Old Permian

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Old Permian


a literary language created in the 14th century by the missionary Stephen of Perm, based on one of the old dialects of the Komi language.

A special alphabet was compiled that was patterned after the Greek and Slavic-Russian alphabets. Translations of several books of liturgy were written in Old Permian. The language fell into disuse by the 17th and 18th centuries. Scanty records of the language were preserved in the form of inscriptions on icons, manuscript books, alphabet lists, and so on. Stephen and his successors created a significant amount of ecclesiastical and other literature in Old Komi, and this literature was widely disseminated throughout the entire vast territory of the Komi-Zyrian and Komi-Permiak regions, which occupied all of northeastern Europe. The Old Permian literary language of the 14th to 17th centuries also enjoyed wide popularity among the Muscovite scribes who used it for cryptographic purposes.


Lytkin, V. I.Drevnepermskii iazyk. Moscow, 1952.
Lytkin, V. I.Istoricheskaia grammatika komi iazyka, part 1. Syktyvkar, 1957. Pages 38-50.
Voprosy finnougorskogo iazykoznaniia. Moscow, 1962. Pages 178-211.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.