Thursday, January 26, 2006


By Krikor Berberian

N. S. Piccolo is born in Veliko Turnovo from both parents bulgarians. He completes his secondary education in Bucharest with the school of Vardalach who becomes his intellectual father. In 1811 Nicola takes the post of a teacher in French languages at Vardalach’s school. Next we see him as a medicine graduate from Padua /Italy/ and in 1817 as a lecturer at the university of the Chios Isles. On the next year Piccolo together with a group of greek rebels transfers to Odessa where G. Lissani & Co. had a small theater and there three of his plays are performed. Among others “Demosten and Kalauria” had the greatest success.

Now in 1820 Piccolo immigrates to Paris where he meets Dr. A. Corais, an eminent greek naturalist and philosopher, and joins his group. Here studying medicine he also becomes a member of “Philiki eteria”- the Greek revolutionary organization for freedom of turkish yoke. In an appeal to the American people for help in their struggle we see Piccolo's signature in a row with greek revolutionaries. Meanwhile the young scholar continues his work in literature and medicine. In 1823 Lord Guilford, a helenophil and philologist, invites him for a track in philosophy at the University of Corfu Isles. There Piccolo teaches till 1827 and among other activities translates in greek Decartes “Discourse on the method”.

After the liberation of Greece and the Odrins peace treaty Count Pavel Kisselov, russian governor of the Danubian Principalities, appoints him as inspector general of schools and hospitals /1929/. At his new post in Bucharest Piccolo excels as talented administrator. He establishes modern tuition scheme, substitutes Greek language for Rumanian and introduces studies of natural sciences. Further he organizes sanitary affairs and hospitals, creates quarantine checkpoints on Danube’s harbors and engages in political activities. It is with Piccolo's intercession to Prince Stephan Begird that the idea of an autonomous principality of Bulgarians is created in Dobruja, however, a cholera epidemia hinders the project.

In 1839 Dr. Piccolo resides in Paris. There he becomes active member of bulgarian emigrant community. He partakes in many political debates and campaigns. During piece conference in Paris after the Crimean war, Dr. Piccolo and Dr. Beron work out a special petition which demands autonomy of Bulgaria together with the other Balkan nations. It is a serious fact, among others, that common truth at that times was the thesis of the Slavic origin of the greek people. Nevertheless, Piccolo never mastered the bulgarian language. He also was an atheist which is evident from the fact that only 1500 golden francs from his testament were dedicated to the church.

As a man of letters Nicola Piccolo was a follower of a Cartesian philosophy, rationalist and eclecticist. He has definitive role in the formation of modern Greek literary history. He is also one of the eminent figures of bulgarian national revival.


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