Glagolitic script

The Glagolitic script (/ˌɡlæɡəˈlɪtɪk/,[2] ⰳⰾⰰⰳⱁⰾⰹⱌⰰ, glagolitsa) is the oldest known Slavic alphabet. It is generally agreed to have been created in the 9th century by Saint Cyril, a monk from Thessaloniki. He and his brother, Saint Methodius, were sent by the Byzantine Emperor Michael III in 863 to Great Moravia to spread Christianity among the West Slavs in the area. The brothers decided to translate liturgical books into the contemporary Slavic language understandable to the general population (now known as Old Church Slavonic). As the words of that language could not be easily written by using either the Greek or Latin alphabets, Cyril decided to invent a new script, Glagolitic, which he based on the local dialect of the Slavic tribes from the Byzantine theme of Thessalonica.

Samples of text from "Kiev Missal" and "Reims Gospel"
Script type
CreatorSaints Cyril and Methodius
Time period
862/863 to the Middle Ages
LanguagesOld Church Slavonic (round variant), Croatian (angular variant)
Related scripts
Parent systems
ISO 15924
ISO 15924Glag, 225 , Glagolitic
Unicode alias
 This article contains phonetic transcriptions in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA). For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA. For the distinction between [ ], / / and  , see IPA § Brackets and transcription delimiters.
A page from the Zograf Codex with text of the Gospel of Luke

After the deaths of Cyril and Methodius, the Glagolitic alphabet ceased to be used in Moravia for political or religious needs. In 885, Pope Stephen V (VI) issued a bull to restrict spreading and reading Christian services in languages other than Latin or Greek. On the other side, Svatopluk I followed the interests of the Frankish Empire and prosecuted the students of Cyril and Methodius. In 886, Kliment (also known as Clement of Ohrid), Naum, Gorazd, Angelarii and Sava arrived in the First Bulgarian Empire where they were warmly accepted by the Tsar Boris I of Bulgaria. Both Glagolitic and Cyrillic alphabet were used until 13th-14th century in Bulgaria. The Cyrillic alphabet (which borrowed some letters from the Glagolitic alphabet) was developed at the Preslav Literary School in the late 9th century. The Glagolitic alphabet was preserved only by the clergy of Croatia and Dalmatia to write Church Slavonic until the early 19th century. Glagolitic also spread in Bohemia with traces in Panonia, Moravia and Russia.

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This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Glagolitic script, and is written by contributors. Text is available under a CC BY-SA 4.0 International License; additional terms may apply. Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.