Online Encyclopedia

DANIEL (DANIL)

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V07, Page 808 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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DANIEL (DANIL)  , of Kiev, the earliest
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Russian travel-writer, and one of the leading Russian travellers in the
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middle ages . He journeyed to
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Syria and other parts of the
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Levant about 1106-1107 . He was the igumen, or abbot, of a monastery probably near
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Chernigov in Little Russia: some identify him with one Daniel, bishop of Suriev (fl . 1115-1122) . He visited
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Palestine in the reign of Baldwin I., Latin king of Jerusalem (I Too-1118), and apparently soon after the crusading capture of Acre (1104); he claims to have accompanied Baldwin, who treated him with marked friendliness, on an expedition against
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Damascus (c . 1107) . Though Daniel's narrative, beginning (as it practically ends) at Constantinople, omits some of the most interesting sections of his journey, his
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work has considerable value . His picture of the
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Holy
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Land preserves a record of conditions (such as the Saracen raiding almost up to the walls of Christian Jerusalem, and the friendly relations subsisting between
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Roman and Eastern churches in Syria) peculiarly characteristic of the time; his account of Jerusalem itself is remarkably clear, minute and accurate; his three excursions—to the Dead Sea and
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Lower Jordan (which last he compares to a
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river of Little Russia, the Snov), to Bethlehem and Hebron, and towards Damascus—gave him an exceptional knowledge of certain regions . In spite of some extraordinary, blunders in topography and
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history, his observant and detailed record, marked by evident good faith, is among the most valuable of
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medieval documents
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relating to Palestine: it is also important in the history of the Russian language, and in the study of ritual and liturgy (from its description of the
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Easter services in Jerusalem, the Descent of the Holy Fire, &c.) . Several Russian friends and companions, from Kiev and Old Novgorod, are recorded by Daniel as
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present with him at the Easter
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Eve " miracle," in the church of the Holy Sepulchre . There are seventy-six
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MSS. of Daniel's Narrative, of which only five are anterior to A.D . 1500; the
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oldest is of 1475 (St
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Petersburg, Library of Ecclesiastical History 9/1(386) .

Three

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editions exist, of which I . P . Sakharov's (St Petersburg, 1849) is perhaps the best known (in Narratives of the Russian
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People, vol. ii. bk. viii. pp . 1-45) . See also the French version in Itineraires russes en orient, ed Me B. de Khitrovo (Geneva, 1889) (Societe de l'orient latin); and the account of Daniel in C . R . Beazley, Dawn of
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Modern Geography, ii . 155-174 . (C . R .

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