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Early Indo-European Texts

Old Church Slavonic

Todd B. Krause and Jonathan Slocum

This page contains a text in Old Church Slavonic with a modern English translation. This particular text and its translation are extracted from a lesson in the Early Indo-European Online series, where one may find detailed information about this text (see the Table of Contents page for Old Church Slavonic Online in EIEOL), and general information about the Old Church Slavonic language and its speakers' culture.

from the Life of Good King Wencelaus

сє нъінѣ събъістъ сѧ пророчьскоѥ слово, ѥжє глагола самъ господь нашь Исѹсъ Хрьстъ | Бѫдєтъ бо, рєчє, въ послѣдьн҄ѩѩ дьни, ѩжє мьнимъ нъінѣ сѫщѧ, въстанєтъ братръ на братра своѥго и съінъ на отьць свои, враѕи чловѣкѹ домаши ѥго | Чловѣци бо сєбѣ бѫдѫтъ нємили, и въздастъ имъ Богъ по дѣломъ ихъ | Бъістъ жє кънѧѕь єтєръ въ Чєсѣхъ имєньмь Братиславъ, жєна жє ѥго нарицаѥма Драгомира | И рождьша съінъ свои прьвѣньць и крьстистє и и нарѣстє имѧ ѥмѹ Вѧщєславъ | Въздрастъшѹ жє ѥмѹ јако пострищи и, призъва Братиславъ, отьць ѥго, на пострижєньѥ бискѹпа єтєра, имєньмь Нотара, и сь клирикъі ѥго | Въспѣвъшємъ жє имъ мьшѫ ѥмѹ въ црькъви свѧтъіѩ Марьѩ, възьмъ бискѹпъ отрока, постави и на крилѣ стєпєньнѣѥмь прѣдъ олтар҄ємь и благослови и рєкъі | Господи Божє, Исѹ Хрьстє, благослови отрока сєго, јакожє благословилъ ѥси вьсѧ правьдьникъі твоѩ | Сицє жє съ благословл҄єньѥмь пострижєнъ бъістъ | Тѣмьжє мьнимъ, јако благословл҄єньѥмь бискѹпа того правьдьнаѥго и молитвами ѥго начѧтъ отрокъ расти, благодѣтьѭ божьѥѭ хранимъ | Навъічє жє кънигъі словѣньскъіѩ и латиньскъіѩ добрѣ | Ѹмьръшѹ жє отьцѹ ѥго, Братиславѹ, поставишѧ Чєси кънѧза Вѧщєслава на столѣ дѣдьн҄и | Болєславъ жє, братръ ѥго, растѣашє подъ н҄имь; бѣашєтє жє оба ѥщє мала | Нъ мати ѥю Драгомира ѹтврьди зємл҄ѭ, и люди строи, дон҄ьдєжє въздрастє Вѧщєславъ, и въздрастъ, начѧ самъ строити люди своѩ | Благодѣтьѭ жє божьѥѭ въ истинѫ Вѧщєславъ кънѧзь нє тъкъмо кънигъі навъічє добрѣ, нъ и вѣроѭ съврьшєнъ бѣ | Вьсѣмъ жє нищиимъ добра творјаашє, нагъіѩ одѣваашє, лачѫщѧѩ питѣашє, страньнъіѩ приѥмл҄јаашє по єванћєльскѹ гласѹ | Вьдовиць жє обидѣти нє дадѣашє, люди вьсѧ, ѹбогъіѩ и богатъіѩ, миловаашє, Богѹ работаѭщиимъ слѹжаашє, црькъви мъногъіѩ златомь крашаашє |


(1) Behold, now the prophetic word, which our Lord Jesus Christ spoke himself, was fulfilled: (2) 'For it will happen', he said, 'in the final days, which we believe to be now, brother shall rise against his own brother and son against his father, and a man's foes shall be they of his own household.' (3) For men will be unpitying to one another, and God will dispense according to their deeds. (4) But there was a certain prince in the Czech Lands, Bratislav by name, and his wife was called Dragomira. (5) And having produced their first-born son, they christened him and gave him the name Venceslav. (6) And as he grew so big as to tonsure him, his father Bratislav invited to this tonsure a certain bishop, Notar by name, and his clerics with him. (7) And when they celebrated the mass for him in the Church of the Holy Maria, the bishop took up the boy, placed him on the top step before the altar, and blessed him, saying: (8) 'Lord God, Jesus Christ, bless this boy, as you have blessed all yours who are just.' (9) And so with a blessing he was tonsured. (10) And by this we believe that, with the blessing of that just bishop and by his prayers, the boy began to grow, protected by God's grace. (11) He learned well the Slavonic and Latin letters. (12) And when his father Bratislav died, the Czechs established Venceslav as prince upon his grandfather's throne. (13) And Boleslav, his brother, grew alongside him; both were still young. (14) But their mother Dragomira ruled the land, and adminstered to the people, while Venceslav was growing up; and when he was grown, he began himself to administer to his people. (15) But by the grace of God, prince Venceslav truly learned well not only letters, but was also filled by faith. (16) He would perform good deeds among all the poor, clothe the naked, nourish the hungry, take in strangers according to the word of the evangel. (17) He would not permit a widow to be disgraced -- he showed mercy to all people, rich or poor; he served those who served God, and adorned many churches with gold.