History of Ruthenians

History of Ruthenians or Little Russia (Russian: Исторія Русовъ, или Малой Россіи, romanizedIstoriya Rusov, ili Maloy Rossii)[a] also known as History of the Rus' People is an anonymous historico-political treatise, most likely written at the break of the 18th and 19th centuries. It had a great influence on the formation of the Ukrainian national identity and was even named "the most prominent historical work in Ukraine".[1][2] It was written and originally published in Russian and describes the history of the Ruthenians and their state, Little Russia (Russian: Малоросія, in the terminology of the book), from antiquity to 1769. It mostly focuses on the history of the Zaporizhian Sich and the Cossack Hetmanate.

Історія Русів.jpg

Authorship and datingEdit

The book was written as a political essay by an unknown author at the end of the 18th or early 19th century. It could not have been written before 1792, since it mentions the Tmutarkan stone [ru], discovered only in 1792. According to Zenon Kohut, the author of the manuscript was strongly influenced by the events that had had place after the Third Partition of Poland. The "History" was distributed in the form of a manuscript for a long time and was published in Moscow University press by Osyp Bodianski only in 1846. The title page ascribed the work to "Georgy Konisky [ru], Belorusian Archbishop". Subsequently, his authorship was seriously questioned, but the true author is not established.[2] One of the supposed authors is Grigoriy Poletika [ru]; the ideas and style of the "History" are similar to the "Historical Reference", which he submitted to Empress Catherine II. Another candidate (among others) is her Grand Chancellor Alexander Bezborodko.[3]


  • Г. Конискій. Исторія Русовъ, или Малой Россіи. — М., 1846.
  • Історія Русів. Український переклад Івана Драча. Київ:Веселка, 2003.


  1. ^ Pre-reform orthography; Modern Russian: История русов или Малой России


  1. ^ Istoriya Rusov at the Handbook on History of Ukraine
  2. ^ a b Kohut, Zenon (2003). "The Khmelnytsky Uprising, the image of Jews, and the". Jewish History. 17 (2): 141–163. doi:10.1023/A:1022300121820. S2CID 159708538.
  3. ^ Наталія Яковенко "Нарис історії України з найдавніших часів до кінця ХVІІІ ст.", p. 366

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