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Stratum plus. 2013. №6

G. G. Atanasov (Silistra, Bulgaria)

Two Inscriptions with Graffiti-Drawings: Evidences for the Spread of the Cause of Cyril and Methodius in North-Eastern Bulgaria

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Pages: 43-56

Presented are two inscriptions accompanied by graffiti — drawings from the end of 9th and the beginning of the 10th century found in North-Eastern Bulgaria. It is believed that they are directly related to the spread of the cause of Cyril and Methodius in Bulgaria since the mid- 9th century.
The first monument was discovered during archaeological excavations in the Old Bulgarian monastery near the village Ravna, Provadiysko, east of capitals Pliska and Preslav. There is no doubt, there is written КΛΗΜΕΝΤΟΣ ΠΑΠΑ ΡΟΜ(Η)С (Clement Pope of Rome). Next to the sign, there is a dove against two dragons. Definitely the cult of Clement Pope of Rome, who lived in the first century, and died in exile in Chersonese, was introduced in Bulgaria by the Great Moravian students of St. Cyril and Methodius, who arrived in Pliska in 886. The cult was reborn after Cyril found the remains of Clement Pope of Rome on January 30, 861 at the mission in Chersonese, then took them to Rome and formally submit them to the Pope Adrian II in 867. It is remarkable that the only Eulogy to Clement of Rome, written by Clement of Ohrid himself, compares the Pope to a dove brought up by Apostle Peter himself.
The second monument is the inscription in Cyrillic and Glagolitic letters from the old Bulgarian fortress near the village of Tsar Asen, Silistra, that emerged around the end of 9th and the beginning of the 10th century. It reads: “On Gospozhina day has been placed the cross. Lord have mercy on me, Manasseh monk with serf through Byzantium“. It is assumed, that Manasseh is a new, unknown by name disciple of St. Cyril and Methodius, who specifically warns that comes from Byzantium, the old name of the Byzantine capital Constantinople. According to Naum’s biography, some of the Moravian students of St. Methodius are sold by the German clergy in slavery. Later, with the support of the Emperor, they were purchased and received in Byzantium, and later, with the personal assistance of Prince Boris, they were brought to Bulgaria.

Keywords: North-Eastern Bulgaria, 9th—10th cc., monastery near Ravna village, fortress near the village of Tsar Asen, pope Clement, knyaz Boris, Cyril and Methodius, Cyrillic alphabet, Glagolitic alphabet, friar Manasius

Information about author:

Georgi Atanasov
(Silistra, Bulgaria). Doctor of Historical Sciences. Regional Museum of History in Silistra. Rakovsky St., 24, Silistra, 7500, Bulgaria
E-mail: [email protected]

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