Ilia Muromets

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Il’ia Muromets


One of the foremost bogatyri in Russian epic poetry, the byliny. He is identified in the popular mind with the ideal hero-warrior who defends the state from foreign enemies when it is being torn apart by princely feuds. He exposes Prince Vladimir and the bandy-bellied boyars, their inability to repulse the enemy and their oppression of the people. During the 19th and 20th centuries various scholars (including N. P. Dash-kevich, M. G. Khalanskii, and Vs. F. Miller) attempted to find a prototype for Il’ia Muromets in the chronicles, but their endeavors proved fruitless. According to all the information currently known, the original Il’ia Muromets stories were composed between the 12th and 16th centuries, although individual works were written much later. The image of the bogatyr has inspired many writers, composers, painters, and film artists.


Miller, V. Ekskursy v oblast’ russkogo narodnogo eposa. Moscow, 1892.
Skaftymov, A. P. Poetika i genezis by/in: Ocherki. Saratov, 1924.
Astakhova, A. M. Il’ia Muromets. Moscow-Leningrad, 1958.
Astakhova, A. M. Byliny: Itogi i problemy isucheniia. Moscow-Leningrad, 1966.
Propp, V. Ia. Russkii geroicheskii epos, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1958.

Il’ia Muromets


a four-engine airplane, with an engine power of 440 kilowatts (600 hp), a pay load of 1.5 tons, and a speed of 100 km/hr. Designed by Russian engineers and built in early 1914 at the Russko-Baltiiskii Plant in St. Petersburg. The Russkii Vitiaz’, the world’s first four-engine airplane, which was built at the same plant in the spring of 1913, was the forerunner of the Il’ia Muromets.

In June and July 1914 the Il’ia Muromets set a world record by flying from Kiev to St. Petersburg in 14 hours and 38 minutes, with one stop. During World War I (1914–18) the world’s first heavy bombers (with a crew of eight) were built in Russia on the basis of the Il’ia Muromets. Their armament consisted of four to five machine guns (some models also had a 37-mm cannon); their bomb load was more than 700 kg, and they had internal bomb suspension, with mechanical bomb-release control, as well as compass and navigation equipment.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.