Author Topic: Can you identify what this is?  (Read 603 times)

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Offline Hinterlander

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Can you identify what this is?
« on: January 29, 2013, 02:22:22 PM »
So I came across this image in an archive of 100 year old color photos taken in Russia. See my thread about that if more interested.  I am really curious.  Can someone tell me what these are and what the writing on them says?  Is this part of a monastic schema habit?



Offline Cyrillic

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Re: Can you identify what this is?
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2013, 02:48:52 PM »
The letters appear to be Cyrillic with some Greek mixed through. The style somehow reminds me of Byzantine Greek psalters from the 8th-12th century but the symbols look like they were taken from the schema habit.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2013, 02:50:57 PM by Cyrillic »
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Offline WPM

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Re: Can you identify what this is?
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2013, 10:20:51 PM »
It looks like the Schema in a lettered Semitic language.

Offline LBK

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Re: Can you identify what this is?
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2013, 10:53:06 PM »
The letters appear to be Cyrillic with some Greek mixed through. The style somehow reminds me of Byzantine Greek psalters from the 8th-12th century but the symbols look like they were taken from the schema habit.

The Old Slavonic alphabet, of some 43 letters, borrowed very heavily from the Greek, hence the similarity. There are too many obscure abbreviations for me to be able to decipher it to a useful degree at the moment.  :(
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Offline pmpn8rGPT

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Re: Can you identify what this is?
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2013, 11:22:34 PM »
It looks like the Schema in a lettered Semitic language.
No, definitely not Hebrew, and the first five letters of the Greek alphabet uses a reverse script of the first five letters of the Aramaic alphabet so that would only make sense if it was Greek or Russian of some sort.  I'm also having a difficult time trying to read it from right to left.   EDIT: of course, if by "Semitic" you are referring to Hebrew.

Is there a possibility of this being some sort of Russian language adopted by Old Believers or Christianized tribal peoples in Siberia who have next to no contact with society?  I know next to nothing about Slavic languages in general so I would have no idea  :(
« Last Edit: January 29, 2013, 11:23:57 PM by pmpn8rGPT »
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Offline Hinterlander

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Re: Can you identify what this is?
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2013, 11:31:19 PM »
Here is the link to the record in the digital archive.

http://www.loc.gov/pictures/collection/prok/item/prk2000001727/

In the title it says that this is an "altar table cloth" called an Antimens.  I still wonder what it says.

Offline LBK

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Re: Can you identify what this is?
« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2013, 01:38:05 AM »

Is there a possibility of this being some sort of Russian language adopted by Old Believers or Christianized tribal peoples in Siberia who have next to no contact with society?  I know next to nothing about Slavic languages in general so I would have no idea  :(

Guys, it's Old Church Slavonic. It's just a little difficult to read because of the abbreviations and damage to the fabric.

An Antimins (Greek: antimension) is an essential altarcloth on which the Eucharist is prepared. It has a holy relic sewn into it, and must be signed by the ruling bishop, thus bestowing the authority to the priest who receives it to conduct the Divine Liturgy. It also allows a DL to be conducted anywhere where there is no consecrated altar, such as in a new church not yet consecrated, on board ship, in the open air, etc. The name antimension means instead of the table, the table being the holy altar.
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Re: Can you identify what this is?
« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2013, 02:19:00 AM »

Is there a possibility of this being some sort of Russian language adopted by Old Believers or Christianized tribal peoples in Siberia who have next to no contact with society?  I know next to nothing about Slavic languages in general so I would have no idea  :(

Guys, it's Old Church Slavonic. It's just a little difficult to read because of the abbreviations and damage to the fabric.

An Antimins (Greek: antimension) is an essential altarcloth on which the Eucharist is prepared. It has a holy relic sewn into it, and must be signed by the ruling bishop, thus bestowing the authority to the priest who receives it to conduct the Divine Liturgy. It also allows a DL to be conducted anywhere where there is no consecrated altar, such as in a new church not yet consecrated, on board ship, in the open air, etc. The name antimension means instead of the table, the table being the holy altar.

Agreed.  Those abbreviations can be disheartening in Slavonic of any nature.

Offline FlickFlack

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Re: Can you identify what this is?
« Reply #8 on: January 30, 2013, 05:44:53 AM »
I think it might be romanian.
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Offline mike

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Re: Can you identify what this is?
« Reply #9 on: January 30, 2013, 06:07:23 AM »
I wonder how many times more some people will reply it's in Church Slavonic and other will keep suggesting it's in Jewish / Sindarin / Quechua / whatever.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2013, 06:13:42 AM by Michał Kalina »
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Offline FlickFlack

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Re: Can you identify what this is?
« Reply #10 on: January 30, 2013, 06:12:13 AM »
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Offline LBK

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Re: Can you identify what this is?
« Reply #11 on: January 30, 2013, 06:13:31 AM »
I think it might be romanian.

I doubt it, as I can pick out unmistakeably Slavonic words. The antimins could be Romanian, however, from the days when Slavonic, not Romanian, was the liturgical language.
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Offline Hinterlander

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Re: Can you identify what this is?
« Reply #12 on: January 30, 2013, 09:14:32 AM »
The item was photographed in a monastery north of Moscow.  20 versts or about 13 miles from Tver.  If this helps.

On the upper central part of the cloth you can see a place where perhaps there is a relic sown?

Offline FlickFlack

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Re: Can you identify what this is?
« Reply #13 on: January 30, 2013, 11:10:31 AM »
The item was photographed in a monastery north of Moscow.  20 versts or about 13 miles from Tver.  If this helps.

On the upper central part of the cloth you can see a place where perhaps there is a relic sown?

Look up the old cyrillic romanian alphabet. We were always neighbours to Russia.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2013, 11:11:20 AM by FlickFlack »
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Offline FlickFlack

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Re: Can you identify what this is?
« Reply #14 on: January 30, 2013, 11:14:30 AM »
I think it might be romanian.

I doubt it, as I can pick out unmistakeably Slavonic words. The antimins could be Romanian, however, from the days when Slavonic, not Romanian, was the liturgical language.

Romanian is as old as 11th century so what the.. are you talking about in here? During some time we used cyrillic alphabet, that is all.
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Re: Can you identify what this is?
« Reply #15 on: January 30, 2013, 12:21:55 PM »
This eldritch artifact was discovered in 1891 on a lonely hillside in Wales. It was wrapped in a bundle secured by gut; it contained various belongings of a Professor who had gone missing some months past, viz. his watch and chain, a purse containing three sovereigns in gold, and some loose silver, with a ring that he wore habitually. The curious characters, resembling by turns various ancient Semitic, Slavic, and cuneiform scripts, could not be identified with any language recognizable to the best scholars of the time- all concluded that it must be impossibly ancient or else an elaborate hoax. The apparently cruciform sigil at its center perhaps bore some talismanic significance now lost to any extant tradition. When the late Professor departed his house the final time before his disappearance, he was heard by his maid to have babbled about such things as "the little people" or "the ancient ones."
« Last Edit: January 30, 2013, 12:22:24 PM by Iconodule »

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Re: Can you identify what this is?
« Reply #16 on: January 30, 2013, 12:26:29 PM »
This eldritch artifact was discovered in 1891 on a lonely hillside in Wales. It was wrapped in a bundle secured by gut; it contained various belongings of a Professor who had gone missing some months past, viz. his watch and chain, a purse containing three sovereigns in gold, and some loose silver, with a ring that he wore habitually. The curious characters, resembling by turns various ancient Semitic, Slavic, and cuneiform scripts, could not be identified with any language recognizable to the best scholars of the time- all concluded that it must be impossibly ancient or else an elaborate hoax. The apparently cruciform sigil at its center perhaps bore some talismanic significance now lost to any extant tradition. When the late Professor departed his house the final time before his disappearance, he was heard by his maid to have babbled about such things as "the little people" or "the ancient ones."

Brilliant.  This made my day. :)
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Re: Can you identify what this is?
« Reply #17 on: January 30, 2013, 03:26:57 PM »
This eldritch artifact was discovered in 1891 on a lonely hillside in Wales. It was wrapped in a bundle secured by gut; it contained various belongings of a Professor who had gone missing some months past, viz. his watch and chain, a purse containing three sovereigns in gold, and some loose silver, with a ring that he wore habitually. The curious characters, resembling by turns various ancient Semitic, Slavic, and cuneiform scripts, could not be identified with any language recognizable to the best scholars of the time- all concluded that it must be impossibly ancient or else an elaborate hoax. The apparently cruciform sigil at its center perhaps bore some talismanic significance now lost to any extant tradition. When the late Professor departed his house the final time before his disappearance, he was heard by his maid to have babbled about such things as "the little people" or "the ancient ones."

Mad props to a fellow Machen fan. ;)
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