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Author: Vasiliy N. Matonin
Information about the author:

Vasiliy N. Matonin, DSc in Culturology, Professor of the Department of Culturology and Religion Studies, Northern (Arctic) Federal University named after M.V. Lomonosov, Severnaya Dvina Emb. 17, 163002 Arkhangelsk, Russia.
ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1804-0989
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Author 2: Natalya N. Bedina
Information about the author 2: Natalya N. Bedina, PhD in Philology, Professor of the Department of Culturology and Religion Studies, Northern (Arctic) Federal University named after M.V. Lomonosov, Severnaya Dvina Emb. 17, 163002 Arkhangelsk, Russia. ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1613-4164E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
For citation:

Matonin, V.N., and Bedina, N.N. “The Fatherland Theme in the 18th Century Patriotic Discourse (On the Example of the ‘Divine Service of Thanksgiving on the Great God-Given Victory at Poltava’).” Germenevtika drevnerusskoi literatury [Hermeneutics of Old Russian Literature]. Issue 20. Ed.-in-Chief O.A. Tufanova. Moscow, IWL RAS Publ., 2021, pp. 423–475. (In Russian) https://doi.org/10.22455/HORL.1607-6192-2021-20-423-475

DOI: https://doi.org/10.22455/HORL.1607-6192-2021-20-423-475
Keywords: Divine Service of Thanksgiving, Baroque, Poltava victory, Peter the Great, Theophilactus (Lopatinsky), Patriotic discourse, peasant library.
Date of publication: 08.07.2021


The material for the article is the 18th century manuscript of the Divine Service of Thanksgiving… The authors discovered it in the Chequevo village of the Onega district in the Arkhangelsk region. The manuscript was kept near the books marked with Chequeo peasant library seal. The Abbot of the Solovetsky monastery, Archimandrite Ioannikiy, was one of the founders of this library. He was a native of the Polye village, which was part of the Chequevo. So it can be assumed that the manuscript came to the library from the Solovetsky monastery — the spiritual and cultural center of the Russian North. Divine Service of Thanksgiving... is a handwritten copy from the first printed edition of the solemn service, created immediately after the Russian troop’s victory in the Poltava battle in 1709. The author of the text is Archbishop Theophilactus (Lopatinsky). The history of the manuscript reveals the awareness of the Northern peasantry’s involvement in the Russia naval success and in the fate of the Fatherland. As a result of Peter’s the Great reform activities, Arkhangelsk lost its strategic importance for the state development, but the Emperor’s connection with the Northern peasantry formed an important part of the marginal self- consciousness of the Pomors. In the 18th century Patriotic discourse, the wars waged by Russia are assessed as liberating. In the text of the Service, the images of the Russian army, Tsar Peter I and the people are endowed with such characteristics as humility, smallness, infirmity, loyalty to the true faith and trust in the grace of God. The enemy image is based on comparisons with the vanity builders of the Babylon tower, arrogant Goliath, arrogant and fierce Pharaoh, thousands of Assyrian army, the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar, the traitor Judas. Researchers characterize the author of the Divine Service of Thanksgiving... as one of the most consistent zealots of Orthodoxy, a hidden opponent of Peter’s Church reforms and a passionate enemy of Protestantism. In the Russia and Sweden state ideology, there is a common trend: the protection and collection of lands around the empire center. The common language of Baroque European culture is typical for Swedish and Russian glorifications of the Northern war time. It involves the use of Parallels with biblical images, the combination game with emblematic signs, and ultimately — the search for the highest meaning of historical events. The presence of an enemy superior in numbers and power is one of the most important conditions for the peoples’ self-consciousness formation. The national power identity basis was not the economic and political might of the state, but it was the idea of protecting the Fatherland, its independence, Fatherland honor and glory. Peter’s Imperial ambitions grow organically from the Moscow kingdom ideology (“Moscow is the third Rome”), where the “goal of world history” was realized (A. Toynbee). In the 18th century Patriotic discourse, the interpretation of the war had a religious character despite the secularization of public consciousness. The Fatherland theme was based on traditional spiritual foundations implemented in the emerging Imperial ideology.


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