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Rus' Letopis (genre), letopises ('' orv, Рѹсьскъе лѣтописи''; ) or Rus’ Letopisi are the main type of Kievan Rus', Old Rus historical literature. Composed from 11th to 18th centuries the letopises are one of the leading genres Old East Slavic literature and among the most extensive monuments to it.Lurye, Yakov. Letopisi // Literature of Old Rus'. Biographical and Bibliographical Dictionary / ed. by Oleg Tvorogov. - Moscow: Prosvescheniye ("Enlightenment"), 1996. (russian
Лурье Я.С. Летописи
// Литература Древней Руси. Биобиблиографический словарь / под ред. О.В. Творогова. - М.: Просвещение, 1996).
Letopises were the main form of historical narrative until the middle of the 16th century, the time of Ivan the Terrible, when they gave primacy to another Historiography, historiographical genre — chronographs.


Copies

Old Rus' letopises survive in some hundreds copies (codices). Some letopises are known in multiple versions, but others are known from only a single copy. Every letopis was a , or "collection" because it included materials from various earlier letopis texts. Individual letopises were revised, shortened or added to with entries on the events of the last year or even decades. There are probably several tens of in existence.


Сharacteristic

The chroniclers (singular ''letopisets'') were mainly churchmen. Rus' letopises were composed in monasteries, at the princely (see: knyaz) courts (later at the courts of the Russian Tsar, tsars of Moscow and kings of Galicia-Volhynia) and in the offices of Metropolitan bishop, Metropolitans. Individual letopises often contradicted each other. Letopises typically consisted of collections of short factual entries for the preceding year, often including speeches and dialogues between princes. In some instances the letopisets would provid an extended narrative on the most significant events of Slavic history, often embellished with literary phrases, including standard speech formulas, epithet's, rhetorical figures and others. Aleksey Shakhmatov was the foremost expert in Textual criticism, textology of the old Rus' letopises. He considered that the main part of the letopis texts were , that is collections of separate records from different sources, and every new letopis was a svod of some previous letopises and newly added historical recordsAleksey Shakhmatov. Investigation on the Oldest Kievan Rus' Letopising Svods. - Saint Petersburg: Printing-House of M.A. Aleksandrov, 1908. — XX, 686 p. — Reprint from Chronicle of Work of Archaeographic Commission, Imperial Archaeographic Commission. — Vol. 20. (russian
Шахматов А.А. Разыскания о древнейших русских летописных сводах
— СПб.: Типография М.А. Александрова, 1908. — XX, 686 с. — Оттиск из кн.: Летописи занятий Императорской Археографической Комиссии. — Т. 20).
Aleksey Shakhmatov. Review of Rus' Letopising Svods of 14th—16th Century. Moscow / ed. by A.S. Orlov, Boris Grekov; Russian Academy of Sciences, Academy of Sciences of USSR, Institute of Literature. — Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Leningrad: Nauka (publisher), Publisher of Academy of Sciences of USSR, 1938. — 372 p. (russian: Шахматов А.А. Обозрение русских летописных сводов XIV—XVI вв. / отв. ред.: А.С. Орлов, акад. Б.Д. Греков; АН СССР, Институт литературы. – М.; Л.: Издательство АН СССР, 1938. — 372 с.). In recent studies much of the letopises have become viewed as collections of annual records, produced in certain state or church offices - as are West European annals. For example, the hypothetical "Novgorod Archbishop Letopis" is believed to have been prepared at the office of Diocese of Novgorod and Staraya Russa, Novgorod archdiocese from 12th to 14th centuries and was the main basis of Novgorod Chronicle, Novgorod First letopis of the 15th century.Гиппиус А.А. К истории сложения текста Новгородской первой летописи
// Новгородский исторический сборник. — СПб., 1997. — Вып. 6 (16) / Рос. акад. наук, Институт рос. истории, С.-Петербургский филиал; отв. ред. Valentin Yanin, В.Л. Янин. — C. 3—72; Гиппиус А.А. К характеристике новгородского владычного летописания XII–XIV вв. // Великий Новгород в истории средневековой Европы: К 70-летию В.Л. Янина. – М.: Русские словари, 1999. — С. 345–364; Гимон Т.В. События XI — начала XII в. в новгородских летописях и перечнях // Древнейшие государства Восточной Европы: 2010 год: Предпосылки и пути образования Древнерусского государства / отв. ред. серии Е.А. Мельникова. Институт всеобщей истории РАН. – М.: Рус. Фонд Содействия Образ. и Науке, 2012. — С. 584–706.


Sources

Sources for the oldest letopises include Byzantine Empire, Byzantine and South Slavs, South Slavic texts on sacred history and other subjects, the Chronicle of George Hamartolos on the Generations of Noah (in Primary letopis), legends, legal documents such as the Rus'–Byzantine Treaty (disambiguation), Rus'–Byzantine Treaties (in Primary Chronicle) and Short redaction of Russkaya Pravda (in Novgorod First Chronicle), historical records and others.


Letopis Genealogy by Aleksey Shakhmatov

The Primary letopis of the beginning of the 12th century is the oldest survived old Rus' letopises, narrating the earliest history of Rus'. However Shakhmatov paid attention on abundance of entries of the 11th century about Veliky Novgorod, Novgorod, which are read in Novgorod First letopis (of the 15th century), but absent in Primary letopis. This and some others textual facts were a base for his theory on the beginning of Novgorod First letopis includes text, older than Primary letopis. The scholar named it "Primary Svod" (Collection) and dated as the end of the 11th century. This svod was also a basis for Primary letopis. If two or more letopis coincide with each other up to a certain year, one letopis copied from another (this is rarely) or this letopises had a common source, arrived to this year - older svod. Shakhmatov discovered and developed a method of study on the letopising (svod) genealogy. Rested on deep textual analysis, Shakhmatov built extensive genealogy of the old Rus' letopises. He connected most of this letopises and created genealogy table, in which extant letopises of the 14th-17th centuries went back not only to "Primary Svod", but also to earlier hypothetical of the 11th century and even to historical records of the end of the 10th century. Shakhmatov's method and theories began a mainstream in Russian letopis studies.


History

Old Rus' letopises were systematically prepared from the middle of the 11th century. There were two centers of the old Rus' Letopises preparation in this early period: Kiev (the capital of early Rus') and Veliky Novgorod, Novgorod. The Primary letopis of the beginning of the 12th century was a combination of Kievan and Novgorodian letopis records, as well as the Novgorod First letopis. Primary letopis survives in Laurentian Codex, Laurentian and Hypatian Codex, Hypatian cletopises (codices). This two centers, South and North, were remaining later. Letopises of South Russian Principality, princedoms (knyazhestva) of 12th-13th centuries survives in Hypatian Chronicle: hypothetical "Kievan Chronicle", chosen from Hypatian Chronicle, was a continuation of Primary letopis and covered events from 1118 to 1200; Galician–Volhynian Chronicle, also containing in Hypatian letopis, covered events in Kingdom of Galicia–Volhynia, Galician and Volhynian princedoms from 1201 to 1292.Лихачева О.П. Летопись Ипатьевская
// Словарь книжников и книжности Древней Руси / АН СССР. ИРЛИ; Отв. ред. Dmitry Likhachov, Д.С. Лихачев. — Л.: Наука, 1987. — Вып. 1 (XI – первая половина XIV в.). — С. 236
Лихачева О.П. Летопись Ипатьевская
// Литература Древней Руси. Биобиблиографический словарь / под ред. О.В. Творогова. - М.: Просвещение, 1996
Letopises of Rostov, Vladimir, Russia, Vladimir and Pereslavl-Zalessky, Pereyaslavl of Vladimir-Suzdal, Suzdal of the end of 12th - the beginning of the 13th century better remained in Laurentian, Radziwiłł Chronicle, Radziwill letopises (codices) and Letopisets of Pereyaslavl of Suzdal. Hypatian letopis of the end of the 13th - the beginning of the 14th centuries is an All-Rus' svod in south redaction (presumedly). It survives in сopies of the 15th-18th centuries. Laurentian letopis of the 14th century is a svod from North-East Rus' (Vladimir-Suzdal). One copy of 1377. "Tverian svod" of 1375 reflected in Rogozhskiy Letopisets and Tverian Collection of the 16th century. Letopising svod, related with Cyprian, Metropolitan of Moscow, Cyprian, Metropolitan bishop, Metropolitan of Moscow, was continued up to 1408 and survived in Troitskaya ("Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius, Trinity") Letopis, which burnt in Fire of Moscow (1812), 1812 Fire of Moscow. It was reconstructed by Mikhail Prisyolkov. Letopising svod was made in Tver about 1412, it reflected additional revision (similar to Troitskaya Chronicle) of All-Rus' svod of the end of the 14th - the beginning of the 15th century. This "Tverian svod" reflected in Simeon letopis and Rogozhskiy Letopisets. "Novgorodsko-Sofiysky Svod" of the 1430s (or "Svod of 1448" according to Shakhmatov) was compiled at office of Moscow Metropolitan and united All-Rus' and Novgorodian letopises. The svod was preserved in Sofia First Chronicle, Sofia First and Novgorod Fourth Chronicle, Novgorod Fourth letopises. First known Grand Duchy of Moscow, Moscow grand princely appeared at the middle of the 15th century. "Letopising Svod of 1472" reflected in Vologda-Perm and Nicanor letopises. Basis of "Svod of 1472" was "Novgorodsko-Sofiysky Svod", edited by Moscow grand princely letopisets, who brought censorship, excluded in particular the mentions of Novgorodian liberty, because Novgorod Republic, Novgorod State was joint to Grand Duchy of Moscow, Moscow Grand Princedom. In the end of the 1470s, "Novgorodsko-Sofiysky Svod", the svod similar to Troitskaya Letopis and other sources was compiled together. This compilation was censored even more than "Svod of 1472". The "Compilation of the 1470s" reflected in "Moscow Grand Princely Svod of 1479", surviving in copy of the 18th century, and in its later redaction was continued up to 1492. This "Svod of 1479" underlaid all of official letopises of the end of the 15th - the 16th centuries. The compilation of the 1470s also reflected in the first part of Vasili Yermolin, Yermolin Letopis. The "Svod of Kirillo-Belozersky Monastery" contained text, independent of Moscow Grand Princedom. This svod reflected in the second part of Yermolin Letopis and in so-called Abridged Letopising Svods of the end of the 15th century. "Rostov Archbishop Svod" of the 1480s reflected in Typographical Letopis. Another "Letopising Svod of 1480s", made in unofficial church sphere, reflected in "Svod of 1518", which in turn reflected in Sofia Second Chronicle, Sofia Second Letopis and Lvov Chronicle, Lvov Letopis. Joasaphus, Metropolitan of Moscow, Ioasaf Letopis was made the end of the 1520s at office of Moscow Metropolitan. It covered events of 1437-1520. In the same years, the first redaction of Nikon Chronicle, Nikon Letopis. Immediate source of Nikon Letopis was Ioasaf Letopis. Nikon Letopis was the largest Russian letopis. Voskresenskaya ("New Jerusalem Monastery, Resurrection") Letopis was another extensive letopis, it was made between 1542-1544. In the second half of the 1550s, in the reign of Ivan the Terrible, initial redaction of Nikon Letopis was united with passages from Voskresenskaya Letopis and Letopisets of the Beginning of Tsardom of Russia, Tsardom - letopis of events of 1533-1552, i.e. the beginning of Ivan's reign (as grand prince, and since 1547 as tsar). In 1568—1576, also in the reign of Ivan the Terrible, multivolume Illustrated Chronicle of Ivan the Terrible, Illustrated Chronicle Svod. This was the last All-Rus' Letopises, they give place to another form of historiographical texts — chronographs. Letopises of 17th-18th centuries were local, provincial texts, like Siberian Chronicles of the late 16th - 18th centuries. Development of Rus' letopises were Lithuanian Chronicles, Lithuanian Letopises of the 15th - 16th centuries and Ukrainian Chronicles of the 17th - 18th centuries.Марченко М. І., Українська історіографія (З давніх часів до сер. XIX ст.), К., 1959; Українські письменники. Біо-бібліографіч. словник, т. 1, К., 1960.


Some chronicles

* Primary Chronicle, Primary Letopis * Novgorod First Chronicle, Novgorod Letopis * Galician–Volhynian Chronicle, Galician–Volhynian Letopis * Hypatian Codex * Laurentian Codex * Academic Chronicle, Academic letopis * Novgorod Fourth Chronicle, Novgorod Fourth Letopis * Radziwiłł Chronicle, Radziwiłł Letopis * Sofia First Chronicle, Sofia First Letopis * Novgorodsko-Sofiysky Svod * Sofia Second Chronicle, Sofia Second Letopis * Nikon Chronicle, Nikon Letopis * Illustrated Chronicle of Ivan the Terrible, Illustrated Letopis of Ivan the Terrible * Kazan Chronicle, Kazan Letopis * Ioachim Chronicle, Ioachim Letopis * Lithuanian Chronicles, Lithuanian Letopises * Bychowiec Chronicle, Bychowiec Letopises * Lvov Chronicle, Lvov Letopis * Siberian Chronicles, Siberian Letopises, including: * Stroganov Chronicle, Stroganov Letopis * Kungur Chronicle, Kungur Letopis * Yesipov Chronicle, Yesipov Letopis * Remezov Chronicle, Remezov Letopis
Pskov Third Letopis


See also

* Nestor the Chronicler * Kormchaia * Merilo Pravednoye * Russkaya Pravda * De moribus tartarorum, lituanorum et moscorum * Freising manuscripts


Notes


Some editions

* Complete Collection of Russian Chronicles, Complete Collection of Russian letopises: russian: Полное собрание русских летописей. — СПб.; М, 1843; М., 1989. — Т. 1—38. * Новгородская первая летопись старшего и младшего изводов. — М.; Л., 1950. * Псковские летописи.— М.; Л., 1941—1955. — Вып. 1—2. * Рассказы русских летописей XII—XIV вв. / Перевод и пояснения Т.Н. Михельсон. — М., 1968; 2-е изд. — М., 1973. * Рассказы русских летописей XV—XVII вв. / Перевод и пояснения Т.Н. Михельсон — М., 1976, * Севернорусский летописный свод 1472 года / Подг. текста и комм Я.С. Лурье; Перевод В.В. Колесова // Памятники литературы Древней Руси: Вторая половина XV века. — М., 1982. — С. 410—443, 638—655.
The Rus' Primary Chronicle, Laurentian Text
Translated and edited by Samuel Hazzard Cross and Olgerd P. Sherbowitz-Wetzor. Cambridge, MA: The Mediaeval Academy of America, 1953.

is available at https://web.archive.org/web/20050309022812/http://hudce7.harvard.edu/~ostrowski/pvl/ together with an erudite and lengthy introduction in English. This is an ''interlinear collation'' including the ''five main manuscript witnesses'', as well as a new ''paradosis'', or reconstruction of the original.
The Letopis of Novgorod 1016-1471. Intr. C. Raymond Beazley, A. A. Shakhmatov (London, 1914)
*{{cite book, last=Savignac , first=David (trans) , title=The Pskov 3rd Chronicle, url=https://www.academia.edu/28622167


Some literature

* Сухомлинов М.И. О древней русской летописи как памятнике литературном. — СПб., 1856. * Aleksey Shakhmatov. Investigation on the Oldest Rus' Chronicle Svods. — Saint Petersburg: Printing-House of M.A. Aleksandrov, 1908. — XX, 686 p. — Reprint from Chronicle of Work of Archaeographic Commission, Imperial Archaeographic Commission. — Vol. 20. (russian
Шахматов А.А. Разыскания о древнейших русских летописных сводах
– СПб.: Типография М.А. Александрова, 1908. — XX, 686 с. — Оттиск из кн.: Летописи занятий Императорской Археографической Комиссии. — Т. 20). * Aleksey Shakhmatov. Review of Rus' Chronicle Svods of 14th—16th Century. Moscow / ed. by A.S. Orlov, Boris Grekov; Russian Academy of Sciences, Academy of Sciences of USSR, Institute of Literature. — Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Leningrad: Nauka (publisher), Publisher of Academy of Sciences of USSR, 1938. — 372 p. (russian: Шахматов А.А. Обозрение русских летописных сводов XIV—XVI вв. / отв. ред.: А.С. Орлов, акад. Б.Д. Греков; АН СССР, Институт литературы. – М.; Л.: Издательство АН СССР, 1938. — 372 с.). * Приселков М.Д. История русского летописания XI—XV вв. — Л., 1940. * Приселков М.Д. Троицкая летопись: Реконструкция текста. – 2-е изд. – СПб.: Наука, 2002. – 512, [2] с. * Dmitry Likhachov, Лихачев Д.С. Русские летописи и их культурно-историческое значение. — М.; Л., 1947. * Дмитриева Р.П. Библиография русского летописания. — М.; Л., 1962 * Насонов А.Н. История русского летописания XI — начала XVIII века. — М., 1969 * Творогов О.В. Сюжетное повествование в летописях XI—XIII вв. / Истоки русской беллетристики: Возникновение сюжетного повествования в древнерусской литературы. — Л.: Наука, 1970. — С. 31—66. * Лурье Я.С. К изучению летописного жанра // Труды Отдела древнерусской литературы. — 1972. — Т. 27. — С. 76—93. * Лурье Я.С. Общерусские летописи XIV—XV вв. — Л., 1976. * Корецкий В.И. История русского летописания второй половины XVI — начала XVII века. — М., 1986.
Словарь книжников и книжности Древней Руси
/ АН СССР. ИРЛИ; Отв. ред. Dmitry Likhachov, Д.С. Лихачев. — Л.: Наука, 1987. — Вып. 1 (XI – первая половина XIV в.). — С. 234—251; Л.: Наука, 1989. — Вып. 2, ч. 2. — С. 17—18, 20—69. * Лурье Я.С. Две истории Руси XV века. — СПб., 1994. * Literature of Old Rus'. Biographical and Bibliographical Dictionary / ed. by Oleg Tvorogov. - Moscow: Prosvescheniye ("Enlightenment"), 1996. (russian
Лурье Я.С. Летописи
// Литература Древней Руси. Биобиблиографический словарь / под ред. О.В. Творогова. - М.: Просвещение, 1996). * Бобров А.Г. Новгородские летописи XV века. — СПб.: Дмитрий Буланин, 2000. — 287 с.

// Новгородский исторический сборник. — СПб., 1997. — Вып. 6 (16) / Рос. акад. наук, Институт рос. истории, С.-Петербургский филиал; отв. ред. Valentin Yanin, В.Л. Янин. — C. 3–72. * Гиппиус А.А. К характеристике новгородского владычного летописания XII–XIV вв. // Великий Новгород в истории средневековой Европы: К 70-летию В.Л. Янина. — М.: Русские словари, 1999. — С. 345–364. * Гимон Т.В. События XI – начала XII в. в новгородских летописях и перечнях // Древнейшие государства Восточной Европы: 2010 год: Предпосылки и пути образования Древнерусского государства / отв. ред. серии Е.А. Мельникова. Институт всеобщей истории РАН. — М.: Рус. Фонд Содействия Образ. и Науке, 2012. — С. 584–706.
Сергеев В.И. Сибирские летописи
// Жуков Е.М. Советская историческая энциклопедия: В 16 т. - М.: Государственное научное издательство «Советская энциклопедия», 1961-1976. East Slavic manuscripts East Slavic chronicles Old Church Slavonic literature Novgorod Republic Cyrillic manuscripts History of Russia