SHIBAEV M.A. Deacon Oleshka Pavlov and Bookwriting in Kirillo-Belozersky Monastery in the First Half of the 15th Century


Mikhail A. Shibaev

Candidate of Sciences (History), Head of Department of Information and Bibliographic Services at the Division of Manuscripts,

National Library of Russia

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Sadovaya St., 18, 191069 Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation

Abstract. The article is devoted to one of the writers who created the books for Kirillo-Belozersky Monastery. Deacon Oleshka Pavlov was the teacher of grammar and the booklore mentor of Martinian of Belozersk who later became reverend as well as some other monks. The analysis of the acts and the hagiographical texts allows to reconstruct the biography of the scriber and to come to the conclusion, that the deacon of the parish temple Oleshka had not got the direct connection with Kirillo-Belozersky Monastery, he lived outside, in Feodosjin town with his father, priest Pavel. The article includes the autographs of Oleshka and determines the chronological borders of the books, which were rewritten by him: from the 1410s to the second half of 1440s. In the article the earlier works of the predecessors – R. Romanchuk, E.E. Shevchenko, I. Ševčenco, etc. were critically analyzed. Besides, the books with the inscriptions of Oleshka, four books, which were written with participation of deacon, were identified. Oleshka had half-uncial handwriting of not very good quality and, clearly, he wasn’t a professional calligrapher. Moreover, some manuscripts were commissioned to him, and not only by Kirillo-Belozersky monastery. Most of the books which were written by Oleshka were not noted in the monasterial register of the books by the middle of the 1480s.

The codicological observations on the one of the manuscripts allowed to come to the conclusion that the deacon was able to contact with the monasterial direction only sporadically, he received the written orders. So, it is not likely, that Oleshka was the director of the junior school for the young inhabitants of Kirillo-Belozersky monastery. In the first half of the 15th century, Kirillo-Belozersky monastery was forced to use the local clerics as well as brothers for book writing. The research on Oleshka’s biography allowed to come to the conclusion, that the organization of book writing in Kirillo-Belozersky monastery was of comparatively low level in the first half of the 15th century.

Key words: Kirillo-Belozersky Monastery, Reverend Kirill Belozersky, Reverend Martinian Belozersky, Oleshka Pavlov, hegumen Trifon, Old Russian literature, codicology.

Лицензия Creative Commons 

Deacon Oleshka Pavlov and Bookwriting in Kirillo-Belozersky Monastery in the First Half of the 15th Century by Shibaev M.A. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. 

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