Work of the Military and historical Commission for description of the Russo-Turkish war of 1877–1878 during the hunger strike of general M.O. Domontovych: problems and results

V. Shvets


Introduction. Turning to microhistory during the 1970s made adjustments to the biographical genre of historiography. Instructive «history of heroes» was replaced with interest in so-called «small life worlds». Each biography was considered as expression of something unique – the prism with refracted social micro processes and instant trends, as well as unique experience of the individual, his/her inner well-being and style of behaviour pushing him/her for certain life choice.

Purpose. Significant activation of interest in the study of history of wars of different eras through the prism of individual biographies led to appearance of numerous scientific articles in leading journals, textbooks, anthologies, and fundamental monographs. However, many problems related to the study of the Russo-Turkish war of 1877-1878 still remain without researchers’ attention. The goal of the article is the analysis of work of the Military and Historical Commission for Description of the Russo-Turkish War of 1877–1878 during the hunger strike of General M.O. Domontovych, clarification of key problems in work of the Commission and determination of main results of its operation in the period from 1886 until 1899.

Methods. As for the social history of the Russian Empire, the use of biographical method, in which person’s self-consciousness together with his/her imagination, illusions and emotions acquires a new status in the historical research, possesses significant relevance in the context of the study of political, military and administrative elite of the state. Among them is M.O. Domontovych (1830−1902), General of the Russian army with Ukrainian origin, military historian. The public barely knows his figure in general, and his scientific activities in particular.

Results. The study showed that we can confidently state about thoroughness of heuristic work that was organized under the direction of M.O. Domontovych and dealt with search, selection, systematization and processing of the evidence base of the generalizing work on description of the Russo-Turkish War of 1877−1878, provision with methodological bases and scientific approaches when preparing planned publications by committee members.


M.O. Domontovych, Russo-Turkish war of 1877−1878, Military and Historical Commission, research



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