Sources and History: Russian Chronicles


Front annalistic vault. Chronograph. It belongs to the second half of the XVI century. Created in Moscow. Materials: paper, ink, cinnabar, tempera; binding - leather 44,2x31,5; Entered in 1827. The manuscript is part of the personal annalistic vault, which was created by order of Tsar Ivan the Terrible in the second half of the XVI century. For a long time he was in the royal book depository, and in 1683 he was transferred to the Workshop and was soon divided into parts, each of which had its own destiny. Information about the Facial Chronograph can be traced in the catalogs of the Printing House library (1727 and around 1775). In 1786, the same volume appeared in the inventory of books of the Printing House, intended for transfer to the Synodal Library. At the beginning of the XIX century, the volume belonged to the Greek nobleman Zoya Pavlovich Zosima, a major businessman and philanthropist. MFN inv. OSRK. F. IV.151

But you know yourself: senseless mob
Changeable, rebellious, superstitious,
Easily empty hope betrayed,
Instantly obedient ...
A.S. Pushkin. Boris Godunov.

“On a slippery porch, the number of cultured people is drastically reduced!”
Penza newspaper. "Our town".




Historical science against pseudoscience. Recently, more and more materials have begun to appear, which, as it’s softer to say, are not that they doubt the whole era of modern stories, but they simply turn them upside down. And if you doubt the historical realities, it can and should be, then all kinds of “coups” there require a very serious foundation. Nothing can be solved here with a cavalry charge. Therefore, it is probably worthwhile to first introduce the readers of VO to the foundation on which the building of Russian history is built, so that on this basis visitors to our site who are interested in this topic can discuss the essence of the issue with greater confidence based on knowledge , and not fantasies drawn from nowhere.

Let's start with the annals, since these written sources contain the bulk of information about our past, which no artifacts can replace. So, what exactly are these very annals, how many of them and what are they? And then, after all, some of those who write a little about this here are talking about two or three (!) Documents, and in addition also falsified ones.

So, chronicles are works of the XI-XVIII centuries, telling about the events that took place in a given year, that is, according to the "years". Chronicles were kept in Kievan Rus, and in many lands and principalities adjacent to it, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, and then the Russian state. They can be compared with the Western European annals and chronicles both in character and style of presentation, and in their content.

The annals were kept over the years. Hence its “weather character”, by virtue of which they usually began with the words: “It's summer ...” (“In a year ...”), which gave the annals their name. The number of chronicle documents preserved to our time is very large and amounts to about 5000 units! This, by the way, is information for those who write that the annals were burned under Peter the Great. Burned? Burned, burned, and ... 5000 volumes still remain? There wasn’t enough firewood, or the "firefighters" sold them to the side, but they themselves went to the pub to go on a mash ?! So under Peter it was strict! For failure to fulfill the tsar’s decree, they broke their nostrils, beat them with a whip and drove them into the wild Dauria ...

Here it is necessary to interrupt a little and, as the adherents of the "folk history" like to say, turn on the logic. Imagine for a moment that the same German historians, “whom Lomonosov beat the faces of”, gathered all these annals together and decided to fake them. Let us recall how many of them there were, that they did not speak Russian well - and what happens? From 1724 to 1765 (the year of Lomonosov’s death), we had ... 14 people. And not all of them were historians. And now we divide 5000 by 14 (let alone) and get 357 for each. Imagine the amount of rewriting - based on what has come down to us and get ... a year of hard labor on each tome. But they also did other things, went to balls, wrote slander at Lomonosov, and when they were lying drunk, it was not without it, there was such a time. But still a bit too much, isn't it? They and three lives would not be enough to rewrite all this!

True, later the Germans came in large numbers. And by 1839 they became ... 34 (all on the list), although it is clear that those former ones have already died, but somehow they managed to ... "rewrite". And these continued, right? But even in this case, 147 chronicles per brother is already too much! And after all, they could not entrust anyone to this tricky business. The Russian is drunk, that on the mind, then in the language. Someone would have blabbed it. And not one! And then the patriots wouldn’t be slow to bring where they should say - “The word and deed of the sovereign!” they would have shouted right there, and there and the dungeon, and the whips, and the rack, all the secret intention would have been revealed at once. After all, the fewer strangers, the more get their own. So Lomonosov certainly thought. No wonder each empress wrote odes of praise for the uprising. I understood the rules of the game! He knew how to flatter ...

And again, the point was not just to rewrite them, but also to distort Russia to the detriment, and this required considerable knowledge and imagination, and a general work plan for hundreds of years in advance. There is one more important question: why should they be rewritten at all or something changed in them? People with the psychology of that time, despised by most Russians. Change their story? What for? Are we changing the history of the Papuans? “Enough of the fact that we bring them our European culture!” That's all that Miller, Schlötzer and others could think of at that time, and ... nothing more. So, what we have before us is a typical "conspiracy theory", that is, another stupidity, no more.

Sources and History: Russian Chronicles

Academic list of the Novgorod First Annals, 1440s, the beginning of the text of Russian Truth. Grekov B.D. True Russian. T. III. 1963. Forgery of old documents is also complicated by their handwritten character. At the same time, Lomonosov was still written with goose feathers, but ... such a font as the charter and half-mouth was no longer used. It’s very difficult to write with them, and you won’t write many pages in a day - your hand will fall off. There was nowhere for the chroniclers to rush, but then they had to hurry ...

By the way, here is a good example of how to know the language in order to achieve the goal. In 1944, during the offensive in the Ardennes, groups of saboteurs dressed in the military uniform of the Allies and who knew English were operating in front of the German troops. What did they fall for and why did this operation fail? At a military gas station, one of them, introducing himself to the Americans, asked for a petroleum, although he had to ask for a hydroelectric power station. And he used the right word, but ... did not know that the Yankees did not say that. And here are the annals full of Church Slavonic and Old Russian words and dialectisms! They really could not learn the Russian language, but they mastered Old Russian perfectly ?! With all its semantic subtleties, knowledge of ancient history (which no one already knew!), In a word, to assume such a thing is complete nonsense or special fabrication, designed for people who are deeply ignorant or with a defective psyche. However, we, as well as everywhere, in other countries, always had a lot of those and others! Pushkin wrote his immortal lines (see the epigraph) for good reason, oh no wonder!

But this is a quantitative indicator. And in the future we will turn to the substantive side of the issue of “rewriting”, but for now, we note that most of the annals in their original form have not reached us. But their copies are known - the so-called "lists" (from the word write off), made later, already in the XIII – XIX centuries. The oldest chronicles of the 1796th – 1876th centuries are known precisely in the lists. The latter are classified by scientists by type (that is, by the editorial board) - of the habits. Often in the texts of the annals there are compounds from several sources, which suggests that the surviving annals are nothing more than collections of various sources from which the earliest have not been preserved. This idea was first expressed by P. M. Stroyev (XNUMX), a Russian historian, a full member of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences, and today this is the generally accepted opinion of historians. That is, most chronicles are codes of pre-existing texts, and that is how they should be treated.

Chronicle texts are of three main types. These are synchronous records by years, "chronicles" of a retrospective nature, that is, stories about past events, and annals.

The most ancient manuscript texts of the annals are considered the parchment "Chronicle soon Patriarch Nicephorus" (the last quarter of the XIII century), then comes the Synodal list of the Novgorod first annals of the elder (related to the second half of the XIII century, and then to the second quarter of the XIV century), the so-called Lavrentievsky chronicle (1377) and somewhat later Ipatiev Chronicle (1420s).




2nd Pskov Chronicle. A facsimile copy of the first sheet of the Synodal List, dating from the late 6362th century. The entry of the Pskov chronicler and a fragment of the "Initial Chronicle" - the summer of 1480 from the creation of the world, the foundation of Kiev. Synodal list of the Pskov Second Annals, mid-5s - PSRL, Vol.XNUMX

Chronicles contain enormous material. These are historical facts, and examples from the biblical, as well as ancient history and the history of the Byzantine Empire, the “life” of the “story”, “words”, as well as hagiographic texts, legends, messages, and even texts of documents. In particular, these are international treaties and various legal acts. Literary works were also very often used in chronicles, replacing historical sources. So among them we know: “The teachings of Vladimir Monomakh”, “The Legend of the Battle of Mamaev”, “Walking the Three Seas” by the merchant Afanasy Nikitin and others. It is clear that the views of the chroniclers had nothing to do with our current outlook on things. They contain very little information about relations of an economic nature, but much attention is paid to the acts of princes and kings, as well as their surroundings, the activities of church hierarchs, and, of course, wars. About ordinary people, in fact, there is nothing. The people in the annals are usually "silent."


Laurentian Chronicle, turnover of the 81st sheet. Part of the teachings of Vladimir Monomakh with a description of his military campaigns. Site of the Russian National Library

Interestingly, in the majority of Russian chronicles known to us, their names are conditional, and do not correspond to their own names. Why did this happen? Well, of course, not because of the intrigues of some mythical conspirators, but in the early period of their study, when the names were given to them depending on their origin, places of storage, and even belonging to some person. The numbering in the name of some annals is also conditional. For example, Novgorod first - fifth, Sofia first and second, Pskov first - third. It has nothing to do with the time of their writing, alas, this is so, but exclusively with the order of publication or other relevant circumstances. But if you think about it, then with 5000 documents there simply couldn’t be any other way. Putting all these tonny documents into scientific circulation is a real feat of service to science, which, by the way, is still ongoing.

Another interesting fact that characterizes the Russian annals is their anonymity. Chroniclers very rarely entered any information about themselves in the text, and if personalized liberties allowed, it was only to emphasize that they are simple people, not books, that is ... “they will transmit everything without embellishment. Everything is as it is! ” On the other hand, compilers of chronicles often refer to themselves as a source of information: “I saw and heard and heard”, or familiar “samovidtsy” who happened to see “the regiment of God in the air”, and various other similar this is miracles.

Interestingly, most modern scholars associate the goals of writing chronicles with ... the struggle for power. Indeed, because of their uniqueness, they could not have any effect on society. But it was a document that princes could read and thereby receive an informational advantage over those who ... did not read them! In particular, M. D. Priselkov wrote about this, and D. S. Likhachev, V. G. Mirzoev and A. F. Kilunov, in turn, wrote that the Russian chronicles had educational tasks, that this was a kind of journalism, framed in the form of a historical work. But weather records contradict this view, so there is an opinion that the chronicle could also have the function of a legal document, since it fixed those legal precedents that were then referred to, yes, representatives of the ruling dynasty. That is, they were then guided not so much only by the present, but also by the future.

But I. N. Danilevsky believed that since the second half of the XI century, chronicles have acquired the function of “books of life”, and should have appeared at the Last Judgment as the “evidence” of the righteousness or unrighteousness of those in power. True, indirectly, this is indicated by messages about signs, that is, spontaneous phenomena by which God expresses his approval or condemnation of events. In any case, since literacy was the destiny of a few, the written word was much more important than oral not only in everyday life, but also before God. Hence, by the way, and the plurality of chronicles. Many rulers sought to have their own annals in order to ... "justify them" at God's judgment.

It is very important to emphasize that all the annals of the Old Russian period are based on the Old Russian exodus of the Church Slavonic language, including, however, many borrowings from the Old Russian spoken language and business. In this he differs from purely religious texts. But besides these two stylistic features in the annals, there are significant dialectical differences. That is, the characteristic linguistic features in vocabulary, phonetics, indicate to us the region of writing certain chronicles. Grammar and syntax are more difficult to localize, but, nevertheless, these features of speech are fixed and help in the attribution of compositions. But the Belarusian-Lithuanian annals are written in West Russian written language, which also needed to be known, but which was little known in the central regions of Russia.

And now in the light of these facts, let us once again return to the ill-fated Germans, a falsifier, who "rewrote" all our annals. It turns out that the Germans who spoke Lomonosov’s language poorly, in fact, knew the semantics and morphology of the Old Russian and Church Slavonic languages ​​to the finer points, and besides, all the local dialectisms. This is already beyond the bounds of common sense in general, and speaks of the complete ignorance of those who assert this.


Chronicle collection, called the Patriarch or Nikon Chronicle. PSRL. T. 9

How was the creation of ancient Russian chronicles considered A. A. Shakhmatov. According to him, in the beginning there was an Ancient Arch, which was compiled somewhere around 1039 in Kiev. Then in 1073 it was continued and supplemented by the hieromonk of the Kiev Pechersk Monastery Nikon Pechersky. On its basis, the Initial Code appeared with the alleged original name - “The Timenik, the annals of the Rus princes and the land of Rus ...” were already outlined, and only then the “Tale of Bygone Years” was written, supplemented by excerpts from the Byzantine chronicles and Russian-Byzantine treaties. Well, the very first edition of The Tale ... by the authorship of the monk of the Kiev-Pechersky Monastery Nestor appeared around 1113. It was followed by the Sylvester or Second Edition, which fell into the Laurentian Chronicle. In 1118, the Third Edition appeared, preserved in the Ipatiev Chronicle. Well, and then where only excerpts from these annals were not inserted.

It is believed that initially the weather records were very short - "In the summer ... do not speed anything." And they lacked any complex narrative constructions. But over time, they were supplemented and changed for the better. For example, in the story about the Battle of the Ice of Novgorod 1st annals of the younger exodus, a change was made in comparison with the story of Novgorod 1st annals of the older exodus, the number of Germans killed was "500", and before that it was "400"! Well, the explicit work of Miller and other German historians, aimed at diminishing our glorious history!

As noted here, there are many chronicles. For example, there are many local chronicles of the XII-XIV centuries, containing ... events in a wide variety of small principalities and individual lands. The largest centers of annals were Novgorod, Pskov, as well as Rostov, Tver and Moscow. The birth and death of princes, the election of posadniks and the thousand, battles and campaigns, church regulations and the deaths of bishops, hegumen, the construction of churches and monasteries, wickedness, pestilence, amazing natural phenomena - all fell into these lists.

Now let's take a closer look at the chronicle material of individual regions. Let's start with the Kiev and Galician-Volyn chronicles. In Kiev, the monks were kept by the monks of the Pechersk and Vydubitsky monasteries, and at the court of the ruling prince.

It was in the Vydubetsk Monastery that the Kiev Chronicle was also written, which dates from 1198. According to historian V.T. Pashuto, the Kiev annals continued until 1238.

In Galich and Vladimir-Volynsky, annals were kept from the 1198th century on in the courtyards of princes and the local episcopate. In XNUMX they were combined with the Kiev Chronicle. They are also known in the Ipatiev Chronicle.


One of the annals of the neighboring principalities. "Chronicle of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and Zhomoitsky", the first half of the XVI century. Vilnius University Library

The earliest Novgorod chronicle was created between 1039 and 1042 and, possibly, these were extracts from the Ancient Codex. Then, around 1093, the Novgorod Code was compiled, based on earlier texts. Then new additions followed, and so the "Codex of Vsevolod" appeared. The annals were also carried out at the Novgorod Archbishop's (Vladyka) department) almost without interruptions until the 1430s, which led to the appearance of the Novgorod Vladyka Annals, on the basis of which the text of the Novgorod First Annals was compiled, which is known to us in two editions, i.e., editions, which are called "senior" and "junior." The senior account is the parchment Synodal list of the XIII-XIV centuries, it is considered the oldest of the surviving lists of our Russian annals. But Junior Harvest is available on several lists at once, with the earliest dating back to the 1440s.


Novgorod first annals. One part of the manuscript is of the XIII century, the other of the XIV century. Materials: parchment, ink; handwriting - charter, binding (late 1237th century) - cardboard, leather. Opened on the story of the Batu invasion of Russia in XNUMX. GIM

Further, the Karamzinsk Chronicle is known, not only with Novgorod local, but also with all-Russian news, of the late XV - early XVI centuries. Then comes the Novgorod fourth chronicle in two editions, as well as the Novgorod fifth chronicle, known on the list of the late XNUMXth century, and devoted mainly to local events.

The period from 1447-1469 is presented in its fullest form in the Chronicle of Abraham, the first part of which was completed in 1469, and the second, drawn up in 1495. Although in 1478 the Novgorod Republic lost its independence, the annals in Novgorod continued until the 1670th – 1680th centuries and even later. A few more chronicles were compiled, and then, in the 1690-1695s, it was revived by the works of Patriarch Joachim. The Novgorod Zabelinsky Chronicle also belongs to the period of 1679-1680, the exposition in it is brought to 1690. The last Novgorod Pogodinsky chronicle was compiled in the XNUMXs. It is interesting that it was the Novgorod annals of the late XNUMXth century that differ from all others in systematic references to sources (that’s even how!) And their certain criticism.

To be continued ...
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