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BOGUMILS as inspiration
Author: Sevko Kadric
Bosnian Patarens or Bogomils are the historical, cultural and
sociological phenomenon, fairly unknown to the European cultural
Rare experts of the Bosnian Bogomils phenomenon, fascinated by a
cultural relic (TRAG) a trace of their existence behind on the
have allocated an epochal and grandiose place in the cultural and
historical European or even world heritage.
Swedish historian proficient
Hans Furuhagen stated that Bogomils
“inspired Protestantism in Europe”, Croatian writer, almost Nobel
laureate, Miroslav Krleza wrote “Europe has no other cultural
monuments but Bosnian Bogomils have monoliths tombstones”.
Arthur Evans, who discovered Minos Palace at
Knossos near Crete, has presented Bogomils with his research
published in a
book about TOMBSTONES (STECKE) and Bogomils culture.
Dzemal Sokolovic called them: “First European protestants”.
In addition, the whole suite of artists created their art inspired
by Bogomils heritage: Tin Ujevic, Lazar Drljaca, Mak Dizdar…
The largest contribution to document Bogomil's history provided
Bogomil's themselves, as they left a great number of stone
messages on them.
From the VIII century till today, some 66 478 stone monoliths has
survived, with largest number, over 80%, in the area of today
While conquering the land populated by Bogomil's, both the catholic
and orthodox churches have persecuted them as heretics, destroyed
remnants of their culture and used solid stone monoliths as a
building material for new churches.
Distinctiveness and phenomena of written Bogomils writings chiseled
in the stone is in the message from those who are not amongst living
anymore and who speak from their own unrepeatable experience:
“If I could rise from this stone, I would live every new day like it
was a whole real life.”
Their messages contain all that is the essence of a man: love, fears
The monolithic tombstone presents a link, the eyes, between two
worlds: “Do not turn this stone over. For it is my eyes to look at
the stars and
And, as a rule, we read on them a sorrow for departing and a wish
for reunion with dear ones: “… in this immense silence I yearn
allusion of yours, not Gods, steps. If this is a punishment from
God, my foolish heart is happily looking forward to it.”
This is the first time that an English speaking readers are offered
a part of the story about bogumils monoliths messages through
short story with ample of first hand photographs of the tombstones
I will be delighted if this book about Bogumil's and their
stone-carved messages touches precisely that part of our nature, the
most humane one.
For this story of Bogumils I owe my immense gratitude to traces left
by: Arthur Evans, Miroslav Krleza, Hans Furuhagen,
Mak Dizdar, Nenad
Tanovic and many others who wormed up to the same, Bogomils, blaze.
I also thank Sanela Pilav-Savic end Jasmina Cavkic for translating
this book into English.
Here lays Tanisa Cuk of Kraljeva Sutjeska, loved by the king, but
without freedom, like a hunting dog to him faithful. I lived, but
quenched my thirst and food never satisfied my hunger, as thirst and
hunger returned every day to my gut, just as I returned from the
my home same, but different for that day.
And I always thought of you Lord, and with the prayer to you I
closed my eyes for the night, and with the prayer to you I opened
them in the
morning, like the windows and doors on mine and yours home.
And I waited for you and hoped, always.
But you did not appear, and you did not announce.
And a suspicion grew in my unsuspicious soul that you might be
somewhere waiting for salvation from me. And with that thought I
laid under this
stone, and that thought I chiselled in this hard rock, so those who
read this can see who between two of us will see the salvation.
I laid down angry 1389 AD, in the year of my lord when Tvrtko was
the king of Bosnia, Serbia, Dalmatia and Western Countries, and when
an old man who saw things in the world that I never wanted to see,
but did not achieve what my heart always wished and wanted.