Old Church Slavonic

Example of the Cyrillic alphabet: excerpt from the manuscript "Bdinski Zbornik" written in Old Slavonic, 1360
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A page from the Gospel of Miroslav, Serbian medieval manuscript, a 12th-century Byzantine-Slavonic book, National Library of Serbia.
The Introduction of the Slavonic Liturgy in Great Moravia (1912), by Alphonse Mucha, The Slav Epic
"Simeon I of Bulgaria, the Morning Star of Slavonic Literature". (1923), by Alphonse Mucha, The Slav Epic

The first Slavic literary language.

- Old Church Slavonic

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First Bulgarian Empire in 850

First Bulgarian Empire

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
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.

A page from the Zograf Codex with text of the Gospel of Luke

Glagolitic script

Oldest known Slavic alphabet.

Oldest known Slavic alphabet.

A page from the Zograf Codex with text of the Gospel of Luke
The Baška tablet, found in the 19th century on Krk, conventionally dated to about 1100.
The first page of the Gospel of Mark from the 10th–11th century Codex Zographensis, found in the Zograf Monastery in 1843.
The first page of the Gospel of John from the Codex Zographensis.
In a book printed in 1591, Angelo Rocca attributed the Glagolitic script to Saint Jerome.
Glagolitic script in the Zagreb Cathedral
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.

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

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

Cyril and Methodius

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.

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

Cyrillic script

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

Balto-Slavic language tree.

Slavic languages

The Slavic languages, also known as the Slavonic languages, are Indo-European languages spoken primarily by the Slavic peoples or their descendants.

The Slavic languages, also known as the Slavonic languages, are Indo-European languages spoken primarily by the Slavic peoples or their descendants.

Balto-Slavic language tree.
Ethnographic Map of Slavic and Baltic Languages
Baška tablet, 11th century, Krk, Croatia.
14th-century Novgorodian children were literate enough to send each other letters written on birch bark.
10th–11th century Codex Zographensis, canonical monument of Old Church Slavonic
Map and tree of Slavic languages, according to Kassian and A. Dybo
West Slav tribes in 9th–10th centuries
Linguistic maps of Slavic languages
Map of all areas where the Russian language is the language spoken by the majority of the population.

Old Church Slavonic

Saint George's Cathedral, Istanbul, Turkey

Eastern Orthodox Church

Second-largest Christian church, with approximately 220 million baptized members.

Second-largest Christian church, with approximately 220 million baptized members.

Saint George's Cathedral, Istanbul, Turkey
Christ Pantocrator, sixth century, Saint Catherine's Monastery, Sinai; the oldest known icon of Christ, in one of the oldest monasteries in the world
Emperor Constantine presents a representation of the city of Constantinople as tribute to an enthroned Mary and baby Jesus in this church mosaic (Hagia Sophia, c. 1000)
An icon of Saint John the Baptist, 14th century, North Macedonia
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Icon depicting the Emperor Constantine and the bishops of the First Council of Nicaea (325) holding the Niceno–Constantinopolitan Creed of 381.
Hagia Sophia, the largest church in the world and patriarchal basilica of Constantinople for nearly a thousand years, later converted into a mosque, then a museum, then back to a mosque.
The baptism of Princess Olga in Constantinople, a miniature from the Radzivill Chronicle
Latin Crusaders sacking the city of Constantinople, the capital of the Eastern Orthodox controlled Byzantine Empire, in 1204.
Timeline showing the main autocephalous Eastern Orthodox Churches, from an Eastern Orthodox point of view, up to 2021
Canonical territories of the main autocephalous and autonomous Eastern Orthodox jurisdictions as of 2020
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Percentage distribution of Eastern Orthodox Christians by country
John of Damascus
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Our Lady of Tinos is the major Marian shrine in Greece.
The Theotokos of Vladimir, one of the most venerated of Orthodox Christian icons of the Virgin Mary
Last Judgment: 12th-century Byzantine mosaic from Torcello Cathedral
David glorified by the women of Israel from the Paris Psalter, example of the Macedonian art (Byzantine) (sometimes called the Macedonian Renaissance)
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Chanters singing on the kliros at the Church of St. George, Patriarchate of Constantinople
An illustration of the traditional interior of an Orthodox church.
Shards of pottery vases on the street, after being thrown from the windows of nearby houses. A Holy Saturday tradition in Corfu.
An Eastern Orthodox baptism
Eucharistic elements prepared for the Divine Liturgy
The wedding of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia.
Eastern Orthodox subdeacon being ordained to the diaconate. The bishop has placed his omophorion and right hand on the head of the candidate and is reading the Prayer of Cheirotonia.
The consecration of the Rt Rev. Reginald Heber Weller as an Anglican bishop at the Cathedral of St. Paul the Apostle in the Episcopal Diocese of Fond du Lac, with the Rt. Rev. Anthony Kozlowski of the Polish National Catholic Church and Saint Tikhon, then Bishop of the Aleutians and Alaska (along with his chaplains Fr. John Kochurov and Fr. Sebastian Dabovich) of the Russian Orthodox Church present
Pope Francis and Patriarch Bartholomew I in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem, 2014
The Constantinople Massacre of April 1821: a religious persecution of the Greek population of Constantinople under the Ottomans. Patriarch Gregory V of Constantinople was executed.
The Pan-Orthodox Council, Kolymvari, Crete, Greece, June 2016
Cathedral of Evangelismos, Alexandria
Patriarchate of Peć in Kosovo, the seat of the Serbian Orthodox Church from the 14th century when its status was upgraded into a patriarchate
Traditional Paschal procession by Russian Orthodox Old-Rite Church

A major event in this effort was the development of the Cyrillic script in Bulgaria, at the Preslav Literary School in the ninth century; this script, along with the liturgical Old Church Slavonic, also called Old Bulgarian, were declared official in Bulgaria in 893.

Balto-Slavic languages.

South Slavic languages

The South Slavic languages are one of three branches of the Slavic languages.

The South Slavic languages are one of three branches of the Slavic languages.

Balto-Slavic languages.
Areas where Eastern South Slavic dialects are spoken:

The first South Slavic language to be written (also the first attested Slavic language) was the variety of the Eastern South Slavic spoken in Thessaloniki, now called Old Church Slavonic, in the ninth century.

Icon of Saint Naum

Saint Naum

Saint Naum (Bulgarian and Macedonian: Свети Наум, Sveti Naum), also known as Naum of Ohrid or Naum of Preslav (c.

Saint Naum (Bulgarian and Macedonian: Свети Наум, Sveti Naum), also known as Naum of Ohrid or Naum of Preslav (c.

Icon of Saint Naum
Southeastern Europe in the 9th century.
Monastery of Saint Naum, resting place of Saint Naum, located in North Macedonia

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.

Byzantine Empire

The continuation of the Roman Empire in its eastern provinces during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, when its capital city was Constantinople. It survived the fragmentation and fall of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century AD and continued to exist for an additional thousand years until the fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Empire in 1453. During most of its existence, the empire remained the most powerful economic, cultural, and military force in Europe. The terms "Byzantine Empire" and "Eastern Roman Empire" were coined after the end of the realm; its citizens continued to refer to their empire simply as the Roman Empire, and to themselves as Romans{{NoteTag|{{Lang-gkm|Βασιλεία Ῥωμαίων|Basileía Rhōmaíōn}} ; {{Lang-gkm|Ῥωμανία|Rhōmaía}} (Romania); {{Lang-gkm|Ῥωμαῖοι|Rhōmaîoi}} (Romans)}}—a term which Greeks continued to use for themselves into Ottoman times.

The continuation of the Roman Empire in its eastern provinces during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, when its capital city was Constantinople. It survived the fragmentation and fall of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century AD and continued to exist for an additional thousand years until the fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Empire in 1453. During most of its existence, the empire remained the most powerful economic, cultural, and military force in Europe. The terms "Byzantine Empire" and "Eastern Roman Empire" were coined after the end of the realm; its citizens continued to refer to their empire simply as the Roman Empire, and to themselves as Romans{{NoteTag|{{Lang-gkm|Βασιλεία Ῥωμαίων|Basileía Rhōmaíōn}} ; {{Lang-gkm|Ῥωμανία|Rhōmaía}} (Romania); {{Lang-gkm|Ῥωμαῖοι|Rhōmaîoi}} (Romans)}}—a term which Greeks continued to use for themselves into Ottoman times.

The empire in 555 under Justinian the Great, at its greatest extent since the fall of the Western Roman Empire (its vassals in pink)
Constantine the Great was the first Roman emperor to convert to Christianity and moved the seat of the empire to Byzantium, renamed Constantinople in his honour.
The empire in 555 under Justinian the Great, at its greatest extent since the fall of the Western Roman Empire (its vassals in pink)
Restored section of the Walls of Constantinople
The empire in 555 under Justinian the Great, at its greatest extent since the fall of the Western Roman Empire (its vassals in pink)
After the death of Theodosius I in 395, the empire was again divided. The west disintegrated in the late 400s while the east ended with the fall of Constantinople in 1453.
Empress Theodora and attendants (Mosaic from Basilica of San Vitale, 6th century)
Hagia Sophia built in 537, during the reign of Justinian. The minarets were added in the 15th–16th centuries by the Ottoman Empire.
The Byzantine Empire in c. 600 during the reign of Maurice. Half of the Italian peninsula and most of southern Hispania were lost, but the eastern borders expanded, gaining land from the Persians.
Battle between Heraclius and the Persians. Fresco by Piero della Francesca, c. 1452
By 650 (pictured) the empire had lost all its southern provinces, except the Exarchate of Africa, to the Rashidun Caliphate. At the same time the Slavs invaded and settled in the Balkans.
Greek fire was first used by the Byzantine Navy during the Byzantine–Arab Wars (from the Madrid Skylitzes, Biblioteca Nacional de España, Madrid).
Constantine IV and his retinue, mosaic in Basilica of Sant'Apollinare in Classe. Constantine IV defeated the First Arab siege of Constantinople.
The Byzantine Empire at the accession of Leo III, c. 717. Striped indicates areas raided by the Umayyads.
Gold solidus of Leo III (left), and his son and heir, Constantine V (right)
A Simple Cross: An example of Iconoclast art in the Hagia Irene Church in Istanbul.
The Byzantine Empire, c. 867
The general Leo Phokas defeats the Hamdanid Emirate of Aleppo at Andrassos in 960, from the Madrid Skylitzes
10th century military successes were coupled with a major cultural revival, the so-called Macedonian Renaissance. Miniature from the Paris Psalter, an example of Hellenistic-influenced art.
Emperor Basil II ((r. 976 – 1025))
The extent of the Empire under Basil II
Rus' under the walls of Constantinople (860)
Varangian Guardsmen, an illumination from the Skylitzis Chronicle
Constantinople was the largest and wealthiest city in Europe throughout late antiquity and most of the Middle Ages until the Fourth Crusade in 1204.
Mural of Saints Cyril and Methodius, 19th century, Troyan Monastery, Bulgaria
The seizure of Edessa (1031) by the Byzantines under George Maniakes and the counterattack by the Seljuk Turks
Alexios I, founder of the Komnenos dynasty
The Chora Church, dating from the Komnenian period, has some of the finest Byzantine frescoes and mosaics.
The Byzantine Empire and the Seljuk Sultanate of Rûm before the First Crusade (1095–1099)
A mosaic from the Hagia Sophia of Constantinople (modern Istanbul), depicting Mary and Jesus, flanked by John II Komnenos (left) and his wife Irene of Hungary (right), 12th century
Byzantine Empire in orange, c. 1180, at the end of the Komnenian period
The Lamentation of Christ (1164), a fresco from the church of Saint Panteleimon in Nerezi, North Macedonia, considered a superb example of 12th-century Komnenian art
Byzantium in the late Angeloi period
The Entry of the Crusaders into Constantinople, by Eugène Delacroix (1840)
The partition of the empire following the Fourth Crusade, c. 1204
The Byzantine Empire, c. 1263
The siege of Constantinople in 1453, depicted in a 15th-century French miniature
The Eastern Mediterranean just before the Fall of Constantinople
Flag of the late Empire under the Palaiologoi, sporting the tetragrammic cross symbol of the Palaiologos dynasty
The embassy of John the Grammarian in 829, between the emperor Theophilos and the Abbasid caliph Al-Ma'mun
Italian sketch of Emperor John VIII during his visit in Ferrara and Florence in 1438
Interior of the Hagia Sophia, the patriarchal basilica in Constantinople designed 537 by Isidore of Miletus, the first compiler of Archimedes' various works. The influence of Archimedes' principles of solid geometry is evident.
The frontispiece of the Vienna Dioscurides, which shows a set of seven famous physicians
Bas-relief plaque of Tribonian in the Chamber of the House of Representatives in the United States Capitol
Many refugee Byzantine scholars fled to North Italy in the 1400s. Here John Argyropoulos (1415–1487), born in Constantinople and who ended his days in north Italy.
Ceramic grenades that were filled with Greek fire, surrounded by caltrops, 10th–12th century, National Historical Museum, Athens, Greece
As a symbol and expression of the universal prestige of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, Justinian built the Church of the Holy Wisdom of God, Hagia Sophia, which was completed in the short period of four and a half years (532–537).
Mosaic of Jesus in Pammakaristos Church, Istanbul
Triumphal arch mosaics of Jesus Christ and the Apostles. In Basilica of San Vitale in Ravenna, Italy.
Earliest known depiction of a bowed lyra, from a Byzantine ivory casket (900–1100) (Museo Nazionale, Florence)
The double-headed eagle, a common Imperial symbol
Distribution of Greek dialects in Anatolia in the late Byzantine Empire through to 1923. Demotic in yellow. Pontic in orange. Cappadocian in green. (Green dots indicate Cappadocian Greek-speaking villages in 1910. )
A game of τάβλι (tabula) played by Byzantine emperor Zeno in 480 and recorded by Agathias in c. 530 because of a very unlucky dice throw for Zeno (red), as he threw 2, 5 and 6 and was forced to leave eight pieces alone.
Golden Solidus of Justinian I (527–565) excavated in India probably in the south, an example of Indo-Roman trade during the period
Christ Pantocrator mosaic in Hagia Sophia, circa 1261
Christ as the Good Shepherd; {{circa}} 425-430; mosaic; width: {{circa}} 3 m; Mausoleum of Galla Placidia (Ravenna, Italy)<ref>{{cite book |last1=Fortenberry|first1=Diane|title=THE ART MUSEUM |date=2017|publisher=Phaidon|isbn=978-0-7148-7502-6|page=108|language=en}}</ref>
Diptych Leaf with a Byzantine Empress; 6th century; ivory with traces of gilding and leaf; height: {{cvt|26.5|cm}}; Kunsthistorisches Museum (Vienna, Austria)<ref>{{cite book |last1=Fortenberry|first1=Diane|title=THE ART MUSEUM |date=2017|publisher=Phaidon|isbn=978-0-7148-7502-6|page=114|language=en}}</ref>
Collier; late 6th–7th century; gold, an emerald, a sapphire, amethysts and pearls; diameter: {{cvt|23|cm}}; from a Constantinopolitan workshop; Antikensammlung Berlin (Berlin, Germany)<ref>{{cite book |last1=Fortenberry|first1=Diane|title=THE ART MUSEUM |date=2017|publisher=Phaidon|isbn=978-0-7148-7502-6|page=115|language=en}}</ref>
Page of the Gospel Book with Commentaries: Portrait of Mark; 1000–1100; ink, tempera, gold, vellum and leather binding; sheet: {{cvt|28 x 23|cm}}; Cleveland Museum of Art (Cleveland, Ohio, US)
Icon of the New Testament Trinity; c. 1450; tempera and gold on wood panel (poplar); Cleveland Museum of Art

Later foreign contacts made Old Church Slavic, Middle Persian, and Arabic important in the empire and its sphere of influence.

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

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.

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.