Bylina - Classifications

Classifications

There are several ways to categorize bylina, and scholars disagree on which classification to use. Scholars from the mythological school differentiate between byliny about ‘older’ and ‘younger’ heroes. The ‘older’ heroes resembled mythological figures, while the ‘younger’ heroes resembled ordinary human beings. The historical school classifies byliny based on the principality in which the story took place, as in Kivan, Novgorodian, and Galician-Volhynian cycles. The mythological byliny of giants and the like probably originated long before the Kievan state was founded, and cannot be classified easily by principality. Scholars of the historical school often consider mythological byliny separately. Other scholars group byliny based on content, including heroic, fairy tale type, novella type and ballad-byliny. Most scholars prefer classification based on principalities.

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