Byliny [Russian Heroic Poems]

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

Susana Torres Prieto (IE University (Madrid))
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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, transcribed from different singers, or from the same singer at different times.

There are around 3,000 collected transcriptions of the

byliny

, of which only approximately 2,000 have been…

1718 words

Citation: Torres Prieto, Susana. "Byliny [Russian Heroic Poems]". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 21 November 2005 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=1643, accessed 22 June 2024.]

1643 Byliny [Russian Heroic Poems] 2 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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