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The Slavic Apostle

In 2013 the Orthodox world celebrates two significant dates: 1025 years of conversion of Russia to Christianity and 1150 years of Slavic writing created by Saints Cyril and Methodius Equal to the Apostles. Christianity arrived in East Slavic lands in 988 to become the basis to writing and spiritual and cultural development of Slavic peoples.

Creators of the Slavic alphabet Saints Cyril and Methodius translated main liturgical books from Greek into the Slavic language, and the book of Apostle is of particular importance.

Apostle is part of the New Testament including the Acts of the Apostles and the Epistles of Apostles. It is considered that author of the text is Evangelist Luke whose engraved portrait was usually placed at the beginning of the book. For the first time the Slavic Apostle was published by Francisk Skoryna in Vilna in 1525 (the facsimile edition is on display).

The exhibition presents unique hand-written monuments: Apostle-Aprakos of the 16th century and the  Brief Apostle of the 19th century.

Cyrillic books of the 16th – 18th centuries printed by the most known printing houses in Belarus, Russia and Ukraine are also on display.

Belarusian Cyrillic old-printed editions are represented by the Vilna Apostle from the eminent Brothers Mamonichs’ printing house (after 1595) and the Mogilev edition of Spiridon Sobol (1638).

The Apostle edited by Ivan Fyodorov first in Moscow (1564) then in Lvov (1574) is the first printed dated Russian book and the first printed Ukrainian book. The exposition presents the Lvov edition which is faithful representation of quality and design of old-printed books.

Editions of the Apostle by Andronik Timofeev Nevezhda (1597), Vasily Fyodorovich Burtsov (1638), Kondraty Ivanov (1648) reflect the skill of printers and engravers of the Moscow Print Yard of the 16th – 18th centuries. The Apostle (1798) and Толкование воскресных апостолов с поучительными беседами (1819) are products of the Synodal Printing House.

Old-printed monuments of Ukraine are represented by the Lvov Apostle from Mikhail Slyozka’s printing house (1639), Kiev editions from the printing house of Kiev-Pechersk Lavra with the best engravings of G. Levitsky (1737), and book monuments from the Old Believer printing house in Pochaev (1784).

Contact phone number: (+375 17) 293 25 85.

The exhibition runs from 5th June till 6th September.