Muzeul Municipiului Bucureşti , Bd. I. C. Brătianu, nr. 2, sector 3, Bucureşti, 030174
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Transylvanian religious books in Walachia in the era of Phanariot reigns (1716-1821). Dissemination, reception and Orthodox counteroffensive
The methods of dissemination and circulation of Romanian old book printed in Walachia in the era of Phanariot reigns (1716-1821) in Transylvania and Banat have been extensively researched. It is fully proved that despite measures of censure and prohibition of „schismatic” books across the mountains the Habsburg authorities regularly take, the liturgical book in Romanian penetrates not only in Orthodox churches, but even in the United ones. Less investigated is the reverse phenomenon, of the dissemination in the Romanian Countries of books published in the empire’s printing presses during the eighteenth century and the first decades of the nineteenth century. Since the second half of the eighteenth century, as a reaction to the ban on import of Church book in the Orthodox space by imperial decrees 1768 and 1770, as well as increasing of the number of Transylvanian books entering the local market and Orthodox hierarchs start to formally react to the sales of these books in their dioceses. If at first complaints to rulers have a rather economic motivation, to stem competition, invoking the privilege granted to local print shops on the sale of religious books (1765), in time they acquire a strictly theological argument, invoking non-compliance with Orthodox church tenets (1793, 1804). It was only in 1793 in Walachia the establishment of customs control over books printed in other places, especially in printing presses from Blaj and Sibiu and acceptance for sale only after prior verification made by representatives of the Archdiocese (for religious books) and of the Reign (for those with secular content). Thus import of Transylvanian book was not banned, but only subject to the confessional and moral censorship.
Our research follows dissemination practices and how Transylvanian books are received by the Romanian society against the background of prohibitive measures taken by local authorities. Our documentary support was constituted by deeds issued by hierarchies and rulers of Walachia on imports of books from the Habsburg Empire, as well as the writs on specimens preserved in various collections, which entered the Walachia during the mid-eighteenth century, until the mid-nineteenth century.
Key words: Walachia, old Romanian book, notes, methods of distribution, books sale, privilege
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