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Speros Vryonis,Jr.

The Byzantine Legacy in Folk Life and Tradition in the Balkans

From The Byzantine Legacy in Eastern Europe, edited by Lowell Clucas, East European Monographs, Boulder,New York, 1988.

3. Religion in the life of the Balkan peoples

This history of the formal religious structures and of popular religious practices among the inhabitants of the Balkan peninsula is a very long and complex one, stretching from the second millennium B.C. until modern times, with elements both of continuity and change. At the earliest level are the well studied structures and practices of Graeco-Roman antiquity which include not only the beliefs, ceremonies and institutions of the Greeks and Romans but also those of the non-Greek, non-Roman populations such as the Dacians, Illyrians, and Thracians. Much less is known about the religious life of the latter than of the former. Graeco-Roman paganism itself was the result of the fusion of many elements and practices, some sanctioned and especially sponsored by the state, others enjoying popularity in the non-sponsored, popular realm of culture and society. The god Dionysus and his worship enjoyed both a formal worship, as elaborated and controlled by state festivals of Dionysiaca, and a popular worship, as evidenced by popular ceremonies associated with religious practices in rural society which stood well out of the monitoring powers of the city-state or the empire. Further, Greek religion, according to Nilsson and other students, was the result of a fusion, at times imperfect, of pre-Greek chthonic elements and the religious beliefs and practices of Greek newcomers to the peninsula, a religiosity often symbolized by the duodecadic pantheon of the gods. As this religion came into contact with religious practices of Thracians (the cult of the rider hero, etc.) and other Balkan peoples there was further accommodation of Graeco-Roman and local gods and religious practices, to which were added the cults of the Near Eastern Mystery religions, especially in the period of the Roman Empire.

When Christianity began to spread into the peninsula in the period of the Roman Empire, the bases were laid for the next great strategraphic overlay on the religious life of the Balkan inhabitants: the official adoption of Christianity as the religion of the state, and the attempts of the emperors from the time of Constantius II, the son of Constantine the Great, through Justinian in particular to enforce conversion to Christianity by legislation and severe legal penalties for those who were recalcitrant. This resulted in mass conversions throughout the empire. Now it is precisely the phenomenon of mass conversions, which results, most effectively, in the survival of prior religious cults, practices, and beliefs. In this, mass conversion serves as a protection or insulation for the earlier religious life of the converts. In contrast individual conversion can and often is a more thorough process in that the individual is isolated from the body of his former co-religionists and is persuaded to make a true change and conversion. Thus during the period of mass conversions of paganism and pagans to Christianity the converts, especially in the rural areas, but in the towns, often, as well, preserved their former religious beliefs, associations and practices within the framework of the church. Conversely, the church, in asserting its dogmas and cultic practices had, nevertheless, to accommodate also much that was not Christian and that was indeed out and out pagan. This basic process of the accommodation of Christianity and pagan religiosity occurred thus from the very time of the first appearance of Christianity in the Balkans, in an ever intensifying manner, right into the reign of Justinian. It was, therefore, a process which had run a full cycle by the time of the appearance of the Slavs in the Balkan peninsula.

When the Slavs came, from the little that we know of their religious life (the earliest and most detailed description of their religious beliefs and institutions occurs in the Byzantine historian Procopius) it was a type of polytheism-polydaemonism in which they believed in a supreme sky and weather god (not unlike Zeus and Jupiter), and in spirits that inhabited the waters, the mountains and the forests (like the Greek nereids, dryads, oreads).(21) We know very little about the contact of the Slavs with the older Balkan peoples prior to the Christianization of the Slavs in the ninth and tenth centuries but their entrance, formally, into Christianity in the ninth and tenth centuries brought them into intimate contact with the formal, religious life, beliefs, and ceremony of Greek Christianity. But from the study of the popular religious practices and beliefs of Roumanians, Bulgarians,(22), Serbs,(23) and Greeks, it would seem that the Slavs also came into contact with the popular religiosity of the pre-Slavic peoples and it would be difficult to suppose that this occurred exclusively as a result of their formal Christianization. Thus in the religious life of the newcomers we might reasonably expect to see a fusion of Christian religiosity (itself already a fusion of Christianity with Graeco-Roman paganism in its evolved state of late antiquity) with Slavic popular religion. And indeed when we look at the religious life of this newer demographicethnographic element in the Balkans, we see a formal religious life which is formally completely Christian, but which at the popular level is very heavily influenced by the earlier Graeco-Roman and Slavic pagan practices, rites, and beliefs. Even aspects of their formal Christianity and Christian life had long ago been formed from a fusion of pagan and Christian elements.

Thus, returning, briefly, to the earlier theoretical statement and structure of the consideration of the popular culture of the Balkan peoples and the survival of the Byzantine legacy therein, we see once more that the concept of a series of cultural layers dynamically connected in cultural evolution is a concept of considerable utility in getting at the heart of the subject under consideration. In the area of religion we see the following strata:

Chthonic pre-Greek
Greek and Roman
Indigenous-Thracian, Dacian, Illyrian
Oriental Mystery religions
Slavic paganism-Slavic Christianity and popular religion in the Christian era

Let us return to the subject, more strictly speaking, of the Byzantine tradition in the realm of religion. With Christianization the Balkan Slavs entered a formal religious world of highly developed metaphysical speculative dogma, of formalization of dogma, belief, cultic practice through the mechanics of centralized church councils, and of a legalistic church structure buttressed by the centralized promulgation of a church law known as canon law. Indeed the medieval Serbian and Bulgarian states adopted Byzantine Christian dogma and the seven ecumenical councils, the hierarchical administrative structure of the Byzantine church, eventually creating for themselves patriarchates also, and of course they adopted the same system of canon law. But all these are elements of formal religious life and do not form the subject proper of our present discourse... nevertheless, formal religious life was important for popular religious life inasmuch as it formed or constituted one of the basic forces in the overall synthesis and character of popular religious life. And to this extent the influence of the Byzantine legacy in Balkan religious life was decisive, both in the pre-Turkish era as well as in the era of Ottoman rule.

The most striking elements of the Byzantine legacy in the popular religious life of the Balkan populations are to be seen in monasticism, hagiolatry, iconolatry, the appearance of neomartyrdom as a result of clashes with Islam, the survival of pagan animal sacrifices, the beliefs surrounding the Christian mystery of baptism, and indeed the existence of a religious calendar which is closely modelled on and adopted from the calendar and cycle of practices and beliefs associated with ancient paganism.

In the period following the Ottoman conquests and into the sixteenth century the number of Slavic monks on Mount Athos seems to have been substantial, and monasticism remained a vital institution in the popular religious life of all the Balkan Christians throughout the period of Ottoman rule. The tradition of martyrdom for the faith, so prominent in the earliest spread of Christianity during the reigns of Decius and Diocletian, had with the triumph of Christianity subsided. Then with the appearance of the new Muslim conquerors in the Balkans during the fourteenth century, and throughout their five hundred years of political sovereignty there was an apposition of Christianity and Islam. The latter, enjoying the prestige of political superiority and economic affluence, followed a double policy toward Christianity. On the one hand there was formal institutionalised tolerance of Judaism and Christianity so that the masses of Christians survived the five hundred years of Ottoman rule without surrendering their religion. On the other hand the missionizing spirit was inbuilt into the teaching and the spirit of Islam so that there was substantial conversion of Christians in the Balkans, though not on the same massive scale as in Asia Minor, and very often these conversions took place in stressful times.(24) Within this domain of restricted conversion there were individuals who underwent death and martyrdom for their Christian faith. The neo-martyrs, as a cult, appear early in the Ottoman conquests of the Balkans, as is evidenced by the martyrdom of St. George of Sofia, a Christian soldier in the Ottoman armies, and continued into the very late period of Ottoman rule, as witness the martyrdom of the neo-martyrs St. George of Jannina who was martyred in an Ottoman military camp, and Constantine the Neomartyr who underwent his tribulation in the early nineteenth century Izmir. As a phenomenon, neomartyrdom was a continuation of the phenomenon which first arose among Christians in the Turkish domains of Seljuk Anatolia.(25)

Certainly the most important of all the aspects of popular religious life of the Balkan peoples was hagiolatry, the cult and worship of the saints. One should note the following important characteristics of hagiolatry: the worship of the saint is localized and personalized; the local patron saint is the single most important religious figure in the life of the inhabitants of the Balkan village and town during the Ottoman period, as also the Byzantine period.

For he, or she, is the most efficacious supernatural force in the life cycle of the Balkan Christian, more powerful than Christ, the Virgin, and God. He is the most important because he is present in the village or town. The Byzantines and modern Greeks called him sympolites, co-citizen. Very often they have in the village reliquary or in the church's foundations a relic of that saint, which means that the magic of his presence resides in his actual presence, his physical presence, pars pro toto. A great deal of scholarly attention has been given to the cults of individual saints, as indeed to the entire phenomenon.

At one stage of scholarship there were attempts to point to connections of individual saints with individual Graeco-Roman pagan deities: Poseidon, St. Nicholas; Athena, the Virgin, etc., because there was a strong suspicion that the cult of the saints grew out of the polytheistic cults of antiquity. It is perhaps simplistic to look for direct continuity between pagan deities and a given saint. But one should examine, and indeed this has been done successfully, the continuity of functions and attributes between pagan deities and Christian saints, as a more promising sector of research. And then finally, one should examine the function of the entirety of the structure of hagiolatry as a religious phenomenon and should do so comparatively with the polytheistic nature of Graeco-Roman religion. Given the undoubted importance of each individual saint in the local life of various villages and towns, and the elaborate cult attendant upon the worship of each, one cannot but be struck by the emphasis on the many rather than on the one in Orthodox Christianity in the Balkans. This emphasis on the varied rather than on the unified one in popular religiosity of course recalls the lack of a rigidly enforced unity in pagan religion. In effect, hagiolatry is a partial replacement of and a partial continuity of the ancient polytheistic and polydaemonistic concept of religion. So in this respect hagiolatry is polytheistic. Further, there is no doubt that the attributes and functions of ancient deities have been taken over by various saints.(26)

In this respect, it is instructive to look for a moment at the cult of the Prophet Elijah, first among the Byzantines and modern Greeks, and then among the Bulgars and Serbs. In the Byzantine and modern Greek tradition, Elijah (in Greek he is called Elias) is the saint of rain, thunder, lightning, and the wind. According to Greek folklore lightning and thunder are his weapons and he unleashes them as he chases the devil, or variously, the dragon, across the heavens in his chariot. His chapels are most conspicuously placed on mountain tops and heights... he has an almost exclusive monopoly of these, man's highest landscapes, those points of the earth's surface which are closest to the heavens. It had been pointed out by the Greek folklorist Nikolas Polites, with a high degree of probability, that these attributes of Elijah represented an appropriation of the principal characteristics of the pagan Greek god Zeus, who was also the Indo-european god of thunder, rain, and the skies, and to whom heights were sacred. Both by the philological proximity of the names Elias-Helios, and by further appropriation, it has been indicated, again with a high degree of probability, that the cult of the Prophet Elijah expropriated the functions of the sun god Helios; also close in position and function to Zeus.

Scholars who have studied this particular Byzantine cult have, further, examined the cultic practices attendant upon the worship of the Prophet Elijah and these too are instructive as to the composite character of his attributes and prehistory. It has been observed that on the highest landmark of Mt.Taygetus, dominating the Spartan plain, the Greek peasants used to ascend the mountain on his feast day, July 20, to light fires in his honor and to throw incense into the fire as an offering to the prophet-saint. Down below on the plains, the peasants lighted their own fires, dancing around them and jumping over the flames. Further, it was the practice to sacrifice a rooster to him, a practise closely associated with the worship of the pagan god of the sun Helios. As a symbol of the sun, whose rays first fell on the mountaintops, the cock sacrifice was adopted into the cult of Elijah who also inherited some of the traits-attributes of Helios, as well as of Zeus. Thus the farmers used to believe that they could foretell the weather from the crowing of the rooster. As an Old Testament Prophet, Elijah, it was believed, could foretell the future, and so on his feast day the peasants consulted him from the colors of the burning incense which the faithful offered to him in the fires on the mountain heights. In eastern Rumelia peasants sacrificed bullocks to him in an effort to ward off contagious diseases.(27)

I short, we have a picture of a composite Byzantine-Νeohellenic saint, the Prophet Elijah. From Hebraic Old Testament prophet, he became a «Greek-speaking» heir to Zeus-Helios, and was finally consecrated a saint. Thus there are at least three layers, historically speaking, three overlays, which went into the composite picture of this important figure in the Byzantine hagiolatric calendar.

What do we find in the popular religious calendar, beliefs, and practices of the Serbs and Bulgars? On July 20 the Serbs and Bulgars worship Sv. Ilija Gromovnik... his Serbian epithet Gromovnik is indicative, for it means the thunderer. His fellow saints hide from him on his feast day proper for fear that he might unleash terrible storms. At that time people are forbidden to work lest they be struck by lightning, a belief that prevails even among South Slavs converted to Islam. In eastern Serbia and Bulgaria the patriarch of the household must sacrifice a rooster on his feast day lest he himself perish. In parts of Bulgaria the rooster is broiled and devoured at a common meal held atop a nearby mountain dedicated to Saint Ilija(28). Thus, from this brief description we see that the cult of the Prophet Elijah passed to the South Slavs in its Byzantine form; that is a composite saint with elements from the Old Testament Elijah, the pagan Zeus and Helios, and the Byzantine saint's cult.

This example can be multiplied by a very large number of similar and parallel cases of Byzantine saints who represent Christianised attributes of pagan deities and daemons.

Moving from the category of hagiolatry to cult practice, Ι should like to mention, en passant, certain pagan cultic practices which were absorbed by the religious practices of the Byzantines and then passed on into the practices of the Balkan peoples: animal sacrifice and offerings of boiled wheat-panspermia-kollyva.

Blood sacrifice is one of the most striking aspects of classical Graeco-Roman paganism, as it is of the other early religious traditions elsewhere. Doubtlessly it was also practiced by the Slavs when they first entered the Balkan peninsula, though we have no early direct sources in this matter. Though sacrifice was combated as a distinctly pagan practice by the early church, its persistence was such that its prohibition is to be seen in the canons of the church as well as in survivals into modern times. The canons forbade the roasting of animals on skewers following the church service and in the church courtyard, a prohibition which indicates that this pagan remnant continued into the Christian era. Other survivals in modern Greek folklore of the sacrifice of oxen, sheep, and roosters are well known and indicate a popular survival into modern times of pagan sacrificial practices.(29) Similarly, Serbian folklore studies record the practice of sacrificing a rooster at the ploughing season in the presence of a priest who performed a special litany(30), and Bulgars traditionally performed a sacrifice (a kurban) for the dead.(31) But such practices of performing a sacrifice may have arisen independently in each of these three traditions: Greek, Bulgar, Serb. Are there any indications of a common thread or origin of such practices within the realm of pagan sacrifice?

If one looks into the seasonal and Christian calendars of all three of these peoples, he will see a startling similarity in the realm of sacrificial practices in a sufficient number of cases to point to common origins or at least to common results. On July 20, the feast day of the Prophet Elijah, Greeks, Serbs, and Bulgars sacrificed roosters to Elijah and lit fires on heights in his honor (32).

On April 23 all three peoples celebrated the feast of St. George by the sacrifice of a young lamb, a ritual meal, and by all sorts of magical practices associated with the spring cycle in the life of the pastoral sector of Balkan society and in the movement of the flocks (33).

Three observations are in order in regard to these common sacrificial practices of a major portion of the Balkan peoples in medieval and modern times. First, there is the identity of sacrificial and other rites; second there is the fact that they occur at specific times in the rural-economic cycle of life which is as ancient as those occupations; third, they are ancient pre-Christian practices which, because of their importance in the economic and seasonal cycles, persisted. The church, in early Byzantine times, simply incorporated these pagan-seasonal practices in the rural areas and it was natural that they should be absorbed in the hagiolatric calendar which so prevailed in the rural areas. Here, old pagan practices were regularized under the mantle of the church and they passed into the worship of the saints. Obviously animal sacrifice, fires, and popular-magical practices attendant on pastoralism were anything but Christian. When the Slavs entered the Balkans they found these practices in effect, and when they came into contact with Christianity and with the pre-Slavic Balkan peoples they absorbed these practices. Thus we have here, in animal sacrifice, a legacy of Byzantium in the popular culture of the Balkan peoples.

The persistence of these ancient pre-Christian, and then Christianised, practices are also to be observed among Muslims, probably converts, during Ottoman times. Thus, the lamb sacrifice and sacrificial meal attendant upon the celebration of St. George on April 23 has been observed, in modern times, among the Muslims of Bosnia, themselves largely and ultimately composed of Bosnian Slavs converted to Islam in Ottoman times (34).

Many aspects of this pagan form of sacrifice, sanctified later by popular Christianity, survived among muslims on a largely scale, as the sixteenth century Croatian observer Bartholomaeus Georgiewitz in forms us. In a paragraph entitled "The manner of their sacrifice (Turks)» he states that at a time of danger or of illness they sacrifice an ox or a sheep. After the sacrifice, they apportion the dead animal in such a manner that the «priest» receives the skin, head, feet, and a fourth part of the flesh. Another part is given to the poor, and the rest they and their friends devour. He notes that in this respect they do exactly as do the Greeks and Armenians in Asia Minor. What is of interest here is the «priest's» share. It is precisely the same share which a sacrificing priest was given in many parts of the ancient Greek world in the fourth century B.C., and this share was then called «dermatikon» after the skin of the slain animal (35).

If there be any doubt left as to the continuity of this type of sacrifice among Balkan Muslims one need only look at the practices of Balkan Muslims on the feast days of the Prophet Elijah and of St. George. On April 23-4 the Bosnian Muslims sacrifice a lamb to St. George, and on the feast day of the Prophet Elijah they sacrifice a lamb (not a rooster).

Next Ι wish to look at a widespread practice among the Balkan peoples at certain religious celebrations. This has to do with the preparation of kollyva: the word is common to Greeks, Bulgars, Slavs, as is the practice associated with kollyva. What is kollyva? In Byzantine times it indicated the boiled wheat usually distributed to the faithful on certain religious feasts, particularly however, it was associated with the commemoration and/ or propitiation of the souls of the departed. The word is copiously attested to in the medieval Greek authors (see Ducange) and is also known in the ancient lexica. Thus the word goes back to Byzantine and to classical Greek times. What of the practices associated with this boiled wheat?

Among modern Greeks boiled wheat, usually interspersed with raisins, almonds, sugar, and sometimes pomegranate, is most frequently given to the faithful at religious ceremonies that are concerned with the dead: funerals, commemorations of the soul of the departed at three months, six months, one year, etc. But they are also distributed to the faithful on New Year's day, in commemoration of souls, on the feast days of St. Tryphon (an agricultural festival dedicated to the fields and to the vines) and on December 4, the feast day of St. Barbara.

Among Serbs, kollyva are prepared and eaten on Christmas Eve to commemorate the souls of the dead, as well as on the occasion of the Slava, a feast which celebrates the ancestor of the household and also the patron saint of the household (36). The Serbs, like the Greeks", offer kollyva to St. Barbara on her feast day. For the Serbs, St. Tryphon is the patron saint of vegetation and of vineyards, as in the case of the Greeks, but Schneeweis does not inform us whether or not the Serbs offer him kollyva on the occasion of his feast (38).

The Bulgars, much like the Greeks and Serbs, prepare kollyva as a part of the rituals attendant upon funerals and upon the commemoration of the souls of the dead. Further for them, as for the Greeks and Serbs, St. Tryphon is associated with the vegetation cycle and specifically with their cultivation of the grapevine. On this day the Bulgar peasant went to the vineyards and pruned the grape vines. The peasant took to the fields with him, on this occasion, wine, brandy, and kollyva (39).

It is of interest to note that among many Yugoslav Mohammedans St. Barbara's day continued to be celebrated by the preparation of kollyva. (40).

We see, then, that the practice of preparing, offering, and eating kollyva among Greeks, Serbs, and Bulgars are associated with the commemoration of the souls of the dead, and also with agricultural-vegetative celebrations. Further we see that these celebrations, at least in terms of the few examples presented, are synchronized chronologically in the year's calendar and around the personalities of specific saints in some cases. What is, then, the origin of the similarity of religious practice in the case of kollyva?

We have already noted the Greek origin of the word, that it is copiously noted in Byzantine times, from the fourth century on. In Byzantine times, without going into any great detail, kollyva were prepared, and eaten, on religious occasions in which the souls of the dead were commemorated, and also were offered up to certain saints. Specifically they refer to prayers over the kollyva for the dead, and also to prayers over the kollyva on behalf of the memory of the saints. Byzantine hagiographical and religious authors tended to attribute the origins of the practice of kollyva to the cult of St. Theodore. Thus we see that in early Byzantine times the preparation of the wheat in honor of the dead and of the saints was early incorporated into the church and was a universal phenomenon.

In effect the statement that the practice originated in conjunction with a Christian cult that of St. Theodore, is a pious fib intended to give this practice Christian origin. In effect it is pagan and very ancient. The great historian of ancient Greek religion, Martin Nilsson, had already made the association between the modern Greek kollyva and their ancient progenitor, the panspermion.

«The Panspermia, a mixture of all kinds of fruits, was often found in the ancient Greek cult, either in the cult of the dead at the general Feast of Souls, or at festivals held for the protection of the standing crops and growing fruit. In modern Greece it is just as common and makes its appearance in the same occasions. It has different names; in some cases the old term is preserved, but most frequently it is called kollyva, from the boiled grains of wheat, which form one of its principal ingredients. It has its established place in the cult of the dead... just as in classical times. It is also found at the general feast of Souls from which the Saturday before Whitsun takes its name of the Sabbath of Souls. At the festival of harvest all kinds of fruits are brought to the church, are blessed by the priest, and part of them are strewn before the altar and the rest distributed... At Arachova, near ancient Delphi... the panspermia has kept its old name» (41)

Once more, with the kollyva and its ceremonial attachments, we find a practice in the popular culture of the Balkan peoples which is a Byzantinized version, i.e. a Christianized form, of an ancient pagan practice.

Having discussed, and given brief illustrative examples of the hagiolatric and cultic practices common to the Balkan peoples, Ι wish to turn briefly to that other salient feature of popular religiosity among the Balkan peoples, iconolatry, that is, reverence or even worship of the holy icons. The cult of the images was so widespread, in modern times, among Greeks, Bulgars, Roumanians, and Serbs that it is not necessary to dwell upon this fact at any length. The painted image plays a central role in the domain of both the church and the house; particular icons are endowed with mystical qualities and powers to heal, to protect, to fulfil aspirations, etc. Obviously the cult of the religious images is a Byzantine inheritance pure and simple in the popular, as well as in the formal, religious life of the Balkan peoples. Both their technological and liturgical function are Byzantine on the one hand, and also their artistic production is the direct legacy of Byzantium, though western influence also intruded in the Renaissance and Baroque periods. Nevertheless their iconography, if not always their style, is a Byzantine legacy.

But what of their more general cultural function? Ηow far can this be traced?

As is well known the principle object of cult worship in Graeco-Roman paganism seems to have been the statue, though painted forms were also known. Each deity had his or her iconographic sculpted type, and each god-goddess had its own attributes and miraculous powers and specialization. Further, the statues if prayed to and propitiated, could cure illness, thwart foes, fulfil desires, etc.

Because the statues were so intimately associated with paganism the Greek church fought them relentlessly and finally forbade sculpture in the round. But pagan customs and habits persisted and so the painted image replaced the statue. It assumed, however, all the same religious and social functions. Just as in the case of statues so there were icons, which were palladia of towns and armies, there were icons, which cured, icons that assured economic enterprises, etc. Just as there had been statues said to have been made by other than human hands (diopeteis) and which had come from the heavens, so there were magical icons, which also were not painted by humans (acheiropoietoi).

Thus the function of the icon was identical to the function of the statue in most of its attributes.

The art of the painting of the icon came to the Balkan peoples from Byzantium. Then, in the eighteenth century Dionysios o ek Phourna, the Greek monk and painter from Mount Athos, composed his manual Ermeniea tes Zographikes, which going back to older texts and traditions about painting reformulated the various techniques for painting (Byzantine and western), and prescribed the iconographies, proportions of subjects in all scenes depicted in icons. This text intended as a manual for painters, was then translated into Roumanian and Serbian. The transmission of this text which is at the same time a religious and artistic text, gave the possibility for the renewal of the unification of both the art and cult of the icon among the Balkan peoples, and originates, as in Byzantine times, from a Greek source and tradition (42).


21. Procopius, De bello gothico,

22. See my forthcoming, Prior Tempore, Fortior Iure; the chapter entitled "The Theory of a Tripartite Ethnogenesis of the Bulgarian People and the Rise of Thracology in Contemporary Bulgarian Scholarship".

23. Runciman, op. cit., passim. Β. Djurdjev, Ulova tsrkva u starijoj srpskog naroda (Sarajevo, 1964). Srpska pravoslvna tsrkva 1219-1969 (Belgrade, 1969).

24. Vryonis, "Religious Changes and Patterns in the Balkans...", passim.

25. Vryonis, Decline of Medieval Hellenism.-360-362. C. Patrinellis, "Mia anekdote pege yia ton agnosto neo-martyra Georgio (1437)". Orthodoxos Parousia, Ι (1964), 65-74. Ι. Delehaye, "Greek Neo-Martyrs", The Constructive Quarterly, ΙΧ (1921), 701-712.

26. Μ. Nilsson, Greek Popular Religion (New York, 1940). J.C. Lawson, Modern Greek Folklore and Ancient Greek Religion. Α Study in Survivals (New York, 1964). For many of the details of pagan survivals see especially the work of D. Constantelos, "Paganism and the State in the Age of Justinian", Catholic Historical Review, ΧΧIII (1978), 217-234. "Cannon 62 of the Synod in Trullo and the Slavic Problem", ΒΥΖΑΝΤlΝΑ, ΙΙ (1970), 23-35.

27. G. Megas, Greek Calendar Customs (Athens, 1958), 142-144.

28. Ε. Schneeweis, Serbokroatische Volkskunde (Berlin, 1961), 142. For survivals of Christian hagiolatry among Balkan converts to Islam, C. Vakarelski, "Αltertumliche Elemente in Lebensweise und Kultur der bulgarischen Mohammedanei', Zeitschrift fur Balkanologie, IV (1966), 149-172.

29. Megas, Zetemata ellenikes laographias, pt. ΙIΙ (1950), 20-21; Greek Calendar Customs, passim.

30. Schneeweis, op. cit., 116.

31. Vakarelski, Bulgarische Volkskunde (Berlin, 1969),-308.

32. Schneeweis op. cit., 142; Megas Greek Calendar Customs, 142-144; Vakarelski, op. cit., 221-222.

33. Megas, op. cit., 115; Schneeweis, op. cit., 136; Vakarelski, op. cit.,-321-322.

34. Schneeweis, op. cit., 146.

35. Vryonis, "Religious Changes and Patterns in the Balkans...", 174-175, and notes #47, #48.

36. Schneweis, op. cit.,146.

37. Megas, op. cit., 24, 44, 55.

38. Schneeweis, οp. cit., 110, 111, 117, 120.

39. Vakarelski, op. cit., 308,-313,-319.

40. Schneeweis, op.cit., 146.

41. Nilsson, op. cit., 300-301.

42. On the function of the icon, Ε. Kitzinger, "The Cult of Images in the Ate before Iconoclasm". Dumbarton Oaks Papers, VIII (1954), 83-150. For the text and commentary on Dionysios of Phourna, Papadopoulos-Kermaeus, Denys de Phourna Manuel d iconographie chrétienne accompagne de ses sources principales inédites avec préface, pour la premier fois en entier d' après son texte original (St. Petersburg, 1909). For the Roumanian translation and diffusion in the non-Greek Balkan world, V. Grecu, "Byzantinische Handbucher der Kirchenmalerei", Byzantion, ΙΧ (1934), 675-701. It also had a great influence on Bulgarians, Α. Vasiliev. Erminii, Tehnologiia i ikonografiia (Sofia, 1976).

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