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Mykola Zharkikh (Kyiv)

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Reconstruction of the "Belarusian" chronicle

Nicholas Zharkikh

Shortened text of the section. Full text in ukrainian version

Let us now sum up our observations on the structure and sources of "Belarusian" chronicles.

The first conclusion is that all four copies derived from the same protograph, which we denote Bil0L. Its copies are independent treatments, cuts, none of the existing copies can not be deduced simply from the other, each has a deteriorations and improvements in comparison to other readings.

Composition Bil0L can be reconstructed as follows:

The composition of the «Belarusian»…

The composition of the "Belarusian" chronicle in different copies

The second conclusion is that Bil0L formed in two stages. The first stage the annals has been brought to 1427, the second after 1446 – supplemented by materials from the "Vytautas" and Smolensk chronicles.

The first part Bil0L – from the beginning to 1427 – is a separate product that can be called Epitome (abbreviated chronicle) Metropolitan Photios (EMF).

The basis of the reconstruction of EMF have to take the most comprehensive copy – Bil2L, although it abounds with bad read fragments.

What was the purpose of drawing up EMF? If I wrote a historical novel, I would have thought, the supreme authority fell on the shoulders of prince Vasily II in 1425, when he was only 10 years old. He had to learn, and the Metropolitan Photius decided to compile a handbook on the history of the Moscow ruling kin for him. Perhaps it was more for the benefit for the teacher than the student. But the student had to learn that he is a descendant and successor of glorious traditions of the state.

Later, after 1436, EMF has been supplemented by materials from the "Vytautas" chronicle (almost certainly it was protograph Vit4L, since it contains Praise of Vytautas 2nd edition). Protograph Vit4L may not be completely arranged manuscript, but a set of separate notebooks, the order of which has not yet been definitively established. So in Bil0L "Tale of Švitrigaila" not quite logical climbed between the story of the Congress rulers and Praise of Vytautas.

Thus, in the mid-15th century (supposedly in 1446 – 1450 years) in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania was finally formed two independent in the base, but mutually related historical works – "Vytautas" Chronicle (better represented in Vit4L) and "Belarusian" chronicle (Bil0L, better copies – Bil1L and Bil2L).

Interaction of the two traditions of…

Interaction of the two traditions of the chronicles Grand Duchy of Lithuania

After that chronicles the Grand Duchy of Lithuania once again stopped at 40 – 50 years, recovering only in the late 15th century. (It is from this period come the first preserved to our time copies – Vit1L and Bil1L).