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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



an Old Russian literary masterpiece of the late 14th century (evidently not later than 1393), narrating the events of the Battle of Kulikovo in 1380. Little is known about the author other than his name, Sofonii, and that he was a native of Riazan’. The earliest manuscript of the Zadonshchina dates from the 1470’s (of the seven extant copies two are fragments and one is an excerpt). The author of the Zadonshchina borrowed extensively from The Tale of Igor’s Campaign, which is natural considering their common ideological trend—the struggle for unification of the Russian principalities against a foreign enemy. He did not, however, merely imitate it but rather selected and creatively reinterpreted the situations and poetic images of the earlier work in narrating the rout of Mamai.


Rzhiga, V. F. [Text and translation of Zadonshchina and an essay.] InPovest o Kulikovskoi bitve. Moscow, 1959.
Andranova-Peretts, V. P. “Slovo o polku Igoreve i Zadonshchina.” In the collection Slovo o polku Igoreve—pamiatnik XII v. Moscow, 1962.
“Slovo o polku Igoreve” i pamiatniki Kulikovskogo tsikla. Moscow-Leningrad, 1966. (Texts, essays, research on Zadonshchina, bibliography.)


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