Proglas 3

P R O G L A S 65 more precious ”than all the gold, silver, gems and fleeting riches of this earth“ are letters with help of which Slovienes will be too among the ”great nations that celebrate God in their own language.“ He was right and in ”Proglas“ we can find the ”translation“ of these words in three beautiful verses (10 -12). ”Proglas“ really is the most beautiful celebration of letters and Word (which is understood as second divine personality of Christ) and cannot be compared to anything else. The letter ”S“ itself which is in Glagolica called slovo (or word in English) symbolises in it’s graphic form the first, previously quoted words from John’s Gospel. In this ”calligraphic“ alphabet S is painted with circle in the upper part-symbol of God, of eternity with no end and no beginning, to which is added a triangle as a symbol of the Holy Trinity. This image conveys in itself that ”In the beginning was the Word ... “ – Christ, second divine personality, and that this Word was with God the Father who together with The Holy Spirit constitutes The Holy Trinity. This text, transcribed into an image can be found, incidentally, on the face of the Slovak 10 crown coin. There we can see three figures – in the centre God the Father above Christ ( Logos-Slovo-Word), second divine personality and below the Holy Spirit. A fascinating description of this imagery can be found in the intriguing study of Titus Kolník in his study on Iconography (Slovak Archaeology, 1994, No. 1, pp.125 -153). The metre of the poem itself was chosen in order to correspond with this idea. The iambic trimeter consists of three double feet and each of them has two syllables. It seems as if the metre of the verse with three quartets of syllables symbolised the Holy Trinity and four arms of the cross, sign of salvation and Christ’s crucifixion. In the original version the triplet of anaphors ( a poetical device that repeats the same word at the beginning of the line) which is signalled by the conjunction ”i“ (and), by the verb sly‰ite (to hear) and by the focal noun ”word“ is enforced by another poetic device, the so called paronomasia (connecting two words with common root). It seems as if Constantine derived the origins of Sloviens from Slovo – Word and from Christ, and he perceived Sloviens as a new ”chosen“ nation. The structure of Proglas can truly be compared with the most perfect poems of the world. To conclude our talk about the man who loved wisdom eternally we may quote what the monk Chrabr (probably St Naum, the disciple of SS Constantine and Methodius) said about his teacher:” When you ask people ... who invented your alphabet, your script, or translated your books, everyone will know the answer. They will tell you it was St Constantine the Philosopher called Cyril ... Brethren, that is the kind of mind that the Lord send to Slovienes. Viliam Turãány Bratislava 20th July 1995

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