Poucheniie ditiam

Poucheniie ditiam [Поучєніє дітям] (Instruction for [My] Children). An original literary work written by Grand Prince Volodymyr Monomakh of Kyiv ca 1117. Several incomplete parts of it were preserved in the Laurentian redaction of the Primary Chronicle (see Laurentian Chronicle); certain scholars consider them to be individual works. The Poucheniie is an example of the didactic genre that was widespread in medieval literature, and is the first autobiographical narrative in Old Ukrainian literature by a grand prince . It consists of a religious and moral introduction with many scriptural quotations, a section dealing with the duties and obligations of a ruler, and a section describing the author's own life as an illustration of those duties and obligations. In setting an example for his sons the erudite Volodymyr portrays himself as the embodiment of the idea of a unitary Rus’ state, a brave warrior, an ethical and just Christian ruler, and a learned man. His psychological characterizations, colorful expressions, and imagery are outstanding features of the work. The text, written in a combination of Church Slavonic and the vernacular, was first published in Saint Petersburg in 1793.

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 4 (1993).]

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