The Image of Slоvіаnshchyna as a Civilization Autostereotype of Mykola Kostomarov

I. Kutsyi

Abstract


Introduction. In Ukrainian contemporary intellectual space the idea of a purely European cultural and civilization identity of Ukraine is rather popular. The views of scientists of the Ukrainian past, who adhered to the alternative orientation rather than European, are neglected. Mykola Kostomarov had a leading place among the latter in the middle and the 2nd half of the 19th century.


Purpose. The main objective of the article is to investigate the civilization views and ideas of M. Kostomarov. The functioning features of the Slоvіаnshchyna concept as a civilization autostereotype in his historical texts were found out.


Results. M. Kostomarov’s historical heritage and journalism is one of the main sources for the study of the nineteenth-century Ukrainian intelligentsia’s civilization identity. His historical texts reflect ideological principles of the Slavic identity’s supporters in the most conceptual way. The historian perceived the Slоvіаnshchyna as “his” civilization community. Europe or the West was “alien” or even “hostile” civilization for him. He often used this term, gave it a clear and unambiguous definition. Rus-Ukraine’s belonging to the Slоvіаnshchyna was for him a self-evident fact which did not need additional arguments or proofs. The Slоvіаnshchyna was the highest stage in the scientist’s hierarchy of social identities. The Slavic identity (including orthodoxy) values were of greatest value. For social worth the Slavic identity could knuckle under only the Rus identity (or the Ukrainian identity), but M. Kostomarov analyzed these two items of identification not as competing but rather as complementary. Based on situational strategy – or within ethnic or civilization discourse – he could emphasize in turn both the Rus and the Slav Worlds. The scholar considered orthodoxy as one of the main features of the Slavic identity. Hence, any form of departure from the orthodox tradition equated to a loss of the Slavic identity and (within the East Slavic space) the Rus identity. In the system of Ukrainian intellectuals’ identities concerning the Slavic identity orthodoxy was regarded as not opposing, but complementary value.


Originality. The research proves that leading nineteenth century Ukrainian historians including M. Kostomarov followed the Slavic identity and considered Europe “alien”. This proves that the European identity was not always characteristic for Ukrainian intellectuals.


 


Conclusion. The research encourages the revision of common modern myths and stereotypes about ancient Ukrainian European orientation. This requires a complex research of Ukrainian scientists’ intellectual heritage from the perspective of their civilization identity. The figure of Mykola Kostomarov is a brilliant example of a representative of Ukrainian intellectuals who inscribed national history not in the European, but in the Slavic context.


Keywords


Mykola Kostomarov, Slоvіаnshchyna, civilization, image, identity, the Slavs

References


1.        Kostomarov, M. (2005). Mykola Kostomarov: Vikhy zhyttia i tvorchosti: Entsyklopedychnyi dovidnyk [Mykola Kostomarov: Milestones of life and creative work: Encyclopedic Reference book]. Kyiv, Vyshcha shkola, 543 p. (in Ukr.)

2.        Kostomarov, M. I. (1990). Knyhy buttia ukrayinskoho narodu [Genesis of the Ukrainian people] Kyrylo-Mefodiyivske tovarystvo [Cyril and Methodius]. vol.1, Kyiv, pp.250-258. (in Ukr.)

3.        Kostomarov, N. (1989). Avtobiografiia [Autobiography]. Kostomarov N. Istoricheskie proizvedeniia. Avtobiografiia [Kostomarov N. Historical works. Autobiography]. Kyiv, KGU, pp. 425-651. (in Russ.)

4.        Kostomarov, N. (1994) Ob istoricheskom znachenii russkoy narodnoy poezii [About historical significance of Russian folk poetry]. Kostomarov M. Slovianska mifolohiia [Kostomarov M. Slavic mythology]. Kyiv, Lybid, pp. 44-200. (in Russ.)

5.        Kostomarov, M. (2004). Bohdan Khmelnytskyi [Bohdan Khmelnytskyi]. Dnipropetrovsk, Sich, 843 p. (in Ukr.)

6.        Kostomarov, N. (1995). O vospominaniiakh borby kozakov s musulmanstvom v narodnoy yuzhnorusskoy poezii [About memories of Cossacks’ struggle against Islam in the folk South Russian poetry]. Kostomarov N. Kazaki: Istoricheskie monografii i issledovaniia [KostomarovN. Cossacks: Historical monographs and researches]. Moscow, Charli, pp. 328-338. (in Russ.)

7.        Kostomarov, N. (1872). Mysli o federativnom nachale Drevney Rusi [Thoughts of Ancient Rus federal rudiments]. Kostomarov N. Istoricheskie monografii i issledovaniia [Kostomarov N. Historical monographs and researches]. vol 1, St. Petersburg, pp. 3-49. (in Russ.)

8.        Kostomarov, N. (1872). Dve russkiia narodnosti [Two Russian nationalities]. Kostomarov N. Istoricheskie monografii i issledovaniia [Kostomarov N. Historical monographs and researches]. vol 1, St. Petersburg, pp. 53-108. (in Russ.)

9.        Kostomarov, N. (1989). Cherty narodnoy yuzhno-russkoy istorii [Features of the folk South Russian history]. Kostomarov N. Istoricheskie proizvedeniia. Avtobiografiia [Kostomarov N. Historical works. Autobiography]. Kyiv, KGU, pp. 8-107. (in Russ.)

10.     Kostomarov, N. (1995). Pismo k izdateliu “Kolokola” [A letter to the publisher of the “Bell”]. Kostomarov N. Kazaki: Istoricheskie monografii i issledovaniia [Kostomarov N. Cossacks: Historical monographs and researches]. Moscow, Charli, pp. 401-411. (in Russ.)

11.     Kostomarov, N. (1993). Gospodstvo doma Sv. Vladimira: Russkaia istoriia v zhizneopisaniiakh ee glavneyshikh deiatelei [The rule of St. Vladimir’s house: Russian history in the biographies of its main figures]. Moscow, Voenizdat, 767 p. (in Russ.)

12.     Kostomarov, N. (1992). Mazepa [Mazepa]. Moscow, Respublika, 335 p.

 

13.     Kostomarov, N. (1995). Domashniaia zhizn i nravy velikorusskogo naroda [Domesticity and customs of Great Russian nation]. Kostomarov N. Russkie nravy: Istoricheskie monografii i issledovaniia [Kostomarov N. Russian customs: Historical monographs and researches]. Moscow, Charli, pp. 5-180. (in Russ.)


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