Saint-Antonian Glagolitic Fragment


The Saint-Antonian Glagolitic Fragment is the name of a double-folio parchment, probably of Croatian provenance, i.e., from the territory of the southern Slavs, where the students of Saint Methodius (815‒85) took refuge after the fall of Great Moravia. Produced by an unknown scribe in the 15th century, it contains text written in two columns with black and red ink using square Glagolitic script. It was probably part of a liturgical book, perhaps a Glagolitic breviary. In the 17th century this goat parchment was used as part of a book binding. It was discovered in this form in the mid-20th century by historian of book culture and bibliographer Dr. Vševlad Jozef Gajdoš in the Franciscan monastery in Saint Anton (present day Báč, in southwestern Slovakia). Great Moravia was a Slavic kingdom established in the ninth century in territories comprising the present-day Slovak and Czech republics, part of southern Poland, and the western part of present-day Hungary. Rostislav (also seen as Rastislav), who ruled from 846 to 870, invited the Byzantine missionaries Cyril and Methodius to the kingdom to spread Christianity. The brothers introduced the Slavonic liturgy, based on their own translations from the Greek, and the Glagolitic script for writing Slavic languages. Great Moravia weakened and fell into disunion late in the century, following the death of Rostislav’s successor, his nephew Svatopluk (reigned 870–94), and finally was destroyed by a Magyar attack in around 906.

Last updated: July 18, 2016