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Nikon Chronicle

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Title: Nikon Chronicle  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Illustrated Chronicle of Ivan the Terrible, Aleksin, Mtsensk, Book of Royal Degrees, Great Menaion Reader
Collection: 16Th-Century History Books, East Slavic Chronicles
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Nikon Chronicle

Nikon Chronicle: a page

The Nikon Chronicle or Patriarch's Chronicle (Russian: Никоновская летопись, Патриаршья летопись) is a massive compilation and edition of East Slavic chronicles undertaken at the court of Ivan the Terrible in the mid-16th century. The compilation was named after Patriarch of Moscow and all Rus' Nikon, who owned a copy.[1]

The chronicle covers the years from 859 to 1520, with additional information for 1521-1558, as well as many detailed tales about the most important events, such as "Tale of the Battle of the Neva", "Tale of the Battle of the Ice", "Tale of the Tokhtamysh Invasion", "Tale of the Death of Mikhail of Tver," etc. Some of these tales have obvious parallels with Russian folklore and Orthodox hagiography.[2]

The chronicle contains a large number of facts not found in earlier sources. Some of these interpolations are thought to reflect a political ideology of the nascent Tsardom of Russia.[2] The 12th-century Polovtsy and the 16th-century Kazan Tatars, for instance, are regularly conflated.


  1. ^ In the 18th century it was published under the name "The Russian Chronicle According to Nikon's Manuscript".
  2. ^ a b Donald Ostrowski. Muscovy and the Mongols: Cross-Cultural Influences on the Steppe Frontier, 1304-1589. Cambridge University Press, 2002. ISBN 9780521894104. Pages 147-149.


  • Руская летопись по Никонову списку. / Изданная под смотрением имп. Академии наук. СПб, 1767—1792. (Russian Cronicle According to Nikon's Copy. Published under the supervidion of the Russian Academy of Sciences, St. Petersburg, 1767-1792) Ч.1, Ч.2, Ч.3, Ч.4, Ч.5, Ч.6, Ч.7, Ч.8
  • The Complete Collection of Russian Chronicles, vols. IX-XIV, editions of 1863, 1918, 2000
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