The found text of the “Lay…” was written in cursive script without spaces between words, with superscript letters and signs that were used to replace missing letters to save expensive parchment. Later, the text was divided into words, sentences, and paragraphs. Copies were made.
1800 – the first edition of “The Lay of Ihor’s Campaign”.
“The Lay of Ihor’s Campaign” is not only the most outstanding memo of ancient Rus literature, but also a model of a heroic epic of the people. The unknown author calls for the preservation and love of Rus-Ukraine, and for the multiplication of its wealth.
Ihor Sviatoslavych is honest and open, proud and brave, courageous and determined, strong-willed, and despises death; captivity is the greatest shame for him (“It is better to be captured than to be imprisoned…”), but he is rash and overly hot-tempered.
Sviatoslav is a great statesman, a true patriot and nobleman, wise and brave, who puts forward the idea of the unity of the Rus’ princes in order to strengthen the Kyivan state.
Yaroslavna (real historical name – Efrosynia, a daughter of the Galician prince Yaroslav Osmomysl) is the only female character in the work. She appeals to the forces of nature (the Dnipro-Slavutych, the Wind, the Sun) to ease the captivity of not only her husband but also other Rusyn warriors. Yaroslavna is the patroness of all the warriors of Kyivan Rus.