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   Course Title    Christian Foundations and Poetics of Early Russian Medieval Literature
Lecturer    German Filippovsky
Institution    State Pedagogical University of Yaroslavl
Country    Russia

The course aims at re-assessing the existing approach to the early period in the formation and development of Russian medieval literature and culture. At present, Christian medieval traditions and values (both Byzantine and West European) are underestimated as far as the earliest stages of Russian original medieval literature and culture is concerned. In fact, Christian religious and cultural influence in Russia came predominately from Byzantine and laid the foundation of the Russian traditional liturgy books in 10 - 13 cc. Both traditional and creative art of early Russian Christian authors (mostly monks, but also lay people, such as, for example, prince Wladimir Monomach, the author of ''Confession'') formed the basis for the emergence of literature as an original national phenomenon. Early Russian Christian culture and literature at the time of Yaroslav the Wise, Wladimir Monomach, Andrej Bogoljubskij (God-Blessed) were closely related and sensitive to West-European cultural trends generally called the Renaissance of the 12th century (Ch. Haskins' term).

Medieval Christian renaissance of the 12th c. involved in its orbit the religious, cultural, literary awakening of Russia as well as more advanced West European and Byzantine counterparts.

The course consists of 12 lectures and 12 seminars based on conspicuous readings dealing with the problems discussed mostly by West-European and American scholars, specialists in medieval studies, Byzantine and early Russian Christian civilization.

The course is supposed to be taught at the department of Russian philology and culture, Yaroslavl Pedagogical University. (B. A., M. A.), in spring 2000.


Topics, Readings

1. Medieval Christian tradition (Byzantine, West-European) and early Christian culture, literature in Russia.   G. S. Franklin, Podskalsky J. Shepard.                   

2. Heritage of Cyril and Methodius in early medieval Russia.  F. Thompson

3.   Byzantine rhetoric in early Christian Russia. S. Franklin (1)

4.   Early translations in medieval Russian literature (11 - 13 cc.) F. Thompson

5. Hagiography (lives of saints) in early Russian literature (11 -13 cc.)  G. Lenhoff (1) J. Bortnes

6. Wladimir Monomach and Christian literature at his time W. Veder

7. The dawn of Russian medieval poetry G. Lenhoff (2)

8.   Russian Christian literature of the 12th c. S. Franklin (2)

9.   Russian literature of the 12th c. and medieval Renaissance in Europe. E. Hurwitz

10. The Christian literature of Northeast Russia  at 12th c. G. Lenhoff (3)

11.  Igor's Tale: Christian interpretation.   H. Goldblatt, R. Picchio

12.  Poetics of Russian medieval Renaissance of the 12th c. (Daniel the Exile) H. Birnbaum


Bibliography of readings:

G. Podskalsky Christentum und theologische literatur in der Kievan Rus (988 - 1237) Munchen 1982    /Russian edition: M., 1996/

F. J. Thompson The Bulgarian contribution to the Reception of Byzantine Culture in Kievan Rus // Harvard Ukrainian Studies 1988/89, V. 12/13

S. Franklin Sermons and Rhetoric of Kievan Rus Cambridge (Mass.) 1991

S Franklin, J Shepard. The emergence of Rus 750-1200.//L. - N.Y., 1996.

F. S. Thompson Made in Russia: A survey of the Translation allegedly made in Kievan Russia // Millenium Russia Christianae Koln, 1993.

J. Bortnes Visions of Glory: Studies in early Russian Hagiography Oslo, 1988.

G. Lenhoff  The martyred Princes Boris and Cleb: A socio - cultural study of the Cult and the Texts   Columbus Ohio, 1989.

W. Veder The edificatory Prose of Kievan Rus / Cambridge (Mass.) 1994

S. Franklin Echoes of Byzantine Elite Cultural and Twelfth-Century Russia, Byzantium and Europe   Athenai, 1987.

G. Lenhoff Liturgic poetry in Medieval Rus: Prosody as Performance //Scando - Slavica, 1983, v 29, p. 21-44.

E Hutwitz Prince Andrej Bogoljubskij: The Man and the Myth   Florence, 1980.

G. Lenhoff Canonization and Princely Power in Northeast Rus. The Cult of Leontij Rostovskij   // Welt der Slaven, 1992, Bd 37/1-2.

H. Goldblatt, R. Picchio Toward a new critical reading of the Igor's Tale // Russica Romana, Rome, 1995, w 2.

H. Birnbaum The ''Supplication of Daniel the Exile'' and the problems of Poetic form in Old Russian Literature // Essays in early Slavonic civilization Munchen, 1981.

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