Zaharija Orfelin

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Orfelin, Zaharija


(pen name of Z. Stefanovic). Born 1726 in Vukovar; died Jan. 19, 1785, in Novi Sad. Serbian educator, writer, and historian.

Orfelin worked as a schoolteacher and civil servant. He wrote in Russian Slavonic but sought to make the vernacular the language of literature. In this respect, he anticipated the work of D. Obradović and V. Karadzic. Orfelin used the Russian civil alphabet, which had been introduced in Russia under Peter I. He wrote patriotic and religious odes. In the narrative poems Sorrowful Lament … (1761) and The Lament of Serbia (1763), Orfelin expressed the Serbian people’s aspirations for national liberation. He also wrote the historical sketch The Life and Glorious Deeds … of Peter the Great (1772, books 1–2; translated in Russia, 1774). Slaveno-serbski magazin (Slavo-Serbian Journal), the first journal of the South Slavs, was published by Orfelin in Venice in 1768.


Zrcalo nauke. Novi Sad, 1952.


Ostojić, T. Zaharija Orfelin. Belgrade, 1923.
Radojčić, N. “Z. Orfelin kao istoričar.” Glasnik Istoriskog drushtva u Novom Sadu, 1933, book 6, issue 3.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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