On what book the French kings swore?the French province of Champagne is glorified not only sparkling wines which make here. In the capital of the province, the city of Reims, there is one of the best-known French cathedrals. Only for the sake of this cathedral it is worth escaping for one day from Paris. Reims is in 90 kilometers from the capital of France. An hour and a half driving. Nearby. Reims Cathedral is fine
. For those who consider that France is limited to Paris, top of the French gothic style - Notre Dame de Paris. For those who will not be too lazy to leave to the province there are tops above - Rouen, Shartrsky and Reymssky cathedrals.
Reims Cathedral is constructed in 13 - m a century on the place which is already rather “worshipped“. With 5 - go centuries there was a Christian basilica here. At the beginning of 13 - go centuries it burned down, and on its place in only 65 years the new cathedral was constructed. Many consider it as the most harmonious of Gothic cathedrals of France.
The event which made Reims Cathedral well-known took place at the end of 5 - go centuries. The Reymssky bishop Remigy christened the king of francs of Hlodviga here. On a legend, unction for unction was brought in a beak by the pigeon who came back to Earth that is the Spirit Svyatoy. Such event, undoubtedly, entered legends. Since then Reims Cathedral became the place of crowning of the French kings. In 1825 there was the last crowning here - the king Charles X.
Since 16 - go centuries, the king, taking the oath, put a hand on one of the relics found by a cathedral, some manuscript written by mysterious letters. Nobody could read letters, but judging by illustrations, this book represented the Gospel. Mystery of a relic vanished a little in 1717. The tsar Peter I during the visit to France was in Reims Cathedral and, having seen the manuscript, could even read several first pages. It turned out that they were written by Cyrillics. But the Russian emperor could not overcome the second part of the book. It was written by the Glagolitic alphabet which Peter I did not know.
Scientists investigated a long way which the Gospel proputeshestvovat across Europe. It was presented to Reims Cathedral in 1574 by the bishop of Lorraine who bought the book from the Constantinople patriarch. To Constantinople the Gospel was brought from Prague by the hussites who left Bohemia during Hussite wars in 1420-1434. Before the Gospel was stored in the Emmaussky monastery of Prague.
Church service in churches of this Catholic monastery was conducted not in Latin, and on - staroslavyansk. The monastery was devoted to Slavic educators: To Kirill and Mefodiy, Saint Voytekh (Adalbert), Saint Procopius of Sazava and Saint Iyeronim whose names traditionally connect with a baptism of Slavs.
From all listed Saints most of all we have heard a lot about brothers of Kirill (827-869) and Mefodiy (815-885) . Most often their names contact Bulgaria where even at the time of socialism celebrated day of Saints Kirill and Mefodiy, however, under a pseudonym of day of Slavic writing. But there were brothers - not Slavs, but Greeks it is from Salonik, and belonged to very noble family. Kirill almost all life was called Konstantin, and he received a new name, having accepted a monkhood shortly before death.
Thessaloniki was the city rich. In many respects the richness of the city grew thanks to trade with the Slavic tribes which lodged absolutely nearby in Thrace. So many inhabitants Salonik understood Slavic language.
Brothers promoted in different areas. Mefodiy became a military leader. Konstantin went on the scientific line and rose to a position of the imperial librarian in Constantinople.
The apostolic feat, education and a baptism of Slavs, Konstantin and Mefodiy made in Great Moravia which then included territories of the present Czech Republic, Hungary and it is a little Serbia and Croatia. Here to everyone there was “a work in the specialty“. Konstantin was engaged in distribution of belief, and Mefodiy was to it in it considerable support because served as the voivode at the king of Moravia, was, speaking to the modern language, the Minister of Defence.
It is necessary to tell that in distribution of Christianity in Moravia brothers faced two problems. In - the first, they preached among the Slavic population, so sacred books should have been translated into Slavic language, writings not having too yet. There is a legend that the Gospel Saint Iyeronim translated into Slavic language (342-420) . He was from Dolmation and Slavic language knew. For this reason Saint Iyeronim was one of patrons of that Emaussky monastery in which the Reymssky Gospel was written.
The second problem consisted that brothers preached and educated Slavs in, so to speak, “others“ territory. Moravia as lawful area for the missionary activity was considered by monks from Bavaria and from the city of Salzburg. They submitted to the Pope and in Moravia of “agents of Constantinople“ right there reported about emergence to Rome.
It was till 1054 when there was a split between the Greek and Roman Christian tserkva. Hostility was not yet, but agreements, even unwritten, it was necessary to observe. If Slavic writing was created on the basis of the Greek alphabet, it could be the cause for charges of expansion of Constantinople on the territory, subject Rima. The Glagolitic alphabet did not give a reason for such charge because it is not similar neither on Latin, nor to the Greek writing. Like, so special Slavic language, as writing it needs special.
In 868 brothers came back from Great Moravia to Constantinople through Venice. The Pope Adrian II invited them to arrive to Rome. He approved their missionary activity and blessed prayer books in Slavic language, written with the Glagolitic alphabet.
But the younger brother, Konstantin, from Rome did not come back home. He got sick there and died, having taken the vows before death and having accepted a name of Kirill.
Contrary to ordinary opinion not Kirill thought up Cyrillics. It into circulation was introduced already by Kirill and Mefodiy`s pupils.
In Constantinople Mefodiy was appointed the bishop of Great Moravia. But after Mefodiy died, persecutions on his pupils began. It was promoted much by intrigues of the German monks. Eventually, those who conducted church service in Slavic language were expelled from the country. They moved closer to the mother country, to Bulgaria. Here the population was Slavic too. So Kirill and Mefodiy`s Slavic alphabet very much was useful. But now writing of Slavic letters was brought closer to the Greek alphabet. Thereby for future Slavic clergymen studying of language - the primary source of the Gospel was facilitated.
Those Greek letters for the image of sounds which in Slavic language were not were included in the Slavic alphabet (“ps“, “ks“, “izhiyets“). On the other hand, in Slavic languages there were sounds which in Greek were not available, hissing and clinking. For display of these sounds letters of the Jewish alphabet - “tires“ and “tsada“ were used.
Cyrillics gained distribution both in Bulgaria, and in Serbia, and in Russia. In Croatia which accepted the Catholic version of Christianity church books wrote long time not with a Latin, but glagolichesky font. Researchers consider that the glagolichesky part of the Reymssky Gospel was rewritten in the Emaussky monastery in Prague 1395 from the Croatian book, and Cyrillic - for nearly three centuries earlier, and the educator of Czechs > Procopius of Sazava (970-1053) made it . Prokopy was canonized after death and became the first patron saint of the Czech Republic.
During Great French revolution of 1793 the Reymssky Gospel escaped though he was “undressed“, having removed the salary decorated with jewels from cover. During Napoleon Bonaparte`s government the manuscript was transferred to municipal library of Reims. In 1835 it was found here by the Russian scientist A. I. Turgenev who worked in foreign archives, searching for the materials relating to the Russian history.
The Reymssky Gospel on which the French kings once swore and is now stored in city library of the city of Reims, where as it was already told, surely it is worth going if appeared in France.