The Old Slavonic alphabet. The Old Slavic alphabet is the meaning of letters. Old Slavonic letters

The alphabet of the Old Slavonic language is a collection of written signs in a certain order expressing specific sounds. This system developed independently on the territory of the ancient Russian peoples.

A Brief Historical Reference

At the end of 862, Prince Rostislav asked Mikhail (the Byzantine emperor) to send preachers to his principality (Great Moravia) with the aim of spreading Christianity in the Slavonic language. The fact is that it was read at that time in Latin, which was unfamiliar and incomprehensible to the people. Michael sent two Greeks - Constantine (the name of Cyril he will receive later in 869 when taking monasticism) and Methodius (his elder brother). This choice was not accidental. The brothers were from Soluni (Thessaloniki in Greek), from the family of the commander. Both received a good education. Constantine was trained at the court of Emperor Michael the Third, he was fluent in various languages, including Arabic, Hebrew, Greek, Slavic. In addition, he taught philosophy, for which he was called - Constantine the Philosopher. Methodius first was in military service, and then ruled for several years one of the areas in which the Slavs lived. Subsequently, the elder brother went to the monastery. This was not their first trip-in 860 the brothers were marching with a diplomatic and missionary goal to the Khazars.

How was the system of written signs created?

In order to preach in the Slavonic language, it was necessary to translate the Holy Scripture. But there was no system of written signs at that time. Constantine began to create the alphabet. Methodius actively helped him. As a result, in 863 the Old Slavonic alphabet (the meaning of the letters from it will be given below) was created. The system of written signs existed in two forms: the Glagolitic and the Cyrillic alphabet. To this day, scientists disagree about which of these options was created by Cyril. With the participation of Methodius some Greek liturgical books were translated. So the Slavs had the opportunity to write and read in their own language. In addition, the people received not only a system of written signs. The Old Slavonic alphabet became the basis for the literary vocabulary. Some words and now can be found in the Ukrainian, Russian, Bulgarian dialect.

The first characters are the first word

The first letters of the Old Slavonic alphabet - "az" and "beeches" - have, in fact, added the name. They corresponded to "A" and "B" and began a system of signs. How did the Old Slavonic alphabet look like? The graffiti images were first scrawled right on the walls. The first signs appeared around the 9th century, on the walls in the churches of Pereslavl. And in the 11th century the Old Slavonic alphabet, the translation of certain signs and their interpretation appeared in Kiev, in the St. Sophia Cathedral. A new round of writing development was contributed by the event that occurred in 1574th year. Then the first printed "Old Russian Slavonic alphabet" appeared. Its creator was Ivan Fedorov.

The connection of times and events

If we look back, we can not without interest note that the Old Slavonic alphabet was not just an ordered set of written symbols. This system of signs opened to the people a new path leading to perfection of man on earth and to a new faith. Researchers, looking at the chronology of events, the difference between which is only 125 years, suggest a direct connection between the assertion of Christianity and the creation of written symbols. For one century, almost the people were able to eradicate the old archaic culture and accept a new faith. Most historians have no doubt that the appearance of a new written system is directly related to the subsequent adoption and spread of Christianity. The Old Slavic alphabet, as already mentioned above, was created in 863, and in 988 Vladimir declared officially about the introduction of a new faith and the destruction of a primitive cult.

The mystery of the system of signs

Many scientists, studying the history of writing, come to the conclusion that the letters of the Old Slavonic alphabet were a kind of cryptography. It had not only a deep religious but also a philosophical meaning. Along with this, the Old Slavonic letters form a complex logical-mathematical system. Comparing the finds, the researchers come to the conclusion that the first collection of written symbols was created as some kind of integral invention, and not as a structure that was formed in parts, by adding new forms. Interesting signs, of which the Old Slavic alphabet consisted. Most of them are symbols-numbers. At the core of the Cyrillic alphabet lies the Greek unicast written system. There were 43 letters in the Old Slavonic alphabet. 24 symbols were borrowed from the Greek Uncial, 19 - were new. The fact is that in the Greek language there were not some sounds that were at that time among the Slavs. Accordingly, the lettering of their inscription was not, either. Therefore, some of the new symbols, 19, were borrowed from other written systems, and some were created by Constantine specifically.

"Higher" and "lower" part

If you look at the entire written system, you can clearly identify two parts of it, radically different from each other. Conditionally the first part is called "higher", and the second, respectively, "lower". The 1st group includes the letters A-F ("az" - "firth"). They are a list of character-words. Their meaning was understandable to any Slav. "Lower" part began "sha" and ended "Izhitsa". These symbols were not of numerical value and carried a negative subtext in themselves. To understand cryptography, it's not enough just to look through it cursely. It is necessary to get a grasp of the symbols - after all, in each of them Constantine put the semantic core. What did the signs of the Old Slavonic alphabet symbolize?

Meaning of letters

"Az", "beeches", "drive" - these three symbols stood at the very beginning of the system of written signs. The first letter was "az". It was used in the form of the pronoun "I". But the root meaning of this symbol are such words as "beginning", "starting", "initially". In some letters, you can find "az", which denotes the number "one": "I'll go to Vladimir." Or this symbol was interpreted as "starting with the basics" (first). By this letter, thus, the Slavs denoted the philosophical meaning of their being, pointing out that there is no end without a beginning, there is no light without darkness, no evil without good. At the same time, the main emphasis was placed on the duality of the structure of the world. But the Old Slavic alphabet itself, in fact, is composed on the same principle and is divided into 2 parts, as already mentioned above, "higher" (positive) and "lower" (negative). "Az" corresponded to the figure "1", which, in turn, symbolized the beginning of all the beautiful. Studying the numerology of the people, the researchers say that all the figures were already divided evenly by people into even and odd numbers. And the former were associated with something negative, and the latter symbolized something good, bright, and positive.


This letter followed the "az". "Buki" did not have a digital meaning. Nevertheless, the philosophical meaning of this symbol was no less profound. "Buki" is "to be", "to be". As a rule, it was used in turnover in the future. So, for example, "boudi" is "let it be", "future" - "forthcoming", "future". By this word, the ancient Slavs expressed the inevitability of the upcoming events. At the same time, they could be both horrible and gloomy, as well as rainbow and good. It is not known exactly why the second letter of Constantine did not give a digital meaning. Many researchers believe that this may be due to the duality of the meaning of the letter itself.


This symbol is of particular interest. "Lead" corresponds to the number 2. The symbol is translated as "own", "know", "know". Putting such a sense in the "lead", Constantine meant knowledge - as a divine supreme gift. And if you add the first three signs, then the phrase "I'll know" comes out. By this, Constantine wanted to show that a person who opens the alphabet will subsequently receive knowledge. It should be said about the semantic load "drive". The figure "2" is a deuce, the couple took part in various magical rituals, but in general pointed to the duality of everything earthly and heavenly. "Two" in the Slavs denoted the unification of the earth and the sky. In addition, this figure symbolized the duality of man himself - the presence of good and evil in him. In other words, "2" is a constant confrontation between the parties. It should also be noted that the "deuce" was considered the number of the devil - many negative properties were attributed to it. It was believed that it was she who discovered a number of negative numbers that carry death to a person. In this regard, the birth of twins, for example, was considered a bad sign, carrying diseases and misfortunes to the whole family. It was considered a bad omen to swing the cradle together, to wipe out one towel for two people, and generally do something together. However, even with all the negative qualities of the "deuce", people recognized its magical properties. And in many rituals, twins took part or similar objects were used to drive out evil spirits.

Symbols as a secret message to descendants

All Old Slavonic letters are capital letters. For the first time, two varieties of written characters - lowercase and uppercase - were introduced by Peter the Great in 1710. If you look at the Old Slavonic alphabet - the meaning of the letter-words, in particular - then you can understand that Constantine did not just make up a written system, but tried to convey a special meaning to descendants. So, for example, if you combine these or other symbols, you can get phrases of a cautionary character:

"Lead the Verb" - teach the doctrine;

"Firmly Oak" - strengthen the law;

"Rtsy Slovo Tverdo" - utter the words true, etc.

The order and style of the inscription

Researchers engaged in the study of the alphabet, consider the order of the first, "higher" part from two positions. First of all, each symbol is added to the next in a meaningful phrase. This can be considered a non-random pattern, which probably was invented for easier and faster memorization of the alphabet. In addition, the system of written signs can be considered from the point of view of numerology. After all, the letters corresponded to the figures, which were arranged in ascending order. So, "az" - A - 1, B - 2, then G - 3, then D - 4 and then to ten. Dozens started with "K". They were listed similarly to the order of the units: 10, 20, then 30, etc. Up to 100. Despite the fact that the Old Slavonic letters with patterns were written, they were convenient and simple. All the characters were excellent for cursive writing. As a rule, people did not have difficulty in the image of letters.

Development of a system of written signs

If you compare the Old Slavonic and the modern alphabet, you can see that 16 letters have been lost. Cyrillic and today answers the sound composition of Russian vocabulary. This is explained, first of all, not by such a sharp divergence of the very structure of the Slavic and Russian languages. It is also important that when compiling the Cyrillic script Constantine carefully took into account the phonemic (sound) composition of the speech. In the Old Slavonic alphabet there were seven Greek written symbols, originally unnecessary for the transmission of the sounds of the Old Slavonic language: "omega", "ksi", "psi", "fita", "Izhitsa". In addition, there were two signs in the system, to denote the sound of "and" and "z": for the second, "earth" and "earth", for the first - "and" and "izhe." This designation was somewhat superfluous. The inclusion of these letters in the alphabet was to ensure the correct pronunciation of the sounds of Greek speech in words borrowed from it. But the sounds were pronounced in the Old Russian style. Therefore, the need to use these written characters over time has disappeared. It was also important to change the application and meaning of the letters "ep" ("b") and "b" (b). Initially they were used to refer to a weakened (reduced) deaf vowel: "b" - approximate to "o", "b" - approximate to "e". Over time, weak voiceless vowels began to disappear (this process was called the "fall of the deaf"), and these symbols received other tasks.


Many thinkers saw in the digital correspondence of written symbols the principle of the triad, the spiritual balance that a person achieves in his quest for truth, light, and good. Studying the alphabet from its very basics, many researchers conclude that Constantine left to his descendants an invaluable creation that calls for self-improvement, wisdom and love, teaching, bypassing the dark paths of enmity, envy, malice, evil.

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