In Rachmaninov's Vespers, I stumbled upon this line:

Ныне отпущаеши раба Твоего...

Which should mean "Now you dismiss your servant". (It's a quote from Bible, that's how I know.) What baffles me here is the -и ending that I marked in bold. I would be expecting "отпущаешь" instead. Where does that -и come from? Is it just an archaic ending no longer in use? (Since it's a biblical quote, it could very well be.)

P. S.: I don't really know Russian. I understand it just by being able to read Cyrillic and relate to my native language of Czech, which happens to be Slavic as well. Hence I'm sorry if I missed something basic in here.

  • in modern Russian it would be much more different "отпуСКаешЬ"
    – Arioch
    Sep 7, 2017 at 14:41
  • no worries, you got it right )
    – shabunc
    Sep 7, 2017 at 14:46
  • 1
    Thank you :). I'm now quite positive that it's quite an archaic text. There's another line: "яко видеста очи мои", which looks pretty much like a dual, both according what I know about Czech and the nice conjugation table.
    – Ramillies
    Sep 7, 2017 at 16:56

1 Answer 1


Yes it's the archaic form. In Old Russian it had been the form for the second person (one that is used with ты) - roughly speaking where we now have шь in modern Russian it was ши. in Old Russian (or Old East Slavic, whatever you name it).

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As a side-note, when I was a kid and first time heard Камо грядеши it sounded very exotic and unfamiliar to me, my first thought was even this is, don't know, Japanese or something like that.

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