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Mykola Zharkikh (Kyiv)

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Silence of sources 15 – 16 cent.

Nicholas Zharkikh

Abstract of the chapter

Detailed argumentation in ukrainian version

Historical sources, compiled before the end of the 16th century, unanimously silent about existence of the relics. Silent about it:

- italian ambassador Ambrose Contarini, who visited Kyiv in 1474;

- polish historian and geographer Matthew Miechowsky (, 1517);

- austrian baron Sigismund Herberstein ("Notes on Muscovy" in 1549, compiled on the basis of ambassadorial trips in 1517 and 1526). Miechowsky and Herberstein did not visited Kyiv personally, but were interested in it and gave quite detailed information about it, but there were no notes on st. Barbara.

Silent about these relics first documents about the restoration of the monastery (1496 – 1576 years).

German merchant from Gdansk Martin Gruneweg visited Kyiv in 1584 and gave a detailed description on the basis of his own observations. This detailed description contain a separate section dedicated to St. Michael's Cathedral [Isaievych Ya. D. New source of historical topography and architecture of ancient Kiev. – "Kievan Rus: culture, tradition", Kyiv, 1982, p. 125 – 127]. In particular, he gave an explanation on which occasion the dome was gilded. Gruneweg also made a separate picture of the cathedral. He specifically noted that at the church lives cleric (should guess from whom he had heard stories about gilding). Of course, this cleric drew Gruneweg's attention on Barbara's relics – generally respected by all Christian holy – if the legend of these relics at that time had been formed. Gruneweg lively interested in religious affairs, and willingly noted information about all of the sanctuary, which he met. Therefore we have no reason to believe that the notes on st.Barbara fell from his description of the low attention to religious affairs or through religious bias. The only possible explanation for his silence – this legend did not yet exist.