a book hand used in ancient Slavonic manuscripts; it was written in the Cyrillic alphabet with letters of a precise, geometric form. There were different varieties of ustav in different epochs and areas. The oldest extant Cyrillic texts of the East and South Slavs were written in ustav; these included the East Slavic Ostromir Gospel, Arkhangel’sk Gospel, and Mstislav Charter and the South Slavic Savvina Kniga, Codex Suprasliensis, and Enino Apostle. Ustav was originally used for religious service books and edifying books as well as for gramoty (letters and official documents).

In Old Russian manuscripts of the 11th and 12th centuries the ustav book hand, written on parchment, was severe and elegant in form. The lines were straight and the letters symmetrical and evenly spaced. In the 13th century some of the letters acquired new shapes: the tops of the letters B(V), K, and Ж (Zh) became shorter and the crossbars of the letters N, H, Ustav, ѥ, and Ѥ(Iu) were raised. The number of abbreviations with tituli and long letter (ascending or descending) increased. In the 14th century a new type of ustav appeared, based on the innovations of the preceding century; its letters were slightly higher and narrower.

Ustav was the predominant book hand in Old Russia until the late 14th and early 15th centuries; beginning in the 15th century it was replaced by poluustav. In South Slavic Cyrillic texts the ustav letters often sloped to the right, variant forms of certain letters were used, and older forms of the letters were retained longer.

The book hand of the oldest Slavonic manuscripts written in Glagolitic—the Kiev Fragments, Codex Zographensis, and Codex Marianus—is also considered to be ustav. In Russian writings on Greek paleography the uncial book hand with its vertical, separated letters is called ustav. The script of the Russian beresto writings (letters and documents written on birchbark) is also considered to be a type of ustav. The Soviet philologist E. F. Karskii used the term “new ustav” to refer to the painstaking, formal handwriting used in richly illuminated and bound books of the 15th to 17th centuries; these were normally made not with parchment but paper.


Lavrov, P. A. Paleograficheskoe obozrenie kirillovskogo pis’ma u iuzhnykh slavian. Petrograd, 1914–16.
Karskii, E. F. Slavianskaia kirillovskaia paleografiia. Leningrad, 1928.
Cherepnin, L. V. Russkaia paleografiia. Moscow, 1956. (Contains bibliography.)
Tikhomirov, M. N., and A. V. Murav’ev. Russikaia paleografiia. Moscow, 1966.
Shchepkin, V. N. Russkaia paleografiia, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1967.


References in periodicals archive ?
Bhai Sahib Ji added, "The paramount purpose of celebrating Sikh Guru Gobind Singh Ji's 350th Prakash Ustav is to pay loving tribute to the Saint-Soldier Guru, who not only created the Khalsa fraternity, but also blessed Sikhs with the highest exalted spiritual authority - Guru Granth Sahib Ji.
Special Publication, Cesky geologicky ustav, Praha, 134 pp.
stoleti [The Short Story, Novel, and Periodicals in the 19th and 20th Centuries], Praha, Ustav pro ceskou literaturu AV CR, pp.
1) Tomas Bata University in Zlin, Ustav financi a ucetnictvi, Mostni 5139, 760 01 Zlin, Czech Republic
pp 157-163, Ustav geoniky AV CR, ISBN 978-80-86407-56-2, Ostrava
Deyluv prvni cesky ustav pro nevidome [Deyl's first Czech Institute for the Blind], Central Committee of the Union of Disabled Persons in the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic, Prague, 1985.
While Otakar Sourek--Dvorak's well respected biographer--felt that the piece picked up halfway, bringing it to a satisfyingly dramatic conclusion, he found the first half monotonous, fragmented, and grey, lacking any inventive spark (review in Venkov, summarized in Frantisek Pala, Opera Narodniho divadla v obdobi Otakara Ostrcila (Opera of the National Theatre in the time of Otakar Ostrcil [Prague: Divadelni ustav, 1964], 2:104).
In 1952 Statni ustav pro lidovou piseo [The State Institute for Folksong] in Brno [now called the Institute of Ethnology of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Brno Branch] asked the Prague Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts to select a student who would be interested in collecting folksongs in the Tisin region during summer holiday.
Irene Eyrat-Confino y Eva Sormova Prague: Divadelni Ustav, 2000.