Ilya Muromets

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The three Bogatyri , a painting by the Russian painter Wasnezow . In the middle is Ilya Muromets, left Dobrynja Nikititsch and right Aljoscha Popowitsch .
Ilya Muromets , also a painting by Vasnetsov.

Ilja Muromez ( Russian Илья Муромец , German  Ilja from or from Murom ) is a heroic figure of the Kiev Round Table. He is the most famous of the three Bogatyri .


According to legend, Ilya Muromets was born to a farmer in Karachayevo, near the city of Murom. He is said to have been sick many times during his childhood and was paralyzed up to the age of 30 when he was miraculously cured by two pilgrims who gave him a drink of mead . Later, shortly before his death, the warrior Svyatogor gave him his superhuman powers. Ilya liberated the occupied city of Kiev and defended Chernihiv against the Tatars . His horse could speak in a human voice.

His heroic deeds were celebrated in several bylins :

  • Three way junction
  • The nightingale, a robber, is captured in the Bryansk Forest
  • Tatar army is encouraged to reflect on his honor
  • Escape from a princess' dungeon
  • Lesson about moderation in drinking and eating
  • Outwitting the devil / demon
  • Lesson on the nullity of wealth
  • Quarrel with Prince Vladimir
  • Liberation of the city of Chernihiv from a Tatar army

He is the only legendary figure who was canonized by the Russian Orthodox Church . His remains are said to lie mummified in the ascetic caves in the Kiev Pechersk Lavra and can be viewed there.

“Just as the political and social life of Russia was mainly grouped around Kiyev, Novgorod and Moscow, so we also find the epic songs divided into three legend circles, each one in closer relation to one of these three places, each of which has its special significance in national life had and represented certain ethical principles. As the oldest seat of Russian power and national life, Kijew also appears in the Bylina's, especially in the oldest, as a place of action; the heroes of the saga are grouped around Prince Vladimir , who holds his residence at Kijew and next to him appears in almost all songs the Bogatyr (hero) Ilja Muroméz (from the Murom district), the main and favorite hero of the Russian people.

The Russian epics are divided into chants about the older heroes and those about the younger ones. The older ones are of mythical origin and get lost in the darkness of old Slavic mythology. […] One of the younger heroes is the aforementioned «Ilya Muromets». [...]

This Ilya is the personification of the ethical views of the Russian people, and as such is particularly interesting. Ilja is not a knight's son, not a prince, not one of the greats on earth, he lives and dies as a farmer. He never strives to raise his social position and rejects all proposals to raise him or make him prince. [...] A peaceful, yes a humane trait characterizes this hero. [...] "

"Ilja the farmer's son [...] is the expression of the Russian folk spirit, which, despite all its rawness, basically shows the traits of beautiful humanity everywhere. Despotism and its consequences were imported from Byzantium into the Russian Empire; the people, like Ilya, are peaceable, benevolent, far from all egoism. From these qualities the hope for a great world historical mission of the Russian people grows. "

- From the summary of a lecture by Orest Miller


In 1819 the book “Prince Wladimir and his Round Table. Old Russian Heldenlieder ”in post-poems by Carl Heinrich von Busse , in which in four-part trochées a. a. the deeds of Ilya of Murom are sung about; In 1892 Bernhard Stern's prose adaptation “Prince Wladimirs Round Table. Old Russian sagas ”.

Rainer Maria Rilke addressed Ilja von Murom in the first poem of the group of poems “The Tsars” (1899/1906) published in the collection The Book of Pictures . His fairytale prose story “Der Drachentöter” (1901) may also be at least partially inspired by the heroic figure of Ilya Muromets.

The program of the third symphony in B minor op. 42 (1911) by Reinhold Moritzewitsch Glière is the heroic deeds of Ilja Muromets.

The first four-engine bomber in Russia, the Sikorsky Ilja Muromets , developed in 1914 by the aircraft designer Igor Ivanovich Sikorski , was named after the heroic figure.

In 1920, Charles Caldwell Dobie's “Ilya of Murom. A Folk-tale drama “performed with music by Ulderico Marcelli .

Between 1915 and 1922, the Latvian writer Rainis wrote his "Russian tragedy in five acts" ( Krievu traģēdija piecos cēlienos ) "Iļja Muromietis".

In 1956 Mosfilm produced the film " Ilja Muromets " based on a script by Mikhail Kochnjew . Directed by Alexander Ptuschko . Performers included Boris Andreev , Ninel Myshkova and Andrei Abrikossow .

The Berlin writer Hans Voss (1888–1945) processed the material in 1933 into an independent poem in nine songs. His epic “Ilja von Murom” was published posthumously in 1970 by Hamerkaz Press, Tel Aviv, edited by Emanuel bin Gorion , and in 1982 by the Werkgemeinschaft Kunst- und Heilpädagogik Weißenseifen.

The main inner belt asteroid (2968) Iliya is named after him.


Web links

Commons : Ilja Muromez  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Excerpts from: About types and characters in Russian folk and art literature . In: Russian Review. Monthly for the customers of Russia , ed. by Carl Röttger , Volume 6, St. Petersburg 1875, pp. 1–23 ( digitized in the Internet Archive )
  2. ^ From the minutes of the meeting of the Berlin Society for the Study of Modern Languages on March 10, 1863 (Orest Miller lecture). In: Archives for the Study of Modern Languages ​​and Literatures , ed. by Ludwig Herrig , 18th year, 33rd volume, p. 283 f. ( Digitized in the Internet Archive
  3. Wilhelm Wollner comments on the author : “The book, whose author v. Busse means, contains partly translations from Kirša Danilov 's collection, partly, it seems, the author's own poems. ”Cf. Investigations on the Volksepik der Großrussen , p. 14 ( digitized in the Internet Archive )
  4. ^ Digitized in the Internet Archive ; Ilja von Murom see pp. 25–38 and 71–80.
  5. ^ Digitized in the Internet Archive ; Ilja von Murom is dealt with in the introduction ( Chapter V., pp. XLI – XLIV ) and sung about in Bylines 1–6 ( pp. 3–42 ) and 9 ( pp. 52–55 ). From page 195 the work contains an extensive bibliography of Russian sources.
  6. ^ "The Tsars" in Gutenberg-DE .
  7. "The Dragon Slayer" in Gutenberg-DE .
  8. Manfred Engel : Rilke Handbook: Life - Work - Effect , Chapter Cultural Areas and Literatures - Middle Ages , p. 45 ( digitized at Google Books )
  9. ^ Digitized in the Internet Archive
  10. ^ Description (Latvian) and digitized version of the book edition from 1923 (Latvian, PDF, 56.6 MB) on the pages of the LNB .
  11. ^ Lutz D. Schmadel : Dictionary of Minor Planet Names . Fifth Revised and Enlarged Edition. Ed .: Lutz D. Schmadel. 5th edition. Springer Verlag , Berlin , Heidelberg 2003, ISBN 978-3-540-29925-7 , pp.  186 (English, 992 pp., [ONLINE; accessed on September 27, 2019] Original title: Dictionary of Minor Planet Names . First edition: Springer Verlag, Berlin, Heidelberg 1992): “1978 QJ. Discovered 1978 Aug. 31 by NS Chernykh at Nauchnyj. "
  12. Entry on Orest Fjodorowitsch Miller in Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon (3.)
  13. ^ Entry on Wilhelm Anton Wollner in the Saxon Biography