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New member: interest in Galicia 1500

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  • Marsha Skrypuch
    Hello everyone, I am a brand new member and have been following the discussions with interest. I write historical fiction for children and teens. The novel
    Message 1 of 5 , Jun 28, 2007
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      Hello everyone,

      I am a brand new member and have been following the discussions with
      interest. I write historical fiction for children and teens. The novel
      that I am working on right now begins in the early 1500s in Rohatyn, in
      the province of Galicia/Halychyna. At the time, it was part of
      Poland-Lithuania, but was ethnically Rus/Ruthenian. Rohatyn was on a
      major trade route at the time and was also subject to slave raids by
      Tatars from the Crimean Khanate.

      I want to recreate day to day life for my character, a 12 year old girl
      whose father is a Ruthenian Orthodox priest.

      I have read a number of articles in your Knowlege Pages and have found
      them fascinating. One thing that I am needing to sort out is the
      differences between my character's culture, which was then called Rus or
      Ruthenian, and related cultures -- Russian, Lithuanian and Polish.

      I'm looking for the structures of everyday life. Here are some of the
      specifics I am searching for:

      bathing practices -- I read your pages and they were most interesting,
      but I don't know if they apply to Galicia in the 1500s
      housing -- where would she sleep, eat, go to the bathroom?
      clothing
      food

      Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

      all the best
      Marsha Skrypuch
      www.calla.com
    • aldo
      Dear Marsha, Ruthenian is a late denomination which was born in the Austrian area for the Croatians and other Slavic peoples living in Podolia, Volynia and
      Message 2 of 5 , Jun 29, 2007
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        Dear Marsha,
        Ruthenian is a late denomination which was born in the Austrian area for the Croatians and other Slavic peoples living in Podolia, Volynia and Galicia but ha no historiographical fundament. Rus' is a late denomination given by the Novgorodians (from the Great Novgorod and not from Nizhnii Novgorod) to the druzhinas that dominated the coty of Kiev. As far as ethical compisition there is no difference to be found as to the culture around X-XIII sec. in the area as Poles were mainly Slavs (don't forget that they were the ancestors, according to the tradition, of Radimichi and Vyatichi dwelling along the banks of the Volga river) as the Russians of the same period. The first differences started to be noticed just after the precocious christianization made by Meshko I but the languages (vehicular Russian and Polish) remained practically mutually understandable till XII cent. As far as Lithuanians are concerned before the arrival of the Teutonic Order and the creation of Livonic Order they were already on the good way to assimilate with the rest of the Slavs in the today area of Belarus (Krivichi and Dregovichi). To conquer the land the Orders stimulated the Lithuanina noblety (as the Prussians had been already fagocitated and transformed by a massive immigration of German farmers from Hamburg-Netherlands) to create own states, to recognize themselves as different from Slavs and Estonians and other Finns. There is avery long period of hesitation in the Lithuanian noblety to detach themselves from the parent Slavs. Think of Vytautas, of saint Euphrosyne of Polotsk, of Alexander Nevsky (who was the brother-in-law of Mindaugas), Olgherd of Vytebsk and last but not least Daumantas prince and hero of Pskov. The same John the III of Moscow was the son of Sophia Vytautas' daughter. The Tatars, despite what the usual knowledge is, did not really make raids in the area as the area was someway unaccessible and the only thing they did was to bar out mountain passes to the traders which maintained each and every state of the region.
        Much more is to be said, but I thinkI helped u to give a rough picture. Ciao

        Aldo
        ----- Original Message -----
        From: Marsha Skrypuch
        To: sig@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Friday, June 29, 2007 4:57 AM
        Subject: [sig] New member: interest in Galicia 1500


        Hello everyone,

        I am a brand new member and have been following the discussions with
        interest. I write historical fiction for children and teens. The novel
        that I am working on right now begins in the early 1500s in Rohatyn, in
        the province of Galicia/Halychyna. At the time, it was part of
        Poland-Lithuania, but was ethnically Rus/Ruthenian. Rohatyn was on a
        major trade route at the time and was also subject to slave raids by
        Tatars from the Crimean Khanate.

        I want to recreate day to day life for my character, a 12 year old girl
        whose father is a Ruthenian Orthodox priest.

        I have read a number of articles in your Knowlege Pages and have found
        them fascinating. One thing that I am needing to sort out is the
        differences between my character's culture, which was then called Rus or
        Ruthenian, and related cultures -- Russian, Lithuanian and Polish.

        I'm looking for the structures of everyday life. Here are some of the
        specifics I am searching for:

        bathing practices -- I read your pages and they were most interesting,
        but I don't know if they apply to Galicia in the 1500s
        housing -- where would she sleep, eat, go to the bathroom?
        clothing
        food

        Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

        all the best
        Marsha Skrypuch
        www.calla.com





        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • magdalenag56
        Greetings Marsha. God s Playground, Vol. 1 by Norman Davies is another good reference and would cover the period in question. I m not sure how much of the
        Message 3 of 5 , Jun 29, 2007
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          Greetings Marsha. God's Playground, Vol. 1 by Norman Davies is another
          good reference and would cover the period in question. I'm not sure
          how much of the specific details it will give you, more of an overall
          picture.

          Something else to keep in mind when sorting through Poland, Lithuania,
          Ruthenia, etc. is the borders in this area were very fluid through out
          history. It depended on who was in power at the time. An area may
          logistically be considered part of Poland or other powers but the
          people and custom of a given area can be specific to that province.
          Blanket statements like this was done in Poland or Lithuania are not
          accurate especially if you keep in mind the large area of land the
          Polish Lithuanian Commonwealth covered.

          Good luck on your project. I'd love to see the final product.

          Magdalena Gdanska

          PS I've recently come across mention of religious suppression of the
          Orthodox church in Galicia in the late 1500's. What this did was
          caused the members of the orthodox church in what was still considered
          part of Poland at the time, to develop their own icons which were
          preserved because they were hidden. Yes, there were Polish Icons.
        • Marsha Skrypuch
          Dear Aldo, Thanks for your message. Re Ruthenian -- Hrushevsky, in his History of Ukraine-Rus , Volume 7, does refer to the area in question as Ruthenia .
          Message 4 of 5 , Jun 29, 2007
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            Dear Aldo,

            Thanks for your message. Re "Ruthenian" -- Hrushevsky, in his History of
            Ukraine-Rus', Volume 7, does refer to the area in question as
            "Ruthenia". He also refers to is as "Rus'", "the Ruthenian palatinate",
            and Galicia".
            >
            > The Tatars, despite what the usual knowledge is, did not really make
            > raids in the area as the area was someway unaccessible and the only
            > thing they did was to bar out mountain passes to the traders which
            > maintained each and every state of the region.
            >





            In the era that I'm writing about -- the early 1500s -- they indeed made
            raids into western Ukrainian lands that were at that time ruled by
            Poland-Lithuania. The Tatars invaded Galicia in the spring of 1512 with
            an army of 20,000 men. In the summer of 1516, an army of 30 to 40,000
            men attacked Galicia again, capturing an estimated 50,000 people into
            slavery. Hrushevsky is a good reference for this, as is a nice book by
            Brian Davies called Warfare, State and Society on the Black Sea Steppe,
            1500 - 1700.

            The person I am writing about has gone down in history as "Roxolana".
            Here's a bit of info about her:

            http://www.wumag.kiev.ua/index2.php?param=pgs20044/74

            What I am wanting to do is re-create her early life -- ie -- when she
            lived in Rohatyn. So clothing, food, daily rituals. I can find this kind
            of information about Russians of the time, but she was not Russian.

            all the best
            Marsha



            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Marsha Skrypuch
            Dear Magdalena, Thank you for your warm greeting. Yes, I love Norman Davies. He is a good historian and also an entertaining writer. His writing does cover the
            Message 5 of 5 , Jun 29, 2007
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              Dear Magdalena,

              Thank you for your warm greeting. Yes, I love Norman Davies. He is a
              good historian and also an entertaining writer. His writing does cover
              the period in question, but not in the kind of daily detail I need.

              > Something else to keep in mind when sorting through Poland, Lithuania,
              > Ruthenia, etc. is the borders in this area were very fluid through out
              > history. It depended on who was in power at the time. An area may
              > logistically be considered part of Poland or other powers but the
              > people and custom of a given area can be specific to that province.
              >







              Yes, exactly! You've nailed my dilemma. So many books conglomerate the
              groups when they're actually individual ethnicities with their own
              customs, clothing, food, and so on. There are of course similarities,
              but one cannot generalize. Also, within a town, there would be a variety
              of groups.
              >
              > Blanket statements like this was done in Poland or Lithuania are not
              > accurate especially if you keep in mind the large area of land the
              > Polish Lithuanian Commonwealth covered.
              >




              Yes. Climate also plays a part. And population density. Galicia in the
              early 1500s was more densely populated than eastern Ukraine. Also, many
              people who had been in the steppe frontier region ended up pulling back
              to Galicia for safety.

              Rohatyn was on a major trade route, so that would have an influence as well.

              >
              > Good luck on your project. I'd love to see the final product.
              >



              > Thank you!! I just got word from my editor that advance copies of my
              > 9th book, which is coming out this October, have just arrived. So I
              > get a chance to hold it in my hands soon! The era for that one is
              > entirely different, but here's the cover:
              >




              http://marsha-s.livejournal.com/39037.html



              > Magdalena Gdanska
              >
              > PS I've recently come across mention of religious suppression of the
              > Orthodox church in Galicia in the late 1500's. What this did was
              > caused the members of the orthodox church in what was still considered
              > part of Poland at the time, to develop their own icons which were
              > preserved because they were hidden. Yes, there were Polish Icons.
              >








              That's interesting!


              all the best
              Marsha



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