Anthology of Old Russian Literature

By Adolf Stender-Petersen | Go to book overview

HAGIOGRAPHY
During the sixteenth century, the last medieval century, biography gradually degenerated and acquired the features of dramatic fiction, of the novel, and of autobiography. Elements of a purely secular nature, effective composition and artistic utilization of thematic possibilities, became more vigorous and more deliberate. The novelistic approach, noticeable earlier in Old Muscovite hagiographical writing, now came to the forefront. Hagiography began to grow out of religious motivation and into literary art, and the author became concerned above all with the impression his writing would make upon the reader. This period of degenerating hagiographical literature is here represented by:
The Life of the Saintly and Pious Juliana Lazarevskaja by her son, Calli stratus Družina-Osorjin
The anonymous Life of Boyarina Morozova, Princess Urusova, and Maria Danilova
The autobiographical Life of the Protopope Avvakum.

CALLISTRATUS DRUŽINA-OSORJIN
THE LIFE OF THE SAINTLY AND PIOUS
JULIANA LAZAREVSKAJA

The nobleman Callistratus Družina-Osorjin, a boyar of Murom, was so moved by the death of his mother, Juliana Lazarevskaja ( 1604), that he devoted himself to writing a biographical account of her pious life, which had been distinguished by unceasing toil, consideration for the welfare of her family and subjects, and the repudiation of all luxury. This it was possible to do only in conformance with the established pattern of traditional hagiography; remarkable, however, is the fact that a layman should attempt to express himself in so ecclesiastical a genre as hagiography. As a result, his Life, although not lacking the usual elements of hagiography, represents a clear secularization of the genre itself. The biography is composed against the genealogical background of a noble family and presents an affectionate, warm, colorful picture of life among the provincial gentry during the time of Tsar Boris Godunov. The main tendency is no longer that of characterizing sainthood and devotion to ascetism by traditional means, but of creating an individual portrait of a gentle, benevolent, and pious noblewoman.

The text is taken from Vol. I of

as edited by G. Kušelev-Bezborodko.

-380-

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Anthology of Old Russian Literature
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Introductton v
  • Contents xix
  • Abbreviations xxii
  • Old Kievan Literature 1
  • Annalistic Literature 3
  • Hagiography 34
  • Rhetoric and Lyricism 109
  • Heroic and Epic Literature 153
  • Old Muscovite Literature 187
  • Hagiography 189
  • Historiography 239
  • New Muscovite Literature 315
  • Historiography 317
  • Hagiography 380
  • Fiction 425
  • Glossary 471
  • Index of Authors and Titles 505
  • Index of Names 511
  • Genealogical Tables 529
  • Errata 541
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