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a medieval historical account of the principal stages of world history since “the creation of the world.” The sources of such chronographies included biblical texts, the works of ancient writers and church fathers, church histories, hagiographies, the Apocrypha, and various chronicles. Works of this type contained historical, literary, and geographic information. Western European chronographies date back to the seventh century; Byzantine chronographies date from the sixth through the 15th century. The Byzantine chronographies included, in addition to the customary ones, short compositions that were known as paschal chronographies and were intended for use in educational institutions.
Among the best-known chronographies are those of John Malalas (sixth century), Georgios Amartolos (ninth century, continued in the tenth century), and Theophanes the Confessor (ninth century). Translations of the first two appeared in Kievan Rus’ around the middle of the 11th century. A Russian version appeared soon thereafter—the chronography (Khronograf po velikomu izlozheniiu) that was one of the sources of the Primary Chronicle, or Tale of Bygone Years. Various versions of this chronography appeared in the 13th and 14th centuries.
A work known as “The Hellenic Chronicle, Second Edition” appeared in Rus’ around the mid-15th century; its new narrative style was developed in the “Russian Chronography” that appeared in the late 15th or early 16th century. The oldest portion of the latter work was preserved in a chronography dated 1512. The Russian Chronography made use of new Byzantine sources as well as of South Slavic writings and condensed Russian chronicle compilations of the late 15th century. In its turn, this chronography was the source of various other works, including the one known as the “Western Russian Chronography” (which drew on M. Bielski’s Chronicle of the World for its account of European history), the “Extensive Chronography” (preserved in editions of 1599 and 1601), and chronographies dated 1617 and 1620 (the former providing valuable information on Russian history of the early 17th century). The later Russian chronographies were used as sources of local chronographies in Bulgaria, Serbia, Moldavia, and Walachia. Chronographies of a distinctive type continued to appear until the mid-18th century.
REFERENCESPolnoe sobrante russkikh letopisei, vol. 22, parts 1–2. St. Petersburg, 1911–14.
Popov, A. N. Obzor khronografov russkoi redaktsii, parts 1–2. Moscow, 1866–69.
Tvorogov, O. V. Drevnerusskie khronografy. Leningrad, 1975.