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The Old Believers movement
Periodicals, 1905-1918
The series on the Old Believers provides a wide variety of materials that will help to shed new light on the fascinating history of this religious minority and its place in Russian history. The present installment includes the most prominent and widely read Old Believers’ periodicals published between 1905 and 1918. The collection includes, amongst others, journals of the Popovtsy (Zlatostrui, Mirskaia zhizni), of the so-called Pomor´e Union (Shchit very, Vestnik Vserossiĭ skogo soiuza khristian pomorskogo soglasiia), the Belokrinitskiĭ Hierarchy (Tserkov’, Staroobriadcheskaia mysl’, Staroobriadets) and the Chapel Consent (Ural´skiĭ staroobriadets). Published during one of the most dynamic and turbulent periods of Russian history, these periodicals allow us to appreciate the traditional, yet vibrant world of the Old Believers at the eve of the revolution.

This collection is also included in the Religious Dissent in Russia: Old Believers collection.
The Old Believers movement
Cyrillic-Script Books, 1906-1916
The printing of Old Believer books in kirillicheskiĭ shrift is a unique phenomenon in book history. The Old Believer movement carried on the traditions of Russian Orthodox Christianity into the middle of the 20th century. The Old Believer culture was outstanding in its rigorous acceptance of Cyrillic Church Slavonic texts, and in its guarded attitude toward the same texts printed in grazhdanskiĭ shrift, which were introduced by Peter I in 1708. The books printed in Cyrillic have therefore always been the main source of information concerning the history and spiritual faith of the Old Believers. The beginning of the 20th century witnessed an avalanche of printed Old Believer religious literature. This literature comprises a number of original monographs, titled books, and icon-painting originals, as well as reprinted anti-Old Believer pamphlets in krillicheskiĭ shrift bearing polemic comments written by Old Believer adepts.

This collection is also included in the Religious Dissent in Russia: Old Believers collection.
The Old Believers movement
Old Believer Secular Literature, 1906-1918
At the dawn of the 20th century, the Old Believers exhibited an amazing ability to adapt to the new social and economic conditions without abandoning their traditional culture or their religious beliefs. This period saw the birth and subsequent blossoming of the widely known business dynasties. One of the main driving forces behind the printing of books in grazhdanskiĭ shrift was the revival of the polemic disputes between the Old Believers and the official Church. At the beginning of the 20th century, the Old Believers printed their secular literature in grazhdanskiĭ shrift, in order to draw attention to their crucial need for a greater number of sympathizers from the outside.
The variety of this type of Old Believer literature is extensive, ranging from historical and ethnographic works, polemic and political essays, scholarly works on philosophy, economics, and statistics, to works on theology and law, the minutes of Old Believer assemblies, fiction, and even poetry.
The recourse by the Old Believers to grazhdanskiĭ shrift and their deliberate orientation toward the “outside” reader and secular themes, makes this literature both more accessible and richer in substance and variety of topics.

This collection is also included in the Religious Dissent in Russia: Old Believers collection.
Russia and the Holy Land
Orthodox Missions in Palestine

The Pilgrimages and Journeys
The first pilgrimage to the Holy City of Jerusalem dates to the very early period of Russian Christianity. The initiator of holy pilgrimage was hegumen Daniil, who visited “the Holy Sepulchre” at the dawn of the 12th century. Many people – commoners and clergymen, the wealthy and the poor, the educated and the uneducated – joined one of the numerous journeys to the Holy Land. Their numbers steadily increased, reaching a peak at the end of the nineteenth century. The sacred journeys to Palestine (khozhdeniia) were led by, among others, hegumen Daniil (1104- 1107), Archimandrite Agrephenii (1470s), Ignathii Smol’nianin (late 1400s), Hierodeacon Zosima from the Troitse-Sergiev monastery (1419-1422), the celibate priest Varsonophii (1456, 1461-1462), and V.G. Grigorovich- Barskii (1723-1747). As a consequence of the frequent religious trips, the center of Slavic culture was formed in the Laura of the Reverend Sabba the Blessed (†532) near Jerusalem. Later, it became the main departure point for Russians setting off on a pilgrimage through the Holy Land.

Travel accounts
The Russian pilgrims describe in their accounts the trip itself, their impressions, the Holy Places, the Christian monuments, the divine service, the nature of Palestine, and the economic activities of the people, as well as the biblical and apocryphal legends, and the political events they witnessed. Readings of the khozhdeniia accounts were very popular among the people, and played an important role in spreading knowledge about, for example, religion, geography, ethnography, and history. The famous Zhitie i Khozhdenie (“Life and Journey”) by Daniil is the first of the writings in this genre. Many copies have survived and it has been translated into several foreign languages. It stands out among the descriptions of that time for its accuracy, detail, and brilliant literary merit, and served as an example for subsequent writings. In due course, khozhdeniia acquired a more pragmatic character, as a result of a new type of traveler who had both commercial and diplomatic aims (Triphon Korobeinikov, Vasilii Pozniakov, Vasilii Gagara, Arsenii Sukhanov, Iona Malen’kii, etc.). In the nineteenth/early twentieth centuries, the research journeys were rather frequent: the Holy Land had become a destination for secular tourists. Accounts of journeys to the Holy Land were left by famous explorers of the Orient, writers, and statesmen, such as D.V. Dashkov, A.N. Murav’ev, A.S. Norov, V.K. Kaminskii, A. Dmitrievskii, and A.A. Vasil’ev.
The pilgrims’ descriptions of the Holy Land and the travelers’ accounts are the most important historical source for the studies of the spiritual life of the Russian people, and of the cultural ties between Russia and the Near East, the historical geography of Palestine and Jerusalem, and church archaeology.

Religious Component of State Ideology
The Russian land, united under the power of Moscow, had a religious symbolic image of itself as a new incarnation of the Christian Kingdom, the extension of the Roman and the Byzantine empires, and Moscow as the Third Rome after the fall of Constantinople. Transforming Russia into the center of the Orthodox world became Russian state policy after the Romanov dynasty came to the throne. In the middle of the seventeenth century, the aspiration to form a unified ecclesiastic space for the whole Orthodox world led to the reforms of Patriarch Nikon, during which the differences between the religious rites of the Greek and of the Russian Church were eliminated. Nikon sent the monk and scribe Arsenii Sukhanov to Mount Athos and Palestine to obtain old Greek manuscripts, he corrected the divine service books, and in 1656 he founded the New Jerusalem monastery on the banks of the Istra river as the symbolic and architectural duplicate of the Holy City.
During the reign of Catherine II (1762-1796), the “Greek” theme became the main priority of Russian foreign policy. Such policy had always had a certain ideological content: the countries of Oriental Christianity were perceived by the Russian Empire as an extension of its own world, and therefore they needed its protection and patronage. This matter became especially tense in the nineteenth century, when the conflict over the patronage of the Holy places was one of the main factors which led to the outbreak of the Crimean war.
In 1858, a separate Russian Consulate was established in Jerusalem. The Palestine Committee (1859-1864), which was headed by Grand Duke Constantine Nikolaevich, was established to receive donations and to help pilgrims. In 1864, the Committee was replaced by the Palestine Commission, which was attached to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and whose remit was to improve the life of pilgrims.
This collection provides the opportunity to study in great detail both the intellectual sources of the emerging state ideology and the centuries-old history of the religious-ethnic selfidentification of the Russians of very different social strata – the common people, the clergy, state officials, and scholars – as well their attitudes toward the problem of the Orthodoxy in the Orient.

The Russian Ecclesiastical Mission
In 1847, six centuries after the “discovery” of the Holy Land, the Holy Synod decided to send the first Russian Ecclesiastical Mission to Jerusalem. In the middle of the nineteenth century, the official Mission in Palestine became part of the state policy of Russia. Its purpose was to offer Russian pilgrims spiritual supervision, provide assistance, and sponsor charitable and educational work among the Orthodox Arab population of Palestine and Syria, and to carry out the divine service in Church Slavonic. The Mission was guided by Archimandrite (later Bishop) Porfirii (Uspenskii), the outstanding scholar, archaeologist, and traveler. Bishop Porfirii was the first in a long line of most distinguished monks-presbyters, who were famous not only for their excellent education and ability to combine church service with academic work, but also for their ability to honorably serve Russia’s interests in the Middle East. Among the successors of Bishop Porfirii were such outstanding personalities as Bishop Kyril (Naumov), a famous theologian and Rector of the Ecclesiastic Academy in Kiev, Archimandrites Leonid (Kavelin) and Anthonin (Kapustin), who contributed to the Byzantine and who Paleoslavonic studies, Archimandrite Cyprian (Kern), patrologist and pastorologist and Metropolitan Nikodemos (Rotov). All of them left an abundance of materials on, and about the study of, the history and the antiquities of the Holy Land. The Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem functioned until the 1917 Revolution, when its activities were suspended.

Russian Achievement
The results of the missionary activities were appreciable: lots of land was bought, and many temples, monasteries, hotels for pilgrims, and educational and medical institutions were built. At the same time, the Mission promoted the spread of education among the local Arab inhabitants, and established a network of Russian schools. To list but a few of Father Antonin’s achievements: purchases of land in Hebron (including the Oak of Mambre), the summit of the Mount of Olives, property in Jaffa, gardens in Jericho, and a plot of land in Tiberias on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, Under his supervision, churches were built in Jaffa, on the Mount of Olives, in Ein- Karem, and in Gethsemane. He was also actively involved in the excavations that uncovered the Threshold of Judgement Gate. By the eve of the First World War, there was a considerable amount of Russian property in Palestine: eleven churches, seventeen hotels, seven monasteries, a hotel in Jerusalem, four out-patients’ clinics, etc. The Russian church in Jerusalem was the largest piece of property in the town. Since 1856 the transportation of pilgrims to the Holy Land, and their settlement there, had been effected by the Russian Society of Steam Navigation and Trade (Russkoe obshchestvo parohodstva i torgovli, ROPIT).
This collection deals with the activities of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem, and with the history of its relations with other government and private institutions and organizations. It includes official and reference editions, the research and religious works of the heads of the missions, and biographical material.

The Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society
The Orthodox Palestine Society (later, the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society; Imperatorskoe Pravoslavnoe Palestinskoe Obshchestvo, IPPO) was established in 1882. It was chaired by Zhivopisnye vidy Sviatykh miest Palestiny. S.-Peterburg, 1853. Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich until his assassination by terrorists in 1905, when his widow Elizaveta Fedorovna took over. Its foundation was the result of the efforts of one man, Vasilii Nikolaevich Khitrovo (1834-1903), nobleman and ministerial official. The idea of establishing the Society had come to Khitrovo during his first visit to Palestine as a pilgrim. He was so stirred by the deplorable living conditions of Russian pilgrims and the dismal state of the local Orthodox inhabitants, that he devoted the rest of his life to strengthening the Orthodoxy positions in the Near East. Khitrovo published many articles and reviews on the Palestine studies and on the problems associated with the Society’s activities. The aim of the Society was to promote the Russian pilgrimage, to strengthen the Orthodoxy among the local inhabitants, and to study the country, its antiquities, and its sacred places. The Society was the most important instrument of Russian cultural policy in the Near East. Although it was subsidized by the government, its main income came from donations received in churches and cemeteries, and from contributions from members of the royal family and individual patrons. The Society had its own eparchial departments, and carried out an enormous amount of educational and humanitarian work. The Orthodox Arabs received free medical aid in hospitals and outpatients’ clinics in Jerusalem, Bethlehem, and Nazareth. Graduates from Russian schools formed the nucleus of the rising group of Arab intellectuals. After the 1917 Revolution, the Palestine Society became a research institution.
This collection includes numerous sources on the history of the Society as well as biographical material on its officials, in particular V.N. Khitrovo. It contains all the Society’s editions: Pravoslavnii Palestinskii sbornik, Chteniia o Sviatoi Zemle, Soobscheniia and Otchety.

The Beginning of Academic Studies of the Holy Land
The original Russian schools of Oriental and Byzantine studies were founded in the second half of the nineteenth century. Representatives of such were active members of the IPPO, of the Obschestvo Lubitelei drebnei pis’mennosti (Society of Ancient Written Language Lovers), and of other research institutions. The heads of the ecclesiastical missions, starting with father Porphirii (Uspenskii), willingly engaged in biblical archaeology. Researchers focused special attention on the collections of medieval manuscripts of the Athos monasteries in Greece, the cloistral collections in Palestine, the collections of manuscripts in Constantinople, and especially those of the Sinay cloister of Saint Catherine. Among the researchers of the treasuries of manuscripts were Archimandrite Porphirii (Uspenskii) – who had the honor of discovering the famous Sinay Codex of the Bible – and such outstanding Russian scholars as A.S. Norov, A.Kh. Vostokov, N.F. Krasnosel’tsev, and A.A. Dmitrievskii. The research heritage of the Society was realized in 63 editions of Pravoslavniy Palestinskiy Sbornik (PPS), published in 1881-1917; they are represented with exhaustive completeness in this collection. Both the research works, which are dedicated to the history and the culture of the peoples of the Near East, and the historical sources and the literary monuments were published in the PPS editions. The history of the Orthodox divine service and liturgics was a special theme of research. Besides the research works, this series consists of Greek, Slavonic, Georgian, and Latin descriptions of Palestine, descriptions of Christian sacred places in Palestine, Russian and foreign khozhdeniia, hagiography, and so on.

Images of the Holy Land
The reconstruction of images of the Holy Land in Russian architecture that flourished in the 17th century is a characteristic feature of the cultural heritage of the Orthodox Mission in Palestine. Patriarch Nikon (†1681) created a replica of Jerusalem and its surroundings (known from Evangelic texts), which was situated near Moscow on the banks of the Istra river. This replica was a symbol of the most successful attempts to embody the reminiscences of biblical events. The dimensions, structure, and layout of the Voskresenskii cathedral, which was in the center of the monastery, resembled those of the Temple of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. The city of Sinay was the source of numerous artefacts, descriptions of which entered the paleographic history of Greece and the Holy Land. The illustrated manuscripts of monastic libraries in Palestine and Sinay were studied by A.S. Norov, A.Kh. Vostokov, N.F. Krasnoseltsev, A.A. Dmitrievskii, and V.N. Beneshevich.

The National Library of Russia
The National Library of Russia was established at the end of the 18th century. Today, it is one of the biggest libraries in the world: it possesses over 30 million items. The National Library of Russia occupies ten large buildings in St. Petersburg. It is more than just a library: it is a cultural center with concert halls, information centers, and its own publishing house.
The library is famous for its collections of liturgical writings and descriptions of numerous sacred journeys, which were published by the Orthodox Palestine Society, ecclesiastic academies, and many private publishers in Russia. “Russia and the Holy Land” is part of a vast collection of the National Library of Russia. It contains monographs, periodicals, maps, and illustrations. Among the monographs are biographies, bibliographies, and religious, political, economic, archaeological, geographic materials related to the Russian Missions in the Holy Land.
Church Slavonic and Russian Hagiographies

Collection of Russian and Slavonic hagiographics, Russian Paterika and reference works.
History of Orthodox Churches

Collection consists of 312 serials and monographs concerning the history of orthodox churches in Russia and Europe.
Slavonic Bibles I
Early Printed Cyrillic Books from the Lomonosov Moscow State University Library

The Moscow University Library
The Moscow University Library, which currently houses more than eight million volumes, was founded in 1756 and was thus the first university library in Russia. The most valuable part of its holdings belongs to the Department of Rare Books and Manuscripts, whose collection comprises more than 200,000 items. These include unique and extremely rare European, Oriental, Slavonic and Russian manuscripts, archives, incunabula, early prints and printing ephemera. Here are to be found the first Slavonic Cyrillic printed books - the Book of Hours and two Treodions, printed by Schweipolt Feol in Krakow. The Lent Treodion contains a splendid bookplate from the Moscow Printing Office (Moskovskii Pechtanyi Dvor).

Unique collection
The University Library's unique collection of Slavonic early printed books was formed largely through donations, purchases and transfers from other libraries. Especially important to the acquisitions was the Archeographical Expedition, which involved thirty years working among Russian Old Believers in different regions of the former Soviet Union and which resulted in a doubling of the collection. Today, the Slavonic collection includes 2,170 items dating from the fifteenth to the early twentieth century.

History of printing
The Bibles and religious books illustrate a fascinating chapter in the history of printing. Not only was printing itself a work of art, but the Bibles were further enhanced by painters who designed the title page and illustrated the text. Most of the books were printed in Moscow and in the Polish and Lithuanian lands of modern Ukraine and Byelorussia. There are considerable differences between Moscow editions and those from Ukraine or Byelorussia: while the Moscow editions were funded by the government and rigidly controlled by the Metropolitan and the Tsar, printing in the Ukraine and Byelorussia was supported primarily by private donations. The latter therefore frequently contain coats of arms, dedications and author's prefaces. Their repertoire was also much more diverse.
In the latter half of the sixteenth century, Moscow, L'vov, Ostrog and Vil'no emerged as important centres of Slavonic book printing. The Gospels and Book of Psalms printed in the Moscow Anonymous typography (c.1550-1560) and the Acts printed by Ivan Fedorov and Petr Mstislavets in 1564, (being the first printed books in Moscow) are masterpieces of the art of printing. The traditions of the first Moscow printing houses were continued by Andronik Nevezha. In 1577, he published the Book of Psalms on the printing press of Aleksandrova Sloboda - the capital of Ivan the Terrible's oprichnina. Later, in Moscow, Nevezha printed the Lent Treodion (1589), Oktoikh (1594), and many other books.

History of language
The Bibles and Bible translations provide an absolutely unique source for the study of the history of language. They give us a clear picture of the level of development of the Slavonic languages in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Above all, they testify to the superb achievement of individual editors and translators. The University's collection contains the first printed edition of the Slavonic Bible, the work of the famous Byelorussian printer, scientist, and educator Franciscus Skorina. The full text of the Bible was to appear in instalments; the project, however, was never completed. The University Library houses the Books of Joshua, Ruth, Judges and Kings, published in Prague in 1518-1519. Skorina himself had translated these texts, intended primarily for teaching reading skills, into the Byelorussian version of the Old Church Slavonic. These remarkable editions contain the author's prefaces, epilogues, and comments. Franciscus Skorina was also the first to use title pages, foliation, running titles, and elaborate illustrations in Cyrillic printing. The beautiful artistic and paleographic design makes these books an outstanding landmark of Cyrillic printing.

First printed Slavonic text of the complete Bible
The catalogue includes books produced in the Polish lands and the Ukraine by the first Moscow printer Ivan Fedorov. These are the New Testament with Commentary (Zabludovo, 1569), Acts (L'vov, 1574), and the first printed Slavonic text of the complete Bible (Ostrog, 1581). The edition of the New Testament and the Book of Psalms (Ostrog, 1580) is particularly interesting. Numerous notes, comments, marks, corrections and insertions suggest that this book, the property of the clerk (podaichii) Ivan Grigoriev, had been the editor's copy. The book also contains four miniatures of the Evangelists. Another book, A Little Book Comprising Most Necessary Things (Knizhitsa sobranie veshchei nuzhneishikh) compiled by Timofei Mikhailov and published in Ostrog in 1580, was an index to the New Testament and Book of Psalms, a first edition of its sort.
The catalogue also contains production details of another Ostrog typography in use prior to 1612. The most interesting editions are the anti-Jesuit and anti-Uniat polemic writings - Apocrisis (c. 1597) and Book in Ten Chapters (1598).

Valuable historic information
In 1570, Petr Mstislavets, Ivan Fedorov's associate, re-established Cyrillic printing in Vilno where it had been at a standstill after Franciscus Skorina. Mstislavets' new printing press was in the house of his benefactors the family Momanchi, merchants living in Vilno. The New Testament (1575) and the Book of Psalms (1576) were products of this typography. The production of the Mamonichi typography, as well as that of the Slavic printing presses of Nesvizh, Venice, Skutri, etc., is represented in the catalogue. Notes, markings and inscriptions in the books provide valuable historical information.

Finding aids
The printed guide (free on request) contains the full descriptions of the books listed in the catalogues. It has been produced on the basis on the bibliography by I.V. Pozdeeva, I.D. Kashkarova and M.M. Lerenman, Katalog knig kirillicheskoi pechati XV-XVI v. Nauchnoi biblioteki Moskovskogo Universiteta (Moscow, 1980). Valuable information is also to be found in I.V. Pozdeeva, V.I. Erofeeva and G.M. Shitova, Katalog kirillicheskikh izdanii XVI v. - 1641, Nakhodki 1971-1996 gg..
Slavonic Bibles II

The Bible before the Reformation
The spiritual culture of the European Middle Ages, both Western, and Eastern is inextricably related with hand-written, and subsequently printed Bibles. However for over a thousand years the "Holy Bible" was not a book that members of the Christian churches read at home. The Word of God was only found in the divine service, in the readings of the scriptures (pericopes), the prayers and hymns of the liturgy. The books were, almost without exception, designed purely for use in church and did not fall into the hands of the laity: they were organized on the basis of the liturgical readings, not in chapters and verses. In the Slav world of the Byzantine (Eastern) rite there were from the beginning (the 10th century) manuscripts of the Gospels, the Psalter, odd books from the Old Testament (the Song of Solomon, the Books of Moses); from the 12th century also the Epistles and the Book of Revelation (together known in the Eastern rite as the Apostolos).
Despite the Eastern Church's propensity for national languages, the traditonal Slavonic Bible was written in a language that was quite different from colloquial Slavic (though far more accessible than Latin). Like the Holy book itself, it language enjoyed a sacrosanct and indeed sacral status.

Translations of the Bible
This remained the case until the 14th century, when the Bible started to be translated and read. Translations of the Bible, New Testament or Gospels into the vernacular for home reading were part of the growth of peoples and nations, and the reform movements of Hus, Luther and Calvin and also the struggle of church against heretical doctrines. Already in an early stage of book printing the Bible became primarily a book for reading.
Among the Czechs, readings from the liturgy were translated in convents starting from the end of the 13th century. Gradually the NT and the Bible in its entirety were translated. For the next five hundred years work on the Bible, producing a steady stream of new translations and editions, was to be the greatest intellectual achievement in the history of the Czechs. Czech translations strongly influenced almost all the neighboring Slavs. A Polish bible culture developed in the wake of the Bohemian one.

Eastern Slavs
Struggling against heresies Archbishop of Novgorod Gennady (†1505) initiated the creation of the first complete Slavonic Bible in Russia (1499) in manuscript form. This collection includes also the first Slavonic Bible, the production of the famous Byelorussian printer Francysk Skoryna (1490-1541). His Biblia Ruska belongs to the the earliest editions of the Bible in national languages. Skoryna translated the OT in Prague (1517-19) and the Apostolos in Vilnius (1525) in a mixture of Church Slavonic and Byelarussian. Skorina himself had translated these texts, taking Church Slavonic manuscripts and the Venice Czech Bible (1506) as his models.
These remarkable editions contain the author's prefaces, epilogues and comments. Skoryna was the first to use title pages, foliation, running titles, and elaborate illustration in Cyrillic printing. These books' beautiful artistic and paleographic design makes them an outstanding landmark in Cyrillic printing.
The first Gospels in Ukrainian came about in 1556/61(only existent in manuscript; printed 2001). These translations (Russian 1354; Byelarussian; Ukrainian 1556/61) mark the beginning of the division of the three Eastern Slav languages and peoples into separate entities.
The Gospels and Book of Psalms printed in the Moscow Anonymous typography c. 1550-1560's, together with the Acts printed by Ivan Fedorov and Petr Mstislavets in 1564, are the first printed books in Moscow. These are remarkable masterpieces in the art of printing. The catalogue includes also books produced by the first Moscow printer Ivan Fedorov in Ukraine and Lithuania. Among these we find the New Testament with Commentary (Zabludovo, 1569), the Acts (L'vov, 1574), and the first printed Slavonic text of the complete Bible (Ostrog, 1581).
This collection includes the first printed Slavonic text of the complete Bible (Ostrog , 1581) which used manuscripts of the 1499 Gennady Bible. The edition of the New Testament and the Book of Psalms (Ostrog, 1580) is particularly interesting. Numerous notes, comments, marks, corrections, insertions suggest that this book, the property of the clerk (pod''aichii) Ivan Grigoriev had been the editor's copy.

West and Southern Slavs
Luther's German Bible was the model for the Sorbs in Germany and the Slovenians in Austria. Among the highlights of this IDC-collection are fourteen translations of the Bible into Upper and Lower Sorbian. Because of the religious division of the Sorbs, the Bible was translated into two languages - Upper Sorbian, intended for Catholics (printed in Bautzen/Budeshin) and Lower Sorbian - for Reformed (printed in Cottbus/Choschobus). The NT was translated into Lower Sorbian by Jakubitza in 1547 (based on Luther) and into Upper Sorb by Frentzel from 1670 to 1706 (based on the Vulgate). Luther's German Bible also served as the model for the Croat NT by Flacius Illyricus (1562/3), which was printed in Germany.
Translations of the Bible played a very important role in the development of the Bulgarian literary language. The present collection includes most of the early translations of the Bible into Bulgarian. Worthy of mention is the first translation of the New Testament by Neofit Ryl'skii (Smirna, 1840), whose copies were nearly all destroyed, and the first translation of the Bible into New Bulgarian by Teodosii Bistritskii (St Peterburg, 1823).

History of Language
These Bibles and Bible translations provide an absolutely unique source for the study of the history of language. They inform us about the stage and level of development of the Slavonic languages through the centuries. Above all, they testify to the superb achievement of individual editors and translators. Of greater fundamental significance still is the linguistic aspect of the Bible translations. Translations contributed in a major way- trough their extensive vocabulary and the manifold forms of expression - to the formation of most languages in Eastern and Central Europe. The Catholic translations of the Counter-Reformation ultimately had a lasting effect on the reading of the Bible, but the Protestant translations that preceded them influenced their language. Only among the Czechs did the Protestant Kralice Bible have an effect that would last up to the present day.

History of Printing
The Bibles and religious books illustrate a fascinating chapter in the history of printing. Most of the publishers and printers of that time - in Russia, Poland, and other countries of Easter and South Europe, - published Bibles. For this purpose, they not only spent substantial amounts of money, but also invested a great deal of effort and technical skills. Apart from the fact that the printing itself was a work of art, the Bibles were further enhanced by painters who designed the title page and illustrated the text.

Prof. Dr. Hans Rothe, Bonn