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Mykola Zharkikh (Kyiv)

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Commercialization of relics

Nicholas Zharkikh

Abstract of the chapter

Detailed argumentation in ukrainian version

Only in 1669 was the first accusation of stealing relics [Mytsyk Y., Kravchenko V. . – In the book: Sofonovych F. Chronicle of ancient chroniclers, K., Scientific Thought, 1992, p. 12].

In the 1665 – 1671 to the northern facade of the old St. Michael cathedral was added (funds of General Judge Michael Vuyahevych) a new chapel specially dedicated st. Barbara. Later, in 1715 it was built on the funds of Kiev governor prince Dmitri Golitsyn [Zakrevski N.V. Description of Kiev. – M.: 1868, v. 2, p. 524, 526]. This new large room had replaced decoration of Job Boretsky's time, its size had to meet as planned grandeur of the sanctuary, which Sofonovych "brought into orbit", and planned a large number of faithful who had split foreheads before these relics. Although capital of corporation "St. Barbara and Co." was purely fictional, it has not prevented its leaders involve real money to build a temple and decorate relics.

Note the brief further investments in a this company:

- approx. in 1699 at the expense of hetman Ivan Mazepa made silver precious coffin for relics. The total amount of silver was 28 kg;

- approx. in 1715 with funds of prince D.Golitsyn was made canopy over coffin;

- in 1775 with funds of Ya. Shubskoho new wooden carved canopy installed;

- in 1797, silver Mazepa coffin was repaired;

- in 1847 with funds of Countess A.O.Orlova-Chesmenska made new coffin and new canopy – both silver, the total weight of 400 kg of silver (Mazepa's coffin was thus used for other relics).

Revenue structure of the monastery in…

Revenue structure of the monastery in 1864

The diagram shows that the revenue from relics accounted for 28 % of total revenues of the monastery and significantly exceeded the salaries of the Treasury (20 %).