Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Mysterious Sixteenth-Century Slavic Document

FideCogitActio has posted several pages from a document that has come into his possession. He speculates that it is old Polish, and I have to say that it is definitely Slavic with Latin passages. The script is intriguing to me, not having had any experience with East European orthography. It seems to be the Latin alphabet mixed with Greek and possibly some Cyrillic letters.

The text seems to be from May-June of 1588.

A few guesses as to the parties: one line recurs, "coram... consulibus civitatis Ra*(illegible)," in the presence of... the consuls/councillors of the city Ra*. My guess is that these are the consuls of Ratisbon, now Regensburg. In the rapturous thrill of the armchair antiquarian, I briefly hoped that the "infamatis Maximilliane" could have been the recently-deceased Holy Roman Emperor Maximillian II. Then I realized the following word "Benedictowycz" was his patronymic, "son of Benedict."

Picking through other peoples' handwriting is quite fun. At times you need to be reminded that authors do not write for you personally, and there are few better reminders than foreign writings four centuries old.

No comments: