Proglas - Herba - page 50

49
P
R O G L A S
”When the boy was seven he had a dream. He told this dream to his parents. The strategus
gathered all the maidens of the town and told me: Choose one to be your companion in life and
equal partner. I looked carefully at everyone of them. One was exceedingly beautiful, her face
shone and she was decorated with gold, pearls and beauty. Her name was Sofia-wisdom.
That is the one I chose.“
This was written in the beginning of the third chapter of Constantine’s biography called
”The Life of Constantine Cyril“, in which we can find many demonstrations of Constantine’s
lifelong love of wisdom.
As a boy Constantine was ready to give all his inheritance to a teacher of
grammar
.
After he had mastered grammar in three months and grasped other disciplines in an astonishingly
short time too, he was able to answer the question of Logothete, or as we would say now- prime
minister, Theoctistos: what is philosophy? But that was not all. He explained the matter so well that
the grateful politician offered him not only a splendid worldly career but also his goddaughter as a
wife. However Constantine again chose in favour of his great LOVE-PHILOSOPHY. He was then
appointed patriarchal librarian of the Holy Wisdom Cathedral (Hagia Sofia). But again he did not
stay there for long. For six months he was hiding in the outskirts of the town so that he could
concentrate on his studies. Eventually he was found and, after much imploring, accepted
”a teaching post at the university and taught native and foreign people philosophy“.
After some time, however, he escaped from this place too and lived in the Polychronion
monastery of brother Methodius which was situated at the foot of mount Olympus
in Bithynia (Asia Minor). There he lived and “talked to books only.“
But no matter how hard he tried to escape mundane life the emperor’s people found him
whenever they needed to send abroad somebody who would defend and spread Christian faith and
the interests of the Byzantine Empire. During one of these missions Constantine discovered at the
Black Sea the remains of St Clement, who was the disciple of St Peter and who later became the
third pope. These remains Constantine later brought to Great Moravia and they also allowed him
to enter the Eternal City with triumph. There he fell seriously ill and sought a refuge in a monastery.
He accepted the name of Cyril (Greek Kyrillos). He died there on 14th February 869 happy that he
was at last in the hands of no one but God, the source of all WISDOM. He was buried in the
St Clement’s cathedral where the remains of the eponymous Saint were also laid.
Constantine’s love of wisdom culminated in Rome where he achieved a real triumph for our
ancestors. Pope Hadrian II acknowledged the Old Slavonic language to be a liturgical language-just
like Latin, Greek and Hebrew. But the most wonderful fruit of the Philosopher’s love in the field of
poetry remains his “Proglas”, the praise of script which communicates the Gospels, the most
important part of the Holy Bible, to the people in their own language.
We mentioned in the beginning the oldest Romance poem which is certainly not an easy riddle to
solve. A free translation would go like this: HE IS DRIVING THE OXEN. HIS PLOUGH IS WHITE.
PLOUGHING THE WHITE FIELD, HE SOWS BLACK SEEDS.
1...,40,41,42,43,44,45,46,47,48,49 51,52,53,54,55,56,57,58,59,60,...64
Powered by FlippingBook