GOSPEL OF MIROSLAV | Plemenito

GOSPEL OF MIROSLAV | Plemenito

GOSPEL OF MIROSLAV


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MIROSLAVLjEVO JEVANĐELjE
MIROSLAVLjEVO JEVANĐELjE
MIROSLAVLjEVO JEVANĐELjE
MIROSLAVLjEVO JEVANĐELjE
MIROSLAVLjEVO JEVANĐELjE
MIROSLAVLjEVO JEVANĐELjE
MIROSLAVLjEVO JEVANĐELjE
MIROSLAVLjEVO JEVANĐELjE
MIROSLAVLjEVO JEVANĐELjE
MIROSLAVLjEVO JEVANĐELjE
MIROSLAVLjEVO JEVANĐELjE
MIROSLAVLjEVO JEVANĐELjE
MIROSLAVLjEVO JEVANĐELjE
MIROSLAVLjEVO JEVANĐELjE

Gospel of Miroslav (Miroslav’s Gospel) was made at the end of XII century, by order of Zachlumian knyaz Miroslav, brother of Stefan Nemanja. Though a supreme ruler of Serbia, Nemanja bestowed certain areas of the Serbian state upon his brothers so they could rule in his name, thus Miroslav received Zachlumia, contemporary Herzegovina. Inscription by knyaz Miroslav, found on a church in Blagaj, near modern day Mostar speaks about supreme authority of Stefan Nemanja over Zachlumia. Part of the inscription states that the church was built during the time of zupan Nemanja: “…in days of the great zupan glorious Nemanja.”[1]

Gospel was written on 360 pages with format of 41,8 x 28,4. It is kept in National Museum in Belgrade and is decorated with 328 gilded illuminations. Painted illuminations show symbiosis of both Eastern and Western church influences. [2] In 2005 UNESCO included Gospel of Miroslav into “Memory of the World” program as cultural heritage of first grade importance for entire human civilization. Gospel of Miroslav was worth great deal of fortune in time when it was created indicating significant wealth which knyaz Miroslav possessed, but his piety as well.

Text is written in Cyrillic letters, used in the Serbian state, and in Old Serbian language. According to research done so far, two scribes wrote Gospel of Miroslav, one of which, Gligorije, is mentioned in the gospel itself. He wrote about himself: “I, sinful scribe Gligorije, unworthy of the scribe title, covered this gospel in gold, for the great and famous knyaz Miroslav, son of Zavida.” [3]

Some scientist mistakenly believed that the other, and chief, writer of this gospel was dijak Varsameleon. However, word “varsameleon” found alone at the end of the text, comes from Greek language and means “balsam oil”. This word does not correspond with writing style of the unknown second scribe of the gospel, so there is possibility the word was written by limner who used expensive oils for preparation of colors on artistic miniatures in the gospel. [4]

There is no doubt this gospel was created within Orthodox Church which became primary religious institution in Serbian state during reign of Stefan Nemanja. Knyaz Miroslav was also an Orthodox Christian and supported the Orthodox Church in Zachlumia (Serbia of that time, in terms of clerical jurisdiction, was under Ohrid archiepiscopacy). He limited the work of Catholic Church in significant measure which had most influence in the coastal regions of medieval Serbia. [5]

This is the time when Vatican is more focused on Banate of Bosnia which is referred to, in papal charters, as “regnum Seruilie quod est Bosna” meaning “region of Serbia, which is Bosnia”. In Bosnia Vatican saw remnants of its traditions and rights which it believed belonged to Papacy from the period of unified medieval Serbia which Bosnia was part of.  

Decorated initials in Gospel of Miroslav are separated in four groups: initials decorated with geometrical and floral patterns (159), initial decorated with fauna (88), initials decorated with masks (4) and initials decorated with human figures (45). [6]

Gospel of Miroslav and other written monuments close to it, but lost today, of zachlumian origin, that is from Serbia of the initial Nemanjić rulers, will influence ecclesiastical books created later on territories of Banate of Bosnia. This influence can especially be seen in illuminations. [7]

So, for example, the oldest ecclesiastical manuscript from territory of Banate of Bosnia, Vatican gospel belonging to Bosnian ban Matija Ninoslav, and somewhat younger Grigorović-Giljferdingov gospel, was written in the same language redaction and in the same codicological and liturgical form as Gospel of Miroslav.[8]

 

Author: Boris Radaković

Literature:

[1] Mak Dizdar, Old Bosnian Texts, Sarajevo 1969, 47.

[2] Tamara Ognjević, The Attribution of scribe records and illumination in Miroslav's Gospel, Novopazarski zbornik, No. 28, Novi Pazar 2004, 43-72.

[3] Mak Dizdar, Old Bosnian texts, 44.

[4] Petar Đorđić, History of Serbian Cyrillic, Belgrade 1990,66.

[5] Vladimir Ćorović, Serbian Monasteries in Herzegovina, Belgrade 1999, 45.

[6] Mara Harisijadis, Illumination of the Manuscript of Bosnian Origin in the Middle Ages, GLAS CCCLIV Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts, Department of Historical Sciences, Book 6, Belgrade 1988, 93.

[7] Same, 92.

[8] Dragoljub Dragojlović, The History of Serbian Literature in the Medieval Bosnian State, Novi Sad 1997, 37.

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