Internal Reconstruction of the Glagolitic Line System

'The Glagolitic five line system has helped analytical Glagolitic paleography develop its
own_methods of research. It has altered the way modem seholars study the historical
development of Glagolitic script. This is essay is a critical survey of several different
aspects of this graphic models"s contribution to new insight into the position and size of the
Glagolitic characters. Special attention is given to the line system of writing found in the
oldest Glagolitic documents dating from tenth to twelfih centuries.


Paleography deals with paleo-signs. An old sign consists of an old “signifier", an old
“signified" and the history of the connection between the two. The script analysis deals
with "the signifier," the paleography of reading deals with "the signified" and the
history of script deals with the evolution of the connection between the signifier and
the signified.'


'This division into three branches, introduced by Lćon Gilissen? and Albert D'Haenens*

in the 19705 in a discussion on the methodology of paleographic research, particularly
furthered the development of script analysis, started with the introduction of the
parameter of ductus in the 1950s by Jean Mallon.* Besides ducrus, other parameters
for script analysis are: character size, position and graphic design.“ In this article I shall
analyze the character size and position in the line s
'The Glagolitic script was used in Old Church Slavonic from the ninth to the twelfih
centuries, except in Croatia where it was used until the nineteenth century. Most
scholars agree that the oldest extant Glagolitic manuscript is the Missal known as
“Kicv Fragments." which dates back to the second half of the tenth century“. The lack
of ninth century sources" has engendered up to forty different theories on the genesis
of Glagolitic script. The more recent ones* describe the Glagolitic alphabet as a



*The paper, entitled The Glagolitic Line System, has been presented at the International Conference
on Historical Linguisties; sce Abstract Booklet, The 16th International Conference on Historical
Linguistics, Copenhagen, Denmark, August 11-15, 2003, p. 206.

'Comparison between the thrce-part structure of a sign with the three branches of paleography was
first introduced by M. Čunčić (cf. 1985, 33, and 1997, 2-3). The Paleography of reading deals with
transliteration (transformation of codes) and transcription (reconstruction of the pronunciation) and
presupposes knowledge of the language and comprehension of the text. Scripr analysis or analytical
 paleography uses analytical approach: it treats a graphic sign in its graphic design as an abstract and
individual phenomenon, produced in a short period of time. Script history iraces a graphic sign
ihrough a longer period of time in order to identify how it developed through various types. It deals
with the genesis and the evolution of the connection between the signified and the signifier. It
explains and conjoins the results of the other two ficlds in a synthesis of the various visions of ancient
writings; Cf. D'Haenens 1975, 193.

= Gilissen 1973. Ornato 1975, 198-234.

* D"Haenens 1975, 175-198.

* Jean Mallon 1952.

* These parameters were systemat
1998, 1999.

“ Abbreviations are explained at the end of the article-

7 These sources seem to be destroyed during the time of persecution of the Slavic liturgy that had been
introduced by the Byzantine missionaries Sts. Cyril (827-869) and Methodius (815-885).

* Older theories look for similaritics between the Glagolitic script and other alphabets, from which the
former might have had borrowed certain characters




Iy applicd to the three types of_Glagoliticseript: Čunčić 1985,