Parteniy Zografski

Parteniy Zografski or Parteniy Nishavski[1][2][3] (Bulgarian: Партений Зографски/Нишавски; Macedonian: Партенија Зографски; 1818 – February 7, 1876) was a 19th-century Bulgarian cleric, philologist, and folklorist from Galičnik in today's North Macedonia, one of the early figures of the Bulgarian National Revival.[4][5] In his works he referred to his language as Bulgarian and demonstrated a Bulgarian spirit, though besides contributing to the development of the Bulgarian language,[6][7][8] In North Macedonia he is also thought to have contributed to the foundation of the present day Macedonian.[9]

Parteniy Zografski as Metropolitan of Nishava (Bulgarian Exarchate).
Essay about the Bulgarian language, published by Zografski in Balgarski knizhitsi (Bulgarian Booklets) magazine in 1858.
The Bulgarian church in Istanbul where Parteny Zografski is buried.


Religious activityEdit

Zografski was born as Pavel Hadzhivasilkov Trizlovski (Павел Хадживасилков Тризловски) in Galičnik,[10][11] Ottoman Empire, in present-day North Macedonia. Born into the family of a rich pastoralist, young Pavel had the opportunity to attend various primary and secondary schools. He started his education in the Saint Jovan Bigorski Monastery near his native village, then he moved to Ohrid in 1836, where he was taught by Dimitar Miladinov. He also studied in Prizren and at the Greek schools in Thessaloniki, Istanbul and a seminary in Athens.[12]

Trizlovski became a monk at the Zograf Monastery on Mount Athos, where he acquired his clerical name. Zografski continued his education at the seminary in Odessa, Russian Empire; he then joined the Căpriana monastery in Moldavia. He graduated from the Kiev seminary in 1846 and from the Moscow seminary in 1850. At age of 32 he was already a spiritual advisor at the imperial court in St. Petersburg. After a short stay in Paris (1850), he returned to serve as a priest at the Russian church in Istanbul until he established a clerical school at the Zograf Monastery in 1851 and taught there until 1852. From 1852 to 1855, he was a teacher of Church Slavonic at the Halki seminary; from 1855 to 1858, he held the same position at the Bulgarian school in Istanbul, also serving at the Bulgarian and Russian churches in the imperial capital, and he became an active supporter of the opposition against Greek dominance in the religious and educational spheres.

He spent the winter of 1859 in Sofia where he ordained dozens of Bulgarian priests.[13] On 29 October 1859, at the request of the Municipality of Kukush (Kilkis), the Patriarchate appointed Zografski Metropolitan of Dojran in order to counter the rise of the Eastern Catholic Macedonian Apostolic Vicariate of the Bulgarians. Parteniy Zografski co-operated with the locals to establish Bulgarian schools and increase the use of Church Slavonic in liturgy. In 1861, the Greek Orthodox Church Metropolitan of Thessaloniki and a clerical court prosecuted him, but he was acquitted in 1863. In 1867, he was appointed Metropolitan of Nishava in Pirot. At this position, he supported the Bulgarian education in these regions and countered the Serbian influence.[14] From 1868 on, Parteniy Zografski broke away from the Patriarchate and joined the independent Bulgarian clergy. Between 1868-1869, Bishop Partheniy became active in the region of Plovdiv, where he began to ordain priests for the Bulgarian Church, which had already separated from the Patriarchate, but had not yet been confirmed.[15] After the official establishment of the Bulgarian Exarchate in 1870 he remained a Bulgarian Metropolitan of Pirot until October 1874, when he resigned.

Zografski died in Istanbul on 7 February 1876 and was buried in the Bulgarian St. Stephen Church.

Linguistic activityEdit

Besides his religious activity, Zografski was also an active man of letters. He co-operated with the Bulgarian Books magazine and the first Bulgarian newspapers: Savetnik, Tsarigradski Vestnik and Petko Slaveykov's Makedoniya. In 1857, he published a Concise Holy History of the Old and New Testament Church. The following year he published Elementary Education for Children in Macedonian vernacular. In his article Thoughts about the Bulgarian language published in 1858 he argues that it is the Macedonian dialect that should represent the basis for the common modern "Macedono-Bulgarian" literary standard, called simply Bulgarian.[16]

Per Zografski the Bulgarian language was divided in two major dialects, Upper Bulgarian and Lower Bulgarian; the former was spoken in Bulgaria (i.e. modern North Bulgaria), in Thrace, and in some parts of Macedonia, while the latter in most of Macedonia.[17] In 1857 he espoused this linguistic view in an article published in "Tsarigradski vestnik" and called The following article is very important and we encourage readers to read it carefully:[18]

"Our language, like any other, has many local dialects, almost every diocese (district) has its own dialects, but such differences in language are an unremarkable difference, they cannot be called dialects properly. To our knowledge, our language is divided into two main dialects, Upper-Bulgarian and Lower-Bulgarian, the first is spoken in Bulgaria, in Thrace and some parts of Macedonia, and the other in Macedonia in general, or Old Bulgaria, and these two have their sub-dialects."[19]

In the next year Zografski developed his opinion in another article published in "Balgarski knizhitsi" called Thoughts about the Bulgarian language:[20]

Our language, as it is well known, is divided into two main dialects, of which one is spoken in Bulgaria and Thrace, and the other one in Macedonia... To promote to the world the Macedonian dialect with all its general and local idioms, as much as we can, we intend to create a Grammar for it, in parallel with the other one... The first and biggest difference between the two dialects is, in our opinion, is the difference in pronunciation or the stress. The Macedonian dialect usually prefers to place the stress in the beginning of the words, and the other one in the end, so in the first dialect you can’t find a word with a stress on the last syllable, while in the latter in most cases the stress is on the last syllable. Here Macedonian dialect is approaching the Serbian dialect...Not only that the Macedonian dialect should not and cannot be excluded from the common standard language, but it would have been good if it was accepted as its main constituent.[21]

The division of the dialects of the Eastern South Slavic into western and eastern subgroup made by Zografski is still relevant today, while the so called yat border is the most important dividing isogloss there.[22] It divides also the region of Macedonia running along the Velingrad - Petrich - Thessaloniki line.[23] In 1870 Marin Drinov, who played a decisive role in the standardization of the Bulgarian language, rejected the proposal of Parteniy Zografski and Kuzman Shapkarev for a mixed eastern and western Bulgarian/Macedonian foundation of the standard Bulgarian language, stating in his article in the newspaper Makedoniya: "Such an artificial assembly of written language is something impossible, unattainable and never heard of."[24][25][26] However in the year that Zografski died (1876), Drinov visited his birthplace and studied the local Galičnik dialect, which he regarded as part of the Bulgarian diasystem, publishing afterwards the folk songs collected there.[27] The fundamental issue then was in which part of the Bulgarian lands the Bulgarian tongue was preserved in a most true manner and every dialectal community insisted on that. In fact Bulgarian was standardized later on the basis of the eastеrly from the yat border located Central Balkan dialect, because of the then belief that in the Tarnovo region, around the last medieval capital of Bulgaria, the language was preserved allegedly in its purest form.[28]

Ethnic activismEdit

In 1852, a small group of Bulgarian students established a Bulgarian cultural society named Balgarska matitsa (Bulgarian Motherland) in St. Petersburg and among those who joined was Parteniy Zografski from Istanbul. The Matitsa was replaced later by the Obshtestvo bolgarskoy pismennosti (Society of Bulgarian literature), founded in Istanbul in 1856, where he joined too. The Obshtestvo soon had its own magazine: Balgarski knizhitsi (Bulgarian Booklets) where Zografski published a lot of articles.[29] Zografski as a Bulgarian Exarchate bishop was active also in the struggles for the establishment of a distinct Bulgarian Ortodox Church, when the modern Bulgarian nation had been established.[30] In 1859, as director of the Bulgarian school in Istanbul, he composed the text carved on a copper plate embedded in the foundations of the new Bulgarian church there. He regarded his vernacular as a version of Bulgarian language and called the Macedonian dialects Lower Bulgarian, while designating the region of Macedonia Old Bulgaria. On that base Bulgarian scholars, maintain he was a Bulgarian national revival activist and his ideas about a common literary Bulgarian standard based on western Macedonian dialects was about a common language for all the Bulgarians.[31]

In 1934 a resolution of the Comintern on the Macedonian question was adopted with which for the first time the existence of a separate Macedonian nation was officially proclaimed.[32] As result the communist activist Vasil Ivanovski declared Zografski and many other historical figures as ethnic Macedonians.[33] After WWII in Communist Yugoslavia the modern Macedonian nation was formed and a distinct Macedonian language was codified on the base of the westerly from the yat border located Prilep-Bitola dialect.[34][35] Later the historians from Yugoslav Macedonia maintained the designation Bulgarian used by Zografski and other historical figures meant in fact Macedonian.[36] While during the 19th century the Macedonian Slavs were referred to as "Bulgarian", historians in North Macedonia today still argue they were ethnic "Macedonian".[37] Scholars there insist Zografski’s literary works published in western Macedonian vernacular make him a leading representative of the "Macedonian National Rebirth" and he is interpreted by them as supporter of an idea for two-way Bulgaro-Macedonian compromise, not unlike the one achieved by Serbs and Croats with the 1850 Vienna Literary Agreement.[38]

External linksEdit


  1. ^ Светослав Миларов, История на българский народ: 679-1877, София, 1885, Обл. печатница, стр. 267.
  2. ^ Кръстьо Кръстев, Пею Яворов, Мисълъ, бр. 5, Либералний клуб, 1895, стр. 59.
  3. ^ Милан Радивоев, Врѣме и живот на Търновския митрополит Илариона (Макариополски), Комитетт "Иларион Търновский", 1912, стр. 275.
  4. ^ Freedom or Death, The Life of Gotsé Delchev by Mercia MacDermott, Journeyman Press, London & West Nyack, 1978, p. 22.
  5. ^ A letter from Egor P. Kovalevski, Moscow, to Alexei N. Bekhmetev, Moscow, about the aid to be sent to the Bulgarian school in Koukush,1859
  6. ^ Зографски, Партений. Мисли за българския език, Български книжици, 1/1858, с. 35-42 (Zografski, Pertenie. Thoughts about Bulgarian language, magazine "Bulgarian letters", 1/1858, p. 35-42)
  7. ^ Grammars and dictionaries of the Slavic languages from the Middle Ages up to 1850: an annotated bibliography, Edward Stankiewicz, Walter de Gruyter, 1984, p. 71., ISBN 3-11-009778-8
  8. ^ ...It is obvious that in the Bulgarian milieu, under the direct influence of Vasil Aprilov, he developed a pro-Bulgarian spirit... See: Institute for National history, Towards the Macedonian Renaissance, (Macedonian Textbooks of the Nineteenth Century) The activities of Parteni Zografski by Blaze Koneski, Skopje - 1961. Archived 2011-09-27 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ Trencsényi, Balázs (2006). Discourses of collective identity in Central and Southeast Europe (1770–1945): texts and commentaries. Central European University Press. pp. 255–257. ISBN 963-7326-52-9.
  10. ^ Борис Цацов, Летопис на Българската Православна Църква: История и личности, Български бестселър, 2010, ISBN 9544631240, стр. 471.
  11. ^ Иван Николов Радев, Енциклопедия на българската възрожденска литература, Абагар, 1996, ISBN 9544272518, стр. 537.
  12. ^ Trencsényi, Balázs (2006). Discourses of collective identity in Central and Southeast Europe (1770–1945): texts and commentaries. Central European University Press. pp. 252–253. ISBN 963-7326-52-9.
  13. ^ Филипъ Томовъ, Животъ и дейность на Хаджи Партения, архимандритъ Зографски, епископъ Кукушко-Полянски и митрополитъ Нишавски. Македонски Прегледъ, Година X, книга 1-2, София, 1936, стр. 73.
  14. ^ Кирил Патриарх Български, 100 години от учредяването на Българската Екзархия: сборник статии. Синодално изд-во, 1971, стр. 212.
  15. ^ Скопски и Пловдивски митрополит Максим. Автобиография. Спомени. София, Ик „Христо Ботев“, ИК „Вяра и култура“, 1993. ISBN 954-445-080-7. с. 19
  16. ^ Bechev, Dimitar. Historical Dictionary of the Republic of Macedonia Historical Dictionaries of Europe. Scarecrow Press. 2009; p. 134. ISBN 0-8108-6295-6.
  17. ^ Ana Kocheva et al., On the Official Language of the Republic of North Macedonia. Publishing House of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Sofia, 2020, ISBN 978-619-245-081-6, p. 28.
  18. ^ Партений Зографски, "Следующата статия много е важна и побуждаваме Читателите с внимание да я прочитет", в-к "Цариградски вестник", година VII, бр. 315, Цариград, 9 февруари 1857 година.
  19. ^ История на новобългарския книжовен език, Елена Георгиева, Стоян Борисов Жерев, Валентин Славчев Станков, Институт за български език (Българска академия на науките). Секция за съвременен български език, 1989, стр. 168.
  20. ^ "Мисли за Болгарски-от Язик", сп. "Български книжици", брой 1, Цариград, 1858 година.
  21. ^ Thoughts about the Bulgarian language.
  22. ^ Anna Lazarova, Vasil Rainov, On the minority languages in Bulgaria in Duisburg Papers on Research in Language and Culture Series, National, Regional and Minority Languages in Europe. Contributions to the Annual Conference 2009 of EFNIL in Dublin, issue 81, editor Gerhard Stickel, Peter Lang, 2010, ISBN 3631603657, pp. 97-106.
  23. ^ Енциклопедия „Пирински край“, том II. Благоевград, Редакция „Енциклопедия“, 1999. ISBN 954-90006-2-1. с. 459.
  24. ^ Makedoniya July 31st 1870
  25. ^ Tchavdar Marinov. In Defense of the Native Tongue: The Standardization of the Macedonian Language and the Bulgarian-Macedonian Linguistic Controversies. in Entangled Histories of the Balkans - Volume One. DOI: p. 443
  26. ^ Благой Шклифов, За разширението на диалектната основа на българския книжовен език и неговото обновление. "Македонската" азбука и книжовна норма са нелегитимни, дружество "Огнище", София, 2003 г. . стр. 7-10.
  27. ^ Elena Hadjinikolova, Unknown connection of Marin Drinov with the Bulgarian church-educational mouvement in Vardar Macedonia (1870s) in Исторически преглед 70 (2014) 5-6, стр. 91-102, ISSN 0323-9748.
  28. ^ Balázs Trencsényi et al., Late Enlightenment: Emergence of modern national ides, Volume 1, Central European University Press, 2006, ISBN 9637326529, p. 247.
  29. ^ Sampimon, J. (2006). Becoming Bulgarian : the articulation of Bulgarian identity in the nineteenth century in its international context: an intellectual history. Uitgeverij Pegasus, p. 86.
  30. ^ R. J. Crampton, Bulgaria, Oxford History of Modern Europe, OUP Oxford, 2007, ISBN 0191513318, pp. 73-75.
  31. ^ Tchavdar Marinov. In Defense of the Native Tongue: The Standardization of the Macedonian Language and the Bulgarian-Macedonian Linguistic Controversies. in Entangled Histories of the Balkans - Volume One. DOI: p. 441.
  32. ^ Duncan Perry, "The Republic of Macedonia: finding its way" in Karen Dawisha and Bruce Parrot (eds.), Politics, power and the struggle for Democracy in South-Eastern Europe, Cambridge University Press, 1997, pp. 228-229.
  33. ^ Roumen Daskalov, Alexander Vezenkov, Entangled Histories of the Balkans - Volume Three: Shared Pasts, Disputed Legacies. BRILL, 2015, ISBN 9004290362, p. 449.
  34. ^ "At the end of the World War I there were very few historians or ethnographers, who claimed that a separate Macedonian nation existed... Of those Macedonian Slavs who had developed then some sense of national identity, the majority considered themselves to be Bulgarians, although they were aware of differences between themselves and the inhabitants of Bulgaria... The question as of whether a Macedonian nation actually existed in the 1940s when a Communist Yugoslavia decided to recognize one is difficult to answer. Some observers argue that even at this time it was doubtful whether the Slavs from Macedonia considered themselves to be a nationality separate from the Bulgarians." The Macedonian conflict: ethnic nationalism in a transnational world, Loring M. Danforth, Princeton University Press, 1997, ISBN 0-691-04356-6, pp. 65-66.
  35. ^ Stefan Troebst sees the Macedonian process of nation building as a perfect example of Gellner's theory of nationalism. Since the foundation of the Yugoslav Macedonia this construction was conducted in haste and hurry: National language, national literature, national history and national church were not available in 1944, but they were accomplished in a short time. The south-east-Slavic regional idiom of the area of Prilep-Veles was codified as the script, normed orthographically by means of the Cyrillic Alphabet, and taken over immediately by the newly created media. And the people have been patching up the national history ever since. Thus, they are forming more of an “ethnic” than a political concept of nation. For more, see: Carsten Wieland, One Macedonia With Three Faces: Domestic Debates and Nation Concepts, in Intermarium; Columbia University; Volume 4, No. 3 (2000–2001
  36. ^ Lucian Leustean as ed., Orthodox Christianity and Nationalism in Nineteenth-century Southeastern Europe, Oxford University Press, 2014, ISBN 0823256065, p. 257.
  37. ^ Ulf Brunnbauer, “Serving the Nation: Historiography in the Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) after Socialism“, Historien, Vol. 4 (2003-4), pp. 161-182.
  38. ^ Bechev, Dimitar. Historical Dictionary of the Republic of Macedonia Historical Dictionaries of Europe. Scarecrow Press. 2009; p. 245. ISBN 0-8108-6295-6.