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This webpage reproduces a section of

Survey of Ukrainian Historiography
By Dmytro Doroshenko

published by
The Ukrainian Academy of Arts and Sciences
in the U. S., Inc.,

The text is in the public domain.

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 p106  Ukrainian Historiography in the Early XIX Century; Studies of Regional History; New Attempts at a Synthesis

During the first decades of the nineteenth century Ukrainian historiography followed the path marked out in the previous century. Its main objective was to acquaint the Ukrainians with their past. The interest in Ukrainian history which, heretofore, had been directed to the country as a whole and was in large measure an expression of Ukrainian patriotism, now became more particularized. Researches into local antiquities and preoccupation with detailed studies now became more common, adding great value to the history of the country as a whole through the use of local documents and archives.

One of the first students of local history was Mykhaylo Markov (1760‑1819), the director of the Chernihiv Gymnasium in the early nineteenth century. He is the author of the following works:

 p107  (1) "Pis'mo v chernigovskuyu gimnaziyu o drevnosti goroda Chernigova, s mnieniem o proizvedenii nazvaniya ego," (A Letter to the Chernihiv Gymnasium about the Past of the Town of Chernihiv, with a Supposition as to the Origin of Its Name), Litsei, 1806, part 2, book I.

(2) "O gorodakh i seleniyakh Chernigovskoi gubernii, upominaemykh v letopisi Nestora, kak oni sleduyut v nei po poryadku godov," (About Cities and Settlements of the Chernihiv Province Which are Mentioned in Nestor's Chronicle, in Order in which They are Mentioned There), Chernihiv, 1813.

(3) "Vvedenie v malorossiiskuyu istoriyu ili kratkoe opisanie yuzhnoi chasti rossiiskago gosudarstva vo vremena drevniya: kak nakhodilas' ona pod vladeniem Litvy i Pol'shi, kak vozvratilas' Rossii i poluchila nazvanie Malorossii," (Introduction to Little Russian History, or a Short Description of the Southern Part of the Russian Empire in Ancient Times; How It Fared under Lithuanian and Polish Rule, How It Was Returned to Russia, and Received the Name Malorossiya) Ukrainskii Vestnik, Kharkiv, 1817, No. 9‑10.

(4) "O dostopamyatnostyakh Chernigova," (Chief Monuments of Chernihiv), Chteniya, 1847, I.

Illya Kvitka, the uncle of Hryhoriy Kvitka (Kvitka-Osnov'yanenko) wrote "Zapiska o Slobodskikh polkakh s nachala ikh poseleniya do 1766," (A Note About the Slobodksy Regiments from the Time of Their Settlement to 1766), Kharkiv, 1812, thus laying a foundation for the history of the Slobidska Ukraine.

First attempts to study the history and archeology of Kiev were made by Maksym Fedorovych Berlinsky (1764‑1848). Born in the Putyvl District where his father was a priest, he was a descendant of an old noble family from Podolia. From 1776 to 1786 he was a student at the Kiev Academy and then of the Teachers' Seminary in St. Petersburg. In 1788 he became a teacher of the Main Public School (Glavnoe Narodnoe Uchilishche) in Kiev which was later transferred into a Gymnasium. In 1834 he was appointed an inspector of this school, but in the same year he retired and lived in Kiev up to his death.

 p108  A keen student of Ukrainian history, Berlinsky was especially interested in the archeology and history of Kiev. It was through his efforts that a series of popular articles appeared in the journals and magazines of the day to spread the knowledge of Ukrainian history among a wide circle of readers. Berlinsky's archeological studies are of particular value, since they record faithfully some Kiev monuments in their original form, that is before they were either destroyed or restored. Berlinsky's main works are: (1) Kratkoe opisanie Kieva (A Short Description of Kiev), St. Petersburg, 1820; (2) "Istori­cheskoe obozrenie Malorossii i goroda Kieva" (A Historical Survey of Little Russia and the City of Kiev), unpublished, but excerpts were printed in Molodyk, Kharkiv, 1844; (3) "Razdelenie Malorossii na polki" (Division of Little Russia into Regiments), Ulei, 1811, No. 3; (4) "O Kieve," (About Kiev), ibid., No. 8; (5) "O Kievskoi Akademii" (About the Kiev Academy), Sorevnovatel' prosveshcheniya, 1819, No. 7; (6) "Pokorenie Kieva Gediminom," (The Conquest of Kiev by Gedymin), Ulei, 1811, No. 1; (7) "Opisanie naidennykh v gorode Kieve raznykh starinnykh veshchei" (A Description of Various Ancient Objects Found in the City of Kiev), Ukrainskii Zhurnal, 1824, No. 11.

In 1802 Berlinsky wrote a history of Kiev and began to work on the history of the Ukraine using the writings of Symonovsky as one of his chief sources. However, this remained incomplete. Berlinsky's work, in the opinion of V. Shcherbyna, "represents a continuation of the old Little Russian chronicles . . . In Little Russian historiography he occupies a place between the Little Russian chroniclers of the eighteenth century, like Ruban and Symonovsky, and the historians of the nineteenth century." [. . .]

In the second and third decades of the nineteenth century many Ukrainian and Russian journals devoted much space to articles and studies on the Ukrainian past. Among them were those describing old Ukrainian monasteries and churches. To this group belong Kratkoe istori­cheskoe opisanie Kievo-Pecherskiya Lavry (Kiev, 1817) by Metropolitan Samuil Myslavsky (1731‑1796); Opisanie Kievo-Sofiiskago sobora i kievskoi ierarkhii (A Description of the Kiev Sophia Cathedral and the Kiev  p109 Hierarchy), Kiev, 1825; and Opisanie Kievo-Pecherskoi Lavry (Kiev, 1826) by Metropolitan Evgenii Bolkhovitinov (1767‑1837), beauti­fully printed and illustrated.

Many contributions on Ukrainian antiquities appeared in Ukrainskii Zhurnal 1825: "Opisanie Kremenchuga" by A. Kornelius (No. 4); "Opisanie Gadyacha i ego poveta," by N. Bubliyevich (No. 6); "Vospominanie o Chernomorii," by Ivan Sbitnev (No. 11‑12); "Vesennyaya progulka po Valkovskim okrestnostyam," by I. Vernet (No. 13); "Opisanie goroda Priluk i ego poveta," by A. Meshchersky (No. 13); "Vypiski iz moego puteshestviya po Izyumskomu uezdu," by I. Vernet, (No. 19‑20), and others.

Aside from these detailed studies on local topics, there were other attempts at a larger synthesis of the history of the Ukraine. D. Bantysh-Kamensky takes the first place among these Ukrainian historians. The appearance of his Istoriya Maloi Rossii (A History of Little Russia) in 1822 was the kind of epoch-making event to be compared with the publication of N. Karamzin's Istoriya gosudarstva rossiiskago in 1816.

Dmytro Bantysh-Kamensky (1788‑1850) was the son of the learned Russian archivist, Nicholas Bantysh-Kamensky (1737‑1814) who came from a Moldavian family which settled in the Ukraine in Mazepa's times. N.  was born in Nizhen and was educated at the Kiev Academy and later at Moscow University. In 1762 he became an assistant to the well-known Russian historian and archivist, G. Miller, in the Moscow Archives. Soon he became the first professionally trained archivist in Russia. In 1780‑84 he published Diplomati­cheskoe sobranie del mezhdu rossiiskim i pol'skim dvorami s samago onykh nachala po 1700 g., 5 vols. His Istori­cheskoe izvestie o voznikshei v Pol'she Unii appeared in 1805 and was reprinted in Vilno in 1864.

Dmytro Bantysh-Kamensky was born in Moscow, was educated at home and, for a short time, at Moscow University, and became an assistant to his father. He travelled on duty to Serbia, and as a result of this journey there appeared Puteshestvie v  p110 Moldaviyu, Valakhiyu i Serbiyu (Moscow, 1810), which also contains impressions of Kiev, Poltava, Nizhen, and Kamyanets. In 1816 he became chief secretary to the Little Russian Governor General, Prince Nicholas Repnin, remaining in this post for five years. It was then that he began writing a history of the Ukraine (encouraged perhaps by Prince Repnin himself).70 As sources he used some works by his father, the archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the archives of the former "Little Russian Collegium" which were kept at Chernihiv, the archives of Prince Repnin and other official and private documents. His work bore fruit in the publication of Istoriya Maloi Rossii so vremen prisoedineniya onoi k rossiiskomu gosudarstvu pri tsare Aleksee Mikhailoviche, s kratkim obozreniem pervobytnago sostoyaniya sego kraya (A History of Little Russia, from the Time of Its Union with the Russian State Under the Reign of the Tsar Aleksei Mikhailovich, Together with a Short Survey of its Previous Condition), Moscow, 1822, 4 vols. (liv + 153, viii + 324, vii + 243, xi + 303pp). This artistically produced edition included nine portraits of Ukrainian Hetmans. Among the sources listed in the work, "The Authentic Little Russian Documents 1620‑1757, Preserved in the Archives of the Collegium of Foreign Affairs" is mentioned first of all, although the author relied on them less than on the chronicles. His approach to history is hardly critical. In the appendix there are twenty documents from the years 1654 to 1672, beginning with the Pereyaslav Treaty.

A second edition, in three volumes, of Bantysh-Kamensky's history was published in 1830. Istoriya Rusov was included as a new source. In 1842 a third edition of this work was published in three volumes, with maps, plans, portraits of Hetmans, and facsimiles of old documents.

In his work Bantysh-Kamensky relates the history of the Ukrainian land from the earliest times. Stressing the Ukraine as the indigenous origin of Ukrainians, he dwells briefly on the  p111 Princely and Lithuanian periods, describes the Cossack period in greater detail and devotes most attention to the Hetman Ukraine of 1654‑1764. He mentions the changes and reforms at the end of the eighteenth century and does not omit the Ukrainian revival in literature (Kotlyarevksy and others). His tone is detached and matter of fact; the feeling of great loyalty to the Russian Empire is evident throughout; the author dedicated the second edition of his history to Tsar Nicholas II.

The chief value of Bantysh-Kamensky's work lies in his use of archival material. His History of Little Russia was also intended as a comprehensive and complete survey of Ukrainian history. Its popularity can be judged from the fact that three editions of it were published and sold within a period of twenty years in spite of the high price. For a long time it was used as the only complete textbook of Ukrainian history. A fourth edition in one volume, was published in 1903, in Kiev.

In 1832 Bantysh-Kamensky published Zhizn' Mazepy (The Life of Mazepa) in Moscow. [. . .]

After he left the service of Prince Repnin, Bantysh-Kamensky had a distinguished career in the civil service. He was governor in Tobolsk and Vilno, and was later a Councillor of the Ministry of the Interior. He died in Moscow in 1850.

What Bantysh-Kamensky lacked in patriotism and enthusiasm for the Ukrainian past may be found in the works of two of his contemporaries, O. Martos, and M. Markevych. Both had much closer ties with the Ukraine than Bantysh-Kamensky and felt the spirit of the Ukrainian tradition in history more keenly.

Oleksa Martos (1790‑1842), the son of the well-known sculptor, Ivan Martos, was born in the District of Poltava and educated in St. Petersburg in the School of Engineering. He served as an officer in the Russo-Turkish war in 1806‑1812. Not wishing to serve under the notorious Arakcheev he left the service in 1818. In 1822 he went to Siberia as a civil servant and served until his death in many regions of Russia.

While still a youth, Martos became interested in Ukrainian history. When he was in Suchava in 1810 he searched for the place where Tymish Khmelnytsky was killed,​a and in 1811 he  p112 visited the grave of Mazepa in Galata. In his diary he left the following record of it:

Mazepa died far away from his country whose independence he defended. He was a friend of liberty and therefore deserves to be honored by posterity. After his expulsion from Little Russia, its inhabitants lost their sacred rights which Mazepa had defended for so long with great enthusiasm and patriotic ardor. He is no more, and the name of Little Russia and its brave Cossacks have disappeared from the list of peoples who, although small in numbers, are yet famous for their way of life and their constitution.

Now rich Little Russia is reduced to two or three provinces. That such is the common destiny of states and republics, we can see from the history of other nations. Mazepa was also a benefactor of the sciences. He helped to expand the Kiev Academy, adding to it the Bratsky Monastery, which was renovated and decorated at his expense, and endowing it with a library and rare manuscripts. And yet this founder of the Academy, of many churches and charitable institutions is anathematized from the pulpit during the first Sunday of the Great Fast together with Sten'ka Razin and other thieves and robbers. Yet what a difference! The latter was a bandit guilty of sacrilege, while Mazepa was a most learned and philanthropic man, a brilliant military leader and the ruler of a free and happy people. I heard this odious ceremony performed by the Metropolitan and the bishops and all the clergy in Kiev, altogether disparaging the name of our church.71

In the middle of 1822, Martos wrote to a relative of his:

For a long time I have been occupied with the history of our country and, thanks to good fate, three volumes of it ending with the death of Bohdan Khmelnytsky have been submitted to the censor­ship. Five volumes were planned altogether which would end with the abolition of the Hetmanate. The fifth section, giving the details of Mazepa's revolution, is based on genuine sources and was completed some time ago. The fourth part still remains to be written. It will be very rich in material since it describes the events from Khmelnytsky onwards, which up to now have been presented in different lights by the Little Russian and the Polish chronicles.

I know the works of Bantysh-Kamensky and I am very glad that he had undertaken to explore the "wild lands" of Ukrainian history. The more spokesmen it has the more glory they will earn.

 p113  However, Martos' history was never published.72 Only two chapters from the third volume were published in the Severnyi Arkhiv (1822, No. 13‑14, and 1823, Nos. 6, 12, 13): (a) "Otryvok iz istorii Malorossii," (1650‑1651), about Berestechko; (b) "Otryvok" (Excerpt), about the marriage and the death of Tymish Khmelnytsky. Both are characterized by a vivid style. Among his sources the author mentions: Pastorius (Bellum Scythico-Cosacicum 1652) and Chevalier (1663), as well as Polish and Ukrainian chronicles, particularly by Hrabyanka.

Martos sent the manuscripts of his work to Professor Ustryalov, who reviewed it favorably and recommended it to Tsar Nicholas I, whereupon the author was awarded a golden ring. But soon after that the manuscript was lost. Extracts from Severnyi Arkhiv were reprinted by O. Lazarevsky in Kievskaya Starina, 1895, II.

Martos left his "Memoirs" which by chance were bought by an antiquarian at Yaroslavl and were then printed in Russkii Arkhiv, 1893. They refer to the years 1806‑1816.

Mykola Markevych (Markovych) (1804‑1860) came from a well-known family. He was born in the village of Dunayets' in Hlukhiv District and educated in the private school of the writer Pavlo Biletsky-Nosenko in Pryluky, and later at the Pedagogical Institute in St. Petersburg. In 1831 Mykola Markevych made his literary debut by publishing a book of verses, Ukrainskiya melodii (Ukrainian Melodies). He was most interested in Ukrainian ethnography and history and collected archival materials and documents which, after his death, were deposited (in 1870) in the Rumyantsev Museum in Moscow as "Markevych Archives. "73

The result of his scholar­ly work was a five-volume Istoriya Malorossii (A History of Little Russia) published in Moscow in 1842‑43. The text is contained in two volumes, while documentary  p114 material covers the remaining three volumes. Markevych's sources are the Cossack chronicles, Istoriya Rusov, and notes; but he claims that his main source was the Archival Collection of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Moscow, although G. Karpov argues that he used only those documents from the Archives which were reprinted by Bantysh-Kamensky. The greatest single influence on Markevych's work was that of Istoriya Rusov. From this source he took the information about the legendary Hetmans of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and was under the spell of its interpretation of Ukrainian history. It was no wonder, therefore, that Markevych's History exerted a very deep influence on and was a source of national inspiration for many of his contemporaries, among them Shevchenko. Only his supplement, containing documentary material, had any scholar­ly value. The Moscow historian Karpov, who chides Markevych for his "petty Little Russian patriotism," admits that several generations were brought up on his work.74

In the third and fourth volumes of Markevych's History, documents were reprinted from the Sobranie gosudarstvennykh gramot i dogovorov (Collection of State Decrees and Treaties), comprising decrees, treaties, and diplomatic correspondence relating to the Ukraine. In the second part of the third volume, texts of agreements made by the Ukrainian Hetmans with Moscow, from Khmelnytsky to Apostol, were printed under the title Akty getmanskie (The Hetman Acts). They are reproduced very carelessly, from the Archives of Hetman Rozumovsky, which the author secured from his brother, Mykhaylo Markevych. The fifth volume reprints lists of Cossack regiments, companies, the Sich kuren's,​b the register of the rulers of Little Russia from 882 to 1796, a list of the Cossack high-ranking officers, colonels, high dignitaries of Ukrainian origin, metropolitans, bishops, (Orthodox and Catholic), rectors of the Kiev schools, and chronological tables.

At a later date Markevych published an article on the Cossacks  p115 ("O kozakakh") in the Chteniya, in which he repudiated the opinion that the Cossacks were descended from Torki or Berendii or that, in general, they were a distinct nationality. The Cossacks were described by him as a "Little Russian army which defended several million Slavs, called Little Russians, from whom they were descended, and were later called 'Cossacks' or 'free men.' "

The main purpose of Markevych's work was to popularize Ukrainian history among the Ukrainian society of that day. This aim he also pursued in several articles, published in various journals:

"Pervaya Lyubov', podvigi i konchina Timosha Khmelnytskago," Mayak, 1840, No. 5; "Getmanstvo Barabasha," Russkii Vestnik, 1841, II; "Mazepa," Mayak, 1841, No. 33‑34; "O pervykh getmanakh malorossiiskikh," Chteniya, 1848, No. 8; "Akty podyasnyayushchie istoriyu Malorossii," ibid.; "Dostoprimechatel'nyya urochishcha v Novgorod-Severskom uezde," Geograficheskiya Izvestiya, 1848, No. 62.

Markevych published his studies in ethnography in Obychai, poveriya, kukhnya i napitki malorossiyan, Kiev, 1860 (The Customs, Beliefs, Cooking and Beverages of Little Russians). This was supposed to have been the first part of a larger work: "Vnutrennyaya zhizn' Malorossii ot 1600 goda do nashego vremeni" (Internal Life of Little Russia from 1600 to Our Time), on which he worked for years but never completed. The book Customs and Beliefs was to be followed by "Money and Prices, Weights and Measures in Little Russia from 1715 to 1855," and "A History of Monasteries in Little Russia." Both were preserved in manuscript.


On M. Markov: M. Berezhkov, "M. E. Markov i ego rukopisnyi sbornik o chernigovskoi starine," Nizhen, 1902, Sbornik Istoriko-Filologicheskago Obshchestva pri Institute Kn. Bezborod'ko v Nezhine, vol. IV, 1903; M. Berezhkov, "Mikhaila Yegorovicha Markova raznye sochineniya k poyasneniyu istorii Chernigova," Trudy XIV Arkheologicheskago s'eszda, vol. III, Moscow, 1911, pp271‑305.

 p116  On M. Berlinsky: V. Shcherbina, "Pervyi Kievskii arkheolog M. F. Berlinsky," Kievskaya Starina, 1896, No. 3; N. Semeikin, "M. F. Berlinsky i ego literaturnaya deyatel'nost'," Trudy Kievskoi Dukhovnoi Akademii, 1916.

On D. Bantysh-Kamensky; D. Doroshenko, "Knyaz' M. Repnin i D. Bantysh-Kamensky," Pratsi Ukrayin­s'koho Vysokoho Pedahohichnoho Instytuta im. M. Drahomanova, Prague, 1930, pp90‑108.75

On O. Martos: A. Lazarevsky, "Prezhnie izyskateli malorusskoi stariny," Kievskaya Starina, 1895, II (reprinted in his Ocherki, zametki i dokumenty po istorii Malorossii, vol. II, Kiev, 1895).

On M. Markevych: A. Lazarevsky, "Prezhnie izyskateli malorusskoi stariny," Kievskaya Starina, 1895, II (reprinted in his Ocherki, zametki i dokumenty po istorii Malorossii, vol. II, Kiev, 1895); A. Pypin, Malorusskaya etnografiya, St. Petersburg, 1891; "Pominka o N. Markeviche kak istorike," Kievskaya Starina, 1902, IX; A. Hrushevsky, "N. A. Markevich," Zhurnal Ministerstva Narodnago Prosveshcheniya, 1911, I.

The Author's or the Editor's Notes:

70 Prince N. Repnin participated directly in Bantysh-Kamensky's writing of Istoriya Maloi Rossii. For instance, N. Repnin wrote about the battle near Berestechko in 1651.

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71 Russkii Arkhiv, 1893, II, 345.

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72 Three volumes of Istoriya Yuzhnoi Rossii (History of South Russia) by Andriy Yak. Storozhenko (1790‑1857) were also never published. The author was a well known collector of Ukrainian antiquity.

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73 The personal M. Markevych archives are in the custody of the Institute of History of Literature of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR. His diary is also there.

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74 G. Karpov, Kriti­cheskii obzor . . . istochnikov do istorii Malorossii, p29, Moscow, 1870.

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75 D. I. Doroshenko wrote a special article on D. Bantysh-Kamensky which was due to appear in 1939 in Zapysky Naukovoho Tovarystva im. Shevchenka, but it was never published.

Thayer's Notes:

a Doroshenko, History of Ukraine, p256 f.

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b The lowest sub‑regimental unit among the Cossacks; see Doroshenko, History of Ukraine, p217 f.; an indication of the writer's level of detail.

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