Studi Slavistici VIII • 2011
Articoli

The <em>Vita of Ioann of Novgorod</em> and the <em>Vita of Antonij the Roman</em>. Evidence of a regional path in the development of Eastern Slavic hagiography?

Published January 24, 2012
How to Cite
Romoli, F. (2012). The <em>Vita of Ioann of Novgorod</em> and the <em>Vita of Antonij the Roman</em&gt;. Evidence of a regional path in the development of Eastern Slavic hagiography?. Studi Slavistici, 8(1), 25-40. https://doi.org/10.13128/Studi_Slavis-10517

Abstract

The article focuses on the Vita of Ioann from Novgorod (Žitie Ioanna Novgorodskogo) and on the Vita of Antonij the Roman (Žitie Antonija Rimljanina). Both texts were composed in Novgorod, the former at the end of the 15th century, the latter at the end of 16th century. The author considers them within the historical context of their genesis and analyzes their literary form and function. The Vita of Ioann was collected just before the Muscovite State annexed Novgorod; the text became the symbol of the political independence of the town. The Vita of Antonij was written after the loss of independence, to defend Novgorodian cultural identity. These two vitae were thus created in different historical contexts but with similar ideological intentions. From the literary point of view, they resulted from the gathering and (re-)elaboration of pre-existing materials. Their inclusion in the biographies created apparently anomalous vitae. Textual analysis shows the repetition and the unifying role of some topics (i.e. miracles) and the lack of others. It also shows the presence in each text of three autonomous and well-defined narrative units. The hypothesis of a regional path in the development of Eastern Slavic hagiography seems thus possible. Before their inclusion in the Pan-Russian hagiographic tradition, the texts were partially rearranged to make their structures more regular.

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