A Polish Researcher Enjoying Easy Access to Cyrillic and Greek Texts in Sofia

In the second half of September 2020, Professor Jerzy Ostapczuk visited the Centre for Slavonic and Byzantine Studies “Prof. Ivan Dujčev” at Sofia University St. Kliment Ohirdski thanks to a ReIReS TNA scholarship.

Professor Jerzy Ostapczuk is Dean of the Faculty of Theology at the Christian Academy of Theology in Warsaw.

Here is what he said:

Perfect Opportinity to Research and to Consult Resources

“As a researcher of early printed Cyrillic Tetraevangelions issued in 16th century on the territories of contemporary Serbia and Romania, I needed and sought the opportunity to visit Sofia’s collections. The ReIReS Scholarship, which I was finally able to take up at the Centre of Slavonic and Byzantine Studies “Prof. I. Duičev” in Sofia from 21st of September to 2nd of October 2020, was a perfect opportunity to research some hardly accessible Cyrillic Tetraevangelions from the 2nd half of the 16th century and to consult other Gospel imprints preserved at different collections in Sofia. It was also a perfect chance to meet the authorities in Cyrillic manuscripts and early printed books.

Unique and Easy Access

The collection of Centre for Slavonic and Byzantine Studies “Prof. Ivan Dujčev” and other Sofia’s repositories are rich in manuscripts and quite well preserved rare editions of Cyrillic Tetraevangelions from 16th century. It was the only opportunity to get access to some texts, i.e. Chapter list (Kephalaia) and Prefaces to the Gospels of Matthew, that are located at the beginning of early printed Cyrillic Tetraevangelions and usually got lost or damaged in most of the surviving copies preserved in others European collections.

My participation in Transnational Access of ReIReS enabled not only an easy access to Cyrillic and Greek manuscripts and books, but also enriched the sources of my previous research projects and inspired me for new topics of research, which I wish to carry out in the following years.

At Home

During all my visit to the Centre of Slavonic and Byzantine Studies “Prof. I. Duičev” in Sofia I felt as at home. I was introduced to its history, rich collection, library and staff by prof. Vasia Velinova. My stay in Sofia would not be so successful without the help of prof. Maria Totomanova-Paneva, who prepared my visit, took care of me and willingly helped me in any situation. She always managed to reserve the seat for me at reading rooms, that worked to a limited extent due to pandemic situation caused by coronavirus COVID-19.

It was a wonderful time, for scientific research and friendship too!

Thank you very much, my new Dear Bulgarian Friends!”


And thank you very much for this wonderful report, Prof. Jerzy Ostapczuk!