Old Church Slavonic (словѣньскъ)
Old Church Slavonic or Church Slavonic is a literary language which
developed from the language used by St Cyril and St Methodius, 9th century
missionaries from Byzantium, to translate the bible and other religious works.
Cyril and Methodius based their translations on a Slavonic dialect of the
Thessalonika area and invented a new alphabet,
Glagolitic, in order to write them.
Sometime during the 10th century AD a new alphabet appeared which was
known as Cyrillic and named after St Cyril, though it was possibly invented
by St Kliment of Ohrid. The Cyrillic alphabet was used to write the Old Church
Slavonic language and was later adapated to write many other languages.
Old Church Slavonic was used as the liturgical language of the Russian Orthodox
church between the 9th and 12th centuries. A more modern form of the language,
known as Church Slavonic, appeared during the 14th century and is still used
in the Russian Orthodox church.
Early Cyrillic alphabet used for Old Church Slavonic
Sample text in Old Church Slavonic
- въ оно врѣмѧ
- сє напісаніє
и кѵрінієѭ |
- и идѣахѫ вьсі
кьждо въ свои
- вьзідє жє
галілєѧ и града
июдєѭ вь градъ
бѣашє отъ домѹ
- And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from
Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.
- (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)
- And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
- And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth,
into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because
he was of the house and lineage of David:)
Luke 2: 1-4
Longer sample text (Tower of Babel)
Free Old Church Slavonic fonts
Online Church Slavonic keyboard
Online Church Slavonic Institute
Corpus Cyrillo-Methodianum Helsingiense (An Electronic Corpus of Old Church Slavonic Texts):
ALPHABETUM – a Unicode font
specifically designed for ancient scripts, including classical
& medieval Latin, ancient Greek, Etruscan, Oscan, Umbrian,
Faliscan, Messapic, Picene, Iberian, Celtiberian, Gothic, Runic,
Old & Middle English, Hebrew, Sanskrit, Old Nordic, Ogham,
Kharosthi, Glagolitic, Old Cyrillic, Phoenician, Avestan, Ugaritic,
Linear B, Anatolian scripts, Coptic, Cypriot, Brahmi, Old Persian cuneiform: