Srbljak, Prayer Rules of the Holy Serbian Enlighteners, 1765

Srbljak, published in 1765, is the oldest among the old and rare books within the Historical Collection, but also the first item with which its formation began. On the initial page, there is a graphic showing holy Serbian emperors, princes, despots and archbishops with 15 figures in 13 medallions, while at the top is a representation of Christ, who blesses. In the central medallion is “Saint Simon, the former first crowned king of Serbia”, and in the medallion below him “St. Sava, Archbishop of Serbia”.
The book is written in church Cyrillic letters and has 35 initials, 6 capital and 7 final decorations.

Srbljak is a special type of Minoan collections and contains original works of old Serbian church poetry – services and lives of canonized Serbs. Its formation began in the 15th century and has no strictly established composition, and the process of its formation during the Ottoman rule was one of the most significant literary events in Serbia at that time. The first known manuscript of Serbs, which contained a significant part of this national corpus, was written in the Rakovec Monastery in Srem in 1714. Exactly according to that, or some similar manuscript, the first edition of the printed book was published, which was prepared by the Bishop of Arad, Sinesija Živanović, under the title “Prayer Rules of the Holy Serbian Enlighteners”. The first edition was published in Rimnik, Romania in 1761, and the second, to which our copy also belongs, in Venice in 1765.

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