Unique early Slovene manuscripts put on show in Ljubljana

Freising Manuscripts, photo: www.nuk.uni-lj.si

The Freising Manuscripts are the earliest text in any Slavic language written in Roman as opposed to Cyrillic script. They consist of three texts in old Slovene, bound into a Latin codex from Freising in Bavaria which was once the centre of a diocese. The precise date of the Freising Manuscripts cannot be exactly determined; the original text was probably written between 972 and 1093. For the first time these manuscripts are on display in Slovenia - a historic moment not only for Lenart Setinc, director of the National and University Library in Ljubljana:

Freising Manuscripts,  photo: www.nuk.uni-lj.si
"The exhibition, called 'The Birth Certificate of Slovenian Culture', is a historic event, because for the first time ever, the four oldest existing original documents in the Slovenian language are presented to the public in one place: The Freising Manuscripts, the Klagenfurt manuscript, the Sticna manuscript and the Cividale manuscript. By presenting the roots of the Slovenian nation we want to stress that the Slovene written word has been contributing to European culture for over 1000 years."

Only one of the four manuscripts is usually kept in Slovenia; the other three are in Austria, Bavaria and Italy, where Slovenes used to live. Due to various historical events and changes of borders, Slovenes in those areas now represent only a national minority.

The Freising Manuscripts are preserved at the Bavarian State Library in Munich and this is why Edmund Stoiber the Premier of the state of Bavaria opened the exhibition of the earliest written records of the Slovenian languague together with Slovenian Prime Minister Anton Rop:

Freising Manuscripts,  photo: www.nuk.uni-lj.si
"The Freising manuscripts represent a very close tie between Slovenia and Bavaria."

The exhibition is of great importance to Slovenia at a time when Slovenia is trying to strenghten its identity as Prime Minister Anton Rop stressed:

"There is a lot of symbolism in the fact that we have organized the exhibition - The Birth Certificate of Slovenian Culture - at a time when we have become part of the European Union, symbolism because we've organized it with European friends and because the exhibition helps us understand the meaning of the contemporary time."

The exhibition can be visited until the 20th of June in the National and University Library in Ljubljana.