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Mikhail Matveyevich Kheraskov (1733–1807) was regarded as the most important Russianmarker poet by Catherine the Great and her contemporaries.

Kheraskov's father was a Romania boyar who settled in the Ukrainemarker. Patronized by his Freemason friends, Mikhail furthered his education abroad and was appointed dean of the Moscow Universitymarker at the age of 30.

In 1771-79 he wrote Rossiad, the only Russianmarker epic in the tradition of Homer and Virgil. The subject of this vast and tedious poem is Ivan the Terrible's taking of Kazan in 1552. The Rossiad's only rival for the title of the longest poem in the Russian language is Kheraskov's Vladimir Reborn (1785), concerned with the Baptism of Kievan Rus.

Somewhat more readable is his oriental tale Bakhariana (1803). Kheraskov also wrote 20 plays but, like the rest of his writings, they have been completely neglected by posterity.




Mikhail Timofeyevich Vysotsky (1791-1837, Russian guitarist-virtuoso and guitar composer) was a godson of Mikhail Kheraskov.


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