Meletij Smotryc´kyj was at the center of the debates that agitated Ruthenia in the period following the Union of Brest (1596). This was a turbulent time for Ukraine, as the Uniate and Orthodox Churches sought to gain control over the confessional lives of Ruthenians. An ongoing debate was waged in writing, with each side publishing impassioned attacks on their opponents’ views and fervent defenses of their own. A prominent religious figure and polemicist, Smotryc´kyj was caught up in the struggle between Orthodox and Uniate beliefs.
In the early 1600s, Smotryc´kyj emerged as one of the leading spokesmen for Ruthenian renewal under the Orthodox, or dis-Uniate, banner. His polemics served as the cornerstone of the Orthodox response to the Polish-Lithuanian Reformation and Counter-Reformation. He later converted to Uniatism in 1627 and sought to expose the weaknesses of the Orthodox Church, arguing for a new unity between the eastern and western Churches. The works collected in this volume, written by Smotryc´kyj over a period of twenty years, offer unique insight into the elite of early modern Rus´ and their place in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.
Frick's translations flow easily and gracefully while preserving Smotrykyi's Baroque complexity and rhetorical verve.
Of course, it is a good thing to read sources in the original, but this translation is truly excellent. My spot checks against the originals revealed no gaffes; but that is to be expected from someone like Frick, who has written substantially in the past on Smotryc’kyj’s linguistic practices. Frick has also managed to find what seems to be the perfect twenty-first century idiom into which to render Smotryc’kyj’s seventeenth-century Polish. The style is fresh and economical, not wordy or inflated as in some other translations...Frick’s translation allows the contemporary reader to appreciate Smotryc’kyj’s considerable rhetorical gifts...[Frick] has done a tremendous service to scholarship by making so accessible these classic texts of the ambivalent Christianity in Ukraine and Belarus, on the border of the Catholic and Orthodox worlds.
- 880 pages
- 6 x 9 inches
- Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute
- Translated with commentary by David A. Frick
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