Saturday, October 28, 2006


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Born in the town of Bansko (Pirin Macedonia), Paisij becomes a monk in Mount Athos in 1745. The Greek and Serbian clergymen there used to deride the Bulgarians by saying the latter did not have history. This was one of the reasons Paisij began to investigate the old manuscripts in Mount Athos and various other places he visited while being a collector of donations. In 1762, he finished his Slavobulgar History. This book marked the inception of the Bulgarian National Revival and it contained a program of objectives which the young Bulgarian nation was to attain - a modern culture and education, ecclesiastical autonomy and an independent state.

This is what the great son of Macedonia writes:

" Some, however, do not like their Bulgarian race and convert to a foreign culture and a foreign language. They do not care about their own Bulgarian tongue, but learn to speak and read Greek, being ashamed to call themselves Bulgars... Out of the entire Slavonic race, the Bulgars used to be the most famous. It was they who first elevated kings, who first had a Patriarch, who first were baptized, who subdued the largest territories. And so, among the Slavonic race, they were the most powerful and respected; the first Slavonic saints shined out of the Bulgarian race and language!"

"You, Bulgar, do not be enticed! Know thy race and learn in thy tongue!"

Title page of the book by Kiril Peychinovich(spelled also as Pejchinovich, Pejcinovic)

"Kniga sija zovomaja Ogledalo opisasja radi potrebi i polzovanija preprosteishim i ne knizhnim jazykom Bolgarskim dolnija Myssii ... v Budine grade <...> 1816" (simplified spelling)

Translation: "This book, called "Mirror", was written for the needs and use of the very simplest and unlettered Bulgarian people of Lower Moesia <...> Budapest <...> 1816"

The word "jazyk", until the mid-19th century, in all written documents of the Bulgarian linguistic community, meant either "language" or "people", according to the context. During the same period, the word "narod" meant "multitude, crowd", e.g.: "Divisha se narodi glagoleshte" (Matthew 9:33), or "Vzpisha zhe s vsem narodom," (Luke 23:18).

The word "narod" (meaning exclusively "people") was introduced after the 1830's, in both Bulgarian and Serbian, as a borrowing from the contemporary Russian of the time, by Russian missionaries and by South Slavs who had been educated in Russia.

Semantically, the occurence of "jazyk" in title page cannot be translated as "language", because a book is not published "for the use of a language", but "for the use of" (that is, to be used by) "and for the benefit of the people" - in this case, "the Bulgarian people of lower Moesia".
The correctness of the above ensured by Dr. Ilya Talev. and Mr. Plamen Bliznakov.


Joakim Karchovski was born in the village of Oslomej (the region of Kichevo) around 1750 and died in 1820. This spreader of enlightenment is the author of four books written in "the plainest Bulgarian language". He devoted all his life to the cause of education and stayed in history as a person who worked for the establishment of a literary language comprehensible for the common populace.

His books were typed between 1814 and 1817.

1814 "A narration about the formidable and second advent of Christ, composed from various Holy Scriptures and translated into plainest Bulgarian language which is used for the sake of the most common and illiterate people".

1817 "Trials". On the frontpage, the great man of enlightenment mentions the Macedonian cities which helped the issuing of the book: "Kratovo, Kriva Palanka, Sechishta and other Bulgarian cities".

1817 "The Wonders of the Holy Virgin translated from Amartolon Soteria into Bulgarian"

His books were typed between 1814 and 1817.


Marko Teodorovich Vezov is a great-grandfather of the poet Nikola Vapcarov. In the year of 1792, he edits a primer in Vienna, and emphatically states on the front page that the book is written by:

"... Mr.Marko Thedorovich, a Bulgarian from the Razlog (a region in Pirin Macedonia)"


The name Bulgarian Folksongsis eloquent enough to demonstarte what the national consciousness of Constantine and Dimitar Miladinov was. Today, the name of the great Bulgarian National Revival figures from the town of Struga is oftentimes quoted in Skopje as a name of pioneers of the "Macedonian national awakening". It is interesting though why their epoch-making work Bulgarian Folksongs has been constantly edited there under titles of all kinds, has never been edited in its original version, and the authentic copy of the book found in the museum of the Miladinovs in Sturga is opened so nobody can see its frontpage.
As far as the contents of the book is concerned, this is what Constantine Miladinov himself writes:

"We have begun to gather the songs from various places in Western Bulgaria, i.e. from Macedonia - the regions of Ohrid, Struga, Prilep, Veles, Kostur, Kukush, Strumica, and other places, from Eastern Bulgaria too."

A considerable number of songs from Bulgarian parts outside Macedonia, such as the regions of Sofia and Panagjurishte.


This is the original of Kuzman Shapkarev's cornerstone work Collection of Bulgarian Folklore (Sofia, 1891). The name of the eminent figure of the Bulgarian National Revival, who was born in 1834 in the town of Ohrid, can be encountered in numerous books edited during the last 50 years in Skopje where he is considered one of the modern Macedonian "national culture and language". The book's very name together with the entire life of this Bulgarian man of Enlightenment and ardent patriot certifies, in a superb way.

1817 "Trials". On the frontpage, the great man of enlightenment mentions the Macedonian cities which helped the issuing of the book: "Kratovo, Kriva Palanka, Sechishta and other Bulgarian cities".

1817 "The Wonders of the Holy Virgin translated from Amartolon Soteria into Bulgarian".

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