Summary “Bylin Duke Stepanovich”

Summary “Bylin Duke Stepanovich”

Literature on the “Duke” is extremely large. However, none of the researchers of this epic did not notice humor and satire in it, and the question of ideological and political tendencies was not raised at all. All the usual questions were raised about the epic in general, and the most contradictory and one-by-one answers were given. Representatives of various directions made every effort to prove the foreign origin of the image of Duke and the plot about him. Orest Miller (Ilya Murom, pp. 587-616) considered Duke a Western European duke, which is proved by the examination of his expensive armor and by the analysis of his name (Duke = dux). Orest Miller considered it possible to argue that this German duke is also an advocate of popular, democratic ideals: he shames Churila, who

embodies wealth in his person. I. N. Zhdanov (Bylina about Duke Stepanovich and the tale of Digenis Acritus – Works, I, pp. 730-738) builds our epic poem to the Byzantine primary source, namely to the poem about Digenis. The rapprochement is made on the grounds that the whole chapter of the poem is devoted to the richness of Digenis. It seems that the description of the Duke’s wealth is borrowed, although it is easy to see that the description of the riches is completely different. The name of the Duke is not erected to the Latin source, as in Miller, but to the Greek, to the name of the genus Dukov, from which the Digenis occurs. To a different, also Byzantine source, he built the epic about Duke AN Veselovsky (Dyuk Stepanovich and Western parallels to the songs about him – “South Russia was.”, VI, pp. 125-254). Veselovsky erects this epic to the “Epistle” of the presbyter John to the Greek king Manuel. In this message John in response to the Embassy of Manuel describes the wonders and riches of his country. (For a study of this monument, see MN Speransky, A Tale of the Indian Kingdom, Izv., Selected Russian Language and the Writings of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR, vol. III, book 2, 1930, pp. 359-465. ) Such a rapprochement is just as much a stretch as Zhdanov’s rapprochement.
The wealth of John does not at all resemble the wealth of the Duke. John, for example, has a huge army, 12 patriarchs, 10 kings, 12 metropolitans, etc., are dining with him. India is filled with miracles: there are horned, three-legged, four-armed people, giants, people with eyes and mouth on their chests and etc. All this has absolutely nothing to do with the epic. In the few cases where there is a real coincidence (John suggests that Manuel sell his kingdom on paper to describe his wealth, which corresponds to the suggestion of Dyukova’s mother Vladimir’s ambassadors), Veselovsky is forced to admit that this detail fell into the legend of folklore, and not vice versa. In another work (Studies in the field of Russian spiritual verse, III-V.- “Collections of the Department of Russian Language and Literature of the Academy of Sciences”, vol. XXVIII, No. 2, St. Petersburg, 1881) Veselovsky compares wonderful buttons on Duke’s caftan with a number of Western European wonders like singing artificial birds, etc. M. Khalansky touched our epic twice. In an earlier work (Velikorusskaya byliny, pp. 187-210), he drew attention to the “striking abundance of purely Russian, native, Moscow everyday features.” This view of Halansky is absolutely correct, as well as his assertion that the epic depicts Moscow in the XVI-XVII centuries.

However, Khalansky does not draw any conclusions from the collected excellent materials. Contrary to the evidence, he repeats Veselovsky’s point of view: “Despite the abundance of indigenous, Russian features, in general, however, we find it impossible to recognize the epic about Duke Stepanovich as a work by an independent Russian.” Argument: the plot is too unusual (that is, Russians can create only ordinary, stenciled stories, p. 207). The question of the plot itself and its meaning is not raised at all. In another small work (“Russian Philological Bulletin”, 1891, No. 4, pp. 165-172), Khalansky erects Duke’s wonderful buttons to Serbian songs, which in turn reflect the Serbian folk costume. All in. Miller (Essays, I, pp. 97-142) tries to prove the Galician-Volhynian origin of the epic. Historical references are given about the Galician princes and their attitude towards Byzantium. Since the Galician principality flourished in the 12th century, the epic about the Duke, according to Miller, developed in the 12th century. Its source, however, is not Russian, but Byzantine. It is all the same message of the presbyter John. By All. Miller, Vladimir is the Byzantine emperor Manuel, Duke is a pious and powerful presbyter and Indian King John. His name he borrowed from the Byzantine Dukas (which Vsev. Miller gives several), and his patronymic – from the Hungarian King Stephen. Since some similarity to the “Epistle” has only the middle part of the epic (description of the wonders and riches of the Indian land), Vsev. Miller declares the first part of the epic of the sucked-in, and the last part of it (rivalry with Churila) is silent at all, as if it did not exist. In general, Vsev. Miller only develops the theory of Veselovsky. More valuable for us is a work dedicated not to the epic, but attracting the epic as an illustrative material. This is the work of SK Shambinago “The Old Russian dwelling on the bylinas” (“The Jubilee Collection in honor of All-Russia Miller”, pp. 129-150). Shambinago draws the epic on a par with historical documents about the ancient Russian dwelling. He comes to the same conclusion as Khalansky, namely, that here Moscow reflects the XVI-XVII centuries. Although the question of ideological and artistic content is not set here either, but the work of Shambinago is valuable with its materials. Mention should also be made of the work of NI Korobka (The Wonderful Tree and the Wandering Bird, “Living Antiquity”, 1910, III, pp. 189-203), who tries to prove that the whistling buttons of the Duke, like the whistling of the Nightingale the Robber, have a mythical meaning and origin. Already in Soviet times, AI Lyashchenko continued the traditions of the historical school, but he advanced a completely different theory that repeals all the previous ones, and yet does not advance us in the understanding of the epic (Bylin about Duke Stepanovich.- Izv. and the Writings of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR “, vol. XXX, 1925, p. 45-142). According to Lyashchenko, Duke is none other than the Hungarian king, Dook Stefan IV, that Lyashchenko tries to prove by comparison of a number of small things (Stefan IV was boastful and loved wine, and Duke also described it; in buttons and loops Dyukova caftan Lyashchenko sees a Hungarian and etc.). In Soviet times, AN Robinson argued that the arrival of the rich man Duke in Kiev reflects the visit of Galich in 1165 by the cousin of Byzantine emperor Manuel Andronicus (ICRD, II, p. 154). The question is, why people should have sung such a visit and why the song was kept for centuries, is not put. The idea of ​​Galic visiting Andronicus as a historical basis of the epic was also expressed by VA Keltuyala (Course in the History of Russian Literature, Part I, Book 1, ed., 2, 1913, pp. 982-983). DS Likhachev also refers to the appearance of the epic about the Duke to the XII-XIII centuries. It reflects the wealth of Galich, which is proved, however, not by analysis of bylinas, but by historical information about the wealth and significance of Halych in the 12th-13th centuries. The ideological sense of the epic is that in the “image of the Duke, the people’s dream of a rich life and the desire to humiliate the prince’s power comes to the fore” (RNPT, Vol. I, p. 285). The fallacy of this point of view can be proved by a detailed analysis of the song itself. Of Soviet scientists, only Astakhova noted that the theme of this epic was “


Summary “Bylin Duke Stepanovich”