First Printed Histories of Ukraine (1674-1864)

Historical Summary

10. Samuel Twardowski (ca 1595-1600-1661)
Woyna domowa z-Kozaki i Tatary Moskwa, potya Szwedami i z-Wegry
(Civil War with the Cossacks and Tatars, Muscovy, and then with the Swedes and Hungarians)
Calissia [Kalisz], 1681.

This Polish historical narrative poem in the tradition of classical and Renaissance models describes the Cossack-Polish War (1648-57), and, in particular, details the 1649 siege of Zbarazh and the 1651 Battle of Berestechko. The epic poem was considered an authoritative history of the period.

Gift of Mr. Michael Bazansky, July 1974.


11. Innokentii Gizel (ca 1600-1683)
Sinopsis, ili, kratkoe sobranie ot ranikh' letopistsev o nachale slaveno rossiiskago naroda
(The Kyivan Synopsis, or a short collection from various chroniclers concerning the beginnings of the Slavic-Ruthenian people)
Kyiv: Kyivan Caves Monastery, 1674.

This is the first printed history of Ukraine, describing events from the time of the early Slavs to the mid-17th century.

Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Ihor Barylak, Dr. and Mrs. Bilok, Dr. and Mrs. Stephan Dudiak, the Ukrainian Studies Fund, and an anonymous donor, November-December 1975. From the Library of Sergei Diaghilev and Sergei Lifar.


12. O. M. Bodians'kyi, ed. (1808-1877)
Istoriia rusov ili Maloi Rossii
(History of the Rus' People, or Little Russia)
Moscow, 1846.

Of unknown authorship, Istoriia rusov greatly influenced the development of Ukrainian historiography in the 19th century. The text posits that each nation has a natural, moral and historical right to an independent political development free of foreign domination.

Coolidge Fund, April 1938. Courtesy of Widener Library.


13. Samiilo Velychko (1670-1728)
Lietopis' sobytii v iugozapadnoi Rossii v XVII-m vieke
(Chronicle of Events in Southwestern Russia in the 17th Century)
Kyiv: I. Val'ner, 1848-64.

This Cossack chronicle provides a patriotic description of the events of 1620 to 1700. The text cites, among other works, I. Gizel's Sinopsis and S. Twardowski's Woyna domowa.

Received May 1933. Courtesy of Harvard Law School Library.


14. A. L. Schlözer, ed. (1735-1809)
Nestor; ruskiia lietopisi na drevleslavenskom iazykie
St. Petersburg, 1809-1819.

This is the first critical edition of the Povist' vremennykh lit (The Tale of Bygone Years). Written in a combination of Church Slavonic and the contemporary Rus' vernacular, the Povist', edited by Nestor the Chronicler in 1113, records the events in Kyivan Rus' up to the 12th century, especially emphasizing the unity of the Rus' land.

Gift of the Ukrainian Studies Fund, November-December 1975. From the Library of Sergei Diaghilev and Sergei Lifar.


15. Joachim Pastorius (1610-1682)
Bellum Scythico-Cosacicum, seu, De conjuratione Tartarorum, Cosacorum et plebis Russicae contra Regnum Poloniae
Gdansk: Sumptibus Georgii Forsteri, 1652.

An important seventeenth-century foreign history of the Bohdan Khmel'nyts'kyi period. Khmel'nyts'kyi founded the Hetman state which came into existence as a result of the Cossack-Polish War. The Hetmanate was abolished by Catherine II in 1782.

Gift of Dr. Omeljan Pritsak, 1982.