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Das Petschaft von Kayna

Eduard Werner

In 1888 a seal was discovered in Kayna near Zeitz (now Saxony-Anhalt) that Pfuhl believed to be Old Sorbian. Soon it fell into oblivion. In the paper, I argue that the inscription is, in fact, Polabian. The argument relies on one conjecture only and, therefore, has some plausibility to it. Archaeological considerations lead me to date the seal to the times of Otto III in the early Middle Ages. If this is true then the Kayna seal is the by far oldest monument of the Polabian language known. It would be evidence that the Ottonian mission too made use of written Slavic.

Linguistische Beiträge zur Slavistik. XIII. JungslavistInnen-Treffen Leipzig 2004. Hg. Uwe Junghanns. München: Sagner 2007 (= Specimina Philologiae Slavicae 149), 63–72.

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