a monument of Old Russian literature; a collection of stories about the monks of the Kiev-Pecherskii Monastery and its history.
A number of epistles, written in the 1220’s by Simon, the bishop of Suzdal’, and Polykarp, a monk at the Kiev-Pecherskii Monastery, form the basis of the collection. Subsequently, right up to the 17th century, additions were frequently made to the various written copies of the collection. In 1661 it was printed on the printing press of the Kiev-Pecherskii Laura.
Although many plots and images in the collection date back to Byzantine sources, on the whole it is distinguished by artistic originality, depicting in a lively and realistic fashion the everyday life and mores of the monastery’s brotherhood and reporting valuable historical facts. The stories of the collection are close to oral folk literature. A. S. Pushkin observed in them “the charm of simplicity and fancy” (Poln. sobr. soch., vol. 10, 1958, p. 347).
EDITIONSAbramovych, D. Kievo-Pechers'kyi pateryk. Kiev, 1930.
In Khudozhestvennaia proza Kievskoi Rusi XI-XIII w. Moscow, 1957.