East Slavic vusual writing: The inception of tradition

East Slavic vusual writing: The inception of tradition

Tatiana Nazarenko

The synthesis of the verbal and the visual message can be observed in many early literary works from various cultures. The earliest literary sources, with unconventional textual configuration, known as technopeignia,1 were created in the Hellenistic period (between 325 B.C.E. and C.E. 200) by individuals such as Simmias of Rhodos and Theocritus. These were followed by a few Byzantine pattern poems, tabuloe iliacce by the Rome-based Greek poet Theodoros (between 50 B.C.E. and C.E. 50), anonymous Greek and Latin samples from early Christian period, some shaped texts by two Latin poets Lavius (Ist century C.E.) and Optatian (fl. C.E. 325),2 and versus intexti invented by latter.3 The listing of the Eastern Slavic visual texts traditionally begins with the Baroque period. Ivan Velychkovskyi (seventeenth century) and Mytrofan Dovhalevskyi (eighteenth century) are usually referred to as the poets who made the most valuable contribution to the development of Ukrainian visual poetry; while the Russian court poet of Belarusian descent, educated in Ukraine, Samuil Petrovskii-Sitnianovich, known by his monastic name Simeon Polotskii (1629-1680), is credited as the author of Russian carmina figurata. Even though Ukrainian visual poetry was fully established within the framework of the Baroque period, and in Russia this poetic form originated in the Baroque era, Eastern Slavic visual writing has a longer tradition than it is commonly believed.

It is difficult to establish exactly when Eastern Slavic visual writing originated. However, its introduction was unquestionably connected with the conversion of Kievan Rus’ to Christianity. Christianity, which came from Greek Byzantium,4 bringing with it the verbal culture of Constantinople.5 The Greek Orthodox Church introduced Byzantine education, literature and art to its newly converted neighbour, thus setting grounds for a new literary activity in Kievan Rus’. The works, which reached the Eastern Slavs were exclusively religious texts, “oriented towards establishing proper monastic habits than toward serious systematic theology or philosophical inquiry.”6 They met the Christian demands in the Kievan land, and therefore served their purpose. No doubt, they were not the finest part of the Byzantium literary tradition. However, the question of the existence of the Byzantine visual poetry (or visual literature in general) as a popular, or at least developed literary genre remains open. Visual poetry expert, Dick Higgins, who documented several Byzantine pieces of pattern poetry,7 doubts the potential of the Byzantine culture, which influenced the Kievan literature, to develop visual poetry as a specific poetic form. In his opinion, formally conservative Byzantine literature “is not notably visual” and thus “it is not the sort of milieu where one might expect to find much pattern poetry,” although some pieces do exist.8 Nonetheless, Higgins suggests that the pillage of the Byzantine libraries in 1204 during the Fourth Crusade, as well as the collapse of Constantinople in 1453, might quite possibly have resulted in the destruction of many manuscripts.9

The question of the possible import of this intellectual product from Byzantium to the Kievan Rus’ is more complex. Western and Eastern European scholars both share the opinion that Byzantine literature was represented in the diversity of genres and forms of both religious and secular writing. There is little plausibility, however, that Byzantium could direct secular literature to the newly converted lands. The literary works which continued “the antique practice in the most refined traditions of formalism and scholastic casuistry and which were created for the Byzantine nobility” had never been exported to the Kievan Rus’ which was perceived as a Byzantine cultural colony.10

The works, which were sent to Kievan Rus’, either met the most imperative needs of the Christian religious leaders or else they could promote by their specific features and content the Byzantine cultural hegemony over the “barbarians” who had to be “civilized.”11 It is debateable whether that the “dogmatically narrow framework served to retard rather than encourage the development of verbal culture”12 among the Eastern Slavs, and yet these religious texts, however narrow and unsophisticated their application, were the most available material for the development of a written culture in the Kievan Rus’.

Byzantine religious books were originally hand copied. Calligraphy and ornamentation was widely used in the layouts of the exported religious texts and it inspired Kievan copyists and authors in their own artistic pursuits. According to Dmitrii Likhachev in Kievan Rus’ literature “a word and the image were linked closer than in the modern time.”13 The artistic representation was based on religious and secular texts; art illustrated scenes from the Scriptures and Apocrypha, vitae of saints and martyrs, or various events from chronicles. In their creative interpretation, medieval artists often made up for the deficiency of the textual expressiveness. Thus, “the word itself was the basis for many works of art serving as a peculiar ‘protograph’ or `archetype.”’14 The oldest dated monument of East Slavic literature, the Ostromir Gospel (1056-1057) was richly adorned with variegated floral ornamentation, frames and the sophisticated design of the initial letters. The Izbornik (Miscellany) of 1073-the collection of theological texts, historical essays as well as a treatise on poetics copied from the Bulgarian original for Prince Sviatoslav of Kiev-apart from the decorative elements contains fragments of shaped texts whose meaning is partially conveyed by the way they look on the page. In the Izbornik of 1076(15)-a compilation of religious and moral advice for laymen-the technique of figurative chapter tailpieces was used for both practical and artistic purposes. This tendency towards rich visual and verbal ornamentation is noticeable in other literary works of eleventh-twelfth centuries. As Dmytro Chyzhevskyi observes,

[T]he 11th and the beginning of the 12th century were in Byzantium and in the West a period of transition to the “highly ornate” and “amplified” style. This process of transition took place both in Byzantine literature and in the Latin literature of Western Europe, as well as in the national languages where such already existed. This literary transition among the Eastern Slavs merely proves that the Eastern Slavs were part of all-European world of letters and underwent the same processes. Important influences from the West were possible among the eastern Slavs mainly through Byzantine mediation.16

In his study of early Slavic literature, Chyzhevskyi pays attention primarily to the variety of ornamental adornments in the style and the complexity of East Slavic literature of the eleventh-thirteenth centuries. He notes that a profuse and consistent application of artistic devices and symbolic imagery (especially when symbols are used exclusively for the purpose of stylistic ornamentation) often conceals “entirely the leading thought of the work.”17 The same tendency towards a more complicated visual composition was one of characteristics of early East Slavic manuscripts, which contained lavishly adorned coloured illuminations, highly decorative frontispieces, tail-pieces and initial letters of each chapter or section, etc. The period of the eleventh-twelfth centuries is rightfully considered to be the Golden Age of the Kievan literature, when the most valuable works of the Eastern Slavic legacy were created. At the same time, the art of manuscript ornamentation was highly developed and the traditions of the manuscript layout and decoration were set. These traditions, as well as the influence of the Kievan literary school in a broad sense, were quite noticeable in later centuries in the new cultural centres of Southern and later Northern Rus’, even after Kiev’s cultural expansion gradually decreased and finally ended. Thus, describing the Old Slavic page layout, the well-known Russian palaeographer Karskii refers to several postscripts in the form of a circle or a funnel in the Russian manuscripts of the fifteenth century. Further he states that in the sixteenth century, this manner of writing was transferred to the first printed books18 (Fig. 1). However, the same funnel-like ending appeared for the first time (or at least was documented) in the Kievan Izbornik (Miscellany) of 1076 (Fig. 2), drawing the reader’s attention to the completion of a text fragment in a distinctly eye-pleasing manner and simultaneously diversifying the page layout.

Kievan manuscript ornamentation was based on two principle styles: the geometrical one, borrowed from Byzantium and widely used in the eleventh-twelfth centuries, and the teratological (concerned with the depiction of monsters and other fantastic creatures), which was most probably adopted from Bulgaria and flourished from the second part of the thirteenth up to the fifteenth century. The conversion from the geometrical to the teratological style was prepared by the kind of transitional style or manner known as “barbaric.” This manner was geometrical in its nature, although its elements were visibly distorted and decorated by faunal patterns instead of floral ones. Generally, Kiev and Novgorod calligraphers imitated the elaborate Byzantine style with a high degree of accuracy and skill, while the provincial scribers and draughtsmen, who in most cases could not understand the details of Byzantine ornamentation, simplified and mixed them with their own ethnic motifs in the process of copying.19 The “living creature” motif, whether it was a bird, a snake, an animal or a human being, was the dominant one in the “barbaric” manner. Later this tendency was developed by the teratological style, where the initial not only freed the motif of the “living creature” but also “gave it an independent meaning by turning it into a kind of miniature, which in most cases could not be easily recognized as a definite letter.”20 It is interesting that this approach to a typesetting which is meant to be perceived as an art work in addition to its function as an orthographic symbol, was revived by the twentieth-century graphics and poets, primarily concerned with the pictorial dimensions of letters. In 1917-1919 the Ukrainian graphic artist Heorhii Narbut created fifteen alphabet compositions for his incomplete series Abetka [Alphabet] employing stylized letter, some of which show a resemblance to early Kievan manuscript initials (Fig. 3) The “poezographical” compositions of Ukrainian practitioners Tetiana and Volodymyr Chuprynin are first and foremost perceived as refined works of graphic art. In each composition the letters are arranged in a sequence in perspective which spell out the definite word, i.e. mif [myth] (Fig. 4), and dim [house or home] (Fig. 5), while at the same time provide the viewer with an elaborate motif. Beginning in 1928 Russian born artist Romain de Tirtoff known as Erte started creating his famous alphabet shaping anthropomorphized letters. In writing his own name in stylized format the artists occasionally used Old Church Slavonic titlo over the last letter of his name. Currently, both Ukrainian visual poet and graphic artist Myroslav Korol’ and Ukrainian-Canadian visual practitioner, Jars Balan, have created composition in a similar anthropomorphic vein, with personalized letterforms and typographical signs distorted in a pictorial fashion.

It is debatable whether the Baroque creators of the carmina curiosa (whose accomplishments are consciously employed by the contemporary visualists) were aware of the legacy of the Kievan period. However, Mykola Soroka, researching Ukrainian sixteenth-eighteenth centuries visual poetry links it to the first experimentation with the text and the visual image attempted by the early Kievan authors.21

In Kievan manuscripts, individual letters, especially initials, were created as a separate composition or miniature, standing apart from the body of the text. Other decorative elements (multi-coloured drawings, ornamentations, illuminations, etc.) were often inserted into the text and even interfered with the discourse itself. They both illustrated the text and provided its commentary by using ample explicative devices.22 The specific layout of early East Slavic manuscripts considerably influenced the reader’s perception of the text as an integral part of the whole body of the work. The same tendency can be traced in the medieval icon-painting. Most captions and inscriptions accompanying the pictorial images were not mechanically transferred from the known texts but skilfully adjusted to the particular pictorial setting.23 As Likhachev suggests:

A word appeared not only in its auditory essence but also in its visual context. It was not just a word in the general sense but a specific word of a specific text. To a certain extent it was also timeless. That is why the captions were so organically integrated into composition, becoming an ornamental element of the icon. And that is why it was so important to embellish the text with initials and miniatures, to produce a beautiful page, even write with a beautiful stroke.24

Together with the period’s highly elevated style, this fusion of verbal and visual devices represented “the world in considerably more vivid colours, with stress on its luxury, riches, colours, and gold…”25 in both a literal and figurative sense.

Probably, the most interesting and original examples of Kievan visualized and ornamented texts are represented by the medieval graffiti. The graffiti messages deal with both religious (mostly supplications to God and saints) and secular matters. The latter form only a small part of the Kievan epigraphic legacy, as the clergy persistently destroyed them for censorship reasons.26 It is possible to suggest that graffiti’s authors enjoyed a greater freedom of expression than did medieval manuscript copyists or icon-painters, as in most cases their creative endeavours were not commissioned. Admittedly, Byzantine ornamental tradition influenced the way graffiti were shaped and arranged in the interiors (and to a lesser extent in the exteriors, where in most cases they have not survived) of the eleventh-thirteenth century architectural monuments, as some graffiti demonstrated their authors’ familiarity with the technique of manuscript ornamentation.27 And yet the graffiti’s authors often resorted to challenging experimentation.

The richest graffiti collection (416 inscriptions) is preserved in St. Sophia Cathedral, the Byzantine style cathedral modelled on the Hagia Sophia of Constantinople. It was completed in 1037 at the height of Kievan Rus’ during the reign of Prince Iaroslav the Wise. Among other monuments notable for their epigraphical findings from that period, are the Golden Gates and the Vydubychy Monastery in Kiev (both built in the eleventh century), churches and edifices above catacombs as well as in caves of the eleventh-century Kievan Cave Monastery, the twelfth-century Church of St. Cyril in Kiev and the eleventhcentury Sophia Cathedral in Novgorod.28

The shape and spatial arrangement in Kievan and Novgorodian graffiti, as well as the make-up and size of letters vary considerably, thus attracting the eye by visual form in addition to the message itself.29 Some medieval inscriptions and drawings strike one by their refined technique and apparent artistic qualities. Thus, a gravestone inscription in the Near Caves of the Kievan Cave Monastery dating from 1150, attracts attention by its truly calligraphic properties (Fig. 6). The letters of the inscription are neat, clearly cut, well-balanced and elegant. The text is aligned properly, as if on a page. The visual power of the image is intensified by the red paint inserted into each individual letter.30 The carving was obviously done by a professional literate copyist. It is readily visible that the letters resemble the decorative style characteristic of Medieval Slavic manuscripts, although the inscription is carved on the sandstone. In fact, many scholars observe that in terms of their decorative character, many Kievan graffiti are highly reminiscent of the early Christian texts or metal engravings, which typically adorned chalices, crosses and other objects of early Eastern Slavic culture.31 Being informative messages, they simultaneously perform an explicit aesthetic function.

Some Kievan graffiti are framed. This framing device intensifies the graphic properties of the message by visually singling it out from the rest of the mural inscriptions. Occasionally the framed text is shaped as a triangle or trapezium, strengthening its visual potential, since the diagonal line is generally perceived as more exciting and sensational.32 In this case as both the frame and the shape compliments each other (Fig. 7).

Other graffiti are decorated with various symbols and pictorial images. Religious images (accompanying or overlapping the graffiti) are usually identified as “symbolic drawings,”33 although their actual meaning can be interpreted in various ways, especially if the inscription resists decoding. This category includes the diverse Christian crucifixes (varying in their design and configuration), monograms of Jesus Christ, praying hands, images of prelates or saints, or various magic signs. Some of the symbolic drawings possess a complex if not technically sophisticated design, such as the documented magic sign, based on the four-ended cross, whose extended beams are transformed into a complicated weave, located in the north-west tower of the Kievan St. Sophia Cathedral.34 On all sides of the sign, the monograms of Jesus Christ are noticeable. However, the image’s semantics remain unclear.

Another example of a composition containing a symbolical meaning is the one in the apse of the St. Michael side-altar in the same cathedral. It depicts a militant looking warrior (or a regal ruler with a mace) strangling a snake, which typically represents the devil in Christian lore,35 and for an enemy in Old Slavic folklore (Fig. 8). Due to the fact that the composition is located in one of the altars, accessible only by priests, it is possible to suggest that the warrior’s triumphant victory most likely symbolizes the victory of the Christianity over the paganism.36 The partially preserved inscription implicitly suggests the same as it is referred to a sinner who was probably pagan. However, by no means can it be considered the drawing’s title. Most likely the verbal element duplicates the message conveyed by the visual image, thus intensifying its significance, which was characteristic of ancient South and Eastern Slavic writing. For the medieval author, neither media, if used separately, seemed to sufficiently convey the message’s spiritual and emotive connotation. He attempted fusing the visual and the verbal levels in his composition to ensure the more comprehensive and all– round (within the available means) presentation.

The secular images and scenes, mostly drawings of warriors, birds and animals, or genres scene, including the appreciation of ancient feats of valour, a criminal’s punishment, the prancing horse as well as geometrical ornaments, resembling labyrinths, are not that frequent. Most drawings are accompanied by a verbal message. Unfortunately, many of them are badly preserved, which prevents their full decoding or more accurate interpretation of the depicted scene.

The graffiti’s pictorial components are of a predominantly aesthetic nature. But even those drawings with accompanying graffiti which are identified as “secular drawings,”37 they often convey a symbolic message in addition to pleasing the viewer and influence his/her perception, as in the graffito in the south external gallery of St. Sophia Cathedral (Fig. 9). The figure of the jumping horse, common for Kievan graffiti merges with both, the undeciphered linear inscription in the top and the capital letter in the middle of the composition, creating a multi-layered image. The horse is depicted in the process of jumping over the front letter (identified as Cyrillic V38) and then charging towards another capital letter (which can possibly be identified as Cyrillic V39 or B) in the left corner of the composition. The Christian crucifix image both at the cross at the top of the composition and the letter “T” within the inscription obviously conveys a Christian religious meaning, which may have various specific connotations depending on the nature of the verbal message. The ornamentation of the graffito capital letter is much simpler and plainer than it would have been the manuscript format.40 Thus, it is difficult to say whether the author was directly influenced by the ornamentation style of Kievan manuscripts. However, the individual details of this ornamentation (swirls of ribbon in particular) do not exclude such a possibility.

The authors of both, symbolic and secular, every day compositions often resort to the technique of “artistic diminution,”41 most likely for establishing the hierarchy of the pictorial images in the context of the graffiti when the most significant figure in the scene (a saint, a warrior or other pictorial image) considerably exceeds all other figures in size. In this case, the idea is communicated primarily through a visual image, not necessarily duplicated at the verbal level. The same technique was used in medieval Russian icon painting.42

Besides being written in two alphabets, the Glagolitic and the Cyrillic, Kievan graffiti vary in their letter style, arrangement and layout. Although the inscriptions are most commonly arranged horizontally, there are several instances of semi-circular and vertical arrangement. Few inscriptions are written in large double-lined letters (Fig. 10); occasionally double letters are ornamented with floral wreathing and animal’s heads (Fig. 11). The latter technique, widely used in the early Kievan manuscripts,43 makes the letters look more volumetric, although it should be noted that Byzantine tradition emphasized two– dimentionality.44 Manuscript copyists employed this technique to decorate the text and to direct the reader’s attention to the especially important fragments. Most likely the graffiti authors were motivated by the same considerations.45 In any case, this particular inscription apparently stands out against others, less technically and aesthetically sophisticated graffiti.

Archaeological research in Novgorod’s St. Sophia Cathedral also revealed several striking inscriptions. On the south side of the vestry, there is a graffito from the turn of the thirteenth century, which is inserted between the spurs of the sign identified by some palaeographers as Kiev prince’s trident46 (Fig. 12). Another interesting example is the twelfth-century inscription inside the cross with the mutually perpendicular arrangement of words (Fig. 13). Horizontally it reads “To the Saviour,” but the meaning of the whole inscription remains obscure.47 Interestingly, that later the same perpendicular arrangement of words began to be used on tomb stones. Several inscriptions of the eleventh and twelfth centuries are written in the reverse order,48 although the palaeographers who reported and documented them do not refer to them as a form of wordplay or cryptographic writing. Soroka is inclined to identify the intention behind the reverse writing of the text as the authors’ craving for originality.49 He does not view unorthodox inscriptions as hypothetical magical formulas. Admittedly, without documentation neither interpretation of reverse writing can be justified. Nonetheless, it would not be erroneous to ascribe some experimental whim to medieval graffiti authors. The inscriptions with unorthodox layout (even those which are not samples of cryptographic writing) presented a challenge for the medieval reader, as their decoding required more efforts than the reading of the plain text with a typical left-to-right sequence of letters. In this sense, medieval graffiti are akin to contemporary visual poems, which presume the reader’s active participation in the decoding game.

As it has been already mentioned, just like craftsmen ornamenting their works with inscriptions, graffiti authors enjoyed more creative freedom than the copyists of the religious manuscripts. In most cases, they were fully responsible for the semantics of their inscriptions (within established limitations, of course) as well as for their design, layout and ornamentation. Therefore, their choice of graphic and verbal means, motivated by various reasons, was not an arbitrary decision. We can speculate the reasons for their deliberate intention to introduce elements of game (or cryptography) in their works, but we should not totally exclude this possibility of conscious experimentation. It is obvious that many graffiti authors (whether the clergy or laymen) were concerned with both the verbal component of the message and its visual dimension.

Preserved early medieval manuscripts and the mural inscriptions on the architectural monuments attest to the fact that visual writing was not alien to the ancient Eastern Slavic culture. However, we have no record of any original Eastern Slavic work of visual literature of the period, even examples of acrostics, which were common in Byzantium and to a certain extent in the South Slavic literatures. According to Karskii, Greek acrostics were resistant to translation into Old Church Slavonic and thus the first acrostic in Russian written by Pakhomii Serb appeared no earlier than in the fifteenth century.50 Another Russian researcher, Berkov noted that acrostics were a popular poetic device developed by the Eastern Slavs.51 However, no example was provided. Even if some occasional pieces of the Old Eastern European visual writing ever existed, none survived. The Tatar-Mongol invasion of the thirteenth to the fifteenth centuries, besides restricting creative activity in Kievan Rus’, destroyed many cultural monuments and manuscripts, which could have represented various aspects of the early medieval East Slavic literary and cultural legacy. It is possible that samples of visual literature (which probably were not numerous) were among them. Nonetheless, surviving literary and architectural materials, make it possible to suggest that the foundations of the East Slavic visual writing were laid in the medieval period. These were later developed fully in the Baroque era, under the strong European Baroque influence.

Although the anonymous manuscript copyists and graffiti authors cannot be regarded the predecessors of contemporary visual poets, their modest accomplishments in the domain of the text layout, spatialization, letter arrangement and the technical means of visual diversification, are significant for the form’s further development. It is possible to suggest that many of their attempts towards text visualization were an original exploration of pictorial resources rather than a direct borrowing from Byzantine text ornamentation. This timid experimentation with the visual properties of discourse have found its own place in the Eastern Slavic literary tradition. They have set the basics for the perception of the written text as an artistic product, as well as for the potential for a creative reading and decoding of this text. Although they were probably not intended to be wordplays, some texts or inscriptions obviously fascinated and challenged their viewers by their non-traditional layout or letter arrangement. Kievan copyists and graffiti authors succeeded in creating their own tradition of text decoration and-in a minimal scope-visualization. For these reasons, their achievements should not be minimised or, at least, ignored.

1 The term technopaignion (pl. technopaignia) includes both the pattern poetry and other forms of technically accomplished poetic discourse. See: Dick Higgins, Pattern Poetry: Guide to an Unknown Literature (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1987) 19.

2 Higgins 19-28.

3 Charles Doria, “Visual Writing Forms in Antiquity: the Versus Intexti,” in Richard Kostelanetz, ed., Visual Literature Criticism (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1979) 64.

4 A. Zhukovsky, “Volodymyr the Great,” in Encyclopedia of Ukraine, Vol. 5, Danylo Husar Struk, ed. (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1993) 643.

5 According to Dean S. Worth, “writing was not unknown in the pre-Christian Rus’, but its use was very restricted.” See Dean S. Worth, “Language,” in Nicholas Rzhevsky,

ed, The Cambridge Campanion to Modern Russian Culture (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998) 25-26.

6 Ibid. 26.

7 Higgins 22-23.

8 Higgins 22.

9 Higgins 23.

10 Bilets’kyi, O. “Perekladna literature vizantiis’ko-bolhars’koho pokhodzhennia,” in Zibrannia prats’u p”iaty tomakh. Vol. 1 (Kyiv: Naukova dumka, 1965) 130.

11 Bilets’kyi 130.

12 Worth 27.

13 Dmitrii Likhachev, Poetika drevnerusskoi literatury (Moscow: Nauka, 1979) 22. 14 Likhachev 23.

15 According to some scholars (most notably 0. Bilets’kyi) the collection also contains original texts and one of the contributors might be the Metropolitan Ilarion, the first Kievan (not Greek) Metropolitan Bishop and the author of the well-known Sermon on Law and Grace. See: 0.1. Bilets’kyi, Khrestomatiia davn’oi ukrains’koi literatury: do kintsia XYIII st. (Kyiv: Radians’ka shkola, 1967) 9.

16 Dmitrij Cizevskij, History of Russian Literature: From the Eleventh Century to the End of the Baroque (The Hague: Mouton & Co, 1962) 85.

17 Cizevskij 82.

18 E.F. Karskii, Slavianskaia kirillovskaia paleografiia (Moscow: Nauka, 1979) 244, 246.

19 V.N. Shchepkin, Russkaia paleografiia (Moscow: Nauka, 1967) 63-5. 20 Shchepkin 66.

21 Mykola Soroka, Zorova poeziia v ukrains’kii literaturi kintsia XVI-XVIII St (Kyiv: Holovna spetsializovana redaktsiia literatury movamy natsional’nykh menshyn Ukrainy, 1997) 18-25.

22 Likhachev 23. 23 Likhachev 25. 24 Likhachev 28. 25 Cizevskij 85.

26 A.A. Medyntseva, Drevnerusskie nadpisi novgorodskogo Sofievskogo sobora (Moscow: Nauka, 1977) 149.

27 S.A. Vysotskii, Kievskii graffiti XI-XVII vv (Kiev: Naukova dumka, 1985) 291.

28 Novgorod the Great was a city-state in northern Rus’ from the twelfth to the fifteenth century. It was established by Slavs who had migrated to the north from the middle Dnieper basin and the Kievan Rus’ in particular. Despite the local opposition to Kievan rule both cities had strong economic and cultural ties. Kiev’s architecture was copied in Novgorod as it most evident in the similarity of the St. Sophia Cathedrals in the two cities. According to some scholars the style of the Novgorod chronicles also displays obvious Kievan influence.

29 A detailed analysis of the ancient and Medieval Kiev and Novgorod graffiti is given in the following books: S. Vysotskii, Drevnerusskiie nadpisi Sofii Kievskoi XI-XIV vv. (Kiev: Naukova dumka, 1966); S. Vysotskii, Srednevekovye nadpisi Sofii Kievskoi (Kiev: Naukova dumka, 1976); Medyntseva, Drevnerusskie nadpisi Novhorodskogo Sofievskogo Sobora XI-XIV veka; Vysotskii, Kievskii graffiti XI-XVII vv.

30 Vysotskii, Kievskie graffiti XI-XVII vv. 63.

31 See Vysotskii, Drevnerusskiie nadpisi Sofii Kievskoi XI-XIV vv. 12; Vysotskii, Kievskii graffiti XI-XVII vv 64; Soroka 20.

32 J.J. de Lucio-Meyer, Visual Athetics (New York: Icon Editions, Harper & Row, 1973) 20.

33 Vysotskyi, Srednevekovye nadpis Sofii Kievskoi 117-24. 34 Ibid., 122.

35 See The New Testament, Revelation 12:7-9.

36 Vysotskii, Srednevekovye nadpisi Sofi Kievskoi 126, 426-27.

37 Vysotskii, Srednevekovye nadpisi Sofii Kievskoi 124-29.

38 Ibid., 128.

39 Ibid., 128.

40 Ibid., 128.

41Likhachev 39.

42 Likhachev 39.

43 Likhachev 50

44 de Lucio-Mayer 31.

45 Vysotskii, Srednevekovye nadpisi Sofii Kievskoi 54, 316-17.

46 Medyntseva 155-56, 289.

47 Medyntseva 171, 296.

48 Medyntseva 84, 160.

49 Soroka 22.

50 Karskii 247.

51 P. Berkov, Virshi. Sillabicheskaia poeziia XVII-XVII vekov (Moscow: Sovetskii pisatel, 1935) 29.

Copyright Canadian Assosciation of Slavists Jun-Sep 2001

Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning Company. All rights Reserved