A report on 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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An approximate ethno-linguistic map of Kievan Rus' in the 9th century: Five Volga Finnic groups of the Merya, Mari, Muromians, Meshchera and Mordvins are shown as surrounded by the Slavs to the west; the three Finnic groups of the Veps, Ests and Chuds, and Indo-European Balts to the northwest; the Permians to the northeast the (Turkic) Bulghars and Khazars to the southeast and south.

Kievan Rus'

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State in Eastern and Northern Europe from the late 9th to the mid-13th century.

State in Eastern and Northern Europe from the late 9th to the mid-13th century.

An approximate ethno-linguistic map of Kievan Rus' in the 9th century: Five Volga Finnic groups of the Merya, Mari, Muromians, Meshchera and Mordvins are shown as surrounded by the Slavs to the west; the three Finnic groups of the Veps, Ests and Chuds, and Indo-European Balts to the northwest; the Permians to the northeast the (Turkic) Bulghars and Khazars to the southeast and south.
A map of later Kievan Rus' (after the death of Yaroslav I in 1054)
The Invitation of the Varangians by Viktor Vasnetsov: Rurik and his brothers Sineus and Truvor arrive at the lands of the Ilmen Slavs.
Rus', 1015–1113
East-Slavic tribes and peoples, 8th–9th centuries
The Volga trade route (red), the "route from the Varangians to the Greeks" (purple) and other trade routes of the 8th–11th centuries (orange)
Princess Olga's avenge to the Drevlians, Radziwiłł Chronicle
Madrid Skylitzes, meeting between John Tzimiskes and Sviatoslav
Rogneda of Polotsk, Vladimir I of Kiev and Izyaslav of Polotsk
Baptism of Saint Prince Vladimir, by Viktor Vasnetsov, in the St Volodymyr's Cathedral
Ivan Eggink's painting represents Vladimir listening to the Orthodox priests, while the papal envoy stands aside in discontent.
The Golden Gate, Kyiv
The principalities of the later Kievan Rus (after the death of Yaroslav I in 1054)
The Nativity, a Kievan (possibly Galician) illumination from the Gertrude Psalter
Map of 1139 by Joachim Lelewel (1865)
Lilac borders: Kingdom of Galicia–Volhynia, one of the successor states of Kievan Rus'
Administering justice in Kievan Rus, by Ivan Bilibin
Ship burial of a Rus' chieftain as described by the Arab traveler Ahmad ibn Fadlan, who visited north-eastern Europe in the 10th century. Henryk Siemiradzki (1883)
The field of Igor Svyatoslavich's battle with the Polovtsy, by Viktor Vasnetsov
The sacking of Suzdal by Batu Khan
Druzhina
Model of the original Saint Sophia Cathedral in Kiev; used on modern 2 hryvni of Ukraine
Saint Sophia Cathedral in Polotsk (rebuilt in the mid-18th century after destruction by Russian army)
Saint Sophia Cathedral in Novgorod, mid-11th century
Dormition Cathedral, Vladimir, 1160
Map of 8th- to 9th-century Rus' by Leonard Chodzko (1861)
Map of 9th-century Rus' by Antoine Philippe Houze (1844)
Map of 9th-century Rus' by F. S. Weller (1893)
Map of Rus' in Europe in 1000 (1911)
Map of Rus' in 1097 (1911)
Fragment of the 1154 Tabula Rogeriana by Muhammad al-Idrisi

The Slavs had no written language, so the brothers devised the Glagolitic alphabet, later replaced by Cyrillic (developed in the First Bulgarian Empire) and standardized the language of the Slavs, later known as Old Church Slavonic.

Serbian Orthodox Church

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One of the autocephalous Eastern Orthodox Christian churches.

One of the autocephalous Eastern Orthodox Christian churches.

Seal of prince Strojimir of Serbia (from the late 9th century), one of the oldest artifacts on the Christianization of the Serbs
Map depicting the Archbishopric of Ohrid in ca. 1020
Timeline showing the main autocephalous Eastern Orthodox Churches, from an Eastern Orthodox point of view, up to 2021
Saint Sava, first Serbian archbishop
Trojeručica meaning "Three-handed Theotokos" is the most important icon of the SOC, and the main icon of Mount Athos
Serbian Patriarch Danilo III, fresco from the Patriarchal Monastery of Peć
Serbian Patriarchate of Peć (16th–17th century)
Serbian Patriarch Arsenije III, leader of the Great Serbian Migration of 1690
Timeline showing the main schisms which came out of the Serbian Orthodox Church, from the second quarter of the 19th century up to 2021
Serbian Patriarch Dimitrije (1920-1930), first primate of the reunited Serbian Orthodox Church
Building of the Serbian Patriarchate in Belgrade
Church of Saint Sava, one of the largest Orthodox churches in the world, being built continuously since the end of the 1980s on the site where the relics of Saint Sava were desecrated by the Ottomans
Eparchies of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Serbian autochthonous region of Western Balkans
An example of the Serbo-Byzantine style in the Gračanica monastery in Kosovo (World Heritage Site)
"A Portrait of the Evangelist", a miniature from the Radoslav Gospel (1429)
Flag of the Serbian Orthodox Church

The 10th- or 11th-century Gospel Book Codex Marianus, written in Old Church Slavonic in the Glagolithic script, is one of the oldest known Slavic manuscripts.

Byzantine Empire

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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.

Schematic depiction according to genetic studies by Alena Kushniarevich

Ukrainian language

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East Slavic language of the Indo-European language family.

East Slavic language of the Indo-European language family.

Schematic depiction according to genetic studies by Alena Kushniarevich
Percentage of people with Ukrainian as their native language according to 2001 census (by region).
Domini Georgi Regis Russiae; Lord George (Yuri), the King of Rus
King's seal of Yuri I of Halych (reign: 1301–1308) "S[igillum] Domini Georgi Regis Rusie" (left), "S[igillum] Domini Georgi Ducis Ladimerie" (right).
"Moneta Rvssie" coined in 1382 based on groschen
Miniature of St Luke from the Peresopnytsia Gospels (1561).
Ukrainian speakers in the Russian Empire (1897)
The Ukrainian text in this Soviet poster reads: "The social base of the USSR is an unbreakable union of the workers, peasants and intelligentsia".
The 1921 Soviet recruitment poster. It uses traditional Ukrainian imagery with Ukrainian-language text: "Son! Enroll in the school of Red commanders, and the defense of Soviet Ukraine will be ensured."
Anti-russification protest. The banner reads "Ukrainian school for Ukrainian kids!".
While Russian was a de facto official language of the Soviet Union in all but formal name, all national languages were proclaimed equal. The name and denomination of Soviet banknotes were listed in the languages of all fifteen Soviet republics. On this 1961 one-ruble note, the Ukrainian for "one ruble", один карбованець (odyn karbovanets`), directly follows the Russian один рубль (odin rubl`).
Fluency in Ukrainian (purple column) and Russian (blue column) in 1989 and 2001
Modern signs in the Kyiv Metro are in Ukrainian. The evolution in their language followed the changes in the language policies in post-war Ukraine. Originally, all signs and voice announcements in the metro were in Ukrainian, but their language was changed to Russian in the early 1980s, at the height of Shcherbytsky's gradual Russification. In the perestroika liberalization of the late 1980s, the signs were changed to bilingual. This was accompanied by bilingual voice announcements in the trains. In the early 1990s, both signs and voice announcements were changed again from bilingual to Ukrainian-only during the de-russification campaign that followed Ukraine's independence. Since 2012 the signs have been in both Ukrainian and English.
Ukrainian language traffic sign for the Ivan Franko Museum in Kryvorivnia.
Sign in both Ukrainian and Romanian languages in the village of Valea Vișeului (Vyshivska Dolyna), Bistra commune, in Romania
Ukrainian keyboard layout
Ethnographic Map of Slavic and Baltic Languages
Map of Ukrainian dialects and subdialects (2005).
Northern groupSouth-eastern groupSouth-western group

By the 16th century, a peculiar official language formed: a mixture of the liturgical standardised language of Old Church Slavonic, Ruthenian and Polish.

Official usage of Romanian language in Vojvodina, Serbia

Romanian language

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Eastern Romance language spoken by approximately 22–26 million people as a native language, primarily in Romania and Moldova, and by another 4 million people as a second language.

Eastern Romance language spoken by approximately 22–26 million people as a native language, primarily in Romania and Moldova, and by another 4 million people as a second language.

Official usage of Romanian language in Vojvodina, Serbia
Distribution of first-language native Romanian speakers by country—Voivodina is an autonomous province of northern Serbia bordering Romania, while Altele means "Other"
Romanian as secondary or foreign language in Central and Eastern Europe
Romanian language in the Romance language family
Romanian's core lexicon (2,581 words); Marius Sala, VRLR (1988)
Neacșu's letter is the oldest surviving document written in Romanian.
A sample of Romanian written in the Romanian Cyrillic alphabet, which was still in use in the early 19th century
A close shot of some keys with Romanian characters on the keyboard of a laptop

The greater part of its Slavic vocabulary comes from Old Church Slavonic, which was the official written language of Wallachia and Moldavia from the 14th to the 18th century (although not understood by most people), as well as the liturgical language of the Romanian Orthodox Church.

Classification of Czech within the Balto-Slavic branch of the Indo-European language family. Czech and Slovak make up a "Czech–Slovak" subgroup.

Czech language

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West Slavic language of the Czech–Slovak group, written in Latin script.

West Slavic language of the Czech–Slovak group, written in Latin script.

Classification of Czech within the Balto-Slavic branch of the Indo-European language family. Czech and Slovak make up a "Czech–Slovak" subgroup.
The Bible of Kralice was the first complete translation of the Bible into the Czech language from the original languages. Its six volumes were first published between 1579 and 1593.
Josef Dobrovský, whose writing played a key role in reviving Czech as a written language.
Official use of Czech in Vojvodina, Serbia (in light blue)
Praha, Texas
A Czech vowel chart
A Czech-language sign at the entrance to a children's playground
A street named after Božena Němcová with her name declined in the genitive case (a sign probably from the time of the Protectorate).
The handwritten Czech alphabet
Josef Jungmann, whose Czech-German dictionary laid the foundations for modern Standard Czech.
Dialects of Czech, Moravian, Lach, and Cieszyn Silesian spoken in the Czech Republic. The border areas, where German was formerly spoken, are now mixed.
A headstone in Český Krumlov from 1591. The inscription features the distinctive Bohemian diphthong, spelled.
Traditional territory of the main dialect groups of Moravia and Czech Silesia. Green: Central Moravian, Red: East Moravian, Yellow: Lach (Silesian), Pink: Cieszyn Silesian, Orange: Bohemian–Moravian transitional dialects, Purple: Mixed areas

The function of the written language was initially performed by Old Slavonic written in Glagolitic, later by Latin written in Latin script.

Cyrillic letter yat, set in several fonts. Note that in cursive writing, the small yat has a considerably different shape.

Yat

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Thirty-second letter of the old Cyrillic alphabet.

Thirty-second letter of the old Cyrillic alphabet.

Cyrillic letter yat, set in several fonts. Note that in cursive writing, the small yat has a considerably different shape.
Bulgarian "yat border".
Pre-revolution typewriter with Yat on the bottom row, between Ч and С.
Cover of 1880 edition of Turgenev's Fathers and Sons, with yat in the title; in modern orthography, дѣти is spelled дети.
In 1914, Serbian philologist Aleksandar Belić's map showed the contemporary Serbian point of view where the Yat border separated Serbian from Bulgarian.

One explanation is that the dialect of Thessaloniki (on which the Old Church Slavonic literary language was based), and other South Slavic dialects shifted from to independently from the Northern and Western branches.

A column remaining from the Throne Hall at Preslav

Preslav Literary School

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The first literary school in the medieval Bulgarian Empire.

The first literary school in the medieval Bulgarian Empire.

A column remaining from the Throne Hall at Preslav
Old Bulgarian Alphabet

In Ravna, an unusually large number of inscriptions in the form of 330 instances of graffiti were found, written in Old Bulgarian and in other languages.

Hemisphere view

Russian language

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East Slavic language mainly spoken across Russia.

East Slavic language mainly spoken across Russia.

Hemisphere view
Competence of Russian in countries of the former Soviet Union (except Russia), 2004
Percentage of people in Ukraine with Russian as their native language (according to a 2001 census) (by region)
A page from Azbuka (Alphabet book), the first East Slavic printed textbook. Printed by Ivan Fyodorov in 1574 in Lviv. This page features the Cyrillic script.
Russian vowel chart by
This page from an "ABC" book printed in Moscow in 1694 shows the letter П.
The Ostromir Gospels of 1056 is the second oldest East Slavic book known, one of many medieval illuminated manuscripts preserved in the Russian National Library.

The vocabulary (mainly abstract and literary words), principles of word formations, and, to some extent, inflections and literary style of Russian have been also influenced by Church Slavonic, a developed and partly Russified form of the South Slavic Old Church Slavonic language used by the Russian Orthodox Church.

Navy Chaplain Milton Gianulis conducts an Easter morning Orthodox Liturgy candlelight service aboard USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75)

Sacred language

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Any language that is cultivated and used primarily in church service or for other religious reasons by people who speak another, primary language in their daily lives.

Any language that is cultivated and used primarily in church service or for other religious reasons by people who speak another, primary language in their daily lives.

Navy Chaplain Milton Gianulis conducts an Easter morning Orthodox Liturgy candlelight service aboard USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75)

Similarly, Old Church Slavonic is incomprehensible to speakers of modern Slavic languages, unless they study it.