The dispute about the Old Russian writing (forum) Cover Image

Спор о древнерусском письме (форум)
The dispute about the Old Russian writing (forum)

Author(s): Evgenij Alexandrovitch Lyakhovitskiy, Vasya Velinova, Aleksandr Ivanovich Grusha, Barbara Lomagistro, Lyudmila Vladimirovna Moshkova, Daniel Waugh
Subject(s): Language and Literature Studies, Literary Texts, Theoretical Linguistics, Studies of Literature, Historical Linguistics, Russian Literature
Published by: Издательство Исторического факультета СПбГУ
Keywords: paleography; mauskul; minuscule; ustav; poluustav; type of letter; Cyrillic graphics

Summary/Abstract: The article discusses the hypothesis of the St. Petersburg historian Yevgeny Lyakhovitsky, who questioned the traditional pattern of development of Old Russian writing (ustav – poluustav – skoropis’). He considers the poluustav artificial construct invented by scientists. The discussion participants talk about five questions: 1. What should be put into the concept of “type of letter”? 2) To what extent does the scheme: ustav – poluustav – skoropis’ adequately reflect the evolution of Old Russian writing? 3. Is the polarizationof the ustav and poluustav valid as the early (XI–XIV) and later (XV–XVII) book letters? 4. What factors influenced the changes in Old Russian writing? Was it the influence of other cultures, changes in the old Russian book culture or something else? Is it possible to make direct connections between the evolution of letters and historical factors (the theory of the «Golden Age» and «damage to the letter» in crisistimes?) 5. How does the development of Cyrillic writing correlate in Ancient Russia and the Yugoslav countries? Did the evolution of writing go the same or in different ways? The participants in the discussion cite various hypotheses in which general principles can be singled out: the traditional scheme for the development of Old Russian writing (ustav – poluustav – skoropis’) is a conditional construction, created by scholars. However, to abandon it is necessary to bring new empirical and theoretical studies. Determining the characteristics of the writing types, the concept of «damage to the letter» are often subjective. At the same time, the study of writingtypes is not a purely paleographic problem. A letter is an indicator of cultural, social, economic processes. When analyzing such evaluative categories as the “Golden Age”, it is hardly productive to involve the development of a letter in dependence on the ideas of cultural progress. The evolution of writing in the Russian and South Slavic book context proceeded in the same way, but under the influence of various factors, and in the end there were different results.

  • Issue Year: 2019
  • Issue No: 1(25)
  • Page Range: 103-123
  • Page Count: 21
  • Language: Russian