Boris stones

Boris stones

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[[File:Belarus-Polatsk-Boris Stone.jpg|thumb|Boris stone near Cathedral of St. Sophia. [[Polatsk]], [[Belarus]]]] '''Boris Stones''' ({{lang-be|Барысавы камяні}}, {{IPA-be|baˈrɨsavɨ kamʲaˈni|}}; {{lang-ru|Борисовы камни}}), also called '''Dvina Stones''' ({{lang-ru|двинские камни}}), are seven medieval [[Artifact (archaeology)|artifact]]s erected along the bank of the [[Western Dvina]] between [[Polotsk]] and [[Drissa]], [[Belarus]]. They probably predate [[Christianity]] in the area, but were inscribed in the 12th century with text and an image of [[Christ]]. The largest of the stones is 17 metres in circumference. ==History== Although these landmarks were described in the 16th century by [[Maciej Stryjkowski]], it was [[Georg von Cancrin]] in 1818 who first brought them to scholarly attention. Cancrin discovered that a boulder near [[Orsha]] had the following inscription: "In the year 1171, on the 7th day of March, was completed this cross. Lord, please help your servant Basil, whose other name is Rogvolod, Boris' son". Subsequently, several other boulders with Boris's name were discovered. In the 1930s, two of these were blown up by Communist authorities as religious objects and their remains used to pave the road between Minsk and Moscow. Another one was thrown into the river, where it lay until its discovery in 1988. When an attempt to recover it was made, the stone broke apart into three pieces. Three other boulders were moved to be exhibited near St. Sophia Cathedral in [[Polotsk]], in the Museum of Boulders in [[Minsk]], and in [[Kolomenskoe]] near [[Moscow]]. ==Description== Both names for the stones are somewhat misleading: only four of them are located along the banks of the Dvina, and one of the stones does not mention Boris at all. What unites them is their programmatic illustration: "In each case the centrepiece is an enormous cross flanked by abbreviated elements of the conventional Greek legend proclaiming Christ's victory". It is generally accepted that the Boris mentioned in the inscriptions was [[Rogvolod Vseslavich]] (baptismal name "Boris"), [[Vseslav of Polotsk|Vseslav]]'s son, although it is quite likely that such boulders had been venerated by pagan [[Slavic peoples|Slavs]] long before the land was [[Conversion to Christianity|Christianised]]. ==See also== *[[The cross of Saint Euphrosyne]] *[[Jelling stones]] — similar landmarks in [[Denmark]] ==External links== [http://countrysite.spb.ru/Library/Tiskevich.htm Article by Konstanty Tyszkiewicz] [http://globus.tut.by/type_tn_borstones.htm Photographs] {{coord missing|Belarus}}