Distinctly Byliny: Self-Reflecting Virtues within the Russian Epos

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Abstract


The intent of this article is to deconstruct a direct, consistent cultural Russian ethos illustrated within the narratives of the Russian epos or byliny - what the author identifies as self-reflecting virtues. The article posits the presupposition that the byliny historically both delineate and propagate preferred socio-cultural characteristics that explicitly circumscribe Russian national identity. According to the author, the byliny exhibit three rather conspicuous distinct virtues as defining membership within the Rus clan: the love for and ability to conquer nature, the absence of spatial and temporal relevancy and being builders - these are the qualities that make Rus unique and are subsequently celebrated as cultural characteristics in the byliny. The article also briefly traces the history and form of the byliny.

Ch Troye

Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology

Email: ctroye@cgsh.com <mailto:ctroye@cgsh.com>
Отдел этнологии русского народа; Институт этнологии и антропологии РАН; Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology

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Copyright (c) 2010 Трой К.

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