One of the most beautiful medieval Serbian manuscripts, Nikolje gospel, used to belong to monastery near Ovčar Banje, while today it is kept in Dublin, Ireland. It was written at the end of XIV century in uncial type of Cyrillic alphabet. Manuscript, partially damaged, numbers 147 pages.
Beginnings of all four gospels are preserved with list of extensive chapters whose number is identical with number of chapters in other south Slavic gospels, with exception of gospel by Matthew where the fourth chapter is missing.
On the first page, kneeling angel as symbol of Apostle Matthew holds a scroll inscribed with words “book of Christmas” "knjiga roždestva" and on the page 136v, above eagle symbolizing Apostle John, stands inscription “obraz s(ve)toga nov(a)na".
Manuscript was transcribed from Cyrillic source which was close to original Glagolitic writing, and not, how it is presumed, directly from Glagolitic original.
It’s dedicated to four apostles – Matthew, Mark, Luke and John so every chapter starts with decorated initial and luxurious vignette, illustration of the protective symbol of each of the apostles – angel (Matthew), winged lion (Mark), winged ox (Luke) and eagle (John). Language of the Nikolje gospel is Serbian-Slavic with elements of folk speech.
Literature: D. Dragojlović, History of Serbian Literature in the Medieval Bosnian State, Novi Sad, 1997.
Prepared by: Boris Radaković