The Post-Classical Use of Latin in Bulgaria

Elia Marinova



The article summarizes the evidence about the use of Latin in Bulgariaduring the Middle Ages and the early modern period and comments the reasons for the lack of knowledge or the indifference to the literary tradition of the Latin West till the end of the nineteenth century. Beginning with the transformation of the Roman world in the Late Antiquity, the post-classical fate of Latinitas in the Bulgarian lands tells us for the most part a story about cut threads, periods of forced isolation from the Latin West (the spread of humanism and the access to the great achievements of the following cultural epochs in Europe were blocked by the Turkish invasion in 1396), and reconsidered confessional and political choices. My intention, however, is to present the few separate channels of transmitting Latin language and literary culture to the educated élite in Bulgaria, i.e. the diplomatic contacts with the Papacy and the European rulers, the direct or indirect translations from Latin sources, and the original works written in Latin by the Bulgarian Catholics in the seventeenth century. In these times, and later, indirect translations dominated, it was only in 1873 that the first major direct translation of a Latin text into Bulgarian appeared.

Słowa kluczowe

Greek and Latin in the East Balkans; Latin in medieval Bulgaria; Latin works of the Bulgarian Catholics

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