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Not to be confused with Boris Gleb.
Saints Boris and Gleb
Святые Борис и Глеб.jpg
Medieval Russian icon of SS. Boris and Gleb
(14th century, State Russian Museum)
Died 1015–1019
Venerated in Eastern Orthodox Church
Eastern Catholic Churches
Canonized 1071
Major shrine Vyshhorod
Feast July 24 (Martyrdom)
May 3 (Translation of Relics)
Attributes Two young princes, holding swords or spears, or the cross of martyrs
Prince of Rostov
Reign 1010–1015
Predecessor Yaroslav the Wise
Full name
Boris Vladimirovich
House Riurik Dynasty
Father Vladimir I of Kiev
Mother Adela
Born 986
Died 1015
Burial Church of St. Basil]], Vyshhorod
Prince of Murom
Reign 1013–1015
Full name
Gleb Vladimirovich
House Riurik Dynasty
Father Vladimir I of Kiev
Mother Adela
Born 987
Died 1015
Burial Church of St. Basil, Vyshhorod
There are other people known as Saint David and Saint Roman.

Boris and Gleb (Russian: Борис и Глеб), Borys and Hlib (Ukrainian: Борис і Гліб), Christian names Roman and David, respectively, were the first saints canonized in Kievan Rus' after the Christianization of the country. Their feast day is observed on July 24 (August 6).


According to the two 11th century Lives of Boris and Gleb (ascribed to Nestor the Chronicler and Jacob the Monk), they were younger children of Vladimir the Great, who liked them more than his other children. The Primary Chronicle says that their mother was a Bulgarian woman. Most modern scholars, however, argue that Boris and Gleb had different mothers, and were of different age. Boris, the elder, who had been already married and ruled the town of Rostov, was probably regarded as heir apparent to the Kievan throne. Gleb, who was still a minor, ruled the easternmost town of Murom.[1]

Icon of Saints Boris and Gleb on horseback. Moscow, mid 14th century (Tretyakov Gallery).

Both were murdered during the internecine wars of 1015–1019. The Primary Chronicle blamed Sviatopolk the Accursed for plotting their assassination. Boris learned of his father's death when he returned with the Russian army to Alta. When informed of Sviatopolk's accession to the throne and urged to replace him, Boris said, "Be it not for me to raise my hand against my elder brother. Now that my father has passed away, let him take the place of my father in my heart."[1] Regardless of having stepped aside, Sviatopolk insisted on having Boris executed. He sent Putsha and the boyars of Vyshegorod to execute his brother. Boris and his manservant were stabbed to death when sleeping in a tent. The prince was discovered still breathing when his body was being transported in a bag to Kiev, but the Varangians ended his life with the thrust of a sword.[1]

Gleb, under the impression that his father was not yet dead, was sent for by Sviatopolk and rushed to his father's death bed. On the way, their brother Yaroslav learned of Sviatopolk's treachery and urged Gleb not to meet him. In the middle of praying to his deceased brother and God, Gleb was assassinated by his own cook, Torchin, who cut his throat with a kitchen knife.[2]

The Life contains many picturesque details of Boris and Gleb's last hours, such as their sister's warning about the murderous plans of Sviatopolk. The narrative is a masterpiece of hagiography, which unites numerous literary traditions. Actual circumstances of Boris and Gleb's life and death cannot be extrapolated from their hagiography. Perhaps the crucial evidence comes from several unbiased foreign sources which mention that Boris succeeded his father in Kiev, and was not lurking in Rostov as the Russian Primary Chronicle seems to imply.

Moreover, the Norse Eymund's saga tells a story of the Varangian warriors who were hired by Yaroslav I the Wise to kill his brother Burizleif. Some historians trusted the saga more than sources from Rus', claiming that it was Yaroslav (and not Sviatopolk) who was interested in removing his political rivals and was therefore guilty of his brothers' murder. Others consider "Burizleif" a misreading of Boleslaw, the Polish ruler allied to Sviatopolk.


Boris and Gleb received the crown of martyrdom in 1015. The brothers became known as "Strastoterptsy" (Passion-Bearers), since they did not resist evil with violence.[3] Boris and Gleb's relics were housed in the Church of St. Basil in Vyshhorod, later destroyed.[4] Boris and Gleb were glorified (canonized) by the Orthodox church in Rus' in 1071. They were interred at the Vyshhorod Cathedral, which was reconsecrated in their name; many other Ukrainian and Russian churches were later named after them.


External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boris_and_Gleb — Please support Wikipedia.
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42 news items

Belarus Digest
Wed, 26 Nov 2014 07:31:49 -0800

Some other radical organisations have sprung up in 2014 as well, including the Military-Patriotic Orthodox Brotherhood named after he Holy Prince Boris and Gleb Tolochinsky (the Brotherhood) and paramilitary patriotic Cossack club Kazachi Spas.
Russia Beyond the Headlines
Fri, 26 Sep 2014 06:52:30 -0700

18 kilometers to the northwest of Moscow lies the village of Pavlovskaya Sloboda, which was first mentioned in historical chronicles in 1504. The best way to get to Pavlovskaya Sloboda is by driving up the Novorizhskoye Highway. Two of the village's ...


Mon, 13 Oct 2014 21:41:14 -0700

Legoyda also highlighted an attempt to take over the Sts Boris and Gleb Church in Pereyaslavl-Khmelnitsky on October 5, which was followed by the distribution of threatening leaflets inciting violence against Ukrainian clerics, who are under the Moscow ...

Belarus News (BelTA)

Belarus News (BelTA)
Tue, 06 Jan 2015 00:26:15 -0800

An exhibition of icons by modern painters from Belarus, Lithuania, Poland, and Ukraine will open at the Sts. Boris and Gleb (Kalozha) Church in Grodno on 8 February. The program of the festival also includes photo exhibitions, cinema lectures, and ...

EuroBelarus (blog)

EuroBelarus (blog)
Sun, 30 Nov 2014 23:50:58 -0800

Some other radical organisations have sprung up in 2014 as well, including the Military-Patriotic Orthodox Brotherhood named after he Holy Prince Boris and Gleb Tolochinsky (the Brotherhood)and paramilitary patriotic Cossack club Kazachi Spas.
Catholic Herald Online
Thu, 19 Jun 2014 03:36:11 -0700

The other saints to whom Mr Uzzell-Edwards says he is related are Vladimir the Great, St Anna of Russia, the Holy Martyrs St Boris and Gleb, St Margaret of Scotland and St Matilda. This article first appeared in the print edition of The Catholic Herald ...
Sun, 23 Mar 2014 05:16:32 -0700

DAUGAVPILS, Latvia/TALLINN (Reuters) - In the former Soviet republics of Latvia and Estonia, there is unease over events in Crimea, which was formally annexed by Moscow last week on the pretext of safeguarding its Russian minorities. Russian news ...

Marketing Pilgrim

Marketing Pilgrim
Tue, 16 Apr 2013 11:32:48 -0700

This one came from a blog called Boris and Gleb. Darn. I liked it better when it was the lemur's name. It took me a few seconds to find the source on the photo. I didn't realize that the blog name was clickable. It's also listed in the lower right ...

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