Select your language

logo br en 1

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

Information about the author:

Lidiia I. Sazonova, DSc in Philology, Director of Research, A.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Povarskaya 25A, bld. 1, 121069 Moscow, Russia.


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


For the first time, this article examines the historical forms of commentary in Cyrillic book printing in Western and Eastern Europe during the 16th and 17th centuries. Commentary on theological, liturgical, homiletical, and educational books is carried out through articles supplementary to the main body, written in prose or verse and encompassing different genres (preambles, epilogues, novels, inscriptions, tables of contents, indexes, coats of arms, emblems, printer’s marks) and styles (documentary, autobiography, exegetical, publicistic, literary critic). Commenting elements are also contained in detailed book titles on the front pages and in the imprint. In Cyrillic editions, commentaries are printed in Church Slavic, Rumanian, Slovenian, Croatian, the so-called “common mova”, Greek, German and Latin. In the first printed books, prefaces and afterwords were created in the borderland of medieval traditions and the development of new cultural influences. They took in its didactic tendency, Biblical symbolism and figurative style, set formulas of the thematic unity “author-reader-book” from the old literary tradition. There are innovations as well: 16th and 17th-century scholars are conscious of their mission, use vernaculars, and pay attention to contemporary problems about language and style. Supplementary articles in 16th and 17th century Cyrillic books offer a space to realize different forms of commentary (historiographic, textual, linguistic and, broader, historical, and cultural) on published works.

  • Keywords: The Holy Scripture, theological literature, Cyrillic book printing, first printed books, commentary, genre forms, language, style.


Find book in the current section