“. . . There Is No Perfect Knowledge About . . .”: The Interpretation of Historical Events in the Life of Galaktion Vologodsky
This article is devoted to the problem of the genealogical connections of Galaktion Vologodsky, who was killed at some point between September 22 and September 25, 1612. The text of the Life of Galaktion tells us that he was from the noble family of the Belsky princes. According to I. Veruzsky and others, the father of the saint was Ivan Fedorovich, who was killed at Shuisky’s order in 1542. Neither the Book of Degrees nor the Velvet Book tells us anything about Ivan Fedorovich’s children—but neither of these books is completely reliable. According to the text of the Life of Galaktion, his father was put to death at the order of the tsar but not a word is said about Shuisky’s involvement. Galaktion may in fact be the son of Ivan Dmitrievich Belsky (? –1571) but he was not registered in the Book of Degrees because he was only an infant at the time of its compilation.
As we know, Galaktion, who, after his father’s death, was hidden in Staritsa when he was seven years old, received no outside support; this may be explained by the circumstances experienced by Prince Ivan Dmitrievich’s family at this time. Prince Ivan’s sister Evdokiya, her husband (the boyar Morozov), and their two sons were all executed and were thus unable to help Galaktion.In the Life of Galaktion, written twenty years after his death, there is no accurate information about his family, but the hypothesis presented here is supported by the existing sources.
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