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Mykola Zharkikh (Kyiv)

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Literary history "Tale of the death in the Horde of Prince Michael of Chernihiv
and the boyar Fedor"

Nicholas Zharkikh

On September 20, 1246, Prince Michael Vsevolodovych, who once ruled in Chernihiv, and his boyar Fedor were executed in the Horde by order of Batu. This event impressed contemporaries and descendants, and was reflected not only in short records of contemporaries, but also in much longer later texts, which are generally called "Tale of the Death in the Horde of Prince Michael of Chernihiv and Boyar Fedor" (SMF).

This Tale had long and interesting literary history that is worth exploring in some detail.

Looking ahead, I would like to say that although the SMF is used by historians as a source of factual information about the event of 1246, it is in fact a purely literary work, valuable only to the literary historian and historiographer. The actual data available in it do not exceed what our contemporaries told us. From the SMF you can see how literary tastes and literary techniques have developed, as well as how the view of the events of the mid-13th century has changed over the centuries.

Kyiv, August 10 – December 7, 2021

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