Glagolitic numerals

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The first line of the Vinodol statute includes the year 1280 written as ⰝⰔⰑ (16th century copy of the statute).

Glagolitic numerals are a numeral system derived from the Glagolitic script, generally agreed to have been created in the 9th century by Saint Cyril. They are similar to Cyrillic numerals, except that numeric values are assigned according to the native alphabetic order of the Glagolitic alphabet.[1][2] Use of Glagolitic script and numerals declined through the Middle Ages and by the 17th century Glagolitic was used almost only in religious writings. It is unclear if the use of Glagolitic numerals persisted as long as the use of Glagolitic script.[3]

General description[edit]

The system is a decimal alphabetic numeral system, with values assigned in alphabetical order, so [ɑ] = 1, [b] = 2, and so forth. Glyphs for the ones, tens, and hundreds values are combined additively to form numbers, for example, ⰗⰑⰂ is 500 + 80 + 3 or 583. Numbers are written from left to right, highest value at the left. As with Cyrillic numerals, between 11 and 19 the ordinary sign order is reversed, so the numbers 11 through 19 are typically written with the ones digit before the glyph for 10; for example ⰅⰊ is 6 + 10, making 16, this reflects the Slavic lexical numerals for the teens.[4][3]

For numbers greater than 999, there is conflicting evidence. As the earliest version of the Glagolitic alphabet had 36 characters, there are indications of the use of Glagolitic letters for 1000 through 9000,[3][5] although the validity of 3000 and greater is questioned.[6] There is also evidence of the use of a thousands sign, similar to the lower-left keraia in Greek numerals or the Cyrillic thousands sign to mark numbers greater than 999.[3]

To distinguish numbers from text, numerals are typically set apart with dots or a mark is placed over the numbers.[3] For example, the Missale Romanum Glagolitice printed in 1483, uses both dots around and a titlo over letters in places to indicate a number,[7] as does the Vinodol statute.


  • Glagolitic numerals-1280.svg (ⰝⰔⰑ) – 1280

Table of values[edit]

Value Glagolitic
1 Glagoljica Az.svg
2 Glagoljica Buki.svg
3 Glagoljica Vedi.svg
4 Glagolitic glagoli.svg
5 Glagolitic dobro.svg
6 Glagolitic jest.svg
7 Glagolitic capital letter Zhivete.svg
8 Glagolitic dzelo.svg
9 Glagolitic zemlja-new.svg
Value Glagolitic
10 Glagolitic izhe.svg or Glagolitic Iota.svg or
20 Glagolitic i.svg
30 Glagolitic djerv.svg
40 Glagolitic kako.svg
50 Glagolitic ljudi.svg
60 Glagolitic mislete.svg
70 Glagolitic nash.svg
80 Glagolitic on.svg
90 Glagolitic pokoi.svg
Value Glagolitic
100 Glagolitic rtsi.svg
200 Glagolitic slovo.svg
300 Glagolitic tverdo.svg
400 Glagolitic uk.svg
500 Glagolitic Letter Square Fritu.svg
600 Glagolitic kher.svg
700 Glagolitic ot.svg
800 Glagolitic shta.svg
900 Glagolitic tsi.svg
Value Glagolitic
1,000 Glagolitic cherv.svg
2,000 Glagoljica Ša.svg
3,000 Glagolitic yer.svg
4,000 Glagolitic yat.svg
5,000 Glagolitic yu.svg
6,000 ?
7,000 ?
8,000 ?
9,000 Glagolitic ens.svg

As noted earlier, the letters associated with number values greater than 999 are uncertain, and different authors have inferred different values (and different orders) for letters towards the end of the Glagolitic alphabet.[6][8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Schenker, Alexander M. (1995), The Dawn of Slavic: An Introduction to Slavic Philology, New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press, ISBN 0-300-05846-2
  2. ^ Lunt, Horace Gray (2001). Old Church Slavonic Grammar (7th ed.). Berlin, Germany: Walter de Gruyter. pp. 16–18. ISBN 978-3-11-016284-4.
  3. ^ a b c d e Chrisomalis, Stephen (2010). Numerical Notation: A Comparative History. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press. pp. 178–182. ISBN 978-1-139-48533-3. Retrieved 2016-12-28.
  4. ^ A. Kent; H. Lancour; J.E. Daily; W.Z. Nasri, eds. (1979). "Slavic Paleography". Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science. Vol. 27. New York, NY: Marcel Dekker Inc. pp. 510–520. ISBN 978-0-8247-2027-8. Retrieved 26 March 2018.
  5. ^ Veder, William R. (2004). The Glagolitic Alphabet as a Text. Glagoljica i hrvatski glagolizam. Zbornik radova s međunarodnoga znanstvenog skupa povodom 100. obljetnice Staroslavenske akademije i 50. obljetnice Staroslavenskog instituta. Zagreb, Croatia: Staroslavenski Institut/Krčka Biskupija. pp. 375–387.
  6. ^ a b Mathiesen, Robert (2004). A New Reconstruction of the Original Glagolitic Alphabet (M.S.). Brown University.
  7. ^ Žubrinić, Darko (2013). "Hrvatski glagoljički Prvotisak misala iz 1483" [Croatian Glagolitic First Printing of the 1483 Missal] (in Croatian). Retrieved 22 May 2020.
  8. ^ Chulev, Basil (2015). "Glagoling the Glagolithic ("Speaking the Speakolithic")". Retrieved May 21, 2020.