Paul Meyvaеrt and Paul Devos: Duo Candelabra Cyrillomethodiana




The paper outlines in historiographical perspective Paul Meyvaert (1921–2015) and Paul Devos’ (1913–1995) contributions to the classification of the Latin hagiographical legends about Sts Cyril and Methodius. The author analyzes their three joint studies from 1955–1956. These studies first introduced into academic use the most comprehensive medieval copy of the so-called Italian legend discovered to date. They also explored its links to the literary activity of Leo of Ostia (1046–1115). Through P.Meyvaert’s fortuitous discovery, the two scholars proved that only the second redaction of the Italian Legend has survived. As a result of their research, they narrowed down the chronological limits of the appearance of its first redaction, compiled by Johannes Hymmonides and Gauderic of Velletri. They studied the manuscript tradition (of the Italian Legend) and proved that the reference to the episcopal rank of St Cyril and St Methodius is a late interpolation in the text. They established what influence Leo of Ostia ‘s redaction of the Italian Legend exerted on the literary production in the Benedictine monastery of San Clemente a Casauria in the last quarter of the 12th century and on some legendaries containing abridged legendae novae of the 13th and 14th centuries. P. Meyvaert and P. Devos also attempted to clarify the place of the so-called Moravian legend in the nexus of Latin Cyrillo-Methodian legends of the Bohemian lands.

The paper discusses the contributions of Meyvaert and Devos from the perspective of the development of Cyrillo-Methodian studies. It analyses the main approaches used for the successful solutions to age-old issues and the hypotheses that provoked debate with Jaroslav Ludvikovský.