Karion Istomin

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Istomin, Karion


Born in the late 1640’s in Kursk; died 1717 in Moscow. Russian poet; monk.

Istomin, one of the first Moscow enlighteners, was a pupil of Simeon Polotskii. He wrote and also translated from Latin many dogmatic, historical, and pedagogical works. He presented a collection of syllabic verse in 1681 to Tsarevna Sophia; it celebrated “freedom of scholarship” and appealed for the establishment of a school of higher learning. Istomin’s Book of Edification instructed 11-year-old Tsar Peter I in “wisdom.” He compiled the Large Primer and the Polis, an encyclopedia in verse that described the areas of knowledge, the seasons, the world’s countries, and the sacraments of the church.


Eremin, I.P. “Karion Istomin.” In Istoriia russkoi literatury, vol. 2, part2. Moscow-Leningrad, 1948. Pages 355–60.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.