Kyi, Shchek and Khoryv

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Kyi, Shchek and Khoryv
Kyi, Shchek, Khoryv and Lybid are establishing the city of Kyiv. by Artur Orlyonov

Kyi, Shchek and Khoryv (Ukrainian: Кий, Щек, Хорив [ˈkɪj, ˈʃt͡ʃɛk, xoˈrɪw]; Old East Slavic: Кыи, Щекъ, Хоривъ) are three legendary brothers often mentioned along with their sister Lybid (Ukrainian: Либідь [ˈlɪbidʲ]; Old East Slavic: Лыбѣдь), who, according to the Primary Chronicle,[1] were the founders of the medieval city of Kiev, now the capital of Ukraine. There is no precise and historically established information about rule of Kyi and establishment of the city of Kiev.[2] Many historians consider as truthful the existence of Kyi and his princely rule around the 6th century.[2] Among such historians are Boris Rybakov, Dmitry Likhachov, Aleksey Shakhmatov, Alexander Presnyakov, Petro Tolochko, Nataliia Polonska-Vasylenko, and others.[2]

The legend is widely recognized as a source of Kievan mythology and urban naming.[citation needed]

Historical background[edit]

In the Russian Primary Chronicle which it is traditionally believed was written by a monk of Kiev Cave Monastery someone Nestor and finished in 1113 a special place holds the legend about foundation of Kiev by three brothers.[2] In the legend, Nestor places those brothers onto various hills of Kiev.[2] Geographically the old Kiev is located on a higher right bank of Dnieper which is an extension of the Dnieper Upland and where located remnants of the Church of the Tithes.

The chronicle further states that there were people ("who did not know what were saying") who considered Kyi a mere ferryman.[2] But, then it argues that Kyi as a prince of his gens was visiting Czargrad and received great honors from the Emperor.[2] Dmitry Likhachov combined attestations of the Nikon Chronicle which also indicates that Kyi with a great army marched onto Czargrad and received great honors from the Emperor.[2] During his expedition to Constantinople, Kyi also found a city of Kievets on the Danube.[2]

Nestor also names the approximate date of the assault on Kiev by the Khazar Empire as "after the death of Kyi" which confirms the hypothesis of Boris Rybakov, 6-7thth centuries.[2] In his chronicle Nestor doesn't indicate dates of the Kyi's death nor existence or absence of his heirs who continued to rule after his death.[2] The chronicle does mention about a meeting between local residents with the arrived Askold and Dir who asked them referring to Kiev, whose city it was and received the answer that three brothers who built it long died and the residents now pay tribute to Khazars.[2] However, the Polish historian Jan Długosz drew attention to the Przemysł Chronicle that asserts "after the death of Kyi, Shchek, and Khoryv their children and grandchildren who descended from them by direct lineage ruled for many years".[2]

Also, the Russian Primary Chronicle indicates that the Byzantine Empire knew the land around of Kiev as Russian land no later than 852 CE before appearance of Rurik who was also of Rus people (Varangian nation).

Excerpt from the Russian Primary Chronicles[edit]

Translation by Dmitry Likhachov[edit]

Translation by Samuel Hazzard Cross[edit]

Archaeological excavations[edit]

Graphic depiction of archaeological excavations in Kiev by Vikentiy Khvoyka

Archaeological excavations have shown that there was indeed an ancient settlement starting with the 6th century. Some speculate that Kyi was a real person, a knyaz (prince) from the tribe of the Polans. According to legend, Kyi, the eldest brother, was a Polianian Prince, and the city was named after him.[6]. As well, the legend says that the appearance of a large city on the hilly banks of the Dnieper was predicted by Andrew the Apostle.

Modern tributes[edit]

The sculpture of Kiev founders
The sculpture of Kiev founders depicted on Ukraine's interim bank note in 1990s.

In addition to the respective hills and the river, there are Shchekavytska and Khoryva Streets in Kiev's ancient neighborhood of Podil.

In 1982, Kyi, Shchek, Khoryv and Lybid were depicted (standing on an ancient riverboat) in a sculpture at the river-side of Navodnytsky Park. The monument, created by Vasyl Borodai, soon became iconic for the city and has been used as Kiev's unofficial emblem. In the 2000s another statue was installed at the central square, Maidan Nezalezhnosti.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "An Armenian historian of the seventh century, Zenob Glak, knew of a similar legend concerning the founding of the city of Kuar (Kiev) in the land of Poluni (Polianians) by three brothers Kuar, Mentery, and Kherean." [in:] Medieval Rus' epics, chronicles, and tales. 1974; "Similarly to Nestor's story about Kyi, Shchek and Khoryv, the Armenian legend of Kuar and his brothers says (in the 6th or in the 7th century). [in:] Київ, анциент анд модерн киты. 1983
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Oleh Yastrubov. "And gave it its name Kiev". Newspaper "Den". 14 July 2006.
  3. ^ http://litopys.org.ua/ipatlet/ipat01.htm
  4. ^ http://www.hrono.info/dokum/1000dok/povest1.php
  5. ^ https://archive.org/stream/TheRussianPrimaryChronicle/the%20russian%20primary%20chronicle_djvu.txt
  6. ^ http://www.ukrainians-world.org.ua/eng/peoples/ff653263602957f1/

External links[edit]