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Grigor Parlichev

Grigor Parlichev

Greek/Bulgarian writer
The basics
Quick Facts
Intro Greek/Bulgarian writer
Countries Greece
Occupations Linguist Poet Translator Writer
Gender male
Birth 18 January 1830 (Ohrid)
Death 25 January 1893 (Ohrid)
Education National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Grigor Parlichev
The details

Grigor Stavrev Parlichev (also spelled Prlichev, Parlitcheff or Prličev; Bulgarian: Григор Ставрев Пърличев, Greek: Γρηγόριος Σταυρίδης, Grigorios Stavrides, Macedonian: Григор Прличев) was a Bulgarian writer and translator. He was born January 18, 1830 in Ohrid, Ottoman Empire and died in the same town January 25, 1893. Although he thought of himself as a Bulgarian, presently he is considered an ethnic Macedonian in the Republic of Macedonia.


Parlichev studied in a Greek school in Macedonia. In the 1850s he worked as a teacher of Greek in the towns of Tirana, Prilep and Ohrid. In 1858 Parlichev started studying medicine in Athens but transferred to the Faculty of Linguistics in 1860. The same year Parlichev took part in the annual poetic competition in Athens winning first prize for his poem "O Armatolos" (Ο Αρματωλός, in Bulgarian "The Serdar"), written in Greek. Acclaimed as "second Homer", he was offered scholarships to the universities at Oxford and Berlin but declined both.

The house of Grigor Prličev in Ohrid, Macedonia

In 1862 Parlichev joined the struggle for independent Bulgarian church and schools, though he continued to teach Greek. After spending some time in Constantinople in 1868 acquainting himself with Old Slavonic literature, he returned to Ohrid where he advocated the substitution of Greek with Bulgarian in the town's schools and churches. The same year Parlichev was arrested and spent several months in an Ottoman jail after a complaint was sent by the Greek bishop of Ohrid.

From 1869 Parlichev taught Bulgarian in several towns across Ottoman Empire, including Struga, Gabrovo, Bitola, Ohrid and Thessaloniki. He initiated the creation of the Bulgarian Men's High School of Thessaloniki. In 1870 Parlichev translated his award-winning poem "The Serdar" into Bulgarian in an attempt to popularize his earlier works, which were written in Greek, among the Bulgarian audience. He also wrote another poem "Skenderbeg", and his autobiography.

From this time until his death Parlichev continued writing only in Bulgarian, publishing a number of poems and newspaper articles and an autobiography (1884). Parlichev was the first Bulgarian translator of Homer's Iliad, though critics were highly critical of his style and choice of dialect. In translating the Iliad, Parlichev was among the first authors to write in his native Ohrid dialect. He is therefore also regarded as a founding figure of the literature of the later standardized Macedonian language.

Parlichev's son Cyril Parlichev was also a prominent member of the revolutionary movement in Macedonia and a Bulgarian public figure.

References and notes

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