ONE MAN SHOW - DR. ATANAS GRANITSKI
Atanas Granitski, born 1825, in the town of Kotel or "bulgarian Kazan" - as they called it and not to be mistaken with a russian one at the tributary of the rivers Volga and Kama. All we know about the family of Granitski is scarce. He was the son of a priest /"pop"/ Petar, who, stayed as a proto-singer in town. He had also a brother, who, one time was a teacher in the town of Svishtov or so. Supposedly he had a daughter, who, married the eminent scholar and organizer of health care in Bulgaria Dr. Marin Russev /1864-1935/. More than that, Atanas Granitski received his primary education in his birth place town, and, in the town of Sliven. At that time "prince" Stephan Bogoridi /1775-1859/, fellow-citizen and grandson of enlightener Sophroni Vratzanski, rendered a trust to the city council of Kotel. Bogoridi studied diplomacy, and, once made a big carrier in the High Porte - a. he was "kaymakan" in Moldova; b. he was "bey" in Samos Island; c. he was "tanzimat" member to Sultan Abdul Medjit. This bulgarian with a "fez", never, forgot about his origin and contributed greatly for the cultural-spiritual advance of the bulgarians. Thus, due to his guardianship, four students were sent from Kotel to Tzarigrad to continue their education, namely: Gavril Krustevich, Georgi Rakovski, Atanas "Pop Nicola" Izvorski, and, Atanas "Pop Petra" Granitski.
Now, before we continue, let us make a containment. In the data we could gather about Granitski, there, no sure evidence were found whether he graduated medicine - eventually. Thus, not pretending to stir "art of the soluble", we present our pros and cons later in the story.
Young Atanas Granitski, first, entered the "International College" at Kuru Cheshme. While, having an orientation towards humanitarian sciences, Granitski showed a gust with studying languages - italian, english, arabic, greek, latin, etc. His fluency in communications gave him chance to start part-a-time work with the "Serbian Legation" in Tzarigrad. Later, representatives Konstantin Nikolaevich, and, Tasse Nikolaevich will sponsor some of his book publishing - a sign for gratitude to bulgariandom. About year 1848, Granitski entered the "Military Medical School" at Galata Saray. How long he studied, there, we don't know. Obviously, sometime about year 1859, he was in disfavor with the turkish authorities in Tzarigrad and left the capital.
Next, we see Atanas Granitski in the role of a "school teacher". It is well known, that, language tuition was honorary job in many a "class-rooms" in Bulgaria. In order to make a living, Granitski was teacher for long years - Shumen /1859-1863/, Lovech /1863-1864/, Turnovo /1864-1877/. Specifically, he was principal in "St. Cyril and Metodius Grammar School" in Turnovo for 12 years. After the Liberation War /1877-1878/, Granitski fell in neglect. Some of his students recount, that, he suffered from a depression and after a short illness died 23 May 1879. Only, his daughter attended him to the funeral.
So far, we see an unhappy life for one of the most productive writers in the Middle-Bulgarian Revival. A long list of more than 30 books came out from his pen - medicine, theology, fiction, philosophy, commerce, art, reference, etc. We shall give some account, about, literature Granitski wrote on medical themes:
1. "Practical Medicine, vols 1-3. Constantinople: Tadeos Divichian Typographers, 1854, 534 pp". This is a capital work for bulgarian medicine. Translated from italian work of Prof. Pirovo. Includes, an introduction - original - from Granitski, and, second introduction from the author. First volume: on pathology of the human body, viz. head, eyes-nose-throat, neck-thorax, extremities, etc in the light of system diseases; Second volume: on materia medica /i.e. technology of the drugs/, with, a pharmacopoeia; Third volume: on practical aspects of anatomy, physiology, hygiene, dietetics, Hippocratic aphorisms, etc. Granitski is excellent medical encyclopedist, also, good artist - evident from 8 figures in the text drawn from the translator, himself. The importance of this work is threefold, namely: i. as first manual on practical medicine, while, the latter has been still in the bonds of quacks and charlatans robbing the population /"ignorance"?!/; ii. as a book written in philological correct bulgarian, and, understandable both to professional and non-professional; iii. as an early attempt to organize a bulgarian medical nomenclature, which, outdated its time with some hundred years. Could this book, possibly, be written by a non-medic? Let us give the answer to the translator, who, writes in the introduction:
"Better not write a book, rather than, write something that will send you to condemnation"
2. "Reflections on greco-arnaut maggus, and, bille-bozadji hekims. In: Tzarigrad Vestnik, ¹ 266, November 1856". This is a critique, written in verse, against quacks and empirism in medicine. Gets a severe response on the pages of the above-mentioned newspaper.
3. "On the modes of cholera. Tzarigrad: n.d.". Written in the early epidemiologic tradition, but, having no real scientific value.