The website is created and developed with the support of the Russian Science Foundation (Project No. 22-18-00005).
About project
Project RFN No. 22-18-5 «Iconography and Hagiography of the Ladder of John Climacus»
The project, supported by the Russian Science Foundation, is being conducted at the Baltic Federal University named after I. Kant. The project is titled «Iconography and Hagiography of the Ladder of John Climacus.»
The Ladder (an ancient Russian synonym for the word «ladder») represents a grand metaphorical panorama of ascent on the ladder of moral perfection, created by Hegumen John of the Sinai Monastery at the end of the 6th to the beginning of the 7th century. The book has been preserved in many hundreds of Byzantine codices, translated into all Christian languages, including Old Church Slavonic (in the first half of the 10th century). Since the appearance of the Ladder in the Slavic context, the book has gained wide circulation among Bulgarian, Serbian, and Russian writers, as evidenced by hundreds of surviving Slavic manuscripts from the 12th to the 17th centuries. The Ladder was translated by saints such as Paisius Velichkovsky, Makary of Altai, Ignatius Bryanchaninov, and the Optina Elders Makary and Ambrose. None of the other books in Old Russian translated literature has found such a visual reflection in iconography as the Ladder. The project will explore the rich tradition of creating images on the theme of the Ladder (icons, miniatures in manuscripts, frescoes, engravings) and will create an illustrated catalog of these images. This aspect of the project will be supervised by the experienced art historian, cultural studies expert, specialist in Russian art, icon painting O. V. Gubareva.
The hagiographic aspect of the research involves analyzing the topoi of hagiographies and publishing all known versions of the saint’s life up to the present. The researcher of hagiography, Dr. L. G. Dorofeeva, is involved in the project.
The third direction of the project’s work is the publication and textual analysis of a little-known monument of Byzantine and Slavic literature (the Penitential Canon), the uniqueness of which lies in being the only text in world medieval literature inseparably linked to a cycle of miniatures depicting the sufferings of prisoners in a monastery prison. This canon is created based on the motifs of the 5th Word of the Ladder («On Repentance»). The leader of the project, a renowned medievalist, and researcher of the Slavic manuscript tradition of the Ladder, Dr. T. G. Popova, will work on the text of the Penitential Canon.
The creation of the website will be the responsibility of the web designer D. Popova.
In the project, bachelor's degree students E. Korneva (Chevozerova), V. Ryabets (Olkhovskaya), and G. Titov are involved.
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