||The legend of the Starets Tsar, known as Fyodor Kuzmich, is a unique fact of the folk mentality. Formed in
the period of socio-political foreshadowing of social changes, it underwent a radical transformation in the process
of existence. This story reflected the change of social priorities, characteristic of the period of social transformation.
This determines the relevance of reference to the tale of the Starets Tsar, as every stage of transition to a
new level of technological and social development of society generates similar phenomena in the mental public
sphere. The study of the story of the Starets Tsar is not only a continuation of the research of Russian scholars
on the topic of folk representations within the framework of new methodological concepts, but also an attempt to
more clearly define the place of this story in the general classification of legends about the “returning savior”. In
addition, historical science has long needed to provide its own analysis of this complex phenomenon of mentality
and socio-cultural history, which has previously been purposefully studied only by literary scholars and theologians.
The purpose of this study is to reveal the reflection of the mentality of the transition period in the story of
the Starets Tsar Alexander I. Materials for the article included the sources belonging to different types, among
which are clerical documentation, materials from printed publications of regional and all-Russian level, memoirs of contemporaries. Such methods of historical science as textual analysis and content analysis were used as
well. As a result of the application of these methods the signs of the transitional mentality reflected in the story
about the Starets Tsar were formulated. We made a conclusion that the development of the plot reflected the
change of people’s mentality of the second half of the 19th century during the period of modernization transition.
The story about the Starets Tsar began to form as a typical story about the “returning deliverer”, but in the process
of its design it changed into a story about the “savior”. This fact reflects the change in the folk mentality of
the period of the modernization transition in the second half of the XIXth century. The perspective of the study is
the continuation of research in the field of changing mentalities in the XIXth century, in their relationship.
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