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Author: Natalia A. Demicheva
Information about the author:

Natalia A. Demicheva, PhD in Philology, Senior Researcher, А.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature of Russian Academy of Sciences, Povarskaya 25 а, 121069 Moscow, Russia.

ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0572-4887

E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 



For citation:

Demicheva, N.A. “‘Kolyada for Little Children’ in the Context of Convolute of the 17th–18th Centuries: to the History of Verses on a Rod.” Germenevtika drevnerusskoi literatury [Hermeneutics of Old Russian Literature]. Issue 22. Ed.-in-chief O.A. Tufanova. Moscow, IWL RAS Publ., 2023, pp. 139– 148. (In Russian) https://doi.org/10.22455/HORL.1607-6192-2023-22-139-148 

DOI: https://doi.org/10.22455/HORL.1607-6192-2023-22-139-148
UDC: 821.161.1.0
Keywords: verses on rods, translated verses of the 17th — the beginning of the 18th century, manuscripts of the 17th–18th centuries, Bolshakov collection.
Date of publication: 20.09.2023


The article examines the poetic text Kolyada for Little Children, which is written in a “prosta mova” (language of Lithuanian Rus’) and is in the convolute of the 17th–18th Centuries from the collection of manuscripts by T.F. Bolshakov (RSL, f. 37, no. 23). The verses belong to a group of works in which a rod is praised and the practice of physical punishment of children is approved. According to the article’s author, the source of all the texts are Polish verses 17th century on a rod, one of the versions of which came as part of the Polish textbook Elementa Pverilis Institutionis edited in 1736. By comparative analysis, it was found that Kolyada for Liittle Children is a literal translation of the Polish text, contains a significant number of polonisms and evidence of misunderstanding by the translator of some Polish words. The fact distinguishes the work from the verses on a rod in the Russian educational literature of the 17th–18th centuries (Simeon Polotsky’s ABC-book, alphabet books of the 17th century), in which there aren’t any polonisms and translation errors, changes have been made to the order of words, lines, rhymes, there are elements indicating cultural adaptation. In the convolute (RSL, f. 37, no. 23) Kolyada for Little Children is in the context of moral works, united with them by the theme of vices and their destructive consequences for human personality. In the collection the verses are functionally connected with subsequent text — the Legend of Literacy, since both texts could be used for educational purposes.


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