Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
×
Home

Borderlands of Faith: Reconsidering the Origins of a Ukrainian Tragedy

  • Barbara Skinner
Abstract

Critiquing prevalent secular explanations for the cossack-led uprising called Koliivshchyna that erupted in the Ukrainian borderlands of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in 1768, this article identifies religion as the root cause of the uprising. Traditional nationalist and socioeconomic arguments explain Ukrainian violence against Poles and Jews, but do not account for Ukrainian violence against Ukrainians, which set this uprising apart from previous cossack-led disturbances. Increasing conflict between Uniate and Orthodox parishes along the newly reinforced Polish- Russian border on the Dnepr River at the time of Catherine II set the stage for the uprising. As Uniate religious practices had become more Latinized while Orthodoxy in this region drew ever closer into dependence on the Russian Orthodox Church, confessional tensions also reflected opposing Polish or Russian political allegiances. This article reaches beyond the context of Ukrainian national history to bring this event into current discourse on borderland regions and on overlapping political and religious identity.

Copyright
References
Hide All

Research for this article was assisted in part by grants from the Fulbright-Hays Dissertation Research Abroad Program (administered by the U. S. Department of Education) and the International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX), with funds provided by the U. S. Department of State through the Title VIII Program and the National Endowment for the Humanities. I am also greatly indebted to Diane Koenker and the anonymous readers of the manuscript for Slavic Review for their suggestions and encouragement.

1. The name Koliivshchyna is most frequently defined as deriving from the word for the primitive lances or pikes (kili, koli) with which many victims were gored to death. This was a common weapon for peasant uprisings of the era, however, and the use of it does not set this incident apart. Polish historian Władyslaw A. Serczyk promotes an alternative derivation based on a local word for cossack retinue in Koliszczyzna (Krakow, 1968), 7nl.

2. The higher figures of 200,000 total, with 20,000 killed in Uman'alone, are cited, for example, in Norman Davies, God's Playground: A History of Poland, 2 vols. (New York, 1982), 1:219. Historian Tadeusz Korzon estimates the victims in Uman’ alone at between 5,000 to 18,000 in Wewnętrzne dzieje Polski za Stanisława Augusta (1764-1794): Badania historyczne ze stanowiska ekonomicznego i administracyjnego, 6 vols. (Warsaw, 1897-99), 1:197-98. The total number killed in the uprising remains elusive, and most historians avoid presenting specific tallies. After painstaking research, Serczyk could uncover no more specific accounting than “several tens of thousands“; this remains the most careful assessment of the number of victims to date. Serczyk, Koliszczyzna, 167.

3. “Opis krótki rzezi w mieście Humaniu od czerni Ukrainskiej dnia 20 miesiąca Czerwca 1768 roku zdzialanej,” Tygodnik literacki (1838): 301.

4. These perspectives have dominated Russian, Ukrainian, and western historiography on the topic. After a spate of studies released at the time of the 200th anniversary of the uprising, virtually no new scholarship on Koliivshchyna has appeared. The most balanced and well-researched study to date is Serczyk, Koliszczyzna. A recent version of the Ukrainian nationalist argument is Petro Mirchuk, Koliivshchyna: Haidamais'ke Povstannia 1768 r. (New York, 1973). The articles collected in Petro Tymofiiovych Tron'ko, ed., Koliivshchyna 1768: Materialy iuvileinoi naukovoi sesii prysviachenoi 200-richchiu povstannia (Kiev, 1970), typical of Soviet-era, Marxist-driven analysis, are heavily weighted toward socioeconomic issues, presenting the uprising as one of the many “anti-feudal” struggles of the age. For a discussion of historiography on Koliivshchyna, see Kohut, Zenon E., “Myths Old and New: The Haidamak Movement and the Koliivshchyna (1768) in Recent Historiography,” Harvard Ukrainian Studies 1, no. 3 (1977): 359-78; for a discussion of nineteenth and twentieth century historiography, see Grigorii Iakovlevich Sergienko, “Istoriografiia Koliivshchyny” in Tron'ko, Koliivshchyna 1768, 118-33. Major nineteenth-century studies on the subject include Apollon Skal'kovskii, Naezdy gaidamak na Zapadnuiu Ukrainu v XVIII st., 1733-1768 (Odessa, 1845); Mikhail Aleksandrovich Maksimovich (Mikhailo Oleksandrovych Maksymovych), “Skazanie o Koliivshchine,“Russkii arkhiv, 1875, no. 5:5-27; Shul'gin, Iakov, Ocherk Koliivshchiny po neizdannym i izdannym dokumentam 1768 i blizhaishikh godov (Kiev, 1890). Generally, the 1768 uprising has been discussed within broader studies on the haidamak movement (cossack-led violence against estates in the Ukrainian provinces of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth) for which a solid list of primary and secondary sources has been compiled by Jaroslaw Pelenski in “The Haidamak Insurrections and the Old Regimes in Eastern Europe,” in Jaroslaw Pelenski, ed., The American and European Revolutions, 1776-1848: Sociopolitical and Ideological Aspects (Iowa City, 1980), 242-244, notes 1 and 2.

5. Nineteenth-century historians, while presenting a nationalist context, did tend to include in their analysis of Koliivshchyna some discussion of religious tensions presented by the rise of Orthodox missionary work in right-bank Ukraine, although with explicit biases towards one side or the other (see, for example, the anti-Orthodox explanation in Korzon, Wewnętrzne dzieje Polski, and the more pro-Orthodox version in Nikolai Ivanovich Kostomarov, Poslednye gody Rechi pospolitoi (1787-1795) [St. Petersburg, 1868]). Among the more recent scholarship, Serczyk, in Koliszczyzna, also discusses the role of Orthodox religious fervor in promoting tensions, but he still confines his discussion of the role of religion within an overriding national and social argument. This perspective is manifest even when he specifically addresses Orthodox influences in his article “Melchizedek Znaczko-Jaworski i klasztor motreninski przed wybuchem koliszczyzny,” Studia Historyczne 11, no. 3 (1968): 297-322.

6. In eighteenth-century Poland, “right-bank Ukraine” referred to the two easternmost Ukrainian palatinates (wojewódstwa) of Kiev and Bratslav, lying on the border with Russia's Ukrainian lands of the Hetmanate and the Zaporozhian wilds, and to the south with the Moldavian principality that was a vassal of the Ottoman Porte (see Serczyk, Koliszczyzna, 23). Modern use of the term commonly includes the Podolia and Volhynia palatanates in the definition of “right-bank.” This article will, however, conform to the eighteenth-century usage, confining my discussion to the Kiev and Bratslav palatinates.

7. The scholarly literature on aspects of religious development in the Russian empire is vast. For representative collections of the new studies on religious identity and practices in the former Russian empire by leading scholars, see Batalden, Stephen, ed., Seeking God: The Recovery of Religious Identity in Orthodox Russia, Ukraine, and Georgia (DeKalb, 1993), and Kivelson, Valerie A. and Greene, Robert H., eds., Orthodox Russia: Belief and Practice Under the Tsars (University Park, 2003). Vital contributions to the study of religious policy among minorities of the Russian empire include Paul Werth, At the Margins of Orthodoxy: Mission, Governance, and Confessional Politics in Russia's Volga-Kama Region, 1827-1905 (Ithaca, 2002), and the collection of articles in Robert P. Geraci and Michael Khodarkovsky, eds., Of Religion and Empire: Missions, Conversion, and Tolerance in Tsarist Russia (Ithaca, 2001). A valuable new addition to our understanding of Ukrainian religious developments is Serhii Plokhy, The Cossacks and Religion in Early Modern Ukraine (New York, 2001). For a specific focus on the interaction of Russian and Ukrainian cultures, see Kappeler, Andreas, Kohut, Zenon E., Sysyn, Frank E., and Hagen, Mark von, eds., Culture, Nation, and Identity: The Ukrainian-Russian Encounter (1600-1945) (Edmonton, 2003).

On the growing sophistication of the field's consideration of the issues dealing with borderlands, see Hagen, Mark von, “Empires, Borderlands, and Diasporas: Eurasia as Anti-Paradigm for the Post-Soviet Era,” American Historical Review 109, no. 2 (April 2004), 445-68. An impressive case study on the complex process of integrating frontier regions into the Russian empire is Michael Khodarkovsky, Russia's Steppe Front ier: The Making of a Colonial Empire, 1500-1800 (Bloomington, 2002). On the integration of western borderland, see Thaden, Edward C., Russia's Western Borderlands, 1710-1870 (Princeton, 1984), and Weeks, Theodore, Nation and State in Late Imperial Russia: Nationalism and Russification on the Western Frontier, 1863-1914 (DeKalb, 1996).

8. Anderson, Benedict, Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism (London, 1983) sparked a new debate on the issue of group identity that lay behind the development of nationalism, but the secular focus remained. For a critique of Anderson's approach, see the articles by Gopal Balakrishnan and Partha Chatterjee in Oopal Balakrishnan, ed., Mapping the Nation (New York, 1996).

9. See, for example, Veer, Peter van der and Lehmann, Hartmut, eds., Nation and Religion: Perspectives on Europe and Asia (Princeton, 1999); Viswanathan, Gauri, Outside the Fold: Conversion, Modernity, and Belief (Princeton, 1998); and Chatterjee, Partha, The Nation and Its Fragments: Colonial and Postcolonial Histories (Princeton, 1993).

10. Shevchenko's poem primarily condemns “Polish gentry” for Ukrainian resentments, portraying the leading grievance as socioeconomic. However, hostilities to “Catholics,” implying both Roman Catholics and Uniates, come through strongly, particularly as Shevchenko relates that the cossack leader Ivan Gonta slayed his two sons—students at the Basilian school in Uman'—for being born of their Catholic mother and raised as Catholics. Taras Shevchenko, Vybranipoezii (Kiev, 1977), 55-112.

11. Magosci, Paul Robert, A History of Ukraine (Seattle, 1996), 298-99. Magosci discusses in particular the epic poem “Zamek Kaniowski” (Castle of Kaniv, 1828) by Seweryn Goszczynski. Poetjuliusz Slowacki depicted the graphic violence of the uprising in his play Sen srebrny Salomei (The Silver Dream of Salomea, 1844), which is discussed in the context of Koliivshchyna in Wiktor Weintraub, “The Noble as a Hero and the Noble as a Villain in Polish Romantic Literature,” in Ivo Banac and Paul Bushkovitch, eds., The Nobility in Russia and Eastern Europe (New Haven, 1983).

12. Simon Dubnow (Semen Markovich Dubnov), History of the Jews in Russia and Poland from the Earliest Times until the Present Day, vol. 1: From the Beginning until the Death of Alexander I (1825), trans. I. Friedlaender (Philadelphia, 1975), 186; Magosci, History of Ukraine, 299. See also “Gaidamachina” and “Uman',” Evreiskaia entsiklopediia, 16 vols. (St. Petersburg, 1906-13), 6:26-29 and 15:110. Survivingjews annually commemorated the victims of the massacre in Uman’ with prayers and fasting on the anniversary of the tragedy.

13. This term (deriving from a Turkic word meaning robber or brigand) was first utilized in 1717 to describe bands of brigands in right-bank Ukraine. Vladimir Antonovich, “Predislovie” in Arkhiv iugo-zapadnoi Rossii, part 3, vol. 3, Akty o gaidamakakh, 1700-1768 (Kiev, 1876), 10.

14. Markina, Valentina Alekseevna, Krest'iane pravoberezhnoi Ukrainy, konets XVll-60-e gody XVIII st. (Kiev, 1971).

15. This conversion effort is described in chapters 6 - 8 of my PhD dissertation, “The Empress and the Heretics: Catherine II's Challenge to the Uniate Church, 1762-1796” (PhD diss., Georgetown University, 2001). By the time of her death in 1796, Catherine II could boast 1.5 million Uniate converts to Orthodoxy.

16. Plokhy, Cossacks and Religion, 189-90. According to Plokhy, cossack claims in 1648 that the Uniate Church persecuted the Orthodox faithful in the Commonwealth were more of a ploy to legitimize Muscovite intervention on the side of the cossacks than a reality.

Primary sources dealing with the religious content of Khmel'nyts'kyi's campaign have recently been published in Lev Valentinovich Zaborovskii, Katoliki, pravoslavnye, uniaty: Problemy religii vrussko-pol'sko-ukrainskikh otnosheniiakhkontsa 40-kh80-khgg. XVIIv.;Dokumenty, issledovaniia, vol. 1,Istochniki vremenigetmanstvaB. M. Khmel'nitskogo (Moscow, 1998).

17. See documents describing the haidamak activity of these decades in Arkhiv iugozapadnoi Rossii, part 3, vol. 3.

18. The largest collection of primary documents related to Orthodoxy in right-bank Ukraine under Bishop Gervasii's tenure is published in Arkhiv iugo-zapadnoi Rossii, part 1, vols. 2-3, Materialy dlia istoriipravoslaviia v Zapadnoi Ukraine v XVIIIst. (Kiev, 1871).

The compilers of the documents detailing die Orthodox side recognized that their efforts revealed only one side of the story (see introduction to part 1, vol. 2, pp. vii-viii). The subsequent volume 4 (also 1871), Akty ob Unii i sostoianii pravoslavnoi tserkvi s poloviny XVII veka (1648-1798), also did not contain Uniate documents from the tensions leading up to Koliivshchyna. There are, as yet, no published compilations of documents that reveal the Uniate side in die matter.

19. Careful examination of the collections dealing with the Uniate Church—in the Czartoryski Archive in Kraków, Poland (hereafter referred to as Czart.), especially sygnatury 707, 738, and 754; in the Ukrainian State Historical Archive in Kiev (TsDIA), especially its massive Fond 127 of Kiev consistory documents; and in the Russian State Historical Archive in St. Petersburg (RGIA) where the former Uniate Metropolitan archives are housed in Fond 823 (Kantseliariia mitropolitov greko-uniatskoi tserkvi)—reveal, in general, much less systematic documentation from the Uniate side of the conflict than from the Orthodox side.

20. Hundreds of Uniate grievances against subsequent aggressive actions by Russian troops and Orthodox priests in 1772-73 have been preserved in RGIA, f. 823, op. 2, d. 2116. While dealing with the immediate situation of danger in that year, the grievances make reference to their similar troubles from “persecution” by Ordiodox representatives in 1768.

21. The movement of the border was agreed within the Andrusovo Treaty of 1667 and confirmed in the “Eternal Treaty” of 1686, but not ratified by the Poles until 1710. A Kiev Russian-Polish Border Commission that met from 1730 to the 1770s continued to refine the definition of the border, especially the area to the west of Kiev (on the right bank) governed by Russia. Borders to the south had also shifted at this time as Poland regained territory (the Bratslav, Podolian, and southern Kiev palatinates) lost to the Ottoman Porte and ruled by the Turks from 1672 to 1699. For a careful assessment of shifts in the Russian-Polish border from 1686 through the eighteenth century, see Krykun, Mykola, Administratyvno-terytorial'nyi ustrii Pravoberezhnoi Ukrainy v XV-XVIII St.: Kordoni voevodstv u svitli dzherel (Kiev, 1993), 147-55.

22. As the result of the seventeenth-century treaties, cossacks in service of the Hetmanate and Zaporozhians were forced to remove themselves from inside the Polish- Lithuanian borders. The “cossacks” remaining in right-bank Ukraine were for the most part Ukrainian peasants raised to cossack status (their families freed from serf obligations) by their service in the personal militias of the Polish landlords and officials. Often enough, however, Zaporozhians or Hetmanate cossacks—even after being caught as haidamak offenders— would enter into such service to Polish landlords who respected their military expertise, as long as the cossacks swore an oath of allegiance. These forces were often sympathetic to the haidamaky and not effective in policing against haidamak activity. See Antonovich, “Predislovie,” 74-85.

23. By mid-century, Ukrainian peasants became the majority of the participants in the haidamak attacks. Aside from theft and pillage of livestock and material goods, haidamak attacks on this broader scale with peasant involvement threatened violence toward the mosdy Polish landlords, their staff and families, their Jewish administrators, and Roman Catfiolic clergy. For analysis of the composition and goals of haidamaky, see Antonovich, “Predislovie,” and Kohut, “Myths Old and New.” For sources on their attacks up to 1768, see the documents in Arkhiv iugo-zapadnoi Rossii, part 3, vol. 3. The more recent document collection Haidamats'kyi rukh na Ukraini v XVIIISt.: Zbirnyk dokumentiv, ed. Ivan Butich and Fedir Shevchenko (Kiev, 1970) adds some new material to the published document bank.

24. Antonovich, Arkhv iugo-zapadnoi Rossii, part 3, vol. 3, pp. 91-97. Especially well developed was the Russian border court in the town of Motovilovka on the Kiev palatinate border, which remained in session until 1785.

25. TsDIA, f. 59 (Kievskaia gubernskaia kantseliariia), op. 1 holds reports from the border posts. The volume of reports by mid-century (the period 1754 to 1768 alone is represented in well over 4,000 files of up to 75 pages apiece) reveals the attention given to monitoring Russia's Ukrainian border.

26. These averages are drawn from a report on the border posts along the 370 verst stretch of the Kiev guberniia's western border in TsDIA, f. 59, op. 1, d. 4707. The troops on guard were dragoons and left-bank cossacks in Russian military service.

27. It should also be noted that in accordance with the treaty of 1686, Mohylew bishops were from this time to be elected by the Russian Holy Synod, bringing these bishops into close association with the Russian Orthodox Church for the first time.

28. For a detailed description of religious life in right-bank Ukraine in the first half of the eighteenth century, see Feofan Lebedintsev, “Arkhimandrit Melkhizedek Znachko- Iavorskii,” introduction to Arkhiv iugo-zapadnoi Rossii, part 1, vol. 2 (Kiev, 1864), lii-lxxii.

29. Arkhiv iugo-zapadnoi Rossii, part 1, vol. 2, document I, p. 2.

30. Important scholarship on this process includes Ludomir Bieńkowski, “Organizacja Kościola Wschodniego w Polsce,” in Jerzy Kłoczowski, ed., Kościół w Polsce, vol. 2 (Kraków, 1969), 781-1049; Huculak, Laurence Daniel, OSBM, The Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom in the Kievan Metropolitan Province During the Period of Union with Rome (1596— 1839) (Rome, 1990); Khoinatskii, A. O., Zapadnorusskaia tserkovnaia uniia v eia bogosluzhenii i obriadakh (Kiev, 1871); Khrustsevich, Gavriil, Istoriia Zamoiskogo sobora (Vilnius, 1880); Senyk, Sophia, “The Education of the Secular Clergy in the Ruthenian Church before the Nineteenth Century,” Orientalia Christiana Periodica 53 (1987): 387416 , and “The Ukrainian Church and Latinization,” Orientalia Christiana Periodica 56 (1990): 165-87; and Stasiak, Marian, “Wpływy łacinskie w statutach prowincjalnego synodu Zamojskiego (1720),” Roczniki teologiczno-hanoniczne 22, no. 5 (1975): 95106.

31. Likowski, Edward, Dzieje kościota Unickiego na Litwie i Rusi w XVIII i XIX wieku, vol. 1 (Poznań, 1880), 126 ; Koialovich, Mikhail Osipovich, Istoriia vozsoedineniia zapadnorusskikh uniatov starykh vremen (do 1800 g) (St. Petersburg, 1873), 6 ; Bieńkowski, “Organizacja Kościola Wschodniego w Polsce,” 932-34.

32. The full title was Bishop of Pereiaslav and Borispol'and coadjutor to the Metropolitan of Kiev. (A coadjutor is recognized as capable of fulfilling the ecclesiastical duties of the Metropolitan should the need arise.) An ancient bishopric of Kievan times, this was never a church administrative center within the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. The Russian imperial church administration created it as a vicariate, with a coadjutor bishop subordinate to the Metropolitan of Kiev, several decades after left-bank Ukraine was acquired by Russia in 1699 (the first bishop was in place in 1701), during the reign of Peter I. In 1733, it became an independent eparchy subordinate to the Holy Synod (Smolich gives the date of 1731). Oleh Kryzhanivs'kyi and Serhii Plokhii, Istoriia tserkvy ta religiinoi dumky v Ukraini, vol. 3, Kinets'XVI-seredynaXIXstolittia (Kiev, 1994), 103-4; I. K. Smolich, Istoriia russkoi tserkvi, 1700-1917 (Moscow, 1996), 266-67; Lebedintsev, “Arkhimandrit Melkhizedek Znachko-Iavorskii,” 1-li.

33. Lebedintsev, “Arkhimandrit Melkhizedek Znachko-Iavorskii,” lxxiii.

34. “Lintsevskii (Gervasii),” Entsiklopedicheskii slovar', pub. Brokgauz-Efron (St. Petersburg, 1891-1904), 34:715. He was in China from 1745 to 1755.

35. The published documents related to the Orthodox revival in right-bank Ukraine in Arkhiv iugo-zapadnoi Rossii, part 1, vols. 2-3, primarily consist of letters directed to and signed by the Pereiaslav bishop and his consistory. A survey of these documents reveals that Melkhizedek acted as a mediator to the Bishop in a number of cases, but the actual permissions for building churches, installing Orthodox priests, and other parish necessities came from Bishop Gervasii himself. For a study on the critical role of Bishop Gervasii, see Ivanitskii, S., Pereiaslavskii episkop Gervasii Lintsevskii i nachalo vossoedineniia uniatov v zapadnoi ili pol'skoi Ukraine (1757-1769) (Kamenets-Podol'sk, 1904).

36. Koialovich concludes that Melkhizedek helped the estate's commissar M. Potocki write a letter to Bishop Gervasii with this request and that Potocki did so in fear of the history of haidamak violence in the region and potential unrest if the people's demands were not met. Koialovich, Istoriia vozsoedineniia, 15.

37. Arkhiv iugo-zapadnoi Rossii, part 1, vol. 2, document I, pp. 4-6.

38. Koialovich accounts for 50 parishes in the Chyhyryn (Czehryn) starosta (Jablonowski estates) and 6 in the region of Smila (Lubomirski estates) by 1763. Koialovich, Istoriia vozsoedineniia, 25. According to existing published documents, the priests were those that the parish had selected and Melkhizedek had approved. Of interest, indicating a continued lack of Orthodox episcopal leadership in the right bank, the majority of candidates had been ordained in Moldavia but were then required to undergo Russian Orthodox training and certification. For each parish, Bishop Gervasii usually received requests from the candidate for priest, the parishioners, Melkhizedek, and from either the landlord's commissars or from local officials. Arkhiv iugo-zapadnoi Rossii, part 1, vol. 2, documents I-XV, XVIII-XIX, XXII-XXIII, XXXI-XXXIV, pp. 1-42, 50-56, 61-65, 94-105. On Melkhizedek's duties, see Koialovich, Istoriia vozsoedineniia,\b.

39. Arkhiv iugo-zapadnoi Rossii, part 1, vol. 2, document XL1V, pp. 146-48, contains Melkhizedek's report that twenty-two priests of the Chyhyryn district wanted to join (postupit’ v vedomstvo) the Pereiaslav eparchy, dated 23 September 1762. Document XXTV, pp. 66-69, for example, is a request for a priest who had been ordained by the Metropolitan of Kiev to change eparchies and join that of Pereiaslav (24 August 1764).

40. Arkhiv iugo-zapadnoi Rossii, part 1, vol. 2, document XXVI, pp. 73-76, presents Bishop Gervasii's gramota accepting priest Dmitrii Lozenskii and the parish of the Uspenskii church in the village of Medvedovki into the Pereiaslav see (October 1764).

41. Russian Orthodox priests followed the standard formula of the oath to the Russian state instituted at the time of the adoption of the Spiritual Regulation under Peter I. This standard oath was published in pocket-size catechisms issued in Kiev. A copy of a pocket catechism from 1784 with the oaths for priests, deacons, and sextons can be found in Czart., sygn. 934 (Pisma różne względem religii grecko-dyzunitskiey), s. 234.

42. The first case documented is the village of Adamovka, which removed its Uniate priest from his position, replaced him with a Moldavian-ordained Orthodox priest, and appealed to Bishop Gervasii for acceptance into the Pereiaslav eparchy. Arkhiv iugozapadnoi Rossii, part 1, vol. 2, documents XX-XXI, pp. 57-60.

43. See I. Grigorovich, ed., Sobranie sochinenii Georgiia Koniskago, arkhiepiskopa Belorusskago, parts 1 and 2 (St. Petersburg, 1835), passim. A clause in the 1686 Polish-Russian peace treaty against oppression and forced conversions to the Roman or Uniate faiths among the Orthodox communities in the Commonwealth had led to repeated appeals from Russian representatives to the Polish king to this effect, usually in response to the residing Belarusian bishops, who compiled lists of grievances. See, for example, the grievances filed by Empress Elizabeth's resident minister in Warsaw Piotr Golebiowski [Golembevskii] about acts of “persecution” carried out by Uniates and Catholics, including a list of 158 Orthodox churches and monasteries “forcefully taken and converted to Union” between 1734 and 1743. Arkhiv iugo-zapadnoi Rossii, Part 1, vol. 4 (Kiev, 1871), 195-98, 444- 57 (written 1743-44).

44. Dokumenty, obiasniaiushchie istoriiu zapadno-russkago kraia i ego otnosheniia k Rossii i k Pol'she (St. Petersburg, 1865), 440. The same phrasing continued to be used in subsequent years up to the time of the Koliivshchyna massacre. For example, the oath taken by the village of Kononchi on 20 January 1768 is nearly identical. Arkhiv iugo-zapadnoi Rossii, part 1, vol. 3, document LXXXI, pp. 523-24.

45. This was the terminology for the Orthodox Church utilized by Bishop Konisskii from the start of his tenure in the Belarusian eparchy in an effort to stress the ties of the Orthodox in the Commonwealth to those in the Russian Empire. See Sobranie sochinenii Georgiia Koniskago, passim.

46. The 1765 document from Franciszek Potocki authorizing and funding the monastery with its stated educational and mission goals is reproduced in J. M. Gizycki, “Bazilianie w Humaniu,” Przewodnik naukowy i literacki 27 (1899): 661-64. Serczyk, Koliszczyzna, 94, notes that the school housed 400 students in 1768. Basilian schools offered the same curriculum as Jesuit schools, with additional training in the Slavonic liturgy.

47. Dokumenty, obiasniaiushchie istoriiu zapadno-russkago kraia, 444-48, describes the attack on Uniate missionary Lubinskii and his group of Uniates in the village of Telepin that had converted in December 1765. Arkhiv iugo-zapadnoi Rossii, part 1, vol. 2, document XLIII, pp. 137-45, contains the list of offenses committed by “Poles and Uniates” towards the Orthodox Ukrainian clergy and parishioners as presented by Melkhizedek to King Stanislaw in January 1766. The majority of the offenses involved attacks and robberies of Motronyn monks and the monastery; the offenses against parishes included beatings of priests and the leaders of the Orthodox communities (ktitory), confiscation and theft of property, threats, desecration of altars.

48. Arkhiv iugo-zapadnoi Rossii, part 1, vol. 2, document XL, pp. 128-29, contains Catherine II's memorandum of 30 October 1765 to Russian envoy Nikolai Repnin to pressure the king to address the situation in Ukraine in particular.

49. Arkhiv iugo-zapadnoi Rossii, part I, vol. 2, documents LII and LIII, pp. 155-59, are the king's memorial and the letter of the Crown and Duchy chancelleries to the Uniate hierarchy, 19 February 1766. Document LFV, pp. 160-61, contains the decree confirming the rights and privileges, 3 March 1766.

50. “Okruzhnoe poslanie … k pravoslavnym zhiteliam oblastei korolevstva Pol'skago …” Kievskiia eparkhial'nyia viedomosti, 1862, no. 12:705-12 (quote, 706), written in late 1767 or early 1768. The editor's commentary following the text of the letter suggests it was likely based on similar letter written by Bishop Konisskii; however Bishop Gervasii appropriately altered it to fit his rhetorical style. The letter is also published in Polish in Arkhiv iugo-zapadnoi Rossii, part 1, vol. 3, document LXV1, pp. 436-45.

51. “Okruzhnoe poslanie,” 709.

52. This terminology reflects the Uniate myth that the Uniates had preserved the unity of the Christian Church by restoring union with Rome. From this perspective, the Uniates saw the Orthodox faithful as continuing to leave the church in disunion or schism, referring to them as dysunity or “schismatics.“

53. Czart., sygn. 754 (Zbiór pism naleźących do interesu spora między Grekami Unitami y Nie Unitami tudzien y do Sprawy między Wieleb. Koninskim y Wołodkowiczem), s. 227, 29 December 1765. (Copy also on s. 223, and copy in French on s. 233.) Wołodkowicz was at the time in an ongoing debate with Belarusian Orthodox Bishop Konisskii to dispute the latter's claims that the Uniate Church had used violence against the Orthodox Church. Additionally, Wołodkowicz was in the midst of a legal dispute with Konisskii over property claims by the Uniate Metropolitanate, so tensions between hierarchs were running high.

54. M. Cecylia Łubieńska, Sprawa Dysydencka 1764-1766 (Kraków, 1911), 74-5. The quotation is from a report presented to Warsaw on 31 March 1766. It is also quoted with slight variation in Władyslaw Serczyk, Hajdamacy (Krakow, 1972), 276-77. For an explanation of the term “schismatic,” see note 52.

55. Łubieńska, Sprawa Dysydencka, 76. Mokrzycki arrested Melkhizedek himself in August 1766, adding to the panic among the Orthodox population. After several months in prison, the monk escaped to Pereiaslav and continued to assist the Orthodox cause from there.

56. “O raznykh obidakh i razoreniiakh, posledovavshikh ot polskikh popov-uniatov pravoslavnomu grekorossiiskago vostochnago ispovedaniia v korone pol'skoi na Ukraine sostoiashchemu narodu i ikh sviashchenstvu i tserkvam Bozhiim …,” Kievskiia eparkhial'nyia viedomosti, 1891, no. 18:403-22, reports on events from 1766, as presented to the Holy Synod in 1772. Arkhiv iugo-zapadnoi Rossii, part 1, vol. 2, document LXXXIII, pp. 272-88, presents Melkhizedek's version of the violence, and Arkhiv iugo-zapadnoi Rossii, part 1, vol. 3, document II, pp. 29-32, presents a report to Bishop Gervasii from all the gromady of the Smila district (6 January 1767). See also Koialovich, Istoriia vozsoedineniia, 34-35.

57. On Zaporozhian contacts with the Orthodox community, see Arkhiv iugo-zapadnoi Rossii, parti, vol. 2, documents CXXX and CXXXI, pp. 507-11 (April-May, 1766). On the movement of Polish troops in the area and their intimidation of the Orthodox population, see Arkhiv iugo-zapadnoi Rossii, part 1, vol. 2, documents LXXVI, LXXX, LXXXIII, pp. 237-38, 250-88 (July 1766); part 1, vol. 3, document X, pp. 58-61. Arkhiv iugozapadnoi Rossii, part 1, vol. 2, document LXXVII, pp. 296-98, presents Bishop Gervasii's appeal to the commander of the Polish military contingent in Ukraine, Ignatius Woronicz, to protect the Orthodox population there (19July 1766). The commander replied that his job did not concern religion, but keeping the peace. Arkhiv iugo-zapadnoi Rossii, part 1, vol. 2, document LXXXV, pp. 292-93 (30July 1766).

58. For commentary on the force of religious symbols to the practitioners of a faith, I refer to Talal Asad, Genealogies of Religion: Discipline and Reasons of Power in Christianity and Islam (Baltimore, 1993), particularly his critique of Clifford Geertz's interpretation of symbols as undervaluing the power of symbolism in chapter 1, 27-56.

59. A square of cloth with representations of the crucifixion and burial of Christ, and in one corner of which relics are inserted, that is placed on the altar for the mass. It is consecrated by the Bishop in a rite similar to that for consecrating the altar itself and it may be used in place of the altar on an ordinary table, though common practice was to place the antimension on the consecrated altar. See Langford-James, Richard Lloyd, A Dictionary of the Eastern Orthodox Church (New York, 1923), 8. Proving the antimension's importance in the late eighteenth century, Uniate visitations always noted the presence of the antimension in parish churches and which Bishop consecrated it. Likewise, the records of Melkhizedek and Bishop Gervasii demonstrate the critical importance of the antimension to the Orthodox Church, as the distribution of antimensions was essential for the consecration of a new church or the conversion of Uniate churches (see Orthodox requests for antimensions in Arkhiv iugo-zapadnoi Rossii, part 1, vol. 2, documents XXXIV, LXIX, CVI, pp. 104-5,213-14,411-13).

60. Arkhiv iugo-zapadnoi Rossii, part 1, vol. 2, documents LIX and CXI, pp. 177-79, 425-28. Also Podol'skiia eparkhial'nyia viedomosti, 1889, no. 6.

61. A number of Ordiodox priests voiced this complaint. See Arkhiv iugo-zapadnoi Rossii, part 1, vol. 2, document XLIII, pp. 137-45, and part 1, vol. 3, documents XVI, XVIII-XX, and XLVIII, pp. 104-14, 120-74, and 351-55.

62. These are the terms used consistently and repeatedly by Melkhizedek, Bishop Gervasii, and members of the Orthodox community from 1765 to 1768 in the sources published in Arkhiv iugo-zapadnoi Rossii, vol. 1, parts 2-3, for example vol. 1, part 3, documents XV-XVII, XXIV, XLV, LXIX, pp. 85-119, 202-5, 330-34, 460-64.

63. See, for example, the strident complaints from Melkhizedek and Bishop Gervasii against the Uniates under Mokrzycki from July 1766 in Arkhiv iugo-zapadnoi Rossii, part 1, vol. 2, documents LXXX1 and LXXXIII, pp. 259-69, 272-88.

64. In response, Bishop Gervasii sent an appeal on behalf of the Orthodox population in die Commonwealth to the Holy Synod for support and protection. Arkhiv iugozapadnoi Rossii, part 1, vol. 2, document XCIII, pp. 311-33.

65. Arkhiv iugo-zapadnoi Rossii, part 1, vol. 3, document II, p. 31. “Kraine ne mozhem chrez uniatov tamo zhit', i vse razoidemos’ za granitsiiu, ezheli ne budet u nas blagochestiia.“

66. Łubińiska, Sprawa Dysydencka, 76.

67. The catalyst for the rebellion was the 1768 “Treaty of Eternal Peace” that Russia forced the Commonwealth to sign. This document reshaped Poland-Lithuania's 1764 constitution to fit Russia's political designs in the Commonwealth, including a substantial increase in the political and religious rights of the dissidents, such as lifting of restrictions on public worship and granting the right to hold high administrative, judicial, and legislative seats in the government. A complete copy of the 1768 Treaty (“Traktat Wieczysty Między Rzecząpospolitą Polską y Imperium całey Rossyi“) can be found in Volumina Legum: przedruk zbioru prow slaraniem XX. Pijarów w Warszawie od roku 1732 do roku 1782 wydanego, 10 vols. (St. Petersburg, Kraków, and Posnań, 1859-1952), 7:250-85.

68. Russian troops headed the fight to quell the rebellion, but its ability to rise again, Phoenix-like, in new regions after being suppressed in others, combined with Russia's simultaneous preoccupation with its war wifii the Ottoman empire (1768-1774), led to a drawn-out four-year civil war in the Commonwealth (1768-1772).

69. Konopczyński, Władyslaw, Konfederacja Barska, 2 vols. (Warsaw, 1936-38), 1:32. Konopczyński, Władyslaw, Dzieje Polski nowożytnej (Warsaw, 1996), 617.

70. Arkhiv iugo-zapadnoiRossii, part 1, vol. 3, documents CXV-CXVII, pp. 679-86, for example, contain an appeal from the residents of Zhabotyn to Bishop Gervasii, who then appealed on their behalf to the Kiev Governor-General F. M. Voeikov; the latter, in return, suggested that the appeal be made to the Holy Synod and the Russian College of Foreign Affairs (3-12 May 1768). Documents CXVIII-CXXI, pp. 687-709, include descriptions of persecution by members of the Confederation of Bar toward the Orthodox community, including an attack on the Motronyn monastery. Document CIX, pp. 640-42 (10 April 1768), shows that Bishop Konisskii from inside the Commonwealth kept Pereiaslav Bishop Gervasii informed of the developments regarding the Confederation.

71. See Serczyk, Koliszayzna, 83-115, for a carefully documented account of the action. While Korzon estimates that by this time, the armed followers of the uprising numbered about 30,000, this number is likely exaggerated. Pelenski presents a more conservative estimate of some 500-600 cossacks and 4,000-5,000 peasants. Korzon, Wewnętrzne dzieje Polski, 1:197-98. Pelenski, “The Haidamak Insurrections,” 233.

72. Dubnow, History of the Jews in Russia and Poland, 171-77.

73. A favorite version of nineteenth-century historians, corresponding with conventional national and social explanations of the violence, presents the decree as a call for the Ukrainian peasants to rise against the economic oppression of their Polish landlords: ”… to rise from your enslavement, to free yourselves from the yoke and the burden that you have suffered to this day from your landlords [pany]\ … The time has come to demand an accounting from your ruling powers for all the offenses, suffering, for all the inexpressible abuse. We send you leaders. Trust them and follow them with whatever weapons you can! Leave your homes, wives, and beloved children…. God will grant us victory, and you will all become free pany, when you have slain the serpent monsters of your landlords who have been sucking your blood to this day!” As cited in Kostomarov, Poslednyegody, 102. It is unlikely, however, that the motivating factor of the uprising deviated so wildly from the original purpose of protecting the Orthodox population against Confederate forces. The rhetoric could not have so easily changed from one of intense dedication to the faith to one of destroying the landlord-peasant socioeconomic relationship.

74. As cited in Mirchuk, Koliivshchyna, 133-34. The words cannot be held to be authentic, of course, as discussed by Mirchuk on pages 135-37. Whatever the words, Serczyk convincingly disputes the claim that Melkhizedek himself wrote the false manifesto; see Koliszayzna, 148-49.

75. “Opis krotki rzezi,” 294.

76. I agree with Kohut that the rebels were likely seeking protection rather than a formal union with Russia. Kohut, “Myths Old and New,” 373.

77. “Gaidamaki,” in Entsiklopedicheskii slovar', 15:871-73.

78. Madariaga, Isabel de, Russia in the Age of Catherine the Great (New Haven, 1981), 240-41. For a study of the phenomenon of Peter III pretenders that extended well beyond the borders of die Russian Empire, see Myl'nikov, Aleksandr Sergeevich, Iskushenie chudom: “Russkiiprints,“egoprototipi i dvoiniki-samozvantsy (Leningrad, 1991). I credit Gary Marker for bringing my attention to this issue in light of the events described here and for pointing me to Myl'nikov's study.

79. Zenon E. Kohut notes the increasing obligations on the peasants in Hetmanate Ukraine, leading up to almost complete limitation on their movement by 1760. Kohut, Zenon E., Russian Centralism and Ukrainian Autonomy: Imperial Absorption of the Hetmanate, 1760s-1830s (Cambridge, Mass., 1988), 3638.

80. Catherine's campaign to secularize monastery lands (carried out in European Russia in 1764) was not applied to left-bank Ukraine until the 1780s, so her image as religious patroness in Ukraine remained untainted at the time of Koliivshchyna. See Kohut, Zenon E., “The Problem of Ukrainian Orthodox Church Autonomy in the Hetmanate (1654-1780s),” Harvard Ukrainian Studies 14, nos. 3-4 (1990): 364-76.

81. Serczyk, Koliszczyzna, 89.

82. “Wypis z Xięg Grodskich, Wojewodztwa Kijowskiego,” 22 December 1768. Copy found in RGIA f. 823, op. 3, d. 722.

83. Czart., sygn. 752 (Zbior Roznych Pism nalezacych do Interessu Dyssydentow w Polszcze), s. 177-81. A scribble at the bottom of these pages notes that there were more such documents from Zalizniak, but that they were not sent to the Czartoryski files due to postage fees.

84. M. A. Maksimovich, “Skazanie o Kolivshchine,” Russkii arkhiv, 1875, no. 2:14, also notes this as a reason for the importance of Uman’ in the massacre.

85. For background on Gonta and his decision to betray Potocki, see V. Antonovich, “Umanskii sotnik Ivan Gonta (1768g),” Kievskaia starina, Nov. 1882, 250-76. Antonovich works Gonta into his nationalist interpretation of the uprising, arguing that the cossack commander decided consciously to fight “on the side of his people, [for] their rights, faith, and nationality [narodnost'Y against the Polish overlords, but the research on Gonta's background and career are solid.

86. “Opis krótki rzezi,” 300.

87. Serczyk, Koliszczyzna, 98. The students were both Polish Catholics and Ukrainian Uniates.

88. “Opis krótki rzezi,” 300.

89. “Pis'mo pana Iakova Kuzalkevicha k russkomu polkovniku Chorbe,” 11 July 1768, in “Materialy dlia istorii Koliivshchiny ili rezni 1768 g.” Kievskaia starina, July 1882, 305.

90. “Opis krótki rzezi,” 301. The Orthodox baptized by immersion, while the Uniates used the Roman tradition of sprinkling or pouring water. The debate on whether those baptized in the western fashion should be rebaptized had a long history among Orthodox theologians.

91. Historians have discussed whether Catherine might have staged the entire affair, especially with the ukaz wielded by Zalizniak that bore her name, but the sources support her innocence in the affair. See Korzon, Wewnętrzne dzieje Polski, 1:199.

92. Koialovich notes that Repnin, Generals Mikhail Krechetnikov and Petr Rumiantsev, and governor Voeikov of the Kiev guberniia had already decided to act independently to curtail the violence before Catherine II ordered them to do so on 9 July, since they deemed the uprising potentially dangerous to Russian security along its western border with the Commonwealth. Catherine II acted as soon as some of the haidamak participants had been chased into Turkish territory, threatening already brittle relations with the Porte to the brink of war. The punishment extended to Zalizniak was exile in Siberia; Ivan Gonta suffered death by quartering. Koialovich, htoriia vozsoedineniia, 99.

93. Russian foreign minister Nikita Panin issued a stern reprimand to Bishop Gervasii for allowing Orthodox clergy into Poland who were “not humble” but who promoted unrest, including the monk Melkhizedek. Arkhiv Vneshnei politiki Rossiiskoi imperii, Moscow, f. 79, op. 79/6, d. 438, 2 September 1768. The document is also published in Sergei Mikhailovich Solov'ev, htoriia Rossii s drevneishikh vremen, 29 vols. (Moscow, 1959- 66), 27:263-64. Serczyk's research on the monk Znachko-Iavorskii, in his article, “Melchizedek Znaczko-Iavorskii,” dispelled previous Polish accusations that the monk was personally involved in the massacre (as argued by Korzon, for example).

94. “Wypis z Xiąg grodzkich.“

95. “Opis krótki rzezi,” 293-94; Solov'ev, htoriia Rossii, 27:248.

96. Czart., sygn.752, s. 251.

97. See Rumiantsev's letter of 24 August 1768, Kievskaia starina, October 1882, 101— 2. 1 am grateful tojaroslaw Pelenski for citing this reference in his article “The Haidamak Insurrections,” 240, 247w52.

98. As expressed in a letter to his confidante, Madame Geoffrin, cited in Solov'ev, Istoriia Rossii, 27:248.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Slavic Review
  • ISSN: 0037-6779
  • EISSN: 2325-7784
  • URL: /core/journals/slavic-review
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed