"Ruski czlowiek": Muscovites and Ruthenian identity in occupied Wilno, 1655-1661

Mokslo publikacijos / Scientific publications
Document Type:
Straipsnis / Article
Anglų kalba / English
"Ruski czlowiek": Muscovites and Ruthenian identity in occupied Wilno, 1655-1661
In the Journal:
Journal of Ukrainian studies. 2009, 34, p. 134-160
1655-1661 m. maskolių okupacija; Konfesinis, etninis identitetas; Lietuvos Didžioji Kunigaikštystė (Lietuva; LDK; Grand Duchy of Lithuania; GDL); Maskvėniškoji tapatybė; Maskvos okupacija, 1655 (Pirmoji Vilniaus okupacija); Rusai / Russians; Rusėnas; Rusėniškoji tapatybė; Russki czlowiek.
Confessional, ethnic identity; Czlowiek russki; Muscovite occupation, 1655-1661; Russian; Ruthenian; The Muscovite Occupation; The Muscovites Identity; The Ruthenian Identity.
Summary / Abstract:

ENUsage in the various languages ofthe Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in the seventeenth century drew strict distinctions between "Ruthenian" {"ruski" and "Rusin^' in Polish) and "Muscovite" "moskiewski" and "Moskal," or '"Moskwicin"). In the local context, "Ruthenian" was a temi of controversy. In the language of "high culture," represented here by polemical literature, an exclusionary question played a central role: was the term to be applied to the Orthodox or to the Uniates? An either-or choice had to be made: which group was the rightful heir to the Ruthenian religious and political patrimony, and thus to the privileges, offices, and property accorded to Ruthenians in the sacred and secular arenas of the Commonwealth? The daily usage of living Ruthenians, however - at least in Wilno (Vilnius), the context of these observations - was much fuzzier. The two confessions could be seen as markers of one common identity. Indeed, mixed marriages (Uniate-Orthodox) were frequent enough, and larger human networks - formed through testamentary donations, choice of executors and witnesses of wills, and selection of guardians for widows and orphans, among others - suggest a local sense of Ruthenian identity that, for some (though not all), included both Uniate and Orthodox. And, more importantly, it often stood in opposition to Roman Catholics. But as far as the Muscovite was concemed, all were in agreement: he was "other," definitely not of "us." Never did a seventeenth-century Ruthenian (or Pole) refer to people or things Muscovite as "ruski." Or so I used to think. The following comments examine four passages from the acta ofthe burgomasters and councilors in which the adjective "'ruski" - in Wilno usage of a strictly delimited time and context - quite clearly meant "Muscovite." All these texts stem from the period of the M.

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2022-01-01 06:59:15
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