The monument was opened in 1888 during the construction of the new church in the village of German, erected next to the old one. It is believed to have been carved as a memorial by King Samuel in memory of his parents and brother.

Tombstone in memory of the parents and eldest brother of King Samuel (997 – 1014)

The find Tombstone in memory of the parents and eldest brother of King Samuel (997 – 1014) 993
Marble, 130 x 67 x 7 cm
the village of German,
Prespa Lake National Historical Museum inv. No. 29288

The monument was opened in 1888 during the construction of the new church in the village of German, erected next to the old one. It is believed to have been carved as a memorial by King Samuel in memory of his parents and brother, and was originally located in the capital city of Prespa on the island of St. Achilles. Subsequently, it was transferred to the church of the village of German, built, according to the construction inscription, only in 1006.

It is a rectangular plate, on the face of which three crosses of different sizes are incised along the longitudinal axis, which are supposed to have been filled with metal. In one of the corners is incised an 11-line Cyrillic text beginning with the sign of the cross. Under the influence of the Byzantine official ecclesiastical and imperial chancellery, the use of the cross as a symbolic invocation of Christ was widespread on Old Bulgarian tombstones, chronicles, building inscriptions. Next comes the introductory form "in the name of the father and the son and the holy spirit", which is in the spirit of the New Testament early Christian tradition. Its meaning is explained in one of the sayings of Ephrem the Syrian (306-373), where it is mentioned that baptism in the name of the father and the son and the holy spirit is like a weapon that protects a person.

An interesting fact is that when writing the name of Samuil, the stonemason mistakenly wrote n at the end, then, correcting himself, wrote l above it. The correction, according to P. Georgiev, is deliberate and represents an abbreviation of Tsar Peter's name ( 927 – 969) as "PTR", which legitimizes the continuity with the ruling dynasty from Veliki Preslav. The expression "I leave my memory" is also rarely found, the roots of which can be found again in the ancient Christian burial practice, according to which the obligation to the deceased is fulfilled by the closest relative, who has confirmed his deed with an inscription.

Author: Ch. Assistant Professor Mariela Inkova, PhD.


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