Apostils in the Early Printed Cyrillic Books in Light of Genealogy and Social History

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УДК 930.255, 930.22, 930.271, 93/94

Vladimir P. Bogdanov

M. V. Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russian Federation

Apostils in the Early Printed Cyrillic Books in Light of Genealogy and Social History


The article continues the author's studies on apostils in the early printed Cyrillic books as a source on social history. It considers apostils not as a source for studying book culture, but as one on genealogy. This article and the one previously published are both based on a database that the author has been compiling since 2008. Two types of apostils are most pertinent for reconstructing genealogy of a family. The first is sinodik listing names of family members to be prayed for in memorial service. Sinodiks usually followed the endowment or (more rarely) ownership inscriptions. They were widespread in the 17th and 18th century. The second type is annals (letopisets). These usually follow ownership records and note most important events in the family history, milestones of the family members’ lives. Family annals supplant sinodiks and prevail in 18th and 19th centuries. The author proposes a method of reconstructing genealogy of families from inscriptions of synodik and annalistic nature. While even single records contain unique information on the fates of family members (for example, an entry from 1655 on the endowment of priest Antipas Filimonov, whose children were in the Merchant Hundred), when taken together, apostils provide important data on the genesis of certain social groups. This thesis is substantiated by evidence of four families from various social strata: dyak (clerk) F. M. Matyushkin, commissar A. F. Podleskova, a printing house worker L. G. Shokurova. Apostils provide data on social origins of the 17th century monastic clergy. Moreover, synodiks references to "infants" or "slain" allow to touch upon issues of demography. Thus, apostils may be called an important source on social history in general. Information drawn from a large number of inscriptions is systematic.


Source studies, apostils, biography, genealogy, social history, book culture, social dynamics.


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About author

Bogdanov Vladimir Pavlovich, PhD in History, senior researcher, laboratory of cultural history, historical faculty, M. V. Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russian Federation, Moscow, +7-926-527-28-51, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Submitted 10.02.2017, published:

BOGDANOV, V. P. Zapisi na knigakh staropechatnoi kirillitsy v svete genealogii i sotsial'noi istorii [Apostils in the early printed Cyrillic books in light of genealogy and social history]. IN: Vestnik arhivista – Herald of an Archivist, 2017, no. 3, pp. 262-274.

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