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Τετάρτη, 17 Ιουλίου, 2024

A unique Cossack manuscript of the XVII-XVIII centuries is being studied on Mount Athos

On Mount Athos, Ukrainian scholars have launched a project to research and prepare for publication a unique manuscript of the 17th and 18th centuries, which records Ukrainian hetmans and the Cossack elite who generously donated to Athos monasteries. The project is supported by The British Academy and the University of Exeter.

This was announced by the Director of the International Institute of Athos Legacy, Dr. Serhii Shumylo.

According to the scholar, the unique manuscript records the noble Cossack families of Hetmans Ivan Samoilovych, Ivan Mazepa, Danylo Apostol, Ivan Skoropadsky, Colonels Leontii and Pavlo Polubotok, Vasyl Borkovsky, Yakiv Lyzohub, Semen Palii, Ivan Obydovskyi, Fedir Topolnytsky, Ivan Chernysh, Vasyl Kotliarevsky, and many others.

According to Dr Shumylo, among the church leaders, the families of Archbishop Theodosius of Chernihiv, Metropolitan Stefan Yavorsky, and Bishop Iosyp Shumliansky of Lviv, archimandrites Varlaam Yasynsky and Meletiy Sukhevych of the Kyiv Caves, abbots Theodosius Sofonovych and Sylvester Holovchych of the Kyiv St Michael’s Golden-Domed Monastery, abbot Joasaph Krokovsky of the Kyiv Desert Monastery of St Nicholas, and others listed in the manuscript are particularly noteworthy.

According to the historian, this manuscript is a unique monument and an important source for both the biographies of Ukrainian Cossack officers and the history of the ties between Ukrainian hetmans and the Cossacks and the centre of Orthodox monasticism on Mount Athos in the 17th and 18th centuries.

“Of considerable interest is the fact that Hetman Ivan Mazepa and his entire family are recorded among the donors to the Athos Monastery. To date, this is probably the most complete evidence of the Mazepa family. The most interesting thing is that immediately after the name of Ivan Mazepa comes the name of Mary and then his parents, Stefan and Magdalena. Most likely, the name of Mazepa’s wife is recorded in second place. This fact casts doubt on the assumption, widespread in national historiography, that Mazepa’s wife was his older widow Hanna Frydrykevych, since Hanna’s name is not in this Athos manuscript. Thus, we can assume that Mazepa’s wife’s name was not Hanna but Maria. This fact raises even more questions than answers, and therefore they require further research and search,” Dr Serhii Shumylo wrote on his Facebook page.

According to the scientist, the project was planned to begin under the auspices of the Institute of History of Ukraine of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine in February 2022. Together with historian Oleksandr Alfiorov, he planned to go to Athos and had already bought tickets for 25 February, but the day before the war broke out, the Ukrainian scientific expedition to Athos had to be cancelled. Now this project has been resumed thanks to the support of The British Academy and the University of Exeter.


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