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Jovan R. Bojovic

The Historiography of the Place of Working of Crnojevics' Printing Office

During the second half of the 14. century, the Serbian Empire was one of the most powerful states in Europe. At the end of that century the state started to weak. In the Empire were isolated the big feudalists and made new autonomous states. Under the oppression of the Osmanli Turks, during 15. century the Serbian districts were losing their independence and come upon the Turkish rule. The last one stayed Zeta, which was later called Crna Gora (Montenegro). It was faced to the oppression of the Turks and Venice. The Turks demolished churches and monasteries, and destroyed books. In a such situation the ruler of Montenegro Ivan and his son Djuradj Crnojevic raised a question of opening a Printing office. The Printing office was obtained in Venice. It was first placed in Obod in 1491 or 1492. There was printed Oktoih prvoglasnik, started to be printed in 1493, and finished in 1494. The Printing office was moved to Cetinje, where were printed the books: Oktoih petoglasnik, Psaltir, Molitvenik and Cetvorojevandjelje. It was the first cyrillic state Serbian Printing office. It worked until 1496. There some disagreements about the place of working of the Printing office, whether it is Obod or Cetinje. There are more facts that it started to work at Obod and finished to work in Cetinje. There was the main master printer a monk Makarije. Three years later, Montenegro came under Turkish rule. That was the end of independence of the last one Serbian state of Montenegro.

Summary of the professor Bojovic's paper from the international symposium, Five Hundred Years of Oktoih - The First Cyrillic Printed Book in the Slavic South, Cetinje, June 24-25, 1994.