HISTORIOGRAPHYWhereas Old Muscovite historiographical literature consisted of the glorification of the tsardom of Russia and the majesty of its rulers, New Muscovite historiography was a literature of lamentation and dolorous contemplation of tragic
events. It was almost entirely dedicated to the consideration and characterization
of the great national disaster, the Smuta (Period of Disorder)—the short but
dismal interregnum lasting from the extinction of the old dynasty, with the death
of tsars Ivan the Terrible ( 1584), F'odor ( 1598), and Boris Godunov ( 1605), to
the election of the first tsar of the Romanov dynasty, Mixail, in 1613. Numerous
ecclesiastic, semi-ecclesiastic, and secular writers attempted to portray this
period of insecurity and chaos during which both native and foreign pretenders
to the throne, Poles and Swedes, invaded Muscovia and shook the structure of
the proud empire. Few historiographers of the time succeeded in giving a true
picture of the actual state of affairs. The literary style of this New Muscovite
historiography was mainly a faithful continuation of the florid style created in
the period of Makarij's activity. At the same time, new tendencies crept in to
give narrative prose a character heretofore unseen: (1) a trend toward spontaneous,
sporadic, and primitive versification; and (2) epic tendencies reminiscent partly
of Russian folk songs, partly of epic methods in the tradition of the famous Igor Tale and its epigonal imitation, The Don Tale. Particularly illustrative of
this development are:
|The anonymous Lament on the Occupation and Ultimate Devastation of the
|Prince Katyr'ov-Rostovskij's Story of Former Years|
|The anonymous Tale of the Death of Prince Skopin-Šujskij|
| F'ódor Poróšin's Tale of the Siege of Azov.|
LAMENT ON THE OCCUPATION
AND ULTIMATE DEVASTATION OF THE
This short narrative about the pretender Dimitrij, written presumably in 1612, was conceived by an unknown ecclesiatic personage as a homiletic sermon
addressed to a congregation. It reflects the sentiments of ecclesiastical circles
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Book title: Anthology of Old Russian Literature.
Contributors: Adolf Stender-Petersen - Editor.
Publisher: Columbia University Press.
Place of publication: New York.
Publication year: 1954.
Page number: 317.
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