Byliny [Russian Heroic Poems]

(1718 words)
  • Susana Torres Prieto-Hay

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

Byliny (singular bylina) is the conventional name given to Russian oral heroic poems. The poems, known to those who recited them as stariny, meaning “old songs”, were firstly collected in Northern Russia, in the province of Olonets, in the 1860s and their collection continued on until the 1930s, in the regions near Lake Ladoga.

There are around 3,000 collected transcriptions of the byliny, of which only approximately 2,000 have been published. These 3,000 transcriptions do not correspond to 3,000 different poems, since many are fragmentary or correspond to different variants of the same poem, …

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Torres Prieto-Hay, Susana. "Byliny [Russian Heroic Poems]". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 21 November 2005
[, accessed 25 November 2015.]

Related Groups

  1. Literary Genres and Modes