Sebastian Kempgen

Prof., PhD University of Bamberg, Germany

The Bamberg Cyrillic Alphabet – a Colour Facsimile

Себастиан Кемпген. Кирилската азбука от Бамберг – цветно факсимиле

  • Summary/Abstract

    The so-called Bamberg Cyrillic Alphabet (ca. 13th c.) is one of the oldest and most reliable xenographic Slavic alphabets, i.e. a Cyrillic alphabet added to a Latin manuscript of non-related content. It has been published and edited before in black- and-white, and it is presented here for the first time in a high-quality colour photograph, accompanied by a slightly revised tabular reprentation.

Sv. Kliment Ohridski: His Tombstone and its Inscription Scripta & e-Scripta vol. 16-17, 2017 floyd Wed, 07/12/2017 - 21:13

In the Presveta Bogoroditsa Perivlepta church in Ohrid the tombstone of St Kliment Ohridski is preserved. This large stone slab, with several inscriptions from the thirteenth and sixteenth centuries, remained there, while the holy relics of St Kliment have been transferred back to its original place – the church, built by the saint himself (completely rebuilt in 2001–2002). Until recently not much attention has been given to the tombstone. The paper offers a new reading of the main inscription, illustrated by the first contemporary picture and a new drawing made out of it, thus correcting many mistakes in the earlier publications.

Subject: History Language studies Literature Studies Cultural history Middle Ages South Slavic Languages Philology

A Short Note on the Glagolitic Ornament in Pamvo Berynda’s Triod Cvetnaya (Kiev 1631)

  • Summary/Abstract

    The article draws attention to two lesser known lines written in Glagolitic which are part of the Epilogue to Pamvo Berynda’s Triod Cvetnaja, printed in Kiev in 1631. Thanks to their typographic realisation, these two lines seem to have been mainly considered „an ornament“ or a „cryptographic“ element of the text in older literature. The article presents the Glagolitic text in standard Unicode encoding, so it becomes electronically searchable as such, along with a transliteration and a translation. It turns out that the Glagolitic text is nearly identical to the self-descriptions famout printer Pamvo Berynda had used before (although in Cyrillic). Another question put forth in the paper is the provenience of the actual printing types used in Kiev in 1631. A comparision shows that the letters look similar – but not identical – to printing type used around the same time Italy (Rome, Venice) or by Primož Trubar in the century before. The typographic quality of the Kievan types is, however, inferior.

Remarks on the Patron’s Inscription of the Boyana Church: Reproductions and Unicode-based Wikipedia Representation

  • Summary/Abstract

    The patron’s inscription in the famous Boyana Church on the outskirts of Sofia is the subject of the present paper. This inscription (Stifterinschrift, Ktitor’s inscription) of tsar Kaloyan tells the story of the renewal of the paintings at the end of the 13th century. The Boyana Church is well-known because of its paintings and wonderfully restored frescoes, but there is also some epigraphical material that merits the attention of philologists. As far as the patron’s inscription of the Boyana church is concerned, it has been shown here that currently available online versions of the text do contain an astonishing number of mistakes and omissions, and that the encoding of the text is indeed in need of an update. The aim of the present paper is to review some current publications of the patron’s inscription in print and on the web, to point out mistakes and omissions, and then to illustrate the progress that later versions of the Unicode standard (Unicode 5.1) have brought to the representational level of Early Cyrillic.

Unicode U+2E2F, Cyrillic Yerik (Vertical Tilde)

  • Summary/Abstract

    In the previous volume of Scripta & e-Scripta (vol. 6, 2008), the authors published a "White Paper" concerning "Early Cyrillic Writing after Unicode 5.1", which commented upon achievements in Unicode version 5.1 as well as candidates for future inclusion and variants. The White Paper was accompanied by a large table that included, among other things, representative glyphs for each character and its assigned codepoint in Unicode 5.1. Copies of both documents were distributed to participants in the XIVth International Congress of Slavists, held in Ohrid in September 2008. In the printed version, the Unicode code point for the vertical tilde, a new addition to Unicode version 5.1, was given as U+2E3A. However, as was brought to our attention later, the vertical tilde was assigned a different code point for the final published version of the Unicode standard, v. 5.1. In the standard, the correct code point for this glyph is U+2E2F (see

Unicode 2C1A: Glagolitic "Pe": Fact or Fiction?

  • Summary/Abstract

    Recent developments in Unicode have made it possible for a large variety of historic characters of the Slavic languages to be correctly encoded in Unicode. However, there are some areas which require additional work, and for other problems, several solutions co-exist. A puzzling problem arises when texts contains obvious errors, especially so if one single text is the only available source for the claimed existence of a specific letter. The Glagolitic "Pe" character is such a character, and because it represents such a unique case, it paper will present a fresh look at the original source (the famous "Munich Abedarium") and its interpretation.

Character Set Standardization for Early Cyrillic Writing after Unicode 5.1

  • Summary/Abstract

    A White Paper prepared on behalf of the Commission for Computer Processing of Slavic Manuscripts and Early Printed Books to the International Committee of Slavists This White Paper emerged from discussions among the authors at the Slovo conference that took place in Sofia from 2008-02-21 through 2008-02-26. It is partially a response to three documents published by the Serbian Academy of Arts and Sciences: "Standard of the Old Slavic Cyrillic Script", "Standardisation of the Old Church Slavonic Cyrillic Script and its Registration in Unicode", and "Proposal for Registering the Old Slavic Cyrillic Script in Unicode" The purpose of this White Paper is to provide for the benefit of medieval Slavic philologists: 1. A review of the current state of Unicode with respect to encoding early Cyrillic writing. 2. A brief statement of basic Unicode design principles. 3. An overview of the relationship between character set and font technologies. 4. A response to "Standard","Standardisation", and "Proposal" that provides a realistic perspective on the compatibility of these documents with modern character set standards. 5. A discussion of the possible need for further expansion of the early Cyrillic character inventory in Unicode. 6. A discussion of strategies for meeting the encoding needs of Slavic medievalists in a standards-conformant way. This White Paper is contributed for discussion before and during the September 2008 International Congress of Slavists in Ohrid.

‘RomanCyrillic Std’ – a Free Font for Slavists (and other Philologists)

  • Summary/Abstract

    The author has developed and released two high-quality free fonts for the scientific community, RomanCyrillic Std and Kliment Std. The latter font has already been introduced in a separate paper (see Scripta & e-Scripta, 3–4/2006); the purpose of this paper is to introduce the RomanCyrillic Std font which has originally been released at the same time as Kliment Std, but has been considerably updated and expanded. The licensing conditions of the font allow it to be freely used for any scholarly research and publication. For any user of the font this has two important consequences: 1) The font is fully licensed and legal to use which means it does not violate anyone else’s copyrights. 2) This also means that the font may not be altered, modified, changed, renamed etc. by the end-user. The font is made available as a Unicode 5.0 OpenType font in TrueType format. It can be used on Windows PCs as well as Macintoshes – there is only one font file for use on both platforms. This means that there is complete compatibility and interoperability between these two platforms for any documents that use this font. The same is true for web-sites that assume the presence of a specific font in their html code. The font contains supplements: Latin alphabet, Cyrillic, Glagolithic, Cyrillic characters with special diacritics, and Greek fonts with special characters (monotonic as well as polytonic), IPA characters, and other symbols. As the content and the location of the Old-Bulgarian Cyrillic alphabet in the Unicode space has not yet been established, the font has the possibility to evolve, in order to adequately reflect all requirements of this standard.

Das “Munchener Abecedarium” – ein neues Facsimile samt einigen neuen Beobachtungen

The “Munich Abecedarium” - a New Facsimile and Some New Comments

  • Summary/Abstract

    In the present article, a new facsimile – in colour – of the so-called “Munich Abecedarium” is being published for the first time. The new facsimile is much better than the first photograph published by Trubetzkoy in 1930. The grayscale picture published by Mares in 1971 was already much better, and the current publication adds colour and an online version which can be even more enlarged for closer inspection. The article comments on the most obvious cases where previous readings and renderings of the alphabets differ and features a new, more faithful, transcription of both the Cyrillic and the Glagolitic alphabet from the „Munich Abecedarium“.

“Kliment Std” – a Free Font for Slavic Medievalists Scripta & e-Scripta vol 3-4, 2006 floyd Tue, 10/10/2006 - 12:55

The font Kliment Std is a result of the work of the author on a number of fonts used in medievalistic publications – they include Glagolhic fonts, fonts in Old-Bulgarian Cyrillic, special diacritic signs and fonts with decorative arrangement. Although they are well-known from the academic editions, they were not widely accessible for the Slavistic community and this situation is improved by the distribution of the presented font. It can be found in the official Web site of the author and can be legally used for academic purposes, publications and studies. The main limitations are: 1) not to be used in editions and events which violate the copyright; 2) the user does not have the right to change, modify or rename this product. The font was developed on the basis of the standard Unicode and it is distributed in format TTF. This makes it usable in the system MS Windows, as well as in the system Mac OS X. it contains supplements: Latin alphabet, Cyrillic, Glagolithic, Greek, diacritics, and special punctuation marks. As the content and the location of the Old-Bulgarian Cyrillic alphabet in the Unicode space has not yet been established, the font has the possibility to evolve, in order to adequately reflect all requirements of this standard.

Subject: Language studies Literature Studies Computer fonts Glagolhic fonts Fonts in Old-Bulgarian Cyrillic Unicode standard
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