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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

se nyně sŭbystŭ sę proročĭskoje slovo, ježe glagola samŭ gospodĭ našĭ Isusŭ Xrĭstŭ | Bǫdetŭ bo, reče, vŭ poslědĭn'jęję dĭni, jęže mĭnimŭ nyně sǫštę, vŭstanetŭ bratrŭ na bratra svojego i synŭ na otĭcĭ svoi, vradzi člověku domaši jego | Člověci bo sebě bǫdǫtŭ nemili, i vŭzdastŭ imŭ Bogŭ po dělomŭ ixŭ | Bystŭ že kŭnędzĭ eterŭ vŭ Česěxŭ imenĭmĭ Bratislavŭ, žena že jego naricajema Dragomira | I roždĭša synŭ svoi prĭvěnĭcĭ i krĭstiste i i narěste imę jemu Vęšteslavŭ | Vŭzdrastŭšu že jemu jako postrišti i, prizŭva Bratislavŭ, otĭcĭ jego, na postriženĭje biskupa etera, imenĭmĭ Notara, i sĭ kliriky jego | Vŭspěvŭšemŭ že imŭ mĭšǫ jemu vŭ crĭkŭvi svętyję Marĭję, vŭzĭmŭ biskupŭ otroka, postavi i na krilě stepenĭnějemĭ prědŭ oltar'emĭ i blagoslovi i reky | Gospodi Bože, Isu Xrĭste, blagoslovi otroka sego, jakože blagoslovilŭ jesi vĭsę pravĭdĭniky tvoję | Sice že sŭ blagoslovl'enĭjemĭ postriženŭ bystŭ | Těmĭže mĭnimŭ, jako blagoslovl'enĭjemĭ biskupa togo pravĭdĭnajego i molitvami jego načętŭ otrokŭ rasti, blagodětĭjǫ božĭjejǫ xranimŭ | Navyče že kŭnigy slověnĭskyję i latinĭskyję dobrě | Umĭrŭšu že otĭcu jego, Bratislavu, postavišę Česi kŭnęza Vęšteslava na stolě dědĭn'i | Boleslavŭ že, bratrŭ jego, rastěaše podŭ n'imĭ; běašete že oba ješte mala | Nŭ mati jeju Dragomira utvrĭdi zeml'jǫ, i ljudi stroi, don'ĭdeže vŭzdraste Vęšteslavŭ, i vŭzdrastŭ, načę samŭ stroiti ljudi svoję | Blagodětĭjǫ že božĭjejǫ vŭ istinǫ Vęšteslavŭ kŭnęzĭ ne tŭkŭmo kŭnigy navyče dobrě, nŭ i věrojǫ sŭvrĭšenŭ bě | Vĭsěmŭ že ništiimŭ dobra tvorjaaše, nagyję oděvaaše, lačǫštęję pitěaše, stranĭnyję prijeml'jaaše po evang'elĭsku glasu | Vĭdovicĭ že obiděti ne daděaše, ljudi vĭsę, ubogyję i bogatyję, milovaaše, Bogu rabotajǫštiimŭ služaaše, crĭkŭvi mŭnogyję zlatomĭ krašaaše |

Translation

(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.