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Old Permic

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Title: Old Permic  
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Subject: Ohthere of Hålogaland, Bjarmaland, Permic languages
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Old Permic

Old Permic
Type alphabet
Languages Komi
Time period 1372–1600s
Parent systems
  • Greek
    • Cyrillic
      • Old Permic
ISO 15924 Template:ISO 15924 code, Template:ISO 15924 number
Direction Template:ISO 15924 direction
Unicode alias Template:ISO 15924 alias
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters.

The Old Permic script, sometimes called Abur or Anbur, is a "highly idiosyncratic adaptation"[1] of the Cyrillic script once used to write medieval Komi (Permic).


The alphabet was introduced by a Russian missionary, Stepan Khrap, also known as Saint Stephen of Perm (Степан Храп, св. Стефан Пермский) in 1372. The name Abur is derived from the names of the first two characters: An and Bur. The alphabet derived from Cyrillic and Greek, and Komi tribal signs, the latter being similar in the appearance to runes or siglas poveiras, because they were created by incisions, rather than by usual writing.

The alphabet was in use until the 17th century, when it was superseded by the Cyrillic script. Abur was also used as cryptographic writing for the Russian language.

April 26, which is the saint's day of Stephen of Perm, is celebrated as Old Permic Alphabet Day.


The Abur inscriptions are among the oldest relics of the Uralic languages. Only one of these languages has earlier documents: Hungarian, which had been written using the Old Hungarian script first, then with the Latin script after 1000. For comparison, Finnish as a written language only appeared after the Reformation in 1543. However, an isolated birch bark letter, found in 1957 in Novgorod and written in a Finnic language has been dated to the beginning of the 13th century.

See also


External links

  • (Russian) Abur at Minority languages of Russia on the Net
  • Unicode proposal for encoding Old Permic script (PDF)
  • Abur on

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