HISTORY, MEMORY, PEOPLE: THE HISTORIOGRAPHIC WRITINGS OF PAISII HILENDARSKI AND JOVAN RAICH
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The historiographical works of Paisius of Hilendar История словеноболгарская (1844) and Jovan Rajic Историја разних народов, наипаче Болгар, Хорватов и Сербов (1794 – 1795) constitute fundamental monuments of the national history, culture and literature of Bulgarians and Serbians. They are also a very important element of supranational cultural heritage of Slavia Orthodoxa and the Balkan Peninsula culture. Both works were created in the same period however their publication took place at different times. Both Paisius’s and Rajic’s works are ahead of their times; they combine the Medieval tradition with the new era and they serve as a kind of a “guidebook to patriotism”. The similarities and differences between Paisius’s and Rajic’s works relate to their character, the scope of ethnogenetic reflection, philosophical tradition, civic, spiritual and didactic program as well as style. Both Paisius and Rajić profoundly influenced their contemporaries as well as further generations in building a sense of national identity and perception of their own strengths and abilities, creating the foundation for the future development of independent existence. The message of the works of the two authors stems from the common Christian ethics and philosophical standing, but the manner in which Paisij and Rajić put emphasis is different. Paisij’s unique narration places his work in the tenor of common contemplative reflection with an overweening political and emotional character. At the same time, a special subject of Paisij’s reflections is a human being, defined in the spirit of rationalism of Locke and Hume and the Christian ethics according to the approach of “a human being feeling with their heart”. On the other hand, the erudite work by Rajic is something of a historic and philosophical treatise and its organic view on society and state is very close to the views of Hobbes, since as a rationalist he believed in the mind and searched for the truth and implementation of “a state of harmony”.
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