Slovo o polku Ihorevi, Ihoria syna Sviatoslavlia, vnuka Ol’hova, or The Tale of Ihor's Campaign, Ihor the Son of Sviatoslav, Grandson of Oleh is “an epic poem written in the 12th century by an anonymous author” who was most probably from Kyviv or Chernihiv (Hordynsky and Stech 2001). “From the tenor of the poem, it can be deduced that the author was a mature, experience man, perhaps serving in one of the princely retinues and was versed in the manners and customs of his day” (Kuzych 2000). The original was discovered in 1795 by Graf A. Musin-Pushkin in the archives of Yoil in the Transfiguration Monastery in Yaroslavl, Russia, and was published in Saint Petersburg in 1800 with the assistance of the paleographers A. Malinovsky and Mykola Bantysh-Kamensky (Hordynsky and Stech 2001).
“The single preserved copy was apparently hidden after 1240 when the Mongol incursions into Ukraine began” (Kuzych 2000). The only original copy is claimed to have been burned in 1812 when Moscow was seized by Napoleon’s troops (Wikipedia 2005) and the lack of a genuine script “allowed a number of skeptical critics in the early 19th century to consider the work a falsification of a later date” but many scholars, “particulary Mykailo Maksymovych, demonstrated connections between the Slovo and Ukrainian folk poetry” (Hordynsky and Stech 2001).
“The subject of the poem is the unsuccessful campaign mounted in the spring of 1185 Ihor Syviatoslavych of Novhorod-Siverskyi against the Cumans and its central theme is the fate of the territories of Rus’” (Hordynsky and Stech 2001). The lyrical poem combines historical subject matter with “dreams, laments, natures’ reaction to the hero's fate, monologues of princes, other motifs and ...
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...ble platinum coin form the Millennium Commemorative Coin Set” portraying the author composing the poem while watching Ihor’s battle take place (Kuzych 2000). In 2000 Ukraine indirectly honored the epic poem by minting a “commemorative 5-hryvnia silver coin minted for: ‘The 900th Anniversary of the Novhorod-Siverskyi Principality’” and depicted a prince leading an army in front of the old Rus’ fortress (Kuzych 2000).
Hordynsky, S. and M. R. Stech (2001). Encyclopedia of Ukraine. http://www.encyclopediaofukraine.com/display.asp?AddButton=pages\S\L\SlovoopolkuIhoreviIT.htm
Kuzych, I. (2000). Commemorations of "The Tale of Ihor's Campaign.” The Ukrainian Weekly No. 40. http://www.ukrweekly.com/Archive/2000/400024.shtml
Wikipedia: The Free Encylcopedia. The Tale of Igor’s Campaign. (2005). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Tale_of_Igor's_Campaign
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