Istoriya Slavyanobolgarskaya

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The first page of the original draft by Paisius.

Istoriya Slavyanobolgarskaya (Cyrillic: История славяноболгарская; Modern Bulgarian: История славянобългарска, Istoriya slavyanobalgarska, and translated as Slavonic-Bulgarian History) is a book by Bulgarian scholar and clergyman Saint Paisius of Hilendar. Written in 1762, it is considered Saint Paisius of Hilendar's greatest work and one of the most influential pieces of the Bulgarian revival, as well as the first work of Bulgarian historiography. Paisius' motivation to write this piece of literature was to ensure that a "nation with a glorious past has the right to a splendid future"[citation needed].

Although he was based in the Serbian monastery Hilandar in the Holy Mount Athos (today an autonomous province in Greece), Paisius travelled extensively throughout the country and abroad and collected a vast amount of references to compile and write his concise but historically influential version of Bulgarian history. At that time the influx of Serbian monks decreased at the expense of Bulgarians, particularly from Macedonia. From the 17th to the 19th century, Hilandar was predominantly Bulgarian-populated.

The importance of this manuscript is that it was able to restore national pride to a country, which after 366 years of Ottoman rule was lacking in such passion. What would follow is known as the Bulgarian National Revival, in which Istoriya Slavyanobolgarskaya played a significant role.

The book's first manual copy was done by Sophronius of Vratsa in 1765. Structurally, Istoriya Slavyanobolgarskaya consists of two introductions, several chapters that discuss various historic events, a chapter about the "Slavic teachers", the disciples of Cyril and Methodius, a chapter about the Bulgarian saints, and an epilogue.

Although some excerpts appeared in Petar Beron's Tsarstvenik of 1844, Paisii's History was not published in book form until the 1920s, in the edition of Nikola Filipov. There was an adaptation into modern Bulgarian in 1938. Critical editions were prepared in the 1960s, and a Russian translation. A German translation appeared in 1984, and an English version of the Zograph manuscript in 2001.[1]

The Zografou draft of the Istoriya Slavyanobolgarskaya is depicted on the reverse of the Bulgarian 2 levs banknote, issued in 1999 and 2005.[2]


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