Old Church Slavonic, First Bulgarian Empire

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Summary

Old Church Slavonic, also known as Old Church Slavic (often abbreviated to OCS; self-name , slověnĭskŭ językŭ) was the first Slavic literary language. The 9th century Byzantine Greek missionaries Saints Cyril and Methodius are credited with standardizing the language and using it in translating the Bible and other Ancient Greek ecclesiastical texts as part of the Christianisation of the Slavic peoples. It is thought to have been based primarily on the dialect of the 9th century Byzantine Slavs living in the Province of Thessalonica (now in Greek Macedonia). It played an important role in the history of the Slavi

Details

Old Church Slavonic developed in the First Bulgarian Empire and was taught in Preslav (Bulgarian capital between 893 and 972), and in Ohrid (Bulgarian capital between 991/997 and 1015). It didn't represent one regional dialect but a generalized form of early eastern South Slavic, which cannot be localized. The existence of two major literary centres in the Empire led in the period from the 9th to the 11th centuries to the emergence of two recensions (otherwise called "redactions"), termed "Bulgarian" and "Macedonian" respectively. Some researchers do not differentiate between manuscripts of the two recensions, preferring to group them together in a "Macedo-Bulgarian" or simply "Bulgarian" recension. Others, as Horace Lunt, have changed their opinion with time. Initially Lunt (1974:5-6) stated that the differences in the initial OCS were neither great, nor consistent to oppose the Macedonian from the Bulgarian recension. However, a decade later Lunt (1985:202) seems to conceive OCS and its "adjustments" in somewhat different terms, that a Macedonian and a Bulgarian variety of OCS existed, illustrating his point with paleographic, phonological and other differences. The development of Old Church Slavonic literacy had the effect of preventing the assimilation of the South Slavs into neighboring cultures, which promoted the formation of a distinct Bulgarian identity.

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External Links

  • WikipediaOld Church Slavonic OnlineMedieval Slavic FontsOld Slavic data entry applicationCorpus Cyrillo-Methodianum Helsingiense: An Electronic Corpus of Old Church Slavonic Texts

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