A Russian epic hero, one of the heroes of the byliny.
Alesha Popovich’s possible prototype is the brave Aleksandr Popovich, of Rostov, who is mentioned in Russian chronicles of the 11th to 13th centuries. In some byliny Alesha Popovich is further characterized as a liar and a deceiver, a “mocker of women.” However, later additions did not obscure the nature of Alesha Popovich as a mighty epic hero who guarded Rus’ from external enemies.
REFERENCESPropp, V. Ia. Russkii geroicheskii epos, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1958.
Likhachev, D. S. “Letopisnye izvestiia ob Aleksandre Popoviche.” In Tr. Otd. drevnerusskoi lit-ry AN SSSR, [vol.] 7. Moscow-Leningrad, 1949.