Summary “Legend of Boris and Gleb”

Summary “Legend of Boris and Gleb”

Prince Vladimir Svyatoslavich had twelve sons from different wives. The third in seniority was Svyatopolk. Svyatopolk’s mother, a nun, was cut off and taken to wife Yaropolk, Vladimir’s brother. Vladimir killed Yaropolk and captured his wife when she was pregnant. He adopted Svyatopolk, but did not like him. And Boris and Gleb were the sons of Vladimir and his Bulgarian wife. Vladimir planted his children on different lands to reign: Svyatopolk in Pinsk, Boris in Rostov, Gleb in Murom.

When the days of Vladimir were drawing to a close, the Pechenegs moved to Russia. Prince sent against them, Boris Toth made a campaign, but the enemy did not meet. When Boris returned back, the messenger told him about his father’s death and that Svyatopolk tried to hide his death. Listening to this story, Boris burst into tears. He realized that Svyatopolk wants to seize power and kill him, but decided not to resist. Indeed, Svyatopolk treacherously seized the throne of Kiev. But, despite the persuasions of the squad, Boris did not want to drive his brother out of reign.

Meanwhile, Svyatopolk bribed Kiev and wrote a kind letter to Boris. But his words were false. In fact, he wanted to kill all the heirs of his father. And he began by ordering a squad, consisting of Vyshgorod husbands headed by the Putins, to kill Boris.

Boris spread the camp on the river Alta. In the evening he prayed in his tent, thinking about a near death. When he woke up, he ordered

the priest to serve his matins. The murderers, sent by Svyatopolk, approached the tent of Boris and heard the words of holy prayers. And Boris, hearing a sinister whisper near the tent, realized that these were murderers. The priest and servant Boris, seeing the sorrow of his master, grieved over him.

Suddenly Boris saw assassins with bare arms in their hands. Villains rushed to the prince and pierced him with spears. A servant Boris covered his body with his master. This servant was a Hungarian born by the name of George. The killers also struck him. Wounded by them, George jumped out of the tent. The villains wanted to inflict new blows upon the prince, who was still alive. But Boris began to ask that they allow him to pray to God. After the prayer, the prince turned to his murderers with words of forgiveness and said: “Brethren, when you come, finish what you commanded.” So Boris died on the 24th day of July. They killed many of his servants, including George. His head was cut off to remove the hryvnia from his neck.

Boris was wrapped in a tent and carried on a cart. When riding in the woods, the holy prince raised his head. And two Varangians pierced him once more with a sword in his heart. Boris’s body was laid in Vyshgorod and buried near the church of St. Basil.

After that, Svyatopolk planned a new crime. He sent Gleb a letter in which he wrote that his father, Vladimir, was seriously ill and was calling Gleb.

The young prince went to Kiev. When he reached the Volga, he slightly injured his leg. He stopped near Smolensk, on the Smidyni River, in a boat. The news of Vladimir’s death in the meantime reached Yaroslav (another of the twelve sons of Vladimir Svyatoslavich), who then reigned in Novgorod. Yaroslav sent Gleb a warning that he did not go to Kiev: his father died, and his brother Boris was killed. And, when Gleb cried about his father and brother, Svyatopolk’s evil servants suddenly appeared before him, sent to kill him.

The holy prince Gleb swam then in the boat along the Smidyne River. The killers were in another boat, they began rowing to the prince, and Gleb thought that they wanted to greet him. But the villains began to jump into the boat Gleb with naked swords in their hands. The prince began to beg that they did not destroy his young life. But Svyatopolk’s servants were inexorable. Then Gleb began to pray to God about his father, brothers and even about his murderer, Svyatopolk. After that the cook Glebov, Torchin, stabbed his master. And Gleb ascended to heaven, and met there with his beloved brother. It happened on 5 September.

The murderers returned to Svyatopolk and told him about the fulfillment of the command. The wicked prince was overjoyed.

Gleb’s body was thrown in a deserted place between two decks. Passed by this place merchants, hunters, shepherds saw there a pillar of fire, burning candles, heard the angelic singing. But no one guessed to look for the body of a saint there.

And Yaroslav moved with his army to the fratricide of Svyatopolk, in order to avenge the brothers. Yaroslav was accompanied by victories. Arriving on the river Altu, he became in the place where St. Boris was killed, and prayed to God about the final victory over the villain.

The whole day lasted on Alla. Towards evening Yaroslav overcame, and Svyatopolk fled. He was overcome by insanity. Svyatopolk was so weak that he was carried on a stretcher. He ordered to run, even when the chase stopped. So on a stretcher they carried him through the Polish land. In a deserted place between the Czech Republic and Poland, he died. His grave was preserved, and from it emanates a terrible stench.

Since then, intolerance has ceased in the Russian land. The Grand Duke was Yaroslav. He found Gleb’s body and buried him in Vyshgorod, next to his brother. Gleb’s body was imperishable.

From the relics of the holy martyrs Boris and Gleb many miracles began to emerge: the blind saw, the lame walked, the hunchbacks straightened. And in those places where the brothers were killed, churches were created in their name.


Summary “Legend of Boris and Gleb”