Medieval Scripts and Slavic Literacy in Macedonia
The beginnings of the medieval Slavic manuscripts creation in Macedonia are evident into the epochal work of the Salonica brothers SS. Cyril and Methodius. Since Cyril had written the first Slavic alphabet - Glagolitic, they translated the first liturgical books from Greek into Old Church Slavic before their departure for the Moravian mission.
The real efflorescence of the Slavic literacy and culture in Macedonia emerged at the end of the 9th century and the beginning of the 10th century when St. Clement and St. Naum, the disciples of the Salonica brothers, performed their activity in Ohrid. St. Clement founded the first Slavic University (Ohrid Literary School) and performed blooming enlightening and literacy activities including over 3.500 students.
Since then, an imposing cultural and historical heritage has been created in Macedonia significant not only for the Macedonian history, civilization and culture, but also for the Slavic and world ones.
The first preserved Slavic manuscripts were written in Glagolitic alphabet (9th-11th century) and after the 11th century Glagolitic and Cyrillic alphabet were parallelly used.
The Slavic manuscripts, created on the territory of Macedonia during the 12th century, were with religious and educational contents and written in Church Slavic. According to the lingual features they were characterized by the use of the lingual peculiarities of Macedonia (Macedonian redaction). The manuscripts were rich in their contents, forms and ornaments.
The manuscripts were created and preserved through centuries in the Macedonian churches and monasteries, but they also were copied, researched and distributed. A great number of them had been preserved and nowadays found in many European archives and libraries (St. Petersburg, Bologna, Sofia, Belgrade, Sveta Gora etc.). Some of them are kept in the Republic of Macedonia. After the Second World War the Macedonian State and the established institutions (The Archives of Macedonia, The National and University Library "St. Clement of Ohrid", The Institute for Old Church Slavic Culture) have taken intensive measures for research, preservation and presentation of Old Church Slavic manuscripts.
The Slavic manuscripts were systematically examined, prepared and published by a great number of eminent scientists (Vladimir Moshin, Blazhe Koneski, Lidiya Slaveva, Vangeliya Despodova, Radmila Ugrinova-Skalovska, Vera Stoychevska - Antich, Mihaylo Georgievski etc).
|A historical map of Samoil’s medieval empire during the greatest territorial expansion on the Balkan Peninsula in 996.|
|“Conversion of a Heretic Priest” - a miniature concerning the Bogomils .(The Hludov Collection, No. 10, The Historical Museum of State, Moscow)|
|“Prayer in the Olive Forest” - a fresco painted by the famous zografs (decorators) Michael and Eutychios, 13th century (“St. Bogoroditsa Perivleptos” church, “St. Clement” church in Ohrid nowadays)|
|Remains of the church on the island St. Achilles in the Lake Mala Prespa (approximately 986) - the first seat of the medieval church in Macedonia, where Samoil was proclaimed an emperor.|
|“St. Vasilius with a Manuscript”, a fragment of the fresco in “St. Sofia” church in Ohrid, the 11th century.|
|The hagiography of St. Naum of Ohrid, Old Church Slavic manuscript, in transcript of a Prologue from the 15th century|
|The historical chart of the Ohrid autocephalous Patriarchate (Archbishopric) jurisdiction in the reign of Czar Samoil and after his death (till 1020)|
|The miniature “After the Siege of Salonica, the army of Czar Samoil assassinated its mayor Gregorios Taronitos”, The Chronicle of Yovan Skilitza - Yovan Kedrin, 12th -13th century (The National Library - Madrid).|
|The proclamation of Petar Delyan a czar “by putting him on a shield”, a miniature of The Chronicle of Skilitsa and Kedrin, a transcript from the 12th - 13th century.(The National Library - Madrid)|
|The Samoil’s Citadel in Ohrid, built at the end of the 10th and the beginning of the 11th century, a fortification centre of the Samoil’s medieval state in Macedonia|
|The Zograf Gospel - the Old Church Slavic Manuscript written in a Macedonian language redaction, Glagolitic script on parchment from the end of the 10th or the beginning of the 11th century (The Public Library - St. Petersburg)|
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