By Serhii Plokhy
Within the years following the Napoleonic Wars, a mysterious manuscript started to move one of the upset noble elite of the Russian Empire. Entitled The historical past of the Rus', it turned essentially the most influential old texts of the fashionable period. Attributed to an eighteenth-century Orthodox archbishop, it defined the heroic struggles of the Ukrainian Cossacks. Alexander Pushkin learn the booklet as a manifestation of Russian nationwide spirit yet Taras Shevchenko interpreted it as a quest for Ukrainian nationwide liberation and it's going to encourage millions of Ukrainians to struggle for the liberty in their native land. Serhii Plokhy tells the attention-grabbing tale of the text's discovery and dissemination unravelling the secret of its authorship and tracing its next impression on Russian and Ukrainian historic and literary mind's eye. In so doing he brilliantly illuminates the connection among heritage, delusion, empire and nationhood from Napoleonic instances to the autumn of the Soviet Union.
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Extra resources for The Cossack Myth: History and Nationhood in the Age of Empires
54–55, 117–21; Russkaia romanticheskaia poe˙ma, ed. Viktor Afanas′ev (Moscow, 1985), p. 113. 125 on Sun Dec 23 05:34:37 WET 2012. 004 Cambridge Books Online © Cambridge University Press, 2012 A call for freedom 23 There was some truth in Katenin’s treatment of Ryleev’s new work as a reflection of Byron’s literary style and sympathies. In the summer of 1819, Byron published his narrative poem Mazeppa to universal acclaim, instantly launching the eighteenth-century Cossack hetman on his posthumous career as a Romantic hero.
The Cossack council elected, deposed, and punished Cossack officials. This Cossack way of life was more of a threat to the governments of the Cossacks’ home countries than their freebooting expeditions, which provoked Ottoman displeasure, rage, and retaliation. Cossackdom attracted thousands of new recruits from the ranks of the local peasantry and townspeople, undermining the existing social order, increasing social tensions, and setting off uprisings. These would occasionally turn into full-fledged peasant wars that claimed tens of thousands of victims among the upper classes and non-Orthodox minorities in the region – principally Catholics and Jews.
004 Cambridge Books Online © Cambridge University Press, 2012 22 The mystery October 1716, he was kidnapped by Russian agents and imprisoned in the SS. Peter and Paul Fortress. He was then sent to Yakutsk in Eastern Siberia, where he died after spending sixteen years in exile. 13 The most controversial feature of the poetic novel was its portrayal of the old Cossack hetman. Despite an introduction to the poem that followed the tradition of Russian imperial historiography by casting Mazepa as a self-seeking traitor, the hetman appeared in some scenes of the work as a devoted patriot of his fatherland, ready to die for its freedom in the struggle against tyranny.