Modern Languages and Literatures, Department of



Charles J. Halperin 0000-0002-6667-0555

Date of this Version



Published in Canadian-American Slavic Studies 57 (2023), pp. 336–352. doi:10.30965/22102396-05703006


Copyright © 2023 Charles J. Halperin and Ann M. Kleimola. Published with license by Koninklijke Brill nv.


The surviving segments of the incomplete Illustrated Chronicle Compilation (LLS), in both text and miniatures, present a consistently positive image of Ivan IV as pious, just and competent, although the portrayal of individual events could vary. Nevertheless they also sometimes portray him as not in control of his elite, his subjects or events. If Ivan had to restore order by punishing those who had acted unjustly without his permission, then he had obviously failed to prevent such misdeeds. The miniatures in LLS present a cohesive image of the Public Ivan, despite the various stages of completion of individual segments, efforts at revision that were underway when the project was abandoned, and its fragmented preservation thereafter. However, the Illustrated Chronicle Compilation never criticizes Ivan for his failings, blaming his actions on human or non-human evil doers. Although lls idealized Ivan, it did not idealize Ivan’s reign.