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Abstract

The present article introduces a new approach to the Old Russian texts by revealing metrical patterns underlying seemingly prose texts of the chronicle Povest vremennykh let. These patterns proved to be a shared feature of Eastern Slavic oral epic traditions. Thus, ideas of Ivan Franko about metrical character of the chronicles and Ivan Nikiforov’s claim about metrical affi nities of Eastern Slavic epic traditions are developed and enriched by up to date linguistic as well as ethnomusicological observations. Metrical affi nities of certain fragments of the chronicle Povest vremennykh let and Eastern Slavic epic give new clues to the possible persistence of oral epic in written form and consequently broaden the range of Old Russian texts that can be regarded as epic. Poetical epic corpus, enlarged in this way, gives a new relevant context to Slovo o polku Igoreve, authenticity of which can be proven now with more certainty on the basis of metrical affi nities with the fragments of chronicle of presumably oral origin.
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