A page from the Zograf Codex with text of the Gospel of Luke
Icon of Saint Naum
The Baška tablet, found in the 19th century on Krk, conventionally dated to about 1100.
Southeastern Europe in the 9th century.
Example of the Cyrillic alphabet: excerpt from the manuscript "Bdinski Zbornik" written in Old Slavonic, 1360
The first page of the Gospel of Mark from the 10th–11th century Codex Zographensis, found in the Zograf Monastery in 1843.
Monastery of Saint Naum, resting place of Saint Naum, located in North Macedonia
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The first page of the Gospel of John from the Codex Zographensis.
A page from the Gospel of Miroslav, Serbian medieval manuscript, a 12th-century Byzantine-Slavonic book, National Library of Serbia.
In a book printed in 1591, Angelo Rocca attributed the Glagolitic script to Saint Jerome.
The Introduction of the Slavonic Liturgy in Great Moravia (1912), by Alphonse Mucha, The Slav Epic
Glagolitic script in the Zagreb Cathedral
"Simeon I of Bulgaria, the Morning Star of Slavonic Literature". (1923), by Alphonse Mucha, The Slav Epic
The last Glagolitic entry in the baptismal register of the Omišalj parish on the island of Krk by the parishioner Nicholas in 1817.
The Lord's Prayer shown in (from left) round, angular, and cursive versions of Glagolitic script.

He was among the disciples of Saints Cyril and Methodius and is associated with the creation of the Glagolitic and Cyrillic script.

- Saint Naum

The brothers decided to translate liturgical books into the contemporary Slavic language understandable to the general population (now known as Old Church Slavonic).

- Glagolitic script

In 886, Clement of Ohrid (also known as Kliment), Naum, Gorazd, Angelar and Sava arrived in the First Bulgarian Empire where they were warmly accepted by the Tsar Boris I of Bulgaria.

- Glagolitic script

For the next 22 years, he worked with Cyril and Methodius and other missionaries in translating the Bible into Old Church Slavonic and promoted it in Great Moravia and Principality of Lower Pannonia.

- Saint Naum

Byzantine missionaries standardized the language for the expedition of the two apostles, Cyril and his brother Methodius, to Great Moravia (the territory of today's western Slovakia and the Czech Republic; see Glagolitic alphabet for details).

- Old Church Slavonic

Exiled students of the two apostles, mainly Bulgarians (including Clement of Ohrid and Saint Naum), then brought the Glagolitic alphabet to the First Bulgarian Empire.

- Old Church Slavonic
A page from the Zograf Codex with text of the Gospel of Luke

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"Saints Cyril and Methodius holding the Cyrillic alphabet," a mural by Bulgarian iconographer Z. Zograf, 1848, Troyan Monastery

Cyril and Methodius

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Cyril (born Constantine, 826–869) and Methodius (815–885) were two brothers and Byzantine Christian theologians and missionaries.

Cyril (born Constantine, 826–869) and Methodius (815–885) were two brothers and Byzantine Christian theologians and missionaries.

"Saints Cyril and Methodius holding the Cyrillic alphabet," a mural by Bulgarian iconographer Z. Zograf, 1848, Troyan Monastery
Cyril and Methodius, painting by Jan Matejko, 1885
Saints Cyril and Methodius in Rome. Fresco in San Clemente
Saint Cyril and Methodius by Stanislav Dospevski, Bulgarian painter
The Baška tablet is an early example of the Glagolitic from Croatia
A cartoon about Saints Cyril and Methodius from Bulgaria in 1938. The caption reads : Brother Cyril, go tell those who are inside to learn the alphabet so they know freedom (свобода) and anarchy (слободия) are not the same.
Saints Cyril and Methodius procession
Basilica of St.Cyril and Methodius in Moravian Velehrad, Czech Republic
Cross Procession in Khanty-Mansiysk on Saints Cyril and Methodius Day in May 2006
Inauguration of the monument to Saints Cyril and Methodius in Saratov on Slavonic Literature and Culture Day
Thessaloniki - monument of the two Saints gift from the Bulgarian Orthodox Church
Bulgaria - Statue of the two Saints in front of the SS. Cyril and Methodius National Library in Sofia
Bulgaria - Statue of the two Saints in front of the National Palace of Culture in Sofia
North Macedonia - The monument in Ohrid
North Macedonia - Statue of Cyril and Methodius near the Stone Bridge in Skopje
Czech Republic - Statue of Saints Cyril and Methodius at the Charles Bridge in Prague
Czech Republic - Saints Cyril and Methodius monument in Mikulčice
Czech Republic - Statue of Saint Methodius at the Holy Trinity Column in Olomouc in Moravia
Ukraine - The monument in Kiev
Russia - the monument in Khanty-Mansiysk
Serbia - the monument to Saints Cyril and Methodius in Belgrade
Opening of Cyril and Methodius monument in Donetsk
Statue, Saints Cyril and Methodius, Třebíč, Czech Republic

They are credited with devising the Glagolitic alphabet, the first alphabet used to transcribe Old Church Slavonic.

Subsequently, Methodius was ordained as priest by the pope himself, and five Slavic disciples were ordained as priests (Saint Gorazd, Saint Clement of Ohrid and Saint Naum) and as deacons (Saint Angelar and Saint Sava) by the prominent bishops Formosus and Gauderic.

First Bulgarian Empire in 850

First Bulgarian Empire

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Medieval Bulgar-Slavic and later Bulgarian state that existed in Southeastern Europe between the 7th and 11th centuries AD. It was founded in 680–681 after part of the Bulgars, led by Asparuh, moved south to the northeastern Balkans.

Medieval Bulgar-Slavic and later Bulgarian state that existed in Southeastern Europe between the 7th and 11th centuries AD. It was founded in 680–681 after part of the Bulgars, led by Asparuh, moved south to the northeastern Balkans.

First Bulgarian Empire in 850
First Bulgarian Empire in 850
Slavic tribes and states in Early Middle Ages
The Bulgar colonies after the fall of Old Great Bulgaria in the 7th century.
Zones of control by Slavic tribes and Bulgars in the late 7th century
Part of the Pliska fortress.
Territorial expansion during the reign of Krum
Bulgaria under Presian
Bulgarian Empire during the reign of Simeon I
Emperor Simeon I: The Morning Star of Slavonic Literature, painting by Alfons Mucha
Bulgaria under the rule of Emperor Samuel
Samuel's Fortress in Ohrid
Above: The Byzantines defeat Samuel at Kleidion; below: the death of Samuel, Manasses Chronicle
Khan Omurtag was the first Bulgarian ruler known to have claimed divine origin, Madrid Skylitzes
The symbol ıYı is associated with the Dulo clan and the First Empire
A replica of a Bulgarian sabre found near the town of Varbitsa
A battle scene of the Byzantine–Bulgarian war of 894–896, Madrid Skylitzes
A pendant of the Preslav treasure
Slavic mythology: Sadko (1876) by Ilya Repin
The Pliska rosette dated from the pagan period has seven fingers representing the Classical planets
Bulgarian soldiers kill Christians during the persecutions, Menologion of Basil II
Baptism of Boris I and his court, painting by Nikolai Pavlovich
A medieval icon of Saint Clement of Ohrid, a high-ranking official of the Bulgarian Church, scholar, writer and enlightener of the Bulgarians and the Slavs
Expansion of Bogomilism in medieval Europe
Culture of the First Bulgarian Empire
The ruins of Pliska, the first capital of Bulgaria
The Madara Rider
Early Christian reliefs
Ceramic icon of Saint Theodore, Preslav ceramics, c. 900.
The Old Bulgarian alphabet
A page with the Alphabet Prayer by Constantine of Preslav

The ruling Bulgars and other non-Slavic tribes in the empire gradually mixed and adopted the prevailing Slavic language, thus gradually forming the Bulgarian nation from the 7th to the 10th century.

Its leading cultural position was further consolidated with the adoption of the Glagolitic alphabet, the invention of the Early Cyrillic alphabet shortly after in the capital Preslav, and the literature produced in Old Bulgarian soon began spreading north.

In 886 their disciples Clement, Naum and Angelarius, who had been banished from Great Moravia, reached Bulgaria and received a warm welcome from Boris I. They began to preach in Bulgaria and thus the work of the Slavic mission of Cyril and Methodius was saved.

Icon of Saint Clement of Ohrid from the Orthodox Zograf monastery on Mount Athos in Greece, depicted as a disciple of Saints Cyril and Methodius.

Clement of Ohrid

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One of the first medieval Bulgarian saints, scholar, writer and enlightener of the Slavs.

One of the first medieval Bulgarian saints, scholar, writer and enlightener of the Slavs.

Icon of Saint Clement of Ohrid from the Orthodox Zograf monastery on Mount Athos in Greece, depicted as a disciple of Saints Cyril and Methodius.
Icon of Saint Clement, located in the Mother of God Perybleptos church, Ohrid
Fresco of St. Clement in the Church of St. Athanasius, Kastoria
Southeastern Europe in the late 9th century.
Tomb of Saint Clement within the Church of Saints Clement and Panteleimon, Ohrid, North Macedonia.

He was one of the most prominent disciples of Saints Cyril and Methodius and is often associated with the creation of the Glagolitic and Cyrillic scripts, especially their popularisation among Christianised Slavs.

In 867 or 868 he became a priest in Rome, ordained along with two other disciples of Cyril and Methodius, Saint Gorazd and Saint Naum, by bishops Formosus and Gauderic.

Thereafter, the four of them were sent to the Bulgarian capital of Pliska where they were commissioned by Boris I of Bulgaria to instruct the future clergy of the state in the Old Slavonic language.

Example of the Cyrillic script. Excerpt from the manuscript "Bdinski Zbornik". Written in 1360.

Cyrillic script

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Writing system used for various languages across Eurasia and is used as the national script in various Slavic, Turkic, Mongolic, Uralic, Caucasian and Iranic-speaking countries in Southeastern Europe, Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, Central Asia, North Asia, and East Asia.

Writing system used for various languages across Eurasia and is used as the national script in various Slavic, Turkic, Mongolic, Uralic, Caucasian and Iranic-speaking countries in Southeastern Europe, Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, Central Asia, North Asia, and East Asia.

Example of the Cyrillic script. Excerpt from the manuscript "Bdinski Zbornik". Written in 1360.
Cyrillic Script Monument in Antarctica
View of the cave monastery near the village of Krepcha, Opaka Municipality in Bulgaria. Here is found the oldest Cyrillic inscription, dated 921.
A page from Азбука (Букварь) (ABC (Reader)), the first Russian language textbook, printed by Ivan Fyodorov in 1574. This page features the Cyrillic alphabet.
A page from the Church Slavonic Grammar of Meletius Smotrytsky (1619)
Letters Ge, De, I, I kratkoye, Me, Te, Tse, Be and Ve in upright (printed) and cursive (handwritten) variants. (Top is set in Georgia font, bottom in Odessa Script.)
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Alternate variants of lowercase (cursive) Cyrillic letters: Б/б, Д/д, Г/г, И/и, П/п, Т/т, Ш/ш. 
Default Russian (Eastern) forms on the left.
Alternate Bulgarian (Western) upright forms in the middle. 
Alternate Serbian/Macedonian (Southern) italic forms on the right.
See also: 
Cyrillic cursive.svg Special Cyrillics BGDPT.svg

The Early Cyrillic alphabet was developed during the 9th century AD at the Preslav Literary School in the First Bulgarian Empire during the reign of tsar Simeon I the Great, probably by disciples of Saint Cyril and Saint Methodius, the two brothers who created the earlier Glagolitic script.

These additional letters were used for Old Church Slavonic sounds not found in Greek.

A number of prominent Bulgarian writers and scholars worked at the school, including Naum of Preslav until 893; Constantine of Preslav; Joan Ekzarh (also transcr.

Great Moravia in the late 9th century

Great Moravia

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The first major state that was predominantly West Slavic to emerge in the area of Central Europe, possibly including territories which are today part of the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Austria, Germany, Poland, Romania, Serbia and Ukraine.

The first major state that was predominantly West Slavic to emerge in the area of Central Europe, possibly including territories which are today part of the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Austria, Germany, Poland, Romania, Serbia and Ukraine.

Great Moravia in the late 9th century
Great Moravian sword from Blatnica, unearthed in the 19th century, originally interpreted as a burial equipment from a "ducal" mound
The core of Great Moravia
Principalities and lands within Great Moravia
Jewelry from a princely burial site at Kolín, 850–900 AD
Spherical gombiki from the Mikulčice Archaeological Park
Map of Moravia within East Francia in 814
A map presenting the theory of the co-existence of two principalities (Moravia and Nitra) before the 830s
Modern depiction of Rastislav as an Orthodox saint
Constantine and Methodius in Rome
Statue of Svatopluk I on Bratislava Castle, Slovakia
The papal bull Scire vos volumus of 879 addressed to Svatopluk
Icon of St Gorazd, a disciple of St Cyril and Method of Moravian origin, who was the designated successor of archbishop Method
Svatopluk I with three twigs and his three sons—Mojmír II, Svatopluk II and Predslav
Reconstruction of a Great Moravian gatehouse and ramparts in Thunau am Kamp, Austria
Foundations of a pre-Romanesque rotunda at the Great Moravian court in Ducové
Svatopluk I disguised as a monk in the court of Arnulf, King of East Francia (from the 14th-century Chronicle of Dalimil)
Church of St. Margaret of Antioch in Kopčany, Slovakia, one of remaining buildings for which the Great Moravian origin is considered
Stone foundations of a church in Valy u Mikulčic, Czech Republic
Exhibition Among the tribes and the state. Room with the Early medieval princely burial from Kolín (Starý Kolín), 850–900 AD
An example of the Glagolitic script created by Saint Cyril for the mission in Great Moravia (Baščanska ploča from Croatia). The inscribed stone slab records Croatian king Zvonimir's donation of a piece of land to a Benedictine abbey in the time of abbot Drzhiha.
A silver cross from Mikulčice
Great Moravia in a school book

The kingdom saw the rise of the first ever Slavic literary culture in the Old Church Slavonic language as well as the expansion of Christianity, first via missionaries from East Francia, and later after the arrival of Saints Cyril and Methodius in 863 and the creation of the Glagolitic alphabet, the first alphabet dedicated to a Slavic language.

The Cyrillo-Methodian cultural mission had significant impact on most Slavic languages and stood at the beginning of the modern Cyrillic alphabet, created in the 9th century AD in Bulgaria by Bulgarian disciples of Cyril and Methodius (Naum of Preslav, Clement of Ohrid and others).

Saint-Tsar Boris I, Equal-to-the-Apostles

Boris I of Bulgaria

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The ruler of the First Bulgarian Empire in 852–889.

The ruler of the First Bulgarian Empire in 852–889.

Saint-Tsar Boris I, Equal-to-the-Apostles
Coin of Boris-Mihail. Knyaz, struck in 852–889.
Bulgaria under rule of Boris I
Depiction in the Madrid Skylitzes of Boris I's baptism.
Depiction in the Manases Chronicle of Boris I' baptism.
Knyaz Boris I meeting the disciples of Saints Cyril and Methodius

When in 885 the disciples of Saints Cyril and Methodius were banished from Great Moravia, Boris I gave them refuge and provided assistance which saved the Glagolithic and later promoted the development of the Cyrillic script in Preslav and the Slavic literature.

After he abdicated in 889, his eldest son and successor tried to restore the old pagan religion but was deposed by Boris I. During the Council of Preslav which followed that event, the Byzantine clergy was replaced with Bulgarians, and the Greek language was replaced with what is now known as Old Church Slavonic.

Boris happily greeted two of these disciples, Clement of Ohrid and Naum of Preslav, who were of noble Bulgarian origin.