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folio 7r
The third folio of Kiev Missal
The Kiev Missal (or Kiev Fragments or Kiev Folios) is a 7-folio Glagolitic Old Church Slavonic canon manuscript containing parts of the Roman-rite liturgy. It is usually held to be the oldest Old Church Slavonic manuscript with coherent text, dated at the latter half of the 10th century. Seven folios have been preserved in small format (cca 14,5x10,5 cm) of easily portable book to be of use to the missionaries on the move.

By content it is a Roman Missal, i.e. a book collecting all the text used at the holy mass service. Missal texts are accompanied by instructions on how to perform rites throughout the liturgical year, called rubrics, which is a term originating from Latin word rubrica designating red soil used for painting. The text of the Kiev Missal folios has been for the most part written in black (these are the texts meant to be pronounced), and for the lesser part in red (these are the instructions interpreting gestures that priest must perform and other instructions for the ceremony). Since Kiev Missal has only 13 pages preserved, it's obvious that only a part of the missal has been preserved, from the Sacramentary containing crucial and unchangeable parts spoken by the priest.

Kiev Folios have been found in the 19th century in Jerusalem by the Archimandrite Andrej Kapustin (Antonin Kapustin) and were donated by him to the Kiev Theological Academymarker. After the revolution the folios were transferred to the library of the Ukranian Academy of Sciences in Kievmarker where they are kept today.

The Kiev missal was published by the renowned Slavist Ismail Ivanovich Sreznjevski, who edited the first edition of the Kiev Folios in 1874. It has been published many times, not always successfully. Notable editions are by Vatroslav Jagić in 1890 (Glagolitica. 2. Würdigung neuendtdeckter Fragmente, Mit 10 Taf., Wien 1890, Denkschrift. Kaiserl. Akad., Bd. 38), by Sievers in 1924 (Die altslavischen Verstexte von Kiew und Freising, Leipzig 1924, Akad. Wiss., phil.-hist. Kl., Bd. 76/2) and by Mohlberg in 1928 (Il messale di Kiew/sec IX./ed il suo prototipo Romano del VI-VII). Special attention to the Kiev folios has been paid by Václav Vondrák in a paper O pùvodu Kijevskych listù a Pražskych zlomkù a o bohemismech v staršich cirkevnìslovanskych pamatkach vùbec (Praha, 1904). The newest facsimile edition has been published in 1983 in Kiev to honour the ninth International Congress of Slavists which was held in Kiev (V. V. Nimčuk, Kijvlьski glagolični listki, AN USSR). That edition contains extensive overview of the oldest Old Church Slavonic canon manuscript.

The Croatian Slavist Josip Hamm stirred a fierce debate in his book Das Glagolitische Missale von Kiew (Wien, 1979). In it, and in his other papers and lectures he maintained the view that the Kiev Folios are a 19th century fake by Czech patriots in order to prove the antiquity of Czech literary culture. However, in general Slavistics do not hold this view.

The first page of the first folio was written later than other pages, probably at the transition from 11th to 12th century. Linguistic, paleographical and graphical analysis point to the South Slavic area. That page contains parts of Paul's epistles (13, 11-14 and 14, 1-4). That part of Kiev Folios and the problems associated with it have been heavily analysed by the Croatian Slavist Marija Pantelić, who situates them somewhere in the Dubrovnikmarker area.

The Kiev Folios are generally held by Slavistics as the oldest among the OCS canon manuscripts, even though they exhibit several West Slavic features that place them at the beginning of the Czech-Moravian recension of OCS. These are:
  • Instead of OCS št, žd we find West Slavic reflexes of Proto-Slavic */tj/ (*ktj) and */dj/, i.e. instead of pomoštь we find pomocь, instead of prosęšte we find prosęce, instead of daždь we find dazь, instead of tuždimь we gind tuzimь etc.
  • At the place of Proto-Slavic *stj and *skj we would expect a reflex of OCS št, but we find šč: očiščeniě, zaščiti (imperative), zaščititь.
  • As an ending of instrumental singular of masculine o-stems we would expect -omь. But instead, -ъomь is used, so instead of expected oplatomь, obrazomь, vъsǫdomь we find oplatъmь, obrazъmь, vъsǫdъmь.
  • Genitive of first-person pronoun azъ is mene in OCS. In Kiev Folios we find mne by the elision of weak yer.


As features that connect Kiev Folios to the canonic manuscripts of other Slavic areas (namely Bulgaro-Macedonian), one has to note:
  • consistent distinguishing between yers ъ and ь, and only twice ъ is found where ь is expected
  • Kiev folios preserve nasal vowels (/ę/ and /ǫ/) and don't mix them


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