The Russian Primary Chronicle – Laurentian Text – Until 1075 AD by Nestor

Tradition long regarded the original compilation as the work of a monk named Nestor (c. 1056 – c. 1114); hence scholars spoke of Nestor’s Chronicle or of Nestor’s manuscript. His compilation has not survived. Nestor’s many sources included the earlier but now lost Slavonic chronicles; the Byzantine annals of John Malalas, a Greek chronicler, who in 563 produced an 18 book work of intertwined myth and truth; and the Byzantine annals of George Hamartolus, a monk, who tried to adhere strictly to truth, and whose works are the unique contemporary source for the period 813–842. Sources of Nestor’s Chronicle also included byliny (singular bylina), which were traditional East Slavic oral epic narrative poems; Norse sagas; several Greek religious texts; Rus’–Byzantine treaties and oral accounts of Yan Vyshatich and of other military leaders. Nestor worked at the court of Sviatopolk II of Kiev (ruled 1093–1113) and probably shared Sviatopolk’s pro-Scandinavian policies.

The early part of the Chronicle features many anecdotal stories, among them those of the arrival of the three Varangian brothers, the founding of Kiev, the murder of Askold and Dir, ca. 882, the death of Oleg in 912, the “cause” of which was reported foreseen by him, and the thorough vengeance taken by Olga, the wife of Igor, on the Drevlians, who had murdered her husband. Her actions secured Kievan Rus’ from the Drevlians, preventing her from having to marry a Drevlian prince, and allowing her to act as regent until her young son came of age. The account of the labors of Saints Cyril and Methodius among the Slavic peoples also makes a very interesting tale, and to Nestor we owe the story of the summary way in which Vladimir the Great (ruled 980 to 1015) suppressed the worship of Perun and other traditional gods at Kiev.


These are the narratives of bygone years regarding the origin of the land of Rus’, the first princes of Kiev, and from what source the land of Rus’ had its beginning. Let us accordingly begin this narrative. After the flood, the sons of Noah (Shem, Ham, and Japheth) divided the earth among them. To the lot of Shem fell the Orient, and his share extended lengthwise as far as India and breadthwise (i.e., from east to south ) as far as Rhinocurura, including Persia and Bactria, as well as Syria, Media ( which lies beside the Euphrates River), Babylon, Cordyna, Assyria, Mesopotamia, Arabia the Ancient, Elymais, India, Arabia the Mighty, Coelesyria, Commagene, and all Phoenicia. To the lot of Ham fell the southern region, comprising Egypt, Ethiopia facing toward India, the other (2) Ethiopia out of which the red Ethiopian river flows to the eastward, the Thebaid, Libya as far as Cyrene, Marmaris, Syrtis, and other Libya, Numidia, Massyris, and Maurentania over against Cadiz. Among the regions of the Orient, Ham also received Cilicia, Pamphylia, Mysia, Lycaonia, Phrygia, Ca- malia, Lycia, Car’ta, Lydia, the rest of Moesia, Troas, Aeolia, Bithynia, and ancient Phrygia. He likewise acquired the islands of Sardinia, Crete, and Cyprus, and the river Gihon, called the Nile. (3) To the lot of Japheth fell the northern and the western sections, including Media, Albania, Armenia ( both little and great), Cappadocia, Paphlagonia, Galatia, Colchis, Bosporus, Maeotis, Dervis, Sar- matia, Tauria, Scythia, Thrace, Macedonia, Dalmatia, Molossia, Thes- saly, Locris, Pellene ( which is also called the Peloponnese), Arcadia, Epirus, Illyria, the Slavs, Lychnitis and Adriaca, from which the Adri- atic Sea is named. He received also the islands of Britain, Sicily, Eu- boea, Rhodes, Chios, Lesbos, Cythera, Zacynthus, Cephallenia, Ithaca, and Corcyra, as well as a portion of the land of Asia called Ionia, the river Tigris flowing between the Medes and Babylon / and the territory to the north extending as far as the Pontus and including the Danube, the Dniester, and the Carpathian Mountains, which are called Hungarian, and thence even to the Dnieper. (4) He likewise acquired dominion over other rivers, among them the Desna, the Pripet’, the Dvina, the Volkhov, and the Volga, which flows eastward into the portion of Shem. In the share of Japheth lies Rus’, Chud’, and all the gentiles: Merya, Muroma, Ves’, Mordva, Chud’ beyond the portages, Perm’, Pechera, Yam’, Ugra, Litva, Zimegola, Kors’, Let’gola, and Liv\ The Lyakhs, the Prussians, and Chud’ border on the Varangian Sea. The Varangians dwell on the shores of that same sea, and extend to the eastward as far as the portion of Shem. They likewise live to the west beside this sea as far as the land of the English and the French. For the following nations also are a part of the race of Japheth: the Varangians, the Swedes, the Normans, the Gotlanders, the Russes, the English, the Spaniards, the Italians, the Romans, the Germans, the French, the Venetians, the Genoese, and so on. Their homes are situated in the northwest, and adjoin the Hamitic tribes. (5)

Thus Shem, Ham, and Japheth divided the earth among them, and after casting lots, so that none might encroach upon his brother’s share, they lived each in his appointed portion. There was but one spoken language, and as mankind multiplied throughout the earth, they planned, in the days of Yoktan and Peleg, to build a tower as high as heaven itself. Thus they gathered together in the plain of Shinar to build the tower and the city of Babylon round about it. But they wrought upon the tower for forty years, and it was unfinished. Then the Lord God descended to look upon the city and the tower, and said, “This race is one, and their tongue is one.” So the Lord confused the tongues, and after dividing the people into seventy-two races, he scattered them over the whole world. After the confusion of the tongues, God overthrew the tower with a great wind, and the ruin of it lies between Assur and Babylon. In height and in breadth it is 5400 and 33 cubits, and the ruin was preserved for many years. 2 After the destruction of the tower and the division of the nations, the sons of Shem occupied the eastern regions, and sons of Ham those of the south, and the sons of Japheth the western and the northern lands. Among these seventy-two nations, the Slavic race is derived from the line of Japheth, since they are the Noricians, who are identical with the Slavs. Over a long period the Slavs settled beside the Danube, where the Laurentian Text 53 Hungarian and Bulgarian lands now lie. From among these Slavs, (6) parties scattered throughout the country and were known by appropri- ate names, according to the places where they settled. Thus some came and settled by the river Morava, and were named Moravians, while others were called Czechs. Among these same Slavs are included the White Croats, 3 the Serbs, and the Carinthians. For when the Vlakhs attacked the Danubian Slavs, setded among them, and did them vio- lence, the latter came and made their homes by the Vistula, and were then called Lyakhs. 4 Of these same Lyakhs some were called Polyan- ians, some Lutichians, some Mazovians, and still others Pomorians. Certain Slavs setded also on the Dnieper, and were likewise called Polyanians. Still others were named Derevlians, because they lived in the forests. Some also lived between the Pripet’ and the Dvina, and were known as Dregovichians. Other tribes resided along the Dvina and were called Polodans on account of a small stream called the Polota, which flows into the Dvina. It was from this same stream that they were named Polotians. The Slavs also dwelt about Lake IPmen’, and were known there by their characterisdc name. They built a city which they called Novgorod. Still others had their homes along the Desna, the Sem’, and the Sula, and were called Severians. Thus the Slavic race was divided, and its language was known as Slavic. (7)

When the Polyanians lived by themselves among the hills, a trade-route connected the Varangians with the Greeks. Starting from Greece, this route proceeds along the Dnieper, above which a portage leads to the Lovat’. By following the Lovat’, the great lake Ilmen’ is reached. The river Volkhov flows out of this lake and enters the great lake Nevo. The mouth of this lake opens into the Varangian Sea. Over this sea goes the route to Rome, and on from Rome overseas to Tsar’grad. 5 The Pontus, into which flows the river Dnieper, may be reached from that point. The Dnieper itself rises in the upland forest, and flows southward. The Dvina has its source in this same forest, but flows northward and empties into the Varangian Sea. The Volga rises in this same forest but flows to the east, and discharges through seventy mouths into the Caspian Sea. It is possible by this route to the eastward to reach the Bulgars and the Caspians, and thus attain the region of Shem. Along the Dvina runs the route to the Varangians, whence one may reach Rome, and go from there to the race of Ham. But the Dnieper flows through various mouths into the Pontus. This sea, beside which taught St. Andrew, Peter’s brother, is called the Russian Sea. 6 When Andrew was teaching in Sinope and came to (8) Kherson 7 (as has been recounted elsewhere), he observed that the mouth of the 54 The Russian Primary Chronicle Dnieper was near by. Conceiving a desire to go to Rome, he thus journeyed to the mouth of the Dnieper. Thence he ascended the river, and by chance he halted beneath the hills upon the shore. Upon arising in the morning, he observed to the disciples who were with him, “See ye these hills? So shall the favor of God shine upon them that on this spot a great city shall arise, and God shall erect many churches therein.” He drew near the hills, and having blessed them, he set up a cross. After offering his prayer to God, he descended from the hill on which Kiev was subsequendy built, and continued his journey up the Dnieper. He then reached the Slavs at the point where Novgorod is now situated. He saw these people existing according to their customs, and on observing how they bathed and scrubbed themselves, he wondered at them. He went thence among the Varangians and came to Rome, where he recounted what he had learned and observed. “Wondrous to relate,” said he, “I saw the land of the Slavs, and while I was among them, I noticed their wooden bathhouses. They warm them to extreme heat, then undress, and after anointing themselves with an acid liquid, they take young branches and lash their bodies. They actually lash themselves so violently that they barely escape alive. Then they drench themselves with cold water, and thus are revived. They think nothing of doing this (9) every day, and though tormented by none, they actually inflict such voluntary torture upon themselves. Indeed, they make of the act not a mere washing but a veritable torment.” When his hearers learned this fact, they marveled. But Andrew, after his stay in Rome, returned to Sinope. While the Polyanians lived apart and governed their families (for before the time of these brothers there were already Polyanians, and each one lived with his gens on his own lands, ruling over his kinsfolk), there were three brothers, Kiy, Shchek, and Khoriv, and their sister was named Lybed’. Kiy lived upon the hill where the Borichev trail now is, and Shchek dwelt upon the hill now named Shchekovitsa, while on the third resided Khoriv, after whom this hill is named Khorevitsa. They built a town and named it Kiev after their oldest brother. Around the town lay a wood and a great pine-forest in which they used to catch wild beasts. These men were wise and prudent; they were called Polyanians, and there are Polyanians descended from them living in Kiev to this day. Some ignorant persons have claimed that Kiy was a ferryman, for near Kiev there was (10) at that time a ferry from the other side of the river, in consequence of which people used to say, “To Kiy’s ferry.” Now if Kiy had been a mere ferryman, he would never have gone to Laurentian Text 55 Tsar’grad. He was then the chief of his kin, and it is related what great honor he received from the Emperor in whose reign he visited the imperial court. On his homeward journey, he arrived at the Dan- ube. The place pleased him and he built a small town, wishing to dwell there with his kinsfolk. But those who lived near by would not grant him this privilege. Yet even now the dwellers by the Danube call this town Kievets. When Kiy returned to Kiev, his native city, he ended his life there; and his brothers Shchek and Khoriv, as well as their sister Lybed’, died there also. After the deaths of these three brothers, their gens assumed the supremacy among the Polyanians. The Derevlians possessed a prin- cipality of their own, as did also the Dregovichians, while the Slavs had their own authority in Novgorod, and another principality existed on the Polota, where the Polotians dwell. Beyond them reside the Krivichians, who live at the head waters of the Volga, the Dvina, and the Dnieper, and whose city is Smolensk. It is there that the Krivich- ians dwell, and from them are the Severians sprung. At Beloozero are situated the Ves’, and on the lake of Rostov, the Merya, (11) and on Lake Kleshchino the Merya also. Along the river Oka (which flows into the Volga), the Muroma, the Cheremisians, and the Mordva preserve their native languages. For the Slavic race in Rus’ includes only the Polyanians, the Derevlians, the people of Novgorod, the Polot- ians, the Dregovichians, the Severians, and the Buzhians, who live along the river Bug and were later called Volhynians. The following are other tribes which pay tribute to Rus’: Chud’, Merya, Ves’, Mu- roma, Cheremis’, Mordva, Perm’, Pechera, Yam,’ Litva, Zimegola, Kors’, Narva, and Liv’. These tribes have their own languages and belong to the race of Japheth, which inhabits the lands of the north. Now while the Slavs dwelt along the Danube, as we have said, there came from among the Scythians, that is, from the Khazars, a people called Bulgars who setded on the Danube and oppressed the Slavs. After- ward came the White Ugrians, who inherited the Slavic country. These Ugrians appeared under the Emperor Heraclius, warring on Chosroes, King of Persia. The Avars, who attacked Heraclius the Emperor, nearly capturing him, also lived at this time. 8 They made war upon the Slavs, (12) and harassed the Dulebians, who were themselves Slavs. 0 They even did violence to the Dulebian women. When an Avar made a journey, he did not cause either a horse or a steer to be harnessed, but gave com- mand instead that three of four or five women should be yoked to his cart and be made to draw him. Even thus they harassed the Dulebians. The Avars were large of stature and proud of spirit, and God destroyed 56 The Russian Primary Chronicle them. They all perished, and not one Avar survived. There is to this day a proverb in Rus’ which runs, “They perished like the Avars.” Neither race nor heir of them remains. The Pechenegs came after them, and the Magyars passed by Kiev later during the time of Oleg. 10 Thus the Polyanians, who belonged to the Slavic race, lived apart, as we have said, and called themselves Polyanians. The Derevlians, who are likewise Slavs, lived by themselves and adopted this tribal name. But the Radimichians and the Vyatichians sprang from the Lyakhs. There were in fact among the Lyakhs two brothers, one named Radim and other Vyatko. Radim settled on the Sozh’, where the peo- ple are known as Radimichians, and Vyatko with his family settled on the Oka. The people there were named Vyatichians after him. Thus the Polyanians, the Derevlians, the Severians, the Radimichians, and the Croats lived at peace. (13) The Dulebians dwelt along the Bug, where the Volhynians now are found, but the Ulichians and the Tivercians lived by the Dniester, and extended as far as the Danube. There was a multitude of them, for they inhabited the banks of the Dniester almost down to the east, and to this day there are cities in that locality which still belong to them. Hence they are called Great Scythia by the Greeks. 11 These Slavic tribes preserved their own customs, the law of their forefathers, and their traditions, each observing its own usages. For the Polyanians retained the mild and peaceful customs of their ancestors, and showed respect for their daughters-in-law and their sisters, as well as for their mothers and fathers. For their mothers- in-law and their brothers-in-law they also entertained great reverence. They observed a fixed custom, under which the groom’s brother did not fetch the bride, but she was brought to the bridegroom in the eve- ning, and on the next morning her dowry was turned over. The Derevlians, on the other hand, existed in bestial fashion, and lived like cattle. They killed one another, ate every impure thing, and there was no marriage among them, but instead they seized upon maidens by capture. 12 The Radimichians, the Vyatichians, and the Severians had the same customs. They lived in the forest like any wild beast, and ate every unclean thing. They spoke obscenely (14) before their fathers and their daughters-in-law. There were no marriages among them, but simply festivals among the villages. When the peo- ple gathered together for games, for dancing, and for all other devilish amusements, the men on these occasions carried off wives for them- selves, and each took any woman with whom he had arrived at an understanding. In fact, they even had two or three wives apiece. When- Laurentian Text 57 ever a death occurred, a feast was held over the corpse, and then a great pyre was constructed, on which the deceased was laid and burned. After the bones were collected, they were placed in a small urn and set upon a post by the roadside, even as the Vyatichians do to this day. Such customs were observed by the Krivichians and the other pagans, since they did not know the law of God, but made a law unto them- selves. 13 Georgius says in his Chronicle: “Among all the nations, there are some that possess a written law, while others simply observe certain fixed customs, for, among those devoid of law, their ancestral usage is accepted in its stead. To this class belong the Seres, who live at the end of the world, and apply as law the customs of their ancestors, which forbid them to commit adult- ery or incest, to steal, to bear false witness, to kill, or do any wrong whatsoever. “The law of the Bactrians, called (15) Brahmans or Islanders, which is derived from the forefatherly prescription, prohibits them for reasons of piety from eating meat, drinking wine, committing adultery, or doing any sort of wrong, solely in consequence of religious scruple. But among the Indians, who dwell beside them, are found murderers, criminals and doers of violence beyond all nature. In the most remote portion of their country, they practice cannibalism and kill travelers and, what is worse still, they devour them like dogs. “The Chaldeans and the Babylonians have a different code, which allows them to marry their mothers, to commit carnal sin with their nieces, and to commit murder. They regard every shameless deed as a virtue when they commit it, even when they are far from their own country. “The Gelaeans maintain other customs: among them, the women plough, build houses, and perform men’s work. But they indulge in vice to the extent of their desire, for they are by no means restrained by their husbands, nor do the latter at all concern themselves about the matter. There are among them bold women who are capable of capturing wild beasts by virtue of their strength. The women have control over their husbands, and rule them. “In Britain, many men sleep with one woman, (16) and likewise many women have intercourse with one man. The people carry on without jealousy or restraint the vicious customs of their ancestors. “The Amazons have no husbands, but like brute beasts they are filled with desire once each year in the springtime, and come together with the neighboring men. This season seems to them, as it were, a 58 The Russian Primary Chronicle time of celebration and great festival. When they give birth to children and a male is born, they kill it, but if the child is of the female sex, then they nurse it and bring it up carefully.” 14 Just so, even in our own day, the Polovcians maintain the customs of their ancestors in the shedding of blood and in glorifying them- selves for such deeds, as well as in eating every dead or unclean thing, even hamsters and marmots. They marry their mothers-in-law and their sisters-in-law, and observe other usages of their ancestors. But in all countries we Christians who believe in the Holy Trinity, in one bap- tism, and in one faith, have but one law, as many of us have been baptized into Christ Lord and have put on Christ. After this time, and subsequent to the death of the three brothers in Kiev, the Polyanians were oppressed by the Derevlians and other neighbors (17) of theirs. Then the Khazars came upon them as they lived in the hills and forests, and demanded tribute from them. After consulting among themselves, the Polyanians paid as tribute one sword per hearth, which the Khazars bore to their prince and their elders, and said to them, “Behold, we have found new tribute.” When asked whence it was derived, they replied, “From the forest on the hills by the river Dnieper.” The elders inquired what tribute had been paid, where- upon the swords were exhibited. The Khazar elders then protested, “Evil is this tribute, prince. We have won it with a one-edged weapon called a sabre, but the weapon of these men is sharp on both edges and is called a sword. These men shall impose tribute upon us and upon other lands.” All this has come to pass, for they spoke thus not of their own will, but by God’s commandment. The outcome was the same in the time of Pharaoh, King of Egypt, when Moses was led before him, and the elders of Pharaoh foretold that he should subjugate Egypt. For the Egyptians perished at the hand of Moses, though the Jews were previously their slaves. Just as the Egyptians ruled supreme, but were themselves subsequently ruled over, so it has also come to pass that the Russes rule over the Khazars even to this day. 15 In the year 6360 (852), the fifteenth of the indiction, 15 at the acces- sion of the Emperor Michael, the land of Rus’ was first named. We have determined this date from the fact that in the reign of this Em- peror Russes attacked Tsar’grad, as is written in the Greek Chronicle. 17 Hence we shall begin at this point (18) and record the dates. Thus from Adam to the Flood, 2242 years elapsed; from the Flood to Abra- ham, 1082 years; from Abraham to the Mosaic Exodus, 430 years; from the Mosaic Exodus to David, 601 years; from David and the beginning of the reign of Solomon to the captivity of Jerusalem, 448 years; from 59 Lanrentian Text (852-862) the captivity to Alexander, 318 years; from Alexander to the birth of Christ, 333 years; from the birth of Christ to Constantine, 318 years; and from Constantine to Michael, 542 years. Twenty-nine years passed between the first year of Michael’s reign and the accession of Oleg, Prince of Rus’. From the accession of Oleg, when he took up his resi- dence in Kiev, to the first year of Igor’s principate, thirty-one years elapsed. Thirty-three years passed between Igor’s accession and that of Svyatoslav. From the accession of Svyatoslav to that of Yaropolk, twenty-eight years passed. Yaropolk ruled eight years, Vladimir thirty- seven years, and Yaroslav forty years. Thus from the death of Svyato- slav to the death of Yaroslav eighty-five years elapsed, while sixty years separate the death of Yaroslav from that of Svyatopolk. But we shall now return to the subject, recounting what occurred during this period (for we set our beginning at the first year of Michael’s reign) and we shall record the dates in order. 6361-6366 (853-858). (19) Michael the Emperor went forth with an army by land and sea against the Bulgarians. The latter, on catching sight of his armament, offered no resistance, and asked leave to be baptized and to submit themselves to the Greeks. The Emperor baptized their prince with all his warriors, and made peace with the Bulgarians. 18 6367 (859). The Varangians from beyond the sea imposed tribute upon the Chuds, the Slavs, the Merians, the Ves’, and the Krivichians. 10 But the Khazars imposed it upon the Polyanians, the Severians, and the Vyatichians, and collected a white squirrel-skin from each hearth. 6368-6370 (860-862). The tributaries of the Varangians drove them back beyond the sea and, refusing them further tribute, set out to govern themselves. There was no law among them, but tribe rose against tribe. Discord thus ensued among them, and they began to war one against another. They said to themselves, “Let us seek a prince who may rule over us and judge us according to the Law.” They accordingly went overseas to the Varangian Russes: these particular Varangians were known as Russes, just as some are called Swedes, and others Nor- mans, English, and Gotlanders, for they were thus named. The Chuds, the Slavs, (20) the Krivichians, and the Ves’ then said to the people of Rus’, “Our land is great and rich, but there is no order in it. Come to rule and reign over us.” They thus selected three brothers, with their kinsfolk, who took with them all the Russes and migrated. The oldest, Rurik, located himself in Novgorod; the second, Sineus, at Beloozero; and the third, Truvor, in Izborsk. 20 On account of these Varangians, the distiict of Novgorod became known as the land of 60 The Russian Primary Chronicle Rus’. The present inhabitants o£ Novgorod are descended from the Varangian race, but aforetime they were Slavs. After two years, Sineus and his brother Truvor died, and Rurik assumed the sole authority. He assigned cities to his followers, Polotsk to one, Rostov to another, and to another Beloozero. In these cities there are thus Varangian colonists, but the first setders were, in Novgorod, Slavs; in Polotsk, Krivichians; at Beloozero, Ves’, in Rostov, Merians; and in Murom, Muromians. Rurik had dominion over all these districts. With Rurik there were two men who did not belong to his kin, but were boyars. They obtained permission to go to Tsar’grad with their families. They thus sailed down the Dnieper, and in the course of their journey they saw a small city on a hill. Upon their inquiry as to whose town it was, they were informed that (21) three brothers, Kiy, Shchek, and Khoriv, had once built the city, but that since their deaths, their descendants were living there as tributaries of the Khazars. Askold and Dir remained in the city, and after gathering together many Varangians, they established their dominion over the country of the Polyanians at the same time that Rurik was ruling at Novgorod. 6371-6374 (863-866). Askold and Dir attacked the Greeks during the fourteenth year of the reign of the Emperor Michael. 21 When the Emperor had set forth against the infidels and had arrived at the Black River, the eparch sent him word that the Russes were approaching Tsar’grad, and the Emperor turned back. Upon arriving inside the strait, the Russes made a great massacre of the Christians, and attacked Tsar’grad in two hundred boats. The Emperor succeeded with diffi- culty in entering the city. He straightway hastened with the Patriarch Photius to the Church of Our Lady of the Blachernae, where they prayed all night. They also sang hymns and carried the sacred vest- ment of the Virgin to dip it in the sea. The weather was still, and the sea was calm, but a storm of wind came up, and when great waves straightway rose, confusing the boats of the godless Russes, it threw them upon the shore (22) and broke them up, so that few escaped such destruction and returned to their native land. 6375-6376 (867-868). Basil began his reign. 63 77 (869). The entire nation of the Bulgarians accepted baptism. 6378-6387 (870-879). On his deathbed, Rurik bequeathed his realm to Oleg, who belonged to his kin, and entrusted to Oleg’s hands his son Igor’, for he was very young. 22 6388-6390 (880-882) . Oleg set forth, taking with him many warriors from among the Varangians, the Chuds, the Slavs, the Merians and 61 Laurentian Text (862-885) all the (23) Krivichians. He thus arrived with his Krivichians be- fore Smolensk, captured the city, and set up a garrison there. Thence he went on and captured Lyubech, where he also set up a gar- rison. He then came to the hills of Kiev, and saw how Askold and Dir reigned there. He hid his warriors in the boats, left some others behind, and went forward himself bearing the child Igor’. He thus came to the foot of the Hungarian hill, 23 and after concealing his troops, he sent messengers to Askold and Dir, representing himself as a stranger on his way to Greece on an errand for Oleg and for Igor’, the prince’s son, and requesting that they should come forth to greet them as members of their race. Askold and Dir straightway came forth. Then all the soldiery jumped out of the boats, and Oleg said to Askold and Dir, “You are not princes nor even of princely stock, but I am of princely birth.” Igor’ was then brought forward, and Oleg announced that he was the son of Rurik. They killed Askold and Dir, and after carrying them to the hill, they buried them there, on the hill now known as Hungarian, where the casde of Ol’ma now stands. Over that tomb Ol’ma built a church dedicated to St. Nicholas, but Dir’s tomb is behind St. Irene’s. 24 Oleg set himself up as prince in Kiev, and declared that it should be the mother of Russian cities. The Varang- ians, Slavs, and others who accompanied him, were called Russes. Oleg began to build stockaded towns, and (24) imposed tribute on the Slavs, the Krivichians, and the Merians. He commanded that Nov- gorod should pay the Varangians tribute to the amount of 300 grivny a year for the preservation of peace. 25 This tribute was paid to the Varangians until the death of Yaroslav. 6391 (883) . Oleg began military operations against the Derevlians, and after conquering them he imposed upon them the tribute of a black marten-skin apiece. 6392 (884) . Oleg attacked the Severians, and conquered them. He imposed a light tribute upon them and forbade their further payment of tribute to the Khazars, on the ground that there was no reason for them to pay it as long as the Khazars were his enemies. 6393 (885) . Oleg sent messengers to the Radimichians to inquire to whom they paid tribute. Upon their reply that they paid tribute to the Khazars, he directed them to render it to himself instead, and they accordingly paid him a shilling 20 apiece, the same amount that they had paid the Khazars. Thus Oleg established his authority over the Polyanians, the Derevlians, the Severians, and the Radimichians, but he waged war with the Ulichians and the Tivercians. 62 The Russian Primary Chronicle 6394-6395 (886-887). Leo, Basil’s son (called Lev by us), became Emperor. He called to the throne his brother Alexander, and they ruled together twenty-six years. 27 (25) 6396-6406 (888-898). The Magyars passed by Kiev over the hill now called Hungarian, and on arriving at the Dnieper, they pitched camp. 28 They were nomads like the Polovcians. Coming out of the east, they struggled across the great mountains, and began to fight against the neighboring Vlakhs and Slavs. For the Slavs had settled there first, but the Vlakhs had seized the territory of the Slavs. The Magyars subsequendy expelled the Vlakhs, took their land, and setded among the Slavs, whom they reduced to submission. 28 From that dme this territory was called Hungarian. The Magyars made war upon the Greeks, and seized the Thracian and Macedonian territory as far as Salonika. They also attacked the Moravians and the Czechs. There was at the time but one Slavic race including the Slavs who setded along the Danube and were subjugated by the Magyars, as well as the Moravians, the Czechs, the Lyakhs, and the Polyanians, (26) the last of whom are now called Russes. It was for these Moravians that Slavic books were first written, and this wridng prevails also in Rus’ and among the Danubian Bulgarians. When the Moravian Slavs and their princes were living in baptism, the Princes Rostislav, Svyato- polk, and Kotsel sent messengers to the Emperor Michael, saying, “Our nation is baptized, and yet we have no teacher to direct and instruct us and interpret the sacred scriptures. We understand neither Greek nor Latin. Some teach us one thing and some another. Furthermore, we do not understand written characters nor their meaning. Therefore send us teachers who can make known to us the words of the scriptures and their sense.” The Emperor Michael, upon hearing their request, called together all the scholars, and reported to them the message of the Slavic princes. The scholars suggested that there was a man in Salonika, by name Leo, who had two sons familiar with the Slavic tongue, being learned men as well. When the Emperor was thus in- formed, he immediately summoned the sons of Leo from Salonika, directing him to send to court forthwith his sons Methodius and Con- stantine. Upon receipt of this message, Leo quickly sent forth his sons. When they came before the Emperor, he made known to them that the Slavs had communicated to him their desire for teachers who could interpret the holy scriptures to them. The Emperor prevailed (27) upon them to undertake the mission, and sent them into the Slavic country to Rostislav, Svyatopolk, and Kotsel. When they arrived, they under- took to compose a Slavic alphabet, and translated the Acts and the 63 Laurentian Text (885-902) Gospel. The Slavs rejoiced to hear the greatness of God extolled in their native tongue. The apostles afterward translated the Psalter, the 0\toechos, and other books. Now some zealots began to condemn the Slavic books, contending that it was not right for any other nation to have its own alphabet apart from the Hebrews, the Greeks, and the Latins, according to Pilate’s superscription, which he composed for the Lord’s Cross. When the Pope at Rome heard of this situation, he rebuked those who murmured against the Slavic books, saying, “Let the word of the Scripture be fulfilled that ‘all nations shall praise God’ ( Ps . lxxi, 17), and likewise that ‘all nations shall declare the majesty of God according as the Holy Spirit shall grant them to speak’ (cf. Acts, ii, 4) . Whosoever condemns the Slavic writing shall be excluded from the Church until he mend his ways. For such men are not sheep but wolves; by their fruits ye shall know them and guard against them. Children of God, hearken unto his teachings, and depart not from the ecclesiastical rule which Methodius your teacher has appointed unto you.” Constantine then returned again, and went to instruct the people of Bulgaria; (28) but Methodius remained in Moravia. 30 Prince Kotsel appointed Methodius Bishop of Pannonia in the see of St. Andronicus, one of the Seventy, a disciple of the holy Apostle Paul. Methodius chose two priests who were very rapid writers, and translated the whole Scriptures in full from Greek into Slavic in six months between March and the twenty-sixth day of October. After completing the task, he appropriately rendered praise and honor to God, who had bestowed such a blessing upon Bishop Methodius, the suc- cessor of Andronicus. Now Andronicus is the apostle of the Slavic race. He traveled among the Moravians, and the Apostle Paul taught there likewise. For in that region is Illyricum, whither Paul first repaired and where the Slavs originally lived. Since Paul is the teacher of the Slavic race, from which we Russians too are sprung, even so the Apostle Paul is the teacher of us Russians, for he preached to the Slavic nation, and appointed Andronicus as Bishop and successor to himself among them. But the Slavs and the Russes are one people, for it is because of the Varangians that the latter became known as Rus’, though originally they were Slavs. While some Slavs were termed Polyanians, their speech was still Slavic, for they were known as Polyanians (29) because they lived in the fields. But they had the same Slavic language. 6407-6410 (899-902) . The Emperor Leo incited the Magyars against the Bulgarians, so that they attacked and subjugated the whole Bul- garian country. When Symeon heard this news, he turned upon the 64 The Russian Primary Chronicle Magyars who attacked him and conquered the Bulgarians so that Symeon took refuge in Silistria. 31 6411 (903). As Igor’ grew up, he followed after Oleg, and obeyed his instructions. A wife, Olga by name, was brought to him from Pskov. 32 6412-6415 (904-907). Leaving Igor’ in Kiev, Oleg attacked the Greeks. 33 He took with him a multitude of Varangians, Slavs, Chuds, Krivichians, Merians, Polyanians, Severians, Derevlians, Radimichians, Croats, Dulebians, and Tivercians, who are pagans. All these tribes are known as Great Scythia by the Greeks. With this entire force, Oleg sallied forth by horse and by ship, and the number of his vessels was two thousand. (30) He arrived before Tsar’grad, but the Greeks forti- fied the strait and closed up the city. Oleg disembarked upon the shore, and ordered his soldiery to beach the ships. They waged war around the city, and accomplished much slaughter of the Greeks. They also destroyed many palaces and burned the churches. Of the prisoners they captured, some they beheaded, some they tortured, some they shot, and still others they cast into the sea. The Russes inflicted many other woes upon the Greeks after the usual manner of soldiers. Oleg com- manded his warriors to make wheels which they attached to the ships, and when the wind was favorable, they spread the sails and bore down upon the city from the open country. When the Greeks beheld this, they were afraid, and sending messengers to Oleg, they implored him not to destroy the city and offered to submit to such tribute as he should desire. Thus Oleg halted his troops. The Greeks then brought out to him food and wine, but he would not accept it, for it was mixed with poison. Then the Greeks were terrified, and exclaimed, “This is not Oleg, but St. Demetrius, whom God has sent upon us.” So Oleg demanded that they pay tribute for his two thousand ships at the rate of twelve grivny per man, with forty men reckoned to a ship. The Greeks assented to these terms and prayed for peace lest Oleg should conquer the land of Greece. Retiring thus a short distance from the city, Oleg concluded a peace with the Greek Emperors Leo and Alexander, and sent into the city to them (31) Karl, Farulf, Vermund, Hrollaf, and Steinvith, with instructions to receive the tribute. The Greeks promised to satisfy their requirements. Oleg demanded that they should give to the troops on the two thousand ships twelve grivny per bench, and pay in addition the sums required for the various Russian cities: first Kiev, then Chernigov, Pereyaslavl’, Polotsk, Rostov, Lyubech, and the other towns. In these cities lived great princes subject to Oleg. [The Russes proposed the following terms:] “The Russes who come 65 Laurentian Text (902-912) hither shall receive as much grain as they require. Whosoever come as merchants shall receive supplies for six months, including bread, wine, meat, fish, and fruit. Baths shall be prepared for them in any volume they require. When the Russes return homeward, they shall receive from your Emperor food, anchors, cordage, and sails and whatever else is needed for the journey.” The Greeks accepted these stipulations, and the Emperors and all the courtiers declared: “If Russes come hither without merchandise, they shall receive no provisions. Your prince shall personally lay injunction upon such Russes as journey hither that they shall do no violence in the towns and throughout our territory. Such Russes as arrive here shall dwell in the St. Mamas quarter. 34 Our government will send officers to record their names, and they shall then receive their monthly allowance, first the natives of Kiev, then those from Chernigov, Pereyaslavl’, and the other cities. They shall not enter the city save through one gate, unarmed and fifty at a time, escorted by an agent of the Emperor. They may conduct business according to their requirements without payment of taxes.” (32) Thus the Emperors Leo and Alexander made peace with Oleg, and after agreeing upon the tribute and mutually binding themselves by oath, they kissed the cross, and invited Oleg and his men to swear an oath likewise. According to the religion of the Russes, the latter swore by their weapons and by their god Perun, as well as by Volos, the god of cattle, and thus confirmed the treaty. 35 Oleg gave orders that sails of brocade should be made for the Russes and silken ones for the Slavs, and his demand was satisfied. 36 The Russes hung their shields upon the gates as a sign of victory, and Oleg then departed from Tsar’grad. The Russes unfurled their sails of brocade and the Slavs their sails of silk, but the wind tore them. Then the Slavs said, “Let us keep our canvas ones; silken sails are not made for the Slavs.” So Oleg came to Kiev, bearing palls, gold, fruit, and wine, along with every sort of adornment. The people called Oleg “the Sage,” for they were but pagans, and therefore ignorant. 6416-6419 (908-911). A great star appeared in the west in the form of a spear. 37 6420 (912) . Oleg despatched his vassals to make peace and to draw up a treaty between the Greeks and the Russes. His envoys thus made declaration: “This is the copy of the treaty concluded under the Emperors Leo and Alexander. We of the (33) Rus’ nation: Karl, Ingjald, Farulf, Vermund, Hrollaf, Gunnar, Harold, Kami, Frithleif, Hroarr, Angan- 66 The Russian Primary Chronicle tyr, Throand, Leithulf, Fast, and Steinvith, 38 are sent by Oleg, Great Prince of Rus’, and by all the serene and great princes and the great boyars under his sway, unto you, Leo and Alexander and Constantine, great Autocrats in God, Emperors of the Greeks, for the maintenance and proclamation of the long-standing amity which joins Greeks and Russes, in accordance with the desires of our Great Princes and at their command, and in behalf of all those Russes who are subject to the hand of our Prince. “Our serenity, aboye.all desirous, through God’s help, of maintaining and proclaiming such amicable relations as now exist between Chris- tians and Russians, has often deemed it proper to publish and confirm this amity not merely in words but also in writing and under a firm oath sworn upon our weapons according to our religion and our law. As we previously agreed in the name of God’s peace and amity, the articles of this convention are as follows: “First, that we shall conclude a peace with you Greeks, and love each other with all our heart and will, and as far as lies in our power, prevent any subject of our serene Princes from committing any crime or misdemeanor. Rather shall we exert ourselves as far as possible to maintain as irrevocable and immutable henceforth and forever the amity thus proclaimed by our agreement with you Greeks and ratified by signature and oath. May you Greeks on your part maintain as irrevocable and (34) immutable henceforth and forever this same amity toward our serene Prince of Rus’ and toward all the subjects of our serene Prince. “In the matter of stipulations concerning damage, we subscribe to the following provisions: “If clear proofs of tort exist, there shall be a true declaradon of such proofs. But if this declaration is contested, the dissenting party shall take oath to this effect, and after he shall have taken oath according to his faith, a penalty shall be assessed in proportion to the apparent tres- pass committed. “Whatsoever Russ kills a Christian, or whatsoever Christian kills a Russ, shall die, since he has committed murder. If any man flee after committing a murder, in the case that he is well-to-do, the nearest relatives of the victim shall receive a legal portion of the culprit’s property, while the wife of the murderer shall receive a like amount, which is legally due her. But if the defendant is poor and has escaped, he shall be under distress until he returns, when he shall be executed. “If any man strike another with a sword or assault him with any other sort of weapon, he shall, according to Russian law, pay five pounds 67 Laurentian Text (912) of silver for such blow or assault. If the defendant is poor, he shall pay as much as he is able, and be deprived even of the very clothes he wears, and he shall also declare upon oath that he has no one to aid him. Thereafter the case against him shall be discontinued. “If any Russ commit a theft against a Chrisdan, (35) or vice versa, and should the transgressor be caught in the act by the victim of the loss, and be killed while resisting arrest, no penalty shall be exacted for his death by either Greeks or Russes. The vicdm of the loss shall recover the stolen property. If the thief surrenders, he shall be taken and bound by the one upon whom the theft was committed, and the culprit shall return whatever he has dared to appropriate, making at the same dme threefold restitudon for it. “If any person, whether Greek or Russ, employs abusive treatment or violence against another and appropriates by force some ardcles of his property, he shall repay three times its value. “If a ship is detained by high winds upon a foreign shore, and one of us Russes is near by, the ship with its cargo shall be revictualed and sent on to Chrisdan territory. We will pilot it through every dangerous passage until it arrives at a place of safety. But if any such ship thus detained by storm or by some terrestrial obstacle cannot pos- sibly reach its destinadon, we Russes will extend aid to the crew of this ship, and conduct them with their merchandise in all security, in case such an event takes place near Greek territory. But if such an accident befalls near the Russian shore, the ship’s cargo shall be disposed of, and we Russes will remove whatever can be disposed of for the account of the owners. Then, when we proceed to Greece with merchandise or upon an embassy to your Emperor, we shall render up honorably the price of the sold (36) cargo of the ship. But if anyone on that ship is killed or maltreated by us Russes, or if any object is stolen, then those who have committed such acts shall be subject to the previously pro- vided penalty. “From this dme forth, if a prisoner of either nadon is in durance either of the Russes or of the Greeks, and then sold into another coun- try, any Russ or Greek who happens to be in that locality shall purchase the prisoner and return the person thus purchased to his own native country. The purchaser shall be indemnified for the amount thus expended, or else the value of the prisoner’s daily labor shall be reckoned toward the purchase money. If any Russ be taken prisoner by the Greeks, he shall likewise be sent back to his nadve land, and his pur- chase price shall be repaid, as has been stipulated, according to his value; 68 The Russian Primary Chronicle “Whenever you find it necessary to declare war, or when you are conducting a campaign, providing any Russes desirous of honoring your Emperor come at any time and wish to remain in his service, they shall be permitted in this respect to act according to their desire. “If a Russian prisoner from any region is sold among the Chris- tians, or if any Christian prisoner is sold among the Russes, he shall be ransomed for twenty bezants and returned to his native land. “In case a Russian slave is stolen or escapes or is sold under com- pulsion, and if a Russ institutes a claim to this effect which is sub- stantiated, the slave shall be returned to Rus’. If a merchant loses a slave and institutes a complaint, he shall search for this slave until he is found, but if any person refuses to allow him to make this search, the local officer shall forfeit his right of perquisition. “With respect to the Russes professionally engaged in Greece under the orders of (37) the Christian Emperor, if any one of them dies with- out setting his property in order and has no kinsfolk there, his estate shall be returned to his distant relatives in Rus’. But if he makes some disposition of his goods, the person whom he has designated in writing as his heir shall receive the property of which he thus disposed. Such shall be the due process of inheritance in the cases of Russes engaging in trade, of casual travelers in Greece, and of those having debts out- standing there. “If a criminal takes refuge in Greece, the Russes shall make com- plaint to the Christian Empire, and such criminal shall be arrested and returned to Rus’ regardless of his protests. The Russes shall perform the same service for the Greeks whenever the occasion arises. “As a convention and an inviolable pledge binding equally upon you Greeks and upon us Russes, we have caused the present treaty to be transcribed in vermillion script upon parchment in duplicate. In the name of the Holy Cross and the Holy and Indivisible Trinity of your one true God, your Emperor has confirmed it by his signature and handed it to our envoys. According to our own faith and the custom of our nation, we have sworn to your Emperor, who rules over you by the grace of God, that we will neither violate ourselves, nor allow any of our subjects to violate the peace and amity assured by the articles thus concluded between us. We have transmitted this document for the ratification of your Majesty in order to confirm and promulgate the treaty thus concluded between us this second of September, in the year of Creation 6420 (911), fifteenth of the indiction.” 39 The Emperor Leo honored the Russian envoys with gifts (38) of gold, palls, and robes, and placed his vassals at their disposition to show 69 Laurentian Text (912) them the beauties of the churches, the golden palace, and the riches contained therein. They thus showed the Russes much gold and many palls and jewels, together with the relics of our Lord’s Passion: the crown, the nails, and the purple robe, as well as the bones of the Saints. They also instructed the Russes in their faith, and expounded to them the true belief. Thus the Emperor dismissed them to their native land with great honor. The envoys sent by Oleg returned to Kiev, and reported to him all the utterances of both Emperors. They recounted how they had made peace and established a covenant between Greece and Rus’, confirmed by oaths inviolable for the subjects of both countries. Thus Oleg ruled in Kiev, and dwelt at peace with all nations. Now autumn came, and Oleg bethought him of his horse that he had caused to be well fed, yet had never mounted. For on one occasion he had made inquiry of the wonder-working magicians as to the ulti- mate cause of his death. One magician replied, “Oh Prince, it is from the steed which you love and on which you ride that you shall meet your death.” Oleg then reflected and determined never to mount this horse or even to look upon it again. So he gave command that the horse should be properly fed, but never led into his presence. He thus let several years pass until he had attacked the Greeks. After he re- turned to Kiev, four years elapsed, but in the fifth he thought of the horse through which the magicians had foretold that he should meet his death. He thus summoned his senior squire and inquired as to the whereabouts of the horse which he had ordered to be fed and well cared for. (39) The squire answered that he was dead. Oleg laughed and mocked the magician, exclaiming, “Soothsayers tell untruths, and their words are naught but falsehood. This horse is dead, but I am still alive.” Then he commanded that a horse should be saddled. “Let me see his bones,” said he. He rode to the place where the bare bones and skull lay. Dismounting from his horse, he laughed and remarked, “So I was supposed to receive my death from this skull?” And he stamped upon the skull with his foot. But a serpent crawled forth from it and bit him in the foot, so that in consequence he sickened and died. All the people mourned for him in great grief. They bore him away and buried him upon the hill which is called Shchekovitsa. His tomb stands there to this day, and it is called the Tomb of Oleg. 40 Now all the years of his reign were thirty-three. It is remarkable what may be accomplished through witchcraft and enchantment. During the reign of Domitian, there lived a certain 70 The Russian Primary Chronicle soothsayer named Apollonius of Tyana. He attained celebrity, and journeyed about performing infernal marvels throughout the cities and towns. From Rome he came to Byzantium, and on being besought of the inhabitants to accomplish this wonder, he drove out a multitude of serpents and scorpions from the city, so that no man should be wounded by them. He also tamed horses of violent temper before the assembled nobles. He came likewise to Antioch, and on being besought by the in- habitants ( since Antioch was tormented with scorpions (40) and gnats), he made a brass scorpion and buried it in the earth. After setting a small marble post over it, he bade the inhabitants hold reeds in their hands and walfi through the city shading the reeds and crying, “May this city be rid of gnats!” Thus the gnats and scorpions vanished from the city. When he was questioned regarding the earthquakes that threatened the city, he sighed, and wrote on a tablet these words, “Alas for thee, unhappy city! Thou shalt be much shaken by an earthquake and fall a prey to flame, and this river Orontes shall bewail thee by its shores.” Of this magician, the great Anastasius of the City of God remarked, “Even to this day the enchantments of Apollonius remain effective, some for the elimination of four-footed beasts or of birds capable of harming mankind, and others for the control of beds of rivers flowing in unfixed channels, while still others are eminently effective against disease and injury to man.” Not only during his life did the demons at his command bring such wonders to pass, but even after his death they hover about his tomb and perform miracles in his name to deceive unhappy men, who are much inclined to such errors through the in- fluence of the devil. What shall we say of those who perform worlds of magic? For a certain man was so skilled in magical deception that he ridiculed Apollonius the Sage on the ground that he did not cultivate true (41) philosophical knowledge. “He ought /’ he asserted, “life me to accom- plish his desires by means of a single word, and should not execute his devices by material means!’ All these things exist through the suf- ferance of God and the agency of the devil, that by such means our orthodox faith may be tested as to whether it is firm and secure, cleaving to the Lord and not to be seduced by the Enemy through false miracles and satanic acts performed by the servants and slaves of his wickedness. Some have even prophesied in the name of the Lord, life Balaam and Saul and Caiaphas, and have driven out the devil life Jude and the sons of Sceva ( Acts, xix, 14-15 ). For the Lord often gives grace to the 71 Laurentian Text (912-941) unworthy that it may benefit others. Thus Balaam was jar from both life and faith, yet in him the Lord gave evidence of grace that others might see. Such was Pharaoh, but to him the Lord showed the future. There was Nebuchadnezzar also, who sinned against the law. To him the Lord revealed what was to occur after many generations, thus showing that. many who have a hostile heart perform miracles according to the example of Christ, yet by other means, to deceive men who do not understand good wor^s. Such were Simon the Magician and (42) Menander. Of such men it has truly been said, “Be not deceived by miracles.’’* 1 6421 (913) . Igor’ succeeded Oleg and began his reign. At the same time began the reign of Constantine, son of Leo and son-in-law of Romanus. 42 The Derevlians offered resistance to Igor’ after Oleg’s death. 6422 (914) Igor’ attacked the Derevlians, and after conquering them, he imposed upon them a tribute larger than Oleg’s. In the same year, Symeon of Bulgaria attacked Tsar’grad, and when peace was made, he returned to his own country. 6423 (915). The Pechenegs entered the land of Rus’ for the first time, but when they made peace with Igor’, they went their way to the Danube. At this time, Symeon subjugated Thrace, and the Greeks summoned the Pechenegs to aid them. When the Pechenegs arrived and wished to attack Symeon, the Greek generals quarreled. The Peche- negs, on seeing how they were quarreling among themselves, returned homeward, but the Bulgarians came to blows with the Greeks, and the Greeks were cut to pieces. Symeon took Adrianople, 43 which was first called the city of Orestes, son of Agamemnon, who in ancient times was cured of a disease by bathing in three rivers, and then named the city after himself on this account. Subsequendy the Emperor Hadrian restored (43) it, and named it Adrianople for himself, but we call it Adriangrad. 6424-6428 (916-920). Romanus was set up as Emperor in Greece. 44 Igor’ waged war against the Pechenegs. 6429-6437 (921-929). Symeon attacked Tsar’grad, ravaged Thrace and Macedonia, and presumptuously appeared with a large force before Tsar’grad. He then made peace with the Emperor Romanus, and re- turned into his own country 45 6438-6442 (930-934). The Magyars attacked Tsar’grad for the first time, and ravaged the whole of Thrace. Romanus made peace with them. 46 (44) 6443-6449 (935-941). Igor’ attacked the Greeks, and the Bui- 72 The Russian Primary Chronicle garians sent word to the Emperor that the Russes were advancing upon Tsar’grad with ten thousand vessels. 47 The Russes set out across the sea, and began to ravage Bithynia. They waged war along the Pontus as far as Heraclea and Paphlagonia, and laid waste the entire region of Nicomedia, burning everything along the gulf. Of the people they captured, some they butchered, others they set up as targets and shot at, some they seized upon, and after binding their hands behind their backs, they drove iron nails through their heads. Many sacred churches they gave to the flames, while they burned many monasteries and vil- lages, and took no little booty on both sides of the sea. Then, when the army came out of the east, Pantherius the Domestic with forty thous- and men, Phocas the Patrician with the Macedonians, and Theodore the General with the Thracians, supported by other illustrious nobles, surrounded the Russes. After taking counsel, the latter threw them- selves upon the Greeks, and as the conflict between them was desperate, the Greeks experienced difficulty in winning the upper hand. The Russes returned at evening to their companions, embarked at night upon their vessels, and fled away. Theophanes pursued them in boats with Greek fire, and dropped it through pipes upon the Russian ships, so that a strange miracle was offered to view. Upon seeing the flames, the Russians cast themselves into the sea- water, being anxious to escape, (45), but the survivors returned home. When they came once more to their native land, where each one re- counted to his kinsfolk the course of events and described the fire launched from the ships, they related that the Greeks had in their possession the lightning from heaven, and had set them on fire by pouring it forth, so that the Russes could not conquer them. Upon his return, Igor’ began to collect a great army, and sent many mes- sengers after the Varangians beyond the sea, inviting them to attack die Greeks, for he desired to make war upon them. 6450 (942). Symeon attacked the Croats and was beaten by them. He then died, leaving Peter, his son, as Prince of the Bulgarians. 48 6451 (943). When the Magyars had attacked Tsar’grad, they re- turned homeward after they had made peace with Romanus 49 6452 (944). After collecting many warriors among the Varangians, the Russes, the Polyanians, the Slavs, the Krivichians, the Tivercians, and the Pechenegs, and receiving hostages from them, Igor’ advanced upon the Greeks by ship and by horse, thirsting for revenge. 50 The Khersonians, upon hearing of this expedition, reported to Romanus that the Russes were advancing with innumerable ships and covered 73 Laurentian Text (941-945) the sea with their vessels. Likewise the Bulgarians sent tidings to the effect that the Russes were on the way, and that they had won the Pechenegs for their allies. When the Emperor heard this news, he sent to Igor’ his best boyars to entreat him to come no nearer, but rather to accept the tribute which Oleg had received, and to the amount of which something should even be added. He likewise sent palls and much gold to the Pechenegs. Now Igor’, when he came to the Danube, called together his retinue, and after some reflection communicated to them the Emperor’s offer. (46) Igor’s retinue then replied, “If the Emperor speaks thus, what do we desire beyond receiving gold, silver, and palls without having to fight for them? Who knows who will be victorious, we or he? Who has the sea for his ally? For we are not marching by land, but through the depths of the sea. Death lies in wait for us all.” Igor’ heeded them, and bade the Pechenegs ravage Bulgaria. He himself, after receiving from the Greeks gold and palls sufficient for his whole army, returned again and came to Kiev in his native land. 6453 (945). Romanus, Constantine, and Stephen sent envoys to Igor’ to renew the previous treaty, and Igor’ discussed the matter with them. Igor’ sent his own envoys to Romanus, and the Emperor called together his boyars and his dignitaries. The Russian envoys were introduced and bidden to speak, and it was commanded that the remarks of both parties should be inscribed upon parchment. A copy of the agreement concluded under the most Chrisdan princes Romanus, Constantine, and Stephen follows: “We are the envoys from the Russian nadon: Ivar, envoy of Igor’, Great Prince of Rus’, and the general envoys as follows: Vefast repre- sendng Svyatoslav, son of Igor’; Isgaut for the Princess Olga; Slothi for Igor’, nephew of Igor’; Oleif for Vladislav; Kanitzar for Predslava; Sigbjorn for Svanhild, wife of Oleif; Freystein for Thorth; Leif for Arfast; Grim for Sverki; Freystein for Haakon, nephew of Igor’; Kari for Stoething; Karlsefni for Thorth; Hegri for Efling; Voist for Voik; Eistr for Amund; (47) Freystein for Bjorn; Yatving for Gun- nar; Sigfrid for Halfdan; Kill for Klakki; Steggi for Jotun; Sverki; Hallvarth for Guthi; Frothi for Throand; Munthor for Ut; the merchants Authun, Authulf, Ingivald, Oleif, Frutan, Gamal, Kussi, Heming, Thorfrid, Thorstein, Bruni, Hroald, Gunnfast, Freystein, Ingjald, Thorbjorn, Manni, Hroald, Svein, Styr, Halfdan, Tirr, Ask- brand, Visleif, Sveinki Borich: sent by Igor’, Great Prince of Rus’, and from each prince and all the people of the land of Rus’, by whom is 74 The Russian Primary Chronicle ordained the renewal of the former peace to the confusion of the devil, who hates peace and loves discord, and to the establishment of con- cord between Greeks and Russes for many years to come. 51 “Our Great Prince Igor’, and his princes and his boyars, and the whole people of Rus have sent us to Romanus, Constantine, and Stephen the mighty Emperors of Greece, to establish a bond of friend- ship with the Emperors themselves, as well as with all their boyars and the entire Greek nation henceforth and forever, as long as the su n shines and the world stands fixed. If any inhabitant of the land of Rus’ thinks to violate this amity, may such of these transgressors as have adopted the Christian faith incur condign punishment from Almighty God in the shape of damnation and destruction forevermore. If any of these transgressors be not baptized, may they receive help neither from God nor from Perun: (48) may they not be protected by their own shields, but may they rather be slain by their own swords, laid low by their own arrows or by any of their own weapons, and may they be in bondage forever.” [The Greeks stipulated:] “The Great Prince of Rus’ and his boyars shall send to Greece to the great Greek Emperors as many ships as they desire with their agents and merchants, according to the prevailing usage. The agents hitherto carried gold seals, and the merchants silver ones. But your Prince has now made known that he will forward a certificate to our government, and any agents or merchants thus sent by the Russians shall be provided with such a certificate to the effect that a given number of ships has been dispatched. By this means we shall be assured that they come with peaceful intent. “But if such persons come uncertified and are surrendered to us, we shall detain and hold them until we notify your Prince. If they do not surrender, but offer resistance, they shall be killed, and indemnity for their death shall not be exacted by your Prince. If, however, they flee to Rus’, we shall so inform your Prince, and he shall deal with them as he sees fit. “If Russes come without merchandise, they shall not be entitled to receive monthly allowance. Your Prince shall moreover prohibit his agents and such other Russes as come hither from the commission of violence in our villages and territory. Such Russes as come hither shall dwell by St. Mamas’s Church. Our authorities shall note their names, and they shall then receive their monthly allowance, (49) the agents the amount proper to their position, and the merchants the usual amount; first, those from Kiev, then those from Chernigov and PereyaslavP. They shall enter the city through one gate in groups of 75 Laurentian Text (945) fifty without weapons, and shall dispose of their merchandise as they require, after which they shall depart. An officer of our government shall guard them, in order that, if any Russ or Greek does wrong, he may redress it. “When the Russes enter the city, they shall not have the right to buy silk above the value of fifty bezants. Whoever purchases such silks shall exhibit them to the imperial officer, who will stamp and return them. When the Russes depart hence, they shall receive from us as many provisions as they require for the journey, and what they need for their ships (as has been previously determined), and they shall return home in safety. They shall not have the privilege of wintering in the St. Mamas quarter. “If any slave runs away from the Russes and while they are within the territory of our Empire, or from the St. Mamas quarter, he shall be apprehended if found in Greek territory. If he is not found, the Christian Russes shall so swear according to their faith, and the non- Christians after their custom, and they shall then receive from us their due, two pieces of silk per slave, according to previous stipulations. If, among the people of our Empire, whether from our city or elsewhere, any slave of ours escapes (50) among you and takes anything with him, the Russes shall send him back again. If what he has appropriated is intact, the finders shall receive two bezants from its value. “If any Russ attempts to commit theft upon the subjects of our Em- pire, he who so acts shall be severely punished, and he shall pay double the value of what he has stolen. If a Greek so transgress against a Russ, he shall receive the same punishment that the latter would suffer for a like offence. If a Russ commits a theft upon a Greek, or a Greek upon a Russ, he must return not only the stolen ardcle, but also its value. If the stolen article is found to have been sold, he shall return double the price, and also shall be punished both by Greek law and statute and by the law of the Russes. “If the Russes bring in young men or grown girls who have been taken prisoners from our dominions, the Greeks shall pay a ransom of ten bezants each and recover the captives. If the latter are of middle age, the Greeks shall recover them on payment of eight bezants each. But in the case that the capuves are old persons or young chil- dren, the ransom shall be five bezants. If any Russes are found laboring as slaves in Greece, providing they are prisoners of war, the Russes shall ransom them for ten bezants each. But if a Greek has actually purchased any such prisoner, and so declares under oath, he shall receive in return the full purchase price paid for the prisoner. 76 The Russian Primary Chronicle “In the matter of the country of Kherson and all the cities in that region, the Prince of Rus’ shall not have the right (51) to harass these localities, nor shall that district be subject to you. If the Prince of Rus’ calls on us for soldiers wherewith to wage war, we agree to supply him with any number required. “In case the Russes find a Greek ship cast ashore, they shall not harm it, and if any person remove any object therefrom or enslave a member of the crew, or kill him, he shall be amenable to both Russian and Greek law. If Russian subjects meet with Khersonian fishermen at the mouth of Dnieper, they shall not harm them in any wise. The Russes shall, moreover, not have the right to winter at the mouth of Dnieper, either at Belobereg or by St. Eleutherius, but when autumn comes, they shall return home to Rus.’ Regarding the Black Bulgarians, who come and ravage the Kherson district, we enjoin the Prince of Rus’ not to allow them to injure that region. “If any crime is committed by a Greek subject to our Empire, the Russes shall not have the right to punish him, but according to the legislation of our Empire, he shall suffer in proportion to his misdeed. “If a Christian kill a Russ, or a Russ a Christian, he who has com- mitted the murder shall be held by the relatives of the deceased that they may kill him. If he who has committed murder runs away and escapes, the relatives of the murdered man shall receive the murderer’s property in the case that he is wealthy. But if the escaped culprit is poor, he shall be pursued (52) till found, and when he is found, he shall be executed. “If a Russ assault a Greek, or a Greek a Russ, with sword, spear, or any other weapon, he who has committed this crime shall pay five pounds of silver according to the Russian law, but if he is poor, all his available property shall be sold, even to the garments he walks in, and these too shall be taken from him. Finally he shall swear upon his faith that he has no possessions, and then he shall be released. “If our government shall desire of you military assistance for use against our adversaries, they shall communicate with your Great Prince, and he shall send us as many soldiers as we require. From this fact, other countries shall learn what amity the Greeks and the Russes enter- tain toward each other. 62 “By common consent, we have thus inscribed all this convention upon a double parchment, one portion of which remains in the hands of our government, with a cross and our names subscribed thereon, while your merchants and agents have signed the other. Your repre- sentatives shall go forth with the envoys of our government and con- 77 Laurentian Text (945) duct them before Igor’, Great Prince of Rus’, and to his subjects. Upon receipt of this document, they shall then bind themselves by oath to observe the truth as agreed upon between us and inscribed upon this parchment, wherein our names are written.” [The Russes thus bound themselves:\ “Those of us who are bap- tized have sworn in the Cathedral, by the church of St. Elias, upon the Holy Cross set before us, and upon this parchment, to abide by all that is written herein, and not to violate (53) any of its stipulations. May whosoever of our compatriots. Prince or common, baptized or unbap- tized, who does so violate them, have no succor from God, but may he be slave in this life and in the life to come, and may he perish by his own arms. “The unbaptized Russes shall lay down their shields, their naked swords, their armlets, and their other weapons, and shall swear to all that is inscribed upon this parchment, to be faithfully observed forever by Igor’, all his boyars, and all the people from the land of Rus’. If any of the princes or any Russian subject, whether Christian or non- Christian, violates the terms of this instrument, he shall merit death by his own weapons, and be accursed of God and of Perun because he violated his oath. So be it good that the Great Prince Igor’ shall righdy maintain these friendly relations that they may never be interrupted, as long as the sun shines and the world endures henceforth and forever- more.” The agents sent by Igor’ returned to him with the Greek envoys, and reported all the words of the Emperor Romanus. Then Igor’ called the Greek envoys before him, and bade them report what injunction the Emperor had laid upon them. The Emperor’s envoys replied, “The Emperor has sent us. He loves peace, and desires to maintain concord and amity with the Prince of Rus’. Your envoys have received the pledge of our Emperors, and they have sent us to receive your oath and that of your followers.” Igor’ promised to comply with their request. (54) In the morning, Igor’ summoned the envoys, and went to a hill on which there was a statue of Perun. The Russes laid down their weapons, their shields, and their gold ornaments, and Igor’ and his people took oath (at least, such as were pagans), while the Christian Russes took oath in the church of St. Elias, which is above the creek, in the vicinity of the Pasyncha square and the quarter of the Khazars. This was, in fact, a parish church, since many of the Varangians were Christians. 63 Igor’, after confirming the treaty with the Greeks, dismissed their envoys, bestowing upon them furs, slaves, and wax, and sent them 78 The Russian Primary Chronicle away. The envoys then returned to the Emperor, and reported all the words of Igor’ and his affection for the Greeks. Thus Igor’ began to rule in Kiev, enjoying peaceful relations with all nations. But when autumn came, he thought of the Derevlians, and wished to collect from them a still larger tribute. 54 6453 (945) . In this year, Igor’s retinue said to him, “The servants of Sveinald are adorned with weapons and fine raiment, but we are naked. Go forth with us, oh Prince, after tribute, that both you and we may profit thereby.” Igor’ heeded their words, and he attacked Dereva in search of tribute. He sought to increase the previous tribute and col- lected it by violence from the people with the assistance of his followers. After thus gathering the tribute, he returned to his city. On his home- ward way, he said to his followers, after some reflection, “Go forward with the tribute. I shall turn back, and rejoin you later.” He dismissed his retainers on their journey homeward, but being desirous of still greater booty he returned on his tracks with a few of his followers. The Derevlians heard that he was again approaching, and consulted with Mai, their prince, saying, (55) “If a wolf come among the sheep, he will take away the whole flock one by one, unless he be killed. If we do not thus kill him now, he will destroy us all.” They then sent forward to Igor’ inquiring why he had returned, since he had collected all the tribute. But Igor’ did not heed them, and the Derevlians came forth from the city of Iskorosten’ and slew Igor’ and his company, for the number of the latter was few. So Igor’ was buried, and his tomb is near the city of Iskorosten’ in Dereva even to this day. But Olga was in Kiev with her son, the boy Svyatoslav. His tutor was Asmund, and the troop commander was Sveinald, the father of Mstikha. The Derevlians then said, “See, we have killed the Prince of Rus’. Let us take his wife Olga for our Prince Mai, 55 and then we shall obtain possession of Svyatoslav, and work our will upon him.” So they sent their best men, twenty in number, to Olga by boat, and they arrived below Borichev in their boat. At that time, the water flowed below the heights of Kiev, and the inhabitants did not live in the valley, but upon the heights. The city of Kiev was on the present site of the residence of Gordyata and Nicephorus, and the prince’s palace was in the city where the residence of Vratislav and Chudin now stands, while the hunting grounds were outside the city. Without the city stood another palace, where the palace of the Cantors is now situated, behind the Church of the Holy Virgin upon the heights. This was a palace with a stone hall. 56 79 Laurentian Text (945) Olga was informed that the Derevlians had arrived, and summoned them to her presence with a gracious welcome. When the Derevlians had thus announced their arrival, Olga replied with an inquiry as to the reason of their coming. The Derevlians (56) then announced that their tribe had sent them to report that they had slain her husband, because he was like a wolf, crafty and ravening, but that their princes, who had thus preserved the land of Dereva, were good, and that Olga should come and marry their Prince Mai. For the name of the Prince of Dereva was Mai. Olga made this reply, “Your proposal is pleasing to me; indeed, my husband cannot rise again from the dead. But I desire to honor you tomorrow in the presence of my people. Return now to your boat, and remain there with an aspect of arrogance. I shall send for you on the morrow, and you shall say, ‘We will not ride on horses nor go on foot; carry us in our boat.’ And you shall be carried in your boat.” Thus she dismissed them to their vessel. Now Olga gave command that a large deep ditch should be dug in the castle with the hall, outside the city. Thus, on the morrow, Olga, as she sat in the hall, sent for the strangers, and her messengers approached them and said, “Olga summons you to great honor.” But they replied, “We will not ride on horseback nor in wagons, nor go on foot; carry us in our boats.” The people of Kiev then lamented, “Slavery is our lot. Our Prince is killed, and our Princess intends to marry their prince.” So they carried the Derevlians in their boat. The latter sat on the cross-benches in great robes, puffed up with pride. They thus were borne into the court before Olga, and when the men had brought the Derevlians in, they dropped them into the trench along with the boat. Olga bent over and inquired whether they found the honor to their taste. They answered that it was worse than the death of Igor’. She then commanded that they should be buried alive, and they were thus buried. Olga then sent messages to the Derevlians to the effect that, if they really required her presence, they should send after her their distin- guished men, so that she might go (57) to their Prince with due honor, for otherwise her people in Kiev would not let her go. When the Derevlians heard this message, they gathered together the best men who governed the land of Dereva, and sent them to her. When the Derevlians arrived, Olga commanded that a bath should be made ready, and invited them to appear before her after they had bathed. The bath- house was then heated, and the Derevlians entered in to bathe. Olga’s 80 The Russian Primary Chronicle men closed up the bathhouse behind them, and she gave orders to set it on fire from the doors, so that the Derevlians were all burned to death. Olga then sent to the Derevlians the following message, “I am now coming to you, so prepare great quantities of mead in the city where you killed my husband, that I may weep over his grave and hold a funeral feast for him.” When they heard these words, they gathered great quantities of honey and brewed mead. Taking a small escort, Olga made the journey with ease, and upon her arrival at Igor’s tomb, she wept for her husband. She bade her followers pile up a great mound and when they had piled it up, she also gave command that a funeral feast should be held. Thereupon the Derevlians sat down to drink, and Olga bade her followers wait upon them. The Derevlians inquired of Olga where the retinue was which they had sent to meet her. She replied that they were following with her husband’s bodyguard. When the Derevlians were drunk, she bade her followers fall upon them, and went about herself egging on her retinue to the massacre of the Derevlians. So they cut down five thousand of them; but Olga returned to Kiev and prepared an army to attack the survivors. 6454 (946). Olga, together with her son (58) Svyatoslav, gathered a large and valiant army, and proceeded to attack the land of the Derevlians. The latter came out to meet her troops, and when both forces were ready for combat, Svyatoslav cast his spear against the Derevlians. But the spear barely cleared the horse’s ears, and struck against his leg, for the prince was but a child. Then Sveinald and As- mund said, “The prince has already begun battle; press on, vassals, after the prince.” Thus they conquered the Derevlians, with the result that the latter fled, and shut themselves up in their cities. Olga hastened with her son to the city of Iskorosten’, for it was there that her husband had been slain, and they laid siege to the city. The Derevlians barricaded themselves within the city, and fought valiantly from it, for they realized that they had killed the prince, and to what fate they would in consequence surrender. Olga remained there a year without being able to take the city, and then she thought out this plan. She sent into the town the following message: “Why do you persist in holding out? All your cities have surrendered to me and submitted to tribute, so that the inhabitants now cultivate their fields and their lands in peace. But you had rather die of hunger, without submitting to tribute.” The Derevlians replied that they would be glad to submit to tribute, but that she was still bent on avenging her husband. ‘Olga then answered, “Since I have already 81 Laurentian Text (945-947) avenged the misfortune of my husband twice on the occasions when your messengers came to Kiev, and a third time when I held a funeral feast for him, I do not desire further revenge, but am anxious to receive a small tribute. After I have made peace with you, I shall return home again.” The Derevlians then inquired what she desired of them, and ex- pressed their readiness to pay honey and furs. Olga retorted that at the moment they had neither honey nor furs, (59) but that she had one small request to make. “Give me three pigeons,” she said, “and three sparrows from each house. I do not desire to impose a heavy tribute, like my husband, but I require only this small gift from you, for you are impoverished by the siege.” The Derevlians rejoiced, and collected from each house three pigeons and three sparrows, which they sent to Olga with their greetings. Olga then instructed them, in view of their submission, to return to their city, promising that on the mor- row she would depart and return to her own capital. The Derevlians re-entered their city with gladness, and when they reported to the in- habitants, the people of the town rejoiced. Now Olga gave to each soldier in her army a pigeon or a sparrow, and ordered them to attach by a thread to each pigeon and sparrow a piece of sulphur bound with small pieces of cloth. When night fell, Olga bade her soldiers release the pigeons and the sparrows. So the birds flew to their nests, the pigeons to the cotes, and the sparrows under the eaves. Thus the dove-cotes, the coops, the porches, and the haymows were set on fire. There was not a house that was not con- sumed, and it was impossible to extinguish the flames, because all the houses caught fire at once. The people fled from the city, and Olga ordered her soldiers to catch them. Thus she took the city and burned it, and captured the elders of the city. Some of the other captives she killed, while she gave others as slaves to her followers. The remnant she left to pay (60) tribute. 57 She imposed upon .them a heavy tribute, two parts of which went to Kiev, and the third to Olga in Vyshgorod; for Vyshgorod was Olga’s city. 58 She then passed through the land of Dereva, accompanied by her son and her retinue, establishing laws and tribute. Her trading posts and hunting-preserves are there still. Then she returned with her son to Kiev, her city, where she remained one year. 6455 (947) . Olga went to Novgorod, and along die Msta she estab- lished trading-posts and collected tribute. She also collected imposts and tribute along the Luga. 50 Her hunting-grounds, boundary posts, towns, and trading-posts still exist throughout the whole region, while 82 The Russian Primary Chronicle her sleighs stand in Pskov to this day. Her fowling preserves still remain on the Dnieper and the Desna, while her village of Ol’zhichi 60 is in existence even now. After making these dispositions, she returned to her city of Kiev, and dwelt at peace with it. 6456-6463 (948-955). Olga went to Greece, and arrived at Tsar’grad. The reigning Emperor was named Constantine, son of Leo. 61 Olga came before him, and when he saw that she was very fair of counte- nance and wise as well, the Emperor wondered at her intellect. He conversed with her and remarked that she was worthy to reign with him in his city. (61) When Olga heard his words, she replied that she was still a pagan, and that if he desired to baptize her, he should per- form this function himself; otherwise, she was unwilling to accept baptism. The Emperor, with the assistance of the Patriarch, accordingly baptized her. When Olga was enlightened, she rejoiced in soul and body. The Patriarch, who instructed her in the faith, said to her, “Blessed art thou among the women of Rus’, for thou hast loved the light, and quit the darkness. The sons of Rus’ shall bless thee to the last generation of thy descendants.” He taught her the doctrine of the Church, and instructed her in prayer and fasting, in almsgiving, and in the mainte- nance of chastity. She bowed her head, and like a sponge absorbing water, she eagerly drank in his teachings. The Princess bowed before the Patriarch, saying, “Through thy prayers, Holy Father, may I be preserved from the crafts and assaults of the devil!” At her baptism she was christened Helena, after the ancient Empress, mother of Con- stantine the Great. The Patriarch then blessed her and dismissed her. 02 After her baptism, the Emperor summoned Olga and made known to her that he wished her to become his wife. But she replied, “How can you marry me, after yourself baptizing me and calling me your daugh- ter? For among Christians that is unlawful, as you yourself must know.” Then the Emperior said, “Olga, you have outwitted me.” He gave her many gifts of gold, silver, silks, and various vases, and dis- missed her, still calling her his daughter. Since Olga was anxious to return home, she went to the Patriarch to request his benediction for the homeward journey, and said to him, “My people and my son are heathen. May God protect me from all evil!” The Patriarch replied, “Child of the faith, thou hast been bap- tized into Christ and hast put on Christ. Christ (62) shall therefore save thee. Even as he saved Abraham from Abimelech, Lot from the Sodom- ites, Moses from Pharaoh, David from Saul, the Three Children from the fiery furnace, and Daniel from the wild beasts, he will preserve thee 83 Laurentian Text (947-955) likewise from the devil and his snares.” So the Patriarch blessed her, and she returned in peace to her own country, and arrived in Kiev. Thus it was when the Queen of Ethiopia came to Solomon, wishing to hear his words of wisdom, and beheld much wisdom and many wonders. Even so, the sainted Olga sought the blessed wisdom of God. But the Queen sought human wisdom, while Olga sought divine wis- dom. For those who seek for wisdom shall find it. “Wisdom is cele- brated in places of concourse, she lifteth up her voice in the streets; she crieth at the entrance to the walls, at the gates of cities she uttereth speech. For as many years as the just cleave to wisdom, they shall not be ashamed.” ( Prov ., i, 20-22) . From her youth up, the sainted Olga always sought wisdom in this world, and she found a pearl of great price, which is Christ. For Solomon has said, “The accomplished desire of the faithful is sweet to the soul” (Prov., xiii, 19); and, “Incline thine heart to wisdom; I love them that love me, and those that seek me shall find me” (ibid., xi, 2). And the Lord saith, “He who cometh to me I will not cast out” (John, vi, 38). Thus Olga arrived in Kiev, and the Greek Emperor sent a message to her, saying, “Inasmuch as I bestowed’ many gifts upon you, you promised me that on your return to Rus’ you would send me many presents of slaves, wax, and furs, (63) and despatch soldiery to aid me.” Olga made answer to the envoys that if the Emperor would spend as long a time with her in the Pochayna 03 as she had remained on the Bosporus, she would grant his request. With these words, she dis- missed the envoys. 04 Now Olga dwelt with her son Svyatoslav, and she urged him to be baptized, but he would not listen to her suggestion, though when any man wished to be baptized, he was not hindered, but only mocked. For to the infidels, the Christian faith is foolishness. They do not com- prehend it, because they walk in darkness and do not see the glory of God. Their hearts are hardened, and they can neither hear with their ears nor see with their eyes. For Solomon has said, “The deeds of the unrighteous are far from wisdom. Inasmuch as I have called you, and ye heard me not, I sharpened my words, and ye understood not. But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would have none of my reproach. For they have hated knowledge, and the fear of Jehovah they have not chosen. They would none of my counsel, but despised all my reproof’ (Prov., i, 24-31). Olga remarked oftentimes, “My son, I have learned to know God, and am glad for it. If you know him, you too will rejoice.” But he did 84 The Russian Primary Chronicle not heed her exhortation, answering, “How shall I alone accept another faith? My followers will laugh at that.” But his mother replied, “If you are converted, all your subjects will perforce follow your example.” Svyatoslav did not heed his mother, but followed heathen usages, for he did not know that whoever does not obey his mother shall come to distress. For it is written, “Whosoever heedeth not his father or his mother (64) shall suffer death ( Exod xxi, 17) . But he was incensed at his mother for this reason. As Solomon has said, “He that correcteth the unrighteous getteth to himself reviling, and he that reproveth a wicked man getteth himself a blot. Rebuke not the evil, lest he hate thee” ( Prov ix, 7-8). For rebuke addressed to evildoers provokes offence. But notwithstanding, Olga loved her son Svyatoslav, and said, “So be the will of God. If God wishes to have pity upon my kin and upon the land of Rus’, let him lead my son’s heart to return to God, even as God has granted me to do.” Thus saying, she prayed night and day for her son and for the people, while she brought him up to manhood and adult age. 6464-6472 (956-964). When Prince Svyatoslav had grown up and matured, he began to collect a numerous and valiant army. Stepping light as a leopard, he undertook many campaigns. Upon his expedi- tions he carried with him neither wagons nor ketdes, and boiled no meat, but cut off small strips of horseflesh, game, or beef, and ate it after roasting it on the coals. Nor did he have a tent, but he spread out a horse-blanket under him, and set his saddle under his head; (65) and all his retinue did likewise. He sent messengers to the other lands announcing his intention to attack them. He went to the Oka and the Volga, and on coming in contact with the Vyatichians, he inquired of them to whom they paid tribute. They made answer that they paid a silver-piece per ploughshare to the Khazars. 6473 (965). Svyatoslav sallied forth against the Khazars. 65 When they heard of his approach, they went out to meet him with their Prince, the Kagan, and the armies came to blows. When the batde thus took place, Svyatoslav defeated the Khazars and took their city of Bela Vezha. He also conquered the Yasians and the Kasogians. 66 6474 (966) . Svyatoslav conquered the Vyatichians and made them his tributaries. 87 6475 (967). Svyatoslav marched to the Danube to attack the Bul- garians. When they fought together, Svyatoslav overcame the Bul- garians, and captured eighty towns along the Danube. He took up Laurentian Text (955-968) 85 his residence there, and ruled in Pereyaslavets, receiving tribute from the Greeks. 08 6476 (968). While Svyatoslav was at Pereyaslavets, the Pechenegs invaded Rus’ for the first time. So Olga shut herself up in the city of Kiev with her grandsons, Yaropolk, Oleg, and Vladimir. 00 The nomads besieged the city with a great force. They surrounded it with an in- numerable multitude, so that it was impossible to escape or send messages from the city, and the inhabitants were weak from hunger and thirst. Those who had gathered on the other side of the Dnieper in their boats remained on that side, and not one of them could enter Kiev, while no one could cross over to them from the city itself. (66) The inhabitants of the city were afflicted, and lamented, “Is there no one that can reach the opposite shore and report to the other party that if we are not relieved on the morrow, we must perforce surrender to the Pechenegs?” Then one youth volunteered to make the attempt, and the people begged him to try it. So he went out of the city with a bridle in his hand, and ran among the Pechenegs shout- ing out a question whether anyone had seen a horse. For he knew their language, and they thought he was one of themselves. When he approached the river, he threw off his clothes, jumped into the Dnieper, and swam out. As soon as the Pechenegs perceived his action, they hurried in pursuit, shooting at him the while, but they did not succeed in doing any harm. The party on the other shore caught sight of him, and rowed out in a boat to meet him. They then took him into their boat, and brought him to their company. He thus reported to them that if they could not relieve the city on the next day, the inhabitants would surrender to the Pechenegs. Then their general, Pretich by name, announced, “Tomorrow we shall approach by boat, and after rescuing the Princess and the young Princes, we shall fetch them over to this side. If we do not bring this to pass, Svyatoslav will put us to death.” When it was morning, they embarked before dawn in their boats, and blew loudly on their trum- pets. The people within the city raised a shout, so that the Pechenegs thought the Prince himself had returned, and accordingly fled from the city in various directions. Thus Olga went forth with her grand- sons and her followers to the boats. When the Prince of the Pechenegs perceived their escape, he came alone to Pretich, the general, and in- quired who had just arrived. Pretich replied that it was a boat from the opposite bank. The Prince of the Pechenegs inquired whether Pretich was the Prince himself. The general then replied that he was 86 The Russian Primary Chronicle the Prince’s vassal, and that he had come as a vanguard, (67) but that a countless force was on the way under the Prince’s command. He made this statement simply to frighten the Pechenegs. So the Prince of the Pechenegs invited Pretich to become his friend, to which request Pretich assented. The two shook hands on it, and the Prince of the Pechenegs gave Pretich his spear, sabre, and arrows, while the latter gave his own breastplate, shield, and sword. The Pechenegs raised the siege, and for a time the inhabitants could no longer water their horses at the Lybed’ on account of the retreating enemy. But the people of Kiev sent to Svyatoslav, saying, “Oh Prince, you visit and frequent foreign lands. But while you neglect your own coun- try, the Pechenegs have all but taken us captive, along with your mother and your children as well. Unless you return to protect us, they will attack us again, if you have no pity on your native land, on your mother in her old age, and on your children.” When Svyatoslav heard these words, he quickly bestrode his charger, and returned to Kiev with his retinue. He kissed his mother and his children, and regretted what they had suffered at the hands of the Pechenegs. He therefore collected an army, and drove the Pechenegs out into the steppes. Thus there was peace. 6477 (969). Svyatoslav announced to his mother and his boyars, “I do not care to remain in Kiev, but should prefer to live in Pereya- slavets on the Danube, since that is the centre of my realm, where all riches are concentrated; gold, silks, wine, and various fruits from Greece, silver and horses from Hungary and Bohemia, and from Rus’ furs, wax, honey, and slaves.” But Olga made reply, “You behold me in my weakness. Why do you desire to depart from me?” For she was already in precarious health. (68) She thus remonstrated with him and begged him first to bury her and then to go wheresoever he would. Three days later Olga died. 70 Her son wept for her with great mourn- ing, as did likewise her grandsons and all the people. They thus car- ried her out, and buried her in her tomb. Olga had given command not to hold a funeral feast for her, for she had a priest who performed the last rites over the sainted Princess. Olga was the precursor of the Christian land, even as the day-spring precedes the sun and as the dawn precedes the day. For she shone like the moon by night, and she was radiant among the infidels like a pearl in the mire, since the people were soiled, and not yet purified of their sin by holy baptism. But she herself was cleansed by this sacred purifica- tion. She put off the sinful garments of the old Adam, and was clad in the new Adam, which is Christ. Thus we say to her, “Rejoice in the Laurentian Text (968-971) 87 Russes’ knowledge of God,” for we were the first fruits of their recon- ciliation with Him. She was the first from Rus’ to enter the kingdom of God, and the sons of Rus’ thus praise her as their leader, for since her death she has interceded with God in their behalf. The souls of the righteous do not perish. As Solomon has said, “The nations rejoice in the praise of the righteous, for his memory is eternal, since it is acknowledged by God and men” (Prou., xxix, 2; Wis., iii, 4). For all men glorify her, as they behold her lying there in the body for many years. As the prophet has said, “I will glorify them that glorify me.” ( I Sam., ii, 30) Of such persons David also said, “The righteous shall be had in ever- lasting remembrance, he shall not be afraid of evil tidings. His heart is fixed, trusting in Jehovah, his heart is fixed, and (69) will not be moved” ( Ps ., cxii, 7-8). And Solomon said, “The righteous live for- ever, and they have reward from God and grace from the Most High. Therefore shall they receive the kingdom of beauty, and the crown of goodness from the hand of the Lord. With his right hand will he cover them, and with his arm will he protect them.” ( Wis., v, 16-17) For he protected the sainted Olga from the devil, our adversary and our foe. 6478 (970) . Svyatoslav set up Yaropolk in Kiev and Oleg in Dereva. At this time came the people of Novgorod asking for themselves a prince. “If you will not come to us,” said they, “then we will choose a prince of our own.” Svyatoslav replied that they had need of a prince, but Yaropolk and Oleg both refused, so that Dobrynya suggested that the post should be offered to Vladimir. For Vladimir was son of Ma- lusha, stewardess of Olga and sister of Dobrynya. Their father was Malk of Lyubech, and Dobrynya was thus Vladimir’s uncle. The cit- izens of Novgorod thus requested Svyatoslav to designate Vladimir to be their prince, and he went forth to Novgorod with Dobrynya, his uncle. 71 But Svyatoslav departed thence to Pereyaslavets. 6479 (971). Svyatoslav arrived before Pereyaslavets, and the Bul- garians fortified themselves in the city. They made one sally against Svyatoslav; there was great carnage, and the Bulgarians came off victors. But Svyatoslav cried to his soldiery, “Here is where we fall! Let us fight bravely, brothers and companions!” Toward evening, Svyatoslav finally gained the upper hand, and took the city by storm. He then sent messages to the Greeks, announcing his intention to march against them and capture their city, as he had taken Pereyaslavets. 72 The Greeks replied that they were in no position to offer resistance, and therefore begged him to accept tribute (70) instead for himself and his soldiery, requesting him to notify them how many Russes there 88 The Russian Primary Chronicle were, so that they might pay so much per head. The Greeks made this proposition to deceive the Russes, for the Greeks are crafty even to the present day. Svyatoslav replied that his force numbered twenty thou- sand, adding ten thousand to the actual number, for there were really but ten thousand Russes. So the Greeks armed one hundred thousand men to attack Svyatoslav, and paid no tribute. Svyatoslav advanced against the Greeks, who came out to meet the Russes. When the Russes perceived their approach, they were terrified at the multitude of the Greek soldiery, and Svyatoslav remarked, “Now we have no place whither we may flee. Whether we will or no, we must give battle. Let us not disgrace Rus’, but rather sacrifice our lives, lest we be dishonored. For if we flee, we shall be disgraced. We must not take to flight, but we will resist boldly, and I will march before you. If my head falls, then look to yourselves.” Then his warriors replied, “Wherever your head falls, there we too will lay down our own.” So the Russes went into battle, and the carnage was great. Svyatoslav came out victor, but the Greeks fled. Then Svyatoslav advanced to- ward the capital fighting as he went, and destroying towns that stand deserted even to the present time. The Emperor summoned his boyars to the palace, and inquired what they should do, for they could not withstand Svyatoslav’s on- slaught. The boyars advised that he should be tempted with gifts, to discover whether Svyatoslav liked gold and silks. So they sent to Svyatoslav gold and silks, carried by a clever envoy. To the latter they gave command to look well upon his eyes, his face, and his spirit. The envoy took the gifts, and went out to Svyatoslav. It was reported to the Prince that Greeks had come bringing greetings, and he ordered that they should be introduced. They then came near and (71) greeted him, laying before him the gold and the silks. Svyatoslav, without noticing the presents, bade his servants keep them. So the envoys re- turned before the Emperor; and the Emperor summoned his boyars. Then the envoys reported that when they had come before Svyatoslav and offered their gifts, he had taken no notice of them, but had ordered them to be retained. Then another courtier said, “Try him a second time; send him arms.” This suggestion was adopted, and they sent to Svyatoslav a sword and other accoutrements which were duly brought before him. The Prince accepted these gifts, which he praised and admired, and re- turned his greetings to the Emperor. The envoys went back to the Emperor and reported what had occurred. Then the boyars remarked, “This man must be fierce, since he pays no heed to riches, but accepts 89 Laurentian Text (971) arms. Submit to tribute.” The Emperor accordingly requested Svyato- slav to approach no nearer, but to accept tribute instead. For Svyatoslav had indeed almost reached Tsar’grad. So the Greeks paid him tribute, and he took also the share of diose Russes who had been slain, promis- ing that their families should receive it. He accepted many gifts be- sides, and returned to Pereyaslavets with great acclaim. Upon observing the small number of his troops, Svyatoslav reflected that if haply the Greeks attacked him by surprise, they would kill his retinue and himself. For many warriors had perished on the expedition. So he resolved to return to Rus’ for reinforcements. He then sent en- voys to the Emperor in Silistria (for the Emperor was then at that place) indicating his intention to maintain peaceful and friendly rela- tions. When the Emperor heard this message, he rejoiced, and sent to Svyatoslav gifts even more valuable than the former ones. Svyatoslav accepted these gifts, and on taking counsel with his retinue declared, “If we do not make peace with the Emperor, and he discovers how few of us there are, the Greeks will come and besiege us in our city. Rus’ is far away, and the Pechenegs are hostile to us. So who will give us aid ? Let us rather make peace with (72) the Emperor, for the Greeks have offered tribute; let that suffice. But if the Emperor stops paying tribute, we shall once more collect troops in Rus’ in still greater num- bers, and march again on Tsar’grad.” His speech pleased his followers, and they sent their chief men to the Emperor. The envoys arrived in Silistria, and reported to the Emperor. He summoned them before him on the following day, and gave them permission to state their errand. They then replied, “Thus says our Prince: ‘I desire to maintain true amity with the Greek Emperor henceforth and forever.’” The Em- peror rejoiced, and commanded his scribe to set down on parchment the words of Svyatoslav. One envoy recited all his words, and the scribe wrote them down. He spoke as follows: “This is a copy of the treaty concluded by Svyatoslav, Prince of Rus’ and by Sveinald, with Johannes surnamed Tzimiskes, written down by Theophilus the secretary in Silistria during the month of July, in the year 6479 (971), the fourteenth of the indiction. I, Svyatoslav, Prince of Rus’, even as I previously swore, now confirm by oath upon this covenant that I desire to preserve peace and perfect amity with each of the great Emperors, and particularly with Basil and Constantine, and with their successors inspired of God, and with all their subjects. In this resolve concur all Russes under my sway, (73) both boyars, and commons, forever. I will therefore contemplate no attack upon your territory, nor will I collect an army or foreign mercenaries for 90 The Russian Primary Chronicle this purpose, nor will I incite any other foe against your realm or against any territory pertaining thereto, and particularly the district of Kherson, or the cities adjacent, or against Bulgaria. But if any foe plans to at- tack your realm, I will resist him and wage war upon him. And even as I have given oath to the Greek Emperors in company with my boyars and all my subjects, so may we preserve this treaty inviolate. But if we fail in the observance of any of the aforesaid stipulations, either I or my companions, or my subjects, may we be accursed of the god in whom we believe, namely, of Perun and Volos, the god of flocks, and we become yellow as gold, and be slain with our own weapons. Regard as truth what we have now covenanted with you, even as it is inscribed upon this parchment and sealed with our seals.” After making peace with the Greeks, Svyatoslav journeyed by boat to the cataracts of the Dnieper, and the general, Sveinald, advised him to ride the falls on horseback, for the Pechenegs were encamped in the vicinity. The Prince did not heed him, but went on by boat. The people of Pereyaslavets informed the Pechenegs that Svyatoslav was returning to Rus’ after seizing from the Greeks great riches and im- mense booty, but that his troop was small. When the Pechenegs heard this news, they ambuscaded the cataracts, so that when Svyatoslav ar- rived it was impossible to pass them. So the Prince decided to w’inter in Belobereg, 73 but the Russes had no rations, so that there w r as a severe famine, and (74) they paid as much as half a grivna for a horse’s head. But Svyatoslav wintered there nevertheless. When spring came, in 6480 (972), Svyatoslav approached the cata- racts, where Kurya, Prince of the Pechenegs, attacked him; and Svyato- slav was killed. The nomads took his head, and made a cup out of his skull, overlaying it with gold, and they drank from it. But Sveinald returned to Yaropolk in Kiev. Now all the years of Svyatoslav’s reign were twenty-eight. 6481 (973). The reign of Yaropolk began. 6482-6483 (974-975). The son of Sveinald, Lyut by name, was de- voted to hunting, and went out of Kiev to chase wild beasts in the forest. Oleg once saw him, and inquired who he was. He was in- formed that it was the son of Sveinald; then he rode up and killed him, for Oleg was hunting too. Therefore there sprung up a feud between Yaropolk and Oleg, and Sveinald was continually egging Yaropolk on to attack his brother and seize his property, because he wished to avenge his son. 6484-6485 (976-977). Yaropolk marched against his brother Oleg into the district of Dereva. Oleg sallied out to meet him, and they came 91 Laurentian Text (971-980) to blows. When the companies fought, Yaropolk overcame Oleg. Where Oleg fled with his warriors into the town called Vruchiy, there was a bridge across a moat to the city gates, and as the soldiery pressed hard on each other’s heels, they fell into the moat. Oleg also was pushed from the bridge into the ditch; many men fell in, and the horses crushed the soldiers. When Yaropolk entered (75) his brother’s city, he seized the latter’s property, and sent in search of him. Upon looking for Oleg, Yaropolk’s men were unable to find him, until one native of Dereva reported that he had seen Oleg pushed off the bridge the night before. So Yaropolk sent men to look for his brother. They dragged bodies from the moat from morning till noon, and found Oleg also under the other corpses. They carried him away and laid him upon a rug. Then Yaropolk came and wept over him, and remarked to Sveinald, “See the fulfill- ment of your wish.” So they buried Oleg in the city of Vruchiy, and his tomb is there to this day. Yaropolk seized his property. Now Yaro- polk had a Greek wife who had been a nun. For Svyatoslav, his father, had brought her home, and married her to Yaropolk on account of the beauty of her countenance. When Vladimir in Novgorod heard that Yaropolk had killed Oleg, he was afraid, and fled abroad. Then Yaropolk sent his lieutenants to Novgorod, and was thus the sole ruler in Rus’. 6486-6488 (978-980). Vladimir returned to Novgorod with Va- rangian allies, 74 and instructed the lieutenants of Yaropolk to return to the latter and inform him that Vladimir was advancing against him prepared to fight. He remained in Novgorod, and sent word to Rog- volod in Polotsk that he desired his daughter to wife. Rogvolod in- quired of his daughter whether she wished to marry Vladimir. “I will not,” she replied, (76) “draw off the boots of a slave’s son, but I want Yaropolk instead.” Now Rogvolod had come from overseas, and exercised the authority in Polotsk just as Tury, from whom the Turov- ians get their name, had done in Turov. The servants of Vladimir returned and reported to him all the words of Rogned, the daughter of Rogvolod. Prince of Polotsk. Vladimir then collected a large army, consisting of Varangians, Slavs, Chuds, and Krivichians, and marched against Rogvolod. At this time, the intention was that Rogned should marry Yaropolk. But Vladimir attacked Polotsk, killed Rogvolod and his two sons, and after marrying the prince’s daughter, he proceeded against Yaropolk. 75 Vladimir came to Kiev with a large force. Yaropolk could not resist him, but shut himself up in Kiev with his people and with Blud. 92 The Russian Primary Chronicle Vladimir came to a halt at Dorogozhich, and entrenched himself be- tween there and Kapich 70 ; his earthwork is there to this day. Vladimir then sent treacherous proposals to Blud, Yaropolk’s general, saying, “Be my friend; if I kill my brother, I will regard you as my father, and you shall have much honor from me. It was not I who began to fight with my brother, but he, and I was for that reason overcome by fear, and therefore have come out against him.” Blud replied to the mes- sengers of Vladimir that he would join with him in sincere friendship. Alas, the evil treachery of men! As David says, “He who did eat of my bread hath lifted up his heel against me” ( Ps ., xli, 9) . For this man plotted treacherously against his prince. And it is further written, “Their tongues have spoken falsely. Hold them guilty, oh God, let them fall by their own counsels; (77) thrust them out in the multitude of their transgressions, for they have angered thee, oh Lord” (Ps., v, 10-11). David has likewise said, “Bloodthirsty and deceitful men shall not live out half their days” (Ps., lv, 23). This is evil counsel upon which they enter for the shedding of blood. Those men are mad who, after receiving honor and gifts from their prince or their lord, think on the life of their prince to .destroy it; they are worse than devils. It was thus that Blud betrayed his prince after receiving many honors from him. He became guilty of his blood. Blud shut himself up with Yaropolk with the intention of betraying him, and he sent frequent messages to Vladimir, urging him to storm the city while he himself planned how he might kill Yaropolk. But on account of the citizens, it was not possible to kill him. So Blud, not being able to destroy him thus, contrived it by means of a ruse, while he urged the prince not to go forth from the city to fight. Thus he craftily suggested to Yaropolk that the people of Kiev were sending messages to invite Vladimir to attack the town so that they might be- tray Yaropolk into his hands, and advised him to flee from the city. Yaropolk heeded his suggestion, and he fled from Vladimir. He then shut himself up in the city of Rodnya 77 at the mouth of the Ros’, while Vladimir entered the city of Kiev, and then laid siege to Yaro- polk at Rodnya. There was a great famine there, and we have to this day a proverb which speaks of famine as in Rodnya. Blud then said to Yaropolk, “Do you see what a large force your brother has? We cannot overcome them. Make peace with your brother.” He spoke thus as he plotted treachery against him. But Yaro- polk assented. Blud then sent world to Vladimir (78) that he would bring Yaropolk before him, in accordance with his wishes. Vladimir, upon hearing these tidings, went to his father’s casde with the hall, of 93 Laurentian Text (9S0) which we previously made mention, and setded there with his retinue. Blud next induced Yaropolk to appear before his brother and express his readiness to accept any terms he might offer. Yaropolk thus went in person to Vladimir, though he had been previously warned by Vary- azhko not to go. “My Prince,” said he, “they will kill you. Flee rather to the Pechenegs and collect an army.” But the prince heeded him not. Yaropolk came accordingly before Vladimir, and when he entered the door, two Varangians stabbed him in the breast with their swords, while Blud shut the doors and would not allow his men to follow him. Thus Yaropolk was slain. When Varayazhko saw that Yaropolk was mur- dered, he fled from the casde to the Pechenegs, in whose company he fought long against Vladimir till the latter won him over only with difficulty by means of a sworn pledge. Now Vladimir had intercourse with his brother’s wife, a Greek woman, and she became pregnant, and from her was born Svyato- polk. 78 From a sinful root evil fruit is produced, inasmuch as his mother had been a nun, and besides Vladimir had intercourse with her without having married her. Svyatopolk was therefore born in adultery, and for this reason his father did not love him; for he had two fathers, Yaropolk and Vladimir. At this time, the Varangians said to Vladimir, “This city belongs to us, and we took it; hence we desire tribute from it at the rate of two grlvny per man.” Vladimir requested them to wait until the marten skins should be collected (79) a month thence. They waited a month and he gave them nothing, so that the Varangians protested that he had deceived them, and requested that they should be dismissed to Greece. The Prince urged them to go their way. He then selected from their number the good, the wise, and the brave men, to whom he assigned cities, while the rest departed for Tsar’grad in Greece. 70 But in advance of them Vladimir sent couriers bearing this message: “Varangians are on their way to your country. Do not keep many of them in your city, or else they will cause you such harm as they have done here. Scatter them therefore in various localities, and do not let a single one return this way.” Vladimir then began to reign alone in Kiev, and he set up idols on the hills outside the castle with the hall: one of Perun, made of wood with a head of silver and a mustache of gold, and others of Khors, Dazh’bog, Stribog, Simar’gl, and Mokosh’. so The people sacrificed to them, calling them gods, and brought their sons and their daughters to sacrifice them to these devils. They desecrated the earth with their offerings, and the land of Rus’ and this hill were defiled with blood. 94 The Russian Primary Chronicle But our gracious God desires not the death of sinners, and upon this hill now stands a church dedicated to St. Basil, as we shall later narrate. 81 But let us return to our subject. Vladimir had appointed his uncle Dobrynya to rule over Novgorod. When Dobrynya came to Novgorod, he set up an idol beside the river Volkhov, and the people of Novgorod offered sacrifice to it as if to God himself. Now Vladimir was overcome by lust for women. His lawful wife was Rogned, whom he settled on the (80) Lybed’, where the village of Predslavino now stands. 82 By her he had four sons: Izyaslav, Mstislav, Yaroslav, and Vsevolod, and two daughters. The Greek woman bore him Svyatopolk; by one Czech he had a son Vysheslav; by another, Svyatoslav and Mstislav; and by a Bulgarian woman, Boris and Gleb. He had three hundred concubines at Vysh- gorod, three hundred at Belgorod, and two hundred at Berestovo in a village still called Berestovoe. 83 He was insatiable in vice. He even seduced married women and violated young girls, for he was a libertine like Solomon. For it is said that Solomon had seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines. He was wise, yet in the end he came to ruin. But Vladimir, though at first deluded, eventually found sal- vation. Great is the Lord, and great is his power, and of his wisdom there is no end. The charm of woman is an evil thing. As Solomon in his repen- tance said of woman: “Listen not to an evil woman. Honey flows from the lips of a licentious woman, and for a time it delights thy palate. But in the end it will become bitterer than wormwood. They who cleave to her shall die in hell; for she walks not in the path of life, but unstable and foolish are her ways” ( Prov ., v, 3-6) . Thus spoke Solomon of adulteresses, but of a good woman he said, “More precious is she than jewels. Her husband rejoices in her, for she brings him blessedness (81) all the days of her life. She seeks wool and flax, she makes useful things with her hands. She is like a merchant ship that goes out for trade and collects great riches. She rises also while it is yet night, she gives food to the household and tasks to the servants. She considered a field and has bought it, with the fruit of her hands she has planted a vineyard. She has girded up her loins with strength, and has made firm her arm for labor. She has proved how good it is to labor, and her candle goes not out by night. She sets her hands to useful things, and her fingers work with the spindle. She stretches out her hand to the poor, and has given her wealth to the beggar. Her husband is not concerned with the household; wherever she may be, her family is 95 Laurentlan Text (980-983) clothed. Double garments she makes for her husband, scarlet and purple are her robes. Her husband is distinguished within the gates when he sits in council with the elders and the inhabitants of the land. She has made garments and sold them. She has opened her lips with wisdom, she speaks fittingly with her tongue. She is clothed in strength and grace. Her almsgivings have raised and enriched her children, and her husband has commended her. For a wise woman is blessed; let her praise the fear of God. Give her the fruit of her lips, that they may praise her husband within the gates” (Prov., xxxi, 10 ff.). 6489 (981). Vladimir marched upon the Lyakhs and took their cities: Peremyshl’, Cherven, and other towns, all of which are subject to Rus’ even to this day. 84 In the same year, he conquered the Vyatich- ians, and imposed (82) upon them tribute according to the number of their ploughs, just as his father had done. 85 6490 (982). The Vyatichians went to war, but Vladimir attacked them and conquered them a second time. 6491 (983). Vladimir marched on the Yatvingians, conquered them, and seized their territory. 8 G He returned to Kiev, and together with his people made sacrifice to the idols. The elders and the boyars then proposed that they should cast lots for a youth and a maiden, and sacrifice to the gods whomsoever the lot should fall upon. Now there was a certain Varangian whose house was situated by the spot where now stands the Church of the Holy Virgin which Vladimir built. This Varangian had immigrated from Greece. He adhered to the Christian faith, and he had a son, fair in face and in heart, on whom, through the devil’s hatred, the lot fell. For the devil, though he had dominion over all the rest, could not suffer this youth. He was like a thorn in the devil’s heart, and the accursed one was eager to destroy him, and even aroused the people thereto. Messengers thus came and said to the father, “Since the lot has fallen upon your son, the gods have claimed him as their own. Let us therefore make sacri- fice to the gods.” But the Varangian replied, “These are not gods, but only idols of wood. Today it is, and tomorrow it will rot away. These gods do not eat, or drink, or speak; they are fashioned by hand out of wood. But the God whom the Greeks serve and worship is one; it is he who has made heaven and earth, the stars, the moon, the sun, and mankind, and has granted him life upon earth. But what have these gods created ? They are themselves manufactured. (83) I will not give up my son to devils.” So the messengers went back and reported to the people. The latter took up arms, marched against the Varangian and his son, and on breaking down the stockade about his house, found 96 The Russian Trimary Chronicle him standing with his son upon the porch. They then called upon him to surrender his son that they might offer him to the gods. But he replied, “If they be gods, they will send one of their number to take my son. What need have you of him?” They straightway raised a shout, and broke up the structure under them. Thus the people killed them, and no one knows where they are buried. 87 For at this time the Russes were ignorant pagans. The devil re- joiced thereat, for he did not know that his ruin was approaching. He was so eager to destroy the Christian people, yet he was expelled by the true cross even from these very lands. The accursed one thought to himself, “This is my habitation, a land where the aposdes have not taught nor the prophets prophesied.” He knew not that the Prophet had said, “I will call those my people who are not my people” ( Hosea , ii, 23). Likewise it is written of the Apostles, “Their message has gone out into all the earth and their words to the end of the world” ( Ps ., xix, 5). Though the Aposdes have not been there in person, their teachings resound like trumpets in the churches throughout the world. Through their instruction we overcome the hosulc adversary, and trample him under our feet. For likewise did the Holy Fathers trample upon him, and they have received the heavenly crown in company with the holy martyrs and the just. 6492 (984) . Vladimir attacked the Radimichians. His general was named Wolf’s Tail, and Vladimir sent him on ahead. He met the Radimichians by the river Pishchan’, and overcame (84) them. 88 Therefore the Russes ridiculed the Radimichians, saying that the men on the Pishchan’ fled in the presence of a wolf’s tail. Now the Radi- michians belong to the race of the Lyakhs. They had come and setded in these regions, and pay tribute to the Russes, an obligation which they maintain to the present day. 6493 (985). Accompanied by his uncle Dobrynya, Vladimir set out by boat to attack the Bulgars. 80 He also brought Torks 00 overland on horseback, and conquered the Bulgars. Dobrynya remarked to Vladimir, “I have seen the prisoners, who all wear boots. They will not pay us tribute. Let us rather look for foes with bast shoes.” So Vladimir made peace with the Bulgars, and they confirmed it by oath. The Bulgars declared, “May peace prevail between us till stone floats and straw sinks.” Then Vladimir returned to Kiev. 6494 (986). Vladimir was visited by Bulgars of Mohammedan faith, 01 who said, “Though you are a wise and prudent prince, you have no religion. Adopt our faith, and revere Mahomet.” Vladimir inquired what was the nature of their religion. They replied that they 97 Laurentian Text (983-986) believed in God, and that Mahomet instructed them to practice circum- cision, to eat no pork, to drink no wine, and, after death, promised them complete fulfillment of their carnal desires. “Mahomet,” they asserted, “will give each man seventy fair women. He may choose one fair one, and upon that woman will Mahomet confer the charms of them all, and she shall be his wife. Mahomet promises that one may then satisfy every desire, but whoever is poor in this world (85) will be no different in the next.” They also spoke other false things which out of modesty may not be written down. Vladimir listened to them, for he was fond of women and indulgence, regarding which he heard with pleasure. But circumcision and abstinence from pork and wine were disagreeable to him. “Drinking,” said he, “is the joy of the Russes. We cannot exist without that pleasure.” Then came the Germans, asserting that they were come as emissa- ries of the Pope. 02 They added, “Thus says the Pope: ‘Your country is like our country, but your faith is not as ours. For our faith is the light. We worship God, who has made heaven and earth, the stars, the moon, and every creature, while your gods are only wood.’ ” Vladimir inquired what their teaching was. They replied, “Fasting according to one’s strength. But whatever one eats or drinks is all to the glory of God, as our teacher Paul has said.” Then Vladimir an- swered, “Depart hence; our fathers accepted no such principle.” The Jewish Khazars heard of these missions, and came themselves saying, “We have learned that Bulgars and Christians came hither to instruct you in their faiths. The Christians believe in him whom we crucified, but we believe in the one God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” Then Vladimir inquired what their religion was. They re- plied that its tenets included circumcision, not eating pork or hare, and observing the Sabbath. The Prince then asked where their native land was, and they replied that it was in Jerusalem. When Vladimir in- quired where that was, they made answer, “God was angry (86) at our forefathers, and scattered us among the gentiles on account of our sins. Our land was then given to the Chrisdans.” The Prince then demanded, “How can you hope to teach others while you yourselves are cast out and scattered abroad by the hand of God? If God loved you and your faith, you would not be thus dispersed in foreign lands. Do you expect us to accept that fate also?” Then the Greeks sent to Vladimir a scholar, 03 who spoke thus: “We have heard that the Bulgarians came and urged you to adopt their faith, which pollutes heaven and earth. They are accursed above all men, like Sodom and Gomorrah, upon which the Lord let fall 98 The Russian Primary Chronicle burning stones, and which he buried and submerged. The day of destruction likewise awaits these men, on which the Lord will come to judge the earth, and to destroy all those who do evil and abomina- tion. For they moisten their excrement, and pour the water into their mouths, and anoint their beards with it, remembering Mahomet. The women also perform this same abominauon, and even worse ones.” Vladimir, upon hearing their statements, spat upon the earth, saying, “This is a vile thing.” Then the scholar said, “We have likewise heard how men came from Rome to convert you to their faith. It differs but little from ours, for they commune with wafers, called oplatl^i, which God did not give them, for he ordained that we should commune with bread. For when he had taken bread, the Lord gave it to his disciples, saying, ‘This is my body broken (87) for you.’ Likewise he took the cup, and said, ‘This is my blood of the New Testament.’ They do not so act, for they have modified the faith.” Then Vladimir remarked that the Jews had come into his presence and had stated that the Germans and the Greeks believed in him whom they crucified. To this the scholar replied, “Of a truth we believe in him. For some of the prophets fore- told that God should be incarnate, and others that he should be crucified and buried, but arise on the third day and ascend into heaven. “For the Jews killed the prophets, and still others they persecuted. When their prophecy was fulfilled, our Lord came down to earth, was cruci- fied, arose again, and ascended into heaven. He awaited their repent- ance for forty-six years, but they did not repent, so that the Lord let loose the Romans upon them. Their cities were destroyed, and they were scattered among the gentiles, under whom they are now in servitude.” Vladimir then inquired why God should have descended to earth and should have endured such pain. The scholar then answered and said, “If you are desirous of hearing the story, I shall tell you from the beginning why God descended to earth.” Vladimir replied, “Gladly would I hear it.” Whereupon the scholar thus began his narrative: “In the beginning, God created heaven and earth on the first day. Upon the second, he created the land which is in the midst of the water. Upon this same day, the waters were divided. A part of them was elevated above the land, and a part placed below it. On the third day, he created the sea, the rivers, the springs, and the seeds. On the fourth, God made the sun, the moon, and the stars, and thus adorned the heavens. When the foremost of the angels, the chief of the angelic host, beheld these works, he reflected and said, ‘I shall descend to the 99 Laurentian Text (986) earth and seize upon it. (88) I shall then be like to God, and shall establish my throne upon the northern clouds.’ But God cast him straightway out of heaven, and in his train fell the tenth order of the angels, who had been subject to him. The name of this adversary was Sathanael, in whose place God set Michael as chief, while Satan, after sinning in his devices and falling from the former glory, is now called the adversary of God. “Subsequendy, upon the fifth day, God created whales, fishes, rep- dies, and feathered fowl. On the sixth, God created beasts, catde, and terrestrial repdles. He also created man. Upon the seventh day, which is the Sabbath, God rested from his labors. He set up Paradise at the east in Eden. There he placed man, whom he had created, and bade him eat of every tree save one, namely, the tree of the understanding of good and evil. Thus Adam was in Paradise beholding God, and glori- fied him when the angels glorified him. “Now God cast a drowsiness upon Adam, and he slept. Then God took from him one rib, and made him a wife, whom he brought to Adam in Paradise. Then Adam said ‘This is bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh,’ and she was called woman. Adam gave names to the catde and die birds, the beasts and the repules; to man and to woman an angel gave names. God subjected the beasts and the catde to Adam’s rule; he ruled over them and they obeyed his word. “When the devil saw how God honored man, he hated him. Changing himself into a serpent, he approached Eve and inquired of her, ‘Why do you not eat of the tree that stands in the middle of Paradise?’ The woman made answer to the serpent, ‘God has said: “Ye must not eat of it, or ye shall die the death.” Then the serpent said, ‘You shall not die the death. God knew (S9) that upon the day when you eat of it, your eyes be opened, and you shall be as God understanding good and evil.’ Now the woman saw that the tree was good to eat, so she ate of it, and gave of it to her husband. They ate, and their eyes were opened, so that they realized that they were naked, and plaited for themselves girdles of fig-leaves. “Then God said, ‘The earth is accursed of your deeds, and ye shall live in sorrow all the days of your life. If ye stretch out your hand and pluck the fruit of the tree of life, ye will live forever.’ So the Lord God drove Adam out of Paradise. He sat opposite the gate of Paradise weeping and tilling the soil, and Satan rejoiced that the earth was accursed. This was the first fall of man, and his bitter punishment, in that he lost the angelic life. “Adam begot Cain and Abel. Cain was a plowman, and Abel a 100 The Russian Primary Chronicle shepherd. Now Cain offered God of the fruit of the earth, but God did not accept his gifts. But Abel brought him of his firstling lamb, and God accepted the offerings of Abel. Then Satan entered into Cain, and incited him to kill Abel. So Cain said to Abel, ‘Let us go into the field.’ When they had gone forth, Cain rose up and wished to kill his brother, but he did not know how to compass the deed. But Satan said, ‘Take up a stone and smite him.’ So Cain took a stone and killed him. Then God said to Cain. ‘Where is thy brother?’ and Cain replied, ‘Am I my brother’s keeper?’ So God said, ‘The blood of thy brother cries aloud to me; thou shalt groan and tremble unto thy life’s end.’ “Adam and Eve wept, but the devil rejoiced, saying, (90) ‘Behold, him whom God held in honor I have made to depart from God, and now sorrow has come upon him.’ So they mourned Abel for thirty years. His body did not decompose, but they did not know how to bury him. Then, by God’s command, two birds flew down, and one of them died. The other dug a trench, and placed the dead bird there- in, and buried it. When Adam and Eve beheld this, they dug a trench, and placed Abel in it, and buried him thus with sorrow. “When Adam was two hundred and thirty years old, he begot Seth and two daughters. Cain married one and Seth the other, and from them the race of men multiplied and increased throughout the earth. But they knew not their Creator, and were filled with every vice and uncleanness, with lust and with hatred, and they lived like cattle. Noah was the only just man in the whole race, and he begot three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. God said, ‘My spirit shall not abide among men; I will destroy what I have created, bodi man and beast.’ Then the Lord God said to Noah, ‘Build an ark three hundred cubits long and fifty cubits broad, and thirty cubits high (for a sazhen was called a cubit) .’ The ark was one hundred years building, but Noah foretold that there was to be a flood, and the people mocked him. When the ark was finished, the Lord said to Noah, ‘Enter into it thyself and thy wife, and thy sons, and thy daughters-in-law. Take with thee two each of all beasts, birds, and reptiles.’ So Noah led them into the ark as the Lord had enjoined him. “Then God brought a flood upon the earth, and drowned all flesh, but the ark floated upon the water. When the waters had subsided, Noah and (91) his sons and his wife went forth, and by them the earth was peopled. There were many men with but one language, and they said one to another, ‘Let us build a tower as high as heaven.’ They even began to build it with Nimrod as their chief. But God said, ‘Men 101 Laurent ian Text (986) have multiplied, and their devices are vain.’ Then God descended, and divided the nations into seventy-two peoples. But the tongue of Adam was not taken away from Eber, for he alone had not joined in their vanity, saying, ‘If God had bidden men to build a tower as high as heaven, he would have ordained it with a word, even as he created the heavens, the earth, the sea, and all things visible and invisible.’ Therefore Eber’s language was unaltered, and from him are descended the Hebrews. “The human race was thus divided into seventy-two nations and scattered throughout the world, each one having its own customs. Following the devil’s instrucdon, they sacrificed to trees, springs, and rivers, and did not know God. Between Adam and the Flood, two thousand and forty years passed, and between the Flood and the divis- ion of the nations, five hundred and twenty-nine years. Subsequently, the devil cast mankind into yet greater error, so that they undertook to build idols, some of wood, some of brass, others of marble, and still others of gold and silver. They not only worshipped them, but even brought their sons and daughters and killed them before these images, so that all the earth was defiled. “The author of idolatry was Serug, for he made idols in the name of dead men, kings, heroes, magicians, and evil women. Serug begot (92) Terah, and Terah begot three sons, Abraham, Nahor, and Haran. Terah built idols, having learned the art from his father. But Abraham, having come to reason, looked up to heaven, and upon ob- serving the stars and die sky, said, ‘In truth, that is God, and those that my brother makes only deceive men.’ Then Abraham announced, ‘I will test the gods of my father,’ and he inquired, ‘Father, why do you deceive men by making idols of wood? It is God who has made heaven and earth.’ Abraham then set fire to the idols in the temple. When Haran, Abraham’s brother, saw this act, in his zeal for the idols he endeavored to save them, and was himself consumed, so that he died before his father. For prior to that time, no son had passed away before his father, but the father had always died before his son; from this time forth, sons began to perish before their fathers. “God loved Abraham, and said to him, ‘Go forth out of the house of thy father into the land to which I shall guide thee. I shall make of thee a nation, and the generations of the earth shall bless thee.’ And Abraham did as the Lord ordained. So Abraham took his nephew Lot (for Lot was both his brother-in-law and his nephew, since Abra- ham had married his brother’s daughter Sarai) ; and he came to a high oak in the land of Canaan. God said to Abraham, ‘To thy seed will 102 The Russian Primary Chronicle I give this land.’ Then Abraham worshipped God. Now Abraham was seventy-five years old when he went out of Haran. But Sarai was barren, and since she was afflicted with her sterility, Sarai said to Abra- ham, ‘Have intercourse with (93) my maid-servant.’ So Sarai took Hagar and gave her to Abraham, who had intercourse with her. She conceived and bore a son, and Abraham called him Ishmael. Abraham was eighty-six years old when Ishmael was born. Afterward, Sarai conceived and bore a son, and called his name Isaac. Then God directed Abraham to circumcise the child, and he duly circumcised him on the eighth day. God loved Abraham and his race. He called them his people, and distinguished them from the Gentiles by calling them his own. “When Isaac was grown up, Abraham, having lived one hundred and seventy years, died and was buried. When Isaac was sixty, he begot two sons, Esau and Jacob. Esau was crafty and Jacob truthful. Jacob served his uncle seven years for his younger daughter, but Laban did not give her to him, saying, ‘Take the elder instead.’ He thus gave him Leah, the elder, but for the younger demanded of him seven years’ further service. So Jacob served seven more years for Rachel and married the two sisters. By them he begot eight sons: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zabulon and Asser. From these brothers the Jews are sprung. “Jacob went to Egypt when he was one hundred and thirty years old, accompanied by his kin t;o the number of sixty-five souls. He lived in Egypt seventeen years before his death, and his race was in captivity four hundred years. During these years, the Jewish people increased and multiplied, (94) but the Egyptians crushed them with toil. At this time, Moses was born among the Jews, and the Egyptians in- formed the King a child was born among the Jews who should de- stroy Egypt. Then the King gave orders to cast the growing children of the Jews into the river. But Moses’ mother, fearing his destruction, took the infant and laid him in a basket, and set him in the water. “At this moment, Thermuthi, the daughter of Pharaoh, went down to bathe, and on seeing the child floating there, she rescued him and named him Moses, and brought him up. The child was fair, and was four years old when the daughter of Pharaoh brought him before her father. When Pharaoh saw Moses, he fancied the child. Moses seized him around the neck, knocked the crown from the King’s head, and stamped upon it. A magician who beheld this act protested to the King, ‘Oh King, destroy this child, for if you do not destroy him he 103 Laurentian Text (986) will ruin all Egypt.’ The King heeded him not, but gave command that no more of the Jewish children be killed. “When Moses grew to manhood, he was great in the house of Pharaoh. But when another King came to the throne, the nobles hated him. Then Moses, since he had killed an Egyptian who was persecuting a Jew, fled from Egypt, and came to the land of Midian. As he was making his way across the desert, he learned from the angel Gabriel about the nature of the whole world, of the first man, what happened after him, about the flood, the confusion of the tongues, the age of each man, the movement and the number of the stars, the di- mensions of the earth, (95) and all wisdom. Thereafter God appeared to him in the burning bush, and said to him, ‘I have seen the oppression of my people in Egypt, and have descended to take them from the hands of the Egyptians, and lead them forth from the land. Go there- fore to Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and say unto him, “Set Israel free, that they may perform sacrifice to God for three days.” If the King of Egypt heed thee not, I will smite him with all my wonders.’ “When Moses came before Pharaoh, the King did not heed him. Then God sent ten plagues upon him: rivers of blood, frogs, gnats, dogflies, cattle-plague, burning vesicles, hail, locusts, three days’ dark- ness, and pestilence among the population. Ten plagues were thus visited upon Egyptians, because they drowned the children of the Jews for ten months. But when there was pestilence in Egypt, Pharaoh said to Moses and his brother Aaron, ‘Depart hence quickly.’ So Moses after gathering the Jews together, departed out of the land of Egypt. “The Lord led them over the road through the desert to the Red Sea, preceding them by night as a fiery pillar, and by day as a cloud. When Pharaoh heard how the people were escaping, he pursued them, and overtook them by the seaside. When the Jews beheld this, they cried out against Moses, saying, ‘Why have you led us out to certain death?’ Then Moses called upon God, and the Lord said, ‘Why callest thou upon me? Smite the sea with thy staff.’ Moses did thus, and the water parted in twain, so that the children of Israel went down into the sea. When Pharaoh beheld this, (96) he pursued them, for the children of Israel were traveling on dry land. But when they reached the shore, the sea closed over Pharaoh and his warriors. “God loved Israel, and they traveled three days from the sea, and arrived at Marah. There the water was bitter. The people murmured against God, but the Lord showed them a tree, and when Moses placed it in the water, the water was sweetened. Then they still murmured 104 The Russian Primary Chronicle against Moses and Aaron, saying, “It was better for us in Egypt, where we ate meat, onions, and bread till we were filled.’ The Lord then said to Moses, ‘I have heard the complaint of the children of Israel,’ and he gave them manna to eat. Afterward, the Lord revealed the law to them upon Mt. Sinai. But while Moses was with God upon the mountain, the people moulded a calf’s head and bowed down before it as if before God himself, and Moses killed three thousand of them. “Yet again they murmured against Moses and Aaron because there was no water, and the Lord said to Moses, ‘Smite the rock with thy rod.’ But Moses replied, ‘How can water issue from it?’ Then the Lord was angry at Moses because he did not glorify him, and for this reason, on account of these murmurings, he did not enter the Promised Land. But Moses died there on the mountain. “Then Joshua, son of Nun, assumed the leadership. He entered the Promised Land, destroyed the Canaanites, and setded the children of Israel there in their stead. Then, when Joshua died, Judah was judge in his place. There were fourteen other judges. But in their time the people forgot (97) God, who had led them out of Egypt, and they began to serve devils. Then God was wroth, and delivered them over to the violence of the Gentiles. But when they repented, he had mercy upon them. When he had freed them, they returned nevertheless to the worship of devils. “Next, Eli the priest was judge, and after him, Samuel the prophet. The people said to Samuel, ‘Give us a King.’ Then the Lord was angered against Israel, and set Saul over them as King. But Saul would not walk in the law of the Lord, so the Lord chose David, and ap- pointed him King over Israel. Now David found favor with God, and to him God swore that a God should be born of his lineage. Thus David began to prophecy concerning the incarnation of God, saying, ‘I bore thee from my loins before the morning star’ (Ps., xc, 3). He prophesied for forty years, and then died. After him, his son Solomon uttered prophecy. It was he who built a temple to God, and called it the Holy of Holies. He was a wise man, but in the end he fell from grace. He too reigned forty years and then died. After him reigned his son Rehoboam, and in his day the kingdom was divided into two parts, since the Jews lived partly in Jerusalem, and the other portion in Samaria. “In Samaria reigned Rehoboam, son of Solomon, who made two golden calves, one of which he set up in Bethel on the hill, and the other in Dan, saying, ‘These are your gods, oh Israel.’ So the people worshiped them and forgot God. Likewise in Jerusalem they forgot 105 Laurentian Text (986) God, and began to worship Baal, called the god of war, who is Ares, and they forgot the God of their fathers. Then God began to send (98) them prophets, and the prophets rebuked them for their iniquities, but when they were rebuked by the prophets, they killed them. Then God was wroth against Israel, and said, ‘I shall cast you from me, I shall call other peoples to serve. If they sin, I will not remember their iniquities.’ “So the Lord sent his prophets, saying to them, ‘Prophecy of the re- jection of the Jews and the calling of the Gentiles.’ Hosea was thus the first to prophesy, saying, ‘I will cause the kingdom of the house of Israel to cease, I will break the bow of Israel, and I will no more have compassion on the house of Israel. But I will cast them off and reject them, saith the Lord, and they shall be wanderers among the nations’ (Hos., i, 4-6; ix, 17). And Jeremiah said, ‘If Samuel and Moses arise, I will not have mercy on them’ ( Jer xv, i). Further, Jeremiah said, ‘Thus saith the Lord : “I have sworn by my great name that my name shall no more be mentioned henceforth by the lips of the Jews” ’ (Jer., xiv, 26). Likewise Ezekiel said, ‘Thus saith the Lord Jehovah: “I will scatter thee and the whole remnant of thee to all the winds, for that thou hast defiled my sanctuaries with thine abominations; I will reject thee and have no more mercy upon thee”’ ( Eze \. ., v, 10-11). “Malachi said, ‘I have no pleasure in you, saith Jehovah. From the east to the west my name shall be glorified among the Gentiles. In every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering, for great is my name among the Gentiles. Wherefore I will deliver you into exile and to the scorn of all nations’ (Mai., i, 10-11; ii, 9). The great Isaiah said, ‘Thus saith the Lord: “I will stretch out my hand against (99) thee, I will destroy thee and scatter thee, and restore thee no more” ’ (Is., i, 25). And further, ‘I have hated your feasts and your new moons; your Sabbaths I will not accept’ (Is., i, 13-14). Amos the prophet said, ‘Hear the word of the Lord: “I will bring mourning upon you; the house of Israel has fallen and was not quick to arise”’ (Amos, v, 1-2). Malachi said ‘Thus saith the Lord: “I will send upon you a curse, and will curse your blessing; I will destroy it, and it shall not be among you” ’ (Mai., ii, 2). “Many prophesied of their rejection, and to such prophets God gave his commandment to foretell the calling of other nations in their stead. Thus Isaiah called upon them, saying, ‘Law shall go forth from me, and my judgment is the light of nations. My justice approaches quickly; it shall go forth and in my arm shall the Gentiles hope’ (Is., Ii, 4-6) . Jeremiah said, ‘Thus saith the Lord: “I will establish a new covenant for the house of Judah. I will give laws for their understanding, and 106 The Russian Primary Chronicle write upon their hearts. I will be their God, and they shall be my peo- ple” ’ ( Jer ., xxi, 31-34) . Isaiah said, ‘The old things are passed away, but I declare the new. Before their appearance, it has been revealed unto you. Sing unto the Lord a new song. Those who serve me shall be called by a new name, which shall be blessed throughout all the earth. My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations’ (Is., xlii, 9-10; lvi, 5-7) . Likewise Isaiah said, ‘The Lord will show his right arm before all nations, and all the ends of the earth shall see salvauon from our God’ (Is., liii, 10) . And David said, ‘Praise the Lord, all the nations, praise him, all ye people’ (Ps., cxviii, 1). “Since God so loved his new people, he promised (100) to descend among them himself, and to appear as a man in the flesh, and to suffer for the sin of Adam. Thus men began to prophesy concerning the in- carnation of God. First David said, ‘The Lord said unto my Lord: “Sit upon my right, until I shall set thine enemies as a footstool for thy feet’” (Ps., xc, 1). And again, ‘The Lord said unto me: “Thou art my son, this day have I begotten thee’” (Ps., ii, 7). And Isaiah said, ‘No ambassador nor messenger, but God himself shall come to save us’ (Is., lxiii, 9) . And again, ‘A child is born to us in whose arm there is authority, and he shall be called the great counsellor of the angels. Great is his might, and of his peace there is no end’ (Is., ix, 6). And again, ‘Behold, a maiden shall conceive in the womb, and shall bear a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel’ (Is., vii, 14) . Micah said, ‘Thou, Bethlehem Ephrathah, art scarcely to be of slight account among the thousands of Jews. For out of thee shall come fordi a ruler to be prince in Israel, and his going forth is from everlasting. There- fore he will scatter them till the time when the mother travails, and the rest of his brethren return to the sons of Israel’ (Mic., x, 2-3). Jeremiah thus said, ‘This is our God, and no other shall be compared with him. He has found all the way of wisdom, he has given it to Jacob his servant. Then he appeared on earth and lived among men’ (Baruch, iii, 35-38). And again, ‘Man exists. But who shall know how God exists or how man dies?’ (Jer., xvii, 9). Zachariah said, ‘They have not heeded my son, and I will not give ear to them, said the Lord’ (Zach., vii, 13). Hosea said, ‘Thus saith the Lord: “My flesh is from them” ’ (Hos., ix, 12) . “Prophesies were likewise uttered also concerning his passion. (101) Thus Isaiah said, ‘Woe to their souls! For they have counselled evil counsel, saying, “Let us kill the just man’” (Is., iii, 9-10). Likewise he said, ‘Thus saith the Lord: “I will not resist them nor speak against them. I offered my back to wounds and my countenance to blows. 107 Laurentian Text (986) and I turned my face not away from shame and from spitting” ’ (Is., i, 5-6). Jeremiah said, ‘Come, let us destroy the tree with the fruit thereof, and cut him off from the land of the living’ ( Jer ., xii, 19). Moses said of his crucifixion, ‘Thy life shall hang in doubt before thee’ (Dent., xxviii, 66). David said, ‘Why are the nations surred up’ ( Ps ., ii, 1). And Isaiah said, ‘He was led like a sheep to the slaughter’ (Is., liii, 7). And Esdras said, ‘Blessed be the Lord: he stretched out his hands and saved Jerusalem’ (?) They spoke also of the resurrection. David said, ‘Rise up, oh Lord, judge the lands for thou shalt inherit all the nations’ (Ps., lxxxii, 8). And likewise, ‘Them the Lord awaked as one out of sleep’ (Ps., lxxviii, 65) and also, ‘Let God arise, let his enemies be scattered’ (Ps., lxviii, 1). Likewise, ‘Arise, oh Jehovah; oh God, lift up thy hand’ (Ps., x, 12). Isaiah said, ‘Ye who walk into the land and the shadow of death, upon you shall shine the light’ (Is., ix, 2) . And Zachariah said, ‘In the blood of thy covenant thou hast freed the captives from the waterless pit’ (Zac/i., ix, 11). Many things were prophesied concerning him, all of which have been fulfilled.” Then Vladimir inquired, “When was this fulfilled? Has it hap- pened or is it yet to occur?” The scholar answered him and said: “All was accomplished when God was incarnate. (102). For as I said before, when the Jews killed the prophets and their kings trans- gressed against the law, he gave them over to destruction, and they were led into captivity into Assyria because of their sins. They labored there seventy years. Then they returned to their native land, but had no king. Thus the high priests ruled over them until the time of the foreigner Herod, who reigned over them. During his reign, in the year 5500, the Angel Gabriel was sent to Nazareth to the Virgin Mary, of the tribe of David. He said unto her, ‘Rejoice, thou who art happy, the Lord is with thee.’ In consequence of this Annunciation, she con- ceived the Word of God in her womb, and bore a son, and called his name Jesus. “Now behold, wise men came from the east, saying, ‘Where is he who is born king of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.’ When King Herod heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And having called together the scribes and the elders of the people, he asked of them where the Christ should be born. They made reply, ‘In Bethlehem of the Jews.’ When Herod heard these words, he gave the command to slay all children under two years of age. So his soldiers went forth and killed the chil- dren. But in her fear, Mary hid the Child, and Joseph, together with Mary, took the Child and fled into Egypt, where they remained until 108 The Russian Primary Chronicle the death of Herod. In Egypt, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph, saying, ‘Arise, take the Child and his mother, and return to the land of Israel.’ (103) “When he thus returned, he settled in Nazareth. After the Child grew up, and had reached the age of thirty years, he began to perform miracles, and to preach the kingdom of God. He chose twelve followers whom he called his disciples, and he began to work great marvels; to raise the dead, to cleanse lepers, to heal the lame, to give sight to the blind, and to perform many miracles, even as the prophets had foretold concerning him, saying, ‘He healed our sicknesses and cured our diseases’ (Is., liii, 4). He was baptized by John in the Jordan, showing regeneration to mankind. When he was baptized, behold, the heavens were opened, and the Spirit descended upon him in the form of a dove, and a voice said, ‘This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.’ “He sent out his disciples to preach the kingdom of God and re- pentance for the remission of sins. Desirous of fulfilling the prophecy, he began to preach how the Son of Man should suffer, be crucified, and rise again on the third day. While he was teaching in the Temple, the high priests and the scribes, inspired by hatred, set out to kill him, and after taking him captive, they led him before Pilate, the governor. When Pilate discovered that they had arrested him without charge, he desired to release him, but they said, ‘If you release this man, you cannot be a friend of Caesar.’ Pilate then commanded that they should crucify him. So they led him to the Place of the Skull and crucified him there. And darkness was over all the earth from the sixth hour until the ninth, and at the ninth hour, Jesus gave up the ghost. The veil of the Temple was rent in twain, and many dead arose, whom (104) he bade depart to Paradise. “When they took him from the Cross, they laid him in a tomb, and the Jews sealed the tomb with a seal, and stationed guards there, saying, ‘Perhaps his disciples will steal him away.’ Then, upon the third day, he arose, and having arisen from the dead, he appeared to his disciples, saying to them, ‘Go among all the nations, and teach all the peoples baptism in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost.’ He remained with them forty days, appearing to them after the resur- rection. When the forty days had elapsed, he bade them go to the Mount of Olives, and there he appeared to them and blessed them, saying, ‘Remain in the city of Jerusalem until I send the promise of my Father.’ Having thus spoken, he ascended into heaven. They worship- ped him, and returned to Jerusalem, where they gathered together 109 Laurentian Text (986) in the Temple. When fifty days were passed, the Holy Spirit descended upon the Aposdes. After they had received the promise of the Holy Spirit, they separated throughout the world, teaching and baptizing with water.” Then Vladimir said, “Wherefore was he born of woman, and cruci- fied on the tree, and baptized with water?” The scholar answered: “Since the human race first sinned through woman, when the devil misled Adam through the agency of Eve so that he was deprived of Paradise, God for this reason avenged himself on the devil. Because of the first woman, victor)’ fell to the devil’s lot, for it was through woman that Adam fell from Paradise. God suffered pain upon the tree in order that the devil might be conquered by the tree, and that the righteous might taste of the tree of life. (105) As to the regen- eration by water: since in the time of Noah, when sin multiplied among men, God brought the flood upon the earth and drowned man- kind with its waters, God said, ‘Inasmuch as I destroyed mankind with water because of their sins, I will now wash away the sins of man once more through the regeneration by water.’ For the Jewish people were cleansed by the sea from the evil custom of the Egyptians, since water was in the beginning the primary element. For it is said ‘The Spirit of God hovered over the face of the waters.’ Thus men are now bap- tized with water and the Spirit. “The first transfiguration was accomplished by means of water, as Gideon performed it. For when the angel came to him and bade him attack the Midianites, he laid a fleece upon the ground and to test God, Gideon said, ‘Let there be dew on the whole earth, but let the fleece remain dry.’ And it was so. This miracle signifies that the Gentiles were formerly dry, while the Jews were wet, and how after- ward there was dew, that is, among the Gentiles, while dryness pre- vailed among the Jews. For the prophets had foretold that regenera- tion should be accomplished by means of water. “Now that the Apostles have taught men throughout the world to believe in God, we Greeks have inherited their teaching, and the world believes therein. God hath appointed a day, in w’hich he shall come from heaven to judge both the quick and the dead, and to render to each according to his deeds; to the righteous, the kingdom of heaven and ineffable beauty, bliss without end, and eternal life; but to sinners, the torments of hell and a worm that sleeps not, (106) and of their torments there shall be no end. Such shall be the penalties for those who do not believe in our Lord Jesus Christ. The unbaptized shall be tormented with fire.” 110 The Russian Primary Chronicle As he spoke thus, he exhibited to Vladimir a canvas on which was depicted the Judgment Day of the Lord, and showed him, on the right, the righteous going to their bliss in Paradise, and on the left, the sinners on their way to torment. Then Vladimir sighed and said, “Happy are they upon the right, but woe to those upon the left!” The scholar replied, “If you desire to take your place upon the right with the just, then accept baptism! Vladimir took this counsel to heart, saying, “I shall wait yet a little longer,” for he wished to inquire about all the faiths. Vladimir then gave the scholar many gifts, and dismissed him with great honor. 6495 (987). Vladimir summoned together his boyars and the city- elders, and said to them, “Behold, the Bulgars came before me urging me to accept their religion. Then came the Germans and praised their own faith; and after them came the Jews. Finally the Greeks appeared, criticizing all other faiths but commending their own, and they spoke at length, telling the history of the whole world from its beginning. Their words were artful, and it was wondrous to listen and pleasant to hear them. They preach the existence of another world. ‘Whoever adopts our religion and then dies shall arise and live forever. But who- soever embraces another faith, shall be consumed with fire in the next world.’ (107) What is your opinion on this subject, and what do you answer?” The boyars and the elders replied, “You know, oh Prince, that no man condemns his own possessions, but praises them instead. If you desire to make certain, you have servants at your disposal. Send them to inquire about the ritual of each and how he worships God.” Their counsel pleased the prince and all the people, so that they chose good and wise men to the number of ten, and directed them to go first among the Bulgars and inspect their faith. The emissaries went their way, and when they arrived at their destination they beheld the disgraceful actions of the Bulgars and their worship in the mosque; then they returned to their country. Vladimir then instructed them to go likewise among the Germans, and examine their faith, and finally to visit the Greeks. They thus went into Germany, and after viewing the German ceremonial, they proceeded to Tsar’grad, where they ap- peared before the Emperor. He inquired on what mission they had come, and they reported to him all that had occurred. When the Em- peror heard their words, he rejoiced, and did them great honor on that very day. On the morrow, the Emperor sent a message to the Patriarch to inform him that a Russian delegation had arrived to examine the Greek faith, and directed him to prepare the church and the clergy, and to Ill Laurentian Text (986-988) array himself in his sacerdotal robes, so that the Russes might behold the glory of the God of the Greeks. When the Patriarch received these commands, he bade the clergy assemble, and they performed the cus- tomary rites. They burned incense, and the choirs sang hymns. The Emperor accompanied the Russes to the church, and placed them in a wide space, calling their attention to the beauty of the edifice, the chanting, and the pontifical services and the ministry of the dea- cons, while he explained to them the worship of his God. The Russes were astonished, (103) and in their wonder praised the Greek cere- monial. Then the Emperors Basil and Constantine invited the envoys to their presence, and said, “Go hence to your native country,” and dismissed them with valuable presents and great honor. Thus they returned to their own country, and the Prince called together his boyars and the elders. Vladimir then announced the return of the envoys who had been sent out, and suggested that their report be heard. He thus commanded them to speak out before his retinue. The envoys reported, “When we journeyed among the Bulgars, we beheld how they worship in their temple, called a mosque, while they stand ungirt. The Bulgar bows, sits down, looks hither and thither like one possessed, and there is no happiness among them, but instead only sorrow and a dreadful stench. Their religion is not good. Then we went among the Germans, and saw them performing many cere- monies in their temples; but we beheld no glory there. Then we went to Greece, and the Greeks led us to the edifices where they worship their God, and we knew not whether we were in heaven or on earth. For on earth there is no such splendor or such beauty, and we are at a loss how to describe it. We only know that God dwells there among men, and their service is fairer than the ceremonies of other nations. For we cannot forget that beauty. Every man, after tasting something sweet, is afterward unwilling to accept that which is bitter, and there- fore we cannot dwell longer here.” Then the boyars spoke and said, “If the Greek faith were evil, it would not have been adopted by your grandmother Olga who was wiser than all other men.” Vladimir then inquired where they should all accept baptism, and they replied that the decision rested with him. (109) After a year had passed, in 6496 (988), Vladimir proceeded with an armed force against Kherson, a Greek city, and the people of Kherson barricaded themselves therein. 91 Vladimir halted at the far- ther side of the city beside the harbor, a bowshot from the town, and the inhabitants resisted energetically while Vladimir besieged the town. Eventually, however, they became exhausted, and Vladimir warned 112 The Russian Primary Chronicle them that i£ they did not surrender, he would remain on the spot for three years. When they failed to heed this threat, Vladimir marshalled his troops and ordered the construction of an earthwork in the direc- tion of the city. While this work was under construction, the inhab- itants dug a tunnel under the city-wall, stole the heaped-up earth, and carried it into the city, where they piled it up in the center of the town. But the soldiers kept on building, and Vladimir persisted. Then a man of Kherson, Anastasius by name, shot into the Russ camp an arrow on which he had written, “There are springs behind you to the east, from which water flows in pipes. Dig down and cut them off.” When Vladimir received this information, he raised his eyes to heaven and vowed that if this hope was realized, he would be baptized. He gave orders straightway to dig down above the pipes, and the water-supply was thus cut off. The inhabitants were accordingly overcome by thirst, and surrendered. Vladimir and his retinue entered the city, and he sent messages to the Emperors Basil and Constantine, saying, “Behold, I have captured your glorious city. I have also heard that you have an unwedded sister. Unless you give her to me to wife, (110) I shall deal with your own city as I have with Kherson.” When the Emperors heard this message they were troubled, and replied, “It is not meet for Christians to give in marriage to pagans. If you are baptized, you shall have her to wife, inherit the kingdom of God, and be our companion in the faith. Un- less you do so, however, we cannot give you our sister in marriage.” When Vladimir learned their response, he directed the envoys of the Emperors to report to the latter that he was willing to accept baptism, having already given some study to their religion, and that the Greek faith and ritual, as described by the emissaries sent to examine it, had pleased him well. When the Emperors heard this report, they rejoiced, and persuaded their sister Anna to consent to the match. They then requested Vladimir to submit to baptism before they should send their sister to him, but Vladimir desired that the Princess should herself bring priests to baptize him. The Emperors complied with his request, and sent forth their sister, accompanied by some dignitaries and priests. Anna, however, departed with reluctance. “It is as if I were setting out into captivity,” she lamented; “better were it for me to die at home.” But her brothers protested, “Through your agency God turns the land of Rus’ to repentance, and you will relieve Greece from the danger of grievous war. Do you not see how much harm the Russes have already brought upon the Greeks? If you do not set out, they may bring on us the same misfortunes.” It was thus that they overcame her hesita- 113 Laurentian Text (9SS) tion only with great difficulty. The Princess embarked upon a ship, and after tearfully embracing her kinfolk, (111) she set forth across the sea and arrived at Kherson. The natives came forth to greet her, and con- ducted her into the ctiy, where they settled her in the palace. By divine agency, Vladimir was suffering at that moment from a disease of the eyes, and could see nothing, being in great distress. The Princess declared to him that if he desired to be relieved of this disease, he should be baptized with all speed, otherwise it could not be cured. When Vladimir heard her message, he said, “If this proves true, then of a surety is the God of the Christians great,” and gave order that he should be baptized. The Bishop of Kherson, together with the Prin- cess’s priests, after announcing the tidings, baptized Vladimir, and as the Bishop laid his hand upon him, he straightway received his sight. Upon experiencing this miraculous cure, Vladimir glorified God, say- ing, “I have now perceived the one true God.” When his followers beheld this miracle, many of them were also baptized. Vladimir was baptized in the Church of St. Basil, which stands at Kherson upon a square in the center of the city, where the Khersonians trade. 05 The palace of Vladimir stands beside this church to this day, and the palace of the Princess is behind the altar. After his baptism, Vladimir took the Princess in marriage. Those who do not know the truth say he was baptized in Kiev, while others assert this event took place in Vasil’ev, 06 while still others mention other places. After Vladimir was baptized, (112) the priests explained to him the tenets of the Christian faith, urging him to avoid the deceit of heretics by adhering to the following creeds: I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Maker of Heaven and Earth; and also: I believe in one God the Father, who is unborn, and in the only Son, who is born, and in one Holy Ghost emanating therefrom: three complete and thinking Persons, divisible in number and person- ality, but not in divinity; for they are separated without distinction and united without confusion. God the Father Everlasting, abides in Fatherhood, unbegotten, without beginning, himself the beginning and the cause of all things. Because he is unbegotten, he is older than the Son and the Spirit. From him the Son was born before all worlds, and from him the Holy Ghost emanates intemporally and incorporeal- ly. He is simultaneously Father, Son and Holy Ghost. The Son, being like the Father, is distinguished from the Father and the Spirit in that he was born. The Spirit is Holy, like to the Father and the Son, and is everlasting. The Father possesses Father- hood, and Son Sonship, and the Holy Ghost Emanation. For the Father 114 The Russian Primary Chronicle is not transformed into the Son or the Spirit, nor the Son to the Father and the Spirit, nor the Spirit to the Son and the Father, since their attributes are invariable. Not three Gods, but one God, since there is one divinity in three Persons. In consequence of the desire of the Father and the Spirit to save his creation, he went out of the bosom of the Father, yet without leav- ing it, to the (113) pure womb of a Virgin, as the seed of God. Enter- ing into her, he took on animated, vocal, and thinking flesh which had not previously existed, came forth God incarnate, and was ineffably born, while his Mother preserved her virginity immaculate. Suffering neither combination, nor confusion, nor alteration, he remained as he was, became what he was not, and assumed the aspect of a slave in truth, not in semblance, being similar to us in every respect except in sin. Voluntarily he was born, voluntarily he suffered want, voluntarily he thirsted, voluntarily he endured, voluntarily he feared, voluntarily he died in truth and not in semblance. All these were genuine and unimpeachable human sufferings. He gave himself up to be crucified. Though immortal, he tasted death. He arose in the flesh without know- ing corruption; he ascended into Heaven, and sat upon the right hand of the Father. And as he ascended in glory and in the flesh so shall he descend once more. Moreover, I acknowledge one Baptism of water and the Spirit, I approach the Holy Mysteries, I believe in the True Body and Blood, I accept the traditions of the Church, and I venerate the sacred images. I revere the Holy Tree and every Cross, the sacred relics, and the sacred vessels. 07 Believe, also, they said, in the seven councils of the Church: the first at Nicaea, comprising three hundred and eighteen Fathers, who cursed Arius and proclaimed the immaculate and orthodox faith; the second at Constantinople, attended by one hundred and fifty Fathers, who anathematized Macedonius (who denied the Holy Spirit), and proclaimed the oneness of the Trinity; (114) the third at Ephesus, comprising two hundred Fathers, against Nestorius, whom they cursed, while they also proclaimed the dignity of the Mother of God; the fourth council of six hundred and thirty Fathers held at Chalcedon, to condemn Eutyches and Dioscorus, whom the Holy Fathers cursed after they had proclaimed the Perfect God and the Perfect Man, our Lord Jesus Christ; the fifth council of one hundred and sixty-five Fathers, held at Constantinople, which was directed against the teach- ings of Origen and Evagrius, whom the Fathers anathematized; the sixth council of one hundred and seventy Holy Fathers, likewise held 115 Laurentian Text (9SS) at Constantinople, which condemned Sergius and Cyrus, whom the Holy Fathers cursed; and the seventh council, comprising three hun- dred and fifty Holy Fathers, which was held at Nicaea, and cursed those who do not venerate images. Do not accept the teachings of the Latins, whose instruction is vicious. For when they enter the church, they do not kneel before the images, but they stand upright before kneeling, and when they have knelt, they trace a cross upon the ground and then kiss it, but they stand upon it when they arise. Thus while prostrate they kiss it, and yet upon arising they trample it underfoot. Such is not the tradition of the Aposdes. For the Aposdes prescribed the kissing of an upright cross, and also prescribed the use of images. For the Evangelist Luke painted the first image and sent it to Rome. As Basil has said, the honor rendered to the image redounds to its original. Furthermore, they call the earth their mother. If the earth is their mother, then heaven is their father, for in the beginning God made heaven and earth. Yet they say, “Our Father which art in Heaven.” If, according to their understand- ing, the earth is their mother, why do they spit upon (115) their mother, and pollute her whom they caress? In earlier times, the Romans did not so act, but took part in all the councils, gathering together from Rome and all other Sees. At the first Council in Nicaea, directed against Arius, Silvester sent bishops and priests from Rome, as did Athanasius from Alexandria; and Metro- phanes also despatched his bishops from Constantinople. Thus they corrected the faith. At the second council took part Damasus of Rome, Timotheus of Alexandria, Meletius of Antioch, Cyril of Jeru- salem, and Gregory the Theologian. In the third council participated Coelestinus of Rome, Cyril of Alexandria, Juvenal of Jerusalem. At the fourth council participated Leo of Rome, Anatolius of Constanti- nople, and Juvenal of Jerusalem; and at the fifth, Vigilius of Rome, Eutychius of Constantinople, Apollinaris of Alexandria, and Domnus of Antioch. At the sixth council took part Agathon of Rome, Georgius of Constantinople, Theophanes of Antioch, and Peter the Monk of Alexandria; at the seventh, Adrian of Rome, Tarasius of Constantinople, Politian of Alexandria, Theodoret of Antioch, and Elias of Jerusalem. These Fathers with the assistance of the bishops, corrected the faith. After the seventh council, Peter the Stammerer came with the others to Rome and corrupted the faith, seizing the Holy See. (116) He seceded from the Sees of Jerusalem, Alexandria, Constantinople, and Antioch. His partisans disturbed all Italy, disseminating their 116 The Russian Primary Chronicle teaching in various terms. For some of these priests who conduct serv- ices are married to one wife, and others are married to seven. Avoid their doctrine; for they absolve sins against money payments, which is the worst abuse of all. God guard you from this evil, oh Prince! 08 Hereupon Vladimir took the Princess and Anastasius and the priests of Kherson, together with the relics of St. Clement and of Phoebus his disciple, and selected also sacred vessels and images for the service. 00 In Kherson he thus founded a church on the mound which had been heaped up in the midst of the city with the earth removed from his embankment; this church is standing at the present day. Vladimir also found and appropriated two bronze statues and four bronze horses, which now stand behind the Church of the Holy Virgin, and which the ignorant think are made of marble. As a wedding present for the Princess, he gave Kherson over to the Greeks again, and then departed for Kiev. When the Prince arrived at his capital, he directed that the idols should be overthrown, and that some should be cut to pieces and others burned with fire. He thus ordered that Perun should be bound to a horse’s tail and dragged down Borichev to the stream. 100 He appointed twelve men to beat the idol with sucks, not because he thought the wood was sensitive, but to affront the demon who had deceived man in this guise, (117) that he might receive chastisement at the hands of men. Great art thou, oh Lord, and marvelous are thy works! Yester- day he was honored of men, but today held in derision. While the idol was being dragged along the stream to the Dnieper, the unbelievers wept over it, for they had not yet received holy baptism. After they had thus dragged the idol along, they cast it into the Dnieper. But Vladimir had given this injunction “If it halts anywhere, then push it out from the bank, until it goes over the falls. Then let it loose.” His command was duly obeyed. When the men let the idol go, and it passed through the rapids, the wind cast it out on the bank, which since that time has been called Perun’s sandbank, a name that it bears to this very day. Thereafter Vladimir sent heralds throughout the whole city to pro- claim that if any inhabitants, rich or poor, did not betake himself to the river, he would risk the Prince’s displeasure. When the people heard these words, they wept for joy, and exclaimed in their enthusiasm, “If this were not good, the Prince and his boyars would not have ac- cepted it.” On the morrow, the Prince went forth to the Dnieper with the priests of the Princess and those from Kherson, and a countless multitude assembled. They all went into the water: some stood up to 117 Laurentian Text (9SS) their necks, others to their breasts, and the younger near the bank, some of them holding children in their arms, while the adults waded farther out. The priests stood by and offered prayers. 101 There was joy (118) in heaven and upon earth to behold so many souls saved. But the devil groaned, lamenting, “Woe is me! how am I driven out hence! For I thought to have my dwelling-place here, since the apostolic teachings do not abide in this land. Nor did this people know God, but I re- joiced in the service they rendered unto me. But now I am vanquished by the ignorant, not by apostles and martyrs, and my reign in these regions is at an end.” When the people were baptized, they returned each to his own abode. Vladimir, rejoicing that he and his subjects now knew God himself, looked up to heaven and said, “Oh God, who has created heaven and earth, look down, I beseech thee, on this thy new people, and grant them, oh Lord, to know thee as the true God, even as the other Christian nations have known thee. Confirm in them the true and inalterable faith, and aid me, oh Lord, against the hostile adversary, so that, hoping in thee and in thy might, I may overcome his malice.” Having spoken thus, he ordained that wooden churches should be built and established where pagan idols had previously stood. He thus founded the Church of St. Basil on the hill where the idol of Perun and the other images had been set, and where the Prince and the people had offered their sacrifices. 102 He began to found churches and to assign priests throughout the cities, and to invite the people to accept baptism in all the cities and towns. He took the children of the best families, and sent them for instruc- tion (119) in book-learning. The mothers of these children wept bit- terly over them, for they were not yet strong in faith, but mourned as for the dead. When these children were assigned for study, there was fulfilled in the land of Rus’ the prophecy which says, “In those days, the deaf shall hear words of Scripture, and the voice of the stammerers shall be made plain” (Is., xxix, 18). For these persons had not ere this heard words of Scripture, and now heard them only by the act of God, for in his mercy the Lord took pity upon them, even as the Prophet said, “I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious” (Ex., xxxiii, 19). He had mercy upon us in the baptism of life and the renewal of the spirit, following the will of God and not according to our deeds. Blessed be the Lord Jesus Christ, who loved his new people, the land of Rus’, and illumined them with holy baptism. Thus we bend the knee before him saying, “Lord Jesus Christ, what reward shall we 118 The Russian Primary Chronicle return thee for all that thou hast given us, sinners that we are? We can riot requite thy gifts, for great art thou, and marvelous are thy works. Of thy majesty there is no end. Generation after generation shall praise thy acts” ( Ps cxlv, 4-5). Thus I say with David, “Come, let us rejoice in the Lord, let us call upon God and our Savior. Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, praising him because he is good, for his mercy endureth forever, since he hath saved us from our enemies, even from vain idols” (Ps., xcv, 1-2, cxxxxvi, 1, 24). And let us once more say with David, “Sing unto the Lord a new song, sing unto the Lord, all the earth! Sing unto the Lord, praise his name: tell his salvation from day to day. Declare his glory among the heathen, his wonders among all nations (Ps., xcvi, 1-4). For the Lord is great and greatly praised, (120) and of his majesty there is no end” (Ps., civ, 3). What joy! Not one or two only are saved. For the Lord said, “There is joy in heaven over one sinner that repenteth” (Math., xv, 10). Here not merely one or two, but innumerable multitudes came to God, illumined by holy baptism. As the Prophet said, “I will sprinkle water upon you, and ye shall be purified of your idols and your sins” (Eze\., xxxvi, 25). Another Prophet said likewise, “Who like to God taketh away sins and remit- teth transgressions? For he is willingly merciful; he turneth his gaze upon us and sinketh our sins in the abyss” (Mic., vii, 18-19) . For Paul says, “Brethren, as many of us as were baptized in Jesus Christ were baptized in his death, and with him, through baptism, we were planted in death, in order that as Christ rose from the dead in the glory of the Father, we also might likewise walk in newness of life” (Rom., vi, 3). And again, “The old things have passed away, and new are made (II Cor., v, 7); now hath approached our salvation, the night hath passed, the day is at hand” (Rom., xiii, 12); “Thus we obtained access through faith into this grace of which we are proud and through which we exist” (Rotn., v, 2). “Now, being freed from sin, and having be- come servants of the Lord, ye have your fruit in holiness” (Rom., vi, 20) . We are therefore bound to serve the Lord, rejoicing in him, for David said, “Serve the Lord with fear and rejoice in him with tremb- ling”- (Ps., ii, 11). We call upon the Lord our God, saying “Blessed be the Lord, who gave us not as prey to their teeth. The net was broken, and we were freed from the crafts of the devil. His glory has perished noisily, but the Lord endures forever, glorified by the sons of Rus’, and praised in the Trinity.” But the demons (121) are accursed of pious men and righteous women, who have received baptism and repentance Laurentian Text (98S-992) 119 for the remission of sins, and thus form a new Christian people, the elect of God. Vladimir was enlightened, and his sons and his country with him. For he had twelve sons: Vysheslav, Izyaslav, Yaroslav, Svyatopolk, Vsevolod, Svyatoslav, Mstislav, Boris, Gleb, Stanislav, Pozvizd, and Sudislav. He set Vysheslav in Novgorod, Izyaslav in Polotsk, Svyato- polk in Turov, and Yaroslav in Rostov. When Vysheslav, the oldest, died in Novgorod, he set Yaroslav over Novgorod, Boris over Rostov, Gleb over Murom, Svyatoslav over Dereva, Vsevolod over Vladimir, and Mstislav over Tmutorakan’. 103 Then Vladimir reflected that it was not good that there were so few towns round about Kiev, so he founded forts on the Desna, the Oster’, the Trubezh, the Sula, and the Stugna. 104 He gathered together the best men of the Slavs, and Krivichians, the Chuds, and the Vyatichians, and peopled these forts with them. For he was at war with the Pechenegs, and when he fought with them, he often overcame them. 6497 (989). After these events, Vladimir lived in the Christian faith. With the intention of building a church dedicated to the Holy Virgin, he sent and imported ardsans from Greece. After he had begun to build, and the structure was completed, he adorned it with images, and entrusted it to Anastasius of Kherson. He appointed Khersonian priests (122) to serve in it, and bestowed upon this church all the images, vessels, and crosses which he had taken in that city. 105 6499 (991) . Vladimir founded the city of Belgorod, 106 and peopled it from other towns, bringing to it many setders. For he was extremely fond of this city. 6500 (992). Vladimir attacked the Croats. 107 When he had returned from the Croadan War, the Pechenegs .arrived on the opposite side of the Dnieper from the direcdon of the Sula. Vladimir set forth against them, and encountered them on the banks of the Trubezh, where Pereyaslavl’ now stands. Vladimir took up his posidon on the near side, and the Pechenegs theirs on the other, and the Russes did not venture to the farther shore any more than their foes did to this side of the river. The Prince of the Pechenegs came down to the river bank, and calling to Vladimir, proposed to him, “Send one of your warriors, and I will detail one of mine, that they may do batde together. If your man conquers mine, let us not fight together for three years to come. But if our champion wins, let us fight three years in succession.” Then each prince returned to his own force. Vladimir returned to his camp, and sent heralds through it to in- quire whether there was any man who would fight with the champion 120 The Russian Primary Chronicle of the Pechenegs. But none was found anywhere. On the morrow, the Pechenegs arrived, bringing their champion; but on our side there was none. Vladimir now began to be concerned as he sought a cham- pion throughout his whole army. Then there came to the Prince an old man who said to him, “Oh Prince, I have a younger son at home. I came forth with four others, (123) but he abides by the hearth. Since his childhood, there has been no man who could vanquish him. One day when I reprimanded him while he was tanning a hide, he flew into a rage at me and tore the leather to bits in his hands.” When the Prince heard these words, he rejoiced, and summoned the youth. So he was brought before the Prince, and the Prince informed him of all that had occurred. Then the youth said, “Oh Prince, I know not whether I be capable of this feat; wherefore let them test me. Is there no large and strong bull hereabouts?” Such a bull was soon found, and he directed them to anger the animal. The men put hot irons on him, and then let him go. The bull ran past the youth, and he seized the beast’s flank with his hand. He thus pulled off the skin along with as much flesh as he could grasp. Then Vladimir remarked, “You are well qualified to do combat with the champion.” On the morrow the Pechenegs approached, and began to shout, “Is there no champion present? See, ours is ready.” Vladimir had given orders that night to rest upon their arms, and at dawn the two cham- pions went forth. The Pechenegs had sent out their man, who was gigantic and fearsome. Vladimir sent forward his champion, and when the Pecheneg saw him, he laughed, for he was of but moderate size. A space was duly measured off between the two armies, and the war- riors were allowed to attack each other. They came to grips, and seized upon each other with violence. But the Russ crushed the Pecheneg to death in his arms, and cast him upon the ground. The Russes raised a cheer, and the Pechenegs took to flight. The Russes pursued them, cut them down, and drove them away. In his joy, Vladimir founded a city on this river bank, (124) and called it Pereyaslavl’, 108 because this youth had won glory there. Vladimir made him and his father great men, and then returned to Kiev with victory and renown. 6502-6504 (994-996). Vladimir, upon seeing his church completed, entered it and prayed to God, saying, “Lord God! Look down from heaven, behold and visit thy vineyard, and perfect what thy right hand has begun. Make these new people, whose heart thou hast turned unto wisdom, to know thee as the true God. Look upon this thy church which I, thine unworthy servant, have builded in the name of the Ever-Virgin Mother of God who bore thee. Through the intercession 121 Laurentian Text (992-996) of the Immaculate Virgin, hear the supplication of whosoever shall pray in this church.” After he had offered this prayer, he added, “I bestow upon this church of the Holy Virgin a tithe of my property and of my cities.” Then he wrote out a donation and deposited it in the church, declaring, “If anyone violates this promise, may he be accursed.” So he gave the tithe to Anastasius of Kherson, and made a great fes- tival on that day for the boyars and elders of the people, distributing also much largess to the poor. 100 Then the Pechenegs came to Vasil’evo, 110 and Vladimir went forth against them with a small company. When the troops met, he could not withstand the enemy, so he fled, and took posidon (125) under a bridge, where he concealed himself with difficulty from the foe. Then the Prince vowed to build a church of the Sacred Transfiguration in Vasil’evo, for it was upon this day of the Lord’s transfiguradon that this battle took place. After he had thus escaped, Vladimir founded the church, 111 and made ready a great fesdval, for which he caused to be brewed three hundred ketdes of mead. He summoned his boyars, his lieutenants, the elders throughout the cides, and many other peo- ple, and distributed to the poor the sum of three hundred grivny. When the Prince had thus celebrated for eight days, he returned to Kiev on the feast of the Assumpdon of the Holy Mother of God. There also he held a great festival, and gathered together a countless muldtude of people. When he saw that the people were Chrisdans, he rejoiced in soul and body, and celebrated likewise every year. For he loved the words of the Scriptures, and on one occasion he had heard read in the Gospel, “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy” (Matt., v, 7) ; and further, “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth corrupts and thieves steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth corrupts nor thieves steal” (Matt., vi, 19). And David said, “Blessed is he that considereth the poor” (Ps., xli, 1). Vladimir listened also to the words of Solomon : “He that giveth unto the poor lendeth unto the Lord” (Proa., xix, 17) . When he heard these words, he invited each beggar and poor man to come to the Prince’s palace and receive whatever he needed, both food and drink, and marten-skins from the treasury. With the thought that the weak and the sick could not easily reach his palace, he arranged that (126) wagons should be brought in, and after having them loaded with bread, meat, fish, various fruits, mead in casks, and kvass, he ordered them driven out through the city. The drivers were under instructions to call out, “Where is there a poor man 122 The Russian Primary Chronicle or a beggar who cannot walk?” To such they distributed according to their necessities. Moreover, he caused a feast to be prepared each Sunday in his palace for his subjects, and invited the boyars, the court officers, the centurions, the decurions, and the distinguished citizens, either in the presence of the Prince or in his absence. There was much meat, beef, and game, and an abundance of all victuals. On one occa- sion, however, after the guests were drunk, they began to grumble against the prince, complaining that they were mistreated because he allowed them to eat with wooden spoons, instead of silver ones. When Vladimir heard of this complaint, he ordered that silver spoons should be moulded for his retinue to eat with, remarking that with silver and gold he could not secure a retinue, but that with a retinue he was in a position to win these treasures, even as his grandfather and his father had sought riches with their followers. For Vladimir was fond of his followers, and consulted them concerning matters of administration, wars, and government. He lived at peace with the neighboring Princes, Boleslav of Poland, Stephen of Hungary, and Udalrich of Bohemia, and there was amity and friendship among them. 112 While Vladimir was thus dwelling in the fear of God, the number of bandits increased, and the bishops, calling to his attention the multi- plication of robbers, (127) inquired why he did not punish them. The Prince answered that he feared the sin entailed. They replied that he was appointed of God for the chastisement of malefaction and for the practice of mercy toward the righteous, so that it was entirely fitting for him to punish a robber condignly, but only after due process of law. Vladimir accordingly abolished wergild and set out to punish the brigands. The bishops and the elders then suggested that as wars were frequent, the wergild might be properly spent for the purchase of arms and horses, to which Vladimir assented. Thus Vladimir lived accord- ing to the prescriptions of his father and his grandfather. 6505 (99 7) . When Vladimir went to Novgorod after upland troops with which to fight the Pechenegs (for there was desperate and con- stant conflict with them), the latter, on perceiving that for the moment there was no prince at hand, came and beset Belgorod. 113 They allowed no sally from the city, and great famine prevailed. Vladimir could not bring succor, for he had no troops with him, and the number of the Pechenegs was great. The siege was thus prolonged, and the famine grew increasingly severe. The inhabitants thus held a council in the city, and said among themselves, “We are about to die of hunger, and no aid is to be expected from the Prince. Is it not better to die? Let us surrender to the Pechenegs, and let them spare some, though 123 Laurentian Text (996-997) they kill others. We are perishing of famine as it is.” Thus they came to a decision. But one old man was not present at the council, and in- quired what it was about. The people told him that on the morrow they would surrender to the Pechenegs. Upon hearing this decision, he summoned the city-elders, and remarked that he understood (128) they intended to surrender to the nomads. They replied that the people would not endure famine. Then the ancient said, “Listen to me: do not surrender for three days, and do as I tell you.” They gladly promised to obey, and he directed them to collect a measure of oats, wheat, or bran apiece. They gladly went in search of these supplies. Then he bade the women prepare the liquid with which they brew porridge, and ordered them to dig a pit. In this pit he bade them place a tub, and to pour the liquid into the tub. Then he ordered them to dig a second pit, and place a tub in the latter likewise. He next commanded them to bring honey, so they fetched a basket of honey that was stored in the Prince’s storeroom. He then bade them dilute it greatly, and to pour it into the tub in the other pit. Upon the morrow, he directed them to send messengers to the Pechenegs. The citizens went forth to the Pechenegs, and offered them hostages, so that ten of the nomads should come into the city to see what was happening in their town. The Pechenegs rejoiced, thinking that they wished to surrender. They therefore accepted the hostages, and selected the chief men of their own party, whom they sent into the city to look over the town and learn what was occurring. The Pecheneg representatives entered the town, and the inhabitants said to them, “Why do you waste your strength? You cannot overcome us if you besiege us for ten years. We secure our sustenance from the earth. If you do not believe it, behold it with your own eyes.” They thus conducted the Pecheneg envoys to the pit (129) where the brew was, then drew some up in a pail and poured it into pots. After they had brewed porridge, they conducted the Pechenegs to the other pit. They hauled up the buckets and after eating from them themselves, offered them to the Pechenegs. The latter were astonished, and ex- claimed, “Our princes will not believe this marvel, unless they eat of the food themselves.” So they poured out a bowl of brew and buckets of mead from the pits, and gave them to the Pechenegs, who returned to their camp and recounted all that had happened. After brewing the porridge, the Pecheneg princes ate it, and were amazed, and upon re- covering their own hostages and returning those given by the city, they raised the siege and returned home. 124 The Russian Primary Chronicle 6506-6508 (998-1000). Malfrid died. 11,1 In this year died also Rogned, Yaroslav’s mother. 6509 (1001) . In this year died Izyaslav, son of Vladimir and father of Bryachislav. 6510-6511 (1002-1003). In this year died Vseslav, son of Izyaslav and grandson of Vladimir. 6512-6515 (1004-1007). The saints were brought to the Church of the Holy Virgin. 116 6516-6519 (1008-1011) . The Princess Anna, wife of Vladimir, passed away. (130) 6520-6522 (1012-1014). When Yaroslav was in Novgorod, he paid two thousand grivny a year as tribute to Kiev, and another thou- sand was given to his garrison in Novgorod. All the lieutenants of Novgorod had always paid like sums, but Yaroslav ceased to render this amount to his father. 116 Then Vladimir exclaimed, “Repair roads and build bridges,” for he proposed to attack his son Yaroslav, but he fell ill. 6523 (1015). While Vladimir was desirous of attacking Yaroslav, the latter sent overseas and imported Varangian reinforcements, since he feared his father’s advance. But God will not give the devil any satisfaction. For when Vladimir fell ill, Boris was with him at the time. Since the Pechenegs were attacking the Russes, he sent Boris out against them, for he himself was very sick, and of this illness he died on July 15. Now he died at Berestovo, but his death was kept secret, for Svyatopolk was in Kiev. But at night his companions took up the flooring between two rooms, and after wrapping the body in a rug, they let it down to the earth with ropes. After they had placed it upon a sledge, they took it away and laid it in the Church of the Virgin that Vladimir himself had built. When the people heard of this, they assembled in multitude and mourned him, the boyars as the defender of their country, the poor as their protector and benefactor. They placed him in a marble coffin, and buried the body of the sainted Prince amid their mourning. He is the new Constantine of mighty Rome, who baptized himself (131) and his subjects; for the Prince of Rus’ imitated the acts of Con- stantine himself. Even if he was formerly given to evil lusts, he after- ward consecrated himself to repentance, according to the teaching of the Apostle that “when sin increases, there grace abounds the more” (Rom., v, 20) . 117 Even if he had previously committed other crimes in his ignorance, he subsequendy distinguished himself in repentance and almsgiving. As it is written, “As I shall find you, so shall I judge you” 125 Laurentian Text (997-1015) ( W is., xi, 17). Thus the Prophet says, “as I the Lord Adonai live, I desire not the death of a sinner, but rather that he shall turn from his way and live; turn in repentance from your wicked way” ( Eze \. , xxxiii, 11). For many of those who act jusdy and live in righteousness turn from the virtuous road to death and are destroyed; while others live unrighteously, yet are admonished before their deaths, and atone for their sins through laudable repentance. Thus the Prophet says, “The righteousness of the righteous shall not save him in the day of his transgression. When I say to the righteous man, ‘Thou shalt live,’ if he trust to his righteousness and commit in- iquity, all his righteousness shall not be remembered, and he shall die in the iniquity that he hath committed. And when I say to the wicked, ‘Thou shalt die the death,’ if he turn from his sin and perform equity and justice, restore his pledge, and give back what he hath stolen, then all his sins that he hath committed shall not be remembered, because he performed equity and jusdce, and in them shall he live. I shall judge each of you according to his way, oh house of Israel” ( Ezel xxxiii, 12-16, 20). Vladimir died in the orthodox faith. He effaced his sins by repen- tance and by almsgiving, which is better than all things else. For the Lord says, “I desire alms, and not a sacrifice” (Matt., ix, 13). Alms are better and more exalted than all other things, since they lead us into the presence of God, even to heaven itself; as the angel said to Cornelius, “Thy prayers and thy almsgiving are remembered before God” (Acts, x, 4). It is indeed marvelous what benefits Vladimir conferred upon the land of Rus’ by its conversion. But we, though Chrisdans, do not render him honor in propordon to this benefacdon. For if he had not con- verted us, we should now be a prey to the crafts of the devil, even as our ancestors perished. If we had been zealous for him, and had offered our prayers to God in his behalf upon the day of his death, then God, beholding our zeal, would have glorified him. It is fitdng for us to pray God for his sake, inasmuch as through him we have come to know God. But may God grant thee according to thy heart’s desire and fulfill all they requests, giving thee the kingdom of heaven which thou didst desire! May God confer upon thee the crown among the righteous, happiness in paradisiacal sustenance, and association with Abraham and the other patriarchs I As Solomon said, “When a righteous man dieth, his hope is not lost” (Prov., xi, 7). The people of Rus’, mindful of their holy baptism, hold this Prince in pious memory, and glorify God in prayers and hymns and psalms, singing to God 126 The Russian Primary Chronicle • as his new people, enlightened by his Holy Spirit, maintaining the hope of our great God and of our Savior Jesus Christ, that He will give each one of us joy ineffable according to his labors. And may such be the lot of all Christians. 118 (132) Upon his father’s death, Svyatopolk setded in Kiev, 119 and after calling together all the inhabitants of Kiev, he began to distribute largess among them. They accepted it, but their hearts were not with him, because their brethren were with Boris. When Boris returned with the army, without meeting the Pechenegs, he received the news that his father was dead. He mourned deeply for him, for he was be- loved of his father before all the rest. When he came to the Al’ta, 120 he halted. His father’s retainers then urged him to take his place in Kiev on his father’s throne, since he had at his disposal the latter’s retainers and troops. But Boris protested, “Be it not for me to raise my hand against my elder brother. Now that my father has passed away, let him take the place of my father in my heart.” When the soldiery heard these words, they departed from him, and Boris remained with his servants. But Svyatopolk was filled with lawlessness. Adopting the device of Cain, he sent messages to Boris that he desired to live at peace with him, and would increase the territory he had received from his father. But he plotted against him now how he might kill him. So Svyatopolk came by night to Vyshgorod. After secredy summoning to his presence Put’sha and the boyars of the town, he inquired of them whether they were whole-heartedly devoted to him. Put’sha and the men of Vysh- gorod replied, “We are ready to lay down our lives for you.” He then commanded them to say nothing to any man, but to go and kill his brother Boris. They straightway promised to execute his order. Of such men Solomon has well said, “They make haste to shed blood unjustly. For they (133) promise blood, and gather evil. Their path runneth to evil, for they possess their souls in dishonor” ( Prov ., i, 16-19) . These emissaries came to the Al’ta, and when they approached, they heard the sainted Boris singing matins. For it was already known to him that they intended to take his life. Then he arose and began to chant, saying, “Oh Lord, how are they increased who come against me I Many are they that rise up against me” (Ps., iii, 1). And also, “Thine arrows have pierced me, for I am ready for wounds and my pain is before me continually” (Ps., xxxviii, 2, 17), and he also uttered this prayer: “Lord, hear my prayer, and enter not into judgment with thy servant, for no living man shall be just before thee. For the enemy hath crushed my soul” (Ps., cxl, 1-3). After ending the six psalms, 127 Laurentian Text (1015) when he saw how men were sent out to kill him, he began to chant the Psalter, saying, “Strong bulls encompassed me, and the assemblage of the evil beset me. Oh Lord my God, I have hoped in thee; save me and deliver me from the pursuers” (Ps. } xxii, 12, 16; vii, 1) . Then he began to sing the canon. After finishing matins, he prayed, gazing upon the eikon, the image of the Lord, with these words: “Lord Jesus Christ, who in this image hast appeared on earth for our salvation, and won, having voluntarily suffered thy hands to be nailed to the Cross, didst endure thy passion for our sins, so help me now to endure my passion. For I accept it not from those who are my enemies, but from the hand of my own brother. Hold it not against him as a sin, oh Lord!” After offering this prayer, he lay down upon his couch. (134) Then they fell upon him like wild beasts about the tent, and pierced him with lances. They stabbed Boris and his servant, who cast himself upon his body. For he was beloved of Boris. He was a servant of Hungarian race, George by name, to whom Boris was greatly attached. The Prince had given him a large gold necklace which he wore while serving him. They also killed many other servants of Boris. But since they could not quickly take the necklace from George’s neck, they cut off his head, and thus obtained it. For this reason his body was not recognized later among the corpses. The desperadoes, after attacking Boris, wrapped him in a canvas, loaded him upon a wagon, and dragged him off, though he was still alive. When the impious Svyatopolk saw that he was still breathing, he sent two Varangians to finish him. When they came and saw that he was still alive, one of them drew his sword and plunged it into his heart. Thus died the blessed Boris, receiving from the hand of Christ our God the crown among the righteous. He shall be numbered with the Prophets and the Aposdes, as he joins with the choirs of martyrs, rests in the lap of Abraham, beholds joy ineffable, chants with the angels, and rejoices in company with the choirs of saints. After his body had been carried in secret to Vyshgorod, it was buried beside the Church of St. Basil. 121 The desperate murderers, (135) godless wretches that they were, returned to Svyatopolk in hope of commendation. The names of these contemners of the law are Put’sha, Talets, Elovit, and Lyashko, and their father was Satan himself. For such servants are devils, since devils are sent to do evil, and angels to do good. An angel does no harm to man, but, instead, thinks constandy of his good. Angels render help to Christians, and protect them against their adversary the devil. But 128 The Russian Primary Chronicle devils always seek after evil, and hate man, since they behold him honored of God. Because they envy him, they are swift in their evil mission. An evil man, eager for crime, is worse than a devil, because devils at least fear God, whereas an evil man neither fears God nor is ashamed before men. Devils fear the Cross of the Lord, but an evil man does not even fear the Holy Cross. The impious Svyatopolk then reflected, “Behold, I have killed Boris; now how can I kill Gleb?” Adopting once more Cain’s device, he craftily sent messages to Gleb to the effect that he should come quickly, because his father was very ill and desired his presence. Gleb quickly mounted his horse, and set out with a small company, for he was obed- ient to his father. When he came to the Volga, his horse stumbled in a ditch on the plain, and injured his leg slightly. He arrived at Smol- ensk, and setting out thence at daybreak, embarked in a boat on the Smyadyn’. 122 At this moment, Yaroslav received from Predslava the tidings of their father’s death, and he sent word to Gleb that he should not set out, because his father (136) was dead and his brother had been murdered by Svyatopolk. Upon receiving these tidings, Gleb burst into tears, and mourned for his father, but still more deeply for his brother. He wept and prayed with the lament, “Woe is me, oh Lord! It were better for me to die with my brother than to live on in this world. Oh my brother, had I but seen thy angelic countenance, I should have died with thee. Why am I now left alone? Where are thy words that thou didst say to me, my brother? No longer do I hear thy sweet counsel. If thou hast received encouragement from God, pray for me that I may endure the same passion. For it were better for me to dwell with thee than in this deceitful world.” While he was thus praying amid his tears, there suddenly arrived those sent by Svyatopolk for Gleb’s destruction. These emissaries seized Gleb’s boat, and drew their weapons. The servants of Gleb were terrified, and the impious messenger, Goryaser, gave orders that they should slay Gleb with despatch. Then Gleb’s cook, Torchin by name, seized a knife, and stabbed Gleb. He was offered up as a sacrifice to God like an innocent lamb, a glorious offering amid the perfume of incense, and he received the crown of glory. Entering the heavenly mansions, he beheld his long-desired brother, and rejoiced with him in the joy ineffable which they had attained through their brotherly love. “How good and fair it is for brethren to live together!” ( Ps ., cxxxiii, 1) . But the impious ones returned again (137) even as David said, “Let the sinners return to hell” (Ps., ix, 17) . When they returned to Svyato- 129 Laurent ian Text (1015) polk, they reported that his command had been executed. On hearing these tidings, he was puffed up with pride, since he knew not the words of David, “Why art thou proud of thy evil-doing, oh mighty one? Thy tongue hath considered lawlessness all the day long” (Ps., lii, 1) . .After Gleb had been slain, his body was thrown upon the shore between two tree-trunks, but afterward they took him and carried him away, to bury him beside his brother Boris beside the Church of St. Basil. United thus in body and still more in soul, ye dwell with the Lord and King of all, in eternal joy, ineffable light, bestowing salutary gifts upon the land of Rus’. Ye give healing to pilgrims from other lands who draw near with faith, making the lame to walk, giving sight to the blind, to the sick health, to capdves freedom, to prisoners liberty, to the sorrowful consoladon, and to the oppressed relief. Ye are the protectors of the land of Rus’, shining forever like beacons and praying to the Lord in behalf of your countrymen. Therefore must we worthily mag- nify these martyrs in Christ, praying fervendy to them and saying: “Rejoice, martyrs in Christ from the land of Rus’, who give healing in them who draw near to you in faith and love. Rejoice, dwellers in heaven. In the body ye were angels, servants in the same thought, comrades in the same image, of one heart with the saints. To all that suffer (138) ye give relief. Rejoice, Boris and Gleb, wise in God. Like streams ye spring from the founts of life-giving water which flow for the redempdon of the righteous. Rejoice, ye who have trampled the serpent of evil beneath your feet. Ye have appeared amid bright rays, enlightening like beacons the whole land of Rus’. Appearing in faith immutable, ye have ever driven away darkness. Rejoice, ye who have won an unslumbering eye, ye blessed ones who have received in your hearts the zeal to fulfill God’s holy commandments. Rejoice, brethren united in the realms of golden light, in the heavenly abodes, in glory unfading, which ye through your merits have attained. Rejoice, ye who are brightly irradiate with the luminance of God, and travel through- out the world expelling devils and healing diseases. Like beacons supernal and zealous guardians, ye dwell with God, illumined forever with light divine, and in your courageous martyrdom ye enlighten the souls of the faithful. The light-bringing heavenly love has exalted you, wherefore ye have inherited all fair things in the heavenly life: glory, celestial sustenance, the light of wisdom, and beauteous joys. Rejoice, ye who refresh our hearts, driving out pain and sickness and curing evil passions. Ye glorious ones, with the sacred drops of your blood ye have dyed a robe of purple which ye wear in beauty, and reign for- 130 The Russian Primary Chronicle evermore with Christ, interceding with him for his new Christian nation and for your fellows, for our land is hallowed (139) by your blood. By virtue of your relics deposited in the church, ye illumine it with the Holy Spirit, for there in heavenly bliss, as martyrs among the army of martyrs, ye intercede for your nation. Rejoice, bright day- springs, our Christ-loving martyrs and intercessors! Subject the pagans to our Princes, beseeching our Lord God that they may live in concord and in health, freed from intestine war and the crafts of the devil. Help us therefore who sing and recite your sacred praise forever unto our life’s end.” 123 Now the impious and evil Svyatopolk killed Svyatoslav in the Hun- garian mountains, after causing him to be pursued as he fled into Hungary. Then he began to reflect how he would kill all his brethren, and rule alone in Rus\ He schemed thus in his pride, being ignorant that God attributes of power according to his divine plans. For the Most High God appoints emperor and prince, and confers authority according to his desires. Wherever a nation is justified before God, he there appoints a just emperor or prince, who loves law and right- eousness, and sets up a governor and a judge to render judgment. For if the princes are righteous in the land, many sins are remitted. But if they are evil and deceitful, then God visits yet greater evil (HO) upon that country, for the prince is its head. Thus Isaiah said, “They have sinned from head to foot” (Is., i, 6), meaning from the king down to the common people. “Woe unto that city in which the prince is young, loving to drink wine amid music and in the company of young councillors. God bestoweth such princes in requital for sin, and taketh away from Jerusalem the strong, the giant, the valiant man, the judge, the prophet, the moderate elder, the able councillor, the cunning arti- ficer, the learned, the wise, and the obedient. I shall appoint a youth to be their prince, and a brawler to be their ruler” (Is., hi, 1-4). The impious Svyatopolk thus began his reign in Kiev. Assembling the people, he began to distribute mandes to some and furs to others, and thus dissipated a large sum. While Yaroslav had not yet heard of his father’s death, he had many Varangians under his command, and they offered violence to the inhabitants of Novgorod and to their wives. The men of Novgorod then rose and killed the Varangians in their market place. 124 Yaroslav was angry, and departing to Rakom, 125 he took up his abode in the castle. Then he sent messengers to Novgorod with the comment that the death of his retainers was beyond remedy, but at the same time he summoned before him the chief men of the city who had massacred 131 Laitrentian Text (1015-1016) the Varangians, and craftily killed them. The same night news came from Kiev sent by his sister Predslava to the effect that his father was dead, that Svyatopolk had settled in Kiev after killing Boris, and was now endeavoring to compass the death of Gleb, (141) and she warned Yaroslav to be exceedingly on his guard against Svyatopolk. When Yaroslav heard these tidings, he grieved for his father and his retainers. On the morrow, he collected the remnant of the men of Novgorod and regretfully lamented, “Alas for my beloved retainers, whom I yesterday caused to be killed! You would indeed be useful in the present crisis.” He wiped away his tears, and informed his subjects in the assembly that his father was dead, and that Svyatopolk had settled in Kiev after killing his brethren. Then the men of Novgorod said, “We can still fight for you, oh Prince, even though our brethren are slain.” So Yaroslav collected one thousand Varangians and forty thousand other soldiers, and marched against Svyatopolk. 126 He called on God as his witness and protested, “It was not I who began to kill our brethren, but Svyatopolk himself. May God be the avenger of the blood of my brothers inasmuch as Svyatopolk, despite their innocence, has shed the just blood of Boris and Gleb. Perhaps he will even visit the same fate upon me. But judge me, oh Lord, according to the right, that the malice of the sinful may end.” So he marched against Svyato- polk. When Svyatopolk learned that Yaroslav was on his way, he prepared an innumerable army of Russes and Pechenegs, 127 and marched out toward Lyubech 128 on one side of the Dnieper, while Yaroslav was on the opposite bank. 6524 (1016). The beginning of the principate of Yaroslav at Kiev. Yaroslav arrived and the brothers stood over against each other on both banks on the Dnieper, but neither party dared attack. They remained thus face to face for three months. Then Svyatopolk’s general (142) rode out along the shore and scoffed at the men of Novgorod, shout- ing, “Why did you come hither with this crooked-shanks, you carpen- ters? 120 We shall put you to work on our houses.” When the men of Novgorod heard this taunt, they declared to Yaroslav, “Tomorrow we will cross over to them, and whoever will not go with us we will kill.” Now it was already beginning to freeze. Svyatopolk was stationed be- tween two lakes, 130 and caroused with his fellows the whole night through. Yaroslav on the morrow marshaled his troops, and crossed over toward dawn. His forces disembarked on the shore, and pushed the boats out from the bank. The two armies advanced to the attack, and met upon the field. The carnage was terrible. Because of the lake, the Pechenegs could bring no aid, and Yaroslav’s troops drove Svyato- 132 The Russian Primary Chronicle polk with his followers toward it. When the latter went out upon the ice, it broke under them, and Yaroslav began to win the upper hand. Svyatopolk then fled among the Lyakhs, while Yaroslav established himself in Kiev upon the throne of his father and his grandfather. 131 Yaroslav had then been in Novgorod twenty-eight years. 132 6525 (1017) . Yaroslav took up his abode in Kiev, and in the same year the churches were burned. 133 6526 (1018). Boleslav attacked Yaroslav with Svyatopolk and his Lyakhs. 134 (143) After collecting Russes, Varangians, and Slavs, Yaro- slav marched forth against Boleslav and Svyatopolk, and upon arriving at Volyn’, they camped on either side of the river Bug. Now Yaroslav had with him his guardian and general, Budy by name. He scoffed at Boleslav, remarking, “We shall pierce your fat belly with a pike.” For Boleslav was big and heavy, so that he could scarcely sit a horse, but he was crafty. So Boleslav said to his retainers, “If you do not avenge this insult, I will perish alone,” and leaping upon his horse, he rode into the river and his retainers after him, while Yaroslav had no time to align his troops, so that Boleslav vanquished him. 135 Then Yaroslav fled with four men to Novgorod, and Boleslav en- tered Kiev in company with Svyatopolk. 130 Boleslav ordered that his force should be dispersed to forage throughout the cities, and so it was done. When Yaroslav arrived at Novgorod in his flight, he plan- ned to escape overseas, but the lieutenant Constantine, son of Dobrynya, together with the men of Novgorod, destroyed his boat, protesting that they wished to fight once more against Boleslav and Svyatopolk. They set out to gather funds at the rate of four \uny per commoner, ten grivny from each elder, and eighteen grivny from each boyar. 137 With these funds they recruited Varangians whom they imported, and thus collected for Yaroslav a large army. 138 While Boleslav was setded in Kiev, the impious Svyatopolk ordered that any Lyakhs found in the city should be killed, (144) and so the Lyakhs were slain. Then Boleslav fled from Kiev, 138 taking with him the property and the boyars of Yaroslav, as well as the latter’s two sisters, and made Anastasius 140 steward of the property, for the latter had won his confidence by his flattery. He took with him a large company, and having appropriated to himself the rides of Cherven, 141 he returned to his native land. Svyatopolk thus reigned alone in Kiev, but Yaroslav attacked him again, and Svyatopolk fled among the Pechenegs. 6527 (1019). Svyatopolk advanced with a large force of Pecheneg supporters, and Yaroslav collected a muldtude of soldiery, and went 133 Laurentian Text (1016-1019) forth against him to the Al’ta River. 142 Yaroslav halted at the site where Boris had been slain and, lifting up his hands to heaven, ex- claimed, “The blood of my brother cries aloud to thee, oh Lord. Avenge the blood of this just man. Visit upon this cri min al the sorrow and terror that thou didst inflict upon Cain to avenge the blood of Abel.” Then he prayed and said, “My brethren, although ye be absent in the body, yet help me with your prayer against this persumptuous assas- sin.” When he had dius spoken, the two armies attacked, and the plain of the Al’ta was covered with the multitudinous soldiery of both forces. It was then Friday. As the sun rose, they met in batde, and the carnage was terrible, such as had never before occurred in Rus’. The soldiers fought hand to hand and slaughtered each odier. Three times they clashed, so that the blood flowed in the valley. Toward evening Yaroslav conquered, and Svyatopolk fled. As he fled (145) a devil came upon him and his bones were softened, so that he could not ride, but was carried in a litter. His retainers bore him to Brest 143 in his flight, but he still cried out, “Fly with me, they are pursuing us!” His servants sent back to see who was pursuing them, and there was actually no one following their trail, but still they fled on with him. He lay in a faint, and when he recovered, he still cried out, “Run, they are pursuing us!” He could not endure to stay in one place, but fled through the land of the Lyakhs, pursued by the wrath of God. Upon reaching the wilderness between Poland and Bohemia, he died a miserable death. 144 When judgment thus rightly fell upon him as a sinner, torments seized this impious prince after his departure from this world. That is clearly proved by the fatal wound which was dealt him and which mercilessly drove him to his end; and since his death he abides in bonds and in torment everlasting. His tomb is in the wilderness even to this day, and an evil odor issues forth from it. This retribution was exhibited by God as an admonition to the princes of Rus’ so that, if they do likewise after hearing of this dread example, they shall incur the same punishment, yet even more severe because they, though familiar with this story, shall commit the same evil crime. For Cain received seven punishments for killing Abel, and Lamech seventy, because Cain did not know the penalty to be exacted by God, while Lamech knew of the chastisement visited upon his ancestor, yet still committed murder notwithstanding. For Lamech said (146) to his wives, “I have killed a man to my harm, and a youth to my destruction. Wherefore,” said he, “seventy punishments are upon me, because I acted knowingly” (Gen., iv, 23). Lamech killed 134 The Russian Primary Chronicle two brothers of Enoch, and took their wives. Likewise Svyatopolk was a new Abimelech, who was born in adultery, and who killed his brothers, the sons of Gideon. Thus Yaroslav settled in Kiev, together with his followers, and wiped away the sweat of his labors now that victory was won after a hard struggle. 6528 (1020). A son was born to Yaroslav, and he called his name Vladimir. 6529 (1021). Bryachislav, son of Izyaslav, grandson of Vladimir, came and captured Novgorod, and having taken the people of Nov- gorod and their property, he returned to Polotsk. 146 When he arrived at the Sudomir’ River, 140 Yaroslav came thither from Kiev after a seven days’ march. He conquered Bryachislav, and returned the people of Novgorod to their city, while Bryachislav fled to Polotsk. 6530 (1022). Yaroslav went to Brest. At this time Mstislav, who was in Tmutorakan’, attacked the Kasogians. When Rededya, Prince of the Kasogians, heard the report, he went forth against him, and as both armies stood face to face, Rededya said to Mstislav, “Why do we destroy our forces by mutual warfare? Let us rather fight (147) in single combat ourselves. If you win, you shall receive my property, my wife, and my children, and my land. But if I win, I shall take all your possessions.” Then Msdslav assented to his proposal. Rededya thus suggested that they should wresde instead of fighting with weapons. They straightway began to struggle violendy, and when they had wresded for some dme, Msdslav began to dre, for Rededya was large and strong. Then Msdslav exclaimed, “Oh Virgin Mother of God, help me! If I conquer this man, I will build a church in thy name.” Having spoken thus, he threw the Kasogian to the ground, then drew his knife and stabbed Rededya. He then penetrated into his territory, seized all his property, his wife, and his children, and imposed tribute upon the Kasogians. When he returned to Tmutorakan’, he then founded a church dedicated to the Holy Virgin and built it, as it stands in Tmutorakan’ even to the present day. 147 6531 (1023). Mstislav marched against Yaroslav with a force of Khazars and Kasogians. 148 6532 (1024). While Yaroslav was at Novgorod, Mstislav arrived before Kiev from Tmutorakan’, but the inhabitants of Kiev would not admit him. He thus departed thence and established himself upon the throne of Chernigov, 149 while Yaroslav was at Novgorod. In this year, magicians appeared in Suzdal’, 160 and killed old people by satanic inspiration and devil worship, saying that they would spoil the har- vest. 161 There was great confusion and famine throughout all that 135 Laurentian Text (1019-1026) country. The whole population went along the Volga to the Bulgars 152 from whom they bought grain and thus sustained themselves. When Yaroslav heard of the magicians, (148) he went to Suzdal’. He there seized upon the magicians and dispersed them, but punished some, saying, “In proportion to its sin, God inflicts upon every land hunger, pest, drought, or some other chastisement, and man has no understanding thereof.” Then Yaroslav returned and came again to Novgorod, whence he sent overseas after Varangians. Thus Haakon came over with his Varangian followers. Now this Haakon was blind and he had a robe all woven with gold. 153 He allied himself with Yaroslav, and with his support Yaroslav marched against Mstislav who, hearing the news of their coming, proceeded to meet them at List- ven’. 151 At eventide Mstislav marshalled his troops, placing the Severians in the centre opposite the Varangians, while he himself and his per- sonal retainers took up their position on the flanks. When night fell, there was darkness with lightning, thunder, and rain. Mstislav thus ordered his followers to attack. Mstislav and Yaroslav then attacked each other, and the Severians in the centre met the Varangians, who exhausted themselves in opposing them. Then Mstislav came up with his retainers to attack the Varangians, and the combat was violent. As the lightnings flashed, the weapons gleamed and the thunder roared, and the fight was violent and fearsome. Now when Yaroslav saw that he was overpowered, he fled from the field with Haakon, the Varang- ian prince, who lost his gold-woven robe in his flight. Yaroslav arrived safely at Novgorod, but Haakon departed beyond the sea. Mstislav, however, when on the morrow at dawn he beheld lying dead his own Severians (149) and the Varangians of Yaroslav whom his men had slain, exclaimed in exultation, “Who does not rejoice at this spectacle ? Here lies a Severian, here a Varangian, and my retainers are un- harmed.” Then Mstislav proposed to Yaroslav that the latter, as the eldest brother, should remain in Kiev, while the Chernigov district should belong to Mstislav. But Yaroslav did not dare to return to Kiev until they were properly reconciled. So Mstislav settled in Chernigov, and Yaroslav in Novgorod, though Kiev was occupied by subjects of Yaroslav. In this year was born to Yaroslav a second son, and he was christened Izyaslav. 6534 (1026). Yaroslav recruited many soldiers and arrived at Kiev, where he made peace with his brother Mstislav near Gorodets. 155 They divided Rus’ according to the course of the Dnieper. Yaroslav took the Kiev side, and Mstislav the other. They thus began to live in peace 136 The Russian Primary Chronicle and fraternal amity. Strife and tumult ceased, and there was a great calm in the land. 6535 (1027). A third son was born to Yaroslav, and he named him Svyatoslav. 6536 (1028). A portent visible to the whole country appeared in the heavens. 6537 (1029). Peace prevailed. 6538 (1030). Yaroslav captured Bel’z. 150 To Yaroslav was born his fourth son, and he named him Vsevolod. In this year, Yaroslav at- tacked the Chuds and conquered them. He thus founded the city of Yur’ev. 157 At this same time, Boleslav the Great died in Poland, and there was a revolt in the Polish country. (150) The people arose and killed the bishops, the priests, and the boyars, and there was rebellion among them. 158 6539 (1031). Yaroslav and Mstislav collected a large force and marched into Poland. They recaptured the cities of Cherven, and ravaged the Polish countryside. They also captured many Poles and distributed them as colonists in various districts. Yaroslav located his captives along the Ros’, 150 where they live to this day. 6540 (1032). Yaroslav began to found towns along the Ros’. 6541 (1033) . Eustathius, son of Mstislav, passed away. 6542-6544 (1034-1036). While on a hunting expedition, Mstislav fell sick and died, and was laid in the Church of the Redeemer, which he himself had founded. 100 In his time, it was built to a point higher than a man on horseback could reach with his hand. Mstislav was corpulent and red-faced, with large eyes, bold in batde, merciful, and a great lover of his retainers, begrudging them neither treasure nor food nor drink. Thereafter Yaroslav assumed the entire sovereignty, and was the sole ruler in the land of Rusk Yaroslav went to Novgorod, where he set up his son Vladimir as prince, 101 and appointed Zhidyata bishop. 102 At this time, a son was born to Yaroslav, and he named him Vyache- slav. While Yaroslav was still at Novgorod, news came (151) to him that the Pechenegs were besieging Kiev. He then collected a large army of Varangians and Slavs, returned to Kiev, and entered his city. The Pechenegs were innumerable. Yaroslav made a sally from the city and marshalled his forces, placing the Varangians in the centre, the men of Kiev on the right flank, and the men of Novgorod on the left. When they had taken position before the city, the Pechenegs advanced, and they met on the spot where the metropolitan church of St. Sophia now stands. At that time, as a matter of fact, there were fields outside 137 Laitrentian Text (1026-1037) the city. 103 The combat was fierce, but toward evening Yaroslav with difficulty won the upper hand. The Pechenegs fled in various directions, but as they did not know in what quarter to flee, they were drowned, some in the SetomT, 104 some in other streams, while the remnant of them disappeared from that day to this. In the same year, Yaroslav imprisoned his brother Sudislav in Pskov because he had been slander- ously accused. 105 . 6545 (1037). Yaroslav built the great citadel at Kiev, near which stands the Golden Gate. 100 He founded also the metropolitan Church of St. Sophia, 107 the Church of the Annunciation over the Golden Gate, and also the Monastery of St. George and the convent of St. Irene. 108 During his reign, the Christian faith was fruitful and multi- plied, while the number of monks increased, and new monasteries came into being. Yaroslav loved religious establishments and was de- voted to priests, especially to monks. He applied himself to books, and read them continually (152) day and night. He assembled many scribes, and translated from Greek into Slavic. He wrote and collected many books through which true believers are instructed and enjoy religious education. For as one man plows the land, and another sows, and still others reap and eat food in abundance, so did this prince. His father Vladimir plowed and harrowed the soil when he enlightened Rus’ through baptism, while this prince sowed the hearts of the faithful with the written word, and we in turn reap the harvest by receiving the teaching of books. For great is the profit from book-learning. Through the medium of books, we are shown and taught the way of repentance, for we gain wisdom and continence from the written word. Books are like rivers that water the whole earth; they are the springs of wisdom. For books have an immeasurable depth; by them we are consoled in sorrow. They are the bridle of self-restraint. For great is wisdom. As Solomon said in its praise, “I (wisdom) have inculcated counsel; I have summoned reason and prudence. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Mine are counsel, wisdom, constancy, and strength. Through me kings rule, and the mighty decree justice. Through me are princes magnified and the oppres- sors possess the earth. I love them that love me, and they who seek me shall find grace” (Prov., viii, 12, 13, 14-17). If you seek wisdom attentively in books, you will obtain great profit for your spirit. He who reads books (153) often converses with God or with holy men. If one possesses the words of the prophets, the teachings of the evangel- ists and the apostles, and the lives of the holy fathers, his soul will de- rive great profit therefrom. Thus Yaroslav, as we have said, was a lover 138 The Russian Primary Chronicle of books, and as he wrote many, he deposited them in the Church of St. Sophia which he himself had founded. He adorned it with gold and silver and churchly vessels, and in it the usual hymns are raised to God at the customary seasons. He founded other churches in the cities and districts, appointing priests and paying them out of his personal fortune. He bade them teach the people, since that is the duty which God has prescribed them, and to go often into the churches. Priests and Chris- tian laymen thus increased in number. Yaroslav rejoiced to see the multitude of his churches and of his Chrisdan subjects, but the devil was afflicted, since he was now conquered by this new Christian nation. 6546 (1038). Yaroslav attacked the Yatvingians. 100 6547 (1039). The Church of the Blessed Virgin which had been founded by Vladimir, Yaroslav’s father, was consecrated 170 by the Metropolitan Theopemptos. 171 6548 (1040). Yaroslav attacked Lithuania. 172 6549 (1041). Yaroslav attacked the Mazovians by boat. 173 6550 (1042). Vladimir, son of Yaroslav, attacked the people of Yam’ and conquered them. 174 The horses of Vladimir’s soldiery died; and they tore the skins off the horses while the latter were still breathing, (154) so violent was the plague from which the animals suffered. 6551 (1043). Yaroslav sent his son Vladimir to attack Greece, 175 and entrusted him with a large force. He assigned the command to Vyshata, father of Yan. Vladimir set out by ship, arrived at the Dan- ube, and proceeded toward Tsar’grad. A great storm arose which broke up the ships of the Russes; the wind damaged even the Prince’s vessel, and Ivan, son of Tvorimir, Yaroslav’s general, took the Prince into his boat. The other soldiers of Vladimir to the number of six thousand were cast on shore, and desired to return to Rus’, but none of the Prince’s retainers went with them. Then Vyshata announced that he would accompany them, and disembarked from his vessel to join them, exclaiming, “If I survive, it will be with the soldiers, and if I perish, it will be with the Prince’s retainers.” They thus set out to return to Rus’. It now became known to the Greeks how the Russes had suffered from the storm, and the Emperor, who was called Mono- makh, sent fourteen ships to pursue them. When Vladimir and his retainers perceived that the Greeks were pursuing them, he wheeled about, dispersed the Greek ships, and returned to Rus’ on his ships. But the Greeks captured Vyshata, in company with those who had been cast on land, and brought them to Tsar’grad, where they blinded many of the captive Russes. After peace had prevailed for three years there- after, Vyshata was sent back to Yaroslav in Rus’. At that same time 139 Laurentian Text ( 1037-1051 ) Yaroslav married his sister (155) to Kazimir, 1 ,c and as a wedding gift Kazimir surrendered eight hundred captives whom Boleslav had taken when he overcame Yaroslav. 6552 (1044). The bodies of the two princes Yaropolk and Oleg, sons of Svyatoslav, after their remains were baptized, were laid in the Church of the Holy Virgin. 177 In the same year died Bryachislav, 176 son of Izyaslav, and father of Vseslav; and Vseslav his son succeeded to his throne. Him his mother bore by enchantment, for when his mother bore him, there was a caul over his head, and the magicians bade his mother bind this caul upon him, that he might carry it with him the rest of his life. Vseslav accordingly bears it to this day, and for this reason he is pitiless in bloodshed. 173 6553 (1045). Vladimir founded the Church of St. Sophia at Nov- gorod. 180 6554-6555 (1046-1047). Yaroslav attacked and conquered the Mazov- ians, killing their prince Moislav, and subjected them to Kazimir. 181 6556-6558 (1048-1050) . The Princess, wife of Yaroslav, died on Feb- ruary 10. 182 6559 (1051). Yaroslav, after assembling the bishops, appointed Hilarion Metropolitan of Rus’ in St. Sophia. 183 Let us now relate why the Monastery of the Crypts bears this name. 184 Prince Yaroslav was fond of Berestovo and the Church of (156) the Holy Aposdes there situated. He gathered a large company of priests, among whom was a presbyter named Hilarion, a virtuous man, learned and ascetic. Hilarion used often to walk from Berestovo toward the Dnieper to a certain hill, where the old Crypt Monastery now is, and made his orisons there, for there was a great forest on the spot. He dug a litde catacomb two fathoms deep, and often went thither from Berestovo to chant the hours and offer his prayer to God in secret. Then God inspired the Prince to appoint him Metropolitan in St. Sophia; and the crypt remained as it was. Not many days afterward, there was a certain man, a layman from the city of Lyubech, 185 in whose heart God had inspired the desire to go on pilgrimage. He made his way to Mt. Athos, beheld the mon- asteries there, and upon examining them and being charmed by the monastic life, he entered one of the local monasteries, and begged the prior to confer upon him the monasdc habit. The latter complied with his request and made him a monk, calling him Antonius, and after he had admonished him and instructed him in his monastic obligations, he bade him return to Rus’ accompanied by the blessing of the Holy 140 The Russian Primary Chronicle Mount, that many other monks might spring from his example. The prior blessed him and dismissed him , saying, “Go in peace.” Antonius returned to Kiev, and reflected where he should live. He went about the monasteries and liked none of them, since God did not so will, and subsequendy wandered about the hills and valleys seeking the place which God should show him. He finally came to the hill where Hilarion had dug the crypt, and liked this site, and rejoiced in it. He then lifted up his voice in prayer to God, saying amid his tears, “Oh Lord, strengthen me in this place, (157) and may there rest upon it the blessing of the Holy Mount and of the prior who tonsured me.” Thus he took up his abode there, praying to God, eating dry bread every other day, drinking water moderately, and digging the crypt. He gave himself rest neither day nor night, but endured in his labors, in vigil, and in prayer. Afterward good men noticed his conduct, and supplied him according to his necessiues. Thus he acquired disdncdon as the great Antonius, and those who drew near to him besought his blessing. When the Great Prince Yaroslav died, 186 Izyaslav his son inherited his domain and setded in Kiev, while Antonius was celebrated through- out Rus’. Izyaslav observed his manner of life, and came with his re- tainers to request his blessing and prayers. The great Antonius was thus remarked and revered by everyone. Brothers joined him, and he welcomed and tonsured them. Brethren thus gathered about him to the number of twelve. They dug a great crypt and a church, and cells, which exist to this day in the crypt under the old monastery. When the brethren has thus assembled, Antonius said to them, “God has gathered you together, my brethren, and ye are under the blessing of the Holy Mount, through which the prior at the Holy Mount tonsured me and I have tonsured you also. May there be upon you first the blessing of God and second that of the Holy Mount.” And he added this injunction: “Live apart by yourselves, and I shall appoint you a prior; for I prefer (158) to go alone to yonder hill, as I formerly was wont when I dwelt in solitude.” So he appointed Barlaam as their prior, and he betook himself to the hill, where he dug a grotto, which is under the new monastery, and in which he ended his life, enduring in virtue, and for the space of forty years never issuing forth from the crypt in which his bones lie to the present day. The brethren thus abode with their prior, and as the number of monks in the crypt increased, they considered the establishment of a monastery outside the original crypt. Thus the prior and the brethren 141 Laurentian Text (1051) approached Antonius and said to him , “Father, the brethren have in- creased in numbers, and we can no longer find room in the crypt. If God and thy prayers so direct us, we might build a small church out- side the crypt.” Antonius then bade them so to do. They did reverence to him, and built a litde chapel over the crypt and dedicated it to the Assumption of the Holy Virgin. God continued to augment the number of the brotherhood through the intercession of the Holy Virgin, and the brethren took counsel with the prior as to constructing a monastery. The friars again visited An- tonius, and said, “Father, our brethren increase in numbers, and we are desirous of building a monastery.” Antonius rejoiced and replied, “Blessed be God for all things, and may the prayers of the Holy Virgin and of the fathers of the Holy Mount be with you.” Having thus spoken, he sent one of the brotherhood to Prince Izyaslav with the message, “My Prince! Behold, God strengthens the brotherhood, but their abode is small; give us therefore the hill which (159) is above the crypt.” When Izyaslav heard these words, he rejoiced, and sent his servant, and gave to them the hill. The prior and the brethren founded there a great church, and fenced in the monastery with a palisade. They constructed many cells, completed the church, and adorned it with eikons. Such was the origin of the Crypt Monastery, which was so named because the brethren first lived in the crypt. The Crypt Monastery thus issued from the benediction of the Holy Mount. Now when the monastery was completed during the priorate of Barlaam, Izyaslav founded the Monastery of St. Demetrius, 187 and appointed Barlaam prior therein, since he intended, by virtue of his material wealth, to make it superior to the ancient monastery. Many monasteries have indeed been founded by emperors and nobles and magnates, but they are not such as those founded by tears, fasting, prayer, and vigil. Antonius had neither silver nor gold, but accom- plished his purpose through tears and fasting, as I have recounted. When Barlaam had departed to St. Demetrius’, the brethren held a council, and then once more visited the ancient Antonius with the request that he should designate them a new prior. He inquired whom they desired. They replied that they desired only the one designated by God and by his own selecdon. Then he inquired of them, “Who among you is more obedient, more modest, and more mild than Theo- dosius? Let him be your prior.” The brethren rejoiced, and made their reverence before the old man. Being twenty in number, they thus appointed Theodosius to be their prior. lss When Theodosius took 142 The Russian Primary Chronicle over the monastery, he began to practise abstinence, fasting, and tearful prayer. (160) He undertook to assemble many monks, and thus gathered together brethren to the number of one hundred. He also interested himself in sear chin g out the monastic rules. There was in Kiev at the time a monk from the Studion Monastery named Michael, who had come from Greece with the Metropolitan George, 180 and Theodosius inquired of him concerning the practices of the Studion monks. He obtained their rule from him, copied it out, and established it in his monastery to govern the singing of monastic hymns, the making of reverences, the reading of the lessons, behaviour in church, the whole ritual, conduct at table, proper food for special days, and to regulate all else according to prescription. After obtaining all this information, Theodosius thus transmitted it to his monastery, and from the latter all others adopted the same institutions. Therefore the Crypt Monastery is honored as the oldest of all. While Theodosius lived in the monastery, following a virtuous life and the monastic rule, and receiving everyone who presented himself, I, a poor and unworthy servant, came to him, and he accepted me in my seventeenth year. Hence I have set down and certified what year the monastery came into being, and why it is named the Crypt Mon- astery, but to Theodosius’ life we shall recur later. 100 6560 (1052). Vladimir, Yaroslav’s eldest son, died at Novgorod, and was buried in the Church of St. Sophia, which he himself had founded. 101 6561 (1053). A son was born to Vsevolod by the Greek Princess, and he named him Vladimir. 102 (161) 6562 (1054). Yaroslav, Great Prince of Rus’, passed away. While he was yet alive, he admonished his sons 103 with these words: “My sons, I am about to quit this world. Love one another, since ye are brothers by one father and mother. If ye abide in amity with one another, God will dwell among you, and will subject your enemies to you, and ye will live at peace. But if ye dwell in envy and dissension, quarreling with one another, then ye will perish yourselves and bring to ruin the land of your ancestors, which they won at the price of great effort. Wherefore remain rather at peace, brother heeding brother. The throne of Kiev I bequeath to my eldest son, your brother Izyaslav. Heed him as ye have heeded me, that he may take my place among you. To Svyatoslav I give Chernigov, to Vsevolod PereyaslavF, to Igor’ the city of Vladimir, 104 and to Vyacheslav Smolensk.” Thus he divided the cities among them, commanding them not to violate one another’s boundaries, not to despoil one another. He laid upon Izyaslav the in- Laurentian Text (1051-1063) 143 junction to aid the party wronged, in case one brother should attack another. Thus he admonished his sons to dwell in amity. 195 Being unwell, he came to Vyshgorod, and there fell seriously ill. Izyaslav at the moment was in Novgorod, Svyatoslav at Vladimir, and Vsevolod with his father, for he was beloved of his father before all his brethren, and Yaroslav kept him constandy (162) by his side. The end of Yaroslav’s life drew near, and he gave up the ghost on the first Saturday after the feast of St. Theodore [February 19]. Vsevolod bore his father’s body away, and laying it upon a sled, he brought it to Kiev, while priests sang the customary hymns, and the people mourned for him. When they had transported the body, they laid it in a marble sarcophagus in the Church of St. Sophia, and Vsevolod and all his subjects mourned him. All the years of his age were seventy-six. Izyaslav then took up his abode in Kiev, with Svyatoslav in Cher- nigov, Vsevolod at Pereyaslavl’, Igor’ in Vladimir, and Vyacheslav at Smolensk. In this year, Vsevolod attacked the Torks during the winter near Voin’ and conquered them. 100 In the same year, Bolush ad- vanced with his Polovcians, but Vsevolod made peace with them, and they returned whence they had come. 107 6564-6565 (1056-1057). Vyacheslav, son of Yaroslav, died at Smolensk, and Igor’ took up his abode in Smolensk, moving over from Vladimir. 6566 (1058). Izyaslav conquered the Galindians. 108 6567 (1059). Izyaslav, Svyatoslav, and Vsevolod liberated their uncle Sudislav from the prison where he had been confined for twenty-four years, and after they had obtained his oath of fealty, he took the mon- astic habit. 100 6568 (1060). Igor’, son of Yaroslav, passed away. (163) In the same year, after collecting a numberless army, Izyaslav, Svyatoslav, and Vsevolod made an expedidon by horse and ship against the Torks. When the Torks heard of their coming, they were afraid, and are flee- ing even to this day. In their flight they perished, pursued by the hand of God, some of them from the cold, some by famine, and others by pestilence and God’s judgment upon them. Thus God once more saved the Chrisdans from the pagans. 6569 (1061). The Polovcians invaded Rus’ to make war for the first time. On February 2, Vsevolod went forth against them. When they met in batde, the Polovcians defeated Vsevolod, but after the combat they retired. This was the first evil done by these pagan and godless foes. Their prince was Iskal. 6570-6571 (1062-1063). Sudislav, brother of Yaroslav, passed away, 144 The Russian Primary Chronicle and was buried in the Church of St. George. 200 In this same year, the Volkhov at Novgorod flowed backward for five days. This was not a favorable portent, since Vseslav 201 burned the city four years later. 6572 (1064). Rostislav, son of Vladimir and grandson of Yaroslav, fled to Tmutorakan’, and with him fled Porey and Vyshata, son of Ostromir, the general of Novgorod. Upon his arrival, he expelled Gleb from Tmutorakan’ and occupied his principate himself. In 6573 (1065) Svyatoslav then marched against Rostislav in Tmuto- rakan’, so that the latter withdrew from the city, not because he feared Svyatoslav, but because he was reluctant to take up arms against his uncle. Svyatoslav, upon his entry (164) into Tmutorakan’, reestablished his son Gleb upon the throne, and returned home. Rostislav returned, however, and expelled Gleb, who rejoined his father, while Rostislav remained in Tmutorakan’. 202 In this year, Vseslav began hostilities. At the time, there was a portent in the west in the form of an exceedingly large star with bloody rays, which rose out of the west after sunset. It was visible for a week and appeared with no good presage. Much internal strife occurred thereafter, as well as many barbarian incursions into the land of Rus’, for this star appeared as if it were made of blood, and therfore por- tended bloodshed. At this time, a child was cast into the Setoml’. Some fishermen pulled it up in their net. We then gazed upon it till evening, when they cast it back into the water because it was malformed; indeed, it had its privates upon its face, and for reasons of modesty no further account need be given regarding it. 203 Somewhat before this moment, the sun also suffered alteration, and instead of being bright, became rather like the moon. Such signs portend no good, for we understand how, in ancient dmes at Jerusalem, in the reign of Andochus, it suddenly occurred that during a period of forty days armed men appeared throughout the whole city clad in golden raiment and riding on horseback through the air. Squadrons of them even appeared brandishing their weapons. This apparition presaged the attack of Andochus (165) upon Jerusalem. Later, during the reign of the Emperor Nero, a star like a spear in its shape shone over the same city of Jerusalem. This sign portended the attack of an army sent by the Romans. Again it happened likewise in the reign of the Emperor Justinian that a star emitdng rays appeared in the west. Men called it the brilliant star, and it shone forth for twenty days. Subsequendy a shower of stars fell from evening till dawn, so that all thought that the stars of heaven were falling, and again the 145 Laurentian Text (1063-1067) sun shone without light. This portent presaged rebellions and pesti- lences, and was fatal to mankind. The following portents similarly occurred during the reign of the Emperor Mauricius: a woman bore a child without eyes and without hands, and a fish-tail grew to his back; a six-legged dog was born; and in Thrace there were born two children, one with four legs, and the other with two heads. Later, during the reign of Constantine the Iconoclast, son of Leo, there was a shower of stars in the sky, and they were cast down upon the earth, so that eye- witnesses thought it was the end of the world. At the same time, the air also was violendy perturbed. In Syria, a violent earthquake took place, and the earth split for a distance of three stadia. Strange to re- late, a mule issued forth from the earth, speaking with a human voice and prophesying the incursion of the pagans, which actually took place, for the Saracens attacked Palestine. Thus portents in the sky, or in the stars, or in the sun, or such as are made known by birds or from some other source, are not favorable import. Such signs are, on the con- trary, of evil significance, presaging the appearance of war, famine, or death. 204 (166) 6574 (1066). When Rostislav was at Tmutorakan’, receiving tribute from the Kasogians and from other regions, the Greeks became afraid of him and sent to him an officer with treacherous intent. When he came before Rostislav and won his confidence, the Prince did him great honor. Then on one occasion while Rostislav was drinking with his retinue, the envoy said, “Oh Prince, I would drink to your health,” and Rostislav accepted the compliment. The Greek drank half the goblet, and then offered the other half to the Prince to drink after dipping his finger in the cup, for he had a deadly poison under his fingernail. He thus passed the drink to the Prince, having determined his death for the seventh day thereafter. When the Prince had drunk the draught, the envoy departed to Kherson, where he reported that upon that day Rostislav would die, as did in fact occur. The people of Kherson then slew this officer by stoning him. Rostislav was a man bold in war, fair of stature, and handsome of feature, and he was generous to the poor. His death occurred on February 3, and he was buried there in the Church of the Holy Virgin. 205 6575 (1067). Vseslav, the son of Bryachislav of Polotsk, undertook a campaign and captured Novgorod. Izyaslav, Svyatoslav, and Vse- volod, the three sons of Yaroslav, though it was the dead of winter, collected a force and set forth against him. They arrived before Minsk, but the citizens barricaded themselves in the city. Then the brethren captured it, put the men to the sword, sold the women and children 146 The Russian Primary Chronicle into slavery, and proceeded to Nemiza. 200 Vseslav came forward to meet them. The two forces thus collided at the Nemiza on March 3, (167) with heavy snow on the ground. They thus attacked, and the carnage was severe. The casualties were numerous, but Izyaslav, Svya- toslav, and Vsevolod won the day, while Vseslav sought safety in flight. On July 10 following, Izyaslav, Svyatoslav, and Vsevolod took oath as to their peaceful intentions and offered Vseslav safe-conduct if he would join them. He put his confidence in their sworn oath, and crossed the Dnieper by boat. Izyaslav preceded Vseslav into their tent, and contrary to their oath, the brethren thus took Vseslav captive on the Orsha, 207 near Smolensk. Izyaslav then brought Vseslav to Kiev and there threw him and his two sons into prison. 6576 (1068). A multitude of those nomads known as the Polovcians attacked the land of Rus’, and Izyaslav, Svyatoslav and Vsevolod went forth against them as far as the Al’ta. 208 They joined batde in the dead of night, but since God had let loose the pagans upon us because of our transgressions, the Russian princes fled and the Polovcians were victorious. God in his wrath causes foreigners to attack a nation, and then, when its inhabitants are thus crushed by the invaders, they remember God. Intestine strife is incited by the craft of the devil. For God wishes men not evil but good; while the devil takes his delight in cruel murder and bloodshed, and therefore incites quarrels, envy, domestic strife, and slander. When any nation has sinned, God punishes them by death or famine (168) or barbarian incursion, by drought or a plague of caterpillars or by other chastisements, until we repent of our sins and live according to God’s commandment. For he says unto us through the mouth of his Prophet, “Turn unto me with all your hearts in fast- ing and lamentation” (Joel, ii, 12). If we thus act, we shall all be forgiven our sins. But we return to evil, and persist in wallowing like swine in the mire of iniquity. “I knew that thou art obdurate and thy neck is an iron sinew” (Is., xlviii, 4). “Therefore I have withholden the rain from you. I caused it to rain upon one city, and caused it not to rain upon another city, and it has withered. I have smitten you with heat and various chastisements, but even so ye have not returned unto me. Therefore I have smitten your vineyards, your olive-groves, your fields, and your forests, saith the Lord, but I could not drive out your iniquities. I sent upon you divers diseases and painful deaths, and brought plague upon your catde, but even so ye have not repented, but said, ‘Let us be manful’” (Amos, iv, 7-10). “When will ye be sated with your iniquities? For ye have turned aside from my way, 147 Laurentian Text (1067-1068) saith the Lord, and have committed many transgressions. Therefore I will be a swift witness against my adversaries, against the adulterer and against those who swear falsely by my name, against those that deprive the hireling of his wages, who offer violence to the orphan and widow, and who incline justice to wrong. Why have ye not restrained yourself in your sins, but violated my laws and not (169) kept them? Turn unto me and I will return unto you, said the Lord. I will open upon you the sluices of heaven, and turn away from you my wrath, until all shall be yours in abundance, and your vineyards and your fields shall not fail. But ye have blasphemed against me, saying ‘Vain is he who works for God!’” (Mai., iii, 5-14). “They honor me with their lips, but their heart is far from me” (Is., xxix, 13) . For this reason we do not receive what we ask, since the Lord has said, “It shall come to pass that when ye call upon me I shall not hear you, ye evil ones shall seek me and not find me” (Proa., i, 29). Ye have not desired to walk in my path; therefore heaven is closed, or else opens only for a fell purpose, sending down hail instead of rain, or destroying the harvest with frost and tormenting the earth with drought because of our iniquities. But if we repent us of our sins, then he will grant to us as his children all our requests, and will water us with rain early and late, and our granaries shall be full of wheat. “Your vineyards and olive-groves shall abound, and I will restore to you the years which the locusts, the worms, and the caterpillars consumed, the great army that I sent among you,” said the Lord Almighty (Joel, ii, 23-25) . Hav- ing heard these words, let us apply ourselves to good, seek justice, and free the oppressed. Let us do penance, not returning evil for evil nor slander for slander, but let us rather bind ourselves with love to the Lord our God. (170) Let us wash away all our transgressions with fasting, with lamentation, and with tears, nor call ourselves Christians as long as we live like pagans. Do we not live like pagans as long as we attach superstitious signifi- cance to meetings? For he turns back who meets a monk, a boar or a swine. Is that not pagan? It is part and parcel of the devil’s teaching to retain such delusions. Other people attach special significance to sneezing, which is healthy for the head. By these and other similar customs the devil deceives us, and he alienated us from God by all manner of craft, through trumpets and clowns, through harps and pagan festivals. For we behold the playgrounds worn bare by the foot- steps of a great multitude, who jostle each other while they make a spectacle of a thing invented by the devil. The churches still stand; but when the hour of prayer is come, few 148 The Russian Primary Chronicle worshippers are found in the church, for this reason we shall suffer at the hand of God all sorts of chastisement and then incursion of our foes, and at the command of God we shall endure punishment for our sins. 200 . Let us return now to our subject. When Izyaslav, accompanied by Vsevolod, had fled to Kiev, while Svyatoslav had taken refuge in Cher- nigov, the men of Kiev who had escaped to their native city held an assembly on the market place and sent the following communication to the Prince: 210 “The Polovcians have spread over the country. Oh Prince, give us arms and horses, that we may offer them combat once more.” (171) Izyaslav, however, paid no heed to this request. Then the people began to murmur against his general Constantine. 211 From the place of assembly, they mounted the hill, but when they arrived before the house of Constantine, they could not find him. They then halted before the house of Bryachislav and proposed that they should go and liberate their friends from prison. They then separated into two parties: half of them went to the prison, and half over the bridge. 212 The latter contingent arrived before the Prince’s palace, and as Izyaslav was sitting with his retinue in his hall, the crowd standing below began to threaten him. As the prince and his retainers were watching the crowd from a small window, Tuky, the brother of Chudin, called to Izyaslav’s attention that the people were aroused, and suggested that he should send men to guard Vseslav. While he was thus speaking, the other half of the crowd approached from the prison, which they had thrown open. The retainers, remarking that the situa- tion had become serious, urged the Prince to send pursuers after Vse- slav who should entice him to a window by a ruse and then slay him with a sword. Izyaslav, however, did not heed their advice. The mob then gave a shout and went off to Vseslav’s prison. When Izyaslav beheld their action, he fled with Vsevolod from the palace. But on September 15, the people thus haled Vseslav from his dungeon, and set him up in the midst of the prince’s palace. They then pillaged the palace, seizing a huge amount of gold and silver, furs, and marten- skins. Izyaslav made his escape to Poland. 213 While the Polovcians were ravaging throughout the land of Rus’, Svyatoslav was meanwhile at Chernigov. (172) As soon as the pagans raided around Chernigov itself, Svyatoslav collected a small force and sallied out against them to Snovsk. 214 The Polovcians remarked the approaching troop and marshalled their forces for resistance. When Svyatoslav observed their numbers, he said to his followers, “Let us attack, for it is too late for us to seek succor elsewhere.” They spurred 149 Lattrentian Text (1068-1069) up their horses, and though the Polovcians had twelve thousand men, Svyatoslav won the day with his force of only three thousand. Some of the pagans were killed outright, while others were drowned in the Snov’, and their prince was captured on November 1. Svyatoslav thus returned victorious to his city. Vseslav was meanwhile ruling in Kiev. God thus revealed the power of the Cross, since Izyaslav violated his oath upon it when he took Vseslav prisoner. It was for that reason that God inspired the incursion of the pagans, and from this calamity the true Cross obviously delivered us. For, on the day of the Exaltation [September 14], Vseslav sighed, and uttered this prayer: “Oh true Cross, inasmuch as I have believed in thee, free me from this abyss!” God demonstrated the power of the Cross as an admonition to the land of Rus’ that its people should not violate the true Cross after sealing their oaths by kissing it. If anyone sins against the Cross, he shall suffer not only punishment in this world but also everlasting chastisement in the next. For great is the power of the Cross. By the Cross are van- quished the powers of the devil. The Cross helps our princes in com- bat, and the faithful who are protected by the Cross conquer in battle the foes who oppose them. -For the Cross speedily frees from danger those who invoke it with faith, (173) for devils fear nothing as much as the Cross. If a man be importuned by devils, a sign of the Cross on the face drives them away. Now Vseslav remained in Kiev for the space of seven months. 215 6577 (1069). Reinforced by Boleslav, Izyaslav marched to attack Vseslav, who went forth to meet them, and arrived at Belgorod. 216 But during the night, he hid himself from the men of Kiev, and fled from Belgorod to Polotsk. When the men of Kiev saw on the morrow that their prince had fled, they returned to Kiev, and after calling an assem- bly, they sent messages to Svyatoslav and Vsevolod saying, “We did wrong in expelling our Prince, and now he leads the Poles against us. Return to your father’s city. If you refuse to return, then we have no alternative but to burn our city and depart to Greece.” 217 Svyatoslav replied, “We shall communicate with our brother. If he marches upon you with the Poles to destroy you, we shall fight against him, and not allow him to destroy our father’s city. If his intentions are peaceful, then he shall approach with a small troop.” Then the people of Kiev were pacified. Svyatoslav and Vsevolod then sent messengers to Izyaslav, an- nouncing that Vseslav had fled, and requesting him accordingly not to lead the Poles in attack upon Kiev, because no one was really opposing him. They also let it be understood that if he intended to nurse his 150 The Russian Primary Chronicle wrath and destroy the city, they would be properly concerned for the ancestral capital. When Izyaslav received these tidings, he left the Poles and came forward, accompanied only by Boleslav himself and a small Polish escort. He sent his son Mstislav ahead of him into Kiev, and upon the latter’s arrival, he slew those who (174) had freed Vseslav, to the number of seventy, blinded others, and executed without any investigation others who were entirely innocent. 218 When Izyaslav arrived at the city, the inhabitants went forth to welcome him, and the men of Kiev received him as their Prince. Izyaslav thus resumed his throne on May 2. He scattered the Poles to forage, and then had them secredy killed. Boleslav then returned to his nadve country. 210 Izyaslav transferred the market place to the hill, 220 and drove Vseslav out of Polotsk, where he set up his own son Mstislav. But the latter soon died, and Izyaslav enthroned in his stead his brother Svyatopolk, since Vse- slav had fled. 221 6578 (1070). A son was born to Vsevolod, and he named him Rosti- slav. In this year was founded the Church of St. Michael in Vsevolod’s monastery. 222 6579 (1071). The Polovcians raided about Rastovets and Ney- atin. 223 In this year, Vseslav expelled Svyatopolk from Polotsk. In the same year, Yaropolk defeated Vseslav near Golodchesk. 224 At this time, a magician appeared inspired by the devil. He came to Kiev and informed the inhabitants that after the lapse of five years the Dnieper would flow backward, and that the various countries would change their locations, so that Greece would be where Rus’ was, and Rus’ where Greece was, and that other lands would be similarly dis- located. The ignorant believed him, but the faithful ridiculed him and told him that the devil was only deluding him to his ruin. This was (175) actually the case, for in the course of one night, he disappeared altogether. For the devils, after once encouraging a man, lead him to an evil fate, then laugh him to scorn, and cast him into the fatal abyss after they have inspired his words. In this connection we may discuss infernal incitation and its effects. While there was famine on one occasion in the district of Rostov, two magicians appeared from Yaroslavl’ and said they knew who in- terfered with the food supply. Then they went along the Volga, and where they came to a trading-post, they designated the handsomest women, saying that one affected the grain, another the honey, another the fish, and another the furs. The inhabitants brought into their presence their sisters, their mothers, and their wives, and the magicians in their delusion stabbed them in the back and drew out from their 151 Laurentian Text (1069-1071) bodies grain or fish. They thus killed many women and appropriated their property. Then they arrived at Beloozero, and about three hun- dred men accompanied them. At that moment it happened that Yan, son of Vyshata, 225 arrived in that neighborhood to collect tribute in behalf of Svyatoslav. The people of Beloozero recounted to him how two magicians had caused the death of many women along the Volga and the Sheksna and had now arrived in their district. Yan inquired whose subjects they were, and upon learning that they belonged to his Prince, he directed their followers to surender the magicians to him, since they were subjects of his own Prince. When they refused to obey his command, Yan wanted to go unarmed in search of the magicians, but his companions (176) warned him against such action, urging that the magicians might attack him. Yan thus bade his followers to arm themselves* there were twelve of them with him, and they took their way through the forest in pursuit of the magicians. The latter arranged their forces to offer resistance, and when Yan advanced with his batde- axe, three of their number approached Yan and said to him, “You ad- vance to certain death; go no further.” But Yan gave the order to strike them down, and then moved upon the rest. They gathered together to attack Yan, and one of them struck at him with his axe, but Yan turned the axe and struck him with the butt. Then he bade his follow- ers cut them down, but the enemy fled into the forest after killing Yan’s priest. Yan returned to the town and the people of Beloozero, and announced to them that if they did not surrender those magicians to him, he would remain among them for a year. The people of Beloozero then went forth and captured die ma- gicians, whom they brought into Yan’s presence. He asked them why they had caused the death of so many persons. They replied, “Because they prevent plenty, and if we remove them, abundance will return. If you so desire, we shall extract from their bodies grain or fish or any other object in your presence.” Yan declared, “Verily that is a lie. God made man out of earth; he is composed of bones and has veins for his blood. There is nothing else in him. He knows nothing, and it is God alone who possesses knowledge.” The magicians then asserted that they knew how man was made. When Yan asked them how, they replied, “God washed himself in the bath, and after perspiring, (177) dried himself with straw and threw it out of heaven upon the earth. Then Satan quarreled with God as to which of them should create ‘man out of it. But the devil made man, and God set a soul in him. As a result, whenever a man dies, his body goes to the earth and his soul to God.” Yan then made answer,’ ‘It is indeed the devil who 152 The Russian Primary Chronicle has put you to this mischief. In what god do you believe?” They answered, “In Antichrist.” He then inquired of them where their god had his abode and they replied that he dwelt in the abyss. Then Yan asked, “What sort of god is that which dwells in the abyss? That is a devil. God dwells in heaven, sitting upon his throne, glorified by the angels who stand before him in fear and dare not look upon him. He whom you call Antichrist was cast out from the number of these angels and expelled from heaven for his presumption. He dwells indeed in the abyss, as you say, and there abides until God shall come from heaven to seize this Antichrist, and bind him with bonds, and cast him out, when he shall have taken him captive with his min- ions and those who believe in him. As for you, you shall endure tor- ment both at my hands here and now, and also in the life after death.” The magicians retorted that their gods made known to them that Yan could do them no harm, but Yan answered that their gods were liars. They then asserted their right to stand before Svyatoslav, and that Yan had no jurisdiction over them. Yan, however, ordered that they should be beaten and have their beards torn out. When they had been thus beaten, and after their beards had been pulled out with pincers, Yan inquired of them what their gods were saying at the moment. They made answer, “That we should stand before (178) Svyatoslav.” Yan then directed that they should be gagged and bound to the thwart. Thereupon he sent them on before him by boat, and himself followed after. The party halted at the mouth of the Sheksna, and Yan said to the magicians, “What do your gods now make known to you?” They replied, “Our gods tell us that we shall not escape you alive.” Yan remarked that the information supplied by their gods was entirely cor- rect. They then urged that if he released them, it would bring him much advantage, but that if he destroyed them, he should suffer much trouble and evil. Yan retorted that if he let them go he would be more likely to be punished by God. Then Yan said to the boatmen, “Has any relative of any one of you been killed by these men?” One of them answered that his mother had thus been killed, while another mentioned his sister and another his relatives. So Yan ordered them to avenge their kinsfolk. They then seized and killed the magicians, whom they hanged upon an oak tree. They thus deservedly suffered punishment at God’s hand. After Yan had departed homeward, a bear came up the next night, gnawed them and ate them up. Thus they perished through the instigation of the devil, prophesying to other people, but ignorant of their own de- struction. For if they had really known the future, they would not 153 Laaretitian Text (1071) have come to that place where they were destined to be taken captive. After being thus captured, why did they declare that they would not die, even while Yan contemplated killing them? But of such nature is the instigation of devils; for devils do not perceive man’s thought, though they often inspire thought in man without knowing his secrets. (179) God alone knows the mind of man, but devils know nothing, for they are weak and evil to look upon. We shall now proceed to discuss their appearance and their magic. At about the same time, it happened that a certain man from Novgorod went among the Chuds, and approached a magician, desiring to have his fortune told. The latter, according to his custom, began to call devils into his abode. The man from Novgorod sat upon the threshold of that same house, while the magician lay there in a trance, and the devil took possession of him. The magician then arose, and said to the man from Novgorod, “The gods dare not approach, since you wear a symbol of which they are afraid.” The Novgorodian then bethought him of the cross he wore, and went and laid it outside the house. The magician then resumed his calling of the devils, and they shook him, and made known why the stranger had come. Then the Novgorodian inquired of the magician why the devils were afraid of the cross they wore. The magician made answer, “That is the token of God in heaven, of whom our gods are afraid.” Then the man of Novgorod asked who his gods were and where they dwelt. The ma- gician replied, “In the abysses; they are black of visage, winged and tailed, and they mount up under heaven obedient to your gods. For your angels dwell in heaven, and if any of your people die, they are carried up to heaven. But if any of ours pass away, they are carried down into the abyss to our gods.” And so it is; for sinners abide in hell in the expectation of eternal torment, (180) while the righteous associate with the angels in the heavenly abode. Such is the power and the beauty and the weakness of demons! In this way they lead men astray, commanding them to recount visions, appearing to those who are imperfect in faith, and exhibiting them- selves to some in sleep and to others in dreams. Thus magic is per- formed through infernal instigation. Particularly through the agency of woman are infernal enchantments brought to pass, for in the begin- ning the devil deceived woman, and she in turn deceived man. Thus even down to the present day women perform magic by black arts, poison, and other devilish deceits. Unbelievers are likewise led astray by demons. Thus in ancient days, in the time of the Apostles, there lived Simon 154 The Russian Primary Chronicle Magus, who through his magic caused dogs to speak like man, and changed his own aspect, appearing sometimes old, sometimes young, and sometimes he even changed one man to the semblance of another, accomplishing this transfiguration by his magic art. Jannes and Jambres wrought marvels against Moses through enchantment, but eventually they had no power against him. Kunop also practiced devilish arts, such as walking upon the water; and he performed other prodigies, being misled by the devil to his own and others’ destruction. 220 A magician likewise appeared at Novgorod in the principate of Gleb. He harangued the people, and by representing himself as a god he deceived many of them; in fact, he humbugged almost the entire city. For he claimed to know all things, and he blasphemed against the Christian faith, announcing that he would walk across (181) the Volk- hov River in the presence of the public. There was finally an uprising in the city, and all believed in him so implicitly that they went so far as to desire to murder their bishop. But the Bishop took his cross, and clad himself in his vestments, and stood forth saying, “Whosoever has faith in the magician, let him follow him, but whoever is a loyal Christian, let him come to the Cross.” So the people were divided into two factions, for Gleb and his retainers took their stand beside the bishop, while the common people all followed the magician. Thus there was a great strife between them. Then Gleb hid an axe under his garments, approached the ma- gician, and inquired of him whether he know what was to happen on the morrow or might even occur before evening. The magician replied that he was omniscient. Then Gleb inquired whether he even knew what was about to occur that very day. The magician answered that he himself should perform great miracles. But Gleb drew forth the axe and smote him, so that he fell dead, and the people dispersed. Thus the man who had sold himself to the devil perished body and soul. 6580 (1072). The relics of the holy martyrs Boris and Gleb were transported to their final resting place. 227 Izyaslav, Svyatoslav, and Vsevolod, the sons of Yaroslav, gathered together, and with them the Metropolitan George, Bishop Peter of PereyaslavP, Bishop Michael of Yur’ev, Theodosius the Prior of the Crypt Monastery, Sophronius the Prior of St. Michael’s, Germanus the Prior of St. Saviour’s, Nicholas the Prior of PereyaslavP, and all the other priors. They instituted a festival and celebrated it with splendor, and they laid the relics in the new church founded by Izyaslav, which is still standing. First of all, Izya- slav, Svyatoslav, and Vsevolod took the relics of Boris in a wooden 155 Laurentian Text (1071-1073) casket and carried it upon their shoulders, (182) while monks preceded them holding candles in their hands. After them came deacons with censers, and then priests, and following the latter the Bishops accom- panied by the Metropolitan. Last came the bearers of the casket. They transported it into the new church, and when they opened the casket, the church was filled with sweetness and fragrance. When they per- ceived this miracle, they glorified God. Fear overcame the Metropolitan, for he had been uncertain in his faith concerning the relics; he there- fore prostrated himself and begged for forgiveness. After kissing the relics of Boris, they placed them in a stone coffin. Then they took Gleb in a stone coffin and laid it upon a sled, which they pulled along by means of ropes attached to it. When they arrived at the church-door, the coffin stopped, and would not move further. Then they bade the people cry, “Kyrie eleison,” and thus moved it through. The relics were thus laid away on May 2. 228 When the liturgy had been sung, the brethren dined together, each with his boyars and in great affection. At this time Chudin governed Vyshgorod, and Lazarus was in charge of the church. The brethren then departed to their several districts. 6581 (1073). The devil stirred up strife among these brothers, the sons of Yaroslav. When disagreement thus ensued among them, Svyato- slav and Vsevolod united against Izyaslav. The latter left Kiev, but Svyatoslav and Vsevolod arrived there upon March 22 and established themselves on the throne at Berestovo, though they thus transgressed against their father’s injunction. Svyatoslav was the instigator of his brother’s expulsion, for he desired more power. He misled Vsevolod by asserting that Izyaslav was entering into an alliance with Vseslav for the purpose of attacking them saying, “If we do not forestall him, he will expel us.” By this means he irritated Vsevolod against Izya- slav. 229 Now Izyaslav took considerable treasure with him on his flight into Poland with the intention of recruiting supporters there. But the Poles robbed him of all his property, and expelled him from their boundaries. 230 Svyatoslav thus ruled in Kiev after the expulsion of his brother, and thus broke the injunction of his father and of God. For it is a great sin to break the commandment of one’s father. It was the sons of Ham who first attacked the land of Seth, but suffered the chastisement of God four hundred years later. From the race of Seth are sprung the Hebrews, who overcame the nation of the Canaanites, and seized the ancestral portion and the territory of the latter. Then Esau broke his father’s command and suffered death; for it is not good to encroach upon another’s possessions. 231 156 The Russian Primary Chronicle In this year the Church of the Crypts was founded by the Prior Theodosius and Bishop Michael, while George’ the Metropolitan was absent in Greece and Svyatoslav was reigning in Kiev. 232 6582 (1074) . Theodosius, the Prior of the Crypt Monastery, passed away. We shall therefore supply a brief account of his dormition. When the Lenten season approached, upon the eve of Quinquagesima Sunday, Theodosius was accustomed, after he had embraced the breth- ren according to his practice, to instruct them how to pass the Lenten period in prayer by night and by day, and how to guard against evil thoughts and the temptations of the devil. “For,” said he, “demons incite in monks evil thoughts and desires, (184) and inflame their fancy so that their prayers are impaired. One must combat such thoughts when they come by using the sign of the Cross and by saying, “Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us. Amen!” With this end in view, we must practise abstinence from many foods, for evil desires develop out of excessive eating and immoderate drinking, and by the growth of such thoughts sin is caused. “By this means,” said he, “oppose your- selves to the influence of the demons and their malice, guard against laziness and too much sleep, be zealous in churchly song, in the tradi- tions of the fathers, and in the reading of the Scriptures. For it befits monks above all things to have upon their lips the Psalter of David, and thereby to expel the weaknesses caused by the devil. It befits all young persons to show toward their elders love, obedience, and atten- tion, and it behooves all older persons to offer the younger brethren their love and admonition, and to be an example by their continence and vigil, their self-restraint and humility, to counsel and console the youthful, and to spend Lent in such pursuits.” “For,” he added, “God has given us these forty days in which to purify our souls. This is a tithe given to God by the body. For the days of the year are three hundred and sixty-five, and giving to God each tenth day as a tithe makes a fast of forty days, during which the soul is cleansed and happily celebrates the Resurrection of the Lord as it rejoices in God. For the Lenten season purifies the heart (185) of man. In the beginning, fasting was first imposed upon Adam, so that he should not taste of one tree. Moses fasted forty days to prepare himself to receive the law upon Mt. Sinai, and then he beheld the glory of God. During a fast, Samuel’s mother bore him. Through their fasting, the Ninevites averted the wrath of God. By his fasting, Daniel prepared himself for great visions. After his fast, Elijah was taken up to heaven to receive celestial sustenance. Through their fasting, the Three Chil- dren quenched the violence of the fire. And our Lord, by fasting forty 157 Laurentian Text (1073-1074) days, made known to us the Lenten season. By means of their fasting, the Aposdes rooted out the teaching of the devil. By virtue of their fasts, our fathers appeared to the world as beacons that continue to shine after their decease. They exhibited great labors, and continence; for example, the great Antonius, Euthymius, Sabbas, and the other fathers. Let us imitate them, my brethren.” After thus instructing the brotherhood, he kissed them, calling each by name, and then left the monastery, taking with him but a few loaves of bread. He entered a crypt, closed the door behind him, and covered himself with dust. He spoke to no one, unless some object was needful to him, and in any case he conversed only on Saturday and on Sunday through a small window. Upon other days, he remained in fasting and in prayer, maintaining strict abstinence. He returned to the monastery on Friday on the eve of St. Lazarus’ day. For on this day ends the forty days’ fast, which opens on the first Monday after the week of St. Theo- dore and concludes on Friday, before the feast of St. Lazarus. Holy Week (186) is then observed as a fast on account of our Lord’s pas- sion. 233 Theodosius thus returned according to his custom, embraced the brethren, and with them celebrated Palm Sunday. When Easter Day came, he celebrated it brilliantly as usual, and then fell ill. When he was taken ill, and had been sick for five days, he bade them carry him in the evening down into the courtyard. The brethren laid him upon a sled and set him before the church. 234 He then desired that the whole brotherhood should be summoned, so the brethren struck upon the bell, and all assembled together. Theodosius then said to them, “My brethren, my fathers, and my children! I now depart from you, for God made known to me, while I was in the crypt during the Lenten season, that I must now quit this world. Whom do you desire for your prior, that I may confer my blessing upon him?” They made answer, “You have been a father to us all. Whomsoever you yourself select shall be our father and our prior, and we shall obey him even as we obey you.” Then our father Theodosius said, “Go apart from me and designate him whom you desire, except the two brothers Nicholas and Ignatius: 235 but choose from the rest whomever you pre- fer, from the eldest down to the youngest.” They obeyed his behest, and upon withdrawing a short distance in the direction of the church, they took counsel together, and then sent two of the brethren back to Theodosius to beg him to designate the one chosen by God and his own holy prayer, and who should be agreeable to Theodosius himself. Theodosius then made answer. “If you desire to receive your prior from me, then I will appoint him not so much 158 The Russian Primary Chronicle from my own choice as by divine disposition,” and he designated the presbyter James. (187) This nominadon did not meet with the ap- proval of the brotherhood, who objected that James had not taken orders in the monastery, since he had come thither from Letets 230 with his brother Paul. They demanded rather Stephen the Cantor, who was then a pupil of Theodosius, and therefore said, “He has grown up under your hand and has served with you; appoint him as our prior.” Then Theodosius said, “By the commandment of God, I designated James, but you prefer that the appointment should coincide with your own wishes.” He gave way to their desire, however, and appointed Stephen to be their prior, and blessed him, saying, “My son! I give over to you this monastery. Guard it with care, and maintain what I have ordained in its observances. Change not the traditions and the instructions of the monastery, but follow in all things the law and our monastic rule.” The brethren then raised him up, carried him to his cell, and laid him upon his bed. At the beginning of the sixth day, while he was seriously ill, Prince Svyatoslav came to visit him with his son Gleb. While the Prince was sitting beside him, Theodosius said, “I depart from this world and entrust this monastery to your guardianship in the event that some disorder arises in it. I confer the priorate upon Stephen; let him not be offended.” 237 The Prince embraced him, and after promising to care for the monastery, departed from him. When the seventh day was come, while Theodosius was steadily growing weaker, he summoned Stephen and the brotherhood, and spoke to them these words: “Upon my departure from this world, if I have found favor with God and he has accepted me, then this monastery, after my de- cease, will grow and prosper through his help. In that event, know that God has accepted me. But if, after my death, the monastery begins to lose in membership (188) and income, be assured that I shall not have found favor in the sight of God.” When he had spoken thus, the brethren wept, saying, “Father, intercede with God for us, for we know that he will not scorn your labors.” They thus sat out the night with him, and at the begining of the eighth day, being the second Saturday after Easter, in the second hour of the day, he commended his soul into the hands of God, upon May 3, in the eleventh year of the indiction. The brethren thus mourned for him. Theodosius had given command that he should be buried in the crypt where he had performed many good works. He had also directed that his body should be buried by night, and they followed his in- junction in this respect. When evening was come, the brethren took 159 Laurentian Text (1074) up his body and laid it in the crypt, after conducting it thither in all honor with hymns and candles to the glory of our God Jesus Christ. While Stephen governed the monastery and the pious flock that Theodosius had gathered, these monks shone out like bright beacons throughout the land of Rus\ Some of them were constant in fasting, some in vigil, some in genuflexion, some in fasting every other day or every third day, others in living on bread and water only, still others in subsisting solely on boiled vegetables, and others only on raw food. They dwelt in love, while the young brethren obeyed the elder, not venturing to speak in their presencee, but always comporting them- selves obediently and with great consideration. Likewise the elder also gave proof of their love for their younger associates, admonished them, and consoled them like beloved sons. If any brother fell into some sin- ful way, they consoled him, and three or four of them shared the pen- ance of one brother out of their great affection for him. Such was the brotherly love and such the continence in this monastery. If any brother quit the monastery, all the rest were deeply afflicted on his account, (189) sent in search of him, and recalled him to the monastery. All the brethren then appeared before the prior, and kneeling at his feet, they besought him in their brother’s behalf, and received him again into the community with joy. Such was their charity, their continence, and their austerity. I shall mention a few eminent figures from their number. The first is Damian the presbyter. He was so austere and temperate that he lived only on bread and water till his death. If anyone brought to the monastery a child that was ill and suffering from any disease, or if an adult beset by an illness came to the monastery in search of the great Theodosius, the prior commanded this Damian to offer prayer in behalf of the patient. When he had then prayed and applied an oint- ment, those who had thus come to him were healed. When he himself fell sick and lay in his weakness at the point of death, an angel came to him in the semblance of Theodosius, and promised him the kingdom of heaven as a reward for his labors. A little later Theodosius himself came with the brethren and when he sat down beside the sick man, Damian in his weakness looked up at the prior and said, “Forget not, father prior, what you have promised me.” The great Theodosius understood forthwith that he had seen a vision, and said to him, “Brother Damian, that which I have promised shall be fulfilled.” Dam- ian then closed his eyes and commended his soul into the hands of God. The prior and his brethren then buried his body. There was likewise another brother named Jeremy, who remem- 160 The Russian Primary Chronicle bered the conversion of Rus’. (190) God had conferred upon him the gift of prophecy, and if he beheld any brother lost in reflection, he reproved him in secret and adjured him to guard against the devil. If any brother was contemplating deserdon from the monastery and Jeremy perceived his intent, he sought him out, reproved his though):, and consoled that brother. If he made any prophecy, whether good or evil, the ancient’s word was fulfilled. There was another ancient named Matthew, who also had the gift of second sight. When he was once standing in his place in the church, he lifted up his eyes, and on glancing at the brethren who stood singing on either side of him, he beheld a devil in the guise of a Pole, who carried in a fold of his garment certain flowers called lep\i. As this devil circulated among the brethren, he took a flower from his bosom and threw it at one of them, and if the flower attached itself to any one of the brethren who were singing, that brother, after standing awhile and weakening in endurance, sought some pretext and left the church. He then went to his cell and fell asleep, and did not return to the church before the close of the service. If the demon cast the flower at some other brother and it did not attach itself to him, he stood firm during the singing until the matins were over, and then went forth to his cell. When the old man beheld this occurrence, he reported it to his brethren. Upon another occasion, the ancient observed another curious occur- rence. When the old man, according to his custom, had once celebrated matins before dawn, the brethren had all departed to their cells, while he followed them somewhat later out of the church. As he walked along alone, he sat down to rest (191) under the bell, since his cell was rather far from the church. Then he noticed a crowd of people issuing forth from the gate, and as he raised his eyes, he saw one person who rode upon a swine, while others ran after him. Then tire old man inquired of them whither they were going. Then the demon who rode upon the swine replied, “After Michael ToPbekovich.” The old man straightway made the sign of the cross and went on to his cell. When day had dawned, the ancient reflected, and bade the porter go and inquire whither Michael was in his cell. The answer was returned that he had just jumped from the palisades after matins. The old man then recounted his vision to the prior and his brethren. During the lifetime of this venerable friar, Theodosius passed away, Stephen be- came prior, and then Stephen was succeeded by Nikon. Once while he was at matins, he raised his eyes to look upon Nikon the Prior, and saw an ass standing in the prior’s place, so that he understood that the Laurentian Text (1074) 161 prior had not yet arisen. The ancient likewise beheld many other visions, and died in this monastery at a ripe old age. There was also another monk named Isaac. While still in the world, he was very rich, since in the secular life he was by birth a merchant of Toropets. But he resolved to become a monk, and distributed his fortune to the needy and to the monasteries. He then approached the great Antonius in the crypt, and besought him to receive him into the order. Antonius accepted him, and put upon him the monastic habit, calling him (192) Isaac, for his secular name was Chern’. Isaac adopted an ascetic mode of life. He wrapped himself in a hair-shirt, then caused a goat to be brought, flayed it, and put on the skin over his hair-shirt, so that the flesh hide dried upon him. He shut himself up in a lonely gallery of the crypt in a narrow cell only four ells across, and there lamented and prayed to God. His sustenance was one wafer, and that only once a day, and he drank but moderately of water. The great Antonius carried it to him, and passed it in to him by a little window through which he inserted his arm. Thus Isaac received his food. He subsisted thus for seven years without seeing the light of day or even lying down upon his side, for he snatched what sleep he could in a sitting posture. Once, when evening had fallen, he had knelt till midnight singing psalms, as was his wont, and when he was wearied, he sat down upon his stool. As he sat there, and had as usual extinguished his candle, a light suddenly blazed forth in the crypt as if it shone from the sun, and strong enough to take away man’s vision. Two fair youths then approached him. Their faces were radiant like the sun, and they said to him, “Isaac, we are angels; Christ is drawing near to you. Fall down and worship him.” He did not understand their devilish artifice nor remember to cross himself, but knelt before the work of the demons as if to Christ himself. The demons then cried out and said, “Now, Isaac, you belong to us.” They led him back into his cell and set him down. They then seated themselves around him, and both the cell (193) and the aisle of the crypt was filled with them. One of the devils, who called himself Christ, bade them take flutes and lyres and lutes and play, so that Isaac could dance before them. So they struck up with flutes, lutes, and lyres, and began to make sport of him. After they had tormented him, they left him half alive, and went away when they had beaten him. The next day at dawn, when it was time to break bread, Antonius came to the window according to his custom and said, “May the Lord bless you, Father Isaac.” But there was no answer. Then Antonius said, 162 The Russian Primary Chronicle “He has already passed away,” so he sent into the monastery in search of Theodosius and the brethren. After digging out the entrance where it had been walled up, they entered and lifted him up, thinking him dead, and carried him out in front of the crypt. They then perceived that he was still alive, and Theodosius the prior said, “This comes from the devil’s artifice.” They laid him upon a bier, and Antonius cared for him. About this same time it happened that Izyaslav returned from Poland, and was angry with Antonius on account of Vseslav, so that Svyatoslav caused Antonius to escape by night to Chernigov. When Antonius arrived there, he was attracted by the Boldiny hills, and after digging another crypt, he settled there. At that spot in the Boldiny hills, there is a monastery dedicated to the Virgin even to this day. When Theodosius learned that Antonius (194) had fled to Chernigov, he came with his brethren, took Isaac, and bore him to his own cell, where he cared for him. For Isaac was so weakened in body that he could not turn from one side to the other, nor rise up, nor sit down, but he lay always upon one side, and relieved himself as he lay, so that numerous worms were caused under his back by his excrement. Theo- dosius washed and dressed him with his own hands, and for two years cared for him thus. It is wondrous and strange that he lay thus for two years, tasting neither bread nor water nor any other food nor fruit, nor did he speak with his tongue, but lay deaf and dumb for the whole two years. Theodosius prayed to God in his behalf, and offered supplications over him by day and by night, until in the third year he spoke and heard, rose upon his feet like a babe, and began to walk. He would not go faithfully to church, but the brethren carried him thither by force; they also taught him to go to the refectory, but seated him apart from the rest of the brethren. They set bread before him, but he would not take it unless they placed it in his hand. Theodosius then said, “Leave the bread before him, but do not put it in his hand, so that he can eat of his own volition.” For a week he ate nothing, but gradually he became aware (195) of the bread and tasted it. Thus he began to eat, and by this means Theodosius freed him from the craft of the devil. Isaac then assumed severe abstinence. When Theodosius was dead and Stephen was prior in his stead, Isaac said, “Demon, you deceived me once when I sat in a lonely spot. I must not confine myself in the crypt, but must vanquish you while I frequent the monastery.” He then dad himself in a hair-shirt, and put on over this a sackcloth coat, and began to act strangely. He undertook to help the cooks in the’ 163 Laurentian Text (1074) preparation of food for the brotherhood. He went to matins earlier than the others, and stood firm and immovable. When winter came with its heavy frosts, he stood in shoes so worn that his feet froze to the pavement, but he would not move his feet till matins were over. After matins, he went to the kitchen, and made ready the fire, the water, and the wood before the other cooks came from the brother- hood. There was one cook who was also named Isaac, who mocked at Isaac and said, “There sits a black crow; go and catch it.” Isaac bowed to the ground before him, then went and caught the crow, and brought it back to him in the presence of all the cooks. They were frightened and reported it to the prior and the brotherhood, who began to respect him. But not being desirous of human glory, he began to act strangely, (196) and to play tricks, now on the prior, now on the brethren, and now on laymen, so that the others dealt him blows. Then he began to wander through the country, acting like an idiot. He settled in the crypt where he had formerly lived, for Antonius was already dead. He gathered young men about him and laid upon them the monastic habit, so that he suffered blows from the Prior Nikon as well as from the parents of these youths. But he suffered these hardships, and will- ingly endured blows and nakedness and cold by day and by night. One night he lit the stove in a cabin by the crypt. When the stove was heated, fire began to issue forth from the crevices, for it was old and cracked. Since he had nothing to put over the stove, he braced his bare feet against the flame till the stove burned out, and then left it. Many other stories were told about him, and I myself witnessed some such occurrences. Thus he won his victory over the demons, holding their terrors and apparitions of as little account as flies. For he said to them, “You did indeed deceive me the first time in the crypt, since I did not perceive your craft and cunning. But now that I have on my side the Lord Jesus Christ and my God and the prayers of my father Theodosius, I hope to vanquish you.” Many times the demons harassed him, and said, “You belong to us, for you have worshipped us and our leader.” (197) But he replied, “Your chief is Antichrist and you are demons,” and signed his countenance with the Cross. At this they disappeared. Sometimes, however, they came upon him again by night, and fright- ened him in his dreams, appearing like a great company with mattocks and spades, and saying, “We will undermine the crypt, and bury this man within it,” while others exclaimed, “Fly, Isaac, they intend to bury you alive.” But he made answer, “If you were men, you would have 164 The Russian Primary Chronicle come by day; but you are darkness and come in darkness, and the darkness shall swallow you up.” Then he made the sign o£ the Cross against them, and they vanished. On other occasions, they endeavored to terrify him in the form of a bear, sometimes as a wild beast and sometimes as a bull. Now snakes beset him, and now toads, mice, and every other reptile. But they could not harm him, and said to him, “Isaac, you have vanquished us!” He replied, “You conquered me in the image of Jesus Christ and his angels, of whose sight you are unworthy. But now you righdy appear in the guise of beasts and catde or as the snakes and reptiles that you are, repulsive and evil to behold.” Thereupon the demons left him, and he suffered no more evil at their hands. As he himself related, his struggle against them lasted for three years. (198) Then he began to live still more stricdy, and to pracdce absdnence, fasting, and vigil. After thus living out his life, he finally came to his end. He fell sick in his crypt, and was carried in his illness to the monastery, where he died in the Lord upon the eighth day. The Prior John and the brethren clothed his body and buried him. Such were the monks of the monastery of Theodosius, who shine forth like radiant beacons since their decease, and intercede with God in behalf of the brethren here below, as well as for the lay brother- hood and for those who contribute to the monastery in which to this day the brotherhood abides together in virtuous life amid hymns, pray- ers, and obedience, to the glory of Almighty God, and protected by the intercession of Theodosius, to whom be glory, Amen.


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