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Old Permic alphabet

Old Permic
or Abur
Languages Komi
Time period
Parent systems
ISO 15924 Perm, 227
Direction Left-to-right
Unicode alias
Old Permic

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The alphabet was in use until the 17th century, when it was superseded by the Cyrillic script.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.


Wikipedia logo in Old Permic and Cyrillic script

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.


The Old Permic alphabet (U+10350–1037F) was added to the Unicode Standard in June 2014 with the release of version 7.0.

Template:Unicode chart Old Permic


  1. ^ Bernard Comrie, 1996. "Adaptations of the Cyrillic Alphabet". In Daniels & Bright, The World's Writing Systems, p. 700.

External links

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