Author: Aleksandra Michalska
Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań
Published in: Slavyanski dialozi, XVI, 2019, 23

Abstract: Apocrypha in the medieval Bulgarian literature occupy a special place. They explain complicated biblical truths in a simple way, reaching through their colourful and imaginative language to the lowest strata of society. From their definition “hidden”, apocrypha change their character and become a popular form of literature that contains a message from local stories, traditions, mythology and folklore. The sacred and the profane are skillfully combined in the short form of apocrypha, as elements of folk beliefs implicated in stories transmitting new Christian truths. The question
in the title concerns the treatment of the concept of the sacred and the profane in the Apocrypha. Is rhythmically appearing numerology and attachment to pagan rituals present in Apocryphal Prayers, Books of Divination or Questions & Answers –works analyzed by me – a desecration of the sacred or sacralisation of the profane?

Key words: apocrypha, sacred, profane, symbolism of numbers, medieval