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Author: Mikhail V. Pervushin
Information about the author:

Mikhail V. Pervushin, PhD in Philology, Senior Researcher, А.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Povarskaya 25 а, 121069 Moscow, Russia.

ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1104-946X

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



For citation:

Pervushin, M.V. “‘The Legend of Magmet-Saltan’ by Ivan Peresvetov: Lessons for the Russian Tsar.” Germenevtika drevnerusskoi literatury [Hermeneutics of Old Russian Literature]. Issue 22. Ed.-in-chief O.A. Tufanova. Moscow, IWL RAS Publ., 2023, pp. 407–418. (In Russian) https://doi.org/10.22455/HORL.1607-6192-2023-22-407-418 

DOI: https://doi.org/10.22455/HORL.1607-6192-2023-22-407-418
UDC: 821.161.1.0
Keywords: Old Russian literature, praise, epic, tradition, poetics, holiness, imagology, image, Ivan Peresvetov.
Date of publication: 20.09.2023


The article examines the directions for further research of The Legend of Magmet-Saltan by Ivan Peresvetov. First of all, the portraits of the rulers portrayed by Ivan Peresvetov, Turkish ruler Magmet-Saltan and Byzantine king Constantine VIII Palaeologus, require study. An interesting, but unfortunately not fully developed, notice by Andrey V. Karavashkin on Ivan Peresvetov’s disclosure through the speeches of sultan-philosopher of the doctrine of a king as the image of God. The observation corresponds to the mood of era. In The Legend of Magmet-Saltan one should also pay attention to the perceptions of Byzantium and Turkey, which are revealed, among other things, through the images of the rulers. Ivan Peresvetov appeals to the historical experience of these two powers. All the mentioned aspects of further study of The Legend of Magmet-Saltan open one more problem — the problem of determining the genre features of the work. A.V. Karavashkin notes that Ivan Peresvetov “chooses the form of prophetic revelation” and his project of reforms is composed in line with an utopian thought of the early 16th century. In general, however, it is clear that I. Peresvetov raises the most acute problems of Russian reality. He offers lessons from Turkish ruler, which should be learned from the fall of Byzantium Russian tsar to stand him at the head of Christian Orthodox world. The thesis, according to I. Peresvetov, was the last hope of Orthodox Christians. It was not on building a heavenly kingdom, but on “transferring the empire,” which for I. Peresvetov meant above all “transferring justice.”


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