Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Cyril and Methodius Day: the earliest known Cyrillic text?

OLD CHURCH SLAVONIC WATCH: 1,100-year-old breastplate to ward off evil may contain the oldest Cyrillic writing ever found. An inscription on an 1,100-year-old breastplate found in a ruined fortress in Bulgaria may contain one of the earliest known examples of Cyrillic text, researchers claim (Owen Jarus, Live Science).

As it happens, today (in some traditions) is the feast day of Saints Cyril and Methodius, who invented the Cyrillic alphabet in the late ninth century. The owner of this apotropaic amulet was presumably an early adopter.

For more on Cyril and Methodius and the importance of Old Church Slavonic for the preservation of some Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, see here and here and links.

UPDATE: A reader informs me that "the Cyrillic alphabet owes its name to Constantine-Cyril and Methodius, but they are credited with the invention of the Glagolitic alphabet." Thanks for the correction.

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