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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

  • Classification – name: Literary studies
  • Author: Alexandra S. Balakhovskaya
  • Pages: 337–358
  • Publisher: A.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IWL RAS Publ.)
  • Rights – description: Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 (СС BY-ND)
  • Rights – URL: Visit Website
  • Language of the publication: Russian
  • Type of document: Research Article
  • Collection: Translation, Interpretation, Commentary in the Eastern and Western Literature
  • DOI:
  • EDN:

  • Year of publication: 2023
  • Place of publication: Moscow
  • PDF

  • Balakhovskaya, A.S. “Нagiographic Text as Interpretation (According to the Hagiography of St. John Chrysostom).” Perevod, interpretatsiia, kommentarii v literaturakh Vostoka i Zapada [Translation, Interpretation, Commentary in the Eastern and Western Literature], ex. ed. by Olga E. Nesterova and others. Moscow, IWL RAS Publ., 2023, pp. 337–358. (In Russ.)

Information about the author:

Alexandra S. Balakhovskaya, DSc in Philology, Leading Research Fellow, А.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Povarskaya 25 a, 121069 Moscow, Russia.


E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


The article based on the hagiography of the bishop of Constantinople St. John Chrysostom studies a formation process of the hagiographical version of the saint’s biography and its interpretation in the hagiographical tradition. The life of the saint, being a literary work created in the context of a church cult, expresses the actual church ideology and is the answer to the current problems of the church life. The Life written by Pseudo-George of Alexandria reflects one of them — the intervention of secular authorities in the affairs of the Church in Byzantium. St. John Chrysostom and Empress Eudoxia are represented here as symbolic figures marking this opposition. On the other hand, they are correlated with the biblical images of the prophet Elijah and Queen Jezebel — their typological prototypes. The Life of Pseudo-George is a literary model that formed the basis of the subsequent hagiographical tradition, part of which are two encomiums, written by St. John of Damascus and Emperor Leo VI the Wise. In these works we find the interpretation and further development of the theme of contradiction between spiritual and secular powers.

  • Keywords: Byzantium, hagiography, narrative, interpretation, hagiographic tradition, encomium.


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