(Monthly Readings; from the Greek menaios, “monthly,” and Old Russian chefe, “reading”), collections of religious writings, including saints’ lives, sermons, homilies, tales, and legends, arranged according to the days of the month.
Minei-Chet’i were intended to indoctrinate listeners in the official world view of the Orthodox Church. These collections originated in Byzantium in the ninth century and are known to have existed in Kievan Rus’ by the llth century. During the 1530’s and 1540’s Metropolitan Makarii compiled the Velikie Chefi-Minei (Great Monthly Readings), which included a number of outstanding works of Old Russian literature. In the late 17th and early 18th centuries, collections based on the Velikie Chefi-Minei were compiled by German Tulupov, a monk at the Sergius Trinity Monastery, by the priest loann Miliutin, and by Metropolitan Dmitrii of Rostov.
REFERENCESVelikie Minei-Chetii, sobrannye Vserossiiskim mitropolitom Makariem,issues 1–14. St. Petersburg, 1868–1917.
Kliuchevskii, V. O. “Velikie Minei-Chetii, sobrannye Vserossiiskim mitropolitom Makariem.” In Otzyvy i otvety. Petrograd, 1918.
Gudzii, N. K. Istoriia drevnerusskoi literatury, 7th ed. Moscow, 1966.