Yuriy Sergeevich Belyankin,

Candidate of Historical Sciences, Russian State Library, Moscow, Russia, e‑mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Unknown Sermon on the Day of the Great Martyr Nikita from the Time of Tsars Ioann Alekseevich and Peter Alekseevich


 DOI: 10.31518/2618-9100-2024-2-14

 The article explores and publishes an unknown text “The Sermon on the Day of the Great Martyr Nikita”, which is a church homily with elements of theatrical action. The “Sermon” for the memorial day of Nikita Gotsky was found in the “encyclopedic” manuscript from the bibliophile collection in Moscow and has been identified now only in this single copy of the end of the 17th century. Judging by the historical realities reflected in the text, it was written at almost the same time as the manuscript itself, i.e. in the 1680s. The manuscript with the text of the “Sermon”, as can be assumed, was created in court circles and also includes other original unknown and little-studied works of the second half of the 17th century, such as, for example, translation of Dr. Jacob Roser’s work on the comet of 1680–1681. The early Modern period in Russia was the moment of the birth of various cultural phenomena, one of which was the theater, wich entered into Russian reality through the church tradition, which still played a dominant role in the public consciousness. The “Sermon” for the memorial day of Great Martyr Nikita is a theatrical homily with the participation of youths and a choir, delivered in the temple, and possibly dedicated to the day of remembrance of the patron saint of the person from the ruling dynasty at that time. In the text of the “Sermon” choir performs the centennial with a detailed listing of all the living members of the Romanov royal family, starting with Tsars Ioann Alekseevich and Peter Alekseevich. The copy under study with the text of the “Sermon” was rewritten several years after the appearance of the original, in connection with which the scribe crossed out the names of the deceased Natalia Kirillovna Naryshkina and Patriarch Joachim in it. From the same time (1689), another work on the topic of Christian martyrs is known in historiography – the mystery “Catherine the Martyr”, staged on the birthday of Tsarevna Sophia Alekseevna.

Publishing: 28/04/2024

The article has been received by the editor on 19/12/2023

Original article >

How to cite: Belyankin Yu.S. Unknown Sermon on the Day of the Great Martyr Nikita from the Time of Tsars Ioann Alekseevich and Peter Alekseevich // Historical Courier, 2024, No. 2 (34), pp. 205–213. [Available online: http://istkurier.ru/data/2024/ISTKURIER-2024-2-14.pdf]

Links: Issue 2 2024

Keywords: archeography; manuscript; Great Martyr Nikita; church sermon; oration; 17th century