The legendary hero of the Russian epos Ilya Muromets is the most famous epic hero. Interestingly, he is the main character not only of many Russian epics, but the German epic poems of the thirteenth century, which, in turn, are based on earlier legends. He is presented as a powerful warrior Ilya English.
In Russian Chronicles his name not found. Maybe mention it is simply not preserved, because Russia experienced while not the best of times: the hordes of invaders was completely burned and destroyed the city.
You know the description of the tomb Ilya Muromets in heroic chapel of St. Sophia Cathedral, which was the messenger of the Roman Emperor Erich Lassota, who visited Kiev in 1594 For the famous hero and his friend Dobrynia Nikitich was built a special chapel, that is, they received the same honor as the great princes. Later, the tomb of "the serf of the Lord" was destroyed. The remains of Elijah were transferred to Antoniev the caves of Kiev-Pechersk monastery, where they rest to this day, in the Near caves, under the modest inscription on the tomb of "Ilya Muromets". In 1638 power of Elijah were described by the monk of this famous monastery Athanasius Kalnofojski, which determined that Ilya Muromets lived in the late twelfth century. Now consider that Elijah was born about 1143 in the village of Karacharovo by Murom in the family of a peasant Ivan Timofeev and his wife her.
The Russian Orthodox Church honours Ilya Muromets as a Saint (he was canonized in 1643). According to the Church calendar day of memory of Ilya Muromets - December 19, old style, or January 1 for the new.
Thus, the Ilya Muromets is not a mythological character, not a collective image of a Russian hero, and a real historical person.
What do we know about him?
In 1988 Mezhvedomstvennaja Commission conducted a study of the relics of the Monk Ilya Muromets. Can confidently say that Elijah was strongly built man huge for those times growth 177 cm (average height of men was 165 cm, Ilya was a head taller than the average man). It turned out that this man died at the age of 45-55 years. Examining the bones of Murom, the researchers found multiple fractures of clavicle, broken ribs, traces of the lance, the sword, the sword. This was confirmed by the legend that Elijah was a warrior, a member of fierce battles.
In the lumbar body Ilya had curvature of the spine to the right and expressed additional processes on the vertebrae, hindered the movement of the hero in his youth. Thus, in his youth he suffered paralysis of the limbs. This discovery is fully consistent with the legend that in his youth Ilya many years could not move: "thirty years go on sitting Ilya and had no legs walking". But when Ilya turned 33 years, came the day that changed his life. There had been prophetic poor Wanderers - the pilgrims turn and asked the boy to give them water. He explained that he could not walk. But guests insisted the request - it sounded like an order. And Ilya suddenly felt an unprecedented force for the first time stood on his feet. The destitute and blessed his military exploits.
The fact that there is no canonical life of the Saint, the researchers interpret this: apparently, the hero was tonsured a monk shortly before his death, he has managed to not spend so much time in monastic deeds. According to legend, Ilya made a vow to enter a monastery and never pick up the sword after a fierce battle in which almost killed, but miraculously survived. He became a monk Pechersk Lavra and all his days he spent in his cell in prayers. For Orthodox soldiers it was quite usual step is to replace the iron sword on the sword of the spirit, and spend the rest of his life in a battle not for wealth, but for heaven.
Sculptural portrait of Ilya Muromets,
recreated the forensic sculptor S. Nikitin
according to the method of M. Gerasimov (reconstruction of the soft parts of the face on the skull)
The study of mummified remains of the hero by experts of forensic medicine have shed light on the cause of his death. Muromets died from extensive wounds in the heart. On the body of the Ilya Muromets was found several wounds, one of which has serious was the only one on the hand from the spear, and fatal - too stele, but in the heart. Apparently, the hero, defending himself, covered his chest with his hand, and lance she was nailed to the heart.
By the way, in 1701 pilgrim Ivan Lukyanov told: "We brave warrior Elijah of Murom, in incorruption under cover of Golden; the growth for the current large men; his hand left pierced by the spear, the plague all know; and the right shows the sign of the cross".
Power Ilya Muromets
Apparently, the Ilya Muromets was killed during one of the raids of enemies. This occurred presumably in 1203 during the devastating RAID on Kiev United forces of Rurik and the Polovtsians. The city then took the attack, the Kievo-Pechersk monastery, and Saint Sophia Cathedral was plundered, most of the capital was burned to ashes. According to the chroniclers, "such devastation in Kiev hitherto did not happen".
Seeing as the enemies come close to the walls of the monastery, a former soldier could not stay away and, despite this vow, picked up the sword...
Orthodox worship Elijah of Murom today. Russian army considers it to be its patron. But Elijah was not only a folk memory. His body incorrupt and is in a state of mummification. In Orthodoxy it is believed that if the dead body is not decomposed and converted into power, it is a special gift of God, which is given only by the Holy. Claim that power Ilya Muromets heal diseases of the spine and paralysis of the legs. Thus, Ilya and after death for many centuries, continues his Ministry to the people...
Saint Ilya Muromets