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Mykola Zharkikh (Kyiv)

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Source value of description

N.I. Zharkikh

Description is a very valuable historical source (in brackets I put assessment according to assess the credibility rank of historical sources, proposed by me):

1, it was recorded by eyewitnesses and contemporaries (and sometimes – even the participant) of events (estimate – 0, the highest possible);

2, description has not been processed by a later editoring, and all of its bias trends are a reflection of the author (estimate – 0, the highest possible);

3, the author of description was Orthodox (ie there was no religious barrier separated him from the described realities); he had access to many details of religious life, for which were indifferent or had no access to the Catholics authors (estimate – 1, the highest possible);

4, the author had a good enough education and belonged to the religious elite; this opened the doors for him to the first persons of countries he visited. He saw by own eyes Moldavian gospodar Basil Lupu, Ukraine's hetman Bohdan Khmelnytsky and his son Timothy, the Russian Tsar Alexis and Patriarch Nikon.

5, description is extremely detaileds and leaves no doubt – the author was aware of the things about which he wrote (estimate – 1, the highest possible).

6, many records contain detailed (up to one day) dating; those records that have no direct dates in the text can be dated to within a few days, based on trip context (estimate – 1, the highest possible).

The only minus for Paul was a language barrier – because in those countries through which he passed, nobody, probably not possessed neither Arabic nor Turkish, also he don't knew Slavic languages. The intermediate language was Greek, that should be considered when using the work (estimate – -1, the lowest possible).

Thus, for the six estimated parameters description Paul won five highest ratings, indicating the high cost source.

A notable feature of the Paul's style is a positive mood and disposition to the widespread use of higher and superlative degrees. While in Orthodox countries, Paul generously gives positive evaluation and makes so, seemly, without any thoughts in secret. For example, while he stayed in Iasi he note:

Also gave us peaches, plums and cherries, candied, so delicious, that one can thought that they had just ripped off the tree […] It is said that in Iasi thirty churches and monasteries. In the city is easy to breathe: its air and water are excellent and very enjoyable, better than all the other cities of this country.

It is hard to imagine that these superlatives highlighted by us had a political or ideological purpose, they should consider features of Paul's writer features (perhaps it was not his individuality, perhaps, so was taken to write in the cultural circle, to which Paul belonged and for which he wrote; but to meditate on this subject, we should further expand the context of the investigation).

Numeric data that suggests Paul often seem exaggerated, and sometimes – much exaggerated (for example, 500 000 troops of Khmelnytsky). All they require careful treatment and testing (where possible). However, be aware that such exaggeration is a characteristic not only of Paul and not only a 17 th century. So even though today the statistics on the portal convinces us that Ukraine has 14 million Internet users, when there are actually no more than 5 million.

Overall description of the Makarius' trip must be recognized as primary historical source.