ROMAN ACTS – a translation collection of short stories of the XVII century. ascending through the Polish medium to the Latin collection of the 13th century. “Gesta Romanorum”, whose originator is not exactly established. The initial core of the Latin collection was the plots borrowed from the late Roman writers and associated with the name of one or another real ruler, which explains the name of the collection. Gradually expanding, the collection already in the XV century included 181 In the same volume, it was repeatedly printed in the 15th-17th centuries in different countries of Europe, while the combined text, published in 1872 on various publications and manuscripts by the German researcher Osterlei, includes 283 stories.
The Polish collection “Historye Rzymskie” was a sample from the Latin original, it included only 40 stories and was almost completely translated into Russian. As the Russian translation is replete with transliteration of Polish words (polonizms), which remained, in fact, untranslated, it can be assumed that He was executed in southwestern Russia, where Polish words penetrated widely into the spoken language. Ruderal fate of RD on Russian soil has not yet been studied sufficiently, the mutual relations of various species are not clear. this is not the only translation of RD from the Polish language to the Eastern Slavic languages (see this: Sokolova, LV, On the issue of translations into the Russian language of the collection “Roman deeds” // TODRL.- 1981.-T. 36.- 266-273).
The articles included in the RD are different in genre: these are novels, and the lives of saints with a dynamic plot, and the late Greek novel of adventure about Apollonia of Tire.
The main feature of the collection is its underlined didacticism. But edification is combined in it with the amusement of the plot, which probably explains the great popularity of RD. The core of the collection consists of short stories that seem to illustrate this or that didactic thesis, put in the title. So, in one of them, entitled: “The application (example.-LS), reminding us to perform other vows by others,” tells how two robbers who swore loyalty to each other kept their vow even under threat For this, one of them, caught on a crime, was forgiven by the king and both were taken into their service.
Two novels remind of such an obligatory, but nevertheless rare human quality, as gratitude for the deed done. It is no accident that in both novels an example of gratitude is given to people by animals. The plot of one of them (“The application, so that we remember the good deeds done to us”) is as follows: a knight who was angry with the king was thrown into the ditch to be eaten by a hungry lion, but the lion not only did not touch the knight, but “started walking near him, rejoice. ” After the knight was in the ditch with the hungry lion for seven days, the surprised king asked the knight to name the reason for this strange behavior of the beast. The knight told him how once, having met this lion in the woods, who fell on his paw and obviously asked for help from a man, he got off his horse, took out a turn from his paw and processed the wound. The king, moved by the gratitude of the lion, released the knight to freedom.
S. in the name of the Roman Emperor Iovian, named in the Russian translation by Evinian, is connected in RD with a story in the medieval literature about the proud and punished king. The proud king, who decided to bathe in the river, was left without clothes and confidants, since the angel who had received his appearance, sent by God, put on his clothes and left with his retinue. Evinian, trying to prove that he was the true king, received in response contemptuous ridicule and even punishment. Only after the king repented of pride, in it again all recognized the king, despite the rags in which he was dressed.
Several novels of RD expose the... insidiousness of women, teach them to beware of them, not to trust them with their secrets. One of them (“The Applicant, for example, not imams to believe their wives, lower their secrets to them”) illustrates the “female anger” with the following fairy story. The knight who was angry with the king was ordered, in order to earn his pardon, to come to the palace “and ride, and pesho” and bring with him a faithful friend, “an unfaithful enemy” and a “crofter” (a lover, a comforter.) The knight went to the castle, the right hand of the dog, the left hand of the wife and holding the child in his hand. When they approached the castle, the knight put his right foot on his dog and so arrived: “both on the road and on foot.” When the king asked the knight, where his friend, the knight hit his dog with the sword. He escaped from pain, ran away, but immediately returned to the call of the owner, thereby proving, that he is his faithful friend. His knight called a little son his lover. When the king asked about the enemy, the knight hit his wife’s lips and told her: “Why do you look so badly at the king, my lord?” In response, his wife broke into a stream of abuse and accused her husband of killing a pilgrim who spent the night in their house. the knight, preparing to obey the king’s order, told his wife that he had killed the pilgrim to take his money and showed her the place where he buried the calf instead of the pilgrim. The king, seeing the wisdom of the knight, forgave him and since then treated him with respect and love. In response, his wife erupted in a stream of abuse and accused her husband of killing a pilgrim who spent the night in their house. It turned out that the knight, preparing to carry out the king’s order, told his wife that he had killed the pilgrim in order to take his money, and showed her the place where he buried the dead body instead of the pilgrim. The king, seeing the wisdom of the knight, forgave him and since then treated him with respect and love. In response, his wife erupted in a stream of abuse and accused her husband of killing a pilgrim who spent the night in their house. It turned out that the knight, preparing to carry out the king’s order, told his wife that he had killed the pilgrim in order to take his money, and showed her the place where he buried the dead body instead of the pilgrim. The king, seeing the wisdom of the knight, forgave him and since then treated him with respect and love.
Almost all the novels of the RD are provided with “calculations”, that is, interpretations in which, in themselves, moralistic subjects receive another, secret, allegorical-Christian meaning, moral-Christian didactics. These interpretations are very indicative of a medieval outlook that is prone to to the symbolic and allegorical perception, which in all was looking for a second, secret meaning. It remains unclear whether these interpretations were originally in RD, or they were added to the collection later. In any case, in the oldest Latin manuscript RD, unlike the old-book There are no Christian-allegorical interpretations, and the titles of the novels are not of a didactic nature. the fact that the didactic names were not original, is also evidenced to some extent by the fact that some of the titles are clearly not correlated with the content of the novel, and sometimes even contradict him. Thus, the novel, entitled “The Apprentice that Truth Must Be Confessed Even to Death,” illustrates exactly the opposite: sometimes one should be silent. This tells of three cocks, two of whom “echoed” the hostess’s unfaithfulness to the departed husband, and the third, seeing the beast the fateful fate, wisely sang: “Hear, see, and be silent, you want to live in peace,” and he remained alive.