Artaxerxes Action on the Preobrazhenka. On the First Experiments of Theatrical Versification in Russia
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350 years ago, on October 17, 1672, in the village of Preobrazhenskoye, near Moscow, at the behest of the Russian sovereign Alexei Mikhailovich, the “comedy” Artaxerxes Action was staged, composed by the German Lutheran pastor Johann Gottfried Gregory and translated into Russian by the clerks of the Ambassadorial Order. The report discusses the versification structure of its fi ve fragments. As the analysis showed, the translators were not professional poets. Of course, they knew what poetic speech was and distinguished verses from prose, but their translation was more like a clumsy interlinear in verse than a poetic work in another language. Thus, the premiere of Artaxerxes Action marked the transition of Russian theater poem to syllabic, which Simeon Polotsky would fully realize a year later before the classical syllabotonic triumph after the Trediakovsky-Lomonosov reform.
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