In the Russian folk tale of “Ivan Sosnovich”, it says that the evil Koschei the Deathless put an entire kingdom to sleep (or petrified) via a spell after killing two of the three beauties he heard about and wounding the third. My question is: How big was the area of the spell exactly to grab ALL of the kingdom?

Is there any type of real-life Russian kingdom to measure and compare to the one that Koschei cursed?

  • I note that I have often read Russian fairy tales where the prince has to cross "thrice ten kingdoms." While this is portrayed as a long and arduous journey, it requires far more kingdoms that were actually in any real-life Russia.
    – Mary
    Commented Jan 1, 2021 at 22:47
  • 1
    @Mary indeed. From what Russian folklore tales I've read, a "kingdom" is usually one of many. It's quite hard to say how big a kingdom is supposed to be as usually stories use measures "three kingdoms away" or "ten kingdoms away" for "it's quite far" but rarely quantify that with, say, "it took six months to get there" or anything similar. When a time measure is added, it seems that one "kingdom" seems to be possible from weeks to about a months or so. Ten kingdoms might take you a couple of years. If anything, a "kingdom" might just be one local ruler and the nearby lands.
    – VLAZ
    Commented Feb 1, 2021 at 7:26

1 Answer 1


This is Rus in 1237. As you can see, it was quite partitioned.

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  • 3
    How does this relate to the folktale?
    – Spencer
    Commented Feb 14, 2022 at 0:13

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