Abagar – Amulet For Southern Slavs From King Abgar

Abagar (from “Abagarus” in honor of the legendary King Augar Ukkama, King of Osroene) is a printed and engraved amulet and prayer book made for Bulgarians and Serbs in the 17th-18th centuries.

Abagar contains prayers, apocryphal conspiracies, gospel readings, and the apocryphal message of King Avgar to Jesus Christ. Abagar could be mounted to walls like a lubok (prints decorating buildings) or be worn on the body. Handwritten copies of Abagar have been recorded since the 14th century.

The first printed edition of Abagar was prepared by Roman Catholics in Rome in 1651 at the initiative of the Bulgarian Catholic Bishop Philip Stanislavov. Except for the commemoration of the Pope, the texts are neutral when it comes to Christian denominations. This edition is considered the first printed book in Bulgarian.

Serbian Abagar books have their roots in the 16th-century Orthodox prints from Venice. The character and intricacy of living languages have enrichened the wealth of Abagar.

Read also: The Battle of King Abgar V with Herod the Great’s Army, Armenian Mesopotamia Kingdom – The letters of Abgar V, Saint Abgar, The First Christian King, The Tomb of Abgar V, the First Christian King, Rare Mosaics of the Times of King Abgar V

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