УДК 93/94(57)



Correlation of Moralism and Descriptiveness in the Texts of the Siberian Chronicles (the results of a continuous digital analysis of famous texts)

Chernyshov S. A.



Introduction. The article discusses the results of a continuous digital corpus analysis of the Siberian Chronicles to answer the research question about the relationship between descriptive-narrative and conceptual-moralizing discourses in these texts. The potential of traditional methods for solving this research problem has been exhausted, consensus conclusions have long been made. However, a signi­ficant gap in modern Siberian studies is the lack of research related to the digital (mathematical) analysis of the texts of the Siberian Chronicles.

Materials and methods. The texts of the Siberian Chronicles from the classical edition prepared by the Imperial Archaeographic Commission in 1907 were taken as the basis for the study. The texts were digitized and subjected to technical processing. To systematize lexemes, we have developed a system of semantic categories based on traditional ideas about the structural and content characteristics of the Siberian chronicles.

Results and discussion. On the basis of a textometric analysis, which is carried out for the first time in relation to the Siberian Chronicles, it is concluded that this corpus of texts is mainly dominated by the narrative nature of the presentation, a restrained and balanced description of the characters (including the enemy) and events. In general, the frequency of descriptive lexemes and word forms in all chronicles (even the Remezov one) is 4—5 times higher than in religious and ideological ones, which allows us to correct the traditionally established idea of the structural and content nature of the Siberian Chronicles. There is no pronounced “statist” position in any of the groups of chronicles, even the term “tzar” is used in them more often in relation to Kuchum than to Ivan Vasilyevich and Fyodor Ivanovich combined. The Siberian Chronicles are not “Moscow-centric” texts, since none of the chronicles is dominated by these discourses.

Conclusion. A continuous digital corpus analysis of the Siberian Chronicles made it possible to draw several research conclusions, partly confirming and, at the same time, refuting the traditional discourses about the structural and content nature of these texts. In the context of the relationship between descriptiveness and moralism, the Siberian Chronicles can be generally characterized as texts of a descriptive nature, restrained and balanced in tone of narration, with some dominance of religious and church discourses in the Remezov Chronicle.

Keywords: Siberian chronicles, Ermak, Kuchum, Stroganovs, Russian conquest of Siberia, mathematical methods in history

Funding: The study was carried out within the framework of the Presidential grant of the Russian Federation for state support of young Russian scientists — PhD candidates MK-5529.2021.2 “The Russian Conquest of Siberia as a General Russian Discourse: a Digital Analysis of the Backbone Ideas of the Siberian Chronicles”.

For citation: Chernyshov SA. Correlation of Moralism and Descriptiveness in the Texts of the Siberian Chronicles (the results of a continuous digital analysis of famous texts). Bulletin of the Research Institute of the Humanities by the Government of the Republic of Mordovia. 2023;15(1):62—80. EDN HEABKR




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Information about the author:

Sergey A. Chernyshov, Senior Researcher, Faculty of Historical and Political Sciences, National Research Tomsk State University (36 Lenina Str., Tomsk 634050, Russia), Candidate of Historical Sciences, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3885-7125, 1502911@mail.ru


Conflict of interest: the author declare no conflict of interest.


The author read and approved the final version of the manuscript.


The article was submitted 30.11.2022; approved after reviewing 14.01.2023; accepted for publication 19.01.2023.