Aliosha Popovich (Aljosa Popovic) (11th century c.e.) In Russian legend, bogatyr (epic hero) who appears in the bylini (epic songs) and in folktales. Aliosha was one of seven legendary bogatyri and the son of a priest, a “mighty hero” who grew as much in one day as other babies did in a week, and he achieved a year’s growth in one week. When he was fully grown, he asked his father if he could “try his luck in the field of battle.” His father agreed if he would take along Maryshko Parnov’s son to be his servant. Both set out and journeyed to the realm of Prince Vladimir, who welcomed them. At the same time the evil Turgarin Zmeevich, “a mighty champion, invaded and scourged Prince Vladimir’s kingdom,” entering the palace and eating everything in sight. Aliosha challenged him to a duel. The next day, when the two were to fight, Aliosha saw Turgarin Zmeevich flying through the air on his horse. Aliosha called on the Holy Mother of God to send a black cloud to “wet Turgarin’s paper wings.” The prayer was answered, and the evil one fell to earth. In the ensuing battle Turgarin’s head was cut off and carried on a spear to Prince Vladimir.
- Vladimir, St.
Encyclopedia of World Mythology and Legend, Third Edition – Written by Anthony S. Mercatante & James R. Dow – Copyright © 2009 by Anthony S. Mercatante