Medieval Slavic Manuscripts and Culture

Category: Mount Athos

1814 Description of Hilandar Monastery


Among the unique items in the reference collection of the Hilandar Research Library is a copy of Kirill Mikhailovich’s brief description of Hilandar Monastery, published in Budim, 1814.

Photograph of the title page of the pamphlet

Bogdanović, Djurić, and Medaković (1997: 198), in a discussion of visitors to Hilandar Monastery in the 18th century, mention that in addition to “devout pilgrims,” there were also “travellers for scholarly purposes, particularly those curious about its collection of manuscripts. One such was the Russian Vasily Barsky, who stayed at Chilandar twice, in 1725 and 1744.” During his latter visit, Barsky “wrote a detailed description of Chilandar and its antiquities.”

The authors continue with the note that “Based on the results of Vasily Barsky’s works, a small book was published in Budapest in 1814 under the title Kratkoe opisanije svjatija i preslavnija Lavri carskija Hilandara (A Short Description of the Holy and Famous Imperial Monastery of Chilandar), which was virtually a copy of Barsky’s writings made by the monk Kirilo (Cyril) Mihailovich ‘for Serbs and Bulgars’. This was how Chilandar got its first monograph, similar to the already existing descriptions of Serbian monasteries intended for pilgrims and an educated public.”

Source: Bogdanović, Dimitrije, Vojislav J. Djurić, Dejan Medaković. Chilandar. 2nd edition. [Belgrade]: Jugoslav Revija, [Sveta Gora monastery of Chilandar], 1997.


Recent Acquisition: Hilandarski zbornik 12 and 13


Predrag Matejic recently returned from a trip to Bulgaria and Serbia with a number of books donated to the Hilandar Research Library by various individuals and institutions. The Serbian Academy of Science and Art presented Dr. Matejic with copies of volumes 12 and 13 of Hilandarski zbornik.

An invaluable work found in volume 13 is Mirko Kovačević’s article on the Hilandar monastic residence, the “white konak,” which was mostly written before the fire of 2004. The article includes detailed architectural drawings and photographs of the building’s interior, exterior, and various ornamental features, as well as devastating images of the ruined structure after the fire.

A photograph of volume 12 of the journal Hilandarski zbornik: the book has a red cloth cover with Serbian Cyrillic name of the journal in silver followed by the numeral 12 at the bottom of the front cover and a silver square seal of the two-headed eagle in the upper right corner of the book.Table of contents for volume 12 (2008):

Калић, Јованка. “Растко Немањић, истраживања”/Kalić, Jovanka. “Rastko Nemanjić – Research.”
Благојевић, Милош. “Хиландарски поседи на Косову и Метохији (XII-XV век)”/Blagojević, Miloš. “Chilandar estates in Kosovo and Metohija (12th-15th centuries).”
Bogdanović, Jelena.
“Some Additional Observations on the Original Tomb of St. Simeon at Hilandar and its Significance for the Architectural History of the Monastery”/Богдановић, Јелена. “Првобитни гроб св. Симеона и његов значај за историју архитектуре манастира Хиландар.”
Pavlikianov, Kyrill. “Unknown Slavic Charter of the Serbian Despot John Ugleša in the Archive of the Athonite Monastery of Vatopedi”/Павликијанов, Кирил. “Непознат словенски акт српског деспота Јована Угљеше из Архива атонског манастира Ватопеда.”
Бубало, Ђорђе. “Прилози српској дипломатици”/Bubalo, Djordje. “Four Studies on Serbian Diplomatics.”
Јовановић, Томислав.
“Карејски и Хиландарски типик у руском преводу из збирке Белокриницког манастира”/Jovanović, Tomislav. “Karayas’ and Chilandar typicons in the Russian translation from the Belokrinici monastery.”
Ракић, Зоран.
“Црква Светог Саве Српског у Хиландару”/Rakić, Zoran. “The Church of St. Sava in Chilandar.”
Бобров, Юрий, Боян Милькович.
“Карейская Богородица Млекопитательница. Краткая история и превоначальный вид”/Бобров, Јуриј, Бојан Миљковић. “Карејска Богородица Млекопитатељница. Кратка историја и првобитни изглед.”
Иванић, Бранка.
“Прилог тумачењу сликаног програма параклиса Светог Ђорђа на пиргу Светог Ђорђа у Хиландару”/Ivanić, Branka. “Additional Interpretation of the Iconographic Programme on the Parecclesion of St. George’s Tower at Chilandar.”
Fotić, Aleksandar.
“Xenophontos in the Ottoman Documents of Chilandar (16th-17th century)”/Фотић, Александар. “Ксенофонт у османским документима манастира Хиландар (16-17. век).”
Стошић, Љиљана.
“Једна непозната илустрована Библија из ризнице манастира Хиландара”/Stošić, Ljiljana. “An Unknown Illustrated Bible from the Chilandar Treasury.”
Peno, Vesna.
“Hilandar Church Chanting in 19th Century in the Frame of Mount Athos Music Tradition.”/Пено, Весна. “Светогорска музичка традиција и црквено појање у Хиландару у XIX веку.”

A photograph of volume 12 of the journal Hilandarski zbornik: the book has a red cloth cover with Serbian Cyrillic name of the journal in silver followed by the numeral 13 at the bottom of the front cover and a silver square seal of the two-headed eagle in the upper right corner of the book.

Table of contents for volume 13 (2011):

Томовић, Гордана.“Манастир Светог Ђорђа и село Уложишта на Дреници”/Tomović, Gordana. “The Saint George Monastery and the Village Uložišta on the Mount Drenica.”
Ковачевић, Мирко.“Конак обновљен 1598/1615. године – Бели конак (25)”/Kovačević, Mirko. “The Restoration of the Konak 1598/1615 – the White Konak (25).”
Петковић, Сретен. “Фреске XVII века у цркви Светог Геогрија у Хиландару”/Petković, Sreten. “17th Century Frescoes from the Church of St. George at Chilandar.”
Пено, Весна. “Мелод и писар Герман Неон Патрон у хиландарским музичким рукописима”/Peno, Vesna. “Melod and Scribe Germanos Neon Patron in Chilandar Music Manuscripts.”
Трипковић, Стевица М. “Обнова конака из 1814. године у манатиру Хиландару”/tripković, Stevica M. “The 1814 Restoration of the Monastic Quarters at Chilandar.”
Бубало, Ђорђе. “Хиландар и стонски доходак у XIX веку”/Bubalo, Djordje. “Chilandar and the Ston Tribute in the 19th Century.”


Digitized Manuscript: The Gospels of Tsar Ivan Alexander, British Library


A scanned color version of the Gospels of Tsar Ivan Alexander with Added Menelogion, 1355-1356, is available in the “Digitised Manuscripts” section of the British Library’s website.

This codex is one of two manuscripts (see previous blog entry on the Curzon Gospel and the Nuttall Codex) that the hegumen of St. Paul’s Monastery presented to Robert Curzon, Lord Zouche, when he was visiting Mount Athos.


Fire on Mount Athos, August 8-12, 2012


Athens News reported on a fire that broke out Wednesday, August 8th, on Mount Athos and spread to a forest near Hilandar Monastery: “Mount Athos Wildfire Still Raging.”

Greek soldiers and Serbian firefighters worked to put out the fire, as did a contingent of Bulgarian firefighters. Rain on Sunday, August 12th, helped extinguish the embers – “Showers Come to Mount Athos Rescue.” See also “Greek, Serbian firefighters battle flames near Mount Athos.”

On March 4, 2004, a fire broke out at Hilandar Monastery and burned more than half of the monastery. For more about that fire, see  Cyrillic Manuscript Heritage 15 (May 2004): 1, 9.  For articles about the restoration of Hilandar Monastery, see Cyrillic Manuscript Heritage 20 (December 2006): 11 and Cyrillic Manuscript Heritage 24 (December 2008): 1.