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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.,
1957

The text is in the public domain.

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 p205  Research on Ukrainian History in Russian and Polish Historiography

Surveying the development of research on Ukrainian history in the works of foreign scholars, mainly Russian and Polish, was not my task. However, since those works, especially beginning with the second half of the last century, influenced development of Ukrainian historiography, contributing new material, giving new interpretation and posing new problems, the most important studies of the Ukrainian past in Russian and Polish historiography must be briefly considered here.

The early period of Ukrainian history was considered by Russian historians from the eighteenth century onwards (Karamzin) to be the beginning of the "Russian State," "Russia," or the "Russian people." This view has prevailed in Russian historiography until today, and all Russian historians, in dealing with the development of the Great Russian nationality in the thirteenth century, begin their histories from the Kievan period as the origin of "Russian statehood," (V. Klyuchevsky, S. Platonov, and others). The Kievan period, therefore, has been well studied by Russian historians of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and some of their discoveries (by V. Sergeevich, A. Shakhmatov, M. Prisyolkov, and A. Presnyakov in the Kievan period, and by M. Lyubavsky, I. Lappo, V. Picheta, and others in the period of the Lithuanian Rus′ State) have enriched Ukrainian historiography.122

 p206  Much less attention was devoted by Russian historians to Ukrainian history of the 16th‑18th centuries, the period of the Cossacks and the Hetman State, since the connection of those periods with Muscovite history is not so close. Here, too, all the Russian historians took the same approach and regarded those periods of Ukrainian history as an integral part of general Russian history, often limiting the history of the Ukraine to the Cossack period. Thus, the well-known Russian scholar, Sergei Solovyov (1820‑1879), the author of a History of Russia, regarded that period as part of the all‑Russian Cossack movement, directed against the "state." Therefore Solovyov regards all the attempts by the Russian government to limit and suppress Ukrainian autonomy as the struggle of "the state" against anti-state elements. Solovyov is the author of the following works: Ocherk istorii Malorossii do podchineniya yeya tsaryu Alekseyu Mikhailovichu (A Survey of Little Russian History up to the Time of Her Subordination to the Tsar Aleksei Mikhailovich), Otechestvennyya Zapiski, 1848, Nos. 11, 12, and 1849, No. 2; "O nekotorykh rukopisyakh i redkikh pechatnykh sochineniyakh XVI i XVII st., otnosyashchikhsya k istorii Malorossii" (Some Manuscripts and Rare Publications of the XVI and XVII Centuries Relating to the History of Little Russia), Bibl. Zapiski, 1858; "Malorossiiskoe kozachestvo do B. Khmelnitskago" (Little Russian Cossacks before Bohdan Khmelnytsky), Russkii Vestnik, 1859; Istoriya Rossii s drevneishikh vremen (History of Russia from Earliest Times) in 29 vols., 1851‑1879, contains valuable materials relating to the history of the Hetman State taken from the Moscow Archives.

The pupil of Solovyov, Gennadii Karpov (1838‑1890), who for a time was a professor at Kharkiv University, devoted himself exclusively to Ukrainian history while working in the Moscow archives and in the Moscow Obshchestva istorii i drevnostei. He sharply attacked the Ukrainian historians Kostomarov and Kulish; his views represented centralist Moscow tendencies. Among his works are: "Istoriya bor'by moskovskago gosudarstva s pol'sko- p207 litovskim" (The history of the Struggle of the Muscovite State against the Polish-Lithuanian State), Chteniya, 1866; Kriti­cheskii obzor istochnikov do istorii Malorossii otnosyashchikhsya za vremya 1654‑1672 (A Critical Survey of Sources for the History of Little Russia Relating to the Years 1654‑1672), Moscow, 1870; Kostomarov kak istorik Malorossii (Kostomarov as a Historian of Little Russia), Moscow, 1871; "Kievskaya metropoliya i moskovskoe pravitel'stvo v 1654 g." (The Kiev Metropolitanate and the Moscow Government in 1654), Pravoslavnoe Obozrenie, 1871, Nos. 8‑9; "Peregovory o soedinenii Malorossii s Velikorossiei" (Negotiations about the Union of Little Russia with Great Russia), Zhurnal Ministerstva Narodnago Prosveshcheniya, 1871, Nos. 11‑12; Nachalo istoricheskikh deyanii B. Khmelnitskago, Moscow, 1873; "Dionisii Balaban, mitropolit Kievskii" (Dionisiy Balaban, the Kievan Metropolitan), Pravoslavnoe obozrenie, 1874, No. I; "Mefodii Filimonovich, episkop Mstislavskii i Orshanskii, blyustitel' kievskoi metropoli, 1661‑1668" (Mefodiy Filimonovich, the Bishop of Mstislav and Orsha, the Administrator of the Kievan Metropolitanate, 1661‑1668), ibid., 1875, No.s 1, 2, 4, 6, 11‑12; "Malorossiiskie goroda v epokhu prisoedineniya Malorossii" (The Little Russian Cities at the Times of the Amalgamation of Little Russia), Letopis' zanyatii Arkheografi­cheskoi komissii, 1877, VI; "V zashchitu B. Khmelnitskago" (In Defense of Bohdan Khmelnytsky), Chteniya, 1889, I; Karpov was the editor of vols. XXI, XIV of the Akty Yuzhnoi i Zapadnoi Rossii.

Later the Russian historians, A. Vostokov, V. Einhorn, V. Myakotin and others, also worked in the field of Ukrainian history, contributing their articles to Kievskaya Starina. [. . .]

Polish historians, primarily those who came from the Ukraine, also showed interest in Ukrainian history. Their works were written in the spirit of regional patriotism and they tended to regard the Ukraine as their homeland. Therefore most of them were hostile to the rise and development of a Ukrainian nation, and saw in the struggle against Polish rule a fight of the "steppe rabble" against the Polish State and culture.

 p208  The Polish historian Karol Szajnocha dealt with Polish-Ukrainian relations in his monograph Dwa lata dziejów naszych 1646 i 1648 (Two years of Our History, 1646 and 1648), Lviv, 2 vols., 1865‑1869.123

Alexander Jablonowski (1829‑1911), born in the Province of Kiev, was the first Polish historian to devote himself almost entirely to Ukrainian history. In the series Źródła dziejowe (Historical Sources), edited by him and A. Pawiński, separate volumes entitled Ziemie ruskie (The Rus′ Lands) contained valuable material concerning the population, administration, and economic life of the Ukraine under Polish rule. They were accompanied by several treatises by Jablonowski which were later reprinted in his collected works, Pisma, 5 vols., 1910. Based on documents these studies — as well as Jablonowski's "Handel Ukrainy w XVI w." (Trade in the Ukraine in the XVI Century), Ateneum, 1895, II; "Kozaczyzna a legitymizm, dwie legendy polityczno-historyczne Ukrainy — batoryańska i baturyńska" (The Cossack Movement and Loyalism. Two Legends from Ukrainian History, Batorian and Baturian), Ateneum, 1896, VIII; "Zadnieprze" (The Land Beyond the Dnieper), translation published in Kievskaya Starina, 1896 — are a most valuable contribution to Ukrainian historiography.

Without dwelling on his lesser studies we should like to review briefly two works by Jablonowski which form a synthesis of his long scholar­ly work and reflect best his views on Ukrainian history. They are Historya Rusi południowej do upadku Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej (History of Southern Rus′ Up to the Fall of the Polish Republic), Kraków, 1912, and Akademia Kijowsko-Mohilańska (The Kiev Mohyla Academy), Kraków, 1899‑1900. In the first work, written under the sponsor­ship of the Kraków Academy of Sciences as a survey of Ukrainian history, in which as Professor S. Smolka says in the preface, "a Pole could find everything he ought to know about the Ukraine," Jablonowski gives a history of the Ukrainian lands which were a part of Rzecz  p209 Pospolita. In his opinion, "these lands never constituted a political, ethnographic or even geographic entity; even in the most ancient times they never formed a territorial state and did not contain within their boundaries all the ethnic elements which formed the majority of their population." Hence the Ukrainian population could only consolidate itself within the frontiers of Rzecz Pospolita and thus gain more definite geographic boundaries. The Poles were the element which brought law and order to the chaotic Ukrainian masses, so that organized social and cultural forms of Ukrainian life existed only as long as they were under Polish influence.

Jablonowski does not credit the Cossack wars during the time of Khmelnytsky with any national or political purpose. He blames the Ukrainian Polonized gentry for the demoralization and conservatism which, in the history of the Polish State, provided support for the reactionary forces and hindered the progressive elements who strove to reform and save Poland. Jablonowski's History of Southern Rus′ ends with the fall of the Rzecz Pospolita.

It is little wonder that, having taken such an attitude to Ukrainian history, Jablonowski's survey is in fact the history of Polish domination and influences in the Ukraine. His treatment of Ukrainian history is not falsification of the facts, but a one‑sided emphasis and interpretation.124

Similarly, in his history of the Mohyla Academy in Kiev, Jablonowski limits himself to the history of Polish cultural influences in the Ukraine. He regards the Academy as the product of an exclusively Polish culture and as a center of Polish education which declined because of the weakening of its connections with Poland.

A contemporary of Jablonowski, the Podolian Józef Rolle (1830‑1894), wrote several historical studies of the Right-Bank Ukraine, all in semi-belletristic form which he published under the pseudonym of Dr. Antoni J. in a series Sylwetki i szkice historyczne. They have a certain scholar­ly value, since most of them  p210 were based on documentary sources. Some of the thirty stories were printed in translation in Kievskaya Starina.125

Marjan Dubiecki (born in Zaslav, in Volynia in 1838), a graduate of Kiev University and a participant in the Polish uprising of 1863, wrote an interesting monograph Kudak, twierdza kresowa i jej okolice (Kodak, the Border Fortress, and Its Surroundings), Kraków, 1879, second edition 1900. In his book Obrazy i studya historyczne (Historical Sketches and Studies), Warsaw, 1899, he gave an account of the early history of Zaporozhe. Dubiecki regards the Ukrainian people as an "uncultured mob," completely incapable, under any circumstances, of creating its own intelligentsia or culture. Therefore he regards all the culture in the Ukraine as Polish in origin.

A representative of what may be regarded as a "Ukrainian" school in Polish historiography was Franciszek Rawita-Gawroński (born in 1846 in the Province of Kiev). He wrote a great deal about Ukrainian literature, Shevchenko, Padura, and finally turned to Ukrainian history. He is the author of Ustrój państwowo-społeczny Rusi w XI i XII w. w zarysie (An Outline of the Government and Social Structure of Rus′ in the XIth and XIIth Centuries), Lviv, 1896. Rawita-Gawroński also wrote articles on Cossack history which are collected in Studya i szkice historyczne I‑II, Lviv, 1899‑1900, and in Rzeczy i sprawy ukraińskie, Kiev, 1913. His chief works in which he takes a totally negative attitude to the Cossacks are Historya ruchów hajdamackich w XVIII w. (A History of the Haydamak Movement in the XVIII Century), 2 vols., Lviv, 1899‑1901, and Bohdan Chmielnicki, 2 vols., Lviv, 1905‑1909.

Both works are written in the manner of a pamphlet directed against the Cossacks. Rawita-Gawroński pursues Ukrainian historians with the same enmity, especially V. Antonovych whom he regards as a renegade. See his Wł. Antonowicz, zarys jego działalności  p211 społeczno-politycznej i historycznej (V. Antonovych, a Sketch of His Social, Political and Historical Activities), Lviv, 1912.

A much more objective treatment of Ukrainian history may be found in Kazimierz Pulaski's Szkice i poszukiwania historyczne (Historical Sketches and Explorations), Warsaw, 1887, which contains a series of sketches on the early history of the Cossacks, and in Jozef Tretiak's excellent monograph Historya wojny chocimskiej (1621) (The History of the Khotyn War, 1621), Lviv, 1889, second edition, Kraków, 1921.126

Equally detached and objective was the greatest Polish historian of the Khmelnytsky era — Ludwik Kubala (1838‑1918). The center of his studies was the reign of Wladyslaw IV and Jan Kazimierz, that is, also of the Cossack wars. His monograph Jerzy Ossolinski, 2 vols., was published in 1883. It was followed by Szkice historyczne, I‑II (Historical Sketches), Kraków, 1880‑1893, second edition, 1896, which deal with the period between 1648‑1654; Wojna moskiewska r. 1654‑55 (The Moscow War, 1654‑55), Warsaw, 1910; Wojna Szwecka r. 1655‑1656 (The Swedish War, 1655‑56), Lviv, 1913; Wojna brandenburska i najazd Rakoczego w r. 1656 i 1657 (The Brandenburg War and the Invasion by Rakoczy in 1656 and 1657), Lviv, 1917; Wojny duńskie i pokój Oliwski 1657‑1660 (The Danish War and the Peace of Oliwa, 1657‑1660), Lviv, 1918. A complete edition of Kubala's works began to appear in Warsaw in 1923.

Kubala's studies, extremely well documented, detached and scientific in spirit, form a contrast to other Polish histories of the Ukraine. Kubala's characterization of Khmelnytsky (in Wojna moskiewska) may be cited as an example of his objectivity; notwithstanding his condemnation of the historic enemy of Poland "who even now threatens us from his grave," he pays tribute to him as a great military and political leader.


The Author's or the Editor's Notes:

122 The works of E. Golubinsky on the history of churchº are worth mentioning, the studies of A. Lappo-Danilevsky on the Galicia-Volynian sigillography, and others. For the history of the Ukraine of the seventeenth century, P. Zhukovich's studies contributed valuable documentary materials, also the works by E. Shmurlo, B. Nol'de, and others.

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123 Second edition: Warsaw, 1900.

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124 M. Zaliznyak, ZNTSH, v. 116.

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125 His son, Michal Rolle, a historian of cultural life in the Right-Bank Ukraine of the nineteenth century, is the author of the monograph Ateny Wolyńskie, Lviv, 1923 (2d ed.), on the Kremenets' Liceum, and of a book of essays, In illo tempore, Brody-Lviv, 1914.

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126 The works by Tadeusz Korzon are worth mentioning.


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