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Slavonic Documents
15.5 Chrysobull of the Serbian despot Angelina and the despots George and John on behalf of St Paul's Monastery
3 November 1495
St Paul's Monastery
Slavonic document, Cod. 3 (4)
Parchment, 37.9 x 24.3 cm


The Original New Testament

Angelina, despot of the Serbs and wife of the despot Stephen Brankovic, and their sons, the despots George and John, continue their forebears' pious tradition of devotion to St Paul's Monastery, and, owing to their connection with the hegumen, hieromonk Nikon, who has spent some time at Stephen's palace, have decided to make the monastery an annual gift of 1,000 gold coins. The donors ask those in charge of the monastery to hold a divine Liturgy in the Church of St George every Thursday and to supply wine in the refectory for the monks. The document, issued in the city of Kupinovo, the dynasty's last seat before the Ottoman conquest, reflects the Brankovic family's reverence and love for St Paul's Monastery: out of the little they now have, they offer this annual assistance to the monastery.

The text of the document, which is framed by a line which may once have been gold, begins with a not particularly decorative red letter, and there are red initial capitals within the text. At the bottom, in large capitals, is the signature: 'In Christ the Lord, the devout and Christ-loving despot Angelina, despot George, and despot John'. A length of braid hangs from the document, being passed through a solid gold seal 4 cm in diameter, which bears on the obverse the standing figures of the three donors and the inscription: 'The lady despot Angelina, the lord despot George, the lord despot John.' On the reverse is a representation of St George on horseback slaying the dragon, accompanied by the inscription: 'Saint and great martyr George, have mercy on your servants.'

Bibliography: Julinac 1765, pp. 120-4. Rajic 1794, pp. 120-4; Karano-Tvrtkovic 1840, pp. 340-1. Miklosich 1858, pp. 539-41.

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