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SECTION III. LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE OF THE VINDES OR SLOVENZI.

The Slavic inhabitants of the Austrian provinces Carinthia, Carniola, and Stiria, extending from thence in scattered villages into Udine once the territory of Venice, and of the Hungarian counties Eisenburg and Szala, about a million in number, call themselves Slovenzi. By foreign writers they have generally been called Windes or Vindes; a name, however, less definite and less correct; inasmuch as the term Vindes or Vendes served in ancient times among the Germans as a general name for all Slavic nations. The Slavic settlements in Carniola took place at a very early period, certainly not later than the fifth century. In the course of the following centuries their number was increased by new emigrations from the southeast; and they extended themselves into the lower parts of Stiria and Carinthia, and the western counties of Hungary.[34]

In regard to the language of this people, it was formerly considered a matter of certainty, that it had never been a written language before the time of the Reformation. But the investigations of modern philologians have proved, on the contrary, that this portion of the Slavic race was earlier acquainted with the art of writing than were any of the other branches; probably even before the time of Cyril; and since the discovery of several very old manuscripts in the library of Munich, every doubt of this fact has been silenced. According to Kopitar,[35] the true home of the Old Slavic Church language is to be found among the Pannonian and Carinthian Slavi; and it was for them that the Old Slavonic Bible was translated. The liturgy of Methodius was, however, soon supplanted by the Latin worship; which at any rate must have been earlier established in this part of the country; since Christianity appears to have been introduced about the middle of the eighth century, by German priests.

Be this as it may, the definite history of the language begins only with the Reformation; and it is principally to the exertions of one distinguished individual, that it owes its introduction into the circle of literature. There is nothing more pleasing in the moral world, than to behold the whole life of a man devoted to one great cause, his thoughts all bent on one great object, his exertions all aiming at one great purpose; and so much the more, if that object has respect to the holiest interests of mankind. Such was the case with the primus Truber, who may be called the apostle of the Vindes and Croatians. The direct results of his labours long ago perished in the lapse of time; but this does not render them less deserving, although it diminishes his fame. Truber, born A.D. 1508, canon and curate at several places in Carniola and Carinthia, seems to have been early in life impressed with the truth of the new doctrines of the Reformation. His sound judgment taught him, that the surest way of enabling his flock, and the common people in general, to receive the new light in a proper spirit, would be the diffusion of useful knowledge among them. And as the German, which at the present day is almost exclusively the language of the cities of Stiria, Carniola, and Carinthia, was at that time far less generally understood, he ventured to commit to paper a dialect apparently never before written. In the second edition of his New Testament, A.D. 1582, he states expressly: “Thirty-four years ago, there was not a letter, not a register, still less a book, to be found in our language; people regarded the Vindish and Hungarian idioms as too coarse and barbarous to be written or read.”

Truber and his assistants in this great work of reformation and instruction, among whom we mention only Ungnad von Sonnegg and Dalmatin, met every where with opposition and persecution; but their activity and zeal conquered all obstacles, and succeeded in at least partially performing that at which they aimed. Meantime, Christopher, duke of Wuertemburg, a truly evangelical prince, had opened in his dominions an asylum for all those who had to suffer elsewhere on account of their faith. The translation of the Scriptures every where into the language of the common people, was regarded by this prince as a holy duty; and this led him to cause even Slavic printing-offices to be established in his dominions, Thither Truber went; and after printing several books for religious instruction, he published the Gospel of Matthew in a Vindish translation, Tuebingen 1555; and two years later the whole New Testament. As Truber did not understand the Greek original, his translation was made from the Latin, German, and Italian versions. At the same time a translation for the Dalmatic-Croatians was planned; and several works for their instruction printed and distributed. Truber, thus an exile from his own country, died in 1586 as curate in the duchy of Wuertemburg, engaged in a translation of Luther's House-postillae.

Two different systems of orthography had been adopted by Truber and Dalmatin. For this reason, when in 1580 the whole Vindish Bible was to be printed at Wittemberg, it seemed necessary to fix the orthography according to acknowledged rules. This led also to grammatical investigations. In the year 1584, a Vindish grammar was printed at Wittemberg, the author of which, A. Bohorizh of Laibach, was a pupil of Melancthon, and a scholar of that true philosophical spirit, without which no one should undertake to write a grammar, even where he has only to follow a beaten path; much less when he has to open for himself a new one. Thus the Vindish written language, almost in its birth, acquired a correctness and consistency, to which other languages hardly attain after centuries of experiments, innovations, and literary contests. According to the judgment of those who are best acquainted with it, the Vindish language has undergone no change since the time of Bohorizh,—a fact indeed scarcely credible; and the less so, because during that whole interval it has been maintained almost exclusively as a spoken language. About thirty years after the publication of this grammar, the Roman Catholics, sheltered by the despotic measures of the archduke Ferdinand, afterwards the emperor Ferdinand II, gained a complete victory. All evangelical preachers, and all Protestants who faithfully adhered to their religion, were exiled; their goods confiscated; and, more than all, their books burned, and their printing-office in Laibach destroyed.[36] Fragments of the Gospels and of the Epistles were however printed at Graetz, in 1612, for the Slavic Catholics, in their own language.

A whole century passed, and the Vindish language seemed to be entirely lost for literature and science. Towards the close of the seventeenth century, an academy was founded by some learned men of Carniola, on the plan of the Italian Academy; and some attention was again paid to the language of their forefathers. In A.D. 1715 a new edition of Bohorizh's work, with several alterations and without mentioning the true author, was printed by a capuchin, P. Hippolitus; who left also in manuscript a Vindish dictionary, the first in that language.

Fifty-three years later, another grammar was published by the monk Marcus Pochlin; a work in itself, according to the best authorities, utterly devoid of merit, but which from the necessity of the case, and for the want of a better, met with success, was reprinted in 1783, and remained in common use until the appearance of Kopitar's grammar. This last work,[37] written by one of the most eminent Slavists of the age, made a decided epoch; not only in the history of the Vindish language, but also, by its learned preface and comments, in the Slavic literature at large. Several grammatical works, not without merit, and for the most part founded on Kopitar's grammar, have since been published;[38] and since scholars like these are now occupied with the cultivation of the Vindish language, there exist for it and for its kindred dialects the happiest prospects.

That this Slavic branch, a mountain people, had its treasures of popular poetry, has always been supposed; and many single pieces, not without beauty, have been communicated to the public in German translations. A collection of these flowers, which fade rapidly away in this German neighbourhood, was ten years ago made by Achazel and Korytko.[39]

The literature of a people, among whom every individual of any education may call another highly cultivated language in the fullest sense his own,—as is the case with the Bohemians and Slovenzi in respect to the German,—cannot be very extensive. There have, however, in modern times, been published several works of poetry and prose in the Vindish language; among the writers of which we can mention only the most distinguished. Such are, V. Vodnik, author of some collections of poems; Kavnikar, author of a biblical history of the Old and New Testament, and several works for religious edification; Farnik, Kumerdcy, Popovich, etc.

But the most important work, both in a philological and moral point of view, is the translation of the whole Bible, set on foot by G. Japel, and executed by a society of learned men. This version being intended for Catholics, was made from the Vulgate, and was published at Laibach 1800, in five volumes; the New Testament appeared also separately, in two volumes, Laib. 1804. A Slavic pulpit, which was established ten years ago at the same place, has also been of great service to the language.

The inhabitants of the provincial counties Agram, Kreutz, Varasdin, and the neighbouring districts, called Provincial Croatia, who speak a somewhat different dialect of the Vindish language, but are able to read that version of the Bible, have nevertheless several translations in their own dialect, lying in manuscript, and only waiting for some Maecenas, or for some favourable conjuncture, in order to make their appearance.

The only portion of the Vindish race among whom the Protestant religion has been kept alive, are about 15,000 Slovenzi in Hungary. Their dialect approaches in a like measure to that of the Slovaks; and hence serves as the connecting link between the languages of the Eastern and Western Slavic stems. For them the New Testament exists in a translation by Stephen Kuznico; Halle 1771; reprinted at St. Petersburg, 1818.

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 1: This portion of the Slavic race was formerly more commonly known under the general appellation of Illyrians. With the exception of the Bulgarians, who never have been comprehended under it, this name has alternately been applied to the Southern Slavic nations; sometimes only to the Dalmatians and Slavonians; sometimes to them together with the Croatians and Vindes; by others again to the Turkish Servians and Bosnians, etc. The old Illyrians, i.e. the inhabitants of the Roman province Illyricum, were not Slavi, but a people related to the old Thracians, the forefathers of the present Albanians; see Schaffarik Gesch. p. 33, n. 2. Illyricum Magnum comprised in the fourth century nearly all the Roman provinces of eastern Europe. Napoleon affected to renew the names and titles of the ancient Roman empire, and called the territory ceded to him by Austria in 1809, viz. Carniola and all the country between the Adriatic, the Save, and the Turkish empire, his Illyrian provinces, and their inhabitants Illyrians. In the year 1815 a new kingdom of Illyria was founded as an Austrian province, comprehending Carniola, Carinthia, and Trieste with its territory. It was partly on account of this indefiniteness, that the name ofIllyrians had been entirely relinquished by modern philologists; until it was quite recently again token up by some Croatian and Dalmatian writers. In its stead the name of Servians, or more properly Serbians, Serbs, has been adopted as a general appellation by the best authorities. See below in sec. 1, on the Literature of the Servians of the Greek Church. The word Srb, Serb, Sorab, has been alternately derived from Srp, scythe; from Siberi, Sever, north; from Sarmat; from Serbulja, a kind of shoe or sock; from servus, servant, etc. The true derivation has not yet been settled. See Dobrovsky's History of the Bohemian Language, 1818; and also his Inst. Ling. Slav. 1822.]

[Footnote 2: See above, p. 9 sq. and the preceding note.]

[Footnote 3: The Servians, however, under the government of their own energetic countryman, Prince Milosh, for some years enjoyed a certain degree of freedom, which no doubt has had good results for the mental life of the nation. A good view of their country, constitution, and literature, is given in a modern German work: Reise nach Serbien im Spaetherbst 1829, by Otto von Pirch, Berlin 1830. See alsoServia und Belgrade in 1843-44, by A.A. Paton, Lond. 1845.]

[Footnote 4: See Schaffarik Gesch. p. 217.]

[Footnote 5: These statutes were first printed by Raitch, in his great work on Slavic history (see Note 8); and translated by Engel in his History of Hungary and the adjacent Territories, Vol. 2, p. 293.]

[Footnote 6: See above, in the History of the Old Slavic Language, p. 44.]

[Footnote 7: There is however still another Cyrillic printing office attached to an Armenian convent in Vienna. Since the printing of Vuk's second edition of the Servian popular songs at Leipsic, several other Servian books have also been printed there. The Vladika of Montenegro has also established a printing office at his residence of Tzetinja. Vuk's “Proverbs” have been printed there.]

[Footnote 8: The complete title of this valuable work is: Istorja raznich Slavenskich narodov nairatchvedshe Chorvatov, Bolgarov, i Srbov, Vienna 1792-95, 4 vols.]

[Footnote 9: The writings of this very productive philologist and historian are however more remarkable for boldness and singularity of assertion, than for depth. In his Rimljani slavenstvovavshii, Buda 1818, he undertakes to derive the entire Latin language from the Slavic. In an earlier work, written 1809, he contends that the German language was a corruption of the Slavic dialects spoken on the Elbe.]

[Footnote 10: The reader will find a more complete catalogue of the Servian writers and their works, in O.v. Birch's Travels; see above, p. 107, n. 3.]

[Footnote 11: Narodne Serpske Poslovitze, Zetinya 1836.]

[Footnote 12: See below in sec. 2.b, Dalmatian Literature.]

[Footnote 13: See more on Servian popular poetry in Part IV. The title of Vuk's collection, a part of which appeared 1814-15 at Vienna, in two small volumes, is Narodm Srpske pjesme, Lpzg 1823-24, three volumes. A fourth volume was published at Vienna 1833, with a very instructive preface. Some of these remarkable songs have been made known to the English public in Bowring's Servian Popular Poetry, London 1827. This little collection contains also an able and spirited introduction, which serves to give a clear view not only of the state of the Servians in particular, but also of the relation of the Slavic nations to each other in general; with the exception of some mistakes in respect to classification.—In Germany a general interest for Servian national poetry was excited by Goethe; see his Kunst und Alterthum, Vol. V. Nos. I and II. German translations are: Volkslieder der Serben, by Talvj, 2 vols. Halle 1825-26; from which work Bowring seems chiefly to have translated. Die Wila, by Gerhardt, 2 vols. Lpzg. 1828. These two works contain nearly all the songs published by Vuk, in his first three volumes; but only half of those he has collected. Serbische Volkslieder, by v. Goetze, St. Pet. and Lpzg. 1827. Serbische Hochzeitlieder, by Eugen Wesely, 1826. A French translation of these songs does not yet exist, although they have excited a deep interest among the literati of France. The work la Guzla, published at Paris in 1827 and purporting to contain translations of Dalmatian national songs, is not genuine; it was written by the French poet Merimee, with much talent indeed, but without any knowledge of the Servian language.]

[Footnote 14: That is: Wolf, son of Stephan, belonging to the family of the Karadshians, inhabitants of a certain district or village. The Servians in Servia proper and Bosnia have not yet any family names. Those who emigrated in early years to other countries mostly adopted their fathers' names with the suffix of vitch as a family name; for instance Markovitch, Gregorovitch, i.q. Markson, Gregorson, etc. The Servian subjects of Turkey, who settle in other parts of the country, still mostly follow this rule. Vuk neglected this; and acquired therefore his literary fame under his Christian name of Vuk. But, as a father of a family and an Austrian citizen, he is called Karadshitch after his tribe; which for reasons we do not know he seems to have preferred to the name of Stephanovitch.]

[Footnote 15: We must correct here a mistake made by Dr. Henderson in his Biblical Researches, in respect to the Servian New Testament. He says, p. 263, “A version of the (Servian) New Testament was indeed executed some years ago, but its merits were not of such a description as to warrant the committee of the Russian Bible Society to carry it through the press; yet, as they were deeply convinced of the importance of the object, they were induced to engage a native Servian, of the name of Athanasius Stoikovitch to make a new translation, the printing of which was completed in the year 1825, but owing to the cessation of the Society's operations, the distribution of the copies has hitherto been retarded.” Dr. Henderson probably received his information at St. Petersburg, and felt himself of course entitled to depend on it, being very likely not acquainted with the great schism in modern Servian literature above mentioned. If we may confide in our own recollections, the translation, the merits of which the committee of the Russian Bible Society was so little disposed to acknowledge, was made by Vuk Stephanovitch, who knew better than any one else the wants of the Servian people, and who presented in the above mentioned Gospel of St. Luke a specimen to the learned world, which received the approbation of all those Slavic scholars entitled to judge of the subject. The committee of St. Petersburg, however, was probably composed of gentlemen of the opposite party; as indeed the Russian Servians are, in general, advocates of the mixed Slavo-Servian language, in which for about fifty years all books for the Servians were written, and which we have described above in Schaffarik's words; see p. 108. According to their ideas of the Servian language, the mere use of the common dialect of the people was sufficient to inspire doubts of the competency of the translator; although it was for the people, the unlearned, that the translation was professedly made. They engaged in consequence Professor Stoikovitch, the author of several Russian and Slavo-Servian books (see above p. 112), and who had been for more than twenty years in the Russian service, to make a new translation. This person, who, to judge from our personal acquaintance with him, probably on this occasion read the Gospels for the first time in his life with any attention, took the rejected version for his basis; altered it, according to his views of the dignity of the Servian language, into the customary mixed Slavo-Servian Russian idiom; and received the reward from the Society. Whether this is the version afterwards printed at Leipsic and distributed in Servia by the English Bible Society, we are not informed. From private letters we know, that in the year 1827, that Society proposed to Vuk Stephanovitch to allow him L500, if after obtaining appropriate testimonies for the correctness of his version, he would print one thousand copies in Servia; and also authorized its correspondent in Constantinople, Mr. Leeves, to arrange the matter finally with Vuk. From M. Kopitar's remark however, that the translation for the Dalmatian Roman Catholics needed only to be transcribed with Cyrillic letters to come into use among the eastern Servians, we are entitled to conclude that the version now circulated, is not such as it ought to be; and a correct one, for that part of the nation, is still a desideratum. It would seem therefore that Vuk Stephanovitch cannot have accepted the offer in question. See Kopitar's Letter to the Editor of the Bibl. Repos. Vol. III. 1833, p. 186.]

[Footnote 16: The Serbianka of Milutinovitch was published at Leipsic, 1826; his History at the same place, 1837.]

[Footnote 17: Pjevanija Tzernogorska i Herzegovatshka etc. izdana Josifom Milowukom, Ofen 1833—Pjevanija Tzernogorska i Herzegovatshka sabrana i izdana Tshubrom Tshoikovitckom, etc. Leipz. 1839.]

[Footnote 16: Montenegro, properly Montenero, is the Italian translation of Tzernagora, Black Mountain, a name which is applied to these ranges on account of the dark colour of the rocks and woods.]

[Footnote 17: More on the Vladika and on Montenegro in general, see in the recent work of Sir J.G. Wilkinson, Dalmatia and Montenegro, 2 vols. Lond. 1848. Also an article in the British and Foreign Review, July 1840, by Count Krasinski. A full and very interesting account of the country and people, is found in the little work of Vuk Stephanovitch Karadshich, Montenegro und die Montenegriner, 8vo. Stuttg. u. Tueb. 1837; published in Cotta's “Reisen u. Landerbeschreibungen der aeltern u. neuern Zeit.”]

[Footnote 18: See above, p. 37 sq.]

[Footnote 19: Kopitar, Glagolita Clozianus, Vindob. 1836.]

[Footnote 20: See above, p. 41.]

[Footnote 21: On the still earlier Glagolitie manuscript discovered at Trent, there was also found a note written by one of its former noble owners, that “dises puech hat Sant Jeronimuss mit aigner hant geschriben in krabatischer sprach.”]

[Footnote 22: A fine copy of the above splendid work is now on sale by the publisher of this volume.]

[Footnote 23: Razgovor ugodni naroda slavinskoga, Venice 1759. A new edition appeared in the year 1811.]

[Footnote 24: Letter of Kopitar to the Editor, Bibl. Repos. 1833, p. 136.]

[Footnote 25: F. Verantii Dictionarium quinque nobiliss. Eur. Ling. Lat. Ital. Germ. Dalm. et Ung. Venice 1595. Micalia Thesaurus linguae Illyricae, etc. Ancona 1651. Delia Bella Dizionario It. Lat. Illyr. Venice 1728; later edit. Ragusa 1785. Voltiggi Riesosbronik illyriesiskoga, ital. i nimacsk, Vienna 1803. Stulli Lexicon Lat. Ital. Illyr. etc, Buda and Ragusa 1801-10, 6 vols. Prefixed to the four last works, are also grammars. Other Dalmatian grammars are: Cassii Institutiones linguae Illyricae, Rome, 1604. Appendini Grammatik der illyrischen Sprache, Ragusa 1608. Starchsevich Nuova Gramm. Illyrica, Trieste 1012. Babukich Illyrische Grammatik, Wien 1839.]

[Footnote 26: See above, p. 116, 117.]

[Footnote 27: See above in sec. 1. p. 108.]

[Footnote 28: See p. 128 above.]

[Footnote 29: See p. 131.—As dictionaries and grammars of this dialect are to be mentioned: Relcovich Deutsch illyrisches and illyr. deutsches Woerterb. Vienna 1796. By the same: Neue Slawonisch-deutche Grammatik, Agram 1767. Vienna 1774. Buda 1789. Lanossovich Einleitung zur Slav. Sprache, several editions from 1778-1795.]

[Footnote 30: See the second volume of Engel's History of Hungary etc. Katanesich Specimen phil. et geogr. Pannon. etc. 1795. Schaffarik's Geschichte, etc. p. 226-31, 235, 265.]

[Footnote 31: These two divisions of Military and Provincial Croatia constitute the modern Austrian kingdom of Croatia, which is united with that of Hungary. See For. Quart. Review, Vol. VII. p. 423 sq.]

[Footnote 32: See p. 128 above.]

[Footnote 33: Croatian philological works are: Einleitung zur croat. Spracklehre, Varasdin 1783. Kornig's Croat. Sprachlehre, Agram 1795. Gyurkovshky's Croat. Grammatik, 1825. Rukevina v. Liebstadt Kroatische Sprachformen, etc. Trieste 1843. Habdelich Dictionarium croat. lat. Graetz 1670. Belloszlenecz Gazophylacium s. Latino-Illyricor. etc. Agram 1740. Jambressich's Lex. Lat. interpr. illyrica, germ. etc. Agram 1742.]

[Footnote 34: See Engel, etc. III p. 469.]

[Footnote 35: See the Wiener Jahrbuecher, 1822, Vol. XVII. See too the Glagolita Clozianus, and the article “On the Pannonian Origin of the Slavic Liturgy.” See above, pp. 28, 39.]

[Footnote 36: Schaffarik observes, Geschichte, p. 283, “The public library in the state-house was delivered to the Jesuits, who had just been introduced. The books which these did not commit to the flames on the spot, perished in the great conflagration in 1774, together with the edifice of their college. In all Carniola only two copies of Bohorizh's grammar are known to exist"]

[Footnote 37: Grammatik der Slavischen Sprache in Krain, Kaernthen, und Steyermark, Laibach 1808.]

[Footnote 38: These are: V. Vodnik's Pismenost ali gramm. saperve shole, Laib. 1811. Metelko's Lehrgelaude der Slovenischen Sprache, 1825. Schmigoz Theor. pract. wind. Sprachlehre, Gratz 1812. P. Dainko Lehrbuch der wind. Sprache, Gratz 1825. Mali Bezedniak Slovenskich, Laibach 1834.]

[Footnote 39: Slovenske pjesmi Krajnskiga Naroda, Laibach 1839.]