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The Glagolitic alphabet - why Slavic people abandoned it?


Szalawa 3 | 248
16 Apr 2014 #1
I'm just curious why the majority of Slavic people abandoned this beautiful and unique alphabet. Can this literature be once again incorporated into Slavic culture, I think there are some monks that still use this alphabet but is there a chance that a Slavic country will consider it the official script? I believe most of the Glagolitic scripts in Poland were destroyed in a fire, I would also like to know more about this tragedy.
jon357 63 | 14,185
16 Apr 2014 #2
It was never much used in Poland compared to, say, Bulgaria, (although it was used in parts of Yugoslavia until the 18th Century) and used occasionally but rarely as a novelty until the mid-19th Century.

It fell out of use because most users preferred the Cyrillic alphabet - more accessible to scholars (and in the days when the Glagolitic alphabet was common only scholars could read and write) who were familiar with Greek and Latin church writings.

majority of Slavic people abandoned

Remember that in those days, the majority couldn't write their own name.
OP Szalawa 3 | 248
17 Apr 2014 #3
Oh I see, good point that most people were illiterate and its true that the Glagolitic alphabet was not used as much in Poland ( I think its because Poland was rather late converting to Christianity) but it was with the Czech's (Bohemia and Moravia ), Slovenia and Croatia, and if I recall neither of these countries use Cyrillic and are currently using a foreign script-Latin which I find odd.
jon357 63 | 14,185
17 Apr 2014 #4
a foreign script-Latin which I find odd.

All scripts are to some extent 'foreign' since spoken language comes long before written. As I mentioned, the very well educated are usually familiar with several languages whereas until relatively recently the great unwashed had no use for any sort of script. People who read and wrote (once mostly clergy, academics and the wealthy) were familiar with other scripts and in countries that were Roman Catholic had more exposure to the Latin alphabet than the Russian one.

The prevalence of Cyrillic in some countries today is because of cultural (and political) influence by Russia - there was even a proposal to force it on Poland within living memory.
Crow 137 | 7,745
17 Apr 2014 #5
example:

Glagolica
OP Szalawa 3 | 248
17 Apr 2014 #6
Your right Cyrillic is seen as Russian influence and I am in no way advocating Poland to adopt the Cyrillic alphabet. But Glagolitic is neutral, Neither Russian or Latin. I don't see it over taking Latin in those current countries, but instead have it recognized as an alternative script. What will this accomplish? I think a slight reduction in western influence in the region and the strengthening of the west Slavic culture and identity to give us our own place in society. Which could be taken in a good or bad way.
jon357 63 | 14,185
17 Apr 2014 #7
But Glagolitic is neutral

More historical, whereas Poland, though in the East has always looked West.

have it recognized as an alternative script

By whom? The authorities recognise road signs etc, but nobody 'owns' the Polish language - not even the nation as a whole.

our own place in society.

That already exists, though no harm in cherishing an old alphabet. No point either since it was never a particularly Polish thing, unlike runes and Danish. There's also a danger it could be associated with various political tendencies.

It is pretty though, as is traditional Polish script.
Archyski - | 45
18 Apr 2014 #8
When in the history was the Glagolitic alphabet ever used ?
OP Szalawa 3 | 248
18 Apr 2014 #9
Could it be Glagolitic died out with the west Slavs because it was outlawed to write in your own language? "The Croats using the Glagolitic alphabet were the only nation in Europe who was given a special permission by Pope Innocent IV (in 1248) to use their own language and this script in liturgy"

When in the history was the Glagolitic alphabet ever used ?

From the ninth century to apparently now "It is interesting that even today the Glagolitic liturgy is used in some Croatian churches"

croatianhistory.net/etf/et03.html

Crow 137 | 7,745
18 Apr 2014 #10
Your right Cyrillic is seen as Russian influence and I am in no way advocating Poland to adopt the Cyrillic alphabet.

i won`t go into it is it Russian influence on Serbs or the quite opposite. Both options are possible.

Have in mind that in the early middle age Serbs had most powerful and most advanced state compared to all other Slavs and that they had significant influence on other Slavs, especially on Poles, Slovaks and Russians. Some even say that Serbs were most numerous Slavs (even compared to Russians) prior to Turkish invasion which reduced them greatly in 350 years long exposure to bestial genocide, as well as our great assimilation into the all neighboring nations and also great migrations to what is today`s Poland, Ukraine and Russia. After all those migrations and when settled in retreat from Turks, Serbs were due to their great number, able to form three new Serbian states/regions- in Poland, Ukraine and in Russia.

What i know for sure is that in medieval Serbia, when Serbian noble Nemanjic dynasty, which was originally Catholic (you can read about it in Catholic Encyclopedia online) formed Serbian Empire came in conflict with the Vatican because Nemanjic`s wanted to be more independent, they turned to Orthodoxy and since then Cyrillic alphabet started to prevail.

Serbians thru history used also Glagolitic alphabet, as well as some combination of Cyrillic and Latin alphabet. It was so called urban writing, some 250 years ago. Today, Serbians equally using Cyrillic and Latin alphabet. Our children study it parallel from the primary school.
jon357 63 | 14,185
18 Apr 2014 #11
it was outlawed to write in your own language?

It wasn't outlawed to write in one's own language. The papal decree you're referring to is about the text of the RC Mass (read by priests - the people were illiterate in those days - but certainly not written by them). The text and official printings of the Missal are still highly regulated to ensure universality.

"It is interesting that even today the Glagolitic liturgy is used in some Croatian churches"

There are lots of such anomalies - in Milan for example, parts of the UK, parts of central Spain.
AdamKadmon 2 | 508
18 Apr 2014 #12
From THE SLAVONIC LANGUAGES EDITED BY Bernard Comrie and Greville G. Corbett

Alphabets used to represent the Slavonic languages

The most commonly used, to be looked at in detail, are Glagolitic, Cyrillic and Latin (which we will hereafter call by the Slavonic name 'Latinica', for lack of a useful parallel English term like 'Latinic'); sporadically also the Greek, Arabic and even Hebrew alphabets have been used.

The distribution by location and period is roughly as follows:

Glagolitic: Moravia ninth century; Macedonia ninth to eleventh centuries;
Bulgaria ninth to twelfth centuries; Croatia tenth to sixteenth centuries, then in Church usage until the nineteenth century, and sporadically into the twentieth century; Slovenia fifteenth to sixteenth centuries; Bohemia and Poland fourteenth to sixteenth centuries;

I have warned you twice before about the 100 word copy limit but you still persist in copying/pasting more than this. Polishforums has to abide by copyright laws. This is your final warning.
OP Szalawa 3 | 248
18 Apr 2014 #13
Thank you AdamKadmon, I find that information useful. still follow the copyright rules lol.

Crow you might be right, but it would be more creditable to site sources.

Poland fourteenth to sixteenth centuries

So Poland did use the Glagolithic script, that means there should be some around

I found this on Wikipedia about the Glagolithic script so I am a bit skeptical, I need someone to confirm if its true "In 886, an East Frankish bishop of Nitra named Wiching banned the script and jailed 200 followers of Methodius, mostly students of the original academy. They were then dispersed or, according to some sources, sold as slaves by the Franks."

Also this "the Kiev Missal, found in the 19th century in Jerusalem, was dated to the 10th century" and " Glagolitic was also used in Kievan Rus", If this is True, then Kievan Rus should be added to

The distribution by location and period is roughly as follows:

Glagolitic:

Again, this is from wikipedia so it could be wrong

So all the Slavs -South, East, West - at one point or another used this script
jon357 63 | 14,185
19 Apr 2014 #14
So Poland did use the Glagolithic script, that means there should be some around

Never much. Poland, in common with the rest of the world, had a tiny population by today's standards of which less than 1% had use for any alphabet.

Check out traditional Polish script though - there's an excellent example on the wall of BUW.
AdamKadmon 2 | 508
19 Apr 2014 #15
What I have found in the "Slavonic Languages" - this time I refer the text my own words - is that for missionary activity the use of the Glagoitic script was accepted, but quite another matter was its use in the Slavonic liturgy, which was seen as heretical. Practical Church and state, however, bend the rules and in the case of Byzantine accepted the alphabet - it was in 863.

And that's what the book says about the author of the script: "Constantine - who was as yet only a scholar and official, and not religious, becoming a monk only in 869 - might have secretly and unofficially applied his existing alphabet and (effectively illegal) translations to the Moravian business, though they were intended to be used for non-religious purposes in Bulgaria."

So all the Slavs -South, East, West - at one point or another used this script

A very scholarly book written by Maria Janion - Niesamowita Słowianszczyzna - may give an answer to your question:

" Maria Janion considered a misfortune acceptance of Roman Christianity and be bound by the culture of the Latin West . Her opinion, today we are overwhelmed by Western contempt for the Slavs , treated as a " mass -born slaves. "

But it seems that the Glagolithic script was quite independently used by the clergy, whether it was of Latin or Slavonic rite.
R.U.R.
19 Apr 2014 #16
Szalawa:

"Your right Cyrillic is seen as Russian influence and I am in no way advocating Poland to adopt the Cyrillic alphabet."

By the way, polish alphabet is much better adopted to the polish language than the Russian cyrilic,
Russian spelling and pronunciation often reminds me of the English language.

Crow, why cyrilic inSerbia is dying ?
Crow 137 | 7,745
19 Apr 2014 #17
Crow, why cyrilic inSerbia is dying ?

This question was correct few years ago. Latin was prevailing alphabet. Today we see revival of use of Cyrillic. It was in connection with the political and military pressure from the NATO/EU leading powers (read- Anglo-Saxon countries), what moved Serbs to tend to minimize political as well as cultural impact of the Anglos.

But, you must understand that Russian and Serbian Cyrillic can`t be comparable. Logic and rules of Polish Latin alphabet are closer to the Russian Cyrillic then it is Serbian Cyrillic. Its because of main rule in the Serbian language- ``one letter, one voice``. It was settled as the rule due to reforms some 150 years old, mainly by Vuk Stefanovic. Usual consensus among worlds linguistic experts is that such a rule (one letter, one voice), used solely by the Serbian language (and alphabet), represent highest standard what one language can achieve in its evolution. That rule is applied equally and in same logic on Serbian Latin and Cyrillic.
R.U.R.
19 Apr 2014 #18
Crow:
"But, you must understand that Russian and Serbian Cyrillic can`t be comparable. Logic and rules of Polish Latin alphabet are closer to the Russian Cyrillic then it is Serbian Cyrillic. Its because of main rule in the Serbian language- ``one letter, one voice``"

Then you must understand that Polish spelling is closer to the Serbian Cyrillic .
Crow 137 | 7,745
19 Apr 2014 #19
Then you must understand that Polish spelling is closer to the Serbian Cyrillic .

you mean, logic of Polish language is closer to the logic of Serbian language? As for Serbian Cyrillic, its, believe me, equally different from Russian Cyrillic and from Polish Latin. What to tell you, Serbs are specific in many sense :)

But, what i know, Polish language don`t have rule ``one letter, one voice``. Correct me if i`m wrong
R.U.R.
19 Apr 2014 #20
To me, both English Latin and Russian Cyrilc are wery awkward and inconvinient inventions

pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyrylica#Polska_cyrylica
AdamKadmon 2 | 508
19 Apr 2014 #21
But, what i know, Polish language don`t have rule ``one letter, one voice``. Correct me if i`m wrong

As in many other languages, in Polish there are some elements of orthography that requires knowledge of etymology to justify its character. In Polish you should notice, among other irregularities, the combination of rz, which most frequently represents the same sound, which is otherwise represented by ż - the spelling reflects the historical difference.

The other orthographic distinction of u and ó also reflects etymology.

Orthographic ch and h are identically pronounced; though historically, one was voiceless the other voiced.

The letters with the acute accent - ś, ź, ć, dź, ń - when used not before vowels, sound just as those si, zi, ci, dzi, ni, when used before vowels.

The two consonants spelled rz and w become voiceless when preceded by p, k or t.

Those are just a few exceptions to the ``one letter, one voice`` rule. There are many more, making Polish spelling not so easy thing to master.
ZIMMY 6 | 1,601
19 Apr 2014 #22
Thank you Crow for publishing the Glagolithic script. It was fun writing my (real) name in it. I may make a name plate of it.
OP Szalawa 3 | 248
19 Apr 2014 #23
Nice to see people are considering using it, I also wrote my name in it when I first heard about it :D.
also look at this site omniglot.com/writing/glagolitic.htm

It seems that only in Croatia did Glagolithic prevail, many preferred Cyrillic over Glagolithic because it was simpler. Their was attempts to revive the Glagolithic script by Polish and Czech monastic communities in 14th and 15th century, but this eventually failed. So I have a question, is it possible to revive the Glagolithic script now? If Croatia reconsidered Glagolithic as its official script would other countries follow?

The cursive variant of the script isn't all that complicated nenad.bplaced.net/doku.php/en:fontbeispiel

A very scholarly book written by Maria Janion - Niesamowita Słowianszczyzna - may give an answer to your question:

Thank you Adam, I found that very interesting

Janácek: Glagolitic Mass
edited by Paul Wingfield

"Pope Stephen V (VI ) banned the use of the Slavonic language in the liturgy and ordered to return the Latin rite"

"głagolskie existed in Poland . In 1380 founded by the Duke of Silesia in nica , and 10 years later, again in Krakow Kleparz founded by Queen Jadwiga . Liturgy using the Glagolitic was celebrated for nearly 100 years. Finally, no longer used manuscripts destroyed by fire in 1584."


  • Another variant of the Glagolithic script
jon357 63 | 14,185
22 Apr 2014 #24
Not exactly commonplace and fortunately no suggestion of it returning/


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