Yaroslav the Wise Library - history, description and interesting facts

Yaroslav the Wise Library - history, description and interesting facts
Yaroslav the Wise Library - history, description and interesting facts

The Great Prince of Kyiv Yaroslav the Wise became famous for many of his achievements. It is known that the people loved him for his kind, fair attitude towards people. He did not seek to conquer new lands, but managed to increase the level of education in his possessions and improve the well-being of the people. During the years of the prince's reign, more books were written than during the entire existence of Kievan Rus. And so that all this handwritten property could pass to the heirs, it was necessary to find a reliable place for storage. This place was the library of Yaroslav the Wise.

Yaroslav the Wise fresco

In the footsteps of history

The first and only mention of the book depository is given in the Tale of Bygone Years, it dates back to 1037. It says: "Yaroslav loved books, and put a lot of writing in the church of St. Sophia, which he created himself."

For centuries, the library of Yaroslav the Wise was repeatedly searched by many scientists. Someart historians have questioned the existence of the book depository. No other sources were found to confirm his true whereabouts.

But at the same time, it is known that Metropolitan Hilarion and Kliment Smolyatich were familiar with the works of Plato and Aristotle, the philosophers of Ancient Greece and Rome. This can be seen in the analysis of their works "Izbornik Svyatoslav" and "Epistle to the Smolensk Presbyter Thomas". It is also known that these figures worked on their collections under the arches of St. Sophia Cathedral in Kyiv, where the library of Yaroslav the Wise was located.

Another fact that proves the existence of the library in the past is the research of the theologian Pavel of Aleppo. He visited the book depository of the Kiev Caves Monastery, and in one of his letters he mentioned a large number of scrolls and parchments from the library of St. Sophia Cathedral. The letter is dated 1653.

Mikhail Lomonosov was also studying this issue. He expressed the opinion that there were also scrolls from the Library of Alexandria in Kyiv. Lomonosov was sure that knowledge brought from India and East Asia was stored there, which Europeans still did not know.

Sofia Kyiv

How many books were there?

It is not known for certain how many handwritten texts were stored under the vaults of the cathedral. Some historians believe that there were about 500 of them, others are sure that there were much more - about 1000. It is known that Yaroslav the Wise was very fond of books and was a polyglot, he could read most European languages. All texts were first translated from Greek, Bulgarian,Latin, and then manually copied and bound. During the life of the prince, about 1000 copies were copied. And he began to create his priceless library 17 years before his death.

Creation of Old Russian books

It is worth noting that at the beginning of the 11th century, people did not yet know what paper was. Texts were written on parchments. They were made from the skin of young calves and sheep, which was thinned and dried in the sun. Parchment was an extremely expensive material, as it took a very long time to make, and animals were killed in herds to create even one book. The covers of such manuscripts were real works of art. They used morocco leather, which was decorated with precious metals and stones. Some pieces had diamond, emerald and pearl inserts.

Chronicle on parchment

Princely Heritage

The first library of Yaroslav the Wise did not last long. Information about it is lost at the beginning of the 13th century, when the Tatar-Mongols attacked Russia and burned Kyiv. According to most historians, it was during this period that the book depository died. At the same time, this could have happened earlier, for example, during the Polovtsian raids in 1169 and 1206.

There is a chance that some of the books still managed to be saved. Largely thanks to the daughters of the prince. The youngest daughter of Yaroslav the Wise, Anna Yaroslavna, was betrothed to the French King Henry I. During her departure, she took some of the manuscript property. One such book was the legendary Reims Gospel.It is assumed that for seven centuries in a row all the kings of France, including Louis XIV, took the oath during the coronation on this manuscript from the library of Yaroslav the Wise.

The prince had two more daughters, who also became queens of other ruling dynasties of medieval Europe. Anastasia became the wife of King Andrew I of Hungary, Elizabeth - the wife of King Harold III of Norway. When leaving for a new place of residence, the princesses took some of the books with them as a dowry.

Nevertheless, most of the manuscripts remained in Kyiv. The library certainly existed until 1054, and then its traces are lost.

Anna Yaroslavna

Where can I find the library of Yaroslav the Wise?

Yaroslavl seems to some to be one of the suitable places where the Grand Duke could leave his treasures. After all, this mighty city was founded by him and had strong indestructible walls of the Kremlin. But in fact, it is worth looking for a library in Kyiv.

Today, there are several versions of the possible existence of a secret vault. But none of them have been officially confirmed.

Library of Yaroslav the Wise

Version 1: Hagia Sophia

The most logical place to look for a library is where it was founded. But in 1240, during the invasion of the Tatar-Mongol, St. Sophia Cathedral was completely destroyed. Ivan Mazepa took up its restoration several centuries later. But no information that a secret vault was found underground is recorded in history.

In 1916, a collapse of soil occurred under the cathedral. Excavation workers inone of the walls found an ancient note that read: "Whoever finds this passage, he will find the great treasure of Yaroslav." But further excavations soon ceased. According to documents, to prevent unauthorized treasure hunting.

In 2010, a group of researchers of secret places discovered a huge room underground (at the depth of a four-story building). The studies were carried out with the help of a device called a "bio-locator", its effectiveness was repeatedly tested on other objects. Perhaps, an unknown treasure is hidden deep underground in the Kyiv catacombs.

Monument to Yaroslav the Wise

Version 2: Mezhyhirya

Children's libraries named after Yaroslav the Wise opened during the Soviet Union throughout the vast country. But the party authorities kept silent about the discovery of another book depository. This is a secret treasure in Mezhyhirya.

It all started in 1934, when the country residence of the first secretary of the regional party committee of Kyiv, Postyshev, was being built in this city. The territory of the former Mezhyhirya Monastery was chosen as the site for the work. While digging a pit, a basement was found, completely filled with ancient books. Then the party leadership ordered to bury the basement, and keep quiet about the find.

So it was until the 80s of the last century, when one of the workers decided to open the secret. Around the same time, they began to rebuild the country residence for another statesman and again stumbled upon the ill-fated cave. But all the attempts of historians and archaeologiststo get there was in vain. An urgent state project was ordered to be completed and the basement to be buried.

For the whole world, the mysterious basement, filled to the brim with parchments blackened from time, remained a mystery.

Chronicler of ancient Russia

Inscribed libraries of our time

The Central Children's Library named after Yaroslav the Wise exists in the city of Yaroslavl. But this is not the only book depository named after the Grand Duke. In Kharkov, at the Law University named after Yaroslav the Wise, there is also a structural unit of the same name.

Today, the scientific library of the National Law University named after Yaroslav the Wise is a modern youth center, which constantly hosts conferences and research projects.

Yaroslav the Wise Central Children's Library

This object is located in the Dzerzhinsky district of Yaroslavl, that is, in the most densely populated area of ​​the city. Address of the Central Children's Library: st. Trufanova, 17, cop. 2. The street is named after the great commander of the Great Patriotic War - Nikolai Ivanovich Trufanov.

Yaroslav the Wise Children's Library was founded in 1955. Then the area was called Stalin and it was actively developed. The new schools required the construction of a library. Then the administration of Yaroslavl made a gift to the youth: it opened a new modern book depository with a huge number of books.

Twenty years later, the city's library system was centralized, and the book depositorybecame known as the Central Children's Library. She united 15 more establishments under her wing, thus becoming the single coordinator of children's leisure activities.

Only in 2008 the Central Children's Library of Yaroslavl was named after the founder of the city - Yaroslav the Wise. Now her team holds various events, festivals, creative competitions, fairs, local history readings, cultural events, etc.

Modern library life

Yearly the Central Children's Library of Yaroslav the Wise organizes days dedicated to the Grand Duke. This time is used to study and preserve the historical and cultural heritage in the modern world. These days, historical performances are staged, military reconstructions of medieval battles are organized, including the capture of fortresses, conferences are held and, of course, a holiday is organized for the whole city.

The library is the temple of science. Young people come here to gain new knowledge, enrich themselves with the experience of their ancestors and become as wise as one of the greatest rulers of Kievan Rus.

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