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On a Possible Source of Some of the Images in the Annalistic Pokhvala to Prince Roman Mstislavich

Vadym I. Stavyskyi


The subject of this article is the text known as the “Eulogy (Pokhvala) to Prince Roman Mstislavich Galitsky,” which is from the opening section of the Galician-Volhynian Chronicle. The author of the article amplifies remarks made by Alexander Orlov about loanwords taken from translated works that appear in the text of the Pokhvala. The text of the exegesis of prophets by St. Hippolytus of Rome, which was widely known in Slavonic translation from the 12th century as the Slovo o Khriste i ob Antikhriste, produces additional material for comparison. St. Hippolytus’s text offers a possible interpretation of the concept “uma mudrostʹiu,” which the author of the Pokhvala offers as an explanation of the successful foreign policy of Prince Roman; in addition, this explanation helps to clarify the comparison of the prince with the eagle-lion, the lynx, and the crocodile. Certain characteristics of the text of the Pokhvala as revealed in the account of the exile of Khan Atrak by Prince Vladimir Monomakh and the subsequent mission carried out by Khan Syrchan, both unsupported in other sources, were, we believe, influenced by the text of the Slovo as well. It appears that literary images used throughout the Pokhvala were determined by apocalyptic symbols, following the approach that was typical of their interpretation by St. Hippolytus. This conclusion permits us to broaden our notions about the enumeration of works in translation used by the creator of the Galician-Volhynian Chronicle.


Old Russian literature; Galician-Volhynian Chronicle; text criticism; St. Hippolytus of Rome; eulogy


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