Ilya Murometz is the most famous of
the mighty warriors, known as Bogatyrs, of the Russian "Bilyny"
legends. This legendary hero was unable to move during his first 33 years of
his life. Then one day he was visited in his house by the three Holy Old Men, who
asked Ilya for some water. Ilya became furious, as he thought the Old Men were
playing a joke on him when they commanded Ilya to get up, much to his own
surprise, Ilya rose. From that moment on he became a warrior of extraordinary
powers and the defender of the Holy Russia.
Among his most famous deeds are: the
single handed destruction of the Tatar army, sleight of the town of Chernigov
and the capture of the Evil Bandit the Nightingale Whistler, (also known as
"Solovey Razboynik" ), who had the power of killing people with his
Ilya of Murom, a defender of the
Lands of Russia, is portrayed a friend of the simple folk, a symbol of liberty
and fairness, and sometimes as a raging rebel who dared to quarrel with the
Duke of Kiev, and who almost destroyed the City of Kiev. In the end he returned
to his senses, and Ilya Murometz became the Best Warrior and the Wisest Adviser
to Duke Vladimir of Kiev.
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