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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



collections of didactic tales about the deeds of Christian monks and collections of their moralizing sayings.

Pateriki, which became widespread in Byzantine literature beginning in the fourth century, may be divided into two types. In the first, biographies of ascetics dominate, as in the Sinai, Egyptian, and Roman pateriki. In the second type, the homilies and instructive sayings of these ascetics dominate, as in the Monastery, Alphabetical, and Jerusalem pateriki.

The Composite (14th century) and Mount Athos pateriki were compiled in Slavic countries. Greek pateriki were translated by the South Slavs and entered Old Russian literature beginning in the 11th or 12th century. They circulated widely in Rus’ and influenced many literary works, among them the Life of Feodosii Pecherskii. Russian pateriki, such as the Kiev-Pecherskii Paterik, were then compiled, modeled after the translated ones. Stories from the pateriki were reflected in works of such writers as Dante, L. N. Tolstoy, and N. S. Leskov.


Sinaiskii paterik. Moscow, 1967. (Text and paleographic description.)


Leonid, arkhimandrit: Svedeniia o slavianskikh i russkikh perevodakh paterikov razlichnykh naimenovanii i obzor redaktsii onykh. Moscow, 1890.
Istoriia russkoi literatury, vol. 1. Moscow-Leningrad, 1941. Pages 106–13.


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