Zaporozhian Cossacks composing a letter come the Sultan, picture by Ilia Repin (1891) / picture public domain in Wikimedia Commons

Cossacks were a social and military team that through the 10th century cleared up in southerly Russia and present-day Ukraine. They had actually a Turkic origin and also had arrived with hordes that Mongol invasions in the area, settling there permanently. Famous for their combat an abilities and army strategy, they gradually integrated and also mixed with other ethnic groups of Slavic origin.

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By the 17th century they were break-up into Russian Cossacks (which spread to the East) and also Ukrainian Cossacks. The latter created the Zaporozhian Sich state in 1649 (in the Zaporizhia an ar in the centre-south of today’s Ukraine), and nationalist heritage considers them the founders of the modern Ukrainian nation.

Reproduction of the letter in Ukrainian / photo

Unfortunately the original letter has actually never to be found, so this totality episode was long thought about a legend. But in 1870 an ethnographer named Novitsky discovered a copy date 18th century in the city the Dnipró. That is created in Russian, explicitly indicating that it is a translation from polish (it is possible that polish here means Ukrainian, together there to be no denomination because that this language then).

Some researchers think that it would really be a parody of a an answer to the letter that the king that Poland obtained from the sultan in the very same sense, thus created by the polishing elite together fun. Yet others, such as the Ukrainian Pavel Tarkovsky, preserve that the is authentic and also was composed by Cossacks. As lengthy as a copy is not found in the Turkish archives we will never understand the truth.

We will have to settle for the picture painted in 1891 by the Russian artist Iliá Repin and titled precisely Reply the the Zaporozhian Cossacks to Sultan Mehmed IV that the ottoman Empire, whereby he reflects the amusing scene of ingredient of the missive. The painting was got by Tsar Alexander III for 35,000 rubles, the biggest sum then paid for a Russian painting, and also is currently on screen at the Russian State Museum in St. Petersburg.

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The Cossack Letter / Friedman, Victor A. (1978), The Zaporozhian Letter to the Turkish Sultan: historical Commentary and Linguistic analysis / early on Ukraine: A Military and also Social history to the Mid–19th Century (Alexander Basilevsky) / Wikipedia.

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