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Hagiography

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In the 10th century, the work of St. [[Simeon Metaphrastes]]—an Orthodox [[monk]] who had been a secretary of state—marked a major development and codification of the genre. His ''Menologion'' (catalogue of lives of the saints), compiled at the request of Emperor [[Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus]] while Simeon was still a civil servant, became the standard for all of the Western and Eastern hagiographers. Over the years, hagiography as a genre absorbed a number of narrative plots and poetic images (often of pre-Christian origin, such as dragon fighting etc.), mediaeval [[parable]]s, short stories and anecdotes. Simeon's contribution was to collect these saints' lives from written and oral traditions, copying directly from some sources and reworking others, then arranging them in order of the saints' feast days.
The genre of lives of the saints was brought to Russia by the South Slavs together with [[writing]] and also in translations from the Greek language. In the 11th century, the Russians began to compile the original life stories of the first Russian saints. In the 16th century, Metropolitan Macarius expanded the list of the Russian saints and supervised the compilation of their life stories. They would all be compiled in the so called ''Velikiye chet’yichet'yi-minei'' catalogue (Великие Четьи-Минеи, or "Grand monthly readings"), consisting of 12 volumes in accordance with each month of the year.
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