Kirik Novgorodets

Kirik Novgorodets

Kirik Novgorodets ("Kirik the Novgorodian," Rus. Кирик Новгородец) (1110- ca. 1156/1158) was a twelfth century Novgorodian monk of the Antoniev Monastery and later a "hieromonk" in the entourage of Archbishop Nifont of Novgorod (r. 1130-1156) famous for writing the first mathematical treatise in Eastern Slavdom, the "Uchenie o chislakh" ("Teaching on Numbers," Rus. Учение о числах); he also wrote entries in the Novgorodian First Chronicle in the 1140s and asked some of the 152 questions of Nifont in a theological work known as the "Voproshanie Kirika"("The Questions of Kirik," Rus. Вопрошание Кирика or Вопрошание Кириково.) [E. K. Piotrovskaia, “Kirik Novgorodets,” in D. S. Likhachev, ed., "Slovar knizhnikov i knizhnosti drevnei Rusi", 3 Vols. in 5 Pts. Leningrad and St. Petersburg: Nauk, 1987-1993. Vol. 1 (XI-pervaia polovina XIV vv.), (Leningrad: Nauk, 1987); Kirik Novgorodets, “Uchenie im zha vedati cheloveku chisla vsekh let,” "Istoriko-matematicheskie issledovannia" 4 (1953): 174-191.] He also translated the works of Patriarch Nikephoros I of Constantinople as well as the Pentateuch.

Kirik (a form of the name Kirill) wrote in the "Uchenie o Chislakh" (it's full title is “Uchenie im zha vedati cheloveku chisla vsekh let"), that "my birthday was 26 years before now, that is 312 months, 1,300 weeks, and 9,500 without three days." Since the Uchenie is dated to 1136, his birth year would have been 1110. He is thought to be the chronicler who referred to his own ordination in the "Novgorodian First Chronicle" under the year 1144, and to have survived Nifont (who died in Kiev in 1156), as he is thought to have written the chronicle entry in which he said that Nifont had been accused of fleeing to Novgorod after looting the archiepiscopal treasury, but defended the archbishop, asking "about this each one of us should reflect: which bishop adorned St. Sophia, painted the porches, made an icon case, and adorned the whole outside, and in Pskov erected a stone church to the Holy Savior and another in Ladoga to St. Clement?" [Robert Michell and Nevill Forbes, "Chronicle of Novgorod 1016-1471" (London: Camden Society, 1914), 21-22.]


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