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Mykola Zharkikh (Kyiv)

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Nicholas Zharkikh

1. The development of chronicles in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania can be represented in the following chronological table (yellow background highlight rewriting preserved texts):

No Date Event
1 2 half 1389 "Memorial of Vytautas" had been written, apparently in Marienburg, presented by the Master of the Teutonic Order. Its author conventionally call "the first Lithuanian scribe"
2 2 half 1392 "Tale of Vytautas" had been written, apparently in Vilnius, the author – "the first Lithuanian scribe"
3 1393 – 1397 "Acts of Vytautas" had been written, apparently in Vilnius, the author – "the first Lithuanian scribe"
4 1410 Metropolitan Photios arrived in Moscow, and "the scribe Metropolitan Photios" began recording his deeds
5 1425 – 1427 "The scribe of Metropolitan Photius" in Moscow was condensed chronicle – "Epitome Metropolitan Photios"
6 1428 The first edition of "Praise of Vytautas" had been written, the author – "the second Lithuanian scribe"
7 the end of the 1430 – 1431 "Story about the congress rulers", the second edition of "Praise of Vytautas", "Tale of Podillja land" had been written, apparently in Vilnius, the author – "the second Lithuanian scribe." He also made insert about Skirgaila death in "Acts of Vytautas"
8 1436 "Tale of Švitrigaila" had been written, the author – "the second Lithuanian scribe"
9 1438 – 1446 "Smolensk chronicle" had been written, apparently in Smolensk, the author – "Belarusian scribe"
10 about 1446 "Belarusian scribe" united "Epitome Metropolitan Photius", "Story about the congress rulers", "Praise of Vytautas" (2 ed.), "Tale of Švitrigaila" and his "Smolensk chronicle" in protograph "Belarusian chronicle" (Bil0L)
11 after 1446, probably around 1450 "The second Lithuanian scribe" united all the articles written by him and "the first Lithuanian scribe", added to them fragments from Bil0L (events of 1395 – 1418 and abbreviated "Smolensk chronicle") in the full edition of "Vytautas chronicle" (similar Vit4L)
12 1470-ies A Latin translation of the initial part of the "Tale of Vytautas" (Vit2L) was made, used by J. Dlugosz in his chronicle
13 the end of the 15th century Copy Vit2L inscribed in the Crown Metrica, a part of which has preserved to our time
14 roughly, the end of the 15th century Created Vit6L copy, in which the "Story about the congress rulers" and "Praise of Vytautas" (2 ed.) are combined in the third edition of "Praise of Vytautas"
15 the end of the 15th century Rewritten Vilna copy (Vit1L), which came to us
16 15 cent. Rewritten Nikiforov’s copy (Bil1L), which came to us
17 between 1519 and 1539 "Third Lithuanian scribe" wrote "Fabulous emergence of Lithuania" ("Erdivil" edition) and edited Vit6L. This was protograph "Lithuanian chronicle" (Lit0L)
18 1520 Rewritten Suprasl copy (Bil2L + Vit3L), which came to us
19 1520-30-ies Rewritten Slutsk list (Vit4L + Bil3L), which came to us
20 1526 – 30 The abbreviated copy of "Vytautas chronicle" (Vit7L) had been written in Moscow, which came to us
21 1530-40-ies Rewritten Academic copy (Bil4L + Vit5L), which came to us
22 1540-ies Additional articles to the Novgorod Dubrovsky chronicle was formed, among them – the copy of "Tale of Vytautas", which came to us
23 1540-ies On the basis of "Erdivil" edition had been established "Nemonos" edition "Fabulous emergence of Lithuania"
24 1540-ies "Short chronicle Lithuania" had been written
25 1545 The first edition of "Annals of King Sigismund" had been written
26 1550 Olszewski copy (Lit4L) was translated into Polish and rewritten, which came to us
27 1560-ies Lit1L (Bychowiec chronicle) had been written
28 16 cent. (roughly, end) The copy of the Archaeological Society (Lit2L) was rewritten, which came to us
29 16 cent. (roughly, end) Krasinski copy (Lit3L + Vit6L) was rewritten, which came to us
30 16 cent. (roughly, end) Raczynski copy (Lit5L) was rewritten, which came to us
31 after 1597, possibly in the early 17th century The second edition of "Annals of King Sigismund" was completed
32 1690 Evreinov’s copy (Lit6L) was rewritten, which came to us
33 the end of the 17th century Rumiantsev’s copy (Lit7L) was rewritten, which came to us
34 17. Copy Lit1L (Bychowiec chronicle) was transliterated into the Latin alphabet and rewritten, which published by T. Narbutt

Interaction of the two traditions…

Interaction of the two traditions chronicles
of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania

2. "Vytautas" chronicle passed three stages of formation: the end of the 14th century, 1430-ies years and the middle of the 15th century. After the mid-15th century it is no longer replenished with new materials, and only experienced a few editorial changes.

3. "Belarusian" chronicle was created in Smolensk during the 1430-40-ies on the basis of "Epitome of Metropolitan Photius", that had been written in Moscow and brought to 1427. This epitome is often, but mistakenly called "all-Russian" chronicle, whereas its material is purely Moscow.

In the next time, "Belarusian" chronicle only was rewritten, but not replenished with new material. During the 16th century we have a number of cases of "invasion" Great-Russian chronicles in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania (in particular, we have already slightly touched Bil5L and Bil6L), but these facts do not constitute an independent line of development.

4. In 1430-40-ies "Vytautas" and "Belarusian" chronicles mutually enriched by articles written for one chronicle, and copied to another.

5. In 1520-30-ies the Vit6L copy was replenished: in front was added the article "Fabulous emergence of Lithuania"; the manuscript of this composition (Lit0L) became the basis for the "Lithuanian" chronicles.

6. In the 1560-ies Lit1L (Bychowiec chronicle) had been written, based on Lit0L and Vit4L. It was last work "Lithuanian" chronicle tradition, which features a large number of borrowings from other sources (including printed) and independent fantasies.

7. Style "Belarusian" chronicles – annual articles within which tells about unrelated events – is very different from the style of "Lithuanian" chronicles, in which there are no annual articles and any chronological designations at all, and the text is created from the individual tales, some of which are not even intended for the chronicle.

8. A characteristic feature of the work in question is the independent development of most of the articles. Therefore, it is impossible to obtain an overall stemma for those manuscripts. These manuscripts were formed of articles from various origins. This suggests that at least some of the articles at one time was common in separate copies (notebooks).

9. In terms of content, "Lithuanian" chronicles gone from actual chronicle genre (the collection of reliable information about the past) to the historical genre (a collection of interesting, exciting stories, perhaps with an educational value). The growth of art, fiction element denies all the source value for all works written in the 16th century. (With the small exception of current events records). But the works written in the late 14th – 1st half 15 cent., have a high source cost.

10. There was no own tradition kept in the "Lithuanian" chronicle about Gediminas (except the bare name) and Algirdas (except the episode plot against Jaunutis). All the stories about them – borrowing from Polish chronicles or pure fantasy. Even the deeds of Vytautas in 1397 – 1428 years did not form their own accounts in Lithuania and this gap had been filled with data from the Great-Russian and Polish sources.

11. Two traditions chronicles in the shortest review:

Index "Belo-russian" chronicle "Vytautas" chronicle "Lithu-anian" chronicle (without AKS) "Annals of King Sigis-mund" "Short chronicle Lithuania"
Annual articles + + +
Great tales + +
The story began with Rurik Gediminas Palemon Jagiello
Dependence on the Great-Russian chronicles +
Dependence on the Polish chronicles + +