Marija Vasiljević

Institute for Balkan Studies

Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts


Translations of Saints’ Relics in the Late Medieval Central Balkans

Abstract: The paper discusses the character of the translations of saints’ relics in the late medieval central Balkans, as they increasingly gained prominence as an encouragement to the veneration of saints. The fact that translations grew much more frequent provides the opportunity to analyse the motivations behind this practice, the ways in which relics were acquired, the types of translation processions and their symbolic significance. The relic translations in the central Balkans in the period under study fitted the Christian transla- tion pattern in every respect and stood halfway between history and cult and, frequently, between politics and cult.

Keywords: translations of saints’ relics, Late Middle Ages, central Balkans, St Petka, Em- press Theophano, Constantine the Great, St Luke the Evangelist, John of Rila, King Stefan Uroš II Milutin