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Author Topic: a small question in Old Slavonic  (Read 4270 times) Average Rating: 0
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erracht
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« on: February 05, 2007, 08:36:46 AM »

Does anyone here know Old Slavonic? Here is a quote from the first known life of St. Wenceslas, written perhaps later in the first half of the 10th century:

Бъістъ жє кънѧѕь єтєръ въ Чєсѣхъ имєньмь Братиславъ, жєна жє ѥго нарицаѥма Драгомира

The line is normally translated (in Czech) as something like "There was once in Bohemia a prince by the name of Vratislav, whose wife was called Dragomira." My question is about "въ Чєсѣхъ". Does this literally translate to "in Bohemia" or "among the Bohemians/Czechs"? 
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« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2007, 10:06:28 AM »

It should mean "with" or "among" although I think "with" is a more acurate translation.  However, you could finagle it if you wanted to. 

I say this because the "въ" has the meaning "with"....but i'm not an expert or anything.  Just using personal experience of reading Church Slavonic in church for years. 
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« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2007, 01:00:53 PM »

Okay, but does "Чєсѣхъ" mean "Bohemia" - I.E. the place, or "the Czechs/Bohemians" - the people? T
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« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2007, 07:23:15 PM »

Czechs the place.  The ending is not for a person but for a noun (place).   The word does not have any kind of meaning for Bohemian.  You would have to look at the historical context for that. 
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« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2007, 09:09:42 AM »

Okay, I get it, so a really baldly literal translation could be something like "among the place of the Czechs." Right? That could therefore also mean "the country of the Czechs", I.E., Bohemia (or at that historic time, perhaps part of Bohemia, because the different Slavic tribes in Bohemia may not have seen themselves as Czechs yet, though a Czech prince apparently ruled over them all. That is one thing I cannot tell, whether the word refers to all of Bohemia or just the part around Prague where those who would identify themselves as Czech would have lived).

The modern Czechia (in Czech Cesko, better known as the Czech Republic/Ceska republika, but Czechia/Cesko is the correct one word name for it) is made up of three regions that in the past were territorial units: the former Kingdom of Bohemia (Cechy), Margravate of Moravia (Morava) and Duchy of (Czech) Silesia (Slezsko). Bohemia comes from Boiohaemium, an old Latin name for the region, once inhabited by the Boii, a Celtic tribe. "Bohemia" seems to have been used for it by the 8th or 9th century, at about which time there would have been different Slavic tribes there, including Czechs.

One more question: could you please write me how to pronounce въ Чєсѣхъ (and if you can, how you think it would have been pronounced in the nominative case)?
« Last Edit: February 08, 2007, 09:13:25 AM by erracht » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2007, 04:12:11 PM »

As I think more and more about it I think I was wrong about it being a place.  If you just take the phrase out of the sentence that's where I got confused.  My Church Slavonic grammar is non-existent, so that's where part of the difficulty is. 

First thing first, I would translate the sentence (now) as:

There was a king, amongs the Czechs named Bratislav, the wife of whom was called Dragomira. 

-------------------

I should really just ask someone who has actually taken classes in Church Slavonic, so if I remember I will ask a guy here at school who has. 

Thanks for the quick history lesson, very informative.   Smiley

When you have the "въ"  then it "melds" into the word after it.  So, instead of separating the "в" from the Чєсѣхъ you say it all together. 

So using English letters you would say "v'chestyeh"  (I hope the apostraphy helped with pronunciation). 

In terms of it being in nominative, as I said my grammar is non-existent so I will ask.  But it would make sense that the word would end in some kind of "и" sound.  (ex:Чєси or something along those lines).   
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« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2007, 04:33:51 PM »

Okay, that confirms my suspicions. I thought that a reference in a Czech text to "among the Czechs" rather than "in Bohemia" might be talking about this text.

I was trying to find an early source for the Czech name for Bohemia - Cechy (there should be a little V above the C, the pronunciation is "CHE-hee" the firs E being short) and thought this might be it, but apparently it is not. Thanks for the translation.
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« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2007, 04:59:31 PM »

I asked someone who actually knows Church Slavonic and he confirmed my translation. 

Also he said that the nominative would be "чeс"  with no "и" at the end. 

I hope this helped out....at all...haha.   Smiley
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« Reply #8 on: March 20, 2007, 05:19:09 AM »

I asked someone who actually knows Church Slavonic and he confirmed my translation. 

Also he said that the nominative would be "чeс"  with no "и" at the end. 

I hope this helped out....at all...haha.   Smiley
Actually it's wrong, as far as I know at least - I'm a student of linguistics and I also studied Old Church Slavonic Wink.
It should be 'Чехъ' (singular). The third palatalisation didn't occur before ъ, and occured only after и, ь, ѧ => no transition х>с here.
In the nominative plural you'll have 'Чеси'.
In the locative (въ Чесѣхъ) you also have 'с' because, simply speaking, к, г, х changed to ц, з, с before vowels of diphthongical origin.
Besides, your friend knows Church Slavonic, but this is *Old* Church Slavonic and these are two different animals Wink. But it should be like this in CS too.
About the pronounciation: in the 'modernized' reading, one should pronounce 'vchesyah' (because ѣ in the south was pronunced like a 'ya' but moved forward a bit - that's why the letter's name is YAt by the way Wink ), 'cheh', 'chesi' - not 'v'chesyah' because v is hard here. But actually in that period (X century) the letters Ъ and Ь were pronounced as vowels, approximately like very short o/u (not labialized) and i. So 'authentically' you should read [vŭč'es'äxŭ], [čexŭ]. Though I don't believe you actually need all this info Wink.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2007, 05:20:35 AM by OlegB » Logged
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« Reply #9 on: May 18, 2009, 04:27:54 PM »

I'm looking for an online Church Slavonic texts of psalms 90 and 103. All I managed to find was a transcription with Russian alphabet but I need real Cyrillic.

Please help.
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« Reply #10 on: May 18, 2009, 05:22:38 PM »

I'm looking for an online Church Slavonic texts of psalms 90 and 103. All I managed to find was a transcription with Russian alphabet but I need real Cyrillic.

Please help.

http://www.lib.ru/HRISTIAN/BIBLIYA/old/psa.pdf
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« Reply #11 on: May 18, 2009, 05:25:41 PM »

Thanks!
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