The story of “Volga and Mikula Selyaninovich” belongs to the Novgorod cycle of epic tales. The brief content of the work allows the reader to compare two different images: the prince’s nephew and a simple plowman-peasant. According to some reports, in this epic the main characters are two pagan gods: Mikula is responsible for agriculture, and Volga for hunting. Orest Miller, a 19th century mythologist, found in the work many similar characteristics between the protagonists and patrons of peasants and hunters.
Meeting of the Volga with Mikula
The acquaintance of the prince with a simple peasant is at the heart of the epic “Volga and Mikula Selyaninovich”. The summary tells how the nephew of the Kiev prince was born, matured and thought about acquiring
Volga Svyatoslavovich left for the field, hears the screech of the plow and the whistling of the plowman, but he does not see the peasant himself. Long he rode with his squad, only the third day saw a peasant. During the meeting, Volga and Mikula Selyaninovich started talking. The summary tells that the prince told the peasant where and for what purpose he is on his way, and the peasant in his turn warned him of the evil inhabitants of these cities.
Incredible power of plowman
Learning that he would have to meet with these robbers, Volga asked Mikula to go with him, because his army would not be hurt by such a strong man who alone coped with several townspeople. The prince was seriously concerned that his squad could be killed and drowned in the Smorodino River. Bylina “Wolga and Mikula Selyaninovich” tells that the peasant agreed to go to the city for tribute, but having already gone a good distance from the field, he remembered that he did not pull out of the ground and threw his sokh from behind the rakit bush.
In order not to return, Volga sent five of his fellows, but
Heroes of the Russian epic
And then the prince and the peasant come to the city. The men immediately recognized Mikula, who beat them alone, when they tried to take salt from the plowman, and came to the riders to bow and apologize. Wolga saw with his own eyes what respect his new acquaintance enjoyed, so he decided to give him three towns with peasants. The prince made the plowman his governor and instructed him to collect tribute from the peasants.
But there is also a slightly different interpretation of the epic “Volga and Mikula Selyaninovich.” The summary of the work says that the prince in the city was attacked by bandits, and his plowman saved him. Whatever it was, but Mikula Selyaninovich is the embodiment of the national hero.