Studi Slavistici XV, 2018, 1

Schlözer and Karamzin. Struggle for Priority in Studying Russian Chronicles

Alexander Maiorov
Saint Petersburg University

Published 2018-07-04


  • Hypatian Chronicle,
  • Nikolaj M. Karamzin

How to Cite

Maiorov, A. (2018). Schlözer and Karamzin. Struggle for Priority in Studying Russian Chronicles. Studi Slavistici, 15(1), 111–130.


In the 18th and 19th centuries, new knowledge about the history of ancient Rus’ was acquired by the introduction of new written sources, primarily narrative sources, into academic circulation. The ancient Russian chronicles were most significant in this respect. Each historian sought precedence for his own discovery and study of a previously unknown ancient record. This explains misconceptions about the role of some scholars as pioneers in studying Russian chronicles. In some cases, these misconceptions persist to our time.

                                    The article studies the history of the discovery by Nikolaj M. Karamzin of the Hypatian (Academic) and the Chlebnikov Copies of the Hypatian Chronicle. It is established that Karamzin found the information about the Hypatian Copy in a little-known Latin description of the manuscript published in Göttingen in 1768. This description leads us to the conclusion that the first to discover the chronicle was not Karamzin (as it is still customarily thought) but August L. Schlözer and his students. Karamzin was the third to find the Hypatian Codex but the first to understand its true significance.


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