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In Ancient Rus St. Maximus approved himself as an outstanding writer, translator and theologist. The author of this article focuses her attention on a really understudied part of the monk`s literary body – the language of his fi rst original work in Russian. Maximus` Letter to the Grand Duke Vasiliy Ivanovich has served as language material for this research. The Letter went with the translation of the Psalter which was published only once in 1897. Maximus the Greek worked out his own translation principles and followed them strictly in the Psalter and later works. The fi rst principle was the orientation of elevated book style of Russian literary language to the language of ancient Slavic texts, closed to the very fi rst translations of Kirill and Mefodiy. The second – moderate russifi cation. At the phonetic level, it was shown in lack of words with pleophony, with initial East Slavic ро-, ло-, in regular use of щ on the place of * t+j, in prevalence of initial а over initial " and so forth. At the morphological level – in active use of aorist and outdated case forms of nominal parts of speech. At the level of a sentence, the monk used a great amount of archaic conjunctions and dative absolute forms. Moderate russifi cation concerned phonetic shape of some anthroponyms and affected lexicological and phraseological structure of the Letter in those its parts where Russian realities were depicted. The Letter refl ected the main tendencies of development of elevated book style of Russian literary language in the period of Rus strengthening as Orthodoxy stronghold.


Maximus the Greek, Ancient Rus, Letter, Psalter, literary language, grammatical norm

Svetlana G. Shulezhkova. Nosov Маgnitogorsk State Technical University, Russia, shulezkova@

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