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Prof. Ivan Dujčev

(1907 – 1986)

The eminent Bulgarian historian and linguist, Prof. Ivan Dujčev, was born on April 18 (May 1), 1907, in the city of Sofia. He acquired secondary education in the cities of Sofia and Lom. During 1928-1932 he was a student in history at University of Sofia where he was given lectures by Prof. Vassil Zlatarsky, Prof. Petar Moutafиiev, Prof. Petar Bicili and was influenced by Prof. Georgi Katzarov and Prof. Yanko Todorov. His diploma paper was dedicated to Bulgarian-Byzantine relations in the early Middle Ages. In 1932-1936 he specialized in Rome as a nominee of Bulgarian public scholarship, where he studied Byzantine history and philology at the University of Rome with Prof. Silvio Mercatti (later to become cardinal Mercatti). There he presented a Ph. D. thesis in the subject "The Bulgarian Dynasty of Asen in Byzantium" (1934). At the same time he studied and subsequently graduated from the School of Archivistics and Paleography at the Vatican Secret Archive. Throughout these years, thanks to his studies at the Manuscript Department of the Vatican Apostolic Library, he published a number of scientific reports so far unpromulgated. Most of them treat the Bulgarian medieval history, the history of the 17th century and more specifically the catholic propaganda in Bulgaria, as well as biographical papers on Petar Bogdan Bakshev, Petar Parиeviи, Filip Stanislavoviи, etc.

In 1936 Ivan Dujčev became assistant professor and later on (1939) associate professor in Bulgarian history at Sofia University. After the death of Prof. P. Nikov and Prof. P. Mutafиiev he successively headed the university chairs of Byzantine and Balkan history. In 1946 he was removed from his academic post at University of Sofia and in 1949 he started work at the Institute of History at the Bulgarian Academy of Science - first as a senior research associate (1950) and later as a professor (1967) and head of the Bibliography and Historical Documentation and Information Section. During 1948-1949 Ivan Dujčev read two lecture courses - on historical bibliography and archivistics - to students in library science at the Bulgarian Bibliography Institute. In 1971 he was conferred the title of Honoured Scientist, and in 1981 he was elected academician.

Prof. Ivan Dujčev has published a number of books and over a thousand scientific studies in 15 languages. He is a regular associate and an editor-member of the most outstanding European and American specialized periodicals in the field of Byzantine Studies and Slavonic philology, such as Slavia (Zagreb), Труды отдела древнерусской литературы, and Византийский временник (Russia), Travaux et mémoires (France), Jahrbuch der Ősterreichischen Byzantinistik (Austria), Orientalia Christiana periodica, Studi veneziani and, Biblioteca Sanctorum (Italy), Corpus fontium historiae mediaevi (Rome), Balcanica and Зборник Радова византолошког института (Yugoslavia), Byzantinische Zeitschrift (Munich), Byzantinoslavica (Prague), Byzantion (Brussels), Studi Byzantini е neoellenici (Rome), of the specialized journals published in Belgrade, Pittsburgh and California, as well as of Repertorium fonti historice mediaevi (Rome), Revue histoire ecclésiastique (Paris), Lexikon des Mittelalters (Munich), Dictionnaire d'histoire et de geographie ecclésiastique (Paris), and of the Bulgarian specialized periodicals.

In honour of the professor's 70th anniversary a number of symposia were published in Bulgaria, Russia, France, England, the USA, Belgium, and on his 80th anniversary in Sofia - Studia Slavico-Byzantina et Mediaevalia Europensia, I-II.

Prof. Dujčev is a member of the Academy of Science in Palermo (1967) and of the Institute of Byzantine Studies in Palermo (1974), Naples (1974), Spoletto (1978), of the British Academy of Science (1976), the Serbian Academy of Science (1980) and the Pontifical Academy of Archeology in Rome (1984). He is a holder of the Herder Award conferred by the Vienna University (1973). He was elected an honorary doctor of science by the Bonn University (1977) and also became an honorary member of the British Society of Slavic Studies (together with Acad. D. S. Lihachev). Since 1977 he was chairman of the Bulgarian Archeographic Commission at the St.St. Cyril and Methodius National Library in Sofia.

In his more than half-a-century-long scientific career Acad. Ivan Dujčev has explored almost all the aspects of life of the Bulgarian medieval state, starting with Slavs' settling in the Balkan Peninsula, the formation of the Bulgarian nation, its political and ecclesiastical life and heretical movements. A fundamental question in the great theme of the Slavs and Byzantium is that on Cyril and Methodius. The scholar has dedicated a number of publications to the sources about the life and the work of the two Slavic apostles, to their literary works and diplomatic missions and to the activity of their disciples. Even only a brief touch mention of some of his basic studies can give an idea about the rich historical and philological base on which the tackled issues have been developed: Through old Bulgarian Literature (book I and II, Sofia, 1940; 2nd ed. 1943, b. II, Sofia, 1944), Pages in the Bulgarian Past (Sofia, 1944), The Rila Saint and his Monastery (vol.1, Sofia, 1947; vol.11 The Testament of St. Ivan Rilski, Sofia, 2000), Natural science in medieval Bulgaria (Sofia, 1954 - in co-authorship with Tz. Kristanov), The Miniatures of the Manasius Chronicle (Sofia, 1962), Medioevo Byzantino-Slavo (I-III, Rome, 1965, 1968, 1971; IV, 1-2, Sofia, 1996; new reprint, Sofia, 2007), Slavia Orthodoxa (London, 1970), Bulgarian Middle Ages (Sofia, 1972), Studies on medieval Bulgarian history and culture (Sofia,, 1981), Il Cattolicesimo in Bulgaria nel sec. XVII (Rome, 1937), Lectures in archivistics (Sofia, 1993), Byzantium and the Slavonic world (Sofia, 1998). More details on his articles and works in Biobibliography (Sofia, 1998) can be found. In 2007 in connection with the celebration of the 100 anniversary of the birth of prof. Ivan Dujčev, was made a reprint of Medioevo Byzantino-Slavo (IV, 1-2, Sofia, 2007); Axinia Džurova. In the world of the manuscripts (Sofia University Press, 2007). In the same year was printed new facsimile edition of the Constantin Manasses Synopsis Chroniki /Cod. Vaticano Slavo 2, 1344-45/ (Ed. Militos, Athens, 2007) - with the studies from Axinia Džurova and Vassja Velinova. In the preparation are the editions of the Slavonic scroll-amulet from the personal collection of manuscripts of the prof. Ivan Dujčev - Cod. D. Slavo 31 from 17th-18th centuries and the Chronicle of the Bulgari Family from island Corfu (after 1772) from the personal collection of old-printed books of the prof. Ivan Dujčev.