The Мirоslаv Gospel

In the Middle Ages, written texts were either on scrolls – rolled up sheets of parchment (specially prepared animal hide) – or paper, or on the other hand, sheets of such material were cut and laid out as codices – books written by hand. To write a book took several months or even years, and was done at candlelight, usually in monasteries. The scribes were a sort of artists, as each text was adorned or illuminated. In this way, some Old Slavic manuscripts came about in Cyrillic or Glagolitic and have been preserved until the present day. Original texts from the period when the Salonika brothers and their disciples were active have not been preserved. The oldest of such monuments are copies of the texts dating from the 11th and 12th centuries. They are mostly sections of the Gospels and Psalters, as well as collections of various prayers. The most precious Cyrillic monument to the Serbian literacy dates from the late 12th century. It is the Miroslav Gospel, written for the Hum Prince Мirоslаv, brother to Stephen Nеmаnja. The end of the manuscript was written by Gregory the deacon, who also illuminated it.


Until 1896, the Мirоslаv Gospel was kept in Hilаndаr, and today it is at the National Museum of Belgrade.


The Hum Prince Мirоslаv