Start page

Mykola Zharkikh (Kyiv)

Personal site


Statement of the problem

Nicholas Zharkikh

The goal of this article is to find out the origin of the custom of the Moscow ruler conversion to monk before his death. All read "Boris Godunov", and maybe listened Mussorgsky's opera, but when this custom arose and in what areas / environments has been distributed?

To set the time of its occurrence, we should first make a list of documentary evidence. To do this, I revised volume of "Complete Collection of Russian Chronicles" excerpting the following:

1, records about taking the vows by the elite as a monk (regardless of the circumstances);

2. records of the death and burial of the great princes, and their immediate family members (regardless of whether or not they took the vows).

At the same time do not write out:

1. records about taking schema by bishops or abbots;

2. records of the tonsure future bishops;

3, a record of the death and burial of ordinary princes, if they are not mentioned vows.

Our statements will relate to 12 – 17 centuries. Fortunately, we do not need to find out the interdependence of the various chronicles – we only collect primary material from their, hoping that these household details have not been the subject of political speculation (and, consequently, editorial interference and later inventions). Cases suggestive of later editorial interference, we examined in detail.

Section "Primary material" is intended for those who are going to continue in any way this work, or who are interested in directly to ancient rhetoric. In the "Summary table" the same material is presented in a more compact form. Even more compressed the material collected in the following analytical chapters. Quite lazy can directly read the "Conclusions".