Zakládací listina kapituly litoměřické.

Table of Contents

Zakládací listina kapituly litoměřické from 1057 contains a Czech inscription from the beginning of the thirteenth century. This is probably the oldest preserved written Czech sentence. The text is given here with a parallel transcription.


Pauel dal geſt ploſcoucih zemu     Pavel dal jest Ploskovicich zeḿu
Wlah dal geſt dolaſ zemu bogu     Vlach dal jest Dolas zeḿu bogu
i ſuiatemu ſcepanu ſe duema     i sv́atému Ščepánu se dvěma
duſnicoma bogucea a ſedlatu     dušníkoma, Bogučeja a Sedlatu.


This extract shows some signs of primitive orthography – there are capital letters along with the usual small letters. These were used to signify the beginning of a sentence (and, subsequently, of a line) and to indicate personal names. However, in both cases this wasn't done consistently – compare Pauel, but bogucea... The consonant v was often written as u, e.g. Pauel, but also as a w, e.g. Wlah. This is evidently related to the ambiguous pronunciation of v in Czech (which was probably bilabial). The consonant j is written with the letter g, e.g. dal geſt, but g also indicates another sound, the original general Slavonic g, which in Czech had turned by the end of the thirteenth century into h (compare bogubogucea etc). A terminal h (ploſcoucihWlah) apparently signified ch. Palatalised letters were only indicated exceptionally – compare zemu (zeḿu), but i ſuiatemu (i sv́atému). Vowel length was not indicated. In the word duema e indicates the short diphthong ie (which we transcribe here as ě in contrast to the long diphthong ie. Simplifying in a similar way, ju in the word bogucea is written as a simple u. [Porák, p. 13.]


Jaroslav Porák, Chrestomatie k vývoji českého jazyka (13. - 18. století) (Praha 1979), p. 31.

Výbor z české literatury od počátků po dobu Husovu, red. Bohuslav Havránek, Josef Hrabák (Praha 1957) p. 775.

Bohuslav Havránek, 'Vývoj spisovného jazyka českého' in Československá vlastivěda, řada II (Praha 1936), p. 21 (se čtením boguceu místo bogucea).

Bohuslav Havránek, Vývoj českého spisovného jazyka (Praha: SPN, 1980), p. 27-28 (se čtením bogucea).