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A.M. Gorky Institute
of World Literature
of the Russian Academy of Sciences

IWL RAS Publishing

A.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature
of the Russian Academy of Sciences


Povarskaya 25a, 121069 Moscow, Russia



Types of publications

About the author

Marina I. Shcherbakova, DSc in Philology, Professor, Director of Research, А.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Povarskaya 25 а, 121069 Moscow, Russia.


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The issue of significance of attribution for establishing the history of the creation of handwritten documents is discussed in the article using the examples of a copy of the working note of Saint Theophan the Recluse «Reservations in the book “Orthodox Worshipers in Jerusalem” » (1858) from the archive of the Russian Saint Panteleimon Monastery; made by Andrey Murav’yov as a translation of the Greek letter of Archimandrite Joasaph (1851), rector of the Holy Lavra of Saint Sabbas in Palestine; letters from nun Leonida (worldly Yelizaveta Obukhova), the female treasurer of convent of Saints Boris and Gleb in the hamlet of Anosino, to Archbishop Leonid (worldly Lev Krasnopevkov) and to his elder sister Nun Leonida (worldly Yekaterina Ushakova); and also letters to Archbishop Leonid from the two clerics both named Nafanail — Archimandrite Nafanail (worldly Gavriil Nektarov) and Archbishop Nafanail (worldly Nikolay Savchenko). Amendments, clarifications and important additions are made to the existing attribution of these documents based on the results of the investigations undertaken. Various methods of attribution — an analysis of the content of the source, of its culturally historical features, stylistic features, references to historical events, to the realities of life, to famous people — are demonstrated. The close association of attribution with the dating of the archive document, which in many cases helps to establish both the author and the addressee of the source, is revealed. The practical demand for attribution results is convincingly reasoned.

  • Keywords: Department of Manuscripts of the Russian State Library, St. Theophan the Recluse (worldly Georgy Govorov), Leonid (worldly Lev Krasnopevkov), Leonida (worldly Yelizaveta Obukhova), epistolary, source study, attribution, dating.


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