Runica and the Alphabet Writing
Чудинов Валерий Алексеевич
The existing of the Slavic syllabic writing is shown. The examples of Runica use, short history of the deciphering and the Runica syllabarium are given. On the ground of Runica-Cyrillic interaction the periods were estimated trough which the change of syllabic writing to alphabet one results. The hypothesis about the etalon quality of this transition process for every change of runica with ethnic alphabet writing was spoken. The coexistence of Runica with glagolica, Greek and Latin writing was shown on some examples. Finally were read some Runica inscriptions on the artifacts from Noricum and Venetian regions, on a coin, armor and a helmet.Оглавление:
- Runica and the Alphabet Writing
- Examples of Runica
- The syllabic writing deciphering method
- The peculiarities of Runica
- The Runica and Cyrillica interaction
- The hypothesis about the etalon quality of the transition process
- Runica and glagolica
- The inscriptions on Runica, Latin and Greek writings
- The inscription on the Ljubljana muzeum coin
- The common analysis of the artifact
- The reading of the inscriptions
- Reading the microinscriptions
- Paleographic analysis
- Runica on the earlier armor from Slovenia
- The helmet from the Vač town
Runica and the Alphabet Writing
The greatest difficulties during decipher an old texts appear with the reason that we don’t know exactly the meanings of their signs and the language of the inscriptions. If an epigraphist knows that in the ground of the text under investigation lies a Slavic language his work can go much more successful. In such cases as a help for him could be the Runica, a syllabic writing with which the ancestors of the Slavs have wrote from the Paleolithic till the XVII century when it finally goes out of use. It is a pity that Runica is now not well-known to the most of the readers. Meanwhile it use already speaks in favor of the Slavic origin of some texts and artifacts. Very often Runica carries some additional and interesting information. On the reason of its broad compatibility with every Slavic alphabet Runica sometimes makes the mixed texts from which, knowing one of the alphabets (in our case knowing Cyrillic), one can determine the meaning of the Runica signs. And vice versa, knowing Runica one can determine the meaning of the unknown Slavic alphabet character.
The aim of this article is to demonstrate the examples of the Runica use together with other kinds of writing, and the offensive on it by alphabet writing. Such demonstration will help us to understand the youthfulness or senility of such alphabets as Etruscan, Raethic, and Venetian and so on.
Examples of Runica
The possibility of the pre-Cyrillic writing (Runica) existence was shown in a lot of epigraphic origins. The first example extracted from the works of the Arabic traveler of the X century Yakub El Nedim was published in 1836 year in Russia by the academician of the Petersburg Academy of Sciences Ch. M. Fraehn . Later the attempts were made to read this text with the help of Germanic Runes and of Glagolica. On the drawing one can see the original El Nedim inscription  and its reading by F. Magnusen (2) , A. von Siögren (3) , S. Gedeonov (4) [4-5], G. S. Grinevich (5) , M.L. Seryakov (6)  and by me (7) .
Fig. 1. The reading of the El Nedim’s inscription by the different epigraphists
During the process of the new inscriptions publishing have appeared several deciphering directions. In the XIX century Runica was accepted as a variant of Germanic Runes in their Slavic use, but only unacceptable result from this attempt was gained. As leaders of this direction one can assume the Danes Finn Magnusen and worked at that time in Russian service Andreas Sjogren, and as followers one can name two Poles, Tadeusz Wolianski  and Jan Leciejewski . But there was refuse from this direction connected with general criticism of the Normanism (according to this position all the achievements of the Russian state were connected with Norman statesmen and first of all with first Russian prince Rurik who came into Russia somewhere from Scandinavia). Together with true criticism of the Normanism from the patriotic point of view the failure of such readings the archaeologists have explained wrong as so called signs of property which were clear only to its owner, but which have had no common readings at all. Such explanation was suggested in 1871 year by A.A. Kotlyarevsky . This explanation was accepted by the archaeologists with enthusiasm because of its possibility to avoid the necessity to read the unknown signs on the found by them archaeological artifacts.
The Russian archaeologist of the beginning of XX century Karl Bolssunovski has made attempt to read the Russian monograms on the coins and the building bricks (so called “the prince’s signs”) as Grecian, but has failed . In May 1908 the famous Russian archaeologist A.A. Spitsin has made report “About Russes Writing” in which he tried to read the inscriptions of the Mayak medieval town. Later such kind of inscriptions was determined as Khasarian ones, and the type of writing — as Turkian Runic. Although A.A. Spitsin was the head of whole direction the satisfactory results were not achieved. As an exotic example of reading our archaeologist academician B.A. Rybakov has mentioned the not developing direction of the Austrian enthusiast dr. Wankel who tried to read the inscription in Runica found near Smolensk as Phoenician writing. So to the middle of XX century was clear that the Runica is not alphabet writing.
More perspective was the syllabic understanding, first suggested in practice by philologist from Leningrad N.A. Konstantinov . To the thought that some Russian inscriptions were the examples of unknown pre-Cyrillic writing and that this writing has the syllabic but no alphabet nature (this writing has great signs repertoire) came in 1947 year E.M. Epstein . This direction was gone on by N.A. Konstantinov who tried to read 7 Near Dnepr Inscriptions but not satisfactory. The investigators N.V. Engovatov  and I.M. Figurovski  have failed too.
First partly successful deciphers were made by G.S. Grinevitch  which from 20 texts could read 3 texts so, that was determined their general sens, but absolutely truely he has read nothing. Being very inspired by the first victory, G.S. Grinevich has paied no attention to the fact that together with Slavic inscriptions he did try to read Germany, Turkey, Hungary-Finn texts as the Slavic ones. Later he has lost the feeling of measure and has decided that all the non deciphered up to now kinds of writing were to be the Slavic ones, as for example the Linear A and the writing of the Phaistos Disc, Etruscan writing, the writing of Harappa and Mohendjo Daro and so on. I suppose that instead of conviction the epigraphists in the reality of his chosen way he rather hurt the confidence to his deciphered texts in the eyes of the true scholars.
The syllabic readings were suggested by M.L. Sseryakov too, but this investigator has decided that in the ground of Runica lies the writing which is very near to the Hindian Brahmi. The failure here was inevitable as we can see on the drawing (it is the Seryakov reading the inscription on the seal of the prince Svyatoslav) .
Fig. 2. The inscription reading on the Svyatoslav seal by M.L. Seryakov
Thus to the beginning of the XX century there were near 50 examples of the Slavic Runica and close to it writing system readings where there exists no one satisfactory deciphered texts. But meanwhile the corpus of inscriptions published by the archaeologists up to that time consist of circa 3 000 texts.
The analysis of my predecessor’s errors has helped me to understand their weak points: they tried to read every text not to know its origin, its grade of complicity, its connection with the Slavic Runica. The reading method was practically absent. For the reliable and provable reading it was necessary first of all to elaborate the provable method and to read already read inscriptions anew.
The syllabic writing deciphering method
The shown by many linguists skepticism was quite justified as the enthusiasts-amateurs proposed the most fantastic readings. The method progress was connected with the reading of the standard texts on the coins and on the birch bark record documents where the same words were repeated being wrote by Cyrillic characters or by syllabic signs, for example ПУЛЪ ТЪВЕРЬСЬКОЙ, ПУЛЪ ПОЛЬСЬКИ, ГОСУДАРЬ ВЬСЕЯ РУСИ, СЕ — ЛУШЕВАН (the coin “pul” of Tver, the Polen pul, the sovereign of all the Russia, here it is Lushevan, the name of a boy) and so on, that gave the possibility to expose the main part of the Slavic syllabarium.
On the Fig. 3 the same text wrote on the XV century Moscow coin is shown which is fulfilled by the Cyrillic characters (left) and by Runica  (right); we see an extra word wrote by Runica, СЛАВЯНЪ (of the Slavs), which show us that it was the Slavs who has have the Runica, but no Russian people who has have the Cyrillic characters. Thus first in my practice I could see the difference between the all-Slavic writing (Runica) and the ethnic Slavic writing (Cyrillic characters of the Russian folk). On the other hand trough the comparision of these two inscriptions of the same content and the same sounds the determination of the every Runica sign sens as synonymous would be simple. In this case we can see the outlook of the signs GO, SU, DA, RЬ, VЪ, SE, YA, RU and SI. From other standard records we can know the sentence of the other syllabic signs.
Fig. 3. My reading of the inscription on the Moscow XV century coin
Here we see only one example. In my monograph there were especially shared out near 20 such examples from which one can determine the meaning of near 40 signs, meanwhile the meanings of the other signs were determined from the reading of the known words where the new signs were guessed as missed syllabi.
The peculiarities of Runica
The phonetic ground of runica is ruther original. Reading the same signs on the difference inscriptions one can understand the earlier sign form and its variants. Thus the sign for the syllable GO (Russian ГО) could have outlook in the main form as Г, although it could be in the form of 1. For the main majority of the signs the vowels A, O, U and Ъ within the first group of sounds and the vowels E, I, Y (Ы), YA, YU and Ь within the second group do not differ at all, so the sign Г one can read as GA, GO, GU or GЪ and the sign L had readings GE, GI, GY (GЫ), GIA, GIU and GЬ. Except of them these signs can read as deaf sounds, so Г in several texts has the meaning of KЪ (meanwhile for KA was in use the sign N, for KO — the sign ↑, for QU — the sign ∇), and L — the meanings КЕ, КI, КЫ, КIA, КIU and КЪ. This peculiarity is very difficult for the reading. Much more difficult is another peculiarity that is graphical designation every vowel as I, and this sign can read as А, YA, О, YO, E, YE, Ы, И, U, YU, Ъ, Ь. That is why in several cases instead of the word OLEG we can see the word VOLEG, instead of the word KAYEMSIA we see the word KAVEMSIA. To differ Č and C (TCH and TS) which were written by the same sign instead of C we can see the combination ТЬSЬ as in the word KRIТЬSIA (КРИЦА). The sign “I” (“Y”) as ending with the reading Й was often absent. So even with the line disposition of the text the Runica signs on the reason of its orthography one can read with great difficulty. But up to the X century the signs of Runica often were joined together in the ligatures from 2 to 4 signs where the reading is very like to the solution of an puzzle.
Fig. 4. The Slavic syllabic writing syllabarium
The syllabarium of this writing I put on the ill. 4. From it we can see that some signs are similar to the characters of Latin, Greek, German runic and Cyrillic writing. I suppose that such similarity is not by chance, but relays on the influence of Runica on the later ethnic character alphabets.
The Runica and Cyrillica interaction
The gradually improvement of the Runica texts deciphers has given to the epigraphists (in this case to me) the possibility to read the signs lines satisfactory and the ligatures quite probably. It was clear that in X century Runica has left the ligature script (which reminded only as tradition in the centers of the seals) and came to the line writing, but began to involve the Cyrillic characters. Thus for the Russian inscriptions of the X century the mixed writing was typical. With the other words pure Cyrillic inscriptions of the X century do not exist.
On this occasion I can give the example of an inscription which now the Russian archaeologists assume as the oldest Cyrillic. The attempts of its reading as pure Cyrillic one have not achieved to the satisfactory results. It was the graffito on the amphora from Gniozdovo near Smolensk, where the epigraphists read traditionally only the central fragment .
Fig. 5. The whole graffito on the amphora from Gniozdovo
On my opinion we have to read the whole massif of the graffiti, but most of them were made by Runica and went out of the previous epigraphists attention. Here the Cyrillic orthography has repeated the Runica one and instead of the word ГОРЪЛО (the throat) it was scrabbled the word ГОРОЛО (for Runica RO=RЪ). The word KAN or KANA (the can) was in medieval Russia in broad use with the meaning “the amphora with the rather broad throat” .
Fig. 6. My reading the graffiti on the can from Gniozdovo
Here we can read the expression TO POUR OVER (ЗАЛИТЬ) THE THROAT (ГОРЛО) OF THE CAN (КАНЪ). THE CAN. THE MILK (МОЛОКО). THE CAN. TO TAKE MILK (МОЛОКО ЯТЬ). These words show us the status of the vessel: it was first empty (TO POUR OVER TO THE THROAT), then full (MILK), then again empty (CAN), then again full (TO TAKE MILK).
The mixed inscriptions are legal for some periods of the interaction between the syllabic and the character writing. In Russia we can see the gradually pressing out the Runica by Cyrillic. These periods for Kiev were as follows: up to the middle of the X century there was pure Runica, to the end of the X century there was mixed writing, i.e. Cyrillic characters and Runica signs in the same text, beginning of the XI century was connected with rewriting of the Runica signs in old texts as Cyrillic characters, in the end of the XI century we see pure Cyrillic inscriptions with very seldom rudiments of runica signs as errors. As the first blow from Cyrillic we can consider disappearing of Runica ligatures and transition to the writing with the apart staying and perfectly shaped signs, sometimes with enlarged intervals between them, i.e. we see the stylization Runica under Cyrillic.
Abstracting from the capital city Kiev where all the processes went on quickly we see the picture of the change one type of the writing into another on the territory of all the Russia as follows: in the X century Runica was preferably, although already Cyrillic characters have appeared (mainly in the names), for the XI century the mixed writing was typical, and the so called consonant style (Cyrillic characters in the form, but syllabic in the content). In the XII century Cyrillic came to the most remote corners of Russia, and although the consonant style was changed on the writing with the vowel, the latter appeared in the texts not in accordance with the pronunciation, but in accordance with the runica orthography (oscillation in writing О/Ъ, Е/Ь, LE/LI). In the end of the XII century the Cyrillic has achieved Novgorod, but in the difference from Kiev here the people yet remembered the Runica, and the social top used it as the cryptography, meanwhile the social bottom wrote it as traditional graphics. In this time we see such phenomenon as the syllabic reading of some characters coincident in its graphics with the Runica signs С-СЕ, Л-ЛЬ or ЛИ, М-МА, Ь-РЬ and so on, kept till the XV century in Novgorod. From XIII century the character reading began. Thus only to the end of the forth century of existing in Russia after St. Cyril the character writing was conscious by the inhabitants of Russia as the main writing, and the Runica as the old, traditional and partly anachronistic one. But still in the XVII century, three century after this, on the most remote periphery of Russia, on the pole island Faddey we can meet a syllabic inscription (with the name AVERYAN K.). All the transition period has had the proceeding of 7 centuries: from X till XII was offensive of Cyrillic, XII century was the period of consciousness that it was the Cyrillic as the main Slavic writing in Russia, and the period from XIV till XVII century was the time of the disappearing and forgetting the Runica. With other words this process which the investigators understood as very short in the reality occurred many centuries history of writing transition. It is why I suppose the very important result of my investigations of the runica writing.
The hypothesis about the etalon quality of the transition process
I suggest that the analogical processes of transition from runica to the alphabet writing went in Central and West Europe among those Slavic or near to them folks which introduced they own alphabet writing in the first century BC, i.e. among Venets, Ethruscs, Raets and so on. But to prove such suggestion it has to show 1) that Runica can be combined with not only Cyrillic, but with other alphabets too, for example with Glagolica, Latin and Greek characters and so on and 2) that the above mentioned ethnics had used Runica before the alphabet writing.
Runica and glagolica
An inscription from the tempel Sophia in Novgorod  was read by the epigraphist A.A. Medyntseva as VOYATA in the upper line and as SAICH (?)  in the lower one. But on my opinion in these two-lines inscriptions there are the signs of Runica and the characters of Glagolica. On the left hand top we see the Glagolica character A, and a little righter we see the Cyrillic character C. All the disposition of the characters and signs is shown on the ill. 7.
Fig. 7. The graffito from Sophia of Novgorod and my reading the inscription
The whole text is as follows: АС, ИСАВИЧ-ВОЯКЪПСАЛЪТУТЬ. ВОТЪ АЗ, САИЧ, i.e. Я, ИСАИЧ-ВОЯКА ПИСАЛ ТУТ. ВОТЯ, САИЧ. It means: I, Issaich-wArriOr wrote here. Here am I, ISSAICH. It is an inscription-puzzle from nothing to do in the church building during a service; probably from the stranger name, Issaich, it was written by someone, perhaps a scribe. This inscription was made by three scripts: Runica, Glagolica and Cyrillic.
Fig. 8. The graffito from the St. George monastery of Novgorod and my reading the inscription
In the St. George cathedral of the St. George monastery of Novgorod was found a graffito of the XII century , which was read as А СЕ СОЗОНЕ ?Л(Ъ), А СЕ ... ИСЛО [ibid.]. I read as АСЕ, СОЗОНТЕ, ПСЛ, АСЕ СЪДИИ СЛО(ВО), i.e. Я, СОЗОНТЬ, ПИСАЛ, Я СОДЕЯЛ СЛОВО. It means: I, SOZONT, WROTE, I HAVE MADE A WORD. Sozont is perhaps a sribe too. In the word SODII (MADE) the syllab DII was written by runica, and the word WORD was written by Glagolica. The text was made in three types of writing consciously as SOZONT first HAVE MADE A WORD like the Lord. Thus I suppose that the inscription is a joke.
Such inscriptions were found not many and their authors were the scribes, i.e. the professionals, who have to rewrite the texts from Glagolica into Cyrillic. But in general the Glagolica writing on the territory of Russia did not exist.
The inscriptions on Runica, Latin and Greek writings
There were many inscriptions on Runica and Latin script together on the territory of Germany after the invention of the book printing. Runica was present on the maps and the book drawings as the background meanwhile the main script on them was the Latin one. This background has have the outlook of someone no significant, for example the waves on a sea or the clouds in the sky. Such there were the Runica inscriptions on the St. Eusebius map, such there were the inscriptions on the Porto lanes of the XVI century. In general to find the simultaneous use of Latinica and Runica is not difficult, but I should like to give here an example from the area of the Veneto tribes. It is a text of the Late Antiquity which was found in the Rome fortress Dura-Europas on the shores of Euphrates river in Mesopotamia in that locality where the Rome defends line was situated. Inside the fortress there was the temple of Mithra; as it is known that the Romans have dedicated Mithraism from Persia, and here, on the territory of Babylonia (now Syria and Iraq) the influence of Mithraism was especially strong as Persia was the neighbor state. One of the dedicators (in the company of two distinguished acquaintances) who have ordered to make the dedication to Mithra in Venetic langusge  was commander of the Roman archers, JARIBOL (or YARIBOL). Already this name one can consider as Slavic consisting from two Slavic roots, Yar (ЯР) and BOL (БОЛЬ); both enter in such broad known Slavic names as Yaroslav and Boleslav. The connection vowel is Slavic too. But up to now this name was us unknown; it is more interesting to be with it acquainted. Thus among the Romans there were the Slavs, it is a fact well known to the historians.
The fortress circled by the Syrian sands was captured by the Romans in 165 year BC, and in 256 BC was re-conquered by the Persians. Thus the inscription was made in the interval between these two dates, most probably in the beginning of the third century AD.
The passage was put on a relief of Mithra, may be scratched or cut, and the dedicator of it was Yaribol. Therefore we can name it the “Yaribol inscription”, although the grade of his participation is under question. The investigator Anthony Ambrozič, a Slovenian from Canada collecting and commenting the Venetic inscriptions suggested it to be Venetic one as the Rome province Venetia was a part of the Rome Empire. The passage  is as follows:
Fig. 9. The Venetic inscription from the Rome fortress Dura-Europas
To judge the ethnic possession of the passage it is necessary to read it and to analyse the gained result; it is quite real that Yaribol was a Venetian. Epigraphic inspection shows that in the passage there are not only the characters of the Greek and Latin alphabets, but the Slavic syllabic signs too. Slavic syllabic writing I have investigate rather full in my monografies [25-26], that is why I do not repeat here the said above. Of course the syllabic writing represents the sounds of a Slavic language few exactly as the character one, for example the sign DI one can read as DE, DY (ДЫ) and D’ (ДЬ), therefore this passage made in mixed Greek-Latin-Slavic script is for us of great value: it give us the possibility to represent the Slavic speaking of the third century AD.
The epigraphists already tried to read this passage; as a sample I give the attempt of A. Ambrozič:... 34. ...DI MI HRANET TO JESEN ?ENO H JO ZDRAJE JA JE, I RASJA RIBOLEUJC / .. AT JE (?) GOSTOJEDOT ON JE TOJI DE I TE ROJ (VAR) J! — “...May you save me the wife this fall so that she is healthy and that the fisherman grows... ‘AT JE’ (?) [Guest-food] he is yours. May heaven also protect (?) you!”  The text is perhaps a prayer but a very strange one. First of all it is rather surprising that the author of the prayer does not ask the God, but allow him to save his wife as if the man was higher then the Lord. Beside it the Salvation Idea is pure Christian one, but in the Slavic text we see the word «хранить», i.e. “to guard” that means the safe-keeping of the body, but not the salvation of the soul. Then it is not clear why the God has to keep in health the wife when “she is healthy”. So “this fall so that she is healthy” does quite not understand. It means that if the wife is unhealthy she is not merit to be safe-kept. Who is the fisherman which grows - the son of YARIBOL? But why is he the fisherman? The children can be named after their hobbies in a private talk, but it is hardly real in a prayer. Quite unclear is the passage about the meal: whether YARIBOL has have courage to propose to the God the meal remained after the guests or even not touched by them, but prepared especially for them? Have we to treat the God on the remainder principle? Such action the truly believer cannot himself allow. I do not understand the expression may heaven also protect you. Here we see the permission from Yaribol addressed to the heaven to protect the God, as if the God has the need to be protected and as if Yaribol is in condition to allow to the heaven to protect the God. It is before us simply not accomplished translation, but semi-product of the epigraphist. A. Ambrozič could find the Venetic text what is in such a case rather difficult through the time expenditure task, and for this we have to be very grateful to him. Further he tried to divide the passage into separate words and to transcribe it what is the primary cultivation of the text — and we thank him for it too. Finally he gave the translation of the gained result which allowed us to determine its style and approximate sense. May be more by the first reading he could not do.
I am now in more advantage position as A. Ambrozič: before me there is the already made supplying, and I have some epigraphic experience and I do read the runica signs (about what A. Ambrozič has no understanding). Beside it I have some information from the Slavic mythology which as we shell see will be very useful. Thus not to diminish the result achieved by the precede epigraphist I understand that I have to go a considerable way to make clear the sense of this memorial. But of course I cannot guarantee that I shall go this way to the end as very often it occurs that the text can be improved and to it one can add something else.
Now I have to avoid the obvious defects, to which belong the unread places. First of all to them appertains the beginning of the first line where we obviously see the disposition THA, when the investigator reads AT and can not translate. Further he reproduce this by him imagined word together with the next syllable as AT YE in the translation. What does it mean remains only to guess. On my opinion if to see on the top line one can notice that the first syllable DE is scribed some lower then the next, as if in the last moment by what was damaged almost ideal vertical line in the beginning of the two lines. Thus this syllable can be regarded as written between the lines, but it means the insertion in the lower lane. Then we can read a word which consists of the insertion DE and the not understood syllable TEA (the Greek character H, eta, means E) that together gives DETEA, in the first approximation the children. But, as we shall see later the insertion is more preferable to do in the top line. So we could aside the first difficulty.
But after the TEA follows the syllable YE which can be connected with the next syllable GO and it constructs the word YEGO that means his. It is a Slavic word too that finishes the undetermined reading of AT YE. Thus the second difficulty was eliminated too. But with it disappears the read by A. Ambrozič word GOSTOJETOT, the guest’s meal. I am not sure that this word really exists. Or it was invented by the epigraphist? I am afraid that it is so. Instead of the first part of the word, GOSTO I read STO and suppose that it means not the numeral a hundred, but the abbreviation of the noun St in Russian, namely S(VIA)TO(Y). In such case the suggestion is to be proved, and first of all by consensus with the next word. After the word STO follows the interesting sign far reminded the cipher 8, but with the breaks and angular. That is why I can not assume it for the sign 8 with the sound sense KH. On my opinion here we have a ligature of two signs, the syllabic ZHI (in the shape of F) and the syllabic VA (in the shape of V). Usually by the signs FV it designates the Slavic goddess ZHIVA. Here after them follow the Latin characters OT what together builds the excellent Slavic word ZHIVOT with the meaning the life. Thus the mysterious GOSTOJETOT disappears transforming into YEGO S(VIA)TO(Y) ZHIVOT — HIS ST. LIFE. The word “saint” is in consensus with the word “life” grammatically and in the meaning. Thus YARIBOL does not propose to the God the guests meal, GOSTOJETOT as the victim, but prays for somebody saint life. By this we could aside a new difficulty.
The next problem is connected with the pre-last and last word, where A. Ambrozič reads (VAR) J. The placing of the word in brackets means that it was added by the epigraphist, and really we find on this place only two vertical sticks. He could them read with the last character as ПY, but he does not do so. Why? Because on the reason not to go to absurd. And he thinks up a new word VAR which has translated as protect you, and “J” as also (into the translation didn’t enter, but was given in the explanation). But really we deal here with the syllabic sign DI/DY, and the whole word we read as DYI (ДЫЙ), the name of the Slavic god, to which was been addressed the whole prayer. By the way: from this God name the prayer begins (except od insertion). Of course, really is written DY, but not DYI — and this I explain so: in the syllabic writing practice the ending I (Й) is often absent. The name DYI has nothing common with the invented by A. Ambrosič word DI with the sense of as or can. Thus I avoid my objection founded on the A. Ambrosič suggestion about YARIBOL, as if he can something allow to do to the God. Really we see the appeal to DYI during the prayer. The second time the word they can in the prayer was used in the last sentence; in the Slavic text it corresponds not to DI, but to DE. On my opinion the whole word with two blanks on the edges is the word DEJTE, which we can understand as the children. Thus YARIBOL gives no permission to the God; it is only inexactly interpretation of the epigraphist.
Fig. 10. My reading the inscription from the Rome fortress
There are some incorrect places too. Instead of HRANET TO I read HRANE PO (ÏÎ), and instead of I RASJA I read I VASÚ as it is written in the text whereas JA I join to the next word. Thus instead of RIBOLEUC I read JARIBOLEC and then appellative DYJ where C and D are coincident in a ligature. I see here 4 cases of use the syllabic sign SÚ and one case of use the syllabic signs TÚ, VO, RU, SI, BE, DI, NO, J. The use of them grows from begin to the end of the inscription and the signs written in the end of the text I take for the syllabic ones and read BEDNOJ (БЕДНОЙ). As a result I have a very different from A. Ambrosi? reading which is shown on the Fig. 10.
The whole text occurs as follows: in Russian characters ДЕТЕА, ДЫЙ, МИ ХРАНЕ, ПО ЕСЕНЬ, ЖЕНО, ХЬЁ ЗДРАЕЯЕ, И ВАСЬ ЯРИБОЛЕУЦ, И ЙЕГО С(ВЯ)ТО(Й) ЖИВОТ, ОНЕ ТОЙИ ДЕЙТЕ, РО(ДО)Й ДЫЙ! БЕДЬНОЙ. In English ones: DETEA, DYI, MI KHRANE, PO YESENJ, ZHENO, HYO ZDRAYAYE, I VASЬ YARIBOLEC, I YEGO S(VIA)TO(I) ZHIVOT, ONE TVOYI DEYTE, RUSIY DYI! BEDNOY. On my opinion the inscription is very transparent for a Russian eye and it can be understand so:ДЕТЕЙ, ДЫЙ, МНЕ ХРАНИ ПО ОСЕНЬ, ЖЕНУ И ЕЕ ЗДРАВИЕ, И ВАСЮ ЯРБОЛЬЦА, И ЕГО СВЯТУЮ ЖИЗНЬ! ОНИ ТВОИ ДЕТИ, РОДНОЙ ДЫЙ! — БЕДНЫЙ. In English: THE CHILDREN, DYI, KEEP ME UP TO AUTUMN, THE WIFE AND HER HELTH, AND VASYA YARIBOLEC, DYJ, WITH HIS HOLY LIFE! THEY ARE YOUR CHILDREN, RUSSIAN DYI! A POOR MAN.
In relation with the modern Russian language and with the Old Slavic one we see here a row of differences. So we see the older form of the word the children (ДЕЙТЕ instead of ДЕТИ) with the ending E (as in the cases ПОЛЯНЕ, КИЕВЛЯНЕ, СЛАВЯНЕ); it form is the nominative case of the plural. The accusative case must be ДЕЙТЕА, but the Й here is already absent and we see the form ДЕТЕА. Further, in the word DYI the vocative case (probably ДЫЮ, DYIU) is not used. The word MI in the sense МЕНЯ is known in the Old Slavic. The word ХРАНЕ has to be written through И, so we see here a mistake of YARIBOL or the dialect peculiarity. In the expression ПО ЕСЕНЬ after the character H is put a small vertical stroke on the top that shows the soft pronunciation of the N as NЬ. The word ЖЕНО is in the accusative case from the word ЖЕНА; in Old Slavic on this end place was character YUS BIG, which was O with the nasal pronunciation. The inscription ХЬЁ could mean ЙЕЙО with very mach aspiration after the first sound Й. The word СДРАЕЯЕ is correct written through C, but has superfluous character E written here by error; it must be СДРАЯЙЕ, which means the health. The name VASЪ YARIBOLEC is given in the accusative case which is coincident with the nominative one (in the modern Russian the accusative case is coincident with the genitive one) as in Old Slavic language. I understand the words VASЪ YARIBOLEC as the name and the father name of the YARIBOL son (in the modern Russian it would be VASSIA or VASSILIJ YARIBOLI?). The expression I YEGO S(VIA)TO(I) ZHIVOT is written in the nominative case that is very archaic. The word ZHIVOT is in modern Russian out of use (now we speak the word ЖИЗНЬ), but in the old expressions this word keeps to exist. The word ONE instead of ONI points upon mixed group of men and women (of the YARIBOL wife, son and other children). The form RUSIJ instead of RUSSKII (RUSSIAN) is more archaic and built directly from the word RUSЬ (РУСЬ). The expression RUSII DYI means that YARIBOL was Russian man, but no Venetian one. Simultaneously it means that in that time such Slavic languages as Russian and Venetian were not much different and the modern investigators can do mistakes with their attribution. Finally the word BEDNOI instead of BEDNYJ speaks about its more archaic form as well. Thus we see a Slavic phrase which is approximately 700 years older then that of the “Old” Slavic. The words in it are longer and nearer to Russian that in other observed by A. Ambrozič Venetian samples that gives me ground to doubt in the Venetian origin of the inscription. Probably its language is old Russian or old South Slavic.
On its content the text is a prayer to the Slavic god DYI written on the face of Mithra. It is obvious that in discussed time Dyj in the Slavic pantheon took the same place as Mithra in his one. But Mithraism was monotheistic. The comparison of DYI with Mithra shows that perhaps DYI as main god was by his prestige much higher then the other gods, even then Perun and Veles. Some investigators suspected that with outside polytheistic Slavic mythology it was in its inside core monotheistic one. Now we see some proof of it.
In the eyes of Slavic epigraphy this inscription is very important as it shows how the Slavic people can live without own alphabet writing using only Greek and Latin characters and rather seldom traditional syllabic signs of Runica as well.
The inscription on the Ljubljana muzeum coin
Next inscription origins from Slovenia. Ivan Tomaši?  has published the photograph of the III century BC coin which was kept in the Slovenian Folk Museum in Ljubljana with the commentary: «The Norik silver coin of III century BC found in the locality Most on the So?i river which witnesses about the connections between the Venetians from Norik and from the So?i basin». There is nothing here that can point to the existing of any inscriptions.
Fig.11. The drawing of a coin from the Slovenian Folk Museum in Ljubljana
The common analysis of the artifact
The outlook of the knight on the coin shakes to the depth of the soul. We see a knight in the armor, a helmet with moving low part and pompous plumage, and the metal boots on the feet; perhaps the armor covers the horse too. Such armor in Europe we meet only 16 centuries later. Much more the Runica inscriptions shake, but as usual these inscriptions are not seen.
The reading of the inscriptions
There are a lot of inscriptions here, ill. 12. First of all on the horse body we see the name of the coin, СЬРЕБЪРЕНЪКЪ, i.e. SILVER COIN. Both parts of the helmet build the signs of the word ВОЙ, i.e. WARRIOR. The body of the knight, his left arm and the horse tail we can read as the word РУСЬ, i.e. Russia. Finally the helmet plumage, the right hand and the horse mane constitute the word СЬЛАВАНЕ, i.e. Slavs. The biggest inscriptions are so.
Fig. 12. My reading the inscriptions on the silver coin
Reading the microinscriptions
Earlier I might be satisfied by the reading the texts of the usual sizes, but after I have understood that in the Middle Ages and in Antiquity there were tiny, less then a millimeter signs, I began to analyze the very small details of the inscriptions. Beside them I do the color exchange, i.e. the light on the dark inscriptions transforms into dark in the light ones. First of all I see a lot of tiny signs under the moving anterior horse back leg. I turn the drawing on 90° to left and read the word МОНЕТА, i.e. COIN, then going on I read in a column the word ТЪРЬСЬТА, i.e. TRIEST. Thus in the modern orthography it was written THE COIN OF TRIEST. So was marked the stamp place.
Fig. 13. My readings the micro-inscriptions near the anterior lower horse leg
Between the horse leg and that of the horseman some inscriptions were placed. Here I read the expression РУНЕ СЬЛАВАНЪ, that means the Slavic inscriptions. And on the plumage we can guess about the existing of the inscription СЬЛАВАНЕ, НОРИКЪ, РУСЬ, i.e. SLAVS, NORICUM, RUSJ. Beside them on the same place is situated the inscription RIM (Rome) and NORIC (Noricum) written with the Latin characters.
Ill. 14. My reading the inscriptions behind the anterior horse leg and on the horseman plumage
There were written 12 words through macro-script and 9 words through micro-script — together 21 word that for a coin is rather many. To unusual peculiarity of runica belongs the use of the sign P as RE and of the sign Ь as RU. The word СРЕБРЕНИК we have to write through the sign НЪ, but not through the sign NI. The word СЛОВЕНЦЫ is written with the soft НЬ, and the word СЛАВЯНЕ has the syllabic sign ВА. The sign РУ looks out as a ball on a stick, a little dismissed to right from the equilibrium point.
The coin contains all the necessary data: the continent is Europe (in Slavic РУСЬ), United Empire is Rome, the land is Noricum, the mint place is Trst (Triest), the ethnic is Slovenians, the super-ethnic is Slavs, the main gods are Makosh, Zhiva, Perun, the main cultural values are images (ЛИКИ) and writing (РУНЫ), the name of the artifact is coin, the kind of the coin is warrior (predecessor of the Russian spearman, after whom the coin was named КОПЕЙКА), the grade of coin value is silver coin (СРЕБРЕННИК). A lot of the words was repeated. The quality of the minting stamps going to the micro-script is striking.
Fig. 15. The Slovenian name of the town Triest
The investigators assume that Noricum began to mint the own coin later then Rome. Jožko Šavli writes about this so: «The Norici minted their own coins from the first half of the first century BC onward. Characteristic were their large silver coins of two types: those from west Noricum’s mint at Štalenska gora (Magdalensberg), and east Noricum’s mint at Celje, Slovenia» . But in our case we deal with the mint shop of Triest two centuries earler. The Slovenian name Trst is obvious from the “amber way” map . When the coin were minted later in other places the first coin minted town Trst was probably forgotten.
Runica on the earlier armor from Slovenia
From earlier time it was kept armour with the inscriptions which will be analyzed. Doing commentaries of this time Ivan Tomažič wrote: «The military invasion was absent. In the Halstatt epoch in the graves we see the warrior’s equipment... In the VI century BC there was so called Scythian invasion into Pannonia plane. But Scythians kept to stay here as the inhabitants. About any another ethnics or invasions on Slovenian land we do not know» . The Archaeological Dictionary writes about Halstatt: «It is the culture and the period of the Iron Age of Europe named after the grave place in the every named locality (near 50 km east from Salzburg, Austria). From 3 000 graves the majority refers to the Iron Age (Halstatt and Halstatt-La Tene period). In Halstatt were found the salt mines in which galleries well kept the cadavers, clothing, and the work instruments of the Late Bronze and Developed Iron Ages. In the archeology of Europe are allotted Halstatt A (XII-X centuries BC), Halstatt B (X-VIII centuries BC) and Halstatt C (VII century BC). The iron appeared in Halstatt C. The dead men were buried in the carts or in the dead men houses under the tumulus. The bronze or iron swords are characteristic, on which handles was placed an original winged tip. In the graves one can meet the luxurious things from the Etruscan and Old Greek towns. The Halstatt end is dated with the V century BC» . And Jožko Šavli adds: «The bearers of Halstatt culture, as already shown, come from Venetic Urnfield ancestry. They were not Illyrians, as German authors assumed up to the 1960’s. The Vindelician group, formed in the western region, was settled predominantly in what is today Swabia and Bavaria. After the V century BC they succumbed to the Celts advancing out of western Swizerland and eastern France. Though merging with them in some degree, the Veneti kept their identity and name into Roman times» .
Thus from the position of the German scolars the bearers of Halstatt culture were Illyrians, whereas the Slovenian authors take them for Veneti. But this problem is easy to be solved, if we shall read the inscriptions on the armor of the Halstatt time.
Fig. 16. The warrior armor from Stichna of the VII century BC
Let us examine the warrior armor from Stichna of the VII century BC, ill. 16 . As usual the inscriptions on the photograph are so little distinguishable that the drawings were preferable. Such drawing made by me I suggest here. Watching at it we see disorderly inscriptions, as it is usually on the Slavic artifacts. Our reading we begin with the biggest and brightest inscriptions. (On the drawings first is the whole composition, then is the same, but organized in line, then transcription and transliteration).
Fig. 17. My reading the big inscriptions on the armor
First of all we can read the vertical dark inscription on the right side of the armor (to left from observer) between the chest and the belt:РУСЬ СЬЛАВАНЪ, i.e. SLAVS RUSSIA. Thus the Halstatt culture really is partly the Slavic one. Nearer to the edge of the armor is placed the vertical inscription too, but made lighter on the dark background ЖЕЛЕЗО, ЖЕЛЕЗЬНО ВОИНСЬТЪВО, i.e. IRON, THE IRON ARMY. Finally on the place of the center of chest is diagonally written bright on the dark РУНА ВЕНЕТЪ, i.e. VENETIC INSCRIPTION. It is already from these inscriptions we can solve the quarrel between the scholars: whether the Venetian were the Slavs or not. The answer is very simple: not only they were, but have entered in the Slavs Russia. And of course they wrote with the Runica as the main kind of the writing.
From the middle size and not so brilliant inscriptions we can analyze those of the left side of the armour under the chest where is drawn the word МОЛЮ, i.e. I pray, and twice РУСЬ СЬЛАВАНЪ, i.e. RUSSIA OF SLAVS. And on the right side of the armor near the slot for the man arm this inscription was repeated in the variant of STLAVAN, that means OF SLAVS. The character L was given in the old Latin writing as 1. There are not few then 4 groups of inscriptions of the same content elseРУСЬ СЬЛАВАНЪ, i.e. RUSSIA OF SLAVS, but I shall not reproduce them, as they repeat the previous ones.
Fig. 18. My reading the middle size inscriptions on the armor
The helmet from the Vač town
A very interesting part of the arm is the helmet of the V century BC found in the Vač town and now kept in Naravoslovni museum on Danube . As usual the inscriptions on the helmet are almost invisible, being weakly different on color and contrast, and for their reading it is necessary to draw the helmet what was made by me. The inscription on the first vertical surface sounds ВОИНЪ, i.e. WARRIOR, it was put 2 or 3 times, and one inscription was a little higher than another. But the signs came to us in the different grade of keeping, so we have to use a bright sign of one inscription and to join to it the other sign of another one, and so on. Although this method allows us to read the proper word it leads us to an illusion that the signs were scattered in the arbitrary order, meanwhile they were placed in three lines one above another.
Fig. 19. The general outlook of the town Vač helmet
On the flank side are drawn the words ВОЖЬ СЬЛАВАНЪ. РОТА СЬЛАВАНЪ НА ГОНЕ, i.e. THE SLAVS COMMANDER. THE SLAVIC HUNTING COMPANY. Probably these two inscriptions were obligatory to sign the profession (WARRIOR), the rank (COMMANDER OF THE COMPANY) and the kind of the troops (HUNTING or ATTACKING COMPANY). Of course it is difficult to compare the old ranks and the modern one, but the company commander probably has the rank of the captain. Thus we see the helmet of the junior officer (from the modern point of view), perhaps of a cavalry-man, belonging to the offensive troops, so called break-up company. May be that ГОН is on the contrary the pursuit of the defensive enemy.
The other inscriptions repeat the previous and not less 10-11 times on the helmet surface are written the wordsРУСЬ СЬЛАВАНЪ, i.e. SLAVS RUSSIA, and 3-4 places I could not analyze. If to take into account the invisible on this drawing surface the common quantity of the similar signs groups we can appreciate proximally in 3 tens. The word РУНА, i.e. INSCRIPTION was written several times too, but I suppose that no more then ten.
Fig. 20. My reading of the inscriptions on the town Vač helmet
From the analysis of the helmet and armor and all the previous samples follow some important conclusions. First, the Slavs existed undoubtedly already in the VII century BC, but did not appear in the V century AD, as affirm the modern historiography. With other words, 1200 years before the great folks settlement have exist not one Slavic state, but the whole Slavic Empire, the Russia of Slavs. Second, the Venetian do be the Slavs, and it is no modern investigators opinion, who came to this fact by the crafty suggestions, but the hard affirmation of the Venetian themselves, drawn on their armor. Third, there was not one Slavic state from VII till V centuries BC, but there were several ones (it is obviously that beside Noricus consisting from Slovenians there was Venetia from Venetians). Forth, as the all-Slavic language was used a tongue very near to the modern Russian, although there exist some other Slavs dialects and languages as Raethian, Etruscan and so on, which for the expressions of their peculiarities tried to create their own alphabets. Fifth, all the inscriptions for the all-Slavic communication were drawn with the all-Slavic syllabic script, the Runica. Sixth, it is not expelled that on the same artifacts the investigators will find simultaneously with Runica also the inscriptions in other writings, for example in Venetian, Raethian, and Etruscan and so on. And if the scholars will have a chance they will find the texts, where beside the Runica there will be some part of the national alphabets lines with the identical repeating of the Runica. And this will give the possibility to determine the meaning of a lot of the characters quite exactly.
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- Там же, с. 208 (Ibidem, p. 208, in Russian)
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- Ambrozič Anthony. Adieu to Brittany, p. 75
- Tomašič Ivan. Razstava: Veneti na Slovenskem. Ptuj, 2001, s. 10
- Šavli Jožko, Bor Matej, Tomašič Ivan. Veneti. First Builders of European Community. Tracing the History and Language of Early Ancestors of Slovenes, Wien, 1996, p. 105
- Tomašič Ivan. Razstava: Veneti na Slovenskem, s. 9
- Там же, с. 18 (Ibidem, p. 18)
- Матюшин Г.Н. Археологический словарь. Москва., 1996, с. 32 (Matyushin G.N. Archaeological vocabulary. Moscow, 1996, p. 32, in Russian)
- Šavli Jožko, Bor Matej, Tomašiž Ivan. Veneti, p. 68
- Tomašiž Ivan. Razstava: Veneti na Slovenskem, s. 14
The first full variant of the article which was written in October 2002 and published as
35. Valery A. Choudinov. Runica and the alphabet writing // Proceedings of the International workshop TRACES OF EUROPEAN PAST. Ljubljana, založništvo Jutro, 2003, pp. 115-131