National Historical Museum of the Republic of Belarus

Book of Sirach

Book of Sirach

The Book of the All–Virtuous Wisdom of Joshua ben Sira, commonly called the Wisdom of Sirach or simply Sirach, and also known as the Book of Ecclesiasticus or Ben Sira, is a work of ethical teachings from approximately 200 to 175 BCE written by the Jewish scribe Ben Sira of Jerusalem, on the inspiration of his father Joshua son of Sirach, sometimes called Jesus son of Sirach or Yeshua ben Eliezer ben Sira.

In Egypt, it was translated into Greek by the author's (unnamed) grandson, who added a prologue. This prologue is generally considered the earliest witness to a canon of the books of the prophets, and thus the date of the text as we have it is the subject of intense scrutiny. The book itself is the largest wisdom book from antiquity to have survived.

Sirach is accepted as part of the Christian biblical canons by Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, and most of Oriental Orthodox. The Anglican Church does not accept Sirach as protocanonical, and say it should be read only "for example of life and instruction of manners; but yet doth not apply them to establish any doctrine."[5] Similarly, the Lutheran Churches include it in their lectionaries, and as a book proper for reading, devotion, and prayer. It was cited in some writings in early Christianity. There are claims that it is cited in the Epistle of James, and also the non–canonical Didache (iv. 5) and Epistle of Barnabas (xix. 9). Clement of Alexandria and Origen quote from it repeatedly, as from a γραφή, or holy book.[6] The Catalogue of Cheltenham, Pope Damasus I, the Councils of Hippo (393) and Council of Carthage (397), Pope Innocent I, the second Council of Carthage (419), and Augustine all regarded it as canonical, although the Council of Laodicea, of Jerome, and of Rufinus of Aquileia, ranked it instead as an ecclesiastical book. The Apostolic Canons (not recognized by the Catholic Church) stated as venerable and sacred the Wisdom of Sirach. The Roman Catholic Church declared it to be canonical in 1546 during the fourth session of the Council of Trent.

Some copies of the Book of Sirach are kept in the National Library of Belarus; Library of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Russian State Library, the Russian National Library, the State Historical Museum (Russian Federation), National Library of Ukraine named after VI Vernadsky, the National Museum of the A. Sheptytsky in Lviv (Ukraine), the National Museum in Prague (Czech Republic).

Engraving. Portrait of Francysk Skaryna


Size: 160x105 mm

In the center of the conditioned cabinet scientist – figure Scorina who sits on a stool in front of a lectern low–opening notebook or kngay. With the music stand down ornamented fabric, the center of which – "maladikovae sun", personified the image of the month and the sun in their alliance, the symbol of the Belarusian enlightener. He wears a large doctoral robes; color – it takes. In his right hand – a tool for writing; right leg bent at the knee and covered with folds of the mantle, resting on a bench. A person with soft, rounded features is turned three–quarters to the left of the viewer, the sight is directed to another lectern with an open book. In the camp Skoriny reflected his sense of self–esteem.

The space is filled with numerous items: bottom right – a candle with a reflector and a bee or a butterfly; bottom left – wicker basket, above – a clay jug; left Skoriny – vertical bookshelves, separately standing hourglass. Among the items dominant object in the upper right corner – armilyarnaya sphere, an astronomical instrument to calculate the positions of the heavenly bodies, a mandatory attribute in the homes of intellectuals and educated aristocrats XV–XVI century. Most items engraving has a symbolic meaning. Graphical symbols that on the boards on the right and left, as well as a monogram that over the wicker basket on the left, are nerasshyfravanymi.

In the background, on the sides – columns, between which a garland of oak leaves and which lodges very arbitrary figure marked heraldic lions–shchytatrymalnikav. Top center on a light rectangular label – Cyrillic numerical signs, which marked the year of publication – 1517. nameplates dark kolru fit in the center at the bottom; on it – the inscription: "Dr. Frantsisk Skorina", drawn lettering consonant letters of the Cyrillic alphabet. Portrait Skoriny maximum individual, without any idealization.

Skaryna is positioning himself as a scientist, intellectual, educator, for which the process of learning, knowledge and education compatriots play an important role. But the portrait is not only a scientist husband, well versed in the various fields of knowledge but above all – the translator in the process of overcoming the "translation difficulties" The place for the engraving is defined in that book, where much attention is devoted to the activity of the first translators of the Bible. The creators of the engravings – painter, engraver, printer – top class professionals. The conclusion of the portrait deployed faithful in the sacred book – a unique case.