Konstantin Fotinov

Konstantin Georgiev Fotinov (Bulgarian: Константин Георгиев Фотинов) (c. 1790 – 29 November 1858) was a Bulgarian writer, translator and enlightener of the Bulgarian National Revival period. The publisher of the first Bulgarian-language magazine, he is regarded as the founder of the Bulgarian press.[1][2]


Fotinov was born in the town of Samokov around 1790 to the family of a small-time merchant from Plovdiv. He studied at a local monastical school before continuing his education in Plovdiv in Thrace and in Kydonies in Anatolia; he was tutored by the Greek humanist Theophilos Kairis. He worked on a translation of the Bible into Bulgarian for the BFBS, but they did not approve it. From 1828 on, Fotinov worked as a teacher and man of letters. He founded a private mixed Hellenic-Bulgarian school in İzmir (Smyrna) and employed the Bell-Lancaster method. The school's programme included Bulgarian, Greek and French classes. It had around 200 pupils from all around the Bulgarian lands.

Fotinov was the editor and publisher of the first Bulgarian magazine, Lyuboslovie ("philology", "love of words"), which he issued in Smyrna from 1844 to 1846.[3] The magazine was richly illustrated and included articles on history, geography, religion, morale, enlightenment, medicine, hygiene, language, etc. Fotinov also published a Greek grammar book (1838) and a Bulgarian phrasebook (1845) and translated a geographic book from Greek to Bulgarian (1843). It was Fotinov that first addressed the issue of female education in the Bulgarian press.

From 1852 on, Fotinov worked on a Bulgarian translation of the Bible. He managed to translate the Old Testament: the Book of Psalms was published in Smyrna in 1855 and the Book of Genesis was issued in Istanbul (Tsarigrad) in 1857.[4]


  1. ^ Wiener, Leo (February 1898). "America's Share in the Regeneration of Bulgaria (1840-1859)". Modern Language Notes. 13 (2): 38–39. doi:10.2307/2918140. JSTOR 2918140. Retrieved January 4, 2020 – via Internet Archive.
  2. ^ Crampton, R. J. (2005). A Concise History of Bulgaria (2nd ed.). Cambridge, New York, Melbourne, Madrid, Cape Town, Singapore, São Paolo: Cambridge University Press. p. 63.
  3. ^ Riggs, Elias (1844). Notes on the Grammar of the Bulgarian Language. Smyrna. Retrieved 1 September 2018.
  4. ^ Reminiscences for My Children by Elias Riggs, Missionary of the A.B.C.F.M. in Greece and Turkey (not published). 1891. p. 17. Retrieved 1 September 2018 – via Digital Library for International Research.


  • Бакалов, Георги; Милен Куманов (2003). "ФОТИНОВ, Константин Георгиев (ок. 1790-29.XI.1858)". Електронно издание "История на България" (in Bulgarian). София: Труд, Сирма. ISBN 954528613X.
  • Константинов, Георги (2003). "Константин Фотинов" (in Bulgarian). LiterNet. Retrieved 2008-10-05.