Bogomil Movement and its Implications

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Bogomil Movement and its Implications

They based their disrespect for places of worship as “homes of God” on Mathew’s Gospel (6.6), in which a “secret room” in their homes is recommended as a place for a prayer (according to the Macedonian translation)8F. Evidence for the existence of prayer rooms are found in the legends of Priest Bogomil, after which his native place was the village of Bogomila, in whose vicinity is his tomb, where a shrine was built, which was a home of prayer for the Bogomils.9F
There is sufficient confirmation for the symbolics used by the Bogomils. The first mention is by Aleksandar Matkovski10F, who quotes the conclusions reached by Aleksandar Solovjev11F, that on Bogomil tombstones a recurrent symbol is the crescent, with its angles positioned upwards, and with a star between them. This symbolics is in no conjunction with the Turkish symbol. Solovjev clarified the iconography of the Bogomils, i.e. the profound symbolic implication expressed by the sun and the moon, which were reckoned to be heaven’s vessels, i.e. dwelling places of the soul of the just before their departure for Heaven.”12F

#1 The sign of the Bogomils, a moon and a star with the angles turned upwards.

#2 The sign of the Bogomils applied at the entrance door of the house in Krakornica13F

Dr. Milos Konstantinov, in his feuilleton in the newspaper the Nova Makedonija14F, by making use of the data found by the author Anton Glogov, in his book, Bogomil Teaching and the History of Bogomilism, says that the symbol adored by the Bogomils was two crossed ellipses, at a ninety degrees angle. The vertical ellipse symbolises the force of creation, whereas the horizontal – the force of destruction. Archpriests had no right to wear this symbol, as they did not have the right to wear other symbols and decorations. The sole thing that made them distinct from other priests was the wearing of a red cassock instead of black, and they had a sceptre with a decoration on its top in the form of a sun. They did not ever move anywhere without the sceptre.
The clothing of those persons who were at the head of the all-human abbot community was very different. It is very pictorially but imprecisely described. Nonetheless, it reflects the symbolics used by the Bogomils. This person at any time through his garments should “reflect the sunshine, the delicate moonlight, the twinkling stars and the blue of the sky heights, as well as the marvelous greenery of the earth.”
The ordinary Bogomils were forbidden to wear any ornaments and jewelry. However, there was a decoration that was awarded to individuals for extraordinary merits in the form of a lace attached to a piece of travertine. They could wear this decoration only during the five “dead days”, which after the Bogomil calendar, divided into 36-day months, came at the end of the year. These five days and the rest of the sixty non-working days of the six-day week were devoted to the force of creation.
Dragoljub Dragojlović15F mentions a fact by Evtimije Periblepta, that “these non-believers, foundiats or bogomils did not revere icons but that they adorned with icons the houses in which they held the prayer sacraments both from the inside and from the outside.”
Regarding the symbolics by means of which they illuminated their manuscript gospels, there is data by Kozma Prezviter. Polemising with the teaching of the Bogomils, he writes that the secret of Eucharist was created by God himself and that it represents Christ’s “essential body”, and not his cheek, which the heretics symbolically presented in Mathew’s Gospel with a cherub’s face, in Mark’s Gospel with a calf’s face, in Luke’s with a lion’s face, and in John’s with the face of an eagle.


8. Dragojlović D., BOGOMILSTVO NA BALKANU I U MALOJ AZIJI, p.132, 174, SVETO PISMO, Sveto Evangelie spored Marko, 6.6.
9. Angelov D., BOGOMILSTVO, p.107, Panov B. SREDNOVEKOVNA MAKEDONIJA, kniga 3, p.250
10. Matkovski A., GRBOVITE NA MAKEDONIJA, p. 62
11. Solovjev A., Postanak ilirske heraldike i porodice Ohmucevic, p. 101
12. Dragojlović D., BOGOMILSTVO NA BALKANU I U MALOJ AZIJI, volume 2, p.315
13. According to Slavko Brezovski, REKANSKA KUKJA, BIGOSS, Skopje, 1993
15. Dragojlović D., BOGOMILSTVO NA BALKANU I U MALOJ AZIJI, volume 2, p.88

2018-08-21T17:23:53+00:00 June 1st, 2000|Categories: Literature, Essays, Blesok no. 15|0 Comments