Chernorizets Hrabar

Chernorizets Hrabar

Chernorizets Hrabar (Old Church Slavonic: Чрьнори́зьць Хра́бръ, Črĭnorizĭcĭ Hrabrŭ)[1] was a Bulgarian[2] monk, scholar and writer who worked at the Preslav Literary School at the end of the 9th and the beginning of the 10th century, developing Medieval Bulgarian literature and spreading Old Church Slavonic.[3]



His appellation is correctly translated as "Hrabar, the Black Robe Wearer" (i.e., Hrabar The Monk), "Hrabar" ("Hrabr") being his given name, chernorizets being the lowest rank in the monastic hierarchy. Sometimes he is referred to as "Chernorizets the Brave", brave being the translation of the given name.

No biographical information is available about him, but his name is usually considered to be a pseudonym used by one of the other famous men of letters at the Preslav Literary School or may be even by Tsar Simeon I of Bulgaria (893-927), since normally monks assume Christian names of biblical or early Christian onomastics.

Literary work

Chernorizets Hrabar is (as far as is known) the author of only one literary work, "An Account of Letters" (Old Church Slavonic: О писмєньхъ, O pismenech), one of the most admired and popular works of literature written in Old Church Slavonic. The work was supposedly written shortly after the Preslav Ecclesiastical People's Council in 893 and is the only known medieval literary work to quote the exact year of the invention of the Glagolitic alphabet (855).

In An Account of Letters, Chernorizets Hrabar defends the alphabet against its Greek critics and proves not only its right to existence but also its superiority to the Greek alphabet arguing that the Greek letters are neither the oldest known to man, nor divine. At the same time Chernorizets Hrabar opposes Glagolitic dogmatists and makes several suggestions as to how the alphabet can be further improved.

He also provided information critical to Slavonic palaeography with his mention that the pre-Christian Slavs employed "strokes and incisions" (Old Church Slavonic: чръты и рѣзы, črъty i rězy), translated as "tallies and sketches" below) writing that was, apparently, insufficient properly to reflect the spoken language. It is thought that this may have been a form of runic script but no authentic examples are known to have survived.

The manuscript of An Account of Letters has been preserved in some 80 copies, the oldest of which dates back to 1348 and was made by the monk Laurentius for Tsar Ivan Alexander of Bulgaria. The work has also been printed in Vilnius (1575–1580), Moscow (1637), Saint Petersburg (1776), Supraśl (1781).

Hrabar Nunatak on Greenwich Island in the South Shetland Islands, Antarctica is named for Chernorizets Hrabar.

Excerpt from An Account of Letters

Being still pagans, the Slavs did not have their own letters, but read and communicated by means of tallies and sketches. After their baptism they were forced to use Roman and Greek letters in the transcription of their Slavic words but these were not suitable ... At last, God, in his love for mankind, sent them St. Constantine the Philosopher, called Cyril, a learned and upright man, who composed for them thirty-eight letters, some (24 of them) similar to the Greek, but some (14 of them) different, suitable to express Slavic sounds.

See also


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Hrabar Nunatak — (Nunatak Hrabar nu na tak hra b r) is a 160m rocky peak on the North coast of Greenwich Island. The peak is named after the Bulgarian scholar Chernorizets Hrabar (9th Century AD).LocationThe cliff is located at coord|62|27|07|S|59|57|34|W| which… …   Wikipedia

  • Cernorizec Hrabar — (en antiguo eslavo eclesiástico: Чрьноризьць Храбръ, Črьnorizьcь Hrabrъ); (en búlgaro: Черноризец Храбър)[1] fue un monje, erudito y escritor búlgaro,[2] que trabajó en la Escuela literaria de Preslav a finales del siglo IX y principios del X,… …   Wikipedia Español

  • First Bulgarian Empire — Първo българско царство Părvo Bălgarsko Tsarstvo ← …   Wikipedia

  • Glagolitic alphabet — Infobox Writing system type=Alphabet name=Glagolitic time=862/863 to the Middle Ages languages=Old Church Slavic creator=Saints Cyril and Methodius sample=Kodex.Zograf.jpg caption=A page from the Zograf Kodex with text of the Gospel of Luke… …   Wikipedia

  • Varna — This article is about the city in Bulgaria. For other uses, see Varna (disambiguation). Coordinates: 43°13′N 27°55′E / 43.217°N 27.917°E / 43.217; 27.9 …   Wikipedia

  • Old Church Slavonic — словѣньскъ ѩзꙑкъ slověnĭskŭ językŭ Spoken in formerly in Slavic areas, under the influence of Byzantium (both Catholic and Orthodox) Region Eastern Europe Era …   Wikipedia

  • Freie Universität Varna — Vorlage:Infobox Hochschule/Logo fehltVorlage:Infobox Hochschule/Professoren fehlt Freie Chernorizets Hrabar Universität Warna Gründung 1991 Trägerschaft staatlich Ort Warna, Bulgarien Rektor Anna Nedjalkowa Studente …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Freie Universität Warna — Vorlage:Infobox Hochschule/Logo fehltVorlage:Infobox Hochschule/Professoren fehlt Freie Chernorizets Hrabar Universität Varna Gründung 1991 Trägerschaft staatlich Ort Varna, Bulgarien Rektor …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Bulgars — Not to be confused with Bulgarians. Victorious Bulgar soldiers killing their East Roman (Byzantine) opponents, from the Menology of Basil II, 10th century …   Wikipedia

  • Bulgarians — Infobox Ethnic group group=Българи Bulgarians caption = The holy seven · Boris I Vasil Levski · Hristo Botev Hristo Stambolski . Georgi Rakovski Anna Maria Ravnopolska Dean . Veselin Topalov population = over 8 million region1… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.