Military Review

Passion for Ilya

Murom - not Murom?

Stone steps, polished to a mirror shine by millions of shoes, go down steeply. Instantly penetrate the grave cold and damp. The tremulous flame of a candle, tightly clutched in my hand, which is trembling with excitement, casts fancy shadows on the vaults of the cave, snatches the mysterious niches and corridors of the labyrinth that go off into the distance from the darkness of the dungeon. I feel how the hair on the head starts to move from the feeling, which, perhaps, is akin to sacred horror. The superstitious fear of the unknown pushes back, upward, to the light, the sun, but the curiosity and desire to see firsthand History are winning. The figure of a monk in front, dressed all in black and therefore almost dissolving in the darkness of the cave, calms. With such a guide, I feel a little more confident.

There, at the top, raging passions of the 20th century, here, under a stratum of earthly rocks, time stopped forever. It is dominated by the XII century, the "golden age" of Kievan Rus.

Before the tomb, the inscription at the head of which says “Ilya from the city of Murom”, I stop. This is the purpose of my visit to the catacombs of the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra.

Much has been written and rewritten about Ilya Muromets. But I could not even imagine that only one bylina “Ilya of Murom and Nightingale the Robber” had over a hundred variants. Add to this a huge number of literary articles and hardly less - the fundamental works of venerable scholars. All of them were engaged in the history of the heroic epic.

And how many copies, or rather, feathers, are broken when studying the question of the reality of the existence of Ilya Muromets! Most researchers, with stubbornness, worthy of a better application, argued that the image of Ilya is “the fruit of artistic generalization of the aspirations of the people, his ideals”. Almost all modern researchers unanimously claim that the historicism of the epics is special, not always based on specific historical facts. Much less scientists defended a diametrically opposite point of view. Their writings mainly relate to the past century. My task was to separate the grain of the real from the chaff of dogma and recreate the biography of the glorious hero of the Russian land as a real person. And I took up the key questions: where did he come from, where and when did he lay down his lush head? Despite the complexity of this task, it seems to me that I managed to lift the veil of secrecy over Ilya's name - after all, in our hands are data that had never been known before.

... On the banks of the Oka River, near the ancient city of Murom, the village of Karacharovo, the birthplace of the famous hero, is comfortably situated. “In a glorious city in Murom, in a village in Karacharov,” so epic stories tell us about his birthplace in exactly the same way. Repeatedly, he himself recalls his native places in the course of the narrative, lost among the dense forests and swamps of impassable and muddy forests.

Everything seems to be clear: Ilya is a native of Murom, and that is the point. But no! It turns out that there is at least one more place on earth claiming to be called the birthplace of the great hero. This is the city of Morovsk (in the old days - Moroviisk), located on the territory of the modern Chernihiv region of Ukraine.
The basis of this version is information about Ilya, recorded in the XVI century. The researchers drew attention to the modified name of the hero - Morovlin and were quick to conclude that he was from Moroviks, and not from Murom. I found the city, whose name is consonant with Karacharov, - Karachev. It turned out that Ilya the bogatyr is not Murom, but a native of the Chernigov principality.

In support of this hypothesis, the following arguments were cited: in the vicinity of Karachev there is the village Devyatudube and the Smorodnina River flows. And if we still remember that all that is surrounded by dense Bryn (Bryansk) forests, we will get all the necessary attributes of the tale of the scene “Ilya of Murom and Nightingale the Robber”. Even 150 years ago, old-timers showed the place where there was the nest of the famous robber, and on the bank of the river even the stump of a huge oak tree was preserved.

Everyone knows that no historical study can do without a geographical map. One of the most famous atlases of Russia is the “Great World Desktop Atlas” published by A.F. Marx in 1905 year. Revolutionary changes then did not affect geographical names. Huge pages of the card turned yellow from time ... Yes! Here is the city of Karachev in the Oryol province and in 25 versts to the northeast from it the village of Nine Oaks. I carefully transferred everything that could be connected with the name of Ilya to my card.

The first thing that catches the eye when studying the map in detail is the remoteness of Karachev from Moroviisk. If Murom and Karacharovo are in close proximity to each other, then Morovisk and Karachev are separated by hundreds of kilometers. To talk about the “Morovsk city of Karachev” is almost as absurd as to call Moscow a Kiev city. From this point of view, the version about the Chernigov origin of Ilya does not hold water.

On the other hand, Murom, Karacharovo, Nine Oaks, Chernigov, Moroviysk and Kiev are on the same line, which completely coincides with the ancient trade route. I have a legitimate desire to unite two hypotheses into one, and then we will get that Ilya, the Murom bogatyr, was driving a “direct path” to the capital Kiev-grad “through those Bryansk forests, through that Currant forest, through Nine Oaks, Nightingale-robber, captivated him and with this expensive gift arrived to the Grand Prince of Kiev.

Murom is the most ancient city in the Vladimir land. The first mention of it is found in the "Tale of Bygone Years". An article under the 862 year informs about the settlements of Ancient Russia and their inhabitants: “Slovenia in Novgorod, Murom in Murom”. Here it would be logical to assume that if Murom is a Finno-Finnish nationality with its own distinctive culture, then Muromets is a representative of this nationality, its hero.

In fairness it should be noted that there are other versions of the interpretation of the name of the epic hero. Some, for example, saw the similarity of the word “wall” to the word “wall”, which is found in Russian (remember: “to mutate”), in Ukrainian and Belarusian. In this case, the nickname of Elijah "Wall" is equivalent to the word "hero", that is, an invincible person, solid, stable. Another version is based on the same root and implies the second profession of Ilya - Murovets from the word “to murate”, to build fortresses, to erect walls, muras. But perhaps the nickname is based on the ancient word “ant” - grass, meadow. Then Murovets would mean a mower, a farmer, a grain miner. This completely coincides with the content of the epic and in no way contradicts its origin - “the son of a peasant-plow farmer”.

There is a version based on the first feat of Ilya - the liberation of the roads from evil thieves. The name of the hero is associated with Muravsk Shlyakh, or ant. In the famous Encyclopedic Dictionary F.A. Brockhaus and I.A. Efron can be found that the Crimean Tatars went to Russia by this route. Glade walked high ant (hence the name) on a deserted steppe, avoiding crossings. It began from Tula and stretched to Perekop, with Kiev and Murom was not connected at all.

In order to clarify and give a final answer to this question, let us follow the evolution of the name of the hero over the past 400 years: from Muravlenin - Murovlin - Muravich - Muramech - Murovsky - Muromets and to “Ilya from the city of Murom” in the last edition of the signature above his burial, which, in my opinion, most fully meets reality. So it is more correct to conclude that the glorious bogatyr Ilya is from the ancient city of Murom.

Passion for IlyaGuschiny from Muromtsev

Outside the windows of the train on Murom sails nature, not yet awakened from a winter sleep; a rather monotonous, unpretentious landscape - endless spruce and birch forests, swamps, last year’s faded grass, and in some places miraculously preserved snowfields. A quick shadow flashed behind the tree trunks. Wolf? Is it really a hardened gray robber? The possibility is not excluded, although perhaps I actually saw an ordinary feral mongrel, lost in the forest. But the very atmosphere of dense Murom forests tunes up in such a way as to suggest a wolf rather than a dog.

The purpose of my trip to Murom is to see epic places with my own eyes, to meet with the possible descendants of Ilya Muromets, to talk with local ethnographers, to collect Karachara traditions and legends about the great hero.

In the Muromsk History and Art Museum, fate presented me with a glorious gift - a local ethnographer A. Yepanchin. An enthusiast, a true connoisseur of the history of his native city, a tireless collector of local traditions and legends, and besides, a representative of an ancient noble noble family. More than one day we wandered around Murom and Karacharov. As for Eli, he speaks with such fervor about his great countryman, as if he knew him personally.
In the homeland of the hero, everything known by tales is perceived in a new way. Here, for example, Ilya hut stood. Address: st. Priokskaya, d. 279. Here the heroic horse broke the spring with its hoof. Bylina get real form, fabulous landscapes smoothly turn into reality.
Here are the possible heirs of Ilya Muromets - the Gushchins family. Local legends explain that earlier the hut of Murom was in the thick of the forest, hence its second nickname, Gushchin, later it became the name of the descendants. Hospitable hosts set the table. Appears on the table smoked pike perch skillfully prepared by caring hands of the hostess, pickled mushrooms, pickles, preserves. And it makes us remember one more attribute of legends and fairy tales - self-dressing tablecloths. And, of course, the conversation behind the ground is about the great ancestor, the grandfather-great-grandfathers of the glorious family of the Gushchins.

The phenomenal power of Ilya Muromets was inherited by his distant descendants. For example, the host’s great-grandfather, Ivan Afanasyevich Guschin, was known in Karacharov and beyond its borders for its remarkable strength. He was even forbidden to participate in fist fights, because, without calculating the impact force, he could kill a man. He could also easily pull air, which the horses could not budge. Legends say that a similar incident occurred with Ilya of Murom. One day, the bogatyr brought up on the mountain three huge stained oaks caught by fishermen in the Oka. Such a load would be beyond the power of horses. These oaks formed the foundation of the Trinity Church, the ruins of which have survived to this day. It is interesting that recently, while cleaning the Oka fairway, several more ancient stained oak trees were found in three girths each. Yes, but they could not get them out onto the steep bank - they did not get the equipment, but the heroes were transferred.

There is no doubt that the genus of Karachara peasants Gushchinin is ancient. It was rather easy to trace their genealogy to the middle of the 17th century, or more precisely, to the 1636 of the year.

I just want to write: “The memory of the great hero is kept holy in the city.” Alas, this is not true. The chapel that Illya himself cut down was destroyed; the springs that arose during the races of his horse fell asleep. He collected and collected money for the monument to Ilya, but only time turned those thousands into dust, and they were barely enough to install a memorial plaque to a well-known writer. City authorities forgot about the monument. The descendants of Ilya, Guschina, honor his memory. With their money, they ordered an icon of St. Ilya of Murom. It was inserted into the kovchezhets with a particle of the bogatyr's relics, transferred in its time to the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra. The icon was solemnly installed in the newly-rebuilt Karachara church of Guriy, Samon and Aviv on the day of the memory of Ilya - January 1 of 1993.

Ilya Russian

The exploits of Murom are known to everyone, and there is no special need to describe them, especially since this is not the goal of our narrative. The reader is much easier and more interesting to learn about them from primary sources. And if this article will cause someone a passionate desire to re-read Russian epics, then this modest work was not in vain. We will deal with another important issue: the real existence of our hero and the last pages of his glorious biography. There are some new facts that make us rethink everything known until now.

Unfortunately, in the annals and other historical documents it was not possible to find references to Ilya Muromets. Maybe their compilers deliberately avoided this image due to the hero’s uncooperative origins, since the chronicles basically reflected the lives of princes and political events of national importance. One way or another, the fact remains that the search for the name Ilya in the ancient Russian sources has not yet yielded any tangible results.
However, it is known that not all the facts of national history are reflected in the annals. However, it would be hasty and thoughtless to conclude: not found - did not exist. But such a categorical conclusion was made, and made more than once.

Nevertheless, in the chronicles we find mention of Alexey Popovich (the prototype of the epic hero Alyosha Popovich), Dobryna (Dobrynia Nikitich), boyar Stavr (Stavr Godinovich) and others. There were attempts to identify Ilya with the hero Rogdaem, mentioned in the Nikon chronicle under the 1000 year. Rogday bravely entered the battle with three hundred enemies. The death of the hero, who served the Fatherland version of the truth, was bitterly mourned by Prince Vladimir.
It is possible that, paradoxically, but we do not even know the real name of the epic warrior. “Judge for yourself, because if he took monasticism in his declining years, he would definitely change his name. Maybe there Ilya became, and by the nickname - Muromets. His true name has not been preserved in the church chronicles. This worldly name could be anything, it may have been mentioned several times in the annals and is well known to us, but we simply did not know who was hiding behind it. Let's hope so far.

In foreign sources, the name of Ilya is recorded more than once. Mention of him is found in one of the Germanic epic works of the Lombard cycle, in a poem about Ortnit, the sovereign of Garda. Uncle Ortnita on the maternal line is none other than Ilya, who is well known to us. Here again he appears as a mighty and indomitable warrior, famous for his heroic deeds. Ilya Russky participates in the march on Sudera, helps Ortnit to get the bride. In the poem there is an episode in which Illya talks about his desire to return to Russia to his wife and children. He had not seen them for nearly a year.

This is complemented by the Scandinavian sagas recorded in Norway around the year 1250. This is the "Vilkina-saga" or "Tidrek-saga" from the northern set of stories about Dietrich of Bern. The ruler of Russia Gernita had two sons from the lawful consort Ozantriks and Valdemar, and the third son from the concubine - Ilias. Thus, according to this information, Ilya Muromets is no more and no less, and the blood brother of Vladimir, who later became the Grand Prince of Kiev and his patron. Perhaps, here lies the solution to the absence of the name of Ilya in the annals? Perhaps information about the son of the concubine tried to remove the princely censorship during the repeated editions of the chronicles?

True, on the other hand, according to Russian legends, Vladimir himself is also the son of Malusha's concubine and Prince Svyatoslav. And if you still remember that Dobrynya Nikitich is Malushi’s brother, the brothers brother of Ilya Muromets, the picture is completely confused. Therefore, let's not try to restore the family tree of Ilya, using the transformed and specific information drawn from the sagas. We agree only with the fact that the name of Ilya of Murom was widely known in the XIII century, not only in Russia, but also abroad.

In scientific literature, it has already become a peculiar tradition to believe that the first mention of Illya Muromets refers to the 1574 year. In the ВестVestovoi otpiska 'of the headman of the city of Orsha Filon Kmity it is said about the heroes Ilya Muravlenin and Nightingale Budimirovi-che. The next entry related to our hero was made in ten years. Lviv merchant Martin Gruneveg was in Kiev in 1584 year. He described his travels in detail in his memoirs, which are kept in the Gdansk Library of the Polish Academy of Sciences. Among these records there is also a story about a warrior buried in a cave. Grünieweg notes that the relics of this giant are his.

The greatest confusion about the burial of Ilya Muromets was brought by information gathered from the diaries of Erich Lyasota, the ambassador of the Holy Roman Empire Rudolph II. In 1594, he wrote: “In another chapel of the temple (St. Sophia Cathedral - S.Kh.) I outside was the tomb of Ilya Mauralin, a famous hero or hero, about whom many fables are told. This tomb is now destroyed, but the same tomb of his comrade is still intact in the same chapel. ” And further in the description of the Kiev-Pechersk monastery: "There is also one giant or hero, called Chobotka (probably more correct" Chobotok "-" Boot "- S.Kh.), they say that he was attacked once by many enemies at that time, when he put on his boot, and because in a hurry he couldn’t grab any other weaponsthen he began to defend himself with another boot, which he had not yet put on and had overcome them all, which is why he got such a nickname. ”

Let's stop and try to figure it out. For Lasas, Ilya Muromets and Chobotok are different people. But should one believe this faithlessly? After all, it is known for certain that the Lyasot was in Kiev on a journey and only three days (7-9 of May 1594 of the year). These days were obviously full of receptions, visits, and just introductory "excursions" around the city. During one such excursion, he visited the St. Sophia Cathedral and the Kiev-Pechersk Monastery. It is clear that he spent several hours in them and perceived the information by ear, according to the people of Kiev. It is not surprising if later, when writing in a diary, he could make a mess of something. Obviously, this is what happened with the name of the hero. It seems to me that Ilya Muromets and Chobotok are one person, but his first name is official, and the second is commoner.

Subsequently, the notes Lasyas quoted who could only, and the reading options were many. As a result of unqualified translation, the original meaning of the quoted passages was often distorted. So, for example, the version of the “heroic side-chapel” was born. In order not to repeat the mistakes of their predecessors, we use the text of the original. It turns out that in translations the word “outside” (outside) was released, and it turned out that the burial of Ilya and his friend was inside the Sofia Cathedral, next to the tomb of Yaroslav the Wise. Immediately decided the question of a friend of Ilya. Who was closest to him? Well, of course, Dobrynya Nikitich!

Ai Ileyushka was then
and big brother
Ai Dobrynyushka something was then
and little brother,
Cross brother.

Both of them were allegedly honored with a high honor, and an extension to the temple next to the grand duke’s tomb was built especially for them. Actually, it was about a chapel near the cathedral, which could stand here before the temple was built in 1037.

Lyasota gladly retold folk tales and fairy tales. So, in his notes we find a story about a magic mirror that was in the cathedral. "In this mirror, through magical art, one could see everything that was thought of, even if it happened at a distance of several hundred miles." Once the princess saw in him the love betrayal of her husband and smashed the magic mirror in anger. As far as I know, it never occurred to anyone to look for fragments of the fairy-tale mirror or to try to recreate this first “TV” in the history of mankind. Why is everything else, written by Lassota, taken on faith? This also applies to the amended name of Ilya - Moravlin and to the vicissitudes that followed this with the search for the second homeland of the hero. But it could just happen inaccuracy when translating the name into German!

Power in the cave

The following source of information deserves much more attention, because its lines were written not by a foreigner, but by the monk of the Kiev-Pechersk Monastery Athanasius Kalnalysky. In 1638, his book "Teraturgim" was printed in the laurel's printing house. In it, among the descriptions of the lives of saints of the Lavra saints there are lines dedicated to Ilya. The meaning of Kalnhoisky's words can be interpreted as follows: in vain the people call Ilya Chobotky, because in reality he is Muromets. The Teraturgim says that Ilya lived “for 450 years before that time”. Knowing the time of writing the book, we will make simple arithmetic calculations and get the year of the life of Ilya Muromets after Kalnhoisky - 1188!

Particularly defended the plausibility of this date, the founder of Ukrainian folkloristics, MA. Maksimovich. A famous writer and friend of Gogol, he argued that Kalnhoysky knew Russian history well enough. When writing the date of Illya's life, he was guided by ecclesiastical materials, which are more important and more authentic than Lyasota's “poetic fable”. It is known that the church sacredly kept information about its miracle workers. So, according to church traditions, they believe that Ilya from Murom lived in the XII century, and according to the church calendar, his memory is December 19 in the old style or January 1 in the new.

Information Lasyas could also be explained from this point of view and find a compromise between the two sources. The testimonies of Lassota and Kalnhoysky do not contradict each other, assuming that at the beginning of the burial of Ilya was in the Sofia Cathedral. Then the bogatyr's relics were transferred to the Lavra caves. This was done before the 1584 year, if we take into account the evidence of Grunevega. I repeat, it could have been assumed so (and this was done more than once), if it were not for one very significant detail that the researchers missed. All without exception. In the tomb of Ilya are his mummified remains, which means only one thing: Muromets was buried immediately after his death in the Lavra caves! The natural conditions in them are such that insignificant humidity and a constant temperature throughout the year prevent the reproduction of microbes that destroy organic bodies. There is a slow process of drying the remains and turning them into mummies. Lavra monks knew this from time immemorial, medieval travelers also noted this, comparing Kiev mummies with Egyptian mummies.

We know quite well the history of the creation of the Kiev-Pechersk Monastery. The first mention of his cave is found in the Tale of Bygone Years under 1051. The first burial in the dungeons of Lavra dates back to 1073, when one of the founders of the monastery, Anthony, was buried here. Thus, the body of Ilya Muromets could not be in the caves earlier than this time.

Of course, we have the temptation to simply take and bind the exploits of Ilya to the time of the reign of Vladimir Svyatoslavich or Vladimir Monomakh, but all attempts at such chronological characterization are in vain. The image of Prince Vladimir Red Sun most likely is not a reflection of any one person, but the collective image of many princes. Again, turn to the Encyclopedic Dictionary of A.F. Brockhaus and IA Efron. In it we find information about 29 (!) Princes named Vladimir. Therefore, I took the initial date for my research from church literature, the degree of confidence in which is incomparably higher than in the bylinas. In addition, we simply do not have other dates, except the one reported by Kalnhoysky. I don’t have to talk about its approximation. After all, not 400 or 500, namely 450! To the question of why Kalnhoysky did not write the years of the life of Ilya Muromets, one can only answer that such information was not always known even to the great princes.

Now look at the events of those distant years. In 1157 - 1169 there were frequent wars for Kiev, on the Kiev throne the princes changed 8. In 1169, the capital city was ravaged by Andrei Bogolyubsky. In 1169 - 1181 the leapfrog continued on the grand throne - the princes changed their 18, some of them ruled for several months and sat on the throne several times. The end of the 12th century was marked by new invasions of the Polovtsy. In 1173 and 1190, they made their devastating raids on Kiev lands. In short, the field for feats of arms of Ilya Muromets was at that time extensive, and he clearly would not have to be bored.

Doubts that no one else is buried in the Lavra caves, namely Ilya Muromets, the same epics will help to dispel us.

And the relics were made
yes saints
Yes, with the old Cossack
Ilya of Murom,
Ilya Muromets
son Ivanovich.
And in another version of epics:
And he built
cathedral church
Here Ilya and petrified,
And now by his might

The incorruptible relics of Ilya Muromets were indeed preserved in the Lavra catacombs to this day. In order to completely dispel the aura of secrets over his burial, turned to scientists, forensic medicine specialists. They had to answer many questions, and, looking ahead, I would like to say that the research results exceeded all expectations.

Ilya is alive

Ilya Muromets' height was centimeters 177. Of course, today you will not surprise anyone with such growth, but then, in the 12th century, this growth was much higher than average. The creation of Elijah is real heroic. He was well cut and firmly knocked down, they used to say about people like him, in old times they used to say - oblique sazhen in the shoulders.

Morphological and anthropometric studies have confirmed that Ilya can not be attributed to the Mongoloids. But in the Soviet period, it was believed that the relics of the bogatyr were a skillful church hoax. Instead of him, supposedly, much later they planted the body of the murdered Tatar.

Scientists noted in the lumbar spine curvature of the spine to the right and pronounced additional processes on the vertebrae. I will not bore the reader with specific medical terms, but only note that this could seriously impede the movement of the hero in his youth, due to the infringement of the nerves of the spinal cord. How can you not remember that "Ilya had no walking at all" for thirty years. Kaliki perekhozhi could turn out to be folk healers, who set vertebrae for Ilya and left her healing medicinal decoction.

The age of the epic warrior was determined by experts in 40 - 45 years (plus 10 years because of his particular disease). Agree, it somehow does not fit with our ideas about the old Cossack with a gray beard fluttering in the wind. Although, on the other hand, some of the tales' researchers, who did not have a clue about the real age of Ilya, find that the definition of “old Cossack” is not an indication of age, but only the title of a warrior.

So, in epics:
Tuto drove a good fellow
Old Cossack Ilya Muromets.

Thus, based on the information of Kalnhoysky and the latest research data, we can determine the time period of the life of Ilya Muromets. He could live approximately between 1148 and 1203 for years.

Several wounds were found on the body of Ilya of Murom, one of which was on the arm and the other in the region of the heart. This last one was the cause of his death. In addition, there are traces of old injuries sustained in combat. Unfortunately, Kaliki made a mistake in passing, saying that "death to you in battle was not written."

Now the last years of the life of Ilya Muromets stand out in front of us with all the evidence. Having accomplished many feats of arms, he found a quiet retreat on the slope of years in the cloister of the Kiev-Pechersk Monastery. Here Ilya prayed for his sins, led a measured way of life. However, the heroic power did not leave him. An example of this is the last feat described by Lassota, for which the bogatyr was nicknamed Chobotok. Not for the first time Ilya to defend himself with such an unusual weapon, in one of the epics he grabbed a hat or a helmet from his head and smashed the robbers with no number:
And he started here
waving a shelam
As in the direction of waving -
so here is the street
Ai in the friend will wave away -
duck lane.

In my version, Ilya Muromets died in the 1203 year, during the devastating raid on Kiev of the combined forces of Rurik and Polovtsy. They took the city by storm, the Kiev-Pechersk Monastery and St. Sophia Cathedral plundered. All church values ​​were plundered, most of the city - burned to the ground. Enemies ruthlessly dealt with the inhabitants of the capital city, they did not spare the old men of gray and small children. According to the chroniclers, there was no such ruin in Kiev before. It is clear that the glorious hero could not stay away from the battle. Again he had to take up arms. Judging by his injuries, he did not become easy prey for enemies. Many opponents put it in that deadly battle.

The bogatyr's wounds on his arm and chest were inflicted with narrow piercing weapons, most likely with a spear or dagger. It is curious that even in 1701, the wandering priest Ivan Lukyanov noted: “right there (in the cave - S.Kh.) the vision of the brave warrior Ilya Muromets in the nether under the golden veil, his left hand pierced with a spear”. Pilgrim could not see another wound on his chest because of the gilded curtain.

Scientists dated the burial of the XII century. This also testifies to the correctness of our calculations.

Still, I met with Ilya of Murom. Of course, not with himself, but with his sculptural portrait, but the essence of the matter changes little. I am one of the lucky few who have seen the epic hero in 800 years after his death. All the previous images of Ilya, familiar to us from the pictures, had one drawback - they are not a reflection of reality, but the fruit of the creative imagination of artists. The same sculptural portrait is the result of plastic reconstruction of the appearance of the bogatyr according to his preserved remains. The portrait creator is a leading expert in this field, criminologist and sculptor S. Nikitin.

Portrait master obviously a success. It embodies calm power, wisdom, generosity and peace. In his eyes there is no remorse, he fought for a just cause and not for nothing lived a life. Strong hands of the warrior are not based on the damask sword, but on the monk's staff as a symbol of the last years of his life spent in the monastery.

... Once again I descend the polished stone steps into the gloomy womb of the catacombs of the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra. Feelings that I experience are somewhat different from previous ones. I stop again at the tomb of Ilya from the castle of Murom. There is no more doubt, there is only a firm conviction that the dust of the glorious epic hero is in front of me. In the brain, an instantly painfully familiar image from childhood arises, it acquires specific outlines, turns into a portrait of a real person ... Living Elijah.

January 1994
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  1. omsbon
    omsbon 22 July 2013 11: 35
    Always dreamed of getting into the catacombs of the Kiev Pechersk Lavra!
    For me, the image of Ilya Muromets is the indestructible power of Russia!
  2. Knizhnik
    Knizhnik 22 July 2013 11: 39
    An interesting article, in general, it seems to me that many legends are based on real heroes.
  3. slaventi
    slaventi 22 July 2013 15: 18
    Ilya Muromets is not only an epic hero, He is a real man, whose deeds were glorified during his lifetime, The imperishable relics of the hero are irrefutable evidence of his real existence. For many modern people, it is a revelation that the popular hero of the epic is revered by the Russian Orthodox Church as a saint. St. Ilya Muromets did not have a canonical life. But it is obvious that he accepted monastic tonsure at the end of his life. But there is his epic biography from birth and healing to death. The largest number of epics in all Russian folklore is dedicated to him. There are about thirteen independent stories about glorious Ilya. The most famous of them tells about the victory of the Christian warrior over the pagan - the Nightingale the robber, "Odikhmantiev son."
    The relics of the epic hero have miraculous powers. They help not only the Orthodox, but also the Gentiles. Svetlana Matis from Kiev was convinced of this: before her eyes, in front of the relics of the monk, a man who had come to Kiev from Azerbaijan received healing. His name is Kerimov Mirzausif Aghakerim oglu, he came to Kiev from Baku to undergo leg surgery at Kiev doctors. He had very sore legs. Svetlana's daughter works in the Ministry of Internal Affairs. She brought Kerimov to her mother, since right from the station he, as a "person of Caucasian nationality", got into the police to find out the purpose of his arrival. He had no money for an expensive operation. Having learned about the imperishable relics of the Kiev Caves saints, he asked Svetlana and her husband to take him to them. The newcomer moved very badly. However, after he venerated the relics of Saint Elijah, he was already able to do without outside help. Saint Elijah is an intercessor before God for the Russian land and its people.
  4. Sergey Medvedev
    Sergey Medvedev 22 July 2013 16: 59
    Of course, he lived, of course it is real! And the same creatures that today remake the history of the Great Patriotic War and other glorious deeds of our ancestors do not agree with the reality of Ilya Muromets. soldier
  5. individual
    individual 22 July 2013 19: 10
    The Slavs believe in the reality of three heroes:
    Ilya Muromets,
    Alesha Popovich!
    Listen to that. What are the names!
  6. mithridate
    mithridate 22 July 2013 20: 10
    the history of the Slavs is rewritten by their enemies so that it is very difficult to get to the truth
  7. Simon
    Simon 23 July 2013 22: 45
    The Russian land has lived and will live until it gives birth to such heroes as Ilya Muromets. Time has shown that in Russia there are always heroes who protect their homeland.