Bitola inscription

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The Bitola inscription.

The Bitola inscription is a medieval stone inscription written in Old Church Slavonic with Cyrillic letters. It was found in 1956 during the demolition of an old Ottoman mosque in the town of Bitola, Republic of Macedonia and it is now kept at the Institute and Museum of Bitola among the permanent exhibitions as a significant epigraphic monument, described as "a marble slab with Cyrillic letters of Ioan Vladislav from 1015/17".[1] The text commemorates the fortification works on the fortress of Bitola under a certain Tsar Ivan. It is believed to date it from c. 1015 and the monarch in question is Tsar Ivan Vladislav of Bulgaria.[2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13]


The text of the inscription is partially damaged. The text, with some conjectures made by Vladimir Moshin and Iordan Zaimov to reconstruct the damaged parts, reads as follows:[14][15]


In the Republic of Macedonia any link between the Cometopuli and the First Bulgarian Empire is denied.[17] Because of that the historical and political importance of the inscription was the reason for a controversial event there. In 2006 the French consulate in Bitola sponsored and prepared a tourist catalogue of the town and printed on its front cover the entire text of the inscription, with the label Bulgarian clearly visible on it. News about it had spread prior to the official presentation of the catalogue and was a cause for confusion among the officials of the Bitola municipality. The French consulat was warned, the printing of the new catalogue was stopped and the photo on the cover was changed.[18]


  1. ^ "Among the most significant findings of this period presented in the permanent exhibition is the epigraphic monument a marble slab with Cyrillic letters of Jovan Vladislav from 1015/17." The official site of the Institute for preservation of monuments of culture, Museum and Gallery Bitola, retrieved on July 21, 2016.
  2. ^ Historical Dictionary of the Republic of Macedonia, Dimitar Bechev, Scarecrow Press, 2009 ISBN 0810855658, p. 195.
  3. ^ The New Cambridge Medieval History: c. 900-c. 1024, Timothy Reuter, Rosamond McKitterick, Cambridge University Press, 2000, ISBN 0-521-36447-7, p. 600
  4. ^ The legend of Basil the Bulgar-slayer, Paul Stephenson, Cambridge University Press, 2003, ISBN 0-521-81530-4, pp. 29-30.
  5. ^ Southeastern Europe in the Middle Ages, 500-1250, Cambridge medieval textbooks, Florin Curta, Cambridge University Press, 2006, ISBN 0-521-81539-8, p. 246.
  6. ^ Basil II and the governance of Empire (976-1025), Oxford studies in Byzantium, Catherine Holmes, Oxford University Press, 2005, ISBN 0-19-927968-3, pp. 56-57.
  7. ^ Das makedonische Jahrhundert: von den Anfängen der nationalrevolutionären Bewegung zum Abkommen von Ohrid 1893-2001; ausgewählte Aufsätze, Stefan Troebst, Oldenbourg Wissenschaftsverlag, 2007, ISBN 3-486-58050-7, S. 414.
  8. ^ Krieg und Kriegführung in Byzanz: Die Kriege Kaiser Basileios II. Gegen die Bulgaren (976-1019), Paul Meinrad Strässle, Böhlau Verlag Köln Weimar, 2006, ISBN 341217405X, p. 172.
  9. ^ Византийский временник, Институт истории (Академия наук СССР), Институт славяноведения и балканистики (Академия наук СССР), Институт всеобщей истории (Российская академия наук) Изд-во Академии наук СССР, 1973, стр. 266.
  10. ^ Word and Power in Mediaeval Bulgaria, Ivan Biliarsky, BRILL, 2011, ISBN 9004191453, p.19.
  11. ^ Микулчиќ, Иван, „Средновековни градови и тврдини во Македонија“, Македонска академија на науките и уметностите, Скопје, 1996, Раносредновековни фортификации, стр. 69.
  12. ^ Bŭlgarski ezik, Institut za bŭlgarski ezik (Bŭlgarska akademiia na naukite) 1981, p. 372.
  13. ^ Срђан Пириватрић, „Самуилова држава. Обим и карактер“, Византолошки институт Српске академије науке и уметности, посебна издања књига 21, Београд, 1997, стр. 183.
  14. ^ Мошин, Владимир. Битољска плоча из 1017. год. // Македонски jазик, ХVІІ, 1966, с. 51-61
  15. ^ Заимов, Йордан. Битолският надпис на цар Иван Владислав, самодържец български. Епиграфско изследване, София 1970 For criticism of this reconstruction, see: Lunt, Horace G. (1972): [review of Zaimov]. Slavic Review 31: 499.
  16. ^ The reconstruction of the Macedonian scientist Ugrinova-Skalovska is very similar to the recunstruction made by Russian/Yugoslavian Moshin and Bulgarian Zaimov - Угриновска-Скаловска, Радмила. Записи и летописи. Скопје 1975. 43-44
  17. ^ Who are the Macedonians? Hugh Poulton, C. Hurst & Co. Publishers, 2000, ISBN 1850655340, p. 20.
  18. ^ Исправена печатарска грешка, Битола за малку ќе се претставуваше како бугарска. Дневник-online, 2006.


  • Божилов, Иван. Битолски надпис на Иван Владислав // Кирило-методиевска енциклопедия, т. І, София, 1985, с. 196-198. (in Bulgarian)
  • Бурмов, Александър. Новонамерен старобългарски надпис в НР Македония // сп. Пламък, 3, София, 1959, 10, с. 84-86. (in Bulgarian)
  • Заимов, Йордан. Битолски надпис на Иван Владислав, старобългарски паметник от 1015-1016 // София, 1969. (in Bulgarian)
  • Заимов, Йордан. Битолският надпис на цар Иван Владислав, самодържец български. Епиграфско изследване // София, 1970. (in Bulgarian)
  • Заимов, Йордан. Битольская надпись болгарского самодержца Ивана Владислава, 1015-1016 // Вопросы языкознания, 28, Москва, 1969, 6, с. 123-133. (in Russian)
  • Мошин, Владимир. Битољска плоча из 1017. год. // Македонски jазик, ХVІІ, Скопjе, 1966, с. 51-61 (in Macedonian)
  • Мошин, Владимир. Уште за битолската плоча од 1017 година // Историjа, 7, Скопjе, 1971, 2, с. 255-257 (in Macedonian)
  • Томовић, Г. Морфологиjа ћирилских натписа на Балкану // Историjски институт, Посебна издања, 16, Скопjе, 1974, с. 33. (in Serbian)
  • Џорђић, Петар. Историjа српске ћирилице // Београд, 1990, с. 451-468. (in Serbian)
  • Mathiesen, R. The Importance of the Bitola Inscription for Cyrilic Paleography // The Slavic and East European Journal, 21, Bloomington, 1977, 1, pp. 1–2.
  • Угринова-Скаловска, Радмила. Записи и летописи // Скопjе, 1975, 43-44. (in Macedonian)
  • Lunt, Horace. On dating Old Church Slavonic bible manuscripts. // A. A. Barentsen, M. G. M. Tielemans, R. Sprenger (eds.), South Slavic and Balkan linguistics, Rodopi, 1982, p. 230.

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