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Hagiography

 

As in the preceding periods, together with chronicle-writing, hagiography remains one of the main literary genres which underwent a number of important changes during this period.

In the late fourteenth and early fifteenth century in the Slav countries (Bulgaria, Serbia and Russia) there was a flowering of the expressive-emotional style which we have already mentioned. Reflecting a common philosophical conception conditioned by Pre-Renaissance tendencies, this style, which originated in Byzan­tine traditions, was embodied in different ways in each country. It manifested itself most strikingly in hagiographical works.

Of considerable significance for the emergence and develop­ment of the panegyric style in Russia was the contact of Russian literature with that of Bulgaria and Serbia. But the emergence of this style in Russia cannot be explained solely as a result of the influence of South Slavonic literature on Russian literature (the so-called “Second South Slav Influence”). The process of the formation and development of the panegyric style took place amid the mutual interaction of the Slavonic cultures. A major part in this process was also played by these countries’ relations with Byzantine culture both directly and (to an even greater extent) through the Slavonic-Byzantine cultural centres: the monasteries of Constantinople, Thessalonica and the HolyMountain (Mount Athos).24

In Russian hagiography the first manifestations of the expres­sive-emotional style are associated with the name of Metropolitan Cyprian. The style found most perfect and most original expression in the work of Epiphanius the Most Wise. The third representative of this literary trend was Pachomius the Logothete.

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