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NEC International


Research project: Early Modern Bulgarian Practitioners of Magic in Central Eastern European Context

The focus of the proposed project in on the figure of the practitioner of magic in early modern Bulgaria. Its objectives are to bring together the fragmented knowledge on the topic, to compare with relevant historical parallels, and to present a fuller image of the special roles and functions, performed by members of the early modern society. The project will also connect with earlier and later historical periods. The topic’s research potential will be expanded in comparative Central Eastern European perspective. The main primary sources are textual, dated late 15th c. – early 19th c. These are six types of texts: Eastern Orthodox Christian prayers, liturgical ritual instructions, sermons, didactic parables, medical recipes and marginal notes. They are written in Old Church Slavonic language and preserved in early modern manuscripts (books of occasional prayers, miscellanies, damaskins and healer’s books). Manuscript illuminations, amulets and church frescoes will be examined, too.