Syriaco-Slavica. What did the Syriac medieval writers know about the Slavs

Sebastian Bednarowicz


In one of the Old Church Slavonic documents, the Life of Constantine, the Apostle to the Slavs, appears an interesting mention about a man who Cyril-Constantine met in the Crimean Chersonesus and who had the Gospels and Psalter written in “rosky” or “rusky” letters. The question, “what did the author of the Life mean writing rosky/rusky,” has been discussed by scholars for many years but there has not been any satisfactory explanation as yet. Usually, three attempts to answer it have been offered.1 The first attempt claims that it was a writing system of the Russian Slavs, the second one perceives the runic letters of the Goths that inhabited the Crimean Peninsula at least till the 16ᵗʰ century in the word “rosky/rusky.” Nevertheless, the third solution seems to be very convincing, namely, some scholars think that the term “rosky/rusky” is a mistake of the copyist and originally it was written “sursky”, which means Syriac.

Słowa kluczowe

Slavs; Syriac

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Copyright (c) 2015 Sebastian Bednarowicz