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The Mechanism of Creation of Russian 'Original' Hymnography.

Russia was christianized in 988 and the main services and texts were translated from Greek. But already in the eleventh century the first Russian saints--Sts Boris and Gleb--were canonized. This required the creation of a new service in Greek by the Metropolitan of Russia, (1) who was originally Greek and did not know enough Old Russian or Old Slavonic. The service was immediately translated into Old Slavonic and we do not have any manuscript containing a Greek version. But writing the service originally in Greek presupposes the use of an original model taken from the Greek services. Starting from the fifteenth century hymnographers could use as a model both Greek hymns and Old Slavonic translations.

Russian services (2) glorifying the Russian saints or feasts began to emerge in the twelfth century. At the end of the eleventh century two Russian princes (the saintly brothers Boris and Gleb) were canonized. So too was another important Russian saint, Saint Feodosij of Pechera, one of the founders of Kievo-Pecheras monastery, at the beginning of the twelfth century. From the thirteenth to fifteenth centuries several Russian saints--bishops, monks, and princes--were canonized. (3) These first Russian canonizations required the approval of the Byzantine church but since 1448, when it became de-facto autocephalous, (4) and especially after receiving official autocephalous status in 1589, the Russian church started to canonize many new saints. A large number were canonized after ecumenical meetings in 1547 and in 1549. By that time, hymnographers were not only using Greek hymns as models (mainly not the original hymns but their translations into Old Slavonic), but also hymns devoted to Slavic and especially to Russian saints.

Going back to the first Russian services glorifying the Russian saints or feasts, I focus my attention on the 'models'. The 'models' of Slavonic hymnography have been widely discussed by researchers. (5) Adaptations of Slavonic and particularly Russian feasts by evangelical calendars has also been subject to detailed research. (6) The study of 'models' for Russian hymnography began with Feodosij Spasskij. (7) More recently the 'originality' of Russian services has been investigated to detect and draw parallels to the services traditionally considered 'Russian'. (8) At the same time, with a few exceptions, (9) attention has been paid to the identification of borrowings rather than the mechanism for the creation of a new hymnographic text. How consciously were models for constructing services chosen? How were they changed? Did a connection (10) or similarity between a saint-model and a new saint exist? How do hymnographic associations help to position a new saint in the hierarchy of saints and feasts? These questions help us to see the mechanism of creation. This article focuses on the textual part of hymns, and does not analyse musical structure or similarity between model-hymn and new hymn. Text and music were very often created and corrected separately, demonstrated by the existence of different versions of the same hymn in notated and in non-notated manuscripts of the same time.

First of all, how consciously were models for constructing services chosen? The Russian service was based on the existing canonical rules, and appropriate canonical clich[??]s were used for corresponding saints. The existing hymns to different saints, and even a complete service to an appropriate saint or feast, were used as models. For a new creation, either general services, dedicated to hierarchs, (11) or a specific service to a saint or saints could be used. Services to saints of the same rank were usually used; for example, in some versions of a service to St Equal-to-Apostles Vladimir, verses taken from the service to Sts Equal-to-Apostles Constantine and Helen, (12) and hymns to St Protomartyr Stephen and to Sts Martyrs Cyrus and John (13) are used in the service of Sts Martyrs Boris and Gleb as models. The model of a new hymn could also be a singing of hymns from the services to a saint of another rank but having the same divine gift; for example, as discovered by Keller, the kontakion (14) to Sts Martyrs Boris and Gleb, or the altered stichera (15) to St Procopios. (16) Rothe has shown that, in this case, the main topic is a theme of healing. The same theme is used in the last phrase taken from the kontakion to Sts Cyrus and John: '[phrase omitted]' ('You are divine doctors'). (17) Some specific borrowed hymns helped to create association with other saints, so that a new saint could more easily enter the hierarchy.

Services in honour of the Russian saints could be taken as a model for later services to the Slavic and especially Russian saints. For example, a study by Smirnova has shown that the stichera to Nikita of Pereiaslav (18) were constructed on the model of the sticheron to Sergius of Radonezh, (19) and one of the versions of the service for the Finding of the Relics of St Macarius of Kalyazin (20) can be traced back to the service of St Varlaam of Khutyn. (21) Sometimes whole 'chain models' were formed. Thus, Smirnova has found that an exapostilarion (22) of the service for the Finding of the Relics of St Makarios of Kalyazin was based on an exapostilarion to Varlaam of Khutyn, (23) which, in turn, was created by Pachomius Logothetes (24) from two exapostilarions--to St Sava (25) and to Simeon (26) the Serbian. (27)

In cases where a service to the saint already existed, this service was taken as a model for the new one. The service could serve as a temporary substitute for a not-yet-created, newer version. Later, the service was supplemented by new hymns, and borrowed elements were displaced by original or reprocessed ones, but the process of formation of the service sometimes lasted for several centuries. Let us examine some examples.


To compare hymn models and new hymns I will use tables. In the first table, there is a Greek model text, a Slavonic translation of the Greek model text, and a new Slavonic hymn. The second table presents an English translation of a Slavonic translation of a model text, (28) and a new Russian hymn. In the case of a Slavonic hymn which does not have a clear borrowing model, the first table includes a Slavonic model hymn and a Slavonic new hymn, and the second one contains an English translation of the first table.

The first example is a Russian service for the Transfer of the Relics of St Nicholas to the southern Italian city of Bari, which took place on 9 May 1087. In 1089, Pope Urban II established a feast of the Transfer of the Relics, which spread throughout Italy and then the rest of Western Europe. (29) The feast was familiar to Greeks in Sicily and Southern Italy, (30) but it was never accepted by the Byzantine Orthodox Church. The Russian Orthodox Church introduced this feast without the permission of the Byzantine Empire during the years 1087-1090.

The feast was established before the service existed, so an already available service of the Repose of St Nicholas, one of the most venerated saints in Russia, translated from the Greek, was taken. (31) This is confirmed by a fourteenth-century menaion (32) for May, where the service for the Repose of St Nicholas was written under the date 9 May (the day of the Transfer of the relics of St. Nicholas), (33) and also by numerous remarks in typikons (34) which refer to the service of Repose (6 December) dated 9 May: 'If you want Nicholas, see 6 December'.

This service is an example of the most common way of borrowing, which was to 'update' a hymn. Most often, borrowed 'updated' hymns were perceived later as 'original', belonging to the new service: for example, the 'updated' stichera for the Transfer of the relics of St. Nicholas borrowed from the service for the Repose of St. Nicholas on 6 December (see tables 1-2).

Musicologist Ekaterina Smyka notes that the new 'updated' text also acquires a new melody. (38) The 'updating' of the text is mainly due to insertions, indicating the essence of the feast: 'so we, coming together celebrate with love the memory of the Transfer of your relics'. Thus, with one or two new lines, the creator turned the known sticheron, borrowed from the model service, into a new one.

A second example is a sticheron for the Transfer of the Relics of the Russian saints Boris and Gleb. (39) These two brothers, killed by their older brother Svyatopolk, were the first Russian saints, canonized by the Russian church with the consent of the Byzantine Empire. One Russian pilgrim even described a church in Constantinople devoted to these Russian saints. (40) Hymns to Sts Boris and Gleb have been known since the end of the eleventh century. (41) The service for the Transfer of the Relics of Sts Boris and Gleb was created later, but before the thirteenth century. Menaions containing this service have been known since the fifteenth century. This sticheron exemplifies the 'updating' in the reduction and processing of small verses, such as in the case of the 'glory' sticheron (see tables 3-4).

'Updating' was not the only form of selective borrowing. Many hymns were often based on a recognizable pattern, emphasizing allusion, and spiritual connection. One example is the above mentioned service to Sts Boris and Gleb (tables 3-4). The first officially canonized saints had a very important function: they automatically put Rus into the context of Christian history. But Rus pretended not only to be a new Christian country but to become a 'holy land'. So the service for the first Russian saints had to create allusions which put Rus in the context of 'holy lands', and even the beginning of Christianity. Analysis of hymns to Boris and Gleb demonstrate that the kontakion of the third mode to Sts Boris and Gleb is an updated 'glory' sticheron to St Procopius (see tables 5-6).

Hans Rothe showed that, in this case, the compiler needed the main motif of healing which was also used in the final line taken from the kontakion to Sts Cyrus and John, 'you are divine healers'. (49) The motif of healing is one of the main themes of the early hymnography to Sts Boris and Gleb. This is confirmed by the iconographic tradition in which the saintly brothers are among selected saints on the borders of the Novgorod icons of St Nicholas, Archbishop of Myra, from the Holy Spirit monastery, in the mid-eighteenth century (50) and in the church devoted to St Nicholas on the island of Lipno, 1294 (51), where they are placed directly under the Fathers of the Church, above the other martyrs and saintly healers Cosmas and Damian, Florus and Laurus. (52) The association with St Procopios and Sts Cyrus and John not only made Boris and Gleb saintly healers, but also made Rus one of the 'holy lands', since it had produced such revered healers. (53)

Later, the kontakion to Sts Boris and Gleb was used as a model for the creation of a kontakion to a local saint--Orthodox Prince Yaropolk Izyaslavich (1043/47-22 November 1086), (54) who was also killed during a political fight with his brothers, thus forming a 'chain model', when the initial connection had been lost. The persistence of the genre (kontakion) helps in this case to associate a new hymn with a 'secondary' one--the kontakion to Sts Boris and Gleb.

One of the main themes of the holy life of the martyrs Boris and Gleb was their murder by their older brother Svyatopolk. In the hymnography, Svyatopolk was called the new Cain: '[phrase omitted]' ('The fratricidal brother, terrible Svyatopolk, became angry as Cain; the malefactor came and turned envy to murder, being attracted by the power of glory, and he did not escape righteous vengeance'). (55) This comparison of course associates Sts Boris and Gleb with Abel, and puts them among many innocent murdered saints. First of all, Abel, who sacrificed a lamb, was a prototype of the Lord Jesus Christ as a shepherd of people and as an innocent victim. Such comparison was often used: for example, in the first troparion (56) of the sixth Ode of the canon to the Passion of Christ of the sixth mode: 'You went away, Oh Jesus, carrying your cross, but as Abel from Cain, you suffered from the Jews, come now, and find me, a lost man'.

Furthermore, such a comparison is present in the services for other saints who died as martyrs. In the troparion of the first mode to St Methodius, bishop of Patara (57) (commemorated 20 June) we find: '[phrase omitted]' (58) ('Your blood, O wise one, cries hidden from the earth to God, as the blood of Abel, O wise one); and in the akathist (59) to St Paulos the Confessor, archbishop of Constantinople (60) (the seventh oikos): '[phrase omitted]' (61) ('Rejoice, since your blood as the blood of righteous Abel cries to the Lord).

Slavic saints are also compared with Abel, including the Czech prince Waclaw, killed by his brother in 935 or 936, and the first Bulgarian martyr, Prince Boyan-Enravota, also killed by his brother in about 830. We can see this comparison in the troparion of the first mode to St Waclaw the Czech: '[phrase omitted]' (62) ('as the second Abel you resisted death without ire); and in the troparion of the fourth mode to Prince Boyan-Enravota: '[phrase omitted]' (63) s did Abel you received death from your brother's judgement).

Thus, the comparison with Abel inserts new saints into the context of already known revered martyrs who allowed their blood relatives to kill them. Particularly interesting here is the comparison of honouring Sts Boris and Gleb with the veneration of the Bulgarian prince Boyan. In this case, not only were the holy brothers and the holy prince killed by their brother, but in both instances they were first martyrs of their land. The son of St Boyan's brother, Presiyana--St Prince Boris--later christianized the Bulgarian lands, and Sts Boris and Gleb were sons of St Equal-to-Apostles Vladimir, who brought Christianity to Russia. In addition, the name of the older brother--Boris--also brought Russian martyrs into the context of the first Bulgarian martyr, even though he was baptized as a Roman. The main difference between the martyrdom of the Bulgarian and Russian princes is that the Bulgarian Boyan was killed by a pagan-brother for his faith, and the Russian brothers were killed for political reasons, but the non-resistance and submissiveness of Boris and Gleb brought them to the rank of martyrdom. The similarity of situations allowed a version of the veneration of St Martyr Bojan to influence the veneration of Sts Martyrs Boris and Gleb.

Sometimes an allusion may be referred to in only one recognizable line. For example, the beginning of an old kontakion for the holy brothers (see tables 7-8)--'[phrase omitted] [...]' (64) ('Although you were murdered and put in a coffin, yet you entered the highest kingdom)--is similar to the kontakion for Easter, which became in some senses a model for the new kontakion. (65)

We can see the same principle of recognition in the creation of a sticheron for the Transfer of the Relics of Sts Boris and Gleb, which is similar to the beginning of the sticheron from the triodion (69) for the feast of the entry into Jerusalem (see tables 9-10).

This sticheron not only creates a parallel between the holy brothers and Christ but it shows also another important association: Vishgorod - Kiev -Jerusalem. The idea of Kiev as a second Jerusalem was presented not only in the literature (73) but also in the philosophy, architecture, and politics of the city, (74) and the veneration of new saints also played an important role in the creation of this idea.

The most popular way in which the 'original' hymnography was used to create a new hymn according to the 'model', was where a hymn model was taken from the service devoted to a saint of the same rank. Let us compare the beginning of the oikos (75) to St Stephen Protomartyr and the sticheron of the first mode to Sts Boris and Gleb (see tables 11-12). The formulaic character of hymnography in general makes it difficult to compare these hymns, but we can see the reference to the model text in a new creation:

This association was also extremely important for Russian self-identification. St Stephen was the first martyr and Sts Boris and Gleb were the first Russian martyrs. The association with St Stephen put Russia not only in the context of 'holy lands' but also in the context of the beginning of Christianity. This parallel is also shown in the third sticheron at the Aposticha, where Sts Boris and Gleb are compared with St Stephen through the same action: '[phrase omitted], [phrase omitted]' (79) ('But you were praying like the first martyr Stephen, saying 'Do not accuse them of the sin, O Lover of Mankind, our God, Jesus, the Saviour of our souls'), (80) and in the oikos it is intensified through the similarity of hymns devoted to these saints.

The next example is of two similar Greek troparia of the second mode: the troparion to Sts Martyrs Akindin, Pigasios, and Anempodist (commemoration 2 November) (81) and the troparion to Sts 20,000 Martyrs of Nicomedia (commemoration 28 December) (82)--and two Russian troparia of the same mode: the troparion to St Theodore Varangian and his son John (commemoration 12 July) (83) and the troparion to St John of Kazan (commemoration 24 January), (84) created according to the Greek model (see tables 13-14 and 15-16). All four troparia are devoted to martyrs, so their creators used the model according to the rank of new saints. These four troparia show variants to the model using hagiographic differences. It is difficult to say exactly which troparion was taken as a basis, since the troparia to Sts Akindin, Pigasios and Anempodist and their kind, and the troparion to Sts 20,000 Martyrs of Nicomedia are equal, while in the case of the troparion to St Theodore Varangian and his son John, and the troparion to St John of Kazan, we can see the creation of new hymns based on a model.

A comparison between two almost identical Greek troparia is instructive (see tables 13-14).

These can be placed in comparison with two Russian troparia, adding to the model some personal facts (see tables 15-16).

These two examples reveal an elaboration of the model, which makes the glorified saints recognizable, retaining the association with the Byzantine martyr. This moment of making saints recognizable shows some putative 'originality', not seen in text-models, constructed from known 'martyr'-cliches and formulas.


Over time, creation according to a model was increasingly replaced by direct borrowing: new saints were canonized and hymns for their services were often taken from the holy services for saints of the same rank, or from the services of the nearest dates. In the sixteenth century a new hymnographer appeared. This was Michael, a monk of the Christmas monastery in Vladimir who exclusively wrote princely services and vitas, including the service for St Alexander Nevsky, the service for St Constantine of Murom and his sons, perhaps the vita for St Alexander Nevsky, (92) the vita for St Constantine, (93) the addition to the service for Sts Peter and Fevronia, (94) and additions to two services devoted to Sts Boris and Gleb. (95) Michael was one of the writers of the circle of Metropolitan Macarius, and used borrowing almost exclusively. For example, in writing the service to St Constantine and his sons in hymns dedicated to St Constantine, he used hymns from the service for St Equal-to-Apostles Vladimir, and the hymns dedicated to the brother saints were taken from the service to Sts Boris and Gleb. (96) The third source for this service were hymns dedicated to St Martyr Christina, whose memory was celebrated together with Sts Boris and Gleb. Feodosij Spasskij argues that Michael was unable to create an original service. But 'originality' in the medieval mind was not a necessary component of creativity. It was much more important to be able to combine sources. Although for the service to St Constantine and his sons Michael combined two service-models awkwardly, the service for St Alexander Nevsky was more successful and sophisticated, not only in choosing many more sources (97) but also in its combination and 'updating' of the borrowed hymns.

Thus, when speaking of 'original' Russian hymnography, it must be remembered that hymnographic work is often created according to a model, 'updating' a well-known hymn, or creating a new one based on it. It is difficult to talk about borrowings and creativity when all hymnographic texts were based on formulas and cliches, but adaptation of models occurred through similarity in topics, successions of cliches, and sometimes also direct borrowings. Creating after a model also had a specific important function in creating associations that help to locate a new saint among other saints. This was the reason for choosing as a model a saint not only of the same rank but also of a similar 'function', miracle and so on. Sometimes these associations were even used to locate the country within the context of the Christian history, as for Sts Boris and Gleb, the first Russian martyrs, and healers and military patrons. Hymnographic models drew upon the first martyr Stephen and even with Christ, associating the first Russian martyrs with the first Christian martyrs. Newly christianized Russia was forming its own host of saints and it was very important to find its place in the history of Christianity. Later, in connection with the development of the concept of 'Holy Rus', models began to be selected from among the Russian saints, showing their interrelationship.

The mechanism of creating a new Russian service was based on very carefully chosen models and their adaptation to a new saint. But creating after a model displayed elements of creativity not only in choosing appropriate or the most apposite models but also in adding some facts of their 'vita' to make a new saint recognizable while keeping all the necessary allusions and associations. Over time, even new hymns based on such borrowing were perceived as original, but quotations and allusions can still help us to understand not only the origins of a creation, but also the precise form of veneration of new saints. 'New' hymns also became models for newly- canonized saints, forming a 'chain of borrowings' when a new saint was associated more with a Russian saint, whose hymn became a model for a new one.

The 'creativity' of earlier Russian hymns was increasingly replaced by direct borrowings by the sixteenth century, when, in 1547 and in 1549, several new saints were canonized. The large number of new saints required the rapid creation of new services. Thus new services were often based on many different borrowings--not only from Greek but also Slavonic ones--and the principle of 'the same rank' or 'the same function' of a model-saint was not consistently enforced. A great help in the creation of new services was a General Menaion, which was widely used at this time and provided common services to the saints according to their rank. The sixteenth-century hymnographer Michael can be seen as an example of this type of creator. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the service received new elements of creativity and attention in choosing models, forming new allusions even though a General Menaion remained, not only as a replacement for not-yet-created services for new saints, but also as a permanent service for saints who did not have a high rank.

Institute of Slavic Studies, University of Vienna

Abbreviations for museums and libraries:

NSUMR - Novgorod State United Museum-reserve, Novgorod (Russia)

RM - Russian Museum, St. Petersburg (Russia)

RNL - Russian National Library, St. Petersburg (Russia)

RSL - Russian State Library, Moscow (Russia)

RSAOA - Russian State Archive of Old Acts, Moscow (Russia)

(1) The Metropolitan's identity is still to be determined. The candidates are Ioann I (before 1018-c. 1030), Ilarion I (1051-54), or Ioann II (1076/1077-post-August 1089). The most plausible is Metropolitan Ioann I.

(2) By 'Russian', I mean services created in Russia, regardless of their 'originality'.

(3) See, for example, Vasilij Vasiliev,'[phrase omitted]' (Moscow: Barsov, 1893).

(4) (Of an Eastern Christian Church) appointing its own head, not subject to the authority of an external patriarch or archbishop.

(5) See, for example, numerous works of Dagmar Christians, Maria Yovcheva, Vadim Krys'ko, Roman Kryvko, L'ubor Matejko, Alexander Naumov, Radoslava Stankova, Tatjana Subotin-Golubovich, Anatolij Turilov, Evgenij Verescagin, and many others. There is also a great deal of research devoted to Slavonic translation and adaptation of Greek texts.

(6) See Olga Loseva [phrase omitted] XI--XIV BeKOB (Moscow: Pamjatniki istoriceskoj misli, 2001).

(7) Feodosij Spasskij, PyccKoe [phrase omitted] (Paris, 1951; repr. Moscow: Troitskaya Lavra, 2008).

(8) Felix Keller, 'Das Kontakion aus der erste Sluzba fur Boris und Gleb', in Schweizerische Beitrage zum VII Internationale Slavistenkongre[beta] in Warschau, August 1973, Slavica Helvetica, 7, ed. by Peter Brang et al., (Lucerne: Bucher, 1973), pp. 65-74; Hans Rothe, 'Kontakien auf russische Heilige im altrussischen Kondakar', in Etudes Byzantines: Essays in the area of Slavic Languages, Linguistics and Byzantology. A Festschrift in Honor of Antonin Dostal on the Occasion of his Seventy-ffth Birthday, 8, 11, 12 (1981, 1984, 1985), 333-41; Anna Smirnova. [phrase omitted] (unpublished doctoral thesis, Institut russkoj literaturi RAN (Pushkinskij Dom), St Petersburg, 2005); Vadim Krys'ko, 'O [phrase omitted], in Miscellanea slavica. [??], ed. by Fedor Uspenskij (Moscow: Indrik, 2008), pp. 92-108; Sergey Temchin, '[phrase omitted]', in [phrase omitted] XXIV, ed. by Elena Melnikova (Moscow: Institut vseobschej istorii RAN, 2012), pp. 246-53; Sergey Temcin, '[??], Slavistica Vilnensis, 59 (2014), 17-29; and others.

(9) For example, Vadim Krys'ko.

(10) I mean not only direct connection of time or land but, for example, when some saints were combined in the same miracles (Sts Boris and Gleb and St Nicholas, Sts Boris and Gleb and St George, etc.).

(11) Especially after the fifteenth century when a General Menaion was widely used.

(12) Elena Antonova, [??] (unpublished doctoral thesis, Literaturnij institut, Moscow, 1997), p. 62.

(13) Rothe, p. 334.

(14) A form of hymn performed in the Orthodox Church and the Eastern Catholic Churches that follow the Byzantine Rite, usually sung after the sixth Ode of the canon, glorifying a saint or feast.

(15) A hymn genre, which has to be sung during the morning (Orthros) and evening service (Hesperinos) of the Orthodox Church and the Eastern Catholic Churches that follow the Byzantine Rite.

(16) Keller, pp. 65-74.

(17) Rothe, p. 334.

(18) Venerable Nikita Stylites, a Russian saint of the twelfth century, canonized in 1549.

(19) Venerable Sergius of Radonezh (14 May 1314-25 September 1392), a spiritual leader and monastic reformer of medieval Russia, founder of the Trinity Lavra of St Sergius near Moscow, canonized in 1452. He is one of the most highly venerated saints of the Russian Orthodox Church.

(20) Venerable Makarios of Kalyazin (before 1420-17 March 1483), founder of the Trinity monastery of Kalyazin, canonized in 1547.

(21) Smirnova, pp.79-80.

(22) A hymn genre, which has to be sung in the Eastern Orthodox and Greek-Catholic Churches at the conclusion of the Canon.

(23) Venerable Varlaam of Khutyn, Russian saint of the twelfth century, founder of the Khutyn Monastery of the Saviour's Transfiguration and of St Varlaam, canonized in 1461.

(24) Pachomius Logothetes or Pachomius the Serb, a fifteenth-century Serbian hagiographer. He was schooled on Mount Athos and in the 1450s and 1460s he lived and worked at the Trinity Lavra of St Sergius.

(25) Saint Sava (1174-14 January 1236), a Serbian prince and Orthodox monk, founder of the Hilandar monastery at Athos. He was officially canonized in 1775 (see Constantine Scurat, [??] (Moscow: Obschestvo ljubitelej pravoslavnoj literaturi imeni svjatitelja Lva, papi Rimskogo, 1994), I, 104) but unofficially he was venerated since 1237.

(26) Venerable Simeon (d. 13 January 1200), a Serbian prince, the father of Saint Sava, and died as a monk of the Hilandar monastery.

(27) Smirnova, p. 80.

(28) I translate only one version of the model-text (normally the Slavonic one, which was used for a new hymn) since in most cases a Greek hymn was correctly translated into Slavonic. In case of some mistakes in the Slavonic translation, I will clarify it with a reference.

(29) Karl Meisen, Nikolauskult und Nikolausbrauch im Abendlande (Mainz: Schwann, 1931), pp. 190-92.

(30) Nicola Bux, La liturgia di san Nicola (Bari: Studi e testi, 1986), pp. 8-9; Oliver Strunk, 'A little known Sticheron for the Translation of St. Nicolas., in Oliver Strunk, Essays on Music in the Byzantine World (New York: Norton, 1977), pp. 277-85.

(31) Even if Sergej Temcin dates the oldest canon devoted to the Transfer of the Relics of St. Nicholas to the twelfth century (see, for example, Sergej Temcin, '[phrase omitted] ed. by Christian Hannick, Natalia Sirotinska, and Jury Jasinovsky (Lviv: Vidavnitstvo Ukrainian Catholic University 2014), pp. 16-26), the common practice was to use an existing service, which is proved by a numerous quantity of manuscripts.

(32) A liturgical book of the Eastern Orthodox Church, containing the services for fixed dates of the calendar year.

(33) RNL, Sofiyskaya collection, No. 382, fols 1-10.

(34) A liturgical book, containing instructions about the order of the Byzantine Rite service, calendar of the monastic year and some rules of monastic life.

(35) Quoted from Greek Liturgical Texts of the Orthodox Church website, <>.

(36) Quoted from Dagmar Christians, Hans Rothe, and Evgenij Verescagin, Gottesdienstmenaum fur den Monat Dezember, vol. 1: 1 bis 8 Dezember (Opladen: Patristica Slavica, 1996), pp. 446-49.

(37) Quoted from a feast Menaion from 'the beginning of the seventeenth century' (RNL, Solovetskoe collection, No. 1083/1192, fols 264v-265).

(38) Ekaterina Smyka, Die Offzien des hl. Nikolaus in der russischen Kirchenmusik des 12. bis 17. Jahrhunderts, (unpublished doctoral thesis, Technische Universitat, Berlin, 2005), p. 222.

(39) Their Christian (baptismal) names were Roman and David, so in hymns all four names were used. Later their Christian names were replaced by their secular names, since after canonization their secular names became automatically Christian.

(40) '[phrase omitted]', ed. by H. M. Lopareva, in [??] (St Petersburg: Kirschbaum, 1899), xvii, pt 3 (51), p 15; R. Janin, Les eglises et les monasteres des grands centres byzantins: Bithynie, Hellespont, Latros, Galesios, Trebizonde, Athenes, Thessalonique (Paris: Institut francais d'etudes byzantines, 1975), p. 6.

(41) The earliest version of the service is in a menaion for July (RSAOA, fund. 381, No. 121, fols 28v-31).

(42) Quoted from a sixteenth-century menaion for July (RSL, fund. 304, No. 615, fol. [249.sup.v]).

(43) Quoted from a menaion for May from the end of 'the fifteenth century' (RSL, fund. 304, No. 558, fol. [9.sup.v]).

(44) In earlier manuscripts: '[phrase omitted]'.

(45) In earlier manuscripts: 'Glorious Roman and wonderful David'.

(46) Quoted from so called 'Venetian Menaion': [phrase omitted] [...] [phrase omitted], ed. by Bartholomaios Koutloumousianos (Venice: Phoenix, 1863), p. 32.

(47) Quoted from a 'fifteenth-century' menaion for July (RSL, fund. 304, No. 577, fol. 58v).

(48) Quoted from a 'sixteenth-century' menaion for July (RSL, fund. 304, No. 615, fol. 257).

(49) The melody was also borrowed from the kontakion for Sts Cyrus and John. See Rothe, pp. 335-36.

(50) Now in the Russian Museum (RM).

(51) Now in Novgorod's Museum (NSUMR).

(52) See Engelina Smirnova, '[phrase omitted]', in [phrase omitted] (Moscow: Church-Scientific Center 'Orthodox Encyclopedia', 2003), VI, 58.

(53) In one miracle of Sts Boris and Gleb, St George comes to someone who asked him for healing and says that this person, being Russian, instead of asking St George should ask Sts Boris and Gleb, who have received a special divine gift of healing from God. This miracle also shows a vision of Rus as 'holy land' which has its national saints accepted throughout the Orthodox world.

(54) Jaropolk was a prince of Volynj and Turov. His eulogy in the Primary Chronicle was the first indication of his saintly status, but till now he remains only a local saint of Pochaev.

(55) The first canon of the eighth mode to Sts Boris and Gleb, the second troparion of the fifth Ode.

(56) A hymnographic genre in Eastern Orthodox Christianity; it is a short hymn of one verse, or organized in more complex forms as a series of verses.

(57) The Hieromartyr (c. 260-312), was beheaded by pagans in the year 312.

(58) Quoted from a 'seventeenth-century' menologium (RSL, fund. 304, No. 367, fols 404 (v)-405).

(59) A hymn/prayer of devotion, thanksgiving and petition, dedicated to a saint, holy event, or a person of the Trinity. It has thirteen parts, each with a kontakion (hymn in verse) and an oikos, which starts with 'rejoice'. The hymn is prayed standing, according with the meaning of the word 'akathist'.

(60) Elected in 336 (or 340), died after three exiles and two restorations c. 351, four or five years after the Council of Sardica.

(61) Quoted from the modern version, <>.

(62) Quoted from the modern version in the so-called 'Green Menaion': [phrase omitted] (Moscow: Izdatelskij sovet russkoj pravoslavnoj cerkvi, 2002), I, 139-40.

(63) Quoted from the modern version in the so-called 'Green Menaion': [??] (Moscow: Izdatelskij sovet russkoj pravoslavnoj cerkvi, 2002), II, 270.

(64) This kontakion is to be found in two menaia of the fourteenth century (RSAO, fund. 381; RNL, Sofiyskaya collection, No. 403).

(65) Rothe, p. 337.

(66) Quoted from the modern Pentacostarion (Penthakostarion), <htttp://> or <>.

(67) Quoted from the Horologion of 1423 (RSL, fund. 304, No. 16, fols 392v-393).

(68) Quoted from a fifteenth-century menaion for July (RNL, Sofiyskaya collection, No. 403, fol. 485r-v).

(69) A liturgical book of the Eastern Orthodox Church, containing the propers for the fasting period preceding Easter and for the weeks leading up to the fast.

(70) Quoted from the website: <>.

(71) Quoted from a 'sixteenth-century' triodion (RSL, fund. 304, No. 399, fols 19v-20).

(72) Quoted from a 'fifteenth-century' menaion for July (RSL, fund. 304, No. 568, fol. 9).

(73) See, for example, the twelfth-century 'The Sermon on Law and Grace' by the Kievan Metropolitan Hilarion.

(74) See, for example, Volodimir Rychka, [phrase omitted] Pyci (Kiev: Institute of History of Ukraine, Ukrainian Academy of Sciences, 2005); Alexandr Drabinko, [phrase omitted] <>.

(75) A hymnographical genre, which is spoken with the prooimion in the Orthros between the sixth and seventh odes, after the kontakion and before the synaxarion.

7(6) Quoted from the 'Venetian Menaion', p. 219.

(77) Quoted from a menaion for December of 1513 (RSL, fund. 304, No. 505, fol. 369).

(78) Quoted from a 'fifteenth-century' menaion for July (RSL, fund. 304, No. 557, fols 183r-v).

(79) Quoted from a 'sixteenth-century' menaion for July (RSL, fund. 304, No. 569, fol. 407v).

(80) Later, in the fifteenth century the text of the sticheron was changed and the holy brothers were compared not with St Stephen but directly with Christ.

(81) The court of the Persian king Sapor II (310-381), secret Christians.

(82) Martyred in Nicomedia by the Emperors Diocletian and Maximian in the early fourth century.

(83) St Theodore was born in the tenth century, in Byzantium, where he took holy baptism. After moving to Kiev he became one of the best prince combatants. He had a son John, who also professed Christianity. Both were martyred by pagans.

(84) St. John of Kazan (d. 1529) was a captive of the Tatar prince Aley-Shupur and died as a martyr, refusing conversion to Islam. He was canonized in 1592.

(85) Quoted from the so called 'Roman Menaion': [phrase omitted], 6 vols (Rome, 1888-1901), II (1889), 17.

(86) Quoted from a 'fifteenth-century' menaion for November (RSL, fund. 304, No. 493, fol. 14v).

(87) Quoted from a 'fifteenth-century' menaion for December (RSL, fund. 304, No. 504, fol. 351).

(88) Quoted from a 'fifteenth-century' menaion for November (RSL, fund. 304, No. 493, fol. [14.sup.v]).

(89) Quoted from a 'fifteenth-century' menaion for December (RSL, fund. 304, No. 504, fol. 351).

(90) Quoted from the modern menaion for July: [phrase omitted], 1, (Moscow: Izdatelskij sovet russkoj pravoslavnoj cerkvi, 2002), pp. 102-03.

(91) Quoted from the modern menaion for January: [phrase omitted] (Moscow: Izdatelskij sovet russkoj pravoslavnoj cerkvi, 2002), II, 315.

(92) Feodosij Spasskij, p. 145.

(93) Misail, archimandrite, 'CB. [??], in [phrase omitted] (Vladimir, 1906, 8), pp. 22-24.

(94) Rufina Dmitrieva, '[phrase omitted]', in [phrase omitted] (Leningrad: Nauka, 1989), pp. 119-20.

(95) See Victoria Legkikh, 'An Unknown Creation of the Sixteenth- century Hymnographer Michael the Monk: A New Version of the Service to Sts Boris and Gleb', [??], 3 (2015), 161-82 (Initial. A Review of Medieval Studies, 3 (2015), 161-82).

(96) Elena Antonova, pp. 126-28; Feodosij Spasskij, pp. 149-52.

(97) Mainly (but not limited to) the menaion for April.
Table 2: Stichera for the Repose and Transfer of the Relics of St.
Nicholas (English translation)

Sticheron for the Repose of          Sticheron for the Transfer

St. Nicholas, mode 2                 of the Relics of St. Nicholas,
                                     mode 2
Great and warm defender for          Great and warm defender of those
those who are in sorrows,            who are in sorrow,
holy Nicholas, prelate of Christ on  holy Nicholas, prelate of Christ on
earth and those who are sailing far  earth and those who are sailing far
away and nearby,                     away and nearby,
so we, coming together sing and      so we, coming together to celebrate
pray to receive deliverance from     with love the memory of the
our sorrows.                         transfer of your relics and sing to
                                     you with faith that we will
                                     receive deliverance from our

Table 4: The 'glory' stichera to Sts Boris and Gleb and for the
Transfer of their Relics (English translation)

The 'glory' sticheron to             The 'glory' sticheron for
Sts Boris and Gleb, mode 6           the Transfer of the Relics of
                                     Sts Boris and Gleb, mode 6

Come and let us praise the           Come and let us praise the
creators of miracle and martyrs,     creators of miracle and martyrs,
you suffered righteously and         you suffered righteously and
defeated your enemy                  received the crown with great
and now embellished by light you     and await with the spirits
await Christ with joy.               theTrinity,
So we will praise your memory by     pray to keep peace and to save our
songs with faith and love, singing:  souls,
'Rejoice, defenders of the universe
and fighters against the enemy,
Rejoice, O healers of sick ones and
banishers of demons,
Rejoice, O beloved pillars,
wonderful brothers,
Glorious Boris and wonderful
Gleb, (45) beloved of Christ,
praying the holy Trinity for us to   waiting with the souls of the
grant peace to the world and to      blessed, for the Trinity to,
save our souls'.                     please, pray to grant peace to the
                                     world and to save our souls.

Table 6: Sticheron to St Procopius and kontakion to Sts Boris and Gleb
(English translation)

Sticheron to St Procopius,             Kontakion to Sts Boris and
mode 7                                 Gleb, mode 3

Your glorifed memory has               Your glorified memory has
enlightened us now,                    enlightened us now,
long-suffering Procopius,              martyrs Boris and Gleb,
calling us, feastlovers to praise our  calling us to praise our God,
God, Jesus Christ.                     Jesus Christ.
So coming to the reliquary of your     So coming to the reliquary of
relics we receive healing and we       your relics we receive healing,
praise the Saviour forever.            you are divine healers."

Table 8: Easter kontakion and kontakion to Sts Boris and Gleb (English

Easter kontakion                      Kontakion to Sts Boris and Gleb

Although you descended into the       Although you were murdered and
grave, O Immortal One,                put in a coffin,
You destroyed Hades' power,           yet you entered the highest
You arose as a victor, O Christ God,  kingdom, that one was put to the
You exclaimed to myrrh-bearing        spear, another one was stabbed
women 'Rejoice!'                      with a knife as a gentle lamb
You gave peace to Your apostles,      so your blood has become a healing
                                      for the world,
granted resurrection to the fallen.   for those who call you with faith
                                      for help, O saints.

Table 10: Sticheron for the Entry into Jerusalem and sticheron for the
Transfer of the Relics of Sts Boris and Gleb (English translation)

Sticheron for the Entry into           Sticheron for the Transfer of the
Jerusalem, mode 8                      Relics of Sts Boris and Gleb

Rejoice and be joyful, the city Zion,  Rejoice and be joyful, Vishgorod,
shine and rejoice, the church of God,  shine and rejoice, the holy
now your King enters and soothes,      church, to which the saint, the
                                       source of healing
sitting on the foal and praised by     and defender from enemies was
children,                              transferred.
Hosanna in the highest Blessed is he
that cometh in the name of the Lord.

Table 12: Oikos to St Stephen and sticheron to Sts Boris and Gleb
(English translation)

Oikos to St Stephen                      Sticheron to Sts Boris and Gleb

As a bright star you shone at the birth  As two stars you enlighten the
of Christ,                               world with your wonderful
O first martyr Stephen,                  O martyr of Christ, Roman and
shining and enlightening the ends of     David, fighting off the sinful
the earth,                               darkness.
you overshadowed all the wrath of        So we sing joyfully, praising
the Jews,                                your memory.
you unmasked them with the wisdom
of your word,
talking about Holy Writ proving by
this Jesus Christ who was born of
the Virgin,
the Son of God and himself God,
and shamed their unholy wrath, O
first martyr Stephen.

Table 14: Troparia to Sts 20,000 Martyrs of Nicomedia and to Sts
Martyrs Akindin, Pigasios, and Anempodist (English translation)

Troparion to Sts 20,000                 Troparion to Sts Martyrs
Martyrs of Nicomedia                    Akindin, Pigasios, and

O martyr of the Lord,                   Martyrs Akindin, Pigasios, and
                                        Anempodist: O martyr of the
the earth, which drank your blood       Lord, the earth, which drank
and the holy churches which             your blood and the holy
received your bodies are blessed.       churches which received your
                                        bodies are blessed.
You exposed the enemy before the        You exposed the enemy before the
court                                   court
and you preached Christ with boldness.  and you preached Christ with
Beg Him as God, we beg you, to save     Beg Him as God, we beg you, to
our souls.                              save our souls.

Table 16: Troparion to Sts 20,000 Martyrs of Nicomedia, troparion to
Sts Martyrs Akindin, Pigasios, and Anempodist, troparion to St Theodore
Varangian and his son John, and troparion to St John of Kazan (English

Troparion            Troparion to           Troparion to
to Sts 20,000        Sts Martyrs            St Theodore
Martyrs of           Akindin,               Varangian and
Nicomedia            Pigasios, and          his son John

O martyr of the      O martyr of the        O glorious martyr
Lord,                Lord,                  of Lord, Theodore
                                            with the boy John,
the earth, which     the earth, which       the Russian
drank your blood     drank your blood       earth, which
and the holy         and the holy           drank your blood
churches which       churches which         is blessed, and
received your        received your          our fatherland
bodies are blessed.  bodies are blessed.    rejoices,
You exposed the      You exposed the
enemy before the     enemy before
court                the court
and you              and you preached       in which you
preached Christ      Christ with boldness.  were the first to
with boldness.                              shame idols and
                                            you preach Christ
                                            with boldness and
                                            suffer for Him.
Beg Him as God,      Beg Him as God, we     Beg Him as Blessed
we beg you, to       beg you, to save       to approve the
save our souls.      our souls.             immovable
                                            Orthodox church
                                            in our
                                            country and to
                                            keep all Russian
                                            people in the
                                            right faith and in

Troparion            Troparion
to Sts 20,000        to St John of
Martyrs of           Kazan

O martyr of the      O martyr St. John
the earth, which     the earth, which
drank your blood     drank your blood is
and the holy         blessed,
churches which
received your
bodies are blessed.
You exposed the      preaching Christ
enemy before the     with boldness you
court                were martyred
and you              by the infidel
preached Christ      Hagarites,
with boldness.       exposing their
                     impertinence by
                     your suffering.
Beg Him as God,      You came as a
we beg you, to       follower of the
save our souls.      Trinity; beg Them
                     to give us great

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Author:Legkikh, Victoria
Article Type:Essay
Geographic Code:4EXRU
Date:Jan 1, 2017
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