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Encyclopedia > Boris and Gleb
A medieval Russian icon of Boris and Gleb

Boris and Gleb, Christian names Roman and David, were the first Russian saints. According to two 11th century Lives of Boris and Gleb (assigned to Nestor the Chronicler and Jacob the Monk), they were children of Vladimir the Great who liked them more than his other children. Both were murdered during the internecine wars of 1015-1019 and glorified by the Russian Orthodox church in 1071. Numerous churches are dedicated to them, e.g., the Borisoglebsky Abbey near Rostov. General definition of saint In general, the term Saint refers to someone who is exceptionally virtuous and holy. ... (10th century - 11th century - 12th century - other centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 11th century was that century which lasted from 1001 to 1100. ... Nestor (c. ... Detail of the Millenium of Russia monument in Novgorod (1862) representing St Vladimir and his family. ... Events August: Canute the Great invades England. ... Events Toi invasion: Jurchen pirates invade Kyushu. ... Saint Basils Cathedral, a well-known Russian Orthodox church situated in Moscow The Russian Orthodox Church (Русская Православная церковь) is that body of Christians who are united under the Patriarch of Moscow, who in turn is in communion with the other patriarchs of the Eastern Orthodox Church. ... Events Byzantine Empire loses Battle of Manzikert to Turkish army under Alp Arslan. ... The monastery of Sts Boris and Gleb near Rostov Borisoglebsky (Борисогле́бский) is a townlet in Russia, 16 km from Rostov and 77 km southwest of Yaroslavl. ... The kremlin in Rostov Rostov (Russian: Росто́в) is one of the oldest towns in Russia and an important tourist centre of the so called Golden ring. ...

The Primary Chronicle says that their mother was a Bulgarian woman, and their Turkic names seem to back up this information. Most modern scholars, however, argue that Boris and Gleb had different mothers, and were of different age. Boris, who had been already married and ruled the town of Rostov, was probably regarded as an heir apparent to the Kievan Rus throne. Gleb, who was still a minor, ruled the easternmost town of Murom. The Russian Primary Chronicle (Russian: Повесть временных лет, Povest vremennykh let, which is often translated in English as Tale of Bygone Years), is a history of the early East Slavic state, Kievan Rus, from around 850 to 1110. ... This is the disambiguation page for the terms Turk, Turkey, Turkic, and Turkish. ... Kievan Rus′ (Ки́евская Ру́сь, Kievskaya Rus in Russian; Київська Русь, Kyivs’ka Rus’ in Ukrainian) was the early, mostly East Slavic¹ state dominated by the city of Kiev (ru: Ки́ев, Kiev; uk: Ки́їв, Kyiv), from about 880 to the middle of the 12th century. ... Murom downtown sprawls along the bank of the Oka Murom (Муром) is a historic city in Vladimir Oblast, Russia, which sprawls majestically along the left bank of Oka River, about 300 km east of Moscow. ...

The Russian Primary Chronicle blamed Svyatopolk the Accursed for plotting their assassination. Boris and his manservant were stabbed to death when sleeping in a tent. The prince was discovered still breathing when his body was being transported in a bag to Kiev, but the Varangians consummated their bloody deed with a thrust of a lance. Sviatopolk I Vladimirovich (c. ... Kiev (Київ, Kyiv, in Ukrainian; Киев, Kiev, in Russian) is the capital and largest city of Ukraine, located in the north central part of the country on the Dnieper river. ... The Varangians or Variags were Vikings who travelled eastwards from Sweden and Norway. ...

Gleb was assassinated on his way to see the dying father by his own cook who cut his throat with a kitchen knife and concealed his body in a brushwood. The Life contains many picturesque details of Boris and Gleb's last hours, such as their sister's warning about the murderous plans of Svyatopolk.

It doesn't stand to reason to accept the Life's data at face value. This masterpiece of hagiography unites numerous literary traditions. Actual circumstances of Boris and Gleb's life and death might have been different. Perhaps the crucial evidence comes from several unbiased foreign sources which mention that Boris succeeded his father in Kiev, and was not lurking in Rostov as the Russian Primary Chronicle seems to imply. Hagiography is the study of saints. ... The Russian Primary Chronicle (Russian: Повесть временных лет, Povest vremennykh let, which is often translated in English as Tale of Bygone Years), is a history of the early East Slavic state, Kievan Rus, from around 850 to 1110. ...

Moreover, the Norse Eymund saga tells a story of the Varangian brigands who were hired by Yaroslav I the Wise to kill his brother Boris. When their bloody task was accomplished, Yaroslav refused to pay them. Some historians trusted the saga more than Russian sources, claiming that it was Yaroslav (and not Svyatopolk) who was interested in removing his political rivals and was therefore guilty of his brothers' murder. Saga can have the following meanings: Norse Sagas, a type of literature In Norse mythology, Saga is a goddess of the Aesir. ... The Varangians or Variags were Scandinavians who travelled eastwards, mainly from Sweden. ... Yaroslav I the Wise (978?-1054) (Christian name: Yury, or George) was thrice prince of Novgorod and Kiev, uniting the two principalities for a time under his rule. ...

External links

  • Critical examination of Boris and Gleb's story (http://www.pravoslavie.ru/arhiv/001218154426)
  • English-language account of Boris and Gleb's martyrdom (http://www.roca.org/OA/76-77/76s.htm)
  • English-language account of Boris and Gleb's martyrdom (http://www.dur.ac.uk/~dml0www/borigleb.html)

  Results from FactBites:
Two Soldiers of Christ: Boris and Gleb (1460 words)
A prince, Boris, Vladimir's son, was camping for the night with his retinue of a few hand-picked men.
Boris had prepared for his death and attained a certain calm before he had come face to face with his murderers.
Boris and Gleb, in these last moments, link their lives with Christ's, and, with Thomas the Apostle, they are able to say: "Let us also go with Him, that we may die with Him"
  More results at FactBites »



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