Medieval Rus′

Maintained by: David J. Birnbaum ( [Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 3.0 Unported License] Last modified: 2020-09-10T14:47:07+0000

Kievan Crypt Paterikon

Required readings


All are from section I.C.c of Serge A. Zenkovsky, Medieval Russia’s epics, chronicles, and tales, revised and enlarged edition. NY: Dutton, 1974. Numbers in parentheses refer to Heppell discourses (see the Recommended readings, below).

  1. Bishop Simon: Viking Shimon and St. Theodosius, 135–38 (1)
  2. Bishop Simon: The coming of the Greek Iconographers from Constantinople to Aboot Nikon 138–40 (2)
  3. Bishop Simon: John and Sergius, 140–41 (5)
  4. Bishop Simon: Prince Sviatosha of Chernigov, 142–47 (20)
  5. Monk Polycarpe: Marko the gravedigger who was obeyed by the dead, 147–52 (32)


Recommended readings




  1. Arsenij, 1406. Bishop of Tver′
  2. (Feodosij, mid xv, 1 manuscript)
  3. First Cassian redaction, 1460. Copied in the Crypt Monastery. Choirmaster
  4. Second Cassian redaction, 1462. Copied in the Crypt Monastery. Choirmaster
  5. (Joseph Trizna, mid xvii. Basis of Polish 1635 and Church Slavonic 1661 editions printed in Crypt Monastery)

Structure of the Kievan Crypt Paterikon

Composition of the Second Cassian Redaction (1462). Thirty-eight texts divided into six sections: A. Introduction, B. Theodosius Cycle, C. Miscellaneous, D. Simon Cycle, E. Polikarp Cycle, F. Addenda. Italicized items were considered by Šaxmatov to represent the archetype. A Z in parentheses after an entry indicates texts included in the Zenkovsky anthology. Titles are taken from Heppell.

A. Introduction: Foundation, building, decoration, consecration

  1. Concerning the building of the church (Z; begun 1073, consecrated 1089) [Originally part of the Simon Cycle.]
  2. Arrival of the craftsmen from Constantinople
  3. When the church of the Caves Monastery was founded
  4. The coming of the church-painters (Z)
  5. A miracle concerning Ioann and Sergij (Z)
  6. The holy table and the consecration of the great Church

B. Theodosius Cycle

  1. An account of why the Caves Monastery is so called [Šaxmatov attributes this to Nestor; Heppell is less certain.]
  2. The Life of our venerable father Feodosij (Nestor)
  3. The translation of the relics of Feodosij (around 1091) [This and the following two texts mention Nestor, but Heppell is skeptical about their authorship.]
  4. The decoration of Feodosij’s coffin (around 1129)
  5. An encomium to our venerable father Feodosij

C. Miscellaneous

  1. The first monks of the Caves Monastery (Damian, Ieremej, Matfej; see also #36)
  2. How Nifont saw Feodosij in a divine revelation (1156)

D. Simon Cycle

  1. An epistle from the Bishop Simon to Polikarp
  2. Simon’s narrative about the holy monks
  3. Blessed Evstratij the Faster
  4. The meek and long-suffering monk Nikon
  5. The holy martyr Kukša and Pimin the Faster
  6. Holy Afanasij the Solitary
  7. The venerable Svjatoša (Z)
  8. The monk Erazm
  9. The monk Arefa
  10. The priest Tit and the deacon Evagrij

E. Polikarp Cycle

  1. A second epistle, to Archimandrite Akindin
  2. Nikita the Solitary
  3. Lavrentij the Solitary
  4. The holy and blessed Agapit
  5. Holy Grigorij the Miracle-worker
  6. The much-suffering Ioann the Solitary
  7. Venerable Moisej the Hungarian
  8. The monk Proxor
  9. Venerable Marko the Cave-Dweller (Z)
  10. The holy venerable fathers Feodor and Vasilij
  11. Spiridon the baker and Alimpij the Icon-painter
  12. The venerable and long-suffering father Pimin

F. Addenda

  1. Venerable Isaakij the Cave-Dweller (combined with monks in #12 in PVL 1074)
  2. The pious prince Izjaslav’s inquiry (pseudo-Feodosian treatise against the Latins) [First introduced in Second Cassian redaction 1462.]
  3. The death of Polikarp, and the priest Vasilij (1182)