Vladislav the Grammarian

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Style of a liturgical book in Cyrillic, during 12th century

Vladislav the Grammarian (Bulgarian and Serbian: Владислав Граматик; fl. 1456-1479) was an Orthodox Christian monk, writer, historian and theologian active in medieval Serbia and Bulgaria, regarded part of both the Serbian[1] and Bulgarian[2][3][4] literary corpus. His collections of manuscripts constitute a compendium of translations and original Bulgarian and Serbian texts produced between the 13th and 15th centuries.

His texts have been ordered chronologically, starting with the 1465 Collection followed by the Zagreb Collection (1469), the Adrianti Collection (1473), the Rila Panegyric (1479) and two other collections of texts compiled in the 1470s and 1480s respectively.[5]

Personal life[edit]

Vladislav the Grammarian was born in the village of Novo Brdo (in present-day Kosovo), in the Serbian Despotate. Novo Brdo fell to the Ottomans in 1455, and the Despotate fell by 1459. Historians assert that he received his education in the school of Constantine of Kostenets. In 1455 he moved to the village of Mlado Nagorichane, just north of Kumanovo. Vladislav spent most of his life in a monastery at the foot of the mountain Skopska Crna Gora. There is evidence that he stayed in the Rila monastery as well. It is there that he wrote On St. John's Relics and other works on Bulgarian patron Saint John of Rila.

Klaus Trot notes his language bears features of Serbian speech from vicinity of Novo Brdo.[6]

Alleged writings[edit]

  • A collection, which was written "in the house of Nikola Spančević, in Mlado Nagoričino" (u Nagoričinu Mladom v domu Nikole Spančevića) in the period from November 21, 1456 to November 11, 1457 (roughly a year). The last words were "Vladislav the scribe wrote this book from Novo Brdo" (Vladislav dijak pisa knjigu siju ot Novoga Brda).
  • "Adrianti Collection" (1473)
  • Sermons and lives of saints, St. John of Rila (d. 946) (The Story of Rila, 1479).[9] Translation at Monastery of Matejca near Kumanovo with the help[10] of Mara Branković (of Serbia, daughter of George Brankovic, sister of Stefan Lazarevic, known to Greeks as Maria).[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Janićijević, Jovan (1998). The cultural treasury of Serbia. IDEA. p. 158. 
  2. ^ Cizevskij, Dmitrij (2000). Comparative History of Slavic Literatures. Vanderbilt University Press. p. 45. ISBN 0-8265-1371-9. 
  3. ^ Matejić, Mateja; Karen L. Black (1982). A Biobibliographical handbook of Bulgarian authors. Slavica Pub. pp. 76–77. ISBN 0-89357-091-5. 
  4. ^ Tschižewskij, Dmitrij (1952). Outline of comparative Slavic literatures. American Academy of Arts and Sciences. p. 32. 
  5. ^ Khristova, Boriana, Opis na rakopisete na Vladislav Grammatik (Catalogue of manuscript texts by Vladislav The Grammarian) 1996, Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgarian
  6. ^ Klaus Trost,Untersuchungen zur Übersetzungstheorie und -praxis des späteren Kirchenslavische, 1978, p.29
  7. ^ Sex and Society in the World of the Orthodox Slavs, 900-1700; by Eve Levin (1995) p. 64
  8. ^ Selected Writings: Early Slavic Paths and Crossroads / Volume 6 Part 2; by Roman Jakobson (1985) pp. 207-239
  9. ^ History of European Literature by Annick Benoit (2000) p.173
  10. ^ Byzantine Style, Religion and Civilization: In Honour of Sir Steven Runciman; by Elizabeth Jeffreys (2006) pp. 83-85
  11. ^ The Byzantine Lady: Ten Portraits, 12501500 (Canto); by Donald M. Nicol (1994) p.110
  12. ^ Bulgaria, a Travel Guide (Pelican International Guide Series) by Philip Ward (1991) p. 242
  13. ^ Byzantine Style, Religion and Civilization: In Honour of Sir Steven Runciman; by Elizabeth Jeffreys (2006)