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History of Ukraine-Rus'. Volume 3: To the Year 1340

By Mykhailo Hrushevsky

2016 | Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies Press (external site)
Copy Available: Yes

Language: English
Pages: 748
ISBN: 978-1-894865-45-6 (cloth)

Volume 3 concludes the first cycle of the History of Ukraine-Rus', which Mykhailo Hrushevsky characterized as the story of the Ukrainian people’s historical existence from its beginnings to the collapse of statehood in the fourteenth century. Here Hrushevsky deals with one of that history’s least known but most intriguing periods—the time of the preeminence of the Galician-Volhynian state and the spread of Tatar (Mongol) rule over the Ukrainian lands. The volume also offers a comprehensive discussion of all aspects of political, social, and cultural life in the Old Rus' period.

In discussing the Galician-Volhynian state, Hrushevsky describes its first prince, Roman Mstyslavych, as an effective and forward-looking leader. His son Danylo Romanovych protected his state against the Tatars while seeking support from the West. That policy continued under Danylo’s successors, but with the extinction of the Riurykid dynasty the Galician-Volhynian lands were absorbed by Poland and Lithuania. During this same time the lands of the Dnipro region were experiencing the decline of the princely and military retinue system and increasing subordination to Tatar rule.

In examining life in Old Rus', Hrushevsky discusses the rights and relations of princes, the functions of princely servitors and administrative officials, the legal code and judicial system, military organization, church organization, and the composition and structure of society. He goes on to describe economic relations, family and social relations, religious life, education, and artistic creativity. He also examines Old Rus' writings, particularly the Kyiv and Galician-Volhynian Chronicles. Throughout, the master historian demonstrates the erudition and command of source materials for which he is renowned.