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literature]

BULGARIA

457

Bulgarian (mainly in pronominal and adverbial forms) course between the ultra-Russian models of the past generation and show a close analogy to those of the old ecclesiastical the dialectic Bulgarian. Little uniformity, however, has yet been attained in regard to diction, orthography, or pronunciation. language. d he Bulgarians of pagan times are stated by the monk Khrabr, The Slavonic apostles wrote in the 9th century (St Cyril died a contemporary of Tsar Simeon, to have employed a peculiar in 869, St Methodius in 885), but the original manuscripts have writing, of which inscriptions recently found near Kaspitchan may not been preserved. The oldest existing copies, which date from possibly be specimens. The earliest manuscripts of the ‘ ‘ Old the 10th century, already betray the influence of the contempor- Bulgarian are written in one or other of the two alphabets known ary vernacular speech, but as the alterations introduced by the as the glagolitic and Cyrillic. The former, which is supposed to copyists are neither constant nor regular, it is possible to recon- have been derived from the cursive Greek of the 9th century, was struct the original language with tolerable certainty. The “ Old probably the original alphabet devised by SS. Cyril and Methodius. Bulgarian,” or archaic) Slavonic, was an inflexional language of the It was used by Bulgarian writers concurrently with the Cyrillic synthetic type, containing few foreign elements in its vocabulary. down to the 12th century, and was maintained till recent times in The Christian terminology was, of course, mainly Greek ; the the church literature of the Catholic Slavs in parts of Dalmatia Latin or German words which occasionally occur were derived and the Adriatic archipelago. The Cyrillic, which adopted the from Moravia and Pannonia, where the two saints pursued their uncial Greek characters, is now believed to be of later date than missionary labours. In course of time it underwent consider- the Slavonic apostles.; it is, perhaps, to be attributed to St able niodifications, both phonetic and structural, in the various Clement or one of their other disciples who evangelized Bulgaria. Slavonic countries in which it became the liturgical language, and While the glagolitic altered the Greek letters almost beyond the various MSS. are consequently classified as “ Servian-Slavonic,” recognition, the Cyrillic retained them with little change ; both “ Croatian-Slavonic,” “ Russian-Slavonic,” &c., according to the alphabets supplied several new characters to denote Slavonic sounds different recensions. The “Russian-Slavonic” is the liturgical unknown to the Greek. Many of the oldest glagolitic and Cyrillic language now in general use among the orthodox Slavs of the manuscripts have been edited by various scholars in recent times ; Balkan Peninsula owing to the great number of ecclesiastical they have been found, for the most part, in Russian libraries, but books introduced from Russia in the 17th and 18th cen- valuable specimens are preserved in the Vatican, in the monasteries turies ; until comparatively recent times it was believed to be of Rila and Mount Athos, and in Vienna, Agram, Lubliane, the genuine language of the Slavonic apostles. Among the Prague, Berlin, and London. The sacred book of Reims, on which Bulgarians the spoken language of the 9th century underwent the .French kings took the coronation oath, is written partly in the important changes during the next three hundred years. The Cyrillic, partly in the glagolitic character. Among the orthodox influence of these changes gradually asserts itself in the written Slavs the Cyrillic finally superseded the glagolitic ; as modified by language ; in the period extending from the 12th to the 15th Peter the Great it became the Russian alphabet, which, with the century the writers still endeavoured to follow the archaic model, revival of literature, was introduced into Servia and Bulgaria. but it is evident that the vernacular had already become widely Some Russian letters which are superfluous in Bulgarian have°been different from the speech of SS. Cyril and Methodius. The abandoned by the native writers, aqd a few characters have been language of the MSS. of this period is known as the “Middle restored from the ancient alphabet. Bulgarian ; it stands midway between the old ecclesiastical The ancient Bulgarian literature, originating in the Slavonic and the modern speech. works of SS. Cyril and Methodius and their disciples, conIn the first half of the 16th century the characteristic features of the modern language became apparent in the literary sisted for the most part of theological works translated monuments. These features undoubtedly displayed themselves at from the Greek. From the conversion of Boris a much earlier period in the oral speech ; but the progress of their down to the Turkish conquest the religious L,teraturedevelopment has not yet been completely investigated. Much character predominates, and the influence of Byzantine light may be thrown on this subject by the examination of many hitherto little-known manuscripts and by the scientific study of literature is supreme. Translations of the gospels and the folk-songs. In addition to the employment of the article, the epistles, lives of the saints, collections of sermons, exegetic loss of the noun-declensions, and the modification of the nasal religious works, translations of Greek chronicles, and misvowels above alluded to, the disappearance in pronunciation of the cellanies such as the Sbornik of St Sviatoslav, formed the final vowels yer-goUm and yer-maluk, the loss of the infinitive, and the increased variety of the conjugations, distinguish the staple of the national literature. In the time of Tsar modern from the ancient language. The suffix-article, which is Simeon, himself an author, considerable literary activity derived from the demonstrative pronoun, is a feature peculiar to prevailed; among the more remarkable works of this the Bulgarian among Slavonic and to the Rumanian among Latin languages. This and other points of resemblance between these period was the Shestodnev, or Hexameron, of John the remotely related members of the Indo-European group are shared exarch, an account of the creation. A little later the by the Albanian, the representative of the old Illyrian language, heresy of the Bogomiles gave an impulse to controversial and have consequently been attributed to the influence of the writing. The principal champions of orthodoxy were St aboriginal speech of the Peninsula. A demonstrative suffix, how- Kosmas and the monk Athanas of Jerusalem ; among the ever, is sometimes found in Russian and Polish, and traces of the article in an embryonic state occur in the “ Old Bulgarian ” MSS. Bogomiles the Questions of St Ivan Bogosloff, a work conof the 10th and 11th centuries. In some Bulgarian dialects it taining a description of the beginning and the end of the assumes different forms according to the proximity or remoteness world, was held in high esteem. Contemporaneously with of the object mentioned. Thus zhena-ta is “the woman ” ; zhena-va the spread of this sect a number of apocryphal works, or zhena-sa, “the woman close by”; zhena-na, “the woman yonder. In the borderland between the Servian and Bulgarian based on the Scripture narrative, but embellished with nationalities the local use of the article supplies the means of Oriental legends of a highly imaginative character, obtained drawing an ethnological frontier ; it is nowhere more marked than great popularity. Together with these religious writings m the immediate neighbourhood of the Servian population, as, for works of fiction, also of Oriental origin, made their apinstance, at Dibra and Prilep. The modern Bulgarian has admitted many foreign elements. It contains about 2000 Turkish and 1000 pearance, such as the life of Alexander the Great, the Greek words dispersed in the various dialects ; some Persian and story of Troy, the tales of Stephanit and Ichnilat and Arabic words have entered through the Turkish medium, and a Barlaam and Josaphat, the latter founded on the biofew Rumanian and Albanian words are found. Most of these are rejected by the purism of the literary language, which, however, graphy of Buddha. These were for the most part reprohas been compelled to borrow the phraseology of modern civiliza- ductions or variations of the fantastical romances which tion from the Russian, French, and other European languages, circulated through Europe in the Middle Ages, and many ihe dialects spoken in the principality may be classed in two of them have left traces in the national legends and folkgroups—the eastern and the western. The main point of differ- songs. In the 13th century, under the Asen dynasty, ence is the pronunciation of the letter yedvoino, which in the eastern has frequently the sound of ya, in the western invariably numerous historical works or chronicles (letopisi) were that of a in “ate.” The literary language began in the western composed. State records appear to have existed, but none vf eCu un ^er ^!ie twofold influence Servian the literature the of them have been preserved. With the Ottoman conquest church Slavonic. In a short time, ofhowever, easternand dialect literature disappeared; the manuscripts became the food prevailed, and the influence of Russian literature became prea S-» »t. An anti-Russian reaction was initiated by Bogoroff of moths and worms, or fell a prey to the fanaticism of (18JA-92), and has been maintained by numerous writers educated the Phanariot clergy. The library of the patriarchs of in the German and Austrian universities. Since the foundation of Trnovo was committed to the flames by the Greek Metrothe University of Sophia the literary language has taken a middle politan Hilarion in 1825. S. II. — 58