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Author: Galina M. Zelenskaya
Information about the author:

Galina M. Zelenskaya, Scientific Consultant, State Budgetary Educational Institution of the Moscow Region “New Jerusalem” Museum, Novo-Jerusalem emb. 1, 143500 Moscow Region, Istra, Russia.
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Author 2: Svetlana K. Sevastyanova
Information about the author 2: Svetlana K. Sevastyanova, DSc in Philology, Associate Professor, Leading Research Fellow, 1) Institute of Philology, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Nikolaeva St. 8, 630090 Novosibirsk, Russia; Chief Researcher, 2) Rubtsovsk Industrial Institute (branch) of the Altai State Technical University, Traktornaya St. 2/6. 658207 Rubtsovsk, Russia.E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
For citation:

Zelenskaya, G.M., and Sevastyanova, S.K. “Corpus of Patriarch Nikon’s Inscriptions on ‘Sacred Things’: Questions of Textology and Architectural and Artistic Design.” Germenevtika drevnerusskoi literatury [Hermeneutics of Old Russian Literature]. Issue 20. Ed.-in-chief O.A. Tufanova. Moscow, IWL RAS Publ., 2021, pp. 479–547. (In Russian) https://doi.org/10.22455/HORL.1607-6192-2021-20-479-547

DOI: https://doi.org/10.22455/HORL.1607-6192-2021-20-479-547
Keywords: Patriarch Nikon, a corpus of inscriptions on “holy things” a cata- log of sacred objects, a classification of inscriptions, patriarchal monasteries — the Resurrection in New Jerusalem near Moscow, the Iversky Svyatoozersky in Valdai, Onega Krestny on Kiy-island, liturgical, church-historical, patristic and artistic traditions Old Rus, an integrated approach.
Date of publication: 08.07.2021


In the vast and varied written heritage of Metropolitan and Patriarch Nikon, the inscriptions on the “holy things” that were written with the participa- tion of, or on his behalf, occupy a special place. These texts, different in volume and content, exist as notes on sheets of manuscript and early printed books, in the form of belts and compositions of tiled temple decoration, as well as on an- timenes, crosses, icons, bells, liturgical vessels, and seals. Many of them by their origin and location are associated with the patriarchal monasteries — the Resur- rection in New Jerusalem near Moscow, the Iversky Svyatoozersky in Valdai and the Onega Godfather on the Kiy-island. The corpus of the inscriptions, united by the name of the Primate, has never been studied in its entirety and systematically. The authors of the article attempted to fill these gaps by applying an integrated approach in the study. They prepared on the principle of a catalog a register of “holy things” — sacred objects that make up a single whole with the texts present- ed on them. The inscriptions are classified according to the functional purpose of the objects on which they are located. The groups of annals-historical, spiritual- educational, liturgical, historical-topographic, supplementary and owner’s in- scriptions are distinguished. Historical and philological research of texts is com- plemented by an analysis of the symbolic and semantic aspects of their architectur- al and artistic design. The inscriptions appear in the context of the iconic work of Patriarch Nikon, including hierotopic, iconographic and architectural programs, embodied with the participation of masters from Great, Small and White Russia. A comprehensive study allowed us to see the inscriptions and the personality of His Holiness Nikon from a perspective that reveals the richest spectrum of litur- gical, church-historical, patristic and artistic traditions of Old Russia, combined with new trends melted down in the furnace of Orthodoxy.


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