откуда есть пошла


Hello everyone,
I'm translating a text from Lichacev's Selected Poems about the role of the historical litterature, it's aim and so on.
I have found the following sentence in quotation marks: "откуда есть пошла".
I'm not sure about it's meaning but I found that sentence in several web sites. It might have something to do with the origins of the russian culture but I really can't find it's proper meaning.
Thank you for your help
  • Maroseika

    This is in Ancient Russian, now used as a stable "high style" expression.
    Есть пошла is Past Perfect (and пошла here is not a verb, but a participle). In modern Russian it means just пошла.
    Откуда есть пошла русская культура = откуда пошла (появилась) русская культура.


    New Member
    It's not Past Perfect, it's Perfect. In Old Church Slavonic there was the Perfect tense, which was formed with the help of the auxiliary verb "быть" (3sg: есть) and the participle (so-called "-л" forms: пошла, пошел, пошло, пошли) and had the similiar meaning with Present Perfect in modern English. In spoken language the auxiliary verb tended to be omitted (that's why in modern Russian we have same forms for "я пошел" and "он пошел").

    "Откуда есть пошла" is a quotation ("Откуда есть пошла Земля Русская?") from the "Повесть временных лет" (the famous literary monument of XII century). In modern Russian we don't have this grammatical form neither in literary nor in colloquial language.


    Yes, it's a quotation from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Primary_Chronicle
    To get it translated as it is, you need to find the English version of 'Повести временных лет'. I may be mistaken, but I think it's actually the opening line of the book.

    P.S. The accent in 'временных' changes the meaning. If you say 'временных', you mean 'temporary', but 'временных', I think, is 'related to the past, history, time'.