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Q: Identifying the language in a book ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   3 Comments )
Subject: Identifying the language in a book
Category: Arts and Entertainment > Books and Literature
Asked by: nortondingle-ga
List Price: $5.00
Posted: 18 Jul 2006 19:54 PDT
Expires: 17 Aug 2006 19:54 PDT
Question ID: 747593
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?

Subject: Re: Identifying the language in a book
Answered By: hedgie-ga on 18 Jul 2006 21:22 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
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"
nortondingle-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $2.00
Thank you very much!  Very fast response and I'll explore the links
you gave.  All the best...

Subject: Re: Identifying the language in a book
From: pinkfreud-ga on 18 Jul 2006 20:19 PDT
My best guess: Coptic.
Subject: Re: Identifying the language in a book
From: eslvictoria-ga on 19 Jul 2006 01:56 PDT
The script is one from Ethiopia/Eritrea called Ge'ez.  The language
might be Amharic or Tigrinya.  You will see that the script here
clearly matches that shown in the photos you linked to:
Subject: Re: Identifying the language in a book
From: myoarin-ga on 19 Jul 2006 06:40 PDT
I agree with Pink and Eslvictoria that the images  - style of
illustration and text -  come from Ethiopia/Eritrea.

Here is a book with very of a very similar type:

This site also has similar:

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