Традиция - это передача пламени, а не поклонение пеплу.

The Annals of the Ukrainian Academy of Arts and Sciences in the U.S., Vol. II, Spring, 1952, No. 1 (3), pp. 70-130.



This article by the late Dmytro Doroshenko (1882-1951) is a slightly abridged translation of an essay which appeared in Ukrainian in Drahomanivsky Zbirnyk, pid redaktsieyu V. Simovycha, Pratsi Ukrayinskoho Vysokoho Pedahohichnoho Instytutu im. M. Drahomanova v Prazi (A Symposium in Honor of M. Drahomanov, Vasyl Simovych editor, in the series, Publications of the Ukrainian Pedagogic Drahomanov Institute in Prague) (Prague, 1932). Only a limited number of mimeographed copies of this book appeared, and today it is a rarity. In printing this article by Professor Doroshenko, which now is almost unknown even to the Ukrainian public, the editors wish not only to enrich their book, but also to commemorate this eminent historian, the first president of the Ukrainian Academy of Arts and Sciences in the United States, [ed.]

Drahomanov was not a specialist in the history of the Ukraine. He had prepared himself for the chair of world history and he lectured in Roman history at the University of Kiev. At first his activity was not directed toward Ukrainian studies at all. Having been raised on the works of Herzen and Saint-Simon, as a youth he considered himself a cosmopolitan, or rather a pan-Russian, though he was aware of his Ukrainian roots. However, his practical application in the Ukraine of his general principles, his teaching in the adult folk schools, and his participation in the movement for popular enlightenment all led him to closer contact with the Ukrainian movement of his time.

It was particularly his studies of Ukrainian folk literature which brought Drahomanov to an interest in Ukrainian affairs. After learning to know its wonderful folk poetry, Drahomanov, as he said, came to love the Ukrainian people deeply. He became attached with his whole soul, and began to feel all the particularities of the Ukrainian cause. After taking such a profound interest in the Ukrainian cause and dedicating all his strength to its service, it is natural that Drahomanov should not have omitted Ukrainian history from his consideration.

Drahomanov's conditions of life and work did not allow him to study Ukrainian history as his specialty. However, since he was working in fields allied to history, particularly with Ukrainian historical songs, tales, and religious traditions (legends, apocryphal stories, religious poetry, etc.), he continually came into contact with various questions related to Ukrainian historiography.

In this he demonstrated a deep understanding of Ukrainian historical development, and a clear view of the tasks of Ukrainian historiography. A number of his comments on various questions in Ukrainian history are remarkably penetrating. These are to be found thickly strewed throughout his studies of Ukrainian folk literature, in his political and journalistic articles, and also in his letters, which are frequently a valuable supplement to his other woorks. Here I should like to collect some of the most striking of these remarks, in order to try to form from them a picture of Drahomanov's basic views on Ukrainian history and historical research.

Drahomanov wrote two works which are truly historical. The first, The Ukrainian Cossacks and the Tatars and the Turks (Kiev, ), is a well-written popular presentation of the struggle of the Ukrainians and the rest of the Slavic world against the Turks and Tatars. In the middle of the 1870's this conflict entered a new phase with the uprisings in Herzegovina and, following this example, those of the other Balkan Slavs against Turkish domination. The Ukrainians in Kiev sympathized with these uprisings and sent money and volunteers to help. Drahomanov posed the question of the true reason for the struggle against the Turks. His answer was that it was not because of religion, because they were Turkish infidels, but in order to achieve the political, social, and national liberation of the Balkan peninsula from the yoke of the semi-barbarous Turks. The booklet is written vividly, its content is easy to understand, and the tragic episodes of the Cossack wars against the Mohammedan world are as clear as a picture. We can be sure that for a long time Drahomanov's book will remain a pearl of Ukrainian popularizing literature, a model of how such books should be written.

Drahomanov's second work in the field of Ukrainian history, which unfortunately remained incomplete, is The Lost Epoch, the Ukrainians under the Muscovite Tsardom, 1654-1876. This was to have appeared in the sixth volume of Hromada [a Ukrainian periodical edited by Drahomanov in Geneva], but this volume was never published, and the article remained in proof-sheets. Later it was published by Mykhaylo Pavlyk as a separate pamphlet.

Drahomanov's first treatment of the questions of Ukrainian history was in his joint work with Volodymyr Antonovych, Historical Songs of the Little Russian People, in two volumes (Kiev, 1874 and 1875). In the introduction to the first volume we can see what the task was which the editors set for themselves:

Under the name of historical songs of the Ukrainian people we intend to publish all the songs in which changes in the social order of the people are expressed, just as other songs are a reflection of the history of the people's religious and ritual life, and yet others that of its family and economic life. By selecting from printed and unpublished collections all the historical songs (historical in the above-defined sense, whatever their form may be), we obtain a poetic history of social events in Southern Rus from at least the ninth century to the present, i.e. in Austria to the abolition of serfdom and the Hungarian rebellion in 1848, and in Russia to the Polish rebellion of 1863 and the liberation of the peasants.

Thus the editors wanted to present the history of the Ukrainian people as told by itself in songs. We do not know how the two editors divided the work between themselves, but the commentary is similar to that in the works which Drahomanov later wrote alone abroad. The comments which Drahomanov appended to the political songs are exceptionally worthwhile and interesting. Since he made use of all the material on Ukrainian history which had appeared till then (including the new material in the periodical Kievskaya Starina [Old Kiev]), Drahomanov attached a number of short essays on Ukrainian history in the 17th and 18th centuries. From these relatively short sketches one can gain a much clearer and more lifelike picture of certain periods, e.g. the reigns of the Hetmans Mazepa (1687-1709), Skoropadsky (1709-1722), and Apostol (1727-1734), than from Kostomarov's monographs or Lazarevsky's writings.

In his New Ukrainian Songs on Social Matters (1881), Drahomanov surveys the life of the Ukrainian people in all the Ukrainian lands as it has found expression in folk poetry: the time of the haydamaks (peasant insurgents of the 18th century), the destruction of the Sich (1775), the introduction of serfdom in the Left Bank Ukraine (1783), the increase of serfdom in the Right Bank Ukraine after this land passed from Poland to Russia (1793), recruiting and hard service in the tsarist army, the robber "Robin Hoods" in the Carpathians, the abolition of serfdom in Austria and the Hungarian uprisings of 1848, the abolition of serfdom in Russia (1861), work in the factories. All of these events in the social and economic life of the people, which have been echoed in popular songs, are vividly characterized by Drahomanov.

What were Drahomanov's general views on Ukrainian historical development and on the tasks of Ukrainian historiography?

First of all let us say that Drahomanov ascribed great importance to the historical and national tradition and considered that the Ukrainian cause had been greatly harmed when this tradition died away in the first decades of the 19th century. In his works and letters Drahomanov mentions several times that even in the 1830's and 1840's there was still a certain tradition of statehood among the nobility of the Left Bank Ukraine descended from the Cossack elders, i.e. among the members of the class to which Drahomanov himself belonged. It was from this group that the young Drahomanov had obtained the basis for his liberal philosophy and for his sympathy toward the Ukrainian national cause. Let us remember that, as he says, it was in the circle of the Kapnist brothers and other educated Ukrainian nobles that he first read Shevchenko's The Dream and Caucasus [political poems with strong anti-tsarist and anti-Russian tendencies] in the 1850's.

In my boyhood I had the chance to observe the influence of the Kapnist brothers on the local gentry and intelligentsia (priests, doctors, etc.)1

Moreover he frequently mentions that Istoriya Rusov2 had circulated extensively among the nobles living on the Left Bank, that it had served to keep alive the memory of an independent Ukrainian State, and that it had greatly influenced such people as Shevchenko. Here we need only remember that he said:

Shevchenko took whole images from The History of the Ruthenians, and in 1844-45 no book except the Bible had such influence on his thought processes.3

But this tradition had died out, and, in Drahomanov's opinion, could not be brought back to life.

The tendency to idealize the period of the Cossacks and the hetmanate, which was once very natural and came to an interesting expression in the thirties and forties, and the effort to give to natural Ukrainian patriotism a constitutional character, for which The History of the Ruthenians and many of Shevchenko's works might serve as prototypes -- is now definitely out of date in the minds of all educated Ukrainians. A return to this would be made impossible by the scientific criticism and analysis to which the Ukrainian leaders are subjecting their past.4

Drahomanov thought that only one solution remained for the Ukrainians: a close alliance with the pan-Russian progressive movement, but under the condition that the ideas of decentralization and of Ukrainian autonomy be guaranteed within an all-Russian federation. Drahomanov believed that this also corresponded to the general evolution of Ukrainian political thought during the 19th century. He felt that the chief impetus to Ukrainian thinking had come from European liberalism, which had been implanted in the Ukrainian nobility from the beginning of the 19th century. The community of liberal beliefs which existed between the Ukrainian and Russian intelligentsias (which at that time were composed uniquely of the nobility) led to a common program, in which the Ukrainians brought an essential correction -- decentralization. This is readily visible in the southern branches of the Decembrists, Free Masons, and other illegal or semi-legal societies of the first quarter of the 19th century.

It was the Brotherhood of Sts. Cyril and Methodius5 which best formulated the idea of the federation of all the Slavic peoples into one State, guaranteeing political and national equality to each people. In comparison with this Brotherhood, the ideology of Osnova6 in 1861-62 is a step backwards. The later socialist efforts of the seventies brought the matter onto a new track, which, according to Drahomanov, was purposeful and real, but the socialists sinned in their deviations toward centralism. Since Drahomanov had no confidence in the realization of a socialist program in the near future, he sought a basis for the Ukrainian cause in the constitutionalism of the Zemstvo movement. To this end he wrote his famous Free Union, a project for a federative Russia composed of constituent states [in the American sense].

In considering the fate of the Ukrainian people, Drahomanov raised the question of political independence. He did not oppose this in principle, but under the given circumstances he did not see any solid basis for it and did not believe that it could be achieved.

I do not want to impose my views on any one, and in this matter I should even be happy to have them refuted by fact, but I say quite openly that at present I do not see anywhere the necessary force or groundwork for the political separation of the Ukraine from Russia. Moreover, I see that the Ukrainians and Russia have many interests in common, for instance the right to colonize the land between the Don and the Ural mountains.7

The chief reason why Drahomanov did not believe in the possibility of an independent Ukraine was that he did not see any deep and earnest enthusiasm for it among his Ukrainian contemporaries.

Nowhere, in any social group in the Ukraine, except perhaps among a part of the Polish nobility, who are now, however, very much intimidated by the government and the peasants, do I see the basis for political separatism. I see that it is only in anonymous comimunications in Pravda [Truth, a Ukrainian magazine in Galicia], which are very weak from the scientific and literary point of view, that a desire for separation is expressed. Therefore, for the present at least, I deny any serious importance to Ukrainian separatism. . . . What sort of an idea is it which, during twenty or thirty years, has not found a single person ready to acknowledge it openly and courageously, prepared to sacrifice for it some of his ease, or his career, not to speak of his life.8

Drahomanov did not believe that the Ukraine was in a position for any "high politics" at all, as long as it had not itself become a more important power factor. In a letter to Oleksander Konysky in 1888 he wrote:

For official Europe only those [nations] are interesting which have force (an army), not those which still require that blood flow and money be spent for their sakes. . . . First we must become something in our own home, we must become Europeans, and then Europe will also be interested in us.9

However, Drahomanov saw that in the historical past there had been a possible foundation for an independent Ukraine, and he regretted that circumstances had not permitted the Ukrainian State founded by Bohdan Khmelnytsky to endure. Therefore he was very displeased when the Ukrainians insulted their historic traditions and tried to belittle their historic figures.

Somehow Ukrainians are not in the habit of boasting about their own ancestral traditions, . . . there has been no one to teach them to take pride in their glorious past. For one brief moment in the thirties and forties of this century, when enlightened Ukrainians began finding out about their heritage, a handful of people bragged loudly about the glories of the Cossack Ukraine, but they were quick to discover the stains on the escutcheon -- and now, if anyone wants to learn of these stains, he can best do so through the works of Ukrainian scholars, in the well-known works of Kostomarov, Lazarevsky, and Antonovych.10

In judging the past by modern standards, Ukrainian historians overlook many positive manifestations, and they belittle those statesmen of our past whom they accuse of being pro-aristocratic. In a letter to Franko Drahomanov writes:

The works of our populist historians falsify the affair in the worst possible manner, for they calumny not only men like Mazepa, but also those like Vyhovsky and Polubotok, while keeping silent about Peter I and Catherine II.11

The assertion of the Russian historian Solovyov that "the Ukrainian people has certainly suffered, but because of its Cossack elders rather than of Muscovite tyranny" is answered by Drahomanov in his Political Songs:

Unintentionally Ukrainian historians have supported this perversion of the history of the Ukraine by Russian scholars. They have indicated the faults of the Cossack elders, not sparing such defenders of Cossack freedom as Vyhovsky, Mazepa, Polubotok. . . . The works of these Ukrainian historians are used by the enemies of the Cossack order and the partisans of tsarism. But so far these historians have not pointed out the great harm done to the Ukrainian people by the tsarist system (for no modern Ukrainian historian has written an exact account of the 18th century Ukraine), and they are unable to do so because of tsarist censorship. Therefore the whole history of social life in the Ukraine, like that of the ideas of the Ukrainian people about the States under whose domination it has lived and still lives, i.e. Russia and Poland, has not yet been shown in its true light.12

Drahomanov also made reproaches against individual Ukrainian historians. Thus he maintained that Kostomarov (1817-1885),

in depicting the period of Vyhovsky, placed himself on the side of the mob, which supported the interests of the Muscovite tsar against the autonomism of the Cossack elders. Thereby he lost the leitmotif, which would have enabled him to judge the policy of Moscow from the Revolution of 1663 to the Mazepa period. Moreover, he ignored the Zaporozhian Sich, and did not estimate correctly the importance of that increase in liberal and autonomist ideas among the members of the Zaporozhian Cossack community between 1667 and 1710 which led to the Ukrainian Constitution of 171013, which was written under the influence of the Zaporozhian leader Kost Hordiyenko.14

Drahomanov complained particularly about the lack of a synthesis, of a guiding idea, among Ukrainian historians. This he felt was true of all the prominent Ukrainian scholars of the late seventies and early eighties. About Antonovych (1834-1909) he wrote:

No other of our historians is so adept at unearthing exact facts, specially in political history -- when a prince or hetman began to rule, when a city was conquered, etc. -- as Antonovych. But, as if intentionally, he keeps silent about all the thought content of history, the logical inferences from the facts, the comparison with the history of other peoples, etc. . . . Often Antonovych makes a passing reference to "popular ideals," which were expressed chiefly during the Cossack period, as if he were a "populist." But it is futile to hunt through his works for a clear presentation of these ideals, and even more so to seek an evaluation of them, of what their place is in the general great evolution of European peoples.15

Along with his reproaches against the lack of a synthesis and a clear guiding idea (the consequence of the lack of a mature political philosophy), Drahomanov objected that contemporary Ukrainian historians had a false conception of certain phenomena. Thus he rejects the usual assertion of these historians that the Ukrainian Cossacks of the 17th century were republicans. He wrote:

The Cossack conception of the State was the monarchy, even though the circumstances of their life brought them to a republican political order. Bohdan Khmelnytsky's ideal was precisely a petty nobility monarchism. . . , later, educated men like Vyhovsky and Nemyrych introduced more political liberalism into the circle of Khmelnytsky's lieutenants, but at the same time they also brought in more aristocratic customs, which outraged the masses of the Cossacks and commoners. Thus the masses did not want to have anything to do with Vyhovsky's liberalism, and declared themselves for the tsar. The Ukrainian burghers and priests also accepted the monarchic idea. . . . All of these monarchistic currents led to the Revolution of 1663, headed by the Zaporozhian Cossacks, which weakened the roots of Ukrainian autonomism and the beginnings of Ukrainian liberalism.16

Elsewhere he says:

In the Ukraine, or rather in the Cossack Ukraine, both before and after the union with Moscow, democracy was only to be found on the local level; above there was only monarchy.17

Drahomanov judged that it was only under the influence of West European political ideas that republicanism began to take root in the Ukraine. It is first to be seen in the memorable Constitution of 1710, where for the first time the idea is expressed that the autocracy of the hetman should be limited. Then we find it in The History of the Ruthenians, next in the secret groups and in the lodges of the Free Masons of the beginning of the 19th century, and finally in the ideas of the Brotherhood of Sts. Cyril and Methodius and in Shevchenko's writings.

Drahomanov always emphasized the necessity of viewing Ukrainian history within the framework of general European history, and of using the comparative method in research. In his Peculiar Thoughts he leaves the following "testament" for Ukrainian historians :

The time has come when it is no longer possible to judge the history of the Ukraine either from the viewpoint of the moment, or from the national viewpoint (which is moreover mixed up with religious Orthodoxy). . . . Our history should be regarded as a whole, as a summation of its periods: the period of the princes and the cities, the feudal Lithuanian period, the aristocratic Polish one, that of the Cossacks, and the tsarist Russian period (with a subdivision for Austrian absolutism and constitutionalism). Then in each period attention should be given to the progress or retrogression in each of the following fields: population density, economic conditions, the social and political order and ideas, education, and the direct or indirect participation of Ukrainians of all classes and degrees of education in European history and culture.18

Therefore Drahomanov regarded the writing of a complete and systematic textbook of Ukrainian history as an urgent necessity for Ukrainian historiography. He was pleased when the twenty-sixth volume of Solovyov's History of Russia appeared, for this presented Ukrainian history up to the end of the hetmanate. He wrote:

However Professor Solovyov may have judged our Ukraine, we must still be pleased that at least he has carried our history up to the end of the hetman period. In recent years the Ukrainians have been in a very disagreeable situation, even worse than formerly; without the writing of national history, the social and political ideas of a land cannot develop, and the old histories of Little Russia, such as those of Bantysh-Kamensky or Markevych, are no longer suitable.

It is regrettable that Drahomanov himself never undertook the task of writing a complete and systematic, if short, history of the Ukraine. No one would have been able to do this better than he, with his talent, his clear understanding of Ukrainian historical development, and his great erudition. His wonderful ability to present Ukrainian history, using the most recent scientific methods and criteria, is evidenced in his unfinished work, The Lost Epoch.

It is easy to imagine how great an influence such a textbook of Ukrainian history might have had on the literary doldrums of the eighties and nineties, and how much it might have helped awaken the national consciousness, if only Drahomanov had written it.

"History does not teach anyone, because its lessons reach mankind nuch too late," wrote Drahomanov in a letter to Franko in 1889. Involuntarily these words come to mind when one thinks of the fate of Ukrainian historiography so far.

The time when Drahomanov had to appeal to Ukrainian historians to synthesize and regard Ukrainian history as a whole has passed. But even today, when Ukrainian historical scholarship has greatly developed, when we have a whole series of systematic textbooks, when the more important periods in Ukrainian history have been thoroughly investigated and illuminated -- even today many of Drahomanov's remarks on various questions of Ukrainian historiography have not lost their force. It would be commendable if our new historians would study Drahomanov's writings more often, and deepen their understanding of the profound thoughts of this great Ukrainian scholar.

Editor's note:

Professor Oleksander Ohloblyn has been kind enough to share with us a letter which Dmytro Doroshenko wrote to him from Prague on October 29, 1942. Here we wish to present a portion of it which characterizes Doroshenko's attitude toward Drahomanov.

If time permits, I intend to write a popular book on Drahomanov, similar to that on Antonovych. [This is an allusion to Doroshenko's Volodymyr Antonovych, Yoho zhyttya i naukova ta hromadska diyalnist (Volodomyr Antonovych, His Life and His Scientific and Political Activity) (Prague, 1942).] I greatly esteem Drahomanov as a patriot, scholar, and politician. Both his political and his social ideas now belong to history and, like his political activity, are subject to historical criticism. But since Drahomanov's activity was inspired by a genuine and ardent love of his homeland, it has left an imprint which does not depend on the manner in which this love was expressed. I believe that the Ukrainian cause would have been morally weaker, and poorer in ideas, if there had been no Drahomanov, just as if there had been no Shevchenko. Here in emigration it has become the fashion to disparage Drahomanov as a "Russifier," federalist, and cosmopolitan. This angers me greatly. [Here Doroshenko writes of his lecture on Drahomanov in Prague, October 24, 1942.] Therefore I should like to write a small book on Drahomanov, if time permits. By the way, the late V. Lypynsky had a high regard for Drahomanov, although he differed greatly from him in his political views.

The Vyacheslav Lypynsky (1882-1931) mentioned here was an eminent historian and sociologist and a friend of Dmytro Doroshenko. He was a leading figure in the Ukrainian conservative and monarchist camp. It is generally known that Doroshenko's sympathies lay in the same direction. This did not prevent Lypynsky from taking an active interest in the publication of Drahomanov's Lost Epoch, nor did it stop Doroshenko from writing this article on "M. Drahomanov and Ukrainian Historiography," one on "M. Drahomanov and the Ukrainian National Movement" (The Slavonic Review, April, 1938), or from intending to write a monograph on Drahomanov, although unfortunately the events of the Second World War did not permit him to do this.


1 Letters to the Dnieper Ukraine (Vienna, 1915), p. 25.

2 Istoriya Rusov (The History of the Ruthenians) was allegedly the work of Jury Konysky, the bishop of Mogilev in Byelorussia from 1755-1795. In reality this book, which was probably written at the beginning of the 19th century, was the work of a member of the Ukrainian nobility of the Left Bank Ukraine. Although there have been many hypotheses as to who was the true author, he is still unknown. Borschak writes about The History of the Ruthenians:

"It is a historical and political plea in favor of an autonomous Ukraine, the true and only heir of pre-Mongol Rus, as opposed to Catholic Poland and "Tatar" Muscovy."

This work of the pseudo-Konysky abounds in distortions and fabrications, and is historically worthless. Nevertheless, countless handwritten copies circulated and this unusually successful propaganda pamphlet deeply influenced the development of Ukrainian consciousness in the first half of the 19th century, (cf. Elie Borschak, La legende historique de l'Ukraine -- Istoriya Rusov, Collection historique de l'lnstitut d'Etudes slaves, XIII, Paris, 1949). ed.

3 Hromada, IV (1879), p. 147.

4 Po voprosu o malorusskoi literature (The Question of Little Russian Literature) (Vienna, 1876), p. 9. :

5 After a short existence the brotherhood of Sts. Cyril and Methodius, a Ukrainian secret organization in Kiev, was crushed by the tsarist police in 1847. Its membership included men who were extremely important for the spiritual rebirth of the Ukraine, such as the poets Shevchenko and Kulish, the historian Kostomarov (the author of the Brotherhood's program), and others. This was the first expression of the democratic-populist phase of the Ukrainian movement, ed.

6 Osnova (Foundation) was a Ukrainian magazine in St. Petersburg in 1861-62, published by a few former members of the Cyril and Methodius Brotherhood who had been able to return from exile after Alexander II's accession to the throne. In contrast to the youthfully bold program of the Brotherhood, Osnova's aims were limited to the development of Ukrainian literature and culture, renouncing the goal of political autonomy, and supporting the all-Russian programs of reform, principally that of emancipating the peasants, ed.

7 Drahomanov, Peculiar Thoughts on the Ukrainian National Cause (Vienna, 1915), p. 94.

8 Ibid., p. 95.

9 Drahomanov, Letters to Ivan Franko, II (Lviv, 1908), pp. 129-30.

10 Drahomanov, The Lost Epoch (Lviv, 1909), pp. 7-8.

11 Letters to Franko, II, p. 55.

12 Drahomanov, Political Songs of the Ukrainian People in the 18th and 19th Centuries, I (Geneva, 1883), p. xviii.

13 After the decisive defeat of the Swedish and Ukrainian forces at Poltava (June 27, 1709), Charles XII and Mazepa, with the remnants of their armies, fled to Moldavia, which was under Turkish suzerainty. The old Hetman died soon afterwards, and Fylyp Orlyk, his chancellor and nearest political collaborator, was elected as his successor in Bendery (April 10, 1710). On this occasion a constitutional charter, Pacta et Constitutiones Legum Libertatumque Exercitus Zaporoviensis, was promulgated. This limited the absolute power of the hetman and provided for the regular convocation of the General Council. Since the hopes of reestablishing an independent Ukraine by means of the Swedish and Turkish alliances were not fulfilled, this Constitution of Bendery was never put into effect, but it is characteristic of the political ideas of Ukrainian patriots of the early 18th century. ed.

14 Peculiar Thoughts, pp. 30-31.

15 Peculiar Thoughts, p. 35.

16 Letters to the Dnieper Ukraine, p. 6.

17 Hromada, No. 4 (1879), p. 99.

18 Peculiar Thoughts, p. 37.

19 Drahomanov, "The Ukraine and the Capitals", Hromada, No. 2 (1878), p. 429.

, копилефт 2006 г.