Publication details

“On all his journeys he met with many perils because of the Adversary”. Old Church Slavonic as a liturgical language and its defence in the ninth and tenth century hagiography



Year of publication 2018
Type Appeared in Conference without Proceedings
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Description Legitimizing Vernacular Old Church Slavonic as a liturgical language and its defence in the ninth and tenth century hagiography Since the end of the eight century (synod in Frankfurt, 794), we can follow the attempts to use vernacular languages as a medium of literacy and liturgy. One of these projects was also initiated in 860´ by Cyril-Constantine (+869) and Methodius (+885) from Byzantine Thessaloniki. The patriarch of Constantinople and the Byzantine Emperor sent them in Moravia as “teachers”, who had to help to establish stable ecclesiastical structures in that principality. We are told that after being appointed with that mission, Cyril-Constantine, probably its intellectual head, came up with the idea of the liturgy served in the Old Church Slavonic and he was seeking a support for his plan. The story of the missionarie´s life is, however, primarily recorded in the Old Church Slavonic biographies written soon after their death, where the legitimacy of their program is the main part of the plot. In my paper I will analyse how exactly this program was defended in these texts and I will also follow its second life in tenth-century Bohemia. The analysis will be based on above mentioned Old Church Slavonic Lives of St. Cyril and Methodius and on Legenda Christiani, written in Latin by the end of the tenth century in Bohemia. Thanks to this it will be possible to shortly discuss whether there was any strict line between the Latin and Vernacular, or they both were just two sides of one coin. With the short analysis of the attribution of selected vernacular texts to the Moravian and Bohemian authors it will also be easier to evaluate the impact of the Vernacular and Latin literacy on different social groups in ninth-century Moravia and in tenth-century Přemyslid Bohemia and open the space for comparison with the Anglo-Saxon kingdom.
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