Berynda, Pamva

Berynda, Pamva, b ca 1555–60s near Sambir, d 23 July 1632 in Kyiv. An outstanding Ukrainian lexicographer and poet of the baroque tradition. His Leksykon slavenorosskyi i imen tolkovanyie (A Slavonic-Ruthenian Lexicon and Explanation of Proper Names, 1627; 2nd edn Kuteinsky Monastery, Belarus, 1653) grew out of his work as a proofreader and editor with Ukrainian printers, particularly at the press of the Kyivan Cave Monastery (see Kyivan Cave Monastery Press), where he was invited from Lviv in 1616. His dictionary contains 6,982 Church Slavonic words and foreign terms used in Church Slavonic texts, for which it supplies equivalent terms from the literary Ukrainian of the time and occasional etymologies and explanations. Berynda's intention in compiling the dictionary was to revive the Church Slavonic tradition of the literary language and thus to counteract the influence of Polish Catholicism and Polish culture. The composition and the language of the dictionary have been studied by Pavlo Zhytetsky, Zenaida Veselovska, Wiesław Witkowski, Oleksa Horbach, and others. Berynda's Leksykon was edited with an introduction by Vasyl Nimchuk and reprinted by photo-offset in Kyiv in 1961.

In 1616 Berynda published a Christmas dialogue entitled Na Rozhdestvo Hospoda Boha i Spasa nasheho Iysusa Khrysta virshi dlia utikhy pravoslavnym khrystyianam (Poems for the Enjoyment of Orthodox Christians on the Occasion of the Birth of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ). It consisted of a prologue, speeches by seven boys, an epilogue, and poems on religious themes.

George Y. Shevelov

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 1 (1984).]

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