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Old Russian Online

Lesson 9

Todd B. Krause and Jonathan Slocum

V.iii A Changing of the Guard

The effects of the conquest by the Tartars were even more far-reaching than the destruction was widespread. This period of submission to the Mongols, the so-called Tartar Yoke, lasted for another two centuries, with a gradual decline in power over that period. The Qipchaq Khanate originally established by Batu was eventually conquered by the Crimean Tatars in 1502 (Ostrowski, 2009).

The same period of westward expansion for the Tartar invaders also saw eastward expansion for another European power: Lithuania. As the southwestern provinces of Galicia and Volhynia lay at the extremity of the Qipchaq Khanate, they were difficult for the Tartars to control, and ultimately they fell into the orbit of Lithuania. These polities comprised communities which may in large part be considered the forerunners of Belorussia and Ukraine, so that here we see a fork between the historical paths of development of these two political entities on the one hand, and Great Russia on the other.

Tartar imperial rule exploited the devolution of administrative responsibility. In particular the Qipchaq Khanate allowed regional Russian princes to administer their own realms, and it declared a single Grand Prince to rule over the others. This Grand Prince was initially located in Vladimir. The administrators of the khanate kept sons of the grand princes of the Rus as hostages to ensure loyalty. At the same time these sons learned first-hand the practice of governing the khanate (Ostrowski, 2009). As part of their patronage of the Russian principalities, the khans were expected to supply troops to the grand princes when the need arose. In return the Rus were expected to supply troops to the khan when called for. Conscription seems to have been based on census data, with the khan recruiting one in every ten males. The khan determined who would be the grand prince of the Russian principalities and issued patents (decrees) declaring the authority of princes, which they had to retrieve in person from the capital at Saray (Hingley, 2003; Ostrowski, 2009).

During the 14th century, the Tartars converted to Islam. Rather than engender conflict between Christian and Muslim clergies, the Tartars seem to have held a noteworthy tolerance for the Russian church. This tolerance manifested itself economically with an exemption from taxes for the clergy and monasteries. This in turn provided a privileged position from which the Church could cultivate its role as a spiritual and political unifier in a period of trial and tribulation for the Russian populace.

This twofold manifestation of influence wove itself deeply into the emerging fabric of Russian cultural and political identity. The political influence wielded by the Church was anything but hidden: the metropolitan St. Alexis served as the practical head of state under two successive Grand Princes of Moscow (Hingley, 2003). This fostered a growing identification among the populace of the Church with Russia itself (Andreyev, 1962). This popular embrace of the Church was at one and the same time necessitated by the turmoil brought by the Tartar invasion and fostered by the emergence of native-born saints. Among those dating to this period is St. Sergius of Radonezh, a prime example of the intertwining of Church and State during this period: "He is at once a monk and nature lover, gentle with his spiritual children and a lover of toil; he is the teacher and the inspirations of a whole pleiad of Russian ecclesiastical figures of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries; but he is also the servant of the rising realm of Muscovy and takes his stand above the pettiness of local interests. He is simple and wise, a man of action and a mystic." (Andreyev, 1962) Though entreated by St. Alexis to become his successor as metropolitan, St. Sergius nevertheless refused and remained dedicated to his duties as monk.

Most portentous for the future development of Eastern Europe and Central Asia is the slow and steady rise, amidst this tumult, of the polity of Moscow. The city began as a rather insignificant satellite of greater powers of the northeast reaches of the Rus, such as Vladimir and Suzdal. Indeed, during this same period Tver too was a rising power and looked to eclipse Moscow. But several facts seem to have shifted events in Moscow's favor.

To begin, Alexander Nevsky, the prince of Novgorod, had already garnered fame for breaking the tide of the Tartar advance before it engulfed Novgorod. This he achieved largely through diplomacy. But he also added to his military renown by fighting off encroaching Teutonic armies invading from the west. Later he relocated to Vladimir. His son Daniel took the throne in Moscow in 1276, solidifying Moscow as the seat of one of the most powerful families in the lands of the Rus at that time. Moreover, in 1326 the Metropolitanate of the Russian Church shifted its seat to Moscow, where it remained thereafter (Hingley, 2003). Thus the two axes of power in the Russian lands coalesced in Moscow.

All of this took place, however, under the auspices of Tartar administration. This shift of power, therefore, would not have taken place had it not been, at some level, sanctioned by the khanate administration. And we in fact see that the khanate did slowly shift the balance of power in Moscow's favor. Though the reason for this inclination is not entirely clear, a likely explanation stems from the idea that the Mongol administration preferred to see a balance of power among the principalities so as to prevent any direct challenge to Tartar authority (Hingley, 2003). Historians suspect that at this time Tver was actually the polity gaining regional dominance. The Tartars therefore likely sponsored the rise of Moscow as a counterbalance to Tver. We see this play out in the granting of patents: during the 14th century the khan thrice crowned the grand prince of Tver as administrator of the Russian principalities, once the grand prince of Suzdal. On the remaining occasions the title went to the grand prince of Moscow. The last such appointment went to Vasilii II in 1431. By 1449, Vasilii II declared himself the regional authority and issued patents to the remaining Russian princes (Ostrowski, 2009). Moreover as the Tartar grip over Russian lands slipped near the end of the 15th century, Moscow also found favor as a source of resistance against the encroaching Lithuanians (Hingley, 2003).

From this we see the important shifts that take place under the Tartar Yoke. The profound nature of the lasting effects cannot be exaggerated. The economy of greater Rus was left in disarray through the burning and looting of the cities, and the selling of survivors into slavery. This was further compounded by the tendency of the Tartars to identify the skilled craftsmen and send them to Tartar economic centers.

Moreover we find in the Tartar Yoke the first intimations of what would later become the Iron Curtain: Russia was relegated to a province of the Mongol Empire. This left its focus centered on the East, and effectively cut it off from the rest of Europe. This must provide an important factor in how the European Renaissance failed to have a profound impact within Russian society (Andreyev, 1962; Hingley, 2003).

Finally Andreyev (1962) puts it best when he says, "But Moscow had been learning 'imperialism' from the Mongols...". Tartar rule accentuated the political rivalries among the Russian principalities, while at the same time providing a model of authoritarian rule. The model involved a rigid and remorseless style of government that pitted subgroups against one another to subvert direct challenge to the central authority. In this we find the seed of the later unfolding of Russian history.

Reading and Textual Analysis

The following passage continues the story of Boris and Gleb. We learn of Gleb's reaction to the news that his father is ill and his attempt to return to his father's side as he lies on his deathbed.

21 - I ne do sego ostavi ubiistva okanĭnyi Svjatopŭlkŭ, nŭ i na bolĭšaja, neistovjasja, načatŭ prostiratisja...

  • I -- conjunction; <i> and; also, too, even -- even
  • ne -- adverb; <ne> not -- Not
  • do -- preposition; <do> (w. gen.) to, up to; (with numerals) about -- at
  • sego -- demonstrative adjective; masculine genitive singular of <sĭ, se, si> this, this one -- this (point)
  • ostavi -- verb; 3rd person singular aorist of <ostaviti, -vl'jǫ, -viši> let, leave, neglect, forget -- did... stop
  • ubiistva -- noun; neuter genitive singular of <ubijistvo> killing, murder -- with the killing
  • okanĭnyi -- adjective; masculine nominative singular of <okanĭnŭ> wretched -- the wretched
  • Svjatopŭlkŭ -- proper noun; masculine nominative singular of <Svętoplŭkŭ> Svjatopolk, Svyatopolk, Sviatopolk (name of a prince, brother of Jaroslav, Boris, Gleb, and Predslava) -- Svjatopolk
  • -- conjunction; <> but -- but
  • i -- adverb; <i> and; also, too, even -- ...
  • na -- preposition; <na> (w. acc.) onto, against, for, to the extent; (w. loc.) on, at -- into
  • bolĭšaja -- comparative adjective; neuter accusative plural of <bol'ĭi> bigger, more -- more
  • neistovjasja -- participle; masculine nominative singular of <neistoviti sę, -vljǫ sę, -viši sę> be mad, be furious -- going mad
  • načatŭ -- verb; 3rd person singular aorist of <načęti, -čĭnǫ, -čĭneši> begin -- he began
  • prostiratisja -- verb; infinitive of <prostirati, -ajǫ, -aješi> extend + pronoun; accusative singular of <sebe> -self, oneself -- to expand

22 - I si na umě si položivŭ, zŭlyi sŭvětĭnikŭ dijavolĭ, posla po blaženaago Glěba, rekŭ, "Pridi vŭ bŭrzě, otecĭ zovetĭ tja, i ne sŭdravitĭ ti velĭmi."

  • I -- conjunction; <i> and; also, too, even -- And
  • si -- demonstrative pronoun; neuter accusative plural of <sĭ, se, si> this, this one -- these things
  • na -- preposition; <na> (w. acc.) onto, against, for, to the extent; (w. loc.) on, at -- in
  • umě -- noun; masculine locative singular of <umŭ> mind, reason, intellect -- mind
  • si -- pronoun; dative singular of <sebe> -self, oneself -- his
  • položivŭ -- past participle; masculine nominative singular of <položiti, -žǫ, -žiši> lay down, set down -- having set
  • zŭlyi -- adjective; masculine nominative singular of <zŭlŭ> evil, bad -- the evil
  • sŭvětĭnikŭ -- noun; masculine nominative singular of <sŭvětĭnikŭ> counsellor -- counsellor
  • dijavolĭ -- adjective; masculine nominative singular of <dijavolĭ> of the devil, belonging to the devil, diabolical -- possessed by the devil
  • posla -- verb; 3rd person singular aorist of <posŭlati, -l'jǫ, -l'ješi> send, summon -- sent
  • po -- preposition; <po> (w. dat.) on, about (motion on surface); (w. acc.) on, after, on account of; (w. loc.) after, following, for -- for
  • blaženaago -- adjective; masculine genitive singular of <blaženŭ> blessed -- the blessed # Instead of an expected accusative after po
  • Glěba -- proper noun; masculine genitive singular of <Glěbŭ> Gleb (name of a prince, brother of Svjatoslav, Jaroslav, Boris and Predslava) -- Gleb # Instead of an expected accusative after po
  • rekŭ -- past participle; masculine nominative singular of <rešti, rekǫ, rečeši> say, tell -- having said
  • Pridi -- verb; 2nd person singular imperative of <priti, -idǫ, -ideši> come, arrive -- Come
  • -- preposition; <> (w. loc.) in; (w. acc.) into -- ...
  • bŭrzě -- adjective used as substantive; neuter locative singular of <bŭrzŭ> rapid, quick -- quickly
  • otecĭ -- noun; masculine nominative singular of <otĭcĭ> father -- father
  • zovetĭ -- verb; 3rd person singular present of <zvati, zovǫ, zoveši> cry out; call, summon -- calls for
  • tja -- pronoun; accusative singular of <ty> you, thou -- you
  • i -- conjunction; <i> and; also, too, even -- and
  • ne -- adverb; <ne> not -- not
  • sŭdravitĭ -- verb; 3rd person singular present of <sŭdraviti, -vljǫ, -viši> be healthy, be strong -- is... well
  • ti -- pronoun; dative singular of <ty> you, thou -- for you # A rather textbook example of the so-called dative of reference: the dative frequently marks a party interested in the action or state denoted by the verb, but which has no direct involvement. Compare English use of for me in statements such as The new rules do not bode well for me.
  • velĭmi -- adverb; <velĭmi> greatly, very; clearly -- very

23 - Onŭ že vŭ bŭrzě, vŭ malě družině, vŭsědŭ na konĭ, poide.

  • Onŭ -- demonstrative pronoun; masculine nominative singular of <onŭ, ono, ona> that, that one -- that one
  • že -- conjunction; <že> and, but -- And
  • -- preposition; <> (w. loc.) in; (w. acc.) into -- ...
  • bŭrzě -- adjective used as substantive; neuter locative singular of <bŭrzŭ> rapid, quick -- quickly
  • -- preposition; <> (w. loc.) in; (w. acc.) into -- in
  • malě -- adjective; feminine locative singular of <malŭ> small, young -- a small
  • družině -- noun; feminine locative singular of <družina> retinue, band of retainers, troop -- retinue
  • vŭsědŭ -- past participle; masculine nominative singular of <vŭsěsti, -sędǫ, -sędeši> sit, sit down; come down -- having mounted
  • na -- preposition; <na> (w. acc.) onto, against, for, to the extent; (w. loc.) on, at -- ...
  • konĭ -- noun; masculine accusative singular of <konĭ> horse -- a horse
  • poide -- verb; 3rd person singular aorist of <poiti, -idǫ, -ideši> go, set out; go back, return -- set out

24 - I prišedŭ na Vŭlgu.

  • I -- conjunction; <i> and; also, too, even -- And
  • prišedŭ -- past participle; masculine nominative singular of <priti, -idǫ, -ideši> come, arrive -- he arrived # Note the use of the past participle instead of a finite (conjugated) verb form.
  • na -- preposition; <na> (w. acc.) onto, against, for, to the extent; (w. loc.) on, at -- at
  • Vŭlgu -- proper noun; feminine accusative singular of <Volga> Volga, (Turkic) Itil, Atil (name of a river flowing into the Caspian Sea) -- the Volga

25 - Na polě potŭčesja podŭ nimĭ konĭ vŭ rově i nalomi nogu malo.

  • Na -- preposition; <na> (w. acc.) onto, against, for, to the extent; (w. loc.) on, at -- on
  • polě -- noun; masculine locative singular of <polŭ, polu> side, bank, shore; sex; half -- the bank
  • potŭčesja -- verb; 3rd person singular aorist of <potŭknǫti, -nǫ, -neši> stick in or on, fix in or on, fasten together, bind; set up, prop up; strike + pronoun; accusative singular of <sebe> -self, oneself -- stumbled
  • podŭ -- preposition; <podŭ> (w. acc.) under, below (object of motion); (w. instr.) under, below (location) -- beneath
  • nimĭ -- pronoun; masculine instrumental singular of <*i> he -- him
  • konĭ -- noun; masculine accusative singular of <konĭ> horse -- the horse
  • -- preposition; <> (w. loc.) in; (w. acc.) into -- in
  • rově -- noun; masculine locative singular of <rovŭ> ditch, hole -- a rut
  • i -- conjunction; <i> and; also, too, even -- and
  • nalomi -- verb; 3rd person singular aorist of <nalomiti, -mljǫ, -miši> break, fracture -- broke
  • nogu -- noun; feminine accusative singular of <noga> foot -- (its) leg
  • malo -- adverb; neuter accusative singular of <malŭ> small, young -- a bit

26 - I jako pride Smolinĭsku i poide otŭ Smolinĭska, jako zĭrěimo edino, sta na Smjadině vŭ korablici.

  • I -- conjunction; <i> and; also, too, even -- And
  • jako -- conjunction; <jako> as, when; in order to; that; because; (introduces quotation) -- as (soon as)
  • pride -- verb; 3rd person singular aorist of <priti, -idǫ, -ideši> come, arrive -- he arrived
  • Smolinĭsku -- proper noun; masculine dative singular of <Smolĭnĭskŭ> Smolensk (name of a city located along the Dnieper river) -- in Smolensk # Note the use of the dative to denote the object of directed motion, rather than the expected accusative.
  • i -- conjunction; <i> and; also, too, even -- again
  • poide -- verb; 3rd person singular aorist of <poiti, -idǫ, -ideši> go, set out; go back, return -- set out
  • otŭ -- preposition; <otŭ> (w. gen.) of, from; by -- from
  • Smolinĭska -- proper noun; masculine genitive singular of <Smolĭnĭskŭ> Smolensk (name of a city located along the Dnieper river) -- Smolensk
  • jako -- conjunction; <jako> as, when; in order to; that; because; (introduces quotation) -- (and) as
  • zĭrěimo -- noun; neuter nominative singular of <zĭrěimo> visible horizon, distance of eyesight; short distance -- a short distance
  • edino -- adjective; neuter nominative singular of <edinŭ> one, only -- (it was) only
  • sta -- verb; 3rd person singular aorist of <stati, stanǫ, staneši> stand -- he boarded
  • na -- preposition; <na> (w. acc.) onto, against, for, to the extent; (w. loc.) on, at -- at
  • Smjadině -- proper noun; feminine locative singular of <Smjadina> Smjadina, Smiadina, Smyadina; Smjadin, Smiadin, Smjadyn, Smiadyn (name of a river, affluent of the Dnieper) -- (the river) Smjadina
  • -- preposition; <> (w. loc.) in; (w. acc.) into -- ...
  • korablici -- noun; masculine locative singular of <korablĭcĭ> caravel, (a type of) boat -- a caravel

27 - I vŭ se vremja prišĭla bjaaše věstĭ otŭ Peredŭslavy kŭ Jaroslavu o otĭni sŭmĭrti.

  • I -- conjunction; <i> and; also, too, even -- ...
  • -- preposition; <> (w. loc.) in; (w. acc.) into -- at
  • se -- demonstrative adjective; neuter accusative singular of <sĭ, se, si> this, this one -- this
  • vremja -- noun; neuter accusative singular of <vrěmę> time -- time
  • prišĭla -- past participle; feminine nominative singular of <priti, -idǫ, -ideši> come, arrive -- arrived
  • bjaaše -- verb; 3rd person singular imperfect of <byti, bǫdǫ, bǫdeši> be, become -- ...
  • věstĭ -- noun; feminine nominative singular of <věstĭ> announcement, report; rumor; fame -- news
  • otŭ -- preposition; <otŭ> (w. gen.) of, from; by -- from
  • Peredŭslavy -- proper noun; feminine genitive singular of <Prědŭslava> Peredslava, Predslava (name of a princess, sister of Svjatopolk, Jaroslav, Boris, and Gleb) -- Predslava
  • -- preposition; <> (w. dat.) to, toward -- to
  • Jaroslavu -- proper noun; masculine dative singular of <Jaroslavŭ> Jaroslav, Yaroslav (name of a prince, brother of Svjatopolk, Boris, Gleb, and Predslava) -- Jaroslav
  • o -- preposition; <o (ob)> (w. loc.) around; about, concerning; for; by; (w. instr.) at, by, along; (w. acc.) against -- concerning
  • otĭni -- adjective; feminine locative singular of <otĭnĭ> (poss. adj.) of the father, father's -- (his) father's
  • sŭmĭrti -- noun; feminine locative singular of <sŭmrĭtĭ> death -- death

28 - I prisla Jaroslavŭ kŭ Glěbu, reka, "Ne xodi, brate, otecĭ ti umĭrlŭ, a bratŭ ti ubienŭ otŭ Svjatopŭlka."

  • I -- conjunction; <i> and; also, too, even -- And
  • prisla -- verb; 3rd person singular aorist of <prisŭlati, -ljǫ, -lješi> send -- sent
  • Jaroslavŭ -- proper noun; masculine nominative singular of <Jaroslavŭ> Jaroslav, Yaroslav (name of the brother of Svjatoslav, Boris, Gleb, and Predslava) -- Jaroslav
  • -- preposition; <> (w. dat.) to, toward -- to
  • Glěbu -- proper noun; masculine dative singular of <Glěbŭ> Gleb (name of a prince, brother of Svjatoslav, Jaroslav, Boris and Predslava) -- Gleb
  • reka -- participle; masculine nominative singular of <rešti, rekǫ, rečeši> say, tell -- saying
  • Ne -- adverb; <ne> not -- not
  • xodi -- verb; 2nd person singular imperative of <xoditi, -ždǫ, -diši> walk, go -- Do... go
  • brate -- noun; masculine vocative singular of <bratrŭ, bratŭ> brother -- brother
  • otecĭ -- noun; masculine nominative singular of <otĭcĭ> father -- father
  • ti -- pronoun; dative singular of <ty> you, thou -- your
  • umĭrlŭ -- past participle; masculine nominative singular of <umrěti, -rǫ, -reši> die -- (has) died
  • a -- conjunction; <a> and, but; if -- and
  • bratŭ -- noun; masculine nominative singular of <bratrŭ, bratŭ> brother -- brother
  • ti -- pronoun; dative singular of <ty> you, thou -- your
  • ubienŭ -- past passive participle; masculine nominative singular of <ubiti, -bijǫ, -biješi> kill -- (has been) killed
  • otŭ -- preposition; <otŭ> (w. gen.) of, from; by -- by
  • Svjatopŭlka -- proper noun; masculine genitive singular of <Svętoplŭkŭ> Svjatopolk, Svyatopolk, Sviatopolk (name of a prince, brother of Jaroslav, Boris, Gleb, and Predslava) -- Svjatopolk

29 - I si uslyšavŭ, blaženyi vŭspi plačĭmĭ gorĭkyimĭ i pečaliju sĭrdĭčĭnoju i sice glagolaaše, "O uvy mně, gospodine moi!

  • I -- conjunction; <i> and; also, too, even -- ...
  • si -- demonstrative pronoun; neuter accusative plural of <sĭ, se, si> this, this one -- these things
  • uslyšavŭ -- past participle; masculine nominative singular of <uslyšati, -šǫ, -šiši> hear, find out -- Having heard
  • blaženyi -- adjective used as substantive; masculine nominative singular of <blaženŭ> blessed -- the blessed one
  • vŭspi -- verb; 3rd person singular aorist of <vŭzŭpiti, -pijǫ, -piješi> cry out -- cried out
  • plačĭmĭ -- noun; masculine instrumental singular of <plačĭ> weeping, tears -- with... tears
  • gorĭkyimĭ -- adjective; masculine instrumental singular of <gorĭkŭ> bitter, pungent, unpleasant -- mournful
  • i -- conjunction; <i> and; also, too, even -- and
  • pečaliju -- noun; feminine instrumental singular of <pečalĭ> sadness, affliction -- sadness
  • sĭrdĭčĭnoju -- adjective; feminine instrumental singular of <strŭdĭčinŭ> of the heart, related to the heart, heart's -- in his heart
  • i -- conjunction; <i> and; also, too, even -- and
  • sice -- pronoun; neuter accusative singular of <sicĭ, sice, sica> such, like this -- the following
  • glagolaaše -- verb; 3rd person singular imperfect of <glagolati, -l'jǫ, -l'ješi> say, speak -- said
  • O -- interjection; <o> (vocative particle followed by voc. or nom.) o!; (exclamatory particle followed by nom. or gen., less often dat.) oh! -- ...
  • uvy -- interjection; <uvy> (w. dat.) alas, woe -- Woe (is)
  • mně -- pronoun; dative singular of <azŭ> I -- to me
  • gospodine -- noun; masculine vocative singular of <gospodinŭ> lord, master -- lord
  • moi -- adjective; masculine vocative singular of <moi, moe, moja> my, mine -- my

30 - Otŭ dvoju plačju plačjusja i stenju; dŭvŭju sětovaniju sětuju i tužju.

  • Otŭ -- preposition; <otŭ> (w. gen.) of, from; by -- for
  • dvoju -- number adjective; masculine genitive dual of <dŭva, dŭvě> two -- two
  • plačju -- noun; masculine genitive dual of <plačĭ> weeping, tears -- sorrows
  • plačjusja -- verb; 1st person singular present of <plakati, plačǫ, -češi> weep, mourn + pronoun; accusative singular of <sebe> -self, oneself -- I weep
  • i -- conjunction; <i> and; also, too, even -- and
  • stenju -- verb; 1st person singular present of <stenati, -njǫ, -nješi> groan, moan -- moan
  • dŭvŭju -- number adjective; neuter genitive dual of <dŭva, dŭvě> two -- two
  • sětovaniju -- noun; neuter genitive dual of <sětovanĭje> sorrow -- by... afflictions
  • sětuju -- verb; 1st person singular present of <sětovati, -tujǫ, -tuješi> mourn -- I am struck
  • i -- conjunction; <i> and; also, too, even -- and
  • tužju -- verb; 1st person singular present of <tǫžiti, -žǫ, -žiši> shut in, drive, force, impel; be moved in a confined space; mourn -- pained

31 - Uvy mně!

  • Uvy -- interjection; <uvy> (w. dat.) alas, woe -- Woe (is)
  • mně -- pronoun; dative singular of <azŭ> I -- to me

32 - uvy mně!

  • uvy -- interjection; <uvy> (w. dat.) alas, woe -- Woe (is)
  • mně -- pronoun; dative singular of <azŭ> I -- to me

33 - Plačjusja po otci; plačju pače, zělo otčajaxŭsja, po tebě, brate i gospodine Borise.

  • Plačjusja -- verb; 1st person singular present of <plakati, plačǫ, -češi> weep, mourn + pronoun; accusative singular of <sebe> -self, oneself -- I weep
  • po -- preposition; <po> (w. dat.) on, about (motion on surface); (w. acc.) on, after, on account of; (w. loc.) after, following, for -- for
  • otci -- noun; masculine locative singular of <otĭcĭ> father -- (my) father
  • plačju -- verb; 1st person singular present of <plakati, plačǫ, -češi> weep, mourn -- (and) I weep
  • pače -- adverb; <pače> more, even more -- more
  • zělo -- adverb; <zělo> very -- exceedingly
  • otčajaxŭsja -- verb; 1st person singular imperfect of <otŭčajati, -čajǫ, -čaješi> give up hope, despair + pronoun; accusative singular of <sebe> -self, oneself -- am... distraught
  • po -- preposition; <po> (w. dat.) on, about (motion on surface); (w. acc.) on, after, on account of; (w. loc.) after, following, for -- for
  • tebě -- pronoun; locative singular of <ty> you, thou -- you
  • brate -- noun; masculine vocative singular of <bratrŭ, bratŭ> brother -- brother
  • i -- conjunction; <i> and; also, too, even -- and
  • gospodine -- noun; masculine vocative singular of <gospodinŭ> lord, master -- lord
  • Borise -- proper noun; masculine vocative singular of <Borisŭ> Boris (name of a prince, brother of Svjatopolk, Jaroslav, Gleb, and Predslava) -- Boris

34 - Kako probodenŭ esi, kako bez milosti pročee sŭmrĭti predasja!

  • Kako -- interrogative adverb; <kako> how, how is it that -- How
  • probodenŭ -- past passive participle; masculine nominative singular of <probosti, -dǫ, -deši> wound, injure -- run through
  • esi -- verb; 2nd person singular present of <byti, bǫdǫ, bǫdeši> be, become -- you were
  • kako -- interrogative adverb; <kako> how, how is it that -- how
  • bez -- preposition; <bez (bes, be)> (w. gen.) without -- without
  • milosti -- noun; feminine genitive singular of <milostĭ> grace, loving kindness -- mercy
  • pročee -- comparative adverb; <pročeje> therefore, but, finally; afterward -- finally
  • sŭmrĭti -- noun; feminine dative singular of <sŭmrĭtĭ> death -- death
  • predasja -- verb; 2nd person singular aorist of <prědati, -damĭ, -dasi> hand over, commend + pronoun; accusative singular of <sebe> -self, oneself -- you... gave yourself

35 - Kako ne otŭ vraga, nŭ otŭ svoego brata pagubu vŭsprijalŭ esi.

  • Kako -- interrogative adverb; <kako> how, how is it that -- How
  • ne -- adverb; <ne> not -- not
  • otŭ -- preposition; <otŭ> (w. gen.) of, from; by -- from
  • vraga -- noun; masculine genitive singular of <vragŭ> enemy -- an enemy
  • -- conjunction; <> but -- but
  • otŭ -- preposition; <otŭ> (w. gen.) of, from; by -- from
  • svoego -- adjective; masculine genitive singular of <svoi, svoe, svoja> own, one's own -- your own # Note the preference for the (third person) reflexive possessive adjective, svoi, rather than the second person possessive adjective, tvoi, even when the context makes clear the reference to the second person.
  • brata -- noun; masculine genitive singular of <bratrŭ, bratŭ> brother -- brother
  • pagubu -- noun; feminine accusative singular of <paguba> capture; destruction, ruin; disease; corruption -- ruin
  • vŭsprijalŭ -- past participle; masculine nominative singular of <vŭsprijęti, -imǫ, -imeši> take up, receive -- encountered
  • esi -- verb; 2nd person singular present of <byti, bǫdǫ, bǫdeši> be, become -- you

36 - Uvy mně!

  • Uvy -- interjection; <uvy> (w. dat.) alas, woe -- Woe (is)
  • mně -- pronoun; dative singular of <azŭ> I -- to me

37 - Une by mi sŭ toboju umreti, neže uedinenu i usirenu otŭ tebe vŭ semĭ žitii požiti.

  • Une -- comparative adjective; neuter nominative singular of <unĭi, un'e, un'ĭši> better -- preferable
  • by -- verb; 3rd person singular conditional-optative of <byti, bǫdǫ, bǫdeši> be, become -- It would have been
  • mi -- pronoun; dative singular of <azŭ> I -- for me
  • -- preposition; <> (w. gen.) (down) from; (w. instr.) with -- with
  • toboju -- pronoun; instrumental singular of <ty> you, thou -- you
  • umreti -- verb; infinitive of <umrěti, -rǫ, -reši> die -- to die
  • neže -- adverb; <ne> not + conjunction; <že> and, but -- and not
  • uedinenu -- past passive participle; masculine dative singular of <ujediniti, -njǫ, -niši> leave behind alone; unite -- bereft # Agreeing with preceding mi
  • i -- conjunction; <i> and; also, too, even -- and
  • usirenu -- past passive participle; masculine dative singular of <usiriti, -rjǫ, -riši> deprive of parents, orphan; deprive (in general) -- orphaned # Agreeing with preceding mi
  • otŭ -- preposition; <otŭ> (w. gen.) of, from; by -- of
  • tebe -- pronoun; genitive singular of <ty> you, thou -- you
  • -- preposition; <> (w. loc.) in; (w. acc.) into -- ...
  • semĭ -- demonstrative adjective; neuter locative singular of <sĭ, se, si> this, this one -- this
  • žitii -- noun; neuter locative singular of <žitĭje> life -- life
  • požiti -- verb; infinitive of <požiti, -živǫ, -živeši> live -- to live out

38 - Azŭ mněxŭ uzĭrěti lice tvoe anglĭskoe.

  • Azŭ -- pronoun; nominative singular of <azŭ> I -- I
  • mněxŭ -- verb; 1st person singular aorist of <mĭněti, mĭnjǫ, mĭniši> believe, think, assume -- hoped
  • uzĭrěti -- verb; infinitive of <uzĭrěti, -r'jǫ, -riši> see, perceive -- to see
  • lice -- noun; neuter accusative singular of <lice> face, form -- face
  • tvoe -- adjective; neuter accusative singular of <tvoi, tvoe, tvoja> thy, thine, your, of you (sg.) -- your
  • anglĭskoe -- adjective; neuter accusative singular of <angelĭskŭ> of an angel, angel's, angelic -- angelic

39 - Ti se selika tuga sŭstiže mja, i unylŭ byxŭ sŭ toboju umreti, gospodine moi.

  • Ti -- adverb; <ti> and; but; (added to adverbs) indeed -- Indeed
  • se -- adverb; <se> lo, behold -- ...
  • selika -- adjective; feminine nominative singular of <selikŭ> of this size, such -- such
  • tuga -- noun; feminine nominative singular of <tǫga> distress, difficulty -- misery
  • sŭstiže -- verb; 3rd person singular aorist of <sŭstignǫti, -nǫ, -neši> follow, pursue, catch up with, overtake, obtain, procure -- has befallen
  • mja -- pronoun; accusative singular of <azŭ> I -- me
  • i -- conjunction; <i> and; also, too, even -- and
  • unylŭ -- past participle; masculine nominative singular of <uniti, -njǫ, -niši> want; desire; beg; prefer -- wished
  • byxŭ -- verb; 1st person singular conditional-optative of <byti, bǫdǫ, bǫdeši> be, become -- I would have
  • -- preposition; <> (w. gen.) (down) from; (w. instr.) with -- with
  • toboju -- pronoun; instrumental singular of <ty> you, thou -- you
  • umreti -- verb; infinitive of <umrěti, -rǫ, -reši> die -- to die
  • gospodine -- noun; masculine vocative singular of <gospodinŭ> lord, master -- lord
  • moi -- adjective; masculine vocative singular of <moi, moe, moja> my, mine -- my

40 - Nyně že čto sŭtvorju azŭ, umilenyi, očjuženyi otŭ tvoeja dobroty i otŭ otca moego mŭnogaago razuma?

  • Nyně -- adverb; <nyn'ja, nyně> now -- now
  • že -- conjunction; <že> and, but -- But
  • čto -- interrogative pronoun; neuter accusative singular of <kŭto> who -- what
  • sŭtvorju -- verb; 1st person singular present of <sŭtvoriti, -rjǫ, -riši> do, make -- shall... do
  • azŭ -- pronoun; nominative singular of <azŭ> I -- I
  • umilenyi -- adjective; masculine nominative singular of <umil'enŭ> dejected, abject -- dejected
  • očjuženyi -- past passive participle; masculine nominative singular of <otŭčužditi, -dǫ, -diši> separate, remove -- bereft
  • otŭ -- preposition; <otŭ> (w. gen.) of, from; by -- of
  • tvoeja -- adjective; feminine genitive singular of <tvoi, tvoe, tvoja> thy, thine, your, of you (sg.) -- your
  • dobroty -- noun; feminine genitive singular of <dobrota> goodness; beauty; virtue -- virtue
  • i -- conjunction; <i> and; also, too, even -- and
  • otŭ -- preposition; <otŭ> (w. gen.) of, from; by -- of
  • otca -- noun; masculine genitive singular of <otĭcĭ> father -- father
  • moego -- adjective; masculine genitive singular of <moi, moe, moja> my, mine -- my
  • mŭnogaago -- adjective; masculine genitive singular of <mŭnogŭ> much, many -- great
  • razuma -- noun; masculine genitive singular of <razumŭ> understanding, sense, opinion, basic thought -- of... counsel

41 - O milyi moi brate i gospodine!

  • O -- interjection; <o> (vocative particle followed by voc. or nom.) o!; (exclamatory particle followed by nom. or gen., less often dat.) oh! -- O
  • milyi -- adjective; masculine vocative singular of <milŭ> wretched, pitiable; excusable -- poor
  • moi -- adjective; masculine vocative singular of <moi, moe, moja> my, mine -- my
  • brate -- noun; masculine vocative singular of <bratrŭ, bratŭ> brother -- brother
  • i -- conjunction; <i> and; also, too, even -- and
  • gospodine -- noun; masculine vocative singular of <gospodinŭ> lord, master -- lord

42 - Ašče esi upolučilŭ drĭznovenie u gospoda, moli o moemĭ unynii, da byxŭ azŭ sŭpodoblenŭ bylŭ tu že strastĭ vŭsprijati i sŭ toboju žiti, neže vŭ světě semĭ prelĭstĭněmĭ."

  • Ašče -- conjunction; <ašte> if, whether -- If
  • esi -- verb; 2nd person singular present of <byti, bǫdǫ, bǫdeši> be, become -- you have
  • upolučilŭ -- past participle; masculine nominative singular of <upolučiti sę, -čǫ sę, -čiši sę> be in the way, come upon, meet -- attained
  • drĭznovenie -- noun; neuter accusative singular of <drŭznovenĭje> daring, audacity; trust, confidence, reliance -- trust
  • u -- preposition; <u> (w. gen.) near, at, by -- at the side of
  • gospoda -- noun; masculine genitive singular of <gospodĭ> lord, master -- the Lord
  • moli -- verb; 2nd person singular imperative of <moliti, -ljǫ, -liši> beseech, ask; pray -- beseech
  • o -- preposition; <o (ob)> (w. loc.) around; about, concerning; for; by; (w. instr.) at, by, along; (w. acc.) against -- on behalf of
  • moemĭ -- adjective; neuter locative singular of <moi, moe, moja> my, mine -- my
  • unynii -- noun; neuter locative singular of <unynĭje> mourning, sadness; carelessness, negligence, neglect -- sorrow
  • da -- conjunction; <da> in order to, that; may, let; and, then -- that
  • byxŭ -- verb; 1st person singular conditional-optative of <byti, bǫdǫ, bǫdeši> be, become -- be
  • azŭ -- pronoun; nominative singular of <azŭ> I -- I
  • sŭpodoblenŭ -- past passive participle; masculine nominative singular of <sŭpodobiti, -bljǫ, -biši> deem worthy -- deemed worthy
  • bylŭ -- past participle; masculine nominative singular of <byti, bǫdǫ, bǫdeši> be, become -- ... # The construction allows two interpretations: (1) we might consider byxŭ... bylŭ the main verb, and so sŭpodoblenŭ should be taken as the predicate adjective; or (2) we might take sŭpodobiti itself as the verb, and here we find an example of a true periphrastic passive construction.
  • tu -- adverb; <tu> there; then -- there
  • že -- conjunction; <že> and, but -- ...
  • strastĭ -- noun; feminine accusative singular of <strastĭ> suffering, woe; passion, martyrdom -- martyrdom
  • vŭsprijati -- verb; infinitive of <vŭsprijęti, -imǫ, -imeši> take up, receive -- to receive
  • i -- conjunction; <i> and; also, too, even -- and
  • -- preposition; <> (w. gen.) (down) from; (w. instr.) with -- with
  • toboju -- pronoun; instrumental singular of <ty> you, thou -- you
  • žiti -- verb; infinitive of <žiti, -živǫ, -živeši> live -- live
  • neže -- adverb; <ne> not + conjunction; <že> and, but -- and not
  • -- preposition; <> (w. loc.) in; (w. acc.) into -- in
  • světě -- noun; masculine accusative singular of <světŭ> light -- light
  • semĭ -- demonstrative adjective; masculine locative singular of <sĭ, se, si> this, this one -- this
  • prelĭstĭněmĭ -- adjective; masculine locative singular of <prělĭstĭnŭ> deceitful, illusive, fraudful, flattering -- illusory

Lesson Text

21 I ne do sego ostavi ubiistva okanĭnyi Svjatopŭlkŭ, nŭ i na bolĭšaja, neistovjasja, načatŭ prostiratisja...

22 I si na umě si položivŭ, zŭlyi sŭvětĭnikŭ dijavolĭ, posla po blaženaago Glěba, rekŭ, "Pridi vŭ bŭrzě, otecĭ zovetĭ tja, i ne sŭdravitĭ ti velĭmi."

23 Onŭ že vŭ bŭrzě, vŭ malě družině, vŭsědŭ na konĭ, poide. 24 I prišedŭ na Vŭlgu. 25 Na polě potŭčesja podŭ nimĭ konĭ vŭ rově i nalomi nogu malo. 26 I jako pride Smolinĭsku i poide otŭ Smolinĭska, jako zĭrěimo edino, sta na Smjadině vŭ korablici. 27 I vŭ se vremja prišĭla bjaaše věstĭ otŭ Peredŭslavy kŭ Jaroslavu o otĭni sŭmĭrti. 28 I prisla Jaroslavŭ kŭ Glěbu, reka, "Ne xodi, brate, otecĭ ti umĭrlŭ, a bratŭ ti ubienŭ otŭ Svjatopŭlka."

29 I si uslyšavŭ, blaženyi vŭspi plačĭmĭ gorĭkyimĭ i pečaliju sĭrdĭčĭnoju i sice glagolaaše, "O uvy mně, gospodine moi! 30 Otŭ dvoju plačju plačjusja i stenju; dŭvŭju sětovaniju sětuju i tužju. 31 Uvy mně! 32 uvy mně! 33 Plačjusja po otci; plačju pače, zělo otčajaxŭsja, po tebě, brate i gospodine Borise. 34 Kako probodenŭ esi, kako bez milosti pročee sŭmrĭti predasja! 35 Kako ne otŭ vraga, nŭ otŭ svoego brata pagubu vŭsprijalŭ esi. 36 Uvy mně! 37 Une by mi sŭ toboju umreti, neže uedinenu i usirenu otŭ tebe vŭ semĭ žitii požiti. 38 Azŭ mněxŭ uzĭrěti lice tvoe anglĭskoe. 39 Ti se selika tuga sŭstiže mja, i unylŭ byxŭ sŭ toboju umreti, gospodine moi. 40 Nyně že čto sŭtvorju azŭ, umilenyi, očjuženyi otŭ tvoeja dobroty i otŭ otca moego mŭnogaago razuma? 41 O milyi moi brate i gospodine! 42 Ašče esi upolučilŭ drĭznovenie u gospoda, moli o moemĭ unynii, da byxŭ azŭ sŭpodoblenŭ bylŭ tu že strastĭ vŭsprijati i sŭ toboju žiti, neže vŭ světě semĭ prelĭstĭněmĭ."

Translation

21 Not even at this point did the wretched Svjatopolk stop with the killing, but, going mad, he began to expand into more...
22 And having set these things in his mind, the evil Svjatopolk, possessed by the devil, sent for the blessed Gleb, having said, "Come quickly, father calls for you, and he is not very well for you."
23 And that one, with a small retinue, having mounted a horse, set out quickly. 24 And he arrived at the Volga. 25 And on the bank the horse beneath him stumbled in a rut and broke its leg a bit. 26 And as (soon as) he arrived in Smolensk, he again set out from Smolensk, and as (it was) only a short distance, he boarded a caravel at (the river) Smjadina. 27 At this time news arrived to Jaroslav from Predslava concerning his father's death. 28 And Jaroslav sent to Gleb, saying, "Do not go, brother, your father has died, and your brother has been killed by Svjatopolk."
29 Having heard these things, the blessed one cried out with mournful tears and sadness in his heart and said the following: "Woe is to me, my lord! 30 For two sorrows I weep and moan; by two afflictions I am struck and pained. 31 Woe is to me! 32 Woe is to me! 33 I weep for my father; and I weep more, (and) am exceedingly distraught, for you, Boris, brother and lord. 34 How you were run through, how without mercy you finally gave yourself to death! 35 How not from an enemy, but from your own brother you encountered ruin! 36 Woe is to me! 37 It would have been preferable for me to die with you, and not to live out this life bereft of you and orphaned. 38 I hoped to see your angelic face. 39 Indeed, such misery has befallen me, and I would have wished to die with you, my lord. 40 But now what shall I do, dejected, bereft of your virtue and of my father of great counsel? 41 O my poor brother and lord! 42 If you have attained trust at the side of the Lord, beseech on behalf of my sorrow, that I be deemed worthy to receive martyrdom and live there with you, and not in this illusory light."

Grammar

41. The Fourth Conjugation

The fourth conjugation comprises the so-called semi-thematic verbs. These verbs are characterized by the suffix -i- applied to the verbal root and preceding the endings. This suffix originally derives from PIE *-ej- > CS *-i:-. Class IV verbs fall into two subcategories based on the formation of the infinitive stem.

  • Class IVA: these verbs exhibit the suffix -i-, derived from PIE *-i:-, between the verbal root and the infinitive suffix -ti. Example: xod-i-ti 'to go', with present tense stem xod-i-.
  • Class IVB: these verbs display the suffix -ě-, derived from PIE *-e:-, between the verbal root and the infinitive suffix -ti. After palatal consonants, including -j-, this -ě- is backed to -a-. Example: vid-ě-ti 'to see', with present tense stem vid-i-; sto-ja-ti 'to stand', with present tense stem sto- [stoj-].

In contrast to the preceding classes, verbs of Class IV do not insert the thematic vowel *-e/o- before the present tense endings. Rather they append the endings directly to the -i- suffix characterizing the conjugation. In the first person singular, the ending itself contains a vowel, and in prevocalic position the suffix -i- becomes the palatal glide -j-: *-i-om > *-jom > *-jǫ > Old Russian -ju, OCS -jǫ. This palatal glide in turn triggers j-palatalization in the preceding consonant. Class IV verbs therefore regularly display the effects of j-palatalization in the first person singular.

Another characteristic feature of the fourth conjugation concerns the third person plural. Since the fourth conjugation foregoes the thematic vowel, the ending *-nti is affixed directly to the characteristic -i-. In Common Slavic, rather than producing the back nasalized vowel -ǫ- characteristic of the third person plural in other conjugations, we find instead the front nasalized vowel: *-i-nti > *-intĭ > *-ętĭ > Old Russian -jatĭ, OCS -ętŭ. Thus the ending -jatĭ characterizes the third person plural of Class IV verbs in Old Russian. A corollary of this fact is that the present participle displays a stem in -jač- or -jašč- throughout the paradigm, rather than the stem in -uč- or -ušč- characteristic of other conjugations.

In the remaining forms of the present tense, the characteristic suffix lies in pre-consonantal position and so retains its vocalic character. The remaining forms therefore do not display any effects of j-palatalization, though original root-final velars show the usual palatalization before front vowels. The following table provides examples of some verbs belonging to Class IV.

Class   Infinitive   Meaning   1st Sg.   2nd Sg.   Pres. Stem   Suffixed Stem
IVA   moliti   demand   mol'ju   moliši   [mol-i-]   mol-i-
IVA   strašiti   frighten   strašu   strašiši   [straš-i-]   straš-i-
                         
IVB   slyšati   hear   slyšu   slyšiši   [slyš-i-]   slyš-a-
IVB   stojati   stand   stoju   stoiši   [sto-i-]   sto-ja-
IVB   sěděti   seat   sěžu   sědiši   [sěd-i-]   sěd-ě-

The j-palatalization of the root-final consonant encountered in the first person singular present indicative active of Class IV verbs also reappears with some frequency in other forms. In particular we find softening of the root-final consonant in the past passive participle, in some imperfect forms, and in the verbal noun, among other forms. Consider the following forms.

Infinitive   Meaning   Pres. 1 Sg.   Pres. 2 Sg.   Impf. 1 Sg.   Past Pass. Part.
ljubiti   love   ljubl'ju   ljubiši   ljubl'aaxŭ   ljubl'enŭ
pustiti   allow   pušču   pustiši   puščaaxŭ   puščenŭ

The verbs xoditi 'to go' and prositi 'to ask' serve to illustrate the forms of Class IVA verbs. The verbs viděti 'to see' and stojati 'to stand' serve to illustrate the forms of verbs belonging to Class IVB. The paradigms are listed in the table below. Note in particular the j-palatalization in the singular imperative forms of viděti 'to see': second and third person singular imperative viži.

Class IV   IVA   IVA   IVB   IVB
Stem   xod-   pros-   vid-   sto-
Present                
1 Sg.   xožju   prošju   vižju   stoju
2   xodiši   prosiši   vidiši   stoiši
3   xoditĭ   prositĭ   viditĭ   stoitĭ
                 
1 Du.   xodivě   prosivě   vidivě   stoivě
2   xodita   prosita   vidita   stoita
3   xodita   prosita   vidita   stoita
                 
1 Pl.   xodimŭ   prosimŭ   vidimŭ   stoimŭ
2   xodite   prosite   vidite   stoite
3   xodjatĭ   prosjatĭ   vidjatĭ   stojatĭ
                 
Imperative                
1 Sg.   -   -   -   -
2   xodi   prosi   viži   stoi
3   xodi   prosi   viži   stoi
                 
1 Du.   xodivě   prosivě   vidivě   stoivě
2   xodita   prosita   vidita   stoita
3   -   -   -   -
                 
1 Pl.   xodimŭ   prosimŭ   vidimŭ   stoimŭ
2   xodite   prosite   vidite   stoite
3   -   -   -   -
                 
Pres. Act. Part.                
Masc./Neut. N   xodja   prosja   vidja   stoja
Fem. N   xodjači   prosjači   vidjači   stojači
                 
Pres. Pass. Part.                
Masc. N   -   prosimŭ   vidimŭ   -
                 
Imperfect I                
1 Sg.   xodjaaxŭ   prosjaaxŭ   vidjaaxŭ   stojaxŭ
2   xodjaaše   prosjaaše   vidjaaše   stojaše
3   xodjaaše   prosjaaše   vidjaaše   stojaše
                 
1 Du.   xodjaaxově   prosjaaxově   vidjaaxově   stojaxově
2   xodjaašeta   prosjaašeta   vidjaašeta   stojašeta
3   xodjaašeta   prosjaašeta   vidjaašeta   stojašeta
                 
1 Pl.   xodjaaxomŭ   prosjaaxomŭ   vidjaaxomŭ   stojaxomŭ
2   xodjaašete   prosjaašete   vidjaašete   stojašete
3   xodjaaxu   prosjaaxu   vidjaaxu   stojaxu
                 
Imperfect II                
1 Sg.   xožaaxŭ   prošaaxŭ   -   -
2   xožaaše   prošaaše   -   -
3   xožaaše   prošaaše   -   -
                 
1 Du.   xožaaxově   prošaaxově   -   -
2   xožaašeta   prošaašeta   -   -
3   xožaašeta   prošaašeta   -   -
                 
1 Pl.   xožaaxomŭ   prošaaxomŭ   -   -
2   xožaašete   prošaašete   -   -
3   xožaaxu   prošaaxu   -   -
                 
New Aorist                
1 Sg.   xodixŭ   prosixŭ   viděxŭ   stojaxŭ
2   xodi   prosi   vidě   stoja
3   xodi   prosi   vidě   stoja
                 
1 Du.   xodixově   prosixově   viděxově   stojaxově
2   xodista   prosista   viděsta   stojasta
3   xodista   prosista   viděsta   stojasta
                 
1 Pl.   xodixomŭ   prosixomŭ   viděxomŭ   stojaxomŭ
2   xodiste   prosiste   viděste   stojaste
3   xodiša   prosiša   viděša   stojaša
                 
Past Act. Part.                
Masc./Neut. N   xodivŭ, xožĭ   prosivŭ, prošĭ   viděvŭ   stojavŭ
Fem. N   xodivŭši   prosivŭši   viděvŭši   stojavŭši
                 
Resultative Part.                
Masc. N   xodilŭ   prosilŭ   vidělŭ   stojalŭ
                 
Past Pass. Part.                
Masc. N   -   prošenŭ   viděnŭ   -
                 
Infinitive   xoditi   prositi   viděti   stojati
                 
Supine   xoditŭ   prositŭ   vidětŭ   stojatŭ
                 
Verbal Noun   xoženĭje   prošenĭje   viděnĭje   stojanĭje
42. The Conjugation of xotěti

The verb xotěti 'to want, wish' shows an inflection derived from a mixture of conjugation classes. The present tense in particular shows interesting variation. The verb shows forms that display the palatalization pattern and thematic vowel alternation proper to the Class III verbs. Such forms appear throughout the present tense, except in the third person plural. At the same time xotěti shows present tense forms proper to Class IV verbs. These forms appear for all but the singular number. In particular, this implies that the singular forms always belong to Class III, while the third person plural always belongs to Class IV. The remaining present tense forms alternate between Classes III and IV. In addition the present active participle belongs to Class IV.

In other parts of the paradigm, some forms are sparsely attested. The following chart lists those forms with the greatest attestation, or which can be reconstructed with the most certainty based on extant forms.

Present III   Singular   Dual   Plural
1   xočju   xočevě   xočemŭ
2   xočeši   xočeta   xočete
3   xočetĭ   xočeta   -
             
Present IV            
1   -   xotivě   xotimŭ
2   -   xotita   xotite
3   -   xotita   xotjatĭ
             
Imperative            
1   -   -   -
2   xošĭ   -   -
3   xošĭ   -   -
             
Pres. Act. Part.            
Masc./Neut. N   xotja        
Fem. N   xotjači        
             
Pres. Pass. Part.            
Masc. N   -        
             
Imperfect            
1   xotjaaxŭ   xotjaaxově   xotjaaxomŭ
2   xotjaaše   xotjaašeta   xotjaašete
3   xotjaaše   xotjaašeta   xotjaaxu
             
Aorist            
1   -   -   xočomŭ
2   xoče   -   -
3   xoče   -   -
             
Past Act. Part.            
Masc./Neut. N   -        
Fem. N   -        
             
Resultative Part.            
Masc. N   xotělŭ        
             
Past Pass. Part.            
Masc. N   -        
             
Infinitive   xotěti        
             
Supine   -        
             
Verbal Noun   xotěnĭje        
43. The Instrumental Case

The Old Russian instrumental case, as its name suggests, marks the instrument, or means by which, an event takes place. This parallels English use of the preposition with in statements such as He hit me with his shoe. The instrumental also enjoys a sociative connotation, i.e. a notion of accompaniment. This also parallels English use of with in expressions such as I went to the beach with my family. Such sociative uses of the instrumental, however, generally employ the preposition 'with' in Old Russian. The following examples show the instrumental of means.

  • ōtroci svěnĭlŭži isoděli sę sutĭ ōružĭemŭ i porty 'Sveinald's retainers are clothed with swords and garments' (Death of Igor).
  • a vy xoščete izmreti gladŭmĭ 'but you wish to die by means of hunger' (Olga's Revenge).
  • radi daemŭ medŭmĭ i skoroju 'gladly we will furnish (you) with honey and fur(s)' (Olga's Revenge).
  • i povelě kŭ koemužĭdo golubi i kŭ vorobievi privjazyvati cěri, obĭrtyvajušče vŭ platŭky maly, nitŭkoju povĭrzyvajušče kŭ koemužĭdo ixŭ 'And she commanded them to fasten sulfur to each pigeon and to each sparrow, wrapping it in a small cloth, tying it with a thread to each of them' (Olga's Revenge).

Old Russian also occasionally employs the instrumental to mark the cause or reason for an event or action. Consider the following example of the causal instrumental: těmĭ glagolaxu na perevozŭ na Kyevŭ 'for this (reason) they would say, "to Kii's ferry"' (Primary Chronicle).

As we have seen with numerous other cases, some verbs employ the instrumental case to mark the complement where we might otherwise expect a direct object in the accusative. The following provide examples of the use of the instrumental with certain verbs.

  • polem že živšemŭ ōsobě, i volodějuščemŭ i rody svoimi iže i do see bratĭě bęxu polęne 'with the Polianians living by themselves and ruling their own families, even up to this (time) brothers were the Polianians' (Primary Chronicle).
  • ženjaisja puščeniceju 'whosoever marries the divorced woman...' (Ostromir Gospel, Matthew 5.32, cf. Sreznevskij, 1898, vol. 1, p. 858).

Modern Russian often employs the instrumental case to mark a noun or adjective predicated to the subject. This usage is a later development within the history of Russian, emerging roughly around the 15th century. Consider the following late example of the predicative instrumental: bě bo u Jaropolka žena Grikině, bjaše byla preže černiceju 'for Jaropolk had a Greek wife who was formerly a nun' (Novgorod Chronicle [Novgorodskaja Letopisĭ], from the 15th century, cf. Matthews, 1960, p.226).

Within Old Russian, such predication generally employs the nominative case (cf. Section 25).

44. Numerals
44.1. Cardinal Numbers

The cardinal numbers allow us to count things: 1 book, 2 books, 3 books, etc. Old Russian shows two basic formations when expressing cardinal numbers: some cardinals function as adjectives modifying the things they are counting, others function as nouns in their own right. When the numerals function as adjectives, a phrase such as two books functions in the same way as a phrase like blue books: the numeral functions as an adjective agreeing with the word it modifies in gender, case, and number (singular, dual, or plural). By contrast, when the numerals themselves function as nouns, the thing which they are counting is represented as a dependent genitive. For example, rather than saying five books with five functioning as an adjective, Old Russian says something akin to a five of books. That is, the numeral represents a group, and the genitive plural specifies what the group consists of: a five-group of books.

In broad outline, the numbers 1 through 4 function as adjectives, while 5 though 10 function as nouns with dependent genitives. The teens roughly repeat the same structure, with 11 through 14 as adjectives, 15 through 19 as nouns.

44.1.1 The Numeral 1

Old Russian represents the number 1 with an adjective showing a pronominal declension: odinŭ 'one'. The declension is as follows.

    Masculine   Neuter   Feminine
N Sg.   odinŭ   odino   odina
A   odinŭ   odino   odinu
G   odinogo   odinogo   odinoě
L   odinomĭ   odinomĭ   odinoi
D   odinomu   odinomu   odinoi
I   odiněmĭ   odiněmĭ   odinoju
V            
             
N Du.   odina   odině   odině
A   odina   odině   odině
G   odinoju   odinoju   odinoju
L   odinoju   odinoju   odinoju
D   odiněma   odiněma   odiněma
I   odiněma   odiněma   odiněma
V            
             
N Pl.   odini   odina   odiny
A   odiny   odina   odiny
G   odiněxŭ   odiněxŭ   odiněxŭ
L   odiněxŭ   odiněxŭ   odiněxŭ
D   odiněmŭ   odiněmŭ   odiněmŭ
I   odiněmi   odiněmi   odiněmi
V            

The stem odĭn- may alternate with the stem odin- in any of the forms of the above paradigm. At times one encounters the Old Church Slavic stem edin-.

44.1.2 The Numeral 2

Old Russian represents the number 2 by the adjective dŭva 'two'. This adjective quite naturally occurs solely in the dual number, agreeing with the word it modifies in gender, case, and number. The following table lists the forms.

    Masculine   Neuter   Feminine
N Du.   dŭva   dŭvě   dŭvě
A   dŭva   dŭvě   dŭvě
G   dŭvoju   dŭvoju   dŭvoju
L   dŭvoju   dŭvoju   dŭvoju
D   dŭvěma   dŭvěma   dŭvěma
I   dŭvěma   dŭvěma   dŭvěma
V            

The word oba 'both' follows the same declension. Some texts also show variant forms such as the genitive dual oběju.

44.1.3 The Numeral 3

The adjective trĭje 'three' represents the number 3. This adjective occurs only in the plural. The table below lists the forms.

    Masculine   Neuter   Feminine
N Pl.   trĭje   tri   tri
A   tri   tri   tri
G   trĭi   trĭi   trĭi
L   trĭxŭ   trĭxŭ   trĭxŭ
D   trĭmŭ   trĭmŭ   trĭmŭ
I   trĭmi   trĭmi   trĭmi
V            

The front jer in the masculine nominative plural may yield trije as a result of standing in tense position. The genitive plural trĭi is phonetically [trĭjĭ] and so may appear as trii owing to the tense position of the first jer, or as trei as a result of the first jer falling in strong position. Due to the influence of pronominal declensions in which genitive and locative plural forms coincide, we also find occasionally the locative form trĭxŭ used in place of the genitive. In addition we at times find the form trema for the instrumental plural.

As an example from the Ostromir Gospel, take tri měsęcę 'three months', where both words are masculine accusative plural.

44.1.4 The Numeral 4

Old Russian represents the number 4 with the adjective četyre 'four', agreeing with the noun it modifies in gender, case, and the plural number. The following table lists the forms.

    Masculine   Neuter   Feminine
N Pl.   četyre   četyri   četyri
A   četyri   četyri   četyri
G   četyrŭ   četyrŭ   četyrŭ
L   četyrĭxŭ   četyrĭxŭ   četyrĭxŭ
D   četyrĭmŭ   četyrĭmŭ   četyrĭmŭ
I   četyrĭmi   četyrĭmi   četyrĭmi
V            

The genitive form četyrŭ is occasionally replaced by četyrĭi, or with fully vocalized strong jer, četyrei. In addition we occasionally find četyrĭma for the instrumental.

As an example again from the Ostromir Gospel, take četyre měsęci 'four months', where both words are masculine nominative plural.

44.1.5 The Numerals 5, ..., 10

The numerals 5 through 9 all occur as feminine i-stem nouns which govern a genitive plural of the thing counted. The numbers are as follows:

  • 5: pjatĭ 'five',
  • 6: sedmĭ 'six',
  • 7: semĭ 'seven',
  • 8: osmĭ or vosmĭ 'eight',
  • 9: devjatĭ 'nine'.

These nouns follow the declension of the feminine i-stem noun kostĭ 'bone' (cf. Section 11.1). For example, pjatĭ 'five' shows pjati in the genitive, locative, and dative singular, and pjatĭju in the instrumental singular.

The word desjatĭ 'ten' represents the numeral 10. This largely shows the forms proper to the declension of consonant stems (cf. Section 16).

    Singular   Dual   Plural
N Pl.   desjatĭ   desjati   desjate
A   desjatĭ   desjati   desjati
G   desjate   desjatu   desjatŭ
L   desjate   desjatu   desjatĭxŭ
D   desjati   desjatĭma   desjatĭmŭ
I   desjatĭju   desjatĭma   desjatĭmi
V            

Again the Ostromir Gospel provides an example: podobĭno... desęti děvŭ 'similar... to ten virgins', or more literally 'similar... to ten of virgins'. Here desęti is the dative singular, while děvŭ 'of virgins' is the genitive plural.

44.1.6 The Teens

The formation of the teens 11, ..., 19 follows almost exactly the constructions of the numerals 1 through 10. Viewed from the perspective of English, the teens read one on ten (eleven), two on ten (twelve), three on ten (thirteen), etc. Thus the grammatical construction in Old Russian is exactly the grammatical construction encountered with the individual numerals 1, 2, 3, etc., the only difference being the addition of the phrase on ten. Specifically, the numerals are as follows.

  • 11: odinŭ na desjati masc., odino na desjati neut., odina na desjati fem.;
  • 12: dŭva na desjati masc., dŭvě na desjati neut., dŭvě na desjati fem. dual;
  • 13: trĭje na desjati masc., tri na desjati neut., tri na desjati fem. plural;
  • 14: četyre na desjati masc., četyri na desjati neut., četyri na desjati fem. plural;
  • 15: pjatĭ na desjati;
  • 16: sedmĭ na desjati;
  • 17: semĭ na desjati;
  • 18: osmĭ na desjati or vosmĭ na desjati;
  • 19: devjatĭ na desjati.

The Ostromir Gospel again provides an example: jako dŭvojǫ na desęte lětu 'about twelve years old'. Literally this reads 'roughly of two years on ten', where the dual adjective dŭvojǫ, in the genitive, agrees with the dual genitive lětu.

44.1.7 The Decades

Old Russian constructs the decades 20, 30, ..., 90 as groups of tens. Thus the numeral 20 is rendered by two tens, 30 by three tens, 40 by four tens, 50 by five (of) tens, etc. Thus we return to the problem of counting with the numerals 1, 2, 3, ..., 9, but now the thing counted is a group of ten: desjatĭ. Hence the decades also break down into two groups: those where desjatĭ is modified by an adjective, and those where desjatĭ is in the genitive plural, depending on the numeral. The specific forms are as follows.

  • 20: dŭva desjati. This has nominative and accusative dual dŭva desjati, genitive and locative dŭvoju desjatu, dative and instrumental dŭvěma desjatĭma. We also find alternate constructions with the genitive plural: dŭvojǫ desętŭ, literally 'of/on two of tens'.
  • 30: tri desjate, where desjate is the nominative plural.
  • 40: četyre desjate, where we note that the form četyre suggests the collocation is viewed as masculine plural. Consider an example taken from the Novgorod First Chronicle: i četyrĭdesjat cerkovŭ ogorě 'and forty churches burned'. Here we see that the numeral 40 as a unit follows the genitive construction encountered with the numerals 5 through 10: namely the phrase literally translates as 'and forty of churches burned'.
  • 50: pjatĭdesjatŭ, where desjatŭ is a genitive governed by pjatĭ: literally 'five of tens'.
  • 60: šestĭdesjatŭ. We also find constructions where both elements are declined: sŭ šestĭjudesjatĭju mužĭ 'with sixty (of) men'.
  • 70: semĭdesjatŭ or sedmĭdesjatĭ. For example, po semidesjatŭ ženŭ 'seventy wives apiece' (Primary Chronicle), literally 'according to seven of tens of wives', where semĭ is in the dative in accordance with the preposition po.
  • 80: osmĭdesjatŭ.
  • 90: devjanosto. This term breaks from the preceding patterns. Here devjanosto is a neuter twofold noun. We find for example dvě... devjanostě mužĭ '180... men', but more literally 'two 90s of men'. We also find the noun with the masculine gender: dva devjanosta, masculine nominative dual. But we do find attestations which follow the pattern set by the preceding decades, where 90 is viewed as nine (of) tens: ne ostavitĭ li devęti desętŭ devęti 'will he not leave the ninety nine'. Here both instances of devęti take the genitive case as direct objects of the negated verb, while desętŭ is genitive plural dependent upon the first devęti.

44.1.8 The Hundreds

The Old Russian system for the hundreds parallels that for the decades. Here the o-stem neuter noun sŭto 'hundred' takes over the role that desjatĭ 'ten' plays in the decades. The numerals are as follows.

  • 100: sŭto, a neuter twofold noun. The thing counted is in the genitive plural.
  • 200: dŭvě sŭtě, where both elements decline according to the twofold paradigm. The thing enumerated is in the genitive plural.
  • 300: tri sŭta, with both elements declining as twofold neuters in the plural. The thing enumerated is in the genitive plural.
  • 400: četyri sŭta, with the construction paralleling that of 300.
  • 500: pjatĭ sŭtŭ. Here, as with other constructions based on 5, pjatĭ is a noun governing sŭtŭ in the genitive plural: literally five of hundreds. The thing counted is in the genitive plural.
  • 600: šestĭ sŭtŭ, with the construction paralleling that of 500.
  • 700: semĭ sŭtŭ, as the preceding.
  • 800: osmĭ sŭtŭ, as the preceding.
  • 900: devjatĭ sŭtŭ, as the preceding.

44.1.9 The Thousands

The Old Russian word for thousand is tysjača. This follows the declension of the ja-stem feminine nouns. The noun takes its case from the construction in which it finds itself, and the thing counted is placed in the genitive plural.

Old Russian employs the word tĭma in both the numeric sense ten thousand and the general sense of an extremely large quantity. This too takes its case from its grammatical role in its clause, and the thing enumerated is placed in the genitive plural.

44.2. The Ordinals

The ordinal numbers, as their name suggests, are used to place things in order. That is, they serve to specify what element is first, which is second, third, and so on. With the exception of tretĭi 'third', the ordinals for 1 through 10 are hard twofold definite adjectives:

  • 1st: pĭrvyi;
  • 2nd: vŭtoryi or drugyi;
  • 3rd: tretĭi, declined as a soft twofold adjective;
  • 4th: četvĭrtyi;
  • 5th: pjatyi;
  • 6th: šestyi;
  • 7th: sedĭmyi or semyi;
  • 8th: osmyi;
  • 9th: devjatyi;
  • 10th: desjatyi.
45. Verb Use: Non-Past

In Old Russian we must take care to distinguish between tenses as represented by morphology and tenses as represented by meaning or sense. In Old Russian the term present tense first and foremost denotes a set of morphological endings: -u, -eši, -etĭ, etc. As it turns out, for the most part when a verb employs these endings, the resulting sense is one of present time, of talking about the here-and-now. In such instances form and meaning converge. But Old Russian has no future tense with distinct endings or a special verbal suffix, for instance. Instead, it employs the same endings, and even the same stem, which pertain to the morphological present tense. Thus we find "present tense" forms where the actual meaning is in fact future. And in this we find that the term present tense, when applied to the endings -u, -eši, -etĭ, etc., is something of a misnomer. Really they are present-future endings. Or more typical terminology is to call this set of endings non-past.

Part of the distinction in sense between present and future comes from the particular interaction between the representation of an action by means of a verbal root and the use of the present tense morphology. This matter of the "representation of an action" frequently goes by the name verbal aspect. We will touch briefly on this topic below and in Section 50.

45.1. The Present Tense

More than anything the Old Russian present tense is a morphological category. Verbs conjugated in the present tense may take on a range of senses. Primarily, as luck would have it, the dominant sense is to signify actions or states occurring contemporaneously with the utterance: that is, a true present tense, saying that the action is happening now.

As a point of comparison, note that the English present tense generally does not have such an interpretation (except with a restricted class of verbs, such as to be and others). If one says in English I walk, this need not refer to now, as the sentence is uttered; rather it typically refers to a habitual action, such as I walk to the bus stop on Tuesday mornings. In order to elicit the sense of a true present, that is of an action ongoing at the time of utterance, English must generally employ the continuous present: I am walking (right now).

The Old Russian morphological present, in contrast to English, can indeed function as a true present. It may be translated either by the English simple present or continuous present as context suggests. Consider the following examples of the Old Russian true present.

  • azŭ slovomĭ simŭ moljusę Bogu 'With this word I am praying to God' (Alphabet Poem).
  • jegože vĭsę dobryja děteli i podvigy prilagajušče sixŭ ugodĭnicěxŭ po edinomu ne postydimŭsę '... of whom we are not ashamed comparing all his great deeds and struggles, one by one, to those of the virtuous men' (Pannonian Legend).
  • i estĭ mogyla ego u iskorostěnja grada vŭ derevěxŭ i do sego dĭne 'and his grave is near the city Iskorosten in Dereva even to this day' (Death of Igor).
  • po čĭto ideši opjatĭ 'What do you come back for?' (Death of Igor).
  • a ščekŭ sědjaše na gorě ideže nyně zovetĭsja ščekovica 'and Shchek settled on a hill where now it is called Shchekovica' (Primary Chronicle).

Parallel to the English present, the Old Russian present tense may take on a gnomic connotation, representing an action as always obtaining. Take for example the present tense in the English saying Haste makes waste. The present tense verb makes does not mark the event as happening now, or even as being habitual. Rather it marks a general truth, supposed to be valid at all times. Consider the following uses of the Old Russian present as a gnomic present: i sŭdumavŭše dreveljane sŭ kŭnjazĭmĭ svoimĭ Malŭmĭ, ašče sja vŭvaditĭ vŭlkŭ vŭ ovĭcě, to vynositĭ vĭse stado, ašče ne ubijutĭ ego "and the Derevlians sought counsel with their prince Mal: 'If a wolf introduces itself among the sheep, then it will carry off the entire flock, if they do not kill it'" (Death of Igor).

We also find in Old Russian some instances of what might be termed a historical present. In English this term denotes the stereotyped use of the present found in jokes and stories surrounding the pub: I was sitting having a drink last night and this guy walks into the bar wearing a pink fedora.... Here context makes it clear that, even though walks is an instance of the present tense, the action which it depicts occurs in past time. Old Russian too employs this type of historical present, as the following example suggests: slyšavŭše drevljane jako opjatĭ idetĭ 'The Derevlians heard that he is coming back' (Death of Igor). This may be a historical present, employing the present where we might otherwise expect a past tense, since the past participle slyšavŭše makes clear that the hearing of the report had already occurred. However we may also suppose the use of the present derives from a tendency toward direct quotation: "The Derevlians heard, 'he is coming back!'". In Old Russian jako 'that' may introduce direct as well as indirect quotation, whereas the parallel English word that only introduces indirect quotation.

In addition we occasionally find in Old Russian forms belonging to the present tense where context would lead one to expect an imperative form. Consider the following example of the present in place of the imperative: poimemŭ ženu ego volĭgu za knęzĭ svoi malŭ 'Let us take his wife Olga for our prince Mal', i.e. '... to marry our prince Mal' (Olga's Revenge). The form poimemŭ, from the verb po-jati 'to take', is strictly speaking the first person plural present indicative active. However, this could simply be scribal variation representing the normalized form poiměmŭ of the imperative.

Finally the present forms may frequently be used with future significance. This often results from the interaction between verbal aspect and the tense system. The following example shows a prefixed perfective verb used as future: iděte sŭ daniju domovi, a azŭ vŭzbraščjusja i poxožju ešče 'Go home with the tribute; but I will turn back and will walk back yet again' (Death of Igor).

The next section will discuss further details surrounding the representation of events in future time in Old Russian.

45.2. The Future Tense

As a strict morphological paradigm, Old Russian exhibits no specific future tense. Rather the present tense forms frequently serve to denote future events, parallel to English usage of present continuous forms as in I am going to the airport tomorrow, or parallel to the German present tense as in Wir rufen Sie dann an 'We'll call you up then'. Many noteworthy scholars have proposed that Old Russian exhibits a system of verbal aspect in which perfective verbs conjugated in the (morphological) present tense have future meaning. But even the most cogent of these arguments encounter difficulties with certain apparent exceptions. Consider the following example.

Chapter   Ostromir Gospel   Greek Text   English Translation
John 3.12a   ašče zemĭna rěxŭ vamŭ i ne věrujete   ei ta epigeia eipon humi:n kai ou pisteuete   If I told you earthly things and you do not believe
John 3.12b   kako ašče rekǫ vamŭ nebesĭnaja věrujete   po:s ean eipo: humi:n ta epourania pisteusete   then how, if I tell you the heavenly things, will you believe?

In the above we find one and the same present tense form, věrujete, translating both a Greek present tense form, pisteuete 'you believe', and a future tense form, pisteusete 'you will believe'. Various possible resolutions present themselves:

  • Inherently perfective: we might suppose the verb věrovati 'to believe' is inherently perfective, perhaps by means of the -ova- suffix. Thus the present tense of věrovati would naturally have future meaning, translating pisteusete without problem. However the fact that the same form translates a present tense, pisteuete, means we must interpret the Greek form not as a true present (since an Old Russian perfective present would not have such a sense), but rather as a gnomic present: 'you never believe me (when I've told you the heavenly things)'.
  • Non-participation: the verb věrovati 'to believe' might not yet have participated in the budding aspectual system at this early stage of Old Russian.

Each of the above interpretations will have its adherents. It therefore seems advisable at the outset to admit for any Old Russian verb the possibility that the present tense forms may have future meaning, either simply because the morphology allowed this in a manner akin to English or German, or because of the perfectivity of the underlying verb. On a case-by-case basis the reader may then decide what factor or factors most contribute to the futurity of the form.

Luckily Old Russian also employs some periphrastic constructions to express the future in a manner less controversial than the above. In particular the verbs načjati, počjati, učjati, each 'to begin'; stati 'to stand', also 'to become'; xotěti 'to wish'; iměti, imati 'to have' may each take an infinitive complement to form a periphrastic future tense. Constructions involving iměti or imati can have not only the sense of a simple future, but also the sense of obligation inherent in the parallel English construction to have to (do something). Similarly constructions with xotěti could denote a desire, as in to want to (do something), or a simple future, as in will (do something). Consider the following examples.

  • kotoryji knjazĭ počĭnetĭ xotěti... otŭjati 'whichever prince shall wish... to take away' (Gramota Mstislava Volodimiroviča, cf. Matthews, 1960, p. 205).
  • Xristosŭ imatĭ soxraniti tja 'Christ shall preserve thee' (Laurentian Codex, 1377; cf. Matthews, 1960, p. 205).
  • no xočju počtiti nautrija 'but I shall honor you tomorrow' (Olga's Revenge, Laurentian Codex, 1377; cf. Matthews, 1960, p. 205).

The verbal forms budu, budeši, etc., usually assigned to the verb byti 'to be', are the only verb forms in Old Russian with explicitly future meaning. Consider the following example.

  • nŭ ne poběženŭ budeši 'but thou shalt not be defeated' (Nifont, cf. Matthews, 1960, p. 204).
  • toli ne budetĭ mežju nami mira, eliže kamenĭ načĭnetĭ plavati, a xŭmelĭ grjanuti 'There will not be peace between us at such time as the stone will float and hops (will) sink' (Primary Chronicle). Or more literally, '... such time as the stone begins to float and the hops (begins) to sink'. This clearly highlights the parallelism between the use of budu on the one hand and the periphrastic future constructions on the other.

Nevertheless the forms morphologically belong to the present tense. Moreover, unlike modern Russian, Old Russian typically does not employ budu 'I shall be' to form a periphrastic future tense with the infinitive. This is a later development.