The Povest′ vremennyx let (PVL) and a few other early Rusian sources include quotations from and allusions to a story in the Revelations of Pseudo- Methodios of Patara about the enclosing of unclean people in a mountain by Alexander of Macedon. The present article examines the use of Pseudo-Methodios in these early Rusian sources and proposes that early Rus′ writers had an intelligent understanding of the sources they used. No Rusian source identifies the Tatars or the Mongols as Alexander’s “unclean people.” Nor does any Rusian source identify Gog and Magog among the enclosed peoples, although the Syriac, Greek, Latin, and Slavonic versions of Pseudo-Methodios do so. The reminiscences in the PVL most likely derive either from the Greek version or from a no-longer-extant translation of Pseudo- Methodios from Greek into Slavonic that was closer to the Greek than to any known Slavonic translation. The differences between the Greek and the known Slavonic translations can account for the differences between the PVL reminiscences and the known Slavonic translations. John of Plano Carpini and William of Rubruck, who come from Western Christendom, seem to derive their information about the unclean people from Latin versions of Pseudo-Methodios or the Alexander Romance, rather than from the Rus′ they encountered. The reading of PVLα testifies to contamination by an antigraph of the Novgorod I Chronicle on the Laurentian and Trinity copies of the PVL, which means that the Pseudo-Methodios readings of the Radziwiłł, Academy, Hypatian, and Khlebnikov copies of the PVL are primary in relation to those readings in the Laurentian and Trinity copies.


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