the side of the Orthodox. In his subsequent writings, the same penetrating questioning of convention is applied to purely Orthodox traditions.
In the second part of his travel journal, Bars'kyj started to rely less on oral sources and to lean more heavily on literary sources. In one instance there is a lacuna in Bars'kyj's manuscript, with a note in the margin reminding the author to consult a book and to insert a short account of the saint's life.13 Elsewhere, events to which Bars'kyj claims to be an eye witness, and in all probability was, are paraphrased from another literary source. This is the case with his detailed discussion of the Holy Fire, the miracle that was part of the Easter ritual for Orthodox Christians in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Despite his being present at the ceremony in April I727, the prologue to his description betrays its dependence on much earlier writings in Church Slavonic. It contains the information that many pilgrims falsely say that the fire is carried from heaven by the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove while others see it like lightning, details which first appeared in early twelfth-century accounts. Bars'kyj was consciously reverting to the conventions of the khozhdeniia account, as found in the writings of the twelfth-century traveller from Rus, Igumen Daniil.14 In this he was following Arsenii Sukhanov, who had come to the Holy Land half a century before Bars'kyj, but whose writings gained popularity in the 1720s,15 during Bars'kyj's formative years in Kiev.16 Bars'kyj would have had access to copies of the Daniil manuscript at both the Kiev Academy and the L'viv AcademyI7 and he appears to be recalling the text from memory.
In terms of travel and distances, the second part of Bars'kyj's pilgrimage is one of great sea voyages. Despite his stated intention of returning home from Venice in the early spring of 1725, the chance meeting in the Piazza San Marco with the hieromonk Ruvym Gur'skyj led to a dramatic change in plans. Ruvym was a priest who had fallen from grace at the court ofTsar Peter the Great and fled St Petersburg because of a campaign of malicious gossip directed at him. He decided to join Bars'kyj on a pilgrimage to the holy shrines of Greece and they set out together by boat for Corfu on 28 February 1725, reaching the island on 9 April. Bars'kyj provides a detailed description of how they worshipped the relics of St Spyridon. From Corfu they sailed to Kephallenia (Cephalonia),
13 Bars'kyjMs., fols. I3ir-i32v.
14 See A. Grishin, 'Vasylijy Bars'kyjand the xozhenija tradition', Australian Slavonic and East European Studies Journal 11 (1988), 29-42.
15 N. I. Ivanovskii, 'Proskinitarii Arseniia Sukhanova', Pravoslavnii Palestinskii Sbornik 7 (St Petersburg, 1889), pt 3.
16 For Bars'kyj's account of the Holy Fire, see Bars'kyjMs., fols. I73r-i76v.
17 The Kiev manuscript is a late sixteenth- or seventeenth-century copy held at the Kiev Academy Library Cat. no. 157, while the one at L'viv is dated 1701 and is catalogue no. 132(105).
Was this article helpful?