Definitions

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Bogatyr

For other meanings, see Bogatyr (disambiguation).
The bogatyr or vityaz (витязь, a valiant warrior) was a medieval Russian heroic warrior, akin to Western European knight errant.

An early usage of the word bogatyr was recorded in Russia time in Sernitskiy's book "Descriptio veteris et novae Poloniae cum divisione ejusdem veteri et nova," printed in 1585 in an unknown location, in which he says, "Rossi… de heroibus suis, quos Bohatiros id est semideos vocant, aliis persuadere conantur."

Bylinas prominently feature stories about these heroes. Each bogatyr tends to be known for a certain character trait: Alyosha Popovich for his wits, Dobrynya Nikitich for his courage, and Ilya Muromets for his physical and spiritual power and integrity, and for his dedication to the protection of his homeland and people.

Epic bogatyrs

In art

  • The Bogatyr is a decorative oil on canvas panel painted by Mikhail Vrubel in 1898. It is displayed in The Russian Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • Viktor Vasnetsov's 1898 painting Bogatyrs, displayed in the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow.

In fiction

In Music

  • The finale of Modest Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition is sometimes called The Bogatyr Gate after a proposed gate to Kiev in 1866 by Victor Hartmann. The gate was to commemorate the escape of Tsar Alexander II of Russia from an assassination attempt. This version of the gate was not selected in the competition. (per Nancy Bricard in the notes of the Alfred Masterworks sheet music)

References

  • Богатыри и витязи Русской земли: По былинам, сказаниям и песням. (1990) Moscow: "Moskovsky Rabochy" publishers

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