Old Church Slavonic
Old Church Slavonic (also termed Old Slavic, Old Church Slavic or Old Bulgarian) is the first literary and liturgical Slavic language developed from the native language of the 9th century missionaries Saints Cyril and Methodius. It was used by them for translation of the Bible and other ecclesiastical texts from Greek. It is important in the Eastern Orthodoxy Churches of the Slavic peoples. (See also liturgical language.)
The language was standardized for the mission of the two apostles to Great Moravia around 863 (see Glagolithic alphabet for details). For that purpose, Cyril and Methodius first codified Old Church Slavonic from the Slavonic dialect spoken in the Solun (Thessaloniki) region of the Byzantine Empire.
In Great Moravia the language was taught at the Great Moravian Academy (Veľkomoravské učilište) and was used for government and religious documents and books between 863 and 885 AD. The texts written during this phase contain characteristics of the Slavic vernaculars in Great Moravia.
Students of the two apostles, who were expelled from Great Moravia in 886, brought the language to Bulgaria where it was adopted as the official language of the church and the state. The language was taught at two academies in Ohrid (in present-day Macedonia) and Preslav. The texts written during this phase contain characteristics of the vernaculars in Bulgaria. There are some linguistic differences between texts written in the two academies.
Thereup the language spread to other Eastern European Slavic territories, most notably to Croatia, Serbia, Bohemia, Lesser Poland and Russia. The texts written in each country contain characteristics of the local Slavonic vernacular.
A redaction of Old Church Slavonic, made much later, is known Church Slavonic (ru: церковнославя́нский язы́к), but these terms are often confused. Church Slavonic maintained a prestige status, particularly in Russia, for many centuries — among Slavs in the East it had a status analogous to that of the Latin language in western Europe, but had the advantage of being less divergent from the vernacular tongues of average parishioners. Some Eastern Orthodox churches, such as the Russian and Serbian churches, still use Church Slavonic in their services and chants. Additionally, several Eastern Rite Catholic churches use Church Slavonic.
The most significant writers in Old Church Slavonic were:
The language is sometimes called Old Slavic, but that term is more precisely applied to the ancestral language of today's Slavic languages.
Bulgarian linguists call the language Old Bulgarian as they regard it as based on a 9th century Bulgarian dialect. The designation Old Bulgarian was generally used in 19th and early 20th-century linguistics to refer to Old Church Slavonic but is now considered outdated. "Old Church Slavonic" and "Old Church Slavic" are the only terms commonly accepted in English-language scholarship.
The original name of the language in the Old Church Slavonic texts was simply "the Slavic language", therefore the present-day Slavic names of the language are derived from the old or new word for Slavs. The intuitive pronunciation of the old word for Slavs can be given as appr. slovaeneh [ae stands for a very open e] or sloveneh at that time.
Here are some of the modern names in alphabetic order:
bg:Старобългарски език cs:Staroslověnština de:Altkirchenslawisch nl:Oud-Kerkslavisch ja:古代教会スラヴ語 pl:Język staro-cerkiewno-słowiański