Russian abbot and pilgrim; b. probably in the Province of Chernigov, Little Russia, c. mid-11th century; d. possibly Tartu, Estonia, Sept. 9, 1122. He was a contemporary of the chronicler Nestor, but the few facts known about him come almost entirely from internal references in his famous account of his pilgrimage to the Holy Land, the Puteshestvie igumena Daniila, which survives in a number of manuscript copies, the earliest of which dates from c. 1475. He set out for palestine in the reign of the Russian Grand Duke Michael Sviatopolk II of kiev (d.1113). His account begins with his departure from Constantinople and describes his stopover in Cyprus before he landed at Jaffa. He traveled extensively in Palestine west of the jordan River and visited most of the important Biblical sites, leaving a careful description of all that he saw. He accompanied Baldwin I, King of Jerusalem after the First Crusade (see jerusalem, kingdom of), on an expedition against damascus, undertaken probably in 1106 or 1108. While in Jerusalem Daniel stayed at the Greek monastery or laura of Mar Saba and an elderly monk of this foundation served as his guide. The pilgrim spent Easter in the city and his description of the descent of the holy fire in the church of the Holy Sepulcher might well be compared with that of fulcher of chartres for the year 1101 in his Historia Hierosolymitana. Daniel's work reflects the cooperation and mutual respect still prevalent between the Greek and Latin clergy in the Holy Land at that time, and he himself was welcomed in foundations of both rites. After more than a year in Palestine the abbot returned to Russia, where he wrote an account of his journey. As a literary production, the Pilgrimage of the Abbot Daniel is important, for its language closely resembled the spoken Russian of the day, and it became popular with the Russian people who were intrigued with the idea of pilgrimage (see pilgrimages, 3). The author is probably the same Abbot Daniel who in 1115 was made bishop of Yurev (present day Tartu in Estonia), which was then under Russian rule. Earlier Russian historians, owing to the use of erroneous dates for Daniel's sojourn in the Holy Land, found it difficult to identify the abbot with the bishop.
Bibliography: Definitive Russ. text Puteshestvie igumena Daniila, ed. a. s. norova (St. Petersburg 1864). Itinéraires russes en Orient, Fr. tr. s. de khitrow (Geneva 1889) 3–83. The Pilgrimage of the Russian Abbot Daniel in the Holy Land 1106–1107, tr. and annotated c. w. wilson (Palestine Pilgrims Text Society; London 1888), based on Fr. tr. of de khitrow. m. a. venevitinov, "Khozhdenie igumena Danilla v sviatuiu zemliu v nachalie XII vieka," Lietopis' zaniatii arkheograficheskoi kommissii 7 (St. Petersburg 1884) 1–138. Russkii biograficheskii slovar 6 (St. Petersburg 1905) 95–96. b. leib, Rome, Kiev et Byzance à la fin du XI e siècle (Paris 1924) 276–285. n. k. gudzii, History of Early Russian Literature, tr. s. w. jones (New York 1949) 114–117. v. laurent, Dictionnaire d'histoire et de géographie ecclésiastiques, ed. a. baudrillart et al. (Paris 1912–) 14:67–68. a. liashchenko, Bol’shaia sovetskata[symbol omitted]a entsiklopediia 19:90. a. vetelev, "Palomnik Daniila mnikha," Zhurnal Moskovskoi patriarkhi 10 (1958) 48–57.
[b. j. comaskey]