The golden age of Bulgarian writing from the time of Simeon the Great finds its worthy continuation in the rule of his son, King Peter. The centers of the Preslav Literary School flourish for both of them - the princely monastery near the village of Ravna, Provadia, the monastery near the village of Krepcha, Targovishko, whence the oldest dated Cyril inscription in the world, the rock monastery near the village of Murnatru and the village of Murfatla. Karaach teke near Varna. The writers from these monasteries make the Cyrillic alphabet become the official alphabet first in Bulgaria and then spread to the rest of the Orthodox Slavic-speaking world.

 

After the death of Tsar Peter, difficult moments followed for the Bulgarian statehood. Tsar Samuil it brings back the memory of the Bulgarian military prowess, but the time of the Bulgarian monks - writers and All-Slavic enlighteners - seems to be irrevocably gone. Followed the Byzantine rule (1018 - 1185), which is about to completely defile the Bulgarian Christian culture. After the liberation of Bulgaria, when the Assenians were in power, our literature remained too far from the magnificent examples of the golden age. It seems very difficult for Bulgarian writers to overcome the shock of Greek supremacy, aiming at establishing a leading position in the Greek language in Bulgaria.

 

The entire XIII century is characterized only by anonymous Bulgarian works. Bulgarian literature is marginalized. The personalities of Bulgarian writers and writers remain unknown to us. Literature already has only a supporting role for national development. As a bright, distant memory remain the names and artistic mastery of Chernorizets Hrabar, Konstantin Preslavsky, Presbyter Kozma, Ioan Exarch, Kliment Ohridski and Peter Chernorizets, who spread the glory of Bulgaria all over the Christian world.

 

In these difficult moments of assistance to the Bulgarian enlightenment comes the Holy Mountain - the lamp of Orthodoxy. The monasteries of this place began to exist in the second half of the X century. The Mount Athos peninsula is called Holy Mountain because of its rocky relief - "forest" means a mountain in Old Bulgarian, ie. Holy Forest is understood in the Middle Ages as the "Holy Mountain". The French traveler Paul Luca, a doctor by profession, describes his impressions of the Holy Mountain in 1706. "Not all of these monasteries were built by Greeks. Four of them recognize the Bulgarians as their founders and are inhabited only by Bulgarian monks. "

 

The most important Bulgarian monastery of the Holy Mountain is Zograf. It has been Bulgarian since its creation in the X century to the present day. The monastery is of great importance for the development of Bulgarian culture from the 1275th century, especially after the creation of the literary work "The Story of the Martyrs of Zograf". This Bulgarian literary work conveys the historical event of XNUMX, when the Latin crusaders devastated the Zograf Monastery.

The Byzantine Emperor Michael VIII Paleologist has the idea to unite Orthodoxy with Catholicism. The Holy Mountain monks disagree, so they are attacked by the Crusaders and the Zograf Monastery is set on fire. Twenty-five people were killed in the fire, including twenty-three spiritual figures and two laymen. The Latin attack is described as the work of Satan, who "hates the good." Latinos are the personification of evil, and monks are fighters for true faith.

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The author exclaims in pain: “Oh, you victims, spiritual victims, word-burned victims, passionate worshipers, Lord's crowns! The earth will not hide you, your memory lives between us who are on the earth ... ". With regard to the Martyrs of Zograf, the author writes that they are "ours", ie. Bulgarian, and according to their prayers, our pious and Orthodox kings should be preserved.

 

Since then, the Zograf Monastery, in particular, and the Svetogorsk Monasteries in general, have been sealed in the minds of the medieval Bulgarian as a symbol of heroism and dignity. This gives birth to interesting folklore works. The people create the legend of the "yellow besirgan" who wants to devastate the Holy Forest and burn the books there:

 

"Even though it captures pure Holy Mountain,
that it burned white monasteries,
that burned Ilindar Monastery,
That he killed the old abbot,
that the books of the gospel were burned;
all a nation without law, that it should happen! "

The Yellow Beziryan orders the books from the monasteries not to be exported: "Don't let any books be exported!" He sends a letter to the old Abbot Slave from the Holy Mountain:

 

"Very good health, old Egumen of Glory,
give me pure Holy Mountain,
if you cough, with money to buy it,
if you won't, star that we land it. "

 

The National Defender Krali Marko responds to the help of the Holy Mountain. Before going to battle, saying goodbye to his mother, he says that if he can protect the holy land, he will leave a lasting memory, and if he perish, he will perish for the people's faith. Krali Marko manages to overcome the Yellow Beirgin with a trick and save the Holy Forest.

 

A few words are also needed for specific Bulgarian writers who have spent their lives on Holy Mountain. In the first half of the fourteenth century the greatest authority among the Bulgarians was the old man John. He lives and works in the Great Lavra (the monastery of St. Athanasius). John translates "from Greek into our Bulgarian" dozens of liturgical books. He has his successors and admirers. "All the monks and laymen who were imitators of this (John) with hard work spiritually adorned themselves as light-hearted church children. Because of this, the eternal memory of Elder John, the second creator. "The Bulgarian John was compared to John Damaskin, therefore he was called the" second creator. John's associate and his follower is the old man Joseph, who also translates "from Greek into Bulgarian, Bulgarian." Among the translators of the time, it is also worth mentioning Zacchaeus the Philosopher, who was called "tanner" and translates "from Greek into Bulgarian." ".

Perhaps the most famous name of a monk belonging to the Bulgarian lineage from the beginning of the fourteenth century is that of John Kukuzel. He was born in Drach around 1280 by a Bulgarian mother. One of the first works of this future famous church singer is called "Poliele of the Bulgarian." Another noted Bulgarian of the Holy Mountain is John Sersky. Remarkable is his description of the battle of Chernomen (Chirmen) since 1371. It happens in "the worst of all evil times." John Sersky writes: "Never has an ear listened and the eye has not seen the wickedness that has poured out ..." The Ottoman invasion is described in the blackest colors: "By killing the hero Uglesh, the Turks scattered and flew across the earth like birds. by air. Some of the Christians were slaughtered, taken captive, and those who remained, and their deaths, unhappily slaughtered them because they were starving to death. "

The Holy Forest is very important for our literature and culture, because here the creative Bulgarian spirit has been strengthened here for centuries. The monasteries of Mount Athos appear as a guiding light for Bulgarian individuality and national consciousness.

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