Paisii Hilendarski (Paisius of Hilendar) is the father of Bulgarian renaissance, the first ideologist of the national liberation movement. The discerning monk was the first person in Bulgaria to feel the tendencies for development of the society undertakes the role to awake the national conscience by writing "Slavic - Bulgarian History ".
Paisii was born in Bansko in 1722. In 1745 he went to Hilendar Monastery and accepted monasticism. In the middle of XVII century Hilendar Monasery was a proliferating centre of literacy. Undoubtedly, the monastery played a major part in Paisii's life. It gave him a life in a free, spiritual atmosphere and thus, formed his self-conscience and ideology. Paisii used to collect donations for the monastery and go around the country. By doing this, he met a lot of desperate people, with no perspective of their future. Deeply touched by seeing the apathy of the nation toward the Ottoman Yoke, he decided to resurrect the historic memory of the Bulgarians by writing "Slavic - Bulgarian History". It was extremely difficult for him to write the book, because one of the hardest things was to find historic evidence. For around two years, he was going about the Atone monasteries to collect small pieces of evidences, after that he went to Austria to read historical evidence about the Slavs and the Bulgarians. After his return to Bulgaria, he settleed in Zografski Monastery and in 1762 he finished his work. Besides the many documents from the mediaeval Bulgarian kings, Paisii also found historic evidence in the biographies of St Ivan of Rila, St Petka Turnovksa and Patriarch Evtimii.
Paisii's work was radically different in content and impact compared to anything else in the Bulgarian literature at that time. Paisii demands to his fellow people to love their origin and language. He angrily approaches the Bulgarians who are ashamed of their heritage and is very harsh toward the educated Bulgarians of that time, who present themselves as Greeks.
Paisii Hilendaski described the Bulgarian history until the fall under Ottoman Yoke. Apparently, he purposely exaggerated on the political power and cultural achievements throughout the centuries. One of the main accents of his work is the military victories over Byzantine, the Tatars and the crusaders, pointing out the bravery of the Bulgarians in the past.
Concentrating on the enormous difference between the glorious past and the sorrowful present, Paisii Hilendski succeeded in inspiring the national self-confidence of his fellow countrymen and effectively canalized the spiritual energy of the Bulgarians.
"Slavic - Bulgarian History" shouts loud to awake the torpid Bulgarian spirit. This is why Paisii Hilendarski is considered the father of The Bulgarian National Revival. He dies in 1773, 105 years before the liberation of Bulgaria. Unfortunately, he never saw his dream of a free Bulgarian nation.