The revivalist Partenii Pavlovich is a person who was re-discovered relatively soon in the Bulgarian historical memory. For a long time, forgetfulness and ignorance lingered on Parthenius. Namely, he is the direct precursor of the great revivalists Paisius of Hilendar и Sophroni Vrachanski - they are his first receivers. Partenii is the first New Bulgarian (Bulgarian-Slavic) writer, he introduces the autobiographical genre in both the Bulgarian and Serbian written traditions. He is also the first Bulgarian poet to create his poems on the models familiar to him from foreign literature. The peculiarity of this Bulgarian national born and raised in Silistra is that it does not last long in the Bulgarian lands. His spiritual quest led him to Serbia, where he eventually rose to the position of Serbian bishop.
Parthenius' Bulgarian origin, however, is beyond doubt. His name and his deeds arouse pride in Bulgarians, and today the library in his hometown of Silistra bears his name - Regional Library "Parthenius Pavlovich". Why should he be determined as the predecessor of the first educators of the Bulgarian people - Paisii Hilendarski and Sofroniy Vrachanski? Public education during the Revival in our country began along the lines of the Orthodox religion, the Bulgarian language and history. That is why the beginning of the Revival is indicated in 1762, when "Slavo-Bulgarian History" was written by the Orthodox monk and patriot Paisii Hilendarski.
Before Paisius lived other writers of Bulgarian origin - activists of Catholic propaganda in the Bulgarian lands. We are talking about Petar Bogdan, Filip Stanislavov, Petar Parchevich and others. However, they are representatives of an isolated phenomenon, political in nature, which is not rooted in folk tradition. And the Bulgarian Enlightenment continues the tradition and relies on historical memory, unlike the Enlightenment in the West, which breaks with tradition and differs from the past. In our country the people learn the written form in their language on the basis of the literary "Cyrillic" (in Cyrillic) monuments. And the activists of the Catholic propaganda insist on their faith, on the Latin language and the Latin alphabet, which makes their work foreign and incomprehensible to the mass part of the people.
The most characteristic of the first Bulgarian enlighteners is that they are especially fervent to emphasize the differences between "their" and "the foreign". This is their intentional purpose, and it comes to show: "Here we are, we are ourselves, and we do not look like you at all, others!" In this sense, the numerous attacks of the predecessor of our first revivalists, Partenii Pavlovich, should be understood. against the Hagar (Ottomans) and Catholics. These harsh words are not so much dictated by malice and hatred of the perverts, but by the conscious duty to protect the native from harm.
Now let us say in essence who Parthenius Pavlovich is and what he has done in particular for his people. Parthenius Pavlovich was born in Silistra somewhere between 1695 and 1701, and died on April 29, 1760 in Sremski Karlovci. In the mature years of his life, Parthenius Pavlovich accepted monasticism. He served in the Serbian Orthodox Church, where he rose significantly in the hierarchy. Important for us, the Bulgarians, is his literary heritage. Parthenius is a reliable historical source of his time - he lived in the darkest years of Ottoman rule. Parthenius casually describes Ottoman arbitrariness against Christians. His most important creative contribution to history is his "Autobiography", from which we receive information not only about his life, but especially about the unhappy fate of the Bulgarians under Ottoman rule.
However, this original work was not explicitly published during his lifetime, and science rediscovered it. This happened in 1905, when D. Ruvarac published the "Autobiography" in a Serbian magazine. Otherwise, the earliest mention of Parthenius Pavlovich in historical science is in 1868 and again concerns his literary work. Over the years, other written testimonies from Parthenius have been sought, but The Autobiography remains his most important work. It covers the period from the initial training of Parthenius, received in his native Silistra, and reached 1757, three years before his death. He first studied at the Greek cell school under Hadji Tetradius: "my first teaching to the octoiha and the apostle, and the psalter." In grammar he advanced to the famous Constantinople teacher Palaeologus. In 1714, after completing his primary education, he left for Bucharest. There he studied in the best Romanian school - the Academy "St. Sava", also called "Bay" Academy. It is taught in Greek and the auxiliary language is Romanian. It is assumed that Parthenius also attended the Slavic school at the monastery of St. George the Old. The education here shapes the young person as a person. He was especially influenced by ancient Greek philosophy (especially Aristotle) and anti-Catholic literature. It is as if he is predictably preparing for his future intellectual confrontation with the Catholic world.
After completing his education in Bucharest, he plans to study in Padua, Italy. Then his strange wanderings and sufferings begin. Having just entered Transylvania, he said that the Catholics had captured him and "put" him in "iron shackles" since they found him suspicious. They took him to his general, who soon had pity on the innocent and released him. Parthenius continued his journey, but in Croatia suffered "several iron strikes" on his shoulders. The reason was again the local Catholics who suspected him of being hostile to them because of their Orthodox religion. Although he is still too young and still a secular figure (he has not adopted a church dignity), Parthenius is too challenging. He arrived in Italy, where he traveled to several cities. In Italy, he entered a local Catholic cathedral, where he said aloud: "The pope is not a true shepherd, but a liar because he committed schism in the Church of Christ." He barely escaped lynching after those words. He toured Florence, Rome, Naples and Barry, but because of his penchant for arguing he never stayed long. Parthenius is very indignant at what he learned about Roman Catholics: once a "woman skilled in teaching" was "a Pope elected and appointed" (probably referring to the legendary papacy of John in "Autobiography"). And over the years, the Western church has become a "den of robbery."
In 1719, Partenius visited the island of Corfu and then Ioannina - Albania. He studied mathematics, logic, and philosophy at Siatista and Kostur under the Hieromonks Methodius Antrakitis. He became involved in secular philosophy (Rene Descartes' rationalism), which is why he was personally called upon by the Patriarch of Constantinople (1721), who forced him to renounce his "philosophical delusions".
In the following years, Parthenius traveled to places of worship in the Balkans. He visits Ohrid, where he sees "our red churches" turned into mosques. He reports that the "Agarians" (Turks) in the city do not allow "our Christians" to ring their bells for worship. The violent Parthenius did not reconcile himself to this, but ordered a local master to make a rivet for an Orthodox church and personally began beating him to invite Christians to worship. He reportedly suffered "only a few blows to the head and shoulders by the Agarians." He was saved from death by the "then grazing there" of the Turks.
During his pilgrimage travels, Parthenius sees the weight of Christians under Ottoman rule. In Nis, the "sinister agarites" have turned the finest churches into mosques. Parthenius learns of Bulgarians "killed because of their faith": Pachomius, a disciple of Joseph Bradati, "killed by the Hagarians"; on one Hilendar monk from Rhodes he was cut off his head because he did not want to rush, etc. We also know about some Christians who, for fear and cowardice, embrace Islam. Parthenius remembers a memorable picture from his childhood in his native Silistra, when angry Hagaris betrayed "us enslaved Christians" into captivity or death, inventing various slanders.
In the Autobiography, the picture of the arbitrariness of the "Hagarians" (Muslims) over Christians is true. Christian temples are converted to mosques, Christians are beaten and tortured, and they happen to embrace Islam to save themselves from grief or death. Catholics are also presented in a bad light because their political aspirations to the lands of Orthodox Christians are read. Parthenius strongly hopes that one day, with the help of Russia, Orthodox Christians will reject Ottoman rule. Similar hope feeds and his successor Sofronii Vrachanski. In the end, these expectations are justified historically.