Medieval Slavic Manuscripts and Culture

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Recent acquisition on Monasticism – Spring 2017

A recent purchase, Monasticism in Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Republics edited by Ines Angeli Murzaku (Routledge, 2016), provides essays on various aspects of monasticism in Eastern-Central Europe, Russia and the former Soviet Republics.

Daniela Kalkandjieva addresses “Monasticism in Bulgaria”; Julia Verkholantsev discusses “Croatian monasticism and Glagolitic tradition: Glagolitic letters at home and abroad,” which complements her 2014 monograph The Slavic Letters of St. Jerome: the History of the Legend and its Legacy, or, How the Translator of the Vulgate became an Apostle of the Slavs; Jelena Dzankic writes on “Religion and identity in Montenegro”; Graham Speake comments on “Mount Athos: relations between the Holy Mountain and Eastern Europe”; Radmila Radić on “Monasticism in Serbia in the modern period: development, influence, importance”; Antonio D’Alessandri tackles “Orthodox monasticism and the development of the modern Romanian state: from Dora d’Istria’s criticism (1855) to cyclical reevaluation of monastic spirituality in contemporary Romania”; the editor Murzaku composed “Between East and West: Albania’s monastic mosaic.”

Book cover of a monastery Continue reading

Waldemar Ceran Research Centre for the History and Culture of the Mediterranean Area and South-East Europe

In 2016, Janek Wolski spent some time as a researcher at the Hilandar Research Library (HRL) (see CMH 39 [Dec. 2016]: 8) after attending the International Congress on Medieval Studies in Kalamazoo, Michigan with Kirił Marinow. During his visit, Jan presented the HRL with a copy of a book he co-authored with Georgi Minczew and Małgorzata Skowronek on medieval dualistic heresies in the Balkans, published as the the first volume of Series Ceranea by the Waldemar Ceran Research Centre for the History and Culture of the Mediterranean Area and South-East Europe at the University of Łódź, Poland. Note that one of the collaborators on the book is Marek Majer (MSSI 2015)!

With contact established between the HRL and the Resource Center for Medieval Slavic Studies (RCMSS) at Ohio State, the Ceran Research Centre generously provided the HRL with copies of its most recent publications relevant to the mission of the HRL/RCMSS.

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Incipitaria Project: Drafts of the Contents of Hilandar Miscellanies

Over the years the Hilandar Research Library (HRL) and the Resource Center for Medieval Slavic (RCMSS) have engaged in various research projects related both to the HRL materials and to the use of these materials. One such project are the Incipitaria or listings of the titles, incipits, and explicits of the various texts contained in the miscellanies (sborniki) found in the Hilandar Monastery Slavic manuscript collection from the 14th-15th centuries.

This project was one of the recommendations made by working groups that met during the First International Hilandar Conference held in Columbus, Ohio, 1981. A number of RCMSS graduate research associates (GRAs) have worked on this project; drafts of these works are available on our HRL website.

HM.SMS.388 and HM.SMS.389 are two fourteenth-century miscellanies of sermons that form a set of panegyrical triodia.




Studia mediaevalia Slavica et Byzantina, v. 1

The Institute of Literature of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences publishes a journal devoted to medieval Slavonic and Byzantine studies. Each issue focuses on a particular theme or specific topics.  Volume one, which includes articles on death and funeral rites in the Judaeo-Christian tradition, the Slavonic Euchologion, and the alphabet and Typikon as foundations of medieval Slavonic literature, was published in memory of Stefan Kozhukharov.

vol. 1 (2011), Смъртта и погребението в юдео-христианската традиция / Death and Funeral in the Jewish-Christian tradition, compiled and edited by Regina Koicheva and Anissava Miltenova.

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Recent Acquisitions – Gift Books – April 2016

Gift books received in April 2016 include Реторика на историчното: Деяние на Св. Никола в южнославянски контекст by Diana Atanassova,

Book cover of paperback book, white/gray background with decorative edge along the top and viaz' along the outer lower half of the cover; image of St. Nicholas appearing in a dream to Emperor Constantine the Great from fresco in Grachanitsa Monastery.

Book cover image is from a fresco in Gračanica Monastery of St. Nicholas appearing in a dream to Constantine the Great.

and Кирило-Методиевски четения 2015: Юбилеен сборник edited by Anna-Maria Totomanova and Diana Atanassova (Department of Slavic Studies, Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”).










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Recent Acquisitions – March 2016

cover of the book Byzantium and the Viking World, with a picture of a building against a blue sky in the upper fourth of the cover, a black background for the lower 3/4s with the title in pink and blue in the middle; in the lower left quadrant is a statue of the lion of Piraeus, taken by the Venetians in the late 17th century, which has runes carved into it. The names of the three editors are in the lower right quadrant.

Two books that relate Scandinavia and the Vikings to Byzantium and the Balkans were acquired in March 2016. The first is:

Byzantium and the Viking World, edited by Fedir Androshchuk, Jonathan Shepard, Monica White (Uppsala, 2016).

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Monument to Napoleon, Ljubljana, Slovenia

An obelisk stands on Trg francoske revolucije (French Revolution Square), at the juncture of Rimska cesta (Rome Avenue) and Vegova ulica (Vega Street – in honor of the mathematician Jurij Vega*). A native New Orleanian would immediately recognize the head of Napoleon wearing a laurel wreath on the side of the obelisk. Napoleon designated Ljubljana the capital of his “Illyrian provinces,” 1809-1816, and the monument is thus known as the “Illyrian Monument.”

Picture of the obelisk

Illyrian Monument on Trg fransoske revolucije (French Revolution Square)

Close up of the gold sculpture of Napoleon's head on the obelisk

A local Ljubljana guide book notes that the obelisk “was erected in 1929, 120 years after the establishment of the Illyrian Provinces…. built of marble from the Croatian island Hvar. A bronze half moon with three stars is engraved at the top, and verses, a French inscription dedicated to an unknown hero and Napoleon’s head … are engraved on the sides.”*

Street lined with cars and trees with white obelisk at one end

View of the Illyrian Monument from Kongresni trg (Congress Square)


*Matjaž Chvatal, Ljubljana: City Guide (Golnik: Založba Turistika, 2015), 60 and 58.

Dragon Bridge – Zmajski (Zmajev) most, Ljubljana, Slovenia

Opened in 1901, “Dragon Bridge” was originally named for the Hapsburg Emperor Franz Josef I, and the dates on the bridge commemorate his reign. The bridge was renamed in July 1919.


The dragon, which is the symbol of Ljubljana, is said to originate with the story of Jason and the Argonauts, with the association to St. George and the Dragon as a later interpretation.


Span of Zmajski most, showing the dates of Emperor Franz Josef I's reign (1848-1888) with the Ljubljana Cathedral in the background.

Span of Zmajski most, showing the dates of Emperor Franc Jozef I’s reign (1848-1888) with the Stolnica sv. Nikolaja (Cathedral of St. Nicholas), located on Ciril-Metodov trg (SS. Cyril and Methodius Square), in the background.

end of the bridge where a green winged dragon sits on the post at each end of the bridge on both sides

Zmajski most, Ljubljana, Slovenia

Guest Blog: Commemorating SS. Cyril and Methodius

Guest Blogger: Nina Haviernikova, Graduate Associate, RCMSS / HRL

Recent acquisitions to the stacks of the Hilandar Research Library include two works devoted to Saints Cyril and Methodius, the Apostles to the Slavs.

Title page of the book

Title page

The first, formerly held by the Litchfield Public Library in Litchfield, Minnesota, and offered to academic libraries courtesy of Gordon B. Anderson* is Památka roku slavnostního 1863 tisícileté památky obrácení národu českého na Moravě, Slovensku a v Čechách na křesťanství / Commemoration of the Millennial year 1863 Anniversary of the Christianization of the Czech People in Moravia, Slovakia and in the Czech Republic by J. Janata, Václav Šubert, and Heřman z Tardy, published in 1864 in Prague. The book commemorates the one thousandth anniversary of SS. Cyril and Methodius’ mission to Great Moravia. Written by priests, the book contains poems, a history of the conversion of the Western Slavs to Christianity which began in 863, a section devoted to the lives of Saint Cyril and Saint Methodius, as well as notes on the history of Protestantism in Bohemia, and a description of the most important events of the Evangelical Church in Bohemia in the year 1863. The publication is interesting from theological, historical as well as linguistic and literary perspectives.

Photo of the brown leather spine of the book and the front cover - a blue and black paisley pattern - on a red background

1864 spine and front cover


Cover of the book: on a white background there is an image of a wooden cross that take sup 3/4s of the cover, and underneath it is the title of the book in Czech and in English

Gift of Václav Čermák

The second publication, a gift of Václav Čermák from the Institute of Slavonic Studies of the Academy of Sciences, Czech Republic, is the bilingual Czech-English Cyril a Metoděj – doba, život, dílo / Cyril and Methodius – Their Era, Lives, and Work, published by Moravské zemské muzeum in Brno in 2013. Besides addressing the importance of the Cyrillo-Methodian mission and its immediate legacy, this work also focuses on reflections of the Cyrillo-Methodian traditions in Czech literature, theater, music, and society. The publication specifically examines Cyrillo-Methodian themes in modern Czech literature and in Czech folk culture. It offers insight into the long-lasting influence of the “Enlighteners of the Slavs” on the culture and society of Czechs and Moravians.

*Gordon Anderson is both the Librarian for European Studies at the University of Minnesota and the Bibliographer for Scandinavian Studies for the University of Chicago Library.

References to 1983 Articles on Medicinal Texts and Herbaria

In volume 9 (June 1984) of Polata knigopisnaia: an Information Bulletin Devoted to the Study of Early Slavic Books, Texts and Literatures, there is the feature , “ОБЬЩЕѤ ЖИТИѤ” [Ob’shtee zhitie], which provides a list of ongoing projects and recent publications of scholars in the field of Early Slavic studies. Dr. Nikolai Predov, “a psychiatrist and an active member of the Naučno družestvo po istorija i teorija na naukata, which, since 1982, publishes Sbornik ot naučni trudove i material i po istorija i teorija na naukata i tehnikata,” reports on several articles in the second volume (Sofia, 1983), which would be of interest to Polata knigopisnaia readers.

S.A. Vardaian, “Opyt armianskoi narodnoi mediciny v srednevekovnykh lechebnikakh X-XV vv.,” 167-179. ‘The practice of Armenian folk medicine in medieval manuals of folk remedies in the 10th-15th centuries.’

V. Vasilev, “Herbariiat na Psevdo-Apulei,” 188-203. ‘The Herbaria of Pseudo-Apuleius.’

N. Predov, M. Apostolov, “Novoto v bŭlgarskata manastirska psikhiatriia prez Srednovekovieto i neinata priemstvena vrŭzka s drevnata psikhiatrichna praktika,” 213-231. ‘Innovation in Bulgarian monastic psychiatry during the Middle Ages and its successful connection with ancient psychiatric practice.’

I. Galčev, “Bŭlgari v Dubrovnik prez srednite vekove. Nikola Bulgar – knizovnik, lekar i diplomat,” 232-246. ‘Bulgarians in Dubrovnik during the middle ages. Nikola Bulgar – scribe, doctor and diplomat.’

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