Bylina (Russian: были́на, also "Byliny", "Bylyny" and "Stariny") is a traditional epic,
heroic narrative poem of the early East Slavsof Kievan Rus. This poetic tradition continued in Russiaand Ukraine.
Bylina comes from the Russian "byl'" (быль), a word which signifies a story of real events, as opposed to a fictional one and a cognate of the English verb to be.
Bylinas are a kind of poetry without
rhyme( blank verse), but with a characteristic rhythm, a kind of free verse. Most bylinas were preserved in northern regions of Russia, and their style was imitated by several famous Russian poets.
There are quite a few bylina cycles. Bylinas may be roughly classified into the following series:
* Of the older heroes (Volga Vseslavich, Mikula Selianinovich, Sviatogor)
* Of Vladimir, prince of
Kiev, tales of the Golden Age of Kiev, of Kievan Rus'. Here belongs the knights-errant ( bogatyr) cycle concerning Ilya Muromets, Alyosha Popovichand Dobrynya Nikitich, being among the most popular bylina.
Novgorod( Vasily Buslaev, Sadkothe merchant)
* Of Moscow (of
Yermak Timofeyevich, Ivan the Terrible)
* Of the Ukrainian
cossackhistory (in Ukrainian language, of invasions of Turks and Tatars, of Haidamak uprisings)
* Of Cossack insurgents (
* Of Peter the Great
* [http://byliny.narod.ru/] — bylinas in Russian
* [http://www.jstor.org/view/00376779/di000485/00p03925/0 : Bylina and Fairy Tale: The Origins of Russian Heroic Poetry.] , Review author [s] : Jack V. Haney
Slavic Review© 1975
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