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Mykola Zharkikh (Kyiv)

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Theodosius Sofonovych (1670)

Nicholas Zharkikh

Abstract of the chapter

Detailed argumentation in ukrainian version

But considering the success in the commercialization of the relics, we ran a little ahead. Coming down to F.Sofonovych.

The next stage of the legend formation recorded in already quoted "Tale of st.Barbara's miracles", written by F.Sofonovych in 1669..1670. There it presented as follows:

The relics of St. Barbara at what time and way to Kyiv to the church of St. Archangel Michael were transferred, in the chronicles are not recorded, and if any writing had existed, when Kyiv long time stood deserted and monasteries were destroyed, then writing perished.

But from the old people we have story: when great prince Michael Svjatopolk great-grandson of St. Vladimir had ruled in Kyiv, a gift from the Greek king was send – holy relics of St. Barbara. And he [Svjatopolk] built Church of St. Michael in his name dated from the World's creation 6616, then placed in the church the holy relics of St. Barbara, which to this day are imperishable. [Sofonovych F. . – In the book: Sofonovych F. Chronicle of ancient chroniclers, K., Scientific Thought, 1992, p. 260]

Importantly, Sofonovych frankly admitted that the whole story was his own product ("in the chronicles are not recorded "). Reference to the "old people" who talk from the memory about Prince Svjatopolk (who lived 5.5 centuries before Sofonovych) – is an obvious literary fiction.

In this second edition of the Kyiv legend all rational historical moments of the first edition were rejected, left only the fact of the Byzantine origin of the relics:

- instead of Emperor Basil the Macedonian featured unnamed Byzantine king;

- instead of Prince Vladimir featured his grandson Svjatopolk;

- motivation to Emperor's action (relics given as a gift for bride of Prince) completely eliminated;

- the date of the event moved from 988 to 1108-th – the year of foundation of St. Michael 's Cathedral (noted in chronicle).

Why the first version of the legend did not adopted – we will not solve. We note only that the second edition has not even the shadow of a weak historical features which allow first edition. It is equally important that in this edition no princess Barbara yet!