπύλον, τετράγωνον καὶ τὰ ὅμοια· καὶ πάλιν ὑγρότης, ξηρότης, θερμότης, ψυχρότης, μαλακότης, σκληρότης, μανότης, πυκνότης· καὶ οἱ χυμοί, οἷον ὀξύτης, γλυκύτης, δριμύτης καὶ τὰ ὅμοια. Ποιότης οὖν ἐστιν, καθ’ ἣν ποιότητες ὀνομάζονται παρωνύμως ὡς μετέχοντες τὰ ἀυτῆς. Ἐκ γὰρ τῆς φρονήσεως φρόνιμος λέγεται ὁ ἔχων τὴν φρόνησιν καὶ θερμὸς ὁ ἔχων τὴν θερμότητα. Λέγεται δὲ πολλάκις καὶ αὕτη ἡ ποιότης ποιόν, ὥσπερ καὶ το ποσόν ποσότης, τῆς δὲ ποιότητος εἶδός ἐστιν καὶ ἡ δύναμις, καὶ ἡ ἐνέργεια· ἅτινα οὔκ εἰσιν μὲν ἐνέργεια, ἔχουσι δὲ ἐπιτηδειότητα καὶ δύναμιν φυσικήν. Λέγεται γὰρ ἡ μὲν κατ’ἐπιτηδειότητα, ἡ δὲ κατ’ἕξιν, ἤγουν ἐνέργειαν. Κατ’ ἐπιτηδειότητα μέν, ὡς ὅταν εἴπωμεν τὸ παιδίον δυνάμει γραμματικὸν εἶναι, καθότι ἔχει ἐπιτηδειότητα πρὸς τὸ γενέσθαι γραμματικόν. Κατ’ ἕξιν δέ, ὡς ὅταν εἴπωμεν τὸν ἠρεμοῦντα γραμματικόν· δύναται μετὰ τὴν ἠρεμίαν τὴν τέχνην ἐνδείξασθαι. Ἢ ὡς ἐπὶ τοῦ κόκκου τοῦ σίτου·τοῦτο γάρ πῃ μὲν στάχυς ἐστίν, καθ’ ὃ ἀποστελεῖ στάχυν σπειρόμενος, ἐνεργείᾳ δὲ οὔκ ἐστιν στάχυς, ἀλλὰ σίτος κατὰ τὸ χλιαρόν. Ἐνεργείᾳ μὲν οὔτε ψυχρόν, οὔτε θερμόν ἐστιν, δυνάμει δὲ πάντως, καθ’ὃ δύναται γενέσθαι ψυχρὸν μὲν ψυχώμενον, θερμὸν δὲ θερμαινόμενον. Καὶ πάλιν τὸ παιδίον ἐνεργείᾳ μὲν οὔτε ἀρετὴν λέγεται ἔχειν, οὔτε κακίαν, δυνάμει δὲ πάντως, καθ’ ὃ δύναται σχεῖν. Λέγεται δύναμις καὶ ἡ ἰσχύς, καὶ ὁ στρατός. О качьствѣ и о творитвьнѣѣмь

Качьство ѥсть въсѫщьнаꙗ сила· рекъше о родѣхъ ѹбо съставьнаꙗ роꙁличьꙗ· рекъше словесьноѥ съмрьтьноѥ· бесъмрьтьѥ·и прокаꙗ·о бесплътьнꙑихъ же словесьныихъ· роꙁѹмьноѥ самовластьноѥ присношьстьноѥ·о тѣлесехъ же тварь· рекъше бѣлота чрьнота рѹсость и такаꙗ·и видъ· рекъше обьло право· прѣведено на четвьрьти·и подобьнаꙗ сии пакꙑ мокрота· сѹхота· теплота· стѹдено· мѧкота· жестокоѥ· рѣдъко·чѧстое·и глѣни· рекъше гнѣвьноѥ· сладъкоѥ· бридъкоѥ·и подобьнаѧ·качьство ѹбо ѥсть по немѹже каци дрѹꙁии наричѫть сѧ· съ имене ѥкоже приѥмлюште отъ него·отъ мꙋдрости бо мѹдръ наричеть сѧ· ꙗкоже имꙑ мѹдрость·и теплъ ижеимать топлотѹ· наричеть же сѧ многашьдꙑ и само то качьство какоѥ· ꙗкоже имѣра число·качьствꙋ же видъѥсть и силаи дѣиство· ꙗже не сѹть ѹбо дѣиство·имꙋть же ѹстроии силѹѥстьствьнѹѭ· наричеть бо сѧ ова по ѹстроѥнию ово по нравѹ рекъше по дѣиствѹ по покошьнѹѹмѹ же· како се ѥгда речемъ дѣтиштѫ силоѭ кънижьникъ бꙑти има·имьже има покошьноѥ ꙗкоже бꙑти кънїхъчии· по нравѹ же ꙗкоже ѥгда речемъ млъчаштѫѹмѹ кънигъчиѭ можеть по млъчании хꙑтрость покаꙁати·или ꙗкоже о ꙁрьнѣ пьшеничьнѣ· се бо овогда класъ ѥсть· ѥгда створи класъ ꙁьрѣѧ дѣиствъмь же нѣсть класъ нъ пьшеница·и топлоѥ дѣиствъмь ѹбо ниѥ топло ниѥ горѧште· силоѭ же всѧко по немѹже можеть стѹденоѥ ѹбо стѹдимо· тепло же грѣѥмо·и пакꙑ дѣтишть ни добротꙑ имꙑ ни ꙁлобꙑ силоѭ же вьсѧко по неиже имѣти нарицаѥть сѧ силаи мошть и вои⁘

These two pairs of concepts are excellent illustration of the high difficulty of the envisaged chapters and the philosophical sophistication of the authors of the Miscellany.

Concerning περὶ ποσοῦ καὶ ποσότητος, О количьствѣ и о мѣремꙑихъ, we may note the following.
First, the grounds for distinguishing between them are highly speculative, in the most positive aspect of the word ‘speculative’, as the supreme level of dialectics. Of course, the distinction goes back to the famous treatises of Aristotle. We may compare at length how they are defined and exemplified in the Categories (ch. 4 and 6) and in the Metaphysics (book Delta, V, ch. 13 and book Lambda, ch. 5, 1071 а 27).
Second, the author(s) of the Symeon’s Miscellany conceive of this speculative distinction in an even more speculative manner, defining it like that: Ποσότης μέν ἐστιν αὐτὸ τὸ μέτρον καὶ ὁ ἀριθμός, ὁ μετρῶν καὶ ὁ ἀριθμῶν, πόσα δὲ τὰ τῷ ἀριθμῷ καὶ μετρῷ ὑποκείμενα· ἤγουν τὰ μετρούμενα καὶ ἀριθμούμενα. Количьство оубо ѥсть сама та мѣра мѣрѧштиꙗ  и чьтѹштиꙗ· коликоже ѥже подъ чисменьмь и мѣроѭ подъложить· рекъше мѣримаꙗ и чьтомаꙗ. In an intentionally literal translation this will sound like that: Quantity-ness is the measure itself and the number, which measures and counts those things that might be subjected to counting and measurement: that is the measurable and the numberable things. Or a shorter explanation: quantity-ness is both the measure and the measured, the number and the numbered (counted and/or enumerated).
Third, the usage of ὑποκείμενα – one of the specific Aristotelian terms with triadic nature, is even more tricky. Obviously, in this case its meaning is neither grammatical, syntactic (the subject in a sentence), nor logical (the subject in a proposition to which the predicates are predicated). Here ὑποκείμενα functions ontologically and means ‘the measurable and the numberable things’, ‘those things that might be subjected to counting and measurement’, everything which is susceptible to counting and measurement.
Fourth, in the next lines another important pair comes to the fore: the discrete and the continuous. The Byzantine authors introduce the dychotomy between the divisible and the indivisible, continuous things: Τῶν δὲ ποσῶν τὰ μέν εἰσι διωρισμένα, τὰ δὲ συνεχῆ. Further on, the authors follow strictly Aristotle.
Fifth, the terms ‘number’, ‘magnitude’, ‘time’ and ‘distance’, or even better ‘extension’ (διάστημα), are not defined, but are properly exemplified.

Concerning περὶ ποιοῦ καὶ ποιότητος, О качьствѣ и о творитвьнѣѣмь,we may note the following.
 First, we may once again go back to Aristotle’s treatises to look for the beginning of the distinction: in the Categories (the pair is discussed at length in chapter 8, 8b25-11a37) and in the Metaphysics (ποιόν is clarified in the philosophical vocabulary – book Delta, ch. 14 and book Каppа, ch. 12,1018а 18, 1021а 12, 1022b 15, 1024b 6-9, 1068a 9, 1020b 1-16).
      Second, the closer examination of the definition of the quality-ness reveals that there are two stronger conceptual actors defining the definiendum: Ποιότης ἐστὶν ἐνούσιος δύναμις οἷον ἐπὶ μὲν τῶν γενῶν αἱ συστατικαὶ διαφοραί, τουτέστι λογικότης, θνητότης, ἀθανασία καὶ τὰ ὅμοια. Качьство ѥсть въсѫщьнаꙗ сила· рекъше о родѣхъ ѹбо съставьнаꙗ роꙁличьꙗ· рекъше словесьноѥ съмрьтьноѥ· бесъмрьтьѥ·и прокаꙗ·
a) The first of them is δύναμις, which has the traditional meaning of ‘power’, ‘might’, ‘strength’, ‘force’ and the more unpopular mathematical meaning of ‘the diagonal in a triangle with a right angle’. Precisely this geometrical meaning is used by Plato in the Theaetetus, in the three untranslatable pages with the puzzle about the 17 right-angled triangles (147c–148e). But in the specific vocabulary of Aristotle, to which the author of the Symeon’s Miscellany loyally adheres, it has the function of a modal category and means, depending on the context,  ‘possibility’, ‘potentiality, or potency’, ‘faculty’, ‘capacity’. We see that the Оld Bulgarian translator has decided to stay faithful to the etymology rendering ἐνούσιος δύναμις as въсѫщьнаꙗ сила.
b) The second actor is the ontological concept of συστατικαὶ διαφοραί - the constituent differences, the differentiae specificae, which are immanent characteristics in every existing thing. The examples that follow are easy to understand, because they are suggested in a convincing dychotomy. Some of the qualities, which are mentioned, pertain to creatures, who are endowed with reason and are mortal, i. e. the humans. Others of the qualities are characteristics of creatures, endowed with reasohn and immortal, i.e. all bodiless entities.
Third, the chapter, devoted to the discussion of the seeming paronims and synonyms ‘quality and quality-ness’ explicates the conceptual training of the author in the Aristotelian modal paradigm ἡ δύναμις καὶ ἡ ἐνέργεια, which regarding the different contexts means potency-actuality, or potentiality-actualization, or probability-realization, or predisposition-fulfillment. It is amazing, but true: the word ἐνέργεια never ever existed in the Greek language and is among the hundreds of words and strange phrases coined by Aristotle. There is a sentence in which six philosophical terms from the tools of the peculiar Aristotelian stock are used: τῆς δὲ ποιότητος εἶδός ἐστιν καὶ ἡ δύναμις, καὶ ἡ ἐνέργεια· ἅτινα οὔκ εἰσιν μὲν ἐνέργεια, ἔχουσι δὲ ἐπιτηδειότητα καὶ δύναμιν φυσικήν. Λέγεται γὰρ ἡ μὲν κατ’ἐπιτηδειότητα, ἡ δὲ κατ’ἕξιν, ἤγουν ἐνέργειαν.
качьствꙋ же видъѥсть и силаидѣиство· ꙗже не сѹть ѹбо дѣиство·имꙋть же ѹстроии силѹѥстьствьнѹѭ· наричеть бо сѧ ова по ѹстроѥнию ово по нравѹ рекъше по дѣиствѹ.
From the examples, offered afterwards, we may infer that the author of the Symeon’s Miscellany is familiar with the treatise On the Soul (in Latin De anima), because the anthropological and epistemological meaning of δύναμις as capacity and/or faculty of the human soul (to see, hear, smell, touch, taste, learn and understand) is vastly engaged.

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