Old Kievan annalistic literature is represented in this anthology partly by texts selected from the Tales of Bygone Years, also called Nestor's Chronicle, partly by The Story of the Blinding of Prince Vasil'ko The texts selected from Nestor's Chronicle include: the Cosmographic Introduction to the Chronicle, in excerpts; The Legend of St. Andrew the Apostle; and a series of Varangian sagas of the first kings, or princes, of Russia.
THE TALES OF BYGONE YEARS
The title of this text, which originated early in the twelfth century, is taken from the recension of 1116, represented by the Codex Laurentianus (and other codices), whereas the recension of 1118, represented by the Codex Hypatianus (and other codices), has a title differing in some details and containing a reference to the author (or original compiler) as "a monk from the Cave Monastery of St. Theodosius" in Kiev.
THE COSMOGRAPHIC INTRODUCTION TO THE CHRONICLE
The introduction is based upon the medieval concept of the tripartition of the earth among the sons of Noah: Shem, who received the East; Ham, who received the South; and Japheth, who was given the North and West. Details concerning the numerous lands distributed are here omitted, as is the narrative of the building of the Tower of Babel and of the confusion of languages. The text is representative rather of Byzantine views on the neighbors of the Slavs and lists the individual Slavic tribes and their location.
The text is reprinted from the reconstructed text in A. A. Šaxmatov,(Petrograd, 1916), I, 1-7.