Of Pelgusy, the Man of Izhora

OF PELGUSY THE MAN OF IZHORA. There was among Aleksandr's commanders a certain man, an elder of the land of Izhora, called Peigusy, Philip being his baptismal name. And he was set to guard the coast. This man had great faith in the holy martyrs Boris and Gleb, but he lived among his own people who were pagans, yet he fasted every Wednesday and Friday, abstaining from food and drink. And for this' God vouchsafed him the awesome vision which we shall now briefly recount.

This Pelgusy, having observed the enemy host, set out to meet Prince Aleksandr Iaroslavich, so as to report to him on the great strength of the Varangians.

He stopped by the edge of the sea, watching both the ways, and kept awake all night long. And as the sun began to rise, he heard an ominous noise coming from the sea. And he saw a single rowing-boat approach; and standing in the middle of the boat were the holy martyrs Boris and Gleb in scarlet robes, their hands laid on each other's shoulders. And the oarsmen sitting in the boat seemed to be clothed in darkness. And Boris said to Gleb, "Brother Gleb, do command them to pull harder, that we may aid our kinsman, Grand Prince Aleksandr Iaroslavich." Seeing this vision, and hearing these words of the holy martyrs Boris and Gleb, Peigusy stood trembling in great fear until the boat had moved out of his sight, going towards [Valaam].

And then he went in all haste, and was met by Grand Prince Aleksandr Iaroslavich. And he, regarding the Prince with joyful eyes, revealed to him alone all that he had seen and heard. And the Prince said to him, "Brother, tell no one of this until God has wrought His will."

And so, hastening still more, he encountered the enemy in the sixth hour of the morning. And there was a great battle with the Romans, and infinite numbers of them were slain. And the Prince set his seal, with a sharp sword, on the face of the king himself. And here, too, six men of valor who battled gallantly by his side distinguished themselves among the troop of Grand Prince Aleksandr.

The first was named Gavrilo Oleksich. This one forced his way to a snäcka, and saw the king's son, supported on either side, being run up on board. And he rode after them up the plank, right into the ship itself. And they were on deck before him, and turning upon him, threw him off the plank, mounted as he was, into the sea. But by God's will he came up uninjured

and went into battle again, and fought gallantly with the commander himself in the midst of his troops. And here was killed their commander Spiridon, and also their bishop.

The second was named Sbyslav Iakunovich, a man of Novgorod. This one threw himself into battle again and again, having no weapon but a single axe. He had no fear in his heart. Many fell from his hand; and all were amazed at his strength and courage.

The third, Iakov of Polotsk, was the Prince's Master of the Hunt. He cut through the enemy ranks with his sword, and fought bravely. And the Prince praised him.

The fourth was a Novgorodian called Misha. This one, fighting on foot, attacked the Romans, warships at the head of his men, and destroyed three of them.

The fifth was of the Prince's junior troop, a certain Savva. This one, dashing into the king's great gold-roofed tent, cut down the pillar, and the tent collapsed. And the troops of Grand Prince Aleksandr Iaroslavich, seeing the tent fall, rejoiced.

The sixth was Ratmir, a servant. This one fought on foot. And multitudes of Romans fell on him on all sides, and he sank under many wounds, and so died.

All these things have I heard from my lord, Prince Aleksandr Iaroslavich, and from others who were then in this battle.

And there happened at that time a wondrous miracle, as in the days of antiquity, during the reign of King Hezekiah, when Sennacherib, King of Assyria, waged war against Jerusalem, wishing to capture the holy city. And suddenly the angel of the Lord went forth, and stew a hundred and eighty-five thousand in the host of the Assyrians. And when men arose in the morning, they found only the bodies of the dead. Thus was it too after the victory of Grand Prince Aleksandr Iaroslavich; when he vanquished the king, great multitudes struck down by God's angels were found dead on the opposite bank of the Izhora River, where the troops of Grand Prince Aleksandr Iaroslavich had not been; even there lay many bodies of the slain.

And the remainder of the army took to shameful flight. And they cast the dead bodies of their commanders into three big ships, and sank them in Lake Nevo.

And for their other dead they dug common graves, and flung them in without counting. And of the rest, many were wounded, and fled that same night.

And of the Novgorodians, Konstantin Lugotinich fell here, Yurata Pinyashchinich, Namest, Druchilo, Gnezdilov, son of a tanner; in all, some twenty warriors fell, Ladoga men included, or even fewer, God knows.

But Grand Prince Aleksandr Iaroslavich returned victorious, and glorified God, and gave thanks, saying thus: "Thanks be to Thee, O Lord Most Gracious; I praise Thy most holy name; for I called to Thee on the day of my distress, and Thou forsook not me Thy slave but delivered us from our foes. They have collapsed and fallen; but we have risen and stand upright. For Thou hast mercy on all that repent fervently, and Thou art near to all that seek Thee with fear and love; and Thou despisest not those who look to Thee alone, but art good to them. And to all that worship Thy majesty with all their hearts, Thou dost grant their prayers, if they be meant for the good; and exaltest those that glorify Thee. For Thou art the sole dispenser of blessings; and we give glory to Thee, O Father and Son and the Holy Spirit, now and for ever and for all time. Amen."


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