Letters of Jan Peisker to Mykhailo Hrushevsky

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V. Telvak
O. Radchenko


Abstract. The purpose of the study is to introduce into scientific circulation the letters of the Czech scholar Jan Peisker to Mykhailo Hrushevsky.

The methodological basis of the study is an interdisciplinary approach. Such methods as structural and functional system analysis of historiographical facts and the method of critical analysis of documentary material have been particularly important in research implementation.

Scientific novelty. For the first time an annotated edition of Peisker’s letters to Hrushevsky has been published.

Result. In his letters, Peisker, reflecting on the «History of the Ukrainian people» by Hrushevsky, raises a number of important issues about studying the history of the Eastern Slavs that was the most discussed at that time. One of the notable features of these letters is the considerable admiration of the Czech scholar expressed for Hrushevsky. The letters include Peisker’s intentions to respond with a review to Hrushevsky’s work, as well as his questions about the possible German edition of the second volume of the «History of Ukraine-Rus». It should be noted that researchers of Hrushevsky’s scientific heritage have not known about the scholar’s review or Hrushevsky’s plans to publish the translation of a second volume so far. Therefore, Peisker’s letters urge us to study Western European historical periodicals in search of his possible review, as well as to stimulate a more detailed investigation of the problem of Hrushevsky’s creative plans in the pre-war decade. Hrushevsky’s critical approach to the work of his Czech colleague has been reconstructed. While acknowledging the significant erudition and research talent of Peisker, the Ukrainian historian reasonably rejected his hypothesis about the eternal enslavement of Slavic tribes by their Germanic and Turkic neighbours in the pre-state period.

The study has concluded that the epistolary materials are very informative for elucidating a wide panorama of Hrushevsky’s perception by his colleagues at the end of the 19th – first third of the 20th century. As it has been evidenced by published documents, the letters of Western European historians to Hrushevsky often contain a variety of information, unknown from other sources, about his creative plans and the peculiarities of the discussion of topical historiographical problems. Therefore, the epistolary materials of intellectuals should occupy its important place among other historiographical sources.

Article Details

Author Biographies

V. Telvak

Telvak Vitalii – PhD hab. (History), Professor at the Department of World History and Special Historical Disciplines, Ivan Franko Drohobych State Pedagogical University

O. Radchenko

Radchenko Oleh – PhD (Philology), Associate Professor at the Department of German Language, Ivan Franko Drohobych State Pedagogical University


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