Russian Folk Her
Ilya Muromets

by Valery Kizilov

A folk-hero of Russian bylinas, the greatest bogatyr. He is the son of a farmer, and was born in village Karacharovo, near Murom. As a child Ilya Muromets was gravely ill and could not even move before 33 years. Later he was cured by an old singer, and a Svyatogor-bogatyr, dying, gave him his strength. Muromets went to the capital to be a warrior of Prince Vladimir the Red Sun. He defeated Solovey-Razboynik, a monster who lived in forests and which could kill people by screaming. Therefore Ilya became the Vladimir`s chief bogatyr. When Russia was attacked by Kalin, the tsar of steppe nomads, Ilya Muromets defeated him. Later, he kept the border against invaders, liberated Kiev from Idolishche, and performed many other feats.