This chasoslovets (book of hours or horologion) is the first book printed by the first Bulgarian printer, Iakov (Jacob) Kraikov. It is a collection of prayers, eulogies, saints’ lives, and apocrypha that both served as a daily handbook for priests and was valued by lay readers in search of knowledge and enlightenment. Kraikov printed the book in Venice, at the largest Slavic Cyrillic printing-house for Serbs and Bulgarians in the city, which he acquired in 1566. The selection of font, typesetting, pagination, and the rich artful decoration (more than 30 engravings) are evidence of Kraikov’s typographic proficiency. The book is today a bibliographical rarity: copies are held in several European libraries, including the Vatican Library, the British Library, the Ecclesiastical Museum in Belgrade, and the Matica Srpska Library in Novi Sad. In Bulgaria copies of chasoslovets are owned by the National Library in Sofia, the Ivan Vazov Regional Library in Plovdiv, and the National Historical Museum.

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Publication Information

I︠A︡kov Kraĭkov, Venice, Italy


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Physical Description

229 sheets ; 12.5 centimeters

Last updated: May 3, 2013