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 Clement of Ohrid (Свети Климент Охридски) and Saint Naum (Свети Наум), who were disciples of St Cyril. The Cyrillic alphabet was used to write the Old Church Slavonic language, and was later adapted 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.

Old Church Slavonic alphabet

Old Church Slavonic alphabet

Old Church Slavonic numerals

Old Church Slavonic numerals


Sample texts in Old Church Slavonic

Вьси бо людиѥ родѧтъ сѧ свободьни и равьни въ достоиньствѣ и законѣ. Они сѫтъ одарѥни разоумомь и съвѣдиѭ и дължьни сѫтъ дѣ ıати въ доусѣ братьства.


Vĭsi bo ljudije rodętŭ sę svobodĭni i ravĭni vŭ dostoinĭstvě i z​akoně. Oni sǫtŭ odarjeni razumomĭ i sŭvědijǫ i dŭlžĭni sǫtŭ dějati vŭ dusě bratĭstva.

Translation by Siemoród Wędzki. Provided by Corey Murray


All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)

Source: http://www.utexas.edu/cola/depts/lrc/eieol/ocsol-7-X.html

Details and improvements supplied by Michael Peter Füstumum

Sample text in Old Church Slavonic

Source: https://sprak.gu.se/english/research/Research_subjects/old-church-slavonic

Video in Old Church Slavonic

Information about Old Church Slavonic | Numbers | Tower of Babel | Learning materials


Information about Old Church Slavonic

Online Church Slavonic lessons

Old Church Slavonic fonts

Online Church Slavonic keyboard

Online Church Slavonic Institute

Corpus Cyrillo-Methodianum Helsingiense (An Electronic Corpus of Old Church Slavonic Texts): http://www.slav.helsinki.fi/ccmh/

ALPHABETUM - a Unicode font 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, Anatolian scripts, Phoenician, Brahmi, Imperial Aramaic, Old Turkic, Old Permic, Ugaritic, Linear B, Phaistos Disc, Meroitic, Coptic, Cypriot and Avestan.

Slavic languages

Belarusian, Bosnian, Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Goral, Kashubian, Knaanic, Macedonian, Montenegrin, Old Church Slavonic, Polish, Russian, Rusyn, Serbian, Silesian, Slovak, Slovenian, Sorbian, Ukrainian, West Polesian


A-chik Tokbirim, Adinkra, ADLaM, Armenian, Avestan, Avoiuli, Bactrian, Bassa (Vah), Beitha Kukju, Beria (Zaghawa), Borama / Gadabuursi, Carian, Carpathian Basin Rovas, Chinuk pipa, Chisoi, Coorgi-Cox, Coptic, Cyrillic, Dalecarlian runes, Elbasan, Etruscan, Faliscan, Fox, Galik, Georgian (Asomtavruli), Georgian (Nuskhuri), Georgian (Mkhedruli), Glagolitic, Global Alphabet, Gothic, Greek, Irish (Uncial), Kaddare, Kayah Li, Khatt-i-Badí’, Khazarian Rovas, Koch, Korean, Latin, Lepontic, Luo Lakeside Script, Lycian, Lydian, Manchu, Mandaic, Mandombe, Marsiliana, Medefaidrin, Messapic, Mongolian, Mro, Mundari Bani, Naasioi Otomaung, N'Ko, North Picene, Nyiakeng Puachue Hmong, Odùduwà, Ogham, Old Church Slavonic, Oirat Clear Script, Ol Chiki (Ol Cemet' / Santali), Old Italic, Old Nubian, Old Permic, Ol Onal, Orkhon, Osage, Oscan, Osmanya (Somali), Pau Cin Hau, Phrygian, Pollard script, Runic, Székely-Hungarian Rovás (Hungarian Runes), South Picene, Sutton SignWriting, Sunuwar, Tai Viet, Tangsa, Todhri, Toto, Umbrian, (Old) Uyghur, Wancho, Yezidi, Zoulai

Other writing systems

Page last modified: 21.04.24


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