Studi Slavistici XVIII (2021) 1 • Per Andrea Trovesi in memoriam

The Birthday of Boris Godunov

Fyodor Borisovich Uspenskij
National Research University Higher School of Economics
Anna Felikovna Litvina
National Research University Higher School of Economics
Published July 20, 2021
  • Muscovy,
  • Boris Godunov,
  • Emperor Rudolph II’s Mission to Persia,
  • Georg Tectander’s Diplomatic Report,
  • Julian and Gregorian Calendar,
  • Royal Birthday,
  • Name Day,
  • Naming Conventions in Pre-Petrine Russia
  • ...More
How to Cite
Uspenskij, F. B., & Litvina, A. F. (2021). The Birthday of Boris Godunov. Studi Slavistici, 18(1), 9-18.

Funding data

  • National Research University Higher School of Economics
    Grant numbers В данной научной работе использованы результаты проекта “Запреты в средневековом обществе”, выполненного в рамках Программы фундаментальных исследований НИУ ВШЭ в 2021 г.


The life story of Tsar Boris Godunov, one of the most intriguing characters of Late Medieval Rus’, is still surrounded by unsolved enigmas, obscure gaps, and omissions. The date of his birth is to yet be verified and introduced into scholarly discourse. This paper presents evidence that, if interpreted appropriately, we argue it enables us to estimate Godunov’s  birthday. Accurate dating is important for many reasons, for instance it helps us to contextualize and broaden our understanding of everyday life at the ruling house, the cult of personal patron saints, and aristocratic naming conventions in Rus’ between the 14th and the 17thcenturies.


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