[THE FIRST MAPS IN CYRILLIC] Maps of the Near and Far Caves of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra

[THE FIRST MAPS IN CYRILLIC] Maps of the Near and Far Caves of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra

Item #1338

[Kyiv: Lavra typography, 1661]. 2 p. 32,5x31 cm. Scale ~ 1:135. Restored and backed with tissue paper. Both maps have a loss in the bottom right corner.

The first printed maps in Cyrillic as well as the first East Slavic maps in the modern sense of the term as they have a linear scale and azimuth orientation.
The first drawings of the Lavra caves were published in Athanasius Kalnofsky’s book Teratourgema lubo cauda (Kyiv: Typ. Lavra, 1638), but they were very conditional and did not contain signatures and a cartographic apparatus. The drawings presented in the Paterik, as well as other illustrations to it, were engraved by the famous master Ilia (years of work. 1637-1663) according to the originals of 1652-1655. Here, for the very first time, a linear scale is presented (a measuring circular with the inscription The measure of the elbows of sowing a cave and a measuring scale) together with azimuthal orientation (a sundial disk with an arrow and divisions) and a legend (The sign of gifts in the saints lying in this cave with an interpretation of conventional signs). Each object (including the drawings themselves and the cardinal directions) has its own signature, the relics are marked with symbols according to the legend. For additional orientation, the image of the Dnieper is signed: the Dnieper river floats towards Noon [South]. In the European cartography of that time, no similar maps were found, displaying both the visible on the surface and the underground structure. Subsequently, both drawings were re-engraved on copper for the book by Johann Herbinius Religiosae Kijovienses cryptae (Jena, 1675).
These maps were inserted in the first and second editions of Patericon [i.e. Paterik Pecherskiy] that came out in Lavra typography in 1661 and 1678. The maps look similar for both editions, although they are often missing from the books themselves - the maps are the only two illustrations in the books that are larger than the rest of the block and probably were produced separately but for the purpose of including them in the edition. The present copies of the maps were bought without the book and, as far as we can tell, existed for a long time without one.
Paterik is a chronicle of one of the first Christian monasteries in Kyiv Rus. Founded in 1051, Kyiv Pechersk Lavra has been a cave monastery and the center of the spiritual life of Eastern European Christianity. Paterik was also institutional for the foundation of the Ukrainian national narrative.
The story of the creation of this book goes back to the 13th century when Lavra monk Simon wrote a letter to his ward, Polikarp. In the letter, Simon was using examples of the lives of the saints of the monastery to teach Polikarp the Christian virtues. Later, Polikarp wrote another letter to archbishop Akindin extending Simon’s examples. From there on, monks of the Lavra added different texts to the letters, forming the first known manuscript version of Paterik, a copy created in the 16th century for Tver archbishop Arseniy.
Paterik was created in a Byzantine tradition (similar to Sinai Paterik, Rome Paterik, etc), which usually included stories of the lives of the saints together with their works. Compared to the Byzantine Pateriks, Otechnik Pecherskiy contains fewer texts by the saints, but more material about their lives.
The Near Caves are historic caves and a network of tunnels of the medieval cave monastery of Kyiv Pechersk Lavra. The Near Caves have a total length of 383 metres and are 5 to 20 metres deep. The Near Caves were founded in 1057 when Saint Varlaam was appointed the first hegumen (abbot) of the Kyiv Pechersk Lavra by Saint Anthony. Monk Anthony withdrew himself from the monastery and later settled on a new hill, where he dug out a new underground cell, now called the Near Caves.
The caves have a total of 79 surviving burials, including that of Nestor the Chronicler, the icon artists Alipy and Grigory, the doctor Agapit, the prince-ascetic Nikolay Sviatosha, the holy martyr Kuksha, etc. The caves also preserve the remains of the epic hero Ilia Muromets. During the examination of the remains, it was determined that Ilia died from a stab wound. According to a legend, the power of angels carried him from the place where he had died to the Lavra caves.
Lavra typography is one of the oldest and historically most influential printing houses of Ukraine. It was founded at the peak of the confrontation between the Uniates and the Orthodox in 1615 by Archimandrite of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra Elisey Pletenetsky. The typography produced one of the most elaborate and decorated editions of the 17th century. The second half of the 17th century is considered the peak of printing activity in Ukraine.

Price: $17,500.00

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