Medieval Slavic Manuscripts and Culture

Tag: Hilandar Monastery

49th Annual Convention of the Association for Slavic, East European, & Eurasian Studies (ASEEES)

November 9-12, 2017, the 49th Annual ASEEES Convention was held in the Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile Hotel on Michigan Avenue. The convention theme “Transgressions” was inspired by the 100th anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution.

As usual, one had to weigh the merits of the panels and roundtables in each session, considering both the known and unknown participants, the provocative titles that may or may not live up to their titles, and the wide array of fascinating topics before making one’s selection of which panels and/or individual papers to attend.

Two medieval Slavic-themed panels were scheduled during the opening session on Thursday afternoon (1pm-2:45pm) as was the first Slavic librarian panel:

Session 1-36: Transgressions in Translation Panel 1: Transgressive Translations in the Slavic Middle Ages – “Navy Pier” Room, 10th floor
Chair: David J. Birnbaum, U of Pittsburgh
Papers: Robert Romanchuk, Florida State U, “The Slavic Digenis Akritis: Translation out of Greek vs. Translation into Slavic”;
Moshe Taube, Hebrew U of Jerusalem (Israel), “Subversive Translations from Hebrew in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and in Muscovy”;
Discussant: Julia Verkholantsev, U of Pennsylvania.

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† Bishop Hrizostom (1939-2012), former Hilandar Monastery Librarian


We are saddened to learn of the death of Hrizostom, Bishop of Žiča, Serbia, on Monday, December 17, 2012.

At the time of the Hilandar Research Project photographic expeditions to Mount Athos in the early 1970s, Bishop Hrizostom was the librarian of Hilandar Monastery.

Photograph of Bishop Hrizostom with Mateja and Predrag Matejic

Reunited at the 5th International Hilandar Conference in 2002: Very Rev. Dr. Mateja Matejic, Bishop Hrizostom, Dr. Predrag Matejic (Photograph by Slobodan Mileusnić)

Bishop Hrizostom (Stolić) was born in Ruma, Yugoslavia, in 1939. From Visoki Dečani Monastery (Kosovo), where he had become a monk, he went to Jordanville, New York, where he graduated from St. Sergius Holy Trinity Orthodox Seminary. Afterwards he spent 19 years in Hilandar Monastery. He became Bishop for Western America in 1988, serving in that capacity until 1992, when he was elected Bishop of Banat. In 2003, he became Bishop of Žiča. He is the author of several interesting books on Orthodoxy, Svetačnik ili Pravoslavni mesecoslov, Služba Sv. Savi Trećem, and the editor of Liturgija Sv. Apostola Jakova, Liturgija Apostola Marka and Liturgija Apostolskih ustanova (Joković 2007: 47, n31).

Source: Joković, Miroljub. An Archival History of the Hilandar Research Project at The Ohio State University. Translation from the Serbian by Nataša Kaurin-Karača. Belgrade: Рашка школа, 2007.

Bishop Hrizostom’s death was reported in the online issue of Глас Јавности.

Screenshot of online obituary of Bishop Hrizostom from Глас јавности, Dec. 18, 2012.

Screenshot of online obituary of Bishop Hrizostom from Глас јавности, Dec. 18, 2012.







May his memory be eternal!






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.”


Predrag Matejic Receives Award from Sofia University


On September 19, 2012, Predrag Matejic was presented with the blue ribbon, the highest award that the University of Sofia “Kliment Ohridski” can bestow on one of its graduates, for his outstanding contribution to the study of Bulgarian culture.

The event was announced on the Sofia University website. The announcement is summarized below in English.

On 24 September 2012 at 11am in the Conference Hall of the Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski” Department of Cyrillo-Methodian Studies, Predrag Matejic, Curator of the Hilandar Research Library and Director of the Resource Center for Medieval Slavic Studies at The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, USA, will lead a roundtable discussion. Professor Matejic will discuss the history of these two institutions and their future plans and projects, as well as the history of the longstanding relationship between Bulgarian scholars and this library and center. In the Hilandar Research Library are preserved a large number of microfilms of exceptionally valuable Slavic manuscripts, the originals of which are still kept in Hilandar Monastery [on Mount Athos] and in many other repositories around the world. The microfilms are used by many Bulgarian and foreign scholars and, as a result of such research, significant discoveries have been made in the field of Bulgarian and in Slavic and Balkan culture. The center aids scholars in their search for sources and literature.

Professor Matejic has a master’s degree from Yale University and a doctorate from Ohio State in the field of Slavic literatures and languages. His contribution to the study of the history of Bulgarian literature is invaluable. In 1978 he received his doctorate of philological sciences from Sofia University. In his dissertation he analyzed the literary works of a hitherto fore unknown medieval Bulgarian writer from the 14th century, which he discovered in a manuscript. The dissertation was published as a book in Bulgaria under the title “the Bulgarian hymnographer Efrem from the 14th cent.”


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.


Research Query: Descriptions of Hilandar Monastery Greek Manuscripts


Several recent research queries have referenced the Greek manuscripts of Hilandar Monastery. Below is a selected bibliography of descriptions of these manuscripts. If you know of additional publications about the Greek codices, please let us know.

Color image of leaf 85 verso in Hilandar Greek manuscript 105. It's a close up of an illuminated letter E, where the middle bar of the capital letter is a hand drawn in the position used to make the sign of the cross. the Greek lower case letters appear to be in gold ink.

Tetraevangelion, Illuminated letter “E” from the end of the 13th cent.


Lampros, Spyr. P. Catalogue of the Greek Manuscripts on Mount Athos. Cambridge: University Press, 1895-1900. Reprinted Amsterdam: A. M. Hakkert, 1966.

Hilandar Greek manuscripts are described in vol. 1: 28-30.

Јаковљевић, Андрија. “Инвентар музичких рукописа манастира Хиландара.” Хиландарски зборник 4 (1978): 193-234ff, plates 1-24.

Jakovljević includes descriptions of Greek music manuscripts in Hilandar.

Color image of an illuminated letter Tau from a Greek manuscript in Hilandar Monastery.

Litsas, Euthymios. “The Greek Manuscripts at Chilandar.” Кирило-Методиевски студии 3 (1986) 191-193.


Litsas, Efthymios. “The Mount Athos Manuscripts and their Cataloguing.Polata Knigopisnaia: an Information Bulletin Devoted to the Study of Early Slavic Books, Texts and Literatures 17-18 (December 1987): 106-118.

In this general article on the Greek manuscripts on Mount Athos, Litsas gives a brief survey of the libraries on Mount Athos and their holdings. He also discusses the catalogues of the manuscripts to date.

color image of an illuminated letter from a Greek Hilandar Monastery manuscript

Ε. Κ. Λίτσας & Δ. Κ. Κύρου, “Συνοπτικός συμπληρωματικός κατάλογος των ελληνικών χειρογράφων της μονής Χιλανδαρίου,” Τεκμήριον 7 (2007): 9-87, 8 (2008): 229-256 with pls. 1-14.

Thanks to Georgi Parpulov (Oxford) for bringing this publication to our attention.

Image source: Photos of illuminated letters from the collection of  Hilandar Monastery Greek Manuscripts by Mateja and Predrag Matejic, 1975.




Recent Acquisition: Mara Branković


A recent acquisition to the Special Collections Stacks of the Hilandar Research Library is Mihailo St. Popović’s Mara Branković: Eine Frau zwischen dem christlichen und dem islamischen Kulturkreis im 15. Jahrh. Peleus: Studien zur Archäologie und Geschichte Griechenlands und Zyperns 45. Mainz und Ruhpolding: Verlag Franz Philipp Rutzen, 2010.

Image of the front cover of the book on Mara Brankovic. The book is black with the lettering in white: author's name, title, series title, publisher. Between the title and series title is an image from a manuscript illumination that purports to be Mara Brankovic. The image is in black and white.

Mara Branković is mentioned in four of the Hilandar Monastery edicts, HM.SDS.76, dated October 5, 1405; HM.SDS.79 and 80, dated 1408; and HM.SDS.84 (April 15, 1479).



Happy Birthday, Predrag!


Photograph of Dr. Matejic, a priest seated at table with his back to the camera; a young Predrag Matejic is standing opposite his father and preparing to turn the page of a manuscript that is position on a table with a camera overhead (being photographed).

Photographing manuscripts at Hilandar Monastery

Today is the 60th birthday of Predrag Matejic, Curator of the Hilandar Research Library and the Director of the Resource Center for Medieval Slavic Studies at The Ohio State University.

It was on this date in 1971, to the best of his recollection, that Predrag and his father, the Very Rev. Dr. Mateja Matejic, left Greece with over 3,400 rolls of film used to photograph and microfilm the manuscripts of Hilandar Monastery. They flew together to Germany; Father Matejic continued on to Columbus, Ohio, with the films, while Predrag flew on alone to Yugoslavia, thus spending his 19th birthday in three different countries. He had birthday cake in both Munich and Beograd.

photograph and Predrag Matejic and Father Matejic standing and talking to each other in front of a building of the monastery Djudjevic Stupovi in Serbia, 2002. The grass is green, Father is wearing his black priest's shirt and coat; Predrag is in dark slacks, a gray jacket and white shirt.

Excursion to Đurđevi stupovi during the 5th International Hilandar Conference, Raška, Serbia


Happy Birthday, Predrag!


Image Source: The photo above was taken by a monk of Hilandar, 1971; the photo at right was taken by Pasha in 2002.


Colophon: Monk Iov, fl. 1360-1390


In 1990 Lucija Cernić published her article on the “circle” of a scribe Iov (Їωвь) who worked on manuscripts over a thirty-year period in the 14th century: “Круг писара Јова,” Arheografski prilozi 12 (1990): 129-180. Famous for her ability to recognize scribal hands, Cernić listed twenty different manuscripts that had been written solely or partially by Iov – eight of which were attributed to Iov as a result of her research. Ten of the manuscripts remain in the collection of Hilandar Monastery on Mount Athos; others are found in the collections of St. Catherine’s Monastery on Mt. Sinai, the Vatican, Dečani Monastery, Krk Monastery, and in Sofia, Novosibirsk, and Vienna.

The images below are of the scribal colophon in HM.SMS.392, a miscellany of homilies (“Zlatoust”) for the Lenten cycle, circa 1385, which forms a set with HM.SMS.388 and HM.SMS.389, two volumes of a “Zlatoust” miscellany for the Festal cycle of services, which are also attributed to Iov and circa 1385.

Image of leaf 521 verso of Hilandar Monastery Slavic manuscript no. 392

HM.SMS.392, f. 521v
Circa 1385

Image of leaf 521 recto of Hilandar Monastery Slavic Manuscript no. 392, the colophon of the scribe Iov

HM.SMS.392, f. 521r
Circa 1385













Iov mentions that when he began writing this book, Grigorii was hegumen, but when he ended the book, the head of the monastery was Hieromonk Iosif (last two lines on f. 521r). Iov’s name appears on the first line of f. 521v: Писавшааго сию книгоу, таха їωва монаха….


Image source: HM.SMS.392, f. 521r-v – from microfilm in the HRL.


History of the Hilandar Research Library


The Hilandar Research Library (HRL), a Special Collection of the Ohio State University Libraries, together with the Resource Center for Medieval Slavic Studies, a center of the OSU College of Arts and Sciences, is one of two administrative units that grew out of the Hilandar Research Project, 1969-1984, which had as its goal the microfilming of the Slavic Manuscript Collection of Hilandar Monastery on Mt. Athos, Greece, and other Hilandar Monastery collections of manuscripts and manuscript-related material. These goals were reached by 1975. Subsequently, it was decided to expand the goals to include other Cyrillic manuscript material on Mt. Athos and throughout the world. It is estimated that the HRL houses on microfilm 80% of the extant Slavic manuscript material found in the monasteries of Mt. Athos.

Color photograph of Mount Athos, the Holy Mount, on the Chalchidic peninsula in northeastern Greece

Mount Athos

Until this material was microfilmed, it was virtually inaccessible to male scholars, and, by tradition, still remains inaccessible to female scholars: since the 10th century, by law, women have been denied access to Mt. Athos. The goals of the HRL include commitments to gather, in various formats (microform, print – facsimile representations, digital) from all regions, as many Slavic manuscripts and related material as is possible and to make these materials accessible to all scholars, while also ensuring access to the intellectual content of the material. It does this for the purposes of preservation, access, teaching and research. The presence of a large quantity of manuscripts in one location from so many original collections has often served to facilitate scholars’ research, or even the nature of this research (for example, encouraging comparative and interdisciplinary approaches).


Source: Cyrillic Manuscript Heritage 1 (April 1997): 1-2.

Image Source: Photo by Walt Craig, 1970.