Identifying the Language in a Book

About 30 years ago I purchased a carton of books at an auction. The

book I wanted was in a lot and I had to take all of it. The lot

consisted mostly of sailing books and a number of religious books all

dating from about the mid- to late- 1800s including a bible from 1795.

Along with the bible I came across an odd little handmade and

hand-lettered book. It?s about 3 inches by 3.5 inches. It?s front

and back covers are made of wood, smoothed by wear as though someone

carried it in a back pocket and referred to it daily, like a

devotional, and it has the patina of decades of use. The pages, about

40 and bound with thin fibers of string, are parchment and are as

thick as postcard stock. One page has a small clip in it and has been

repaired with surgical-like stitching as though sewing up an incision.

The illustrations are vibrant and colorful and depict angels and demons.

There is no name, no date, no publisher, no location, no copyright, no

information at all and I don?t even remember the place of the auction.

I?ve posted a couple of pictures of the first two pages, a middle page

that seems to have been altered and annotated , and a back page which

might be St. Francis Assisi at:

Can anyone identify the alphabet? Can anyone identify the language?


One thought on “Identifying the Language in a Book

  1. It is probably form of old cyrilics – language would be Church Slavonic

    Characteristic letter is what looks like inverted R (ya) which is present in

    the modern russian alpahbet as well (as last letter).

    The icon at the beginning fits that identification as well icons_e.html

    I cannot decipher the text, unfortunately; sorry about that.

    But I will give you a reference to history of the time and place:

    " Apostles to the Slavs and fathers of Slavonic literature"

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *