PDA

View Full Version : Ethnic Composition of the Cossacks?



Schutzstaffelor
Saturday, January 22nd, 2005, 07:20 PM
ok, I know they are mainly of Eastern Slavic in extraction, but I am wondering whether they were more "ethnically pure" than they slavic brethren. Since many Slavs during that ancient time lived side by side with Turkic and Mongolian people and often intermingled with them. Whereas the Cossacks were continually at war with the Turks and Mongols, so perhaps there were fewer instances of miscengenation the Cossacks were able to maintain their original Slavic blood.
any comments on this? Pictures would be helpful too.

Appalachian
Saturday, January 22nd, 2005, 07:31 PM
Actually, I would think that the Cossacks would be less ethnically 'pure,' in that since they were, at many points in history, something of an outlaw band who lived on the fringes of civilized society (think Zaporozhe), other outlaws and outcasts from a variety of ethnic groups may have flocked to live and fight under their banners.

For a fascinating and colorful (though perhaps slightly biased) account of Cossack life, I recommend the historical novel With Fire and Sword (Ogniem i Mieczem), by Henryk Sienkiewicz. It's about the Chmielnicki rebellion against Polish rule in the Ukraine.

morfrain_encilgar
Sunday, January 23rd, 2005, 01:37 AM
Actually, I would think that the Cossacks would be less ethnically 'pure,' in that since they were, at many points in history, something of an outlaw band who lived on the fringes of civilized society (think Zaporozhe), other outlaws and outcasts from a variety of ethnic groups may have flocked to live and fight under their banners.

My own impression was that Cossacks were from relatively mixed origins, including at least Caucasian ethnicities as well as Slavs, as people left their societies to join the Cossacks.

Schutzstaffelor
Sunday, January 23rd, 2005, 03:27 AM
this is interesting, as what i have gathered from history textbooks is that the cossacks were descended primarily from Russian peasants who wished to escape the tyranny and serfdom imposed on them by the czar.

a.squiggles
Sunday, January 23rd, 2005, 04:18 AM
Actually, I would think that the Cossacks would be less ethnically 'pure,' in that since they were, at many points in history, something of an outlaw band who lived on the fringes of civilized society (think Zaporozhe), other outlaws and outcasts from a variety of ethnic groups may have flocked to live and fight under their banners.they were not outlaws or outcasts, they were just a bunch of farmers from the ukraine (since you're talking about Zaporizka sich) who banded together and fought against the turks, poles or anyone else who was occupying ukraine. they didn't live on the fringes of civilized society, since zaporigja is in central ukraine, and were no more or less "pure" than any other ukrainians, since they didn't live on the sich permanently, they went back to their families whenever there wasn't anything terribly important happening.
but mixing with turks wasn't something widely spread in the ukraine back in those days, since the turks were the primary enemy and they were hated for their violent raids.

Schutzstaffelor
Sunday, January 23rd, 2005, 05:20 AM
yeah, the the turks were the cossacks's number one enemy, followed by the poles. since psycho pixie has established the fact the the Don Cossacks were not avid race mixers, then would Eastern Ukraine, or wherever the Cossacks settled, be more "Slavically pure" than other eastern europeans. I have seen some Ukraine that could be mistaken for a perfect example of a Swede, while others look completely like Central Asians with a Ladogan twist.

Appalachian
Sunday, January 23rd, 2005, 07:21 PM
they were not outlaws or outcasts, they were just a bunch of farmers from the ukraine (since you're talking about Zaporizka sich) who banded together and fought against the turks, poles or anyone else who was occupying ukraine.

They had long ceased even pretending to be farmers and had for many years been supporting themselves largely by raiding and mercenary activities. At certain periods they were on friendly terms with the Polish nobility, and during these times they were often largely dispersed among the general populace, at which times they sometimes supported themselves by acting as hired laborers or returning to family farms. At other times, though (especially during the Uprisings), they were most certainly outlaws on the fringes of society, and all decent people feared the sound of their hoofbeats.


they didn't live on the fringes of civilized society, since zaporigja is in central ukraine, and were no more or less "pure" than any other ukrainians, since they didn't live on the sich permanently, they went back to their families whenever there wasn't anything terribly important happening.

Yes, until around the middle of the 18th century, Zaporozhye was somewhat difficult to reach, and was essentially a permanent camp, not a built-up city. It may be in central Ukraine now but during the Cossack's heyday, it was smack-dab in the middle of No Man's Land.

Appalachian
Sunday, January 23rd, 2005, 07:23 PM
yeah, the the turks were the cossacks's number one enemy, followed by the poles. since psycho pixie has established the fact the the Don Cossacks were not avid race mixers, then would Eastern Ukraine, or wherever the Cossacks settled, be more "Slavically pure" than other eastern europeans. I have seen some Ukraine that could be mistaken for a perfect example of a Swede, while others look completely like Central Asians with a Ladogan twist.

"Historians and archaeologists tell us that the territory of Zaporozhye has been inhabited by people from time immemorial. This is shown for example by discoveries of stone tools of the Late Palaeolithic Age (about 15 thousand years ago), two settlements of the Heolithic Age( 6th millennium BC) and objects of material culture of the Late Bronze Epoch (1st. millennium B.C). Both the Scythians (4th millennium B.C ) and the Samatians (2nd century BC- 2nd century AD) lived here, while in the 9th-13th centuries the area was already heavily populated by Slavs, which is shown by the remains of 57 Slavonic settlements which were discovered near the Dneproges Hydroelectric Dam. However, according to the historians, most of the Slav dwellers left this area in the 13th century, running away from the Golden Horde invasion, and by the end of the 15th century and the beginning of the 16th century, Zaporozhye Cossacks became masters of the lands beyond the rapids of the Dnieper River."
http://www.davidlong.de/zsu/Zaphist/Zaphist_e/body_zaphist_e.html


And of course there were the Tatars (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crimean_Tatars):

http://www.zum.de/whkmla/histatlas/russia/crimeaoe.gif
EDIT: Dark Purple=Crimean Tatars / Light Purple=Ottoman Empire

http://www.zum.de/whkmla/histatlas/russia/crimea1770.gif

Marius
Sunday, January 23rd, 2005, 07:44 PM
I don't know where from did you get those maps, but they are inaccurate.


"Historians and archaeologists tell us that the territory of Zaporozhye has been inhabited by people from time immemorial. This is shown for example by discoveries of stone tools of the Late Palaeolithic Age (about 15 thousand years ago), two settlements of the Heolithic Age( 6th millennium BC) and objects of material culture of the Late Bronze Epoch (1st. millennium B.C). Both the Scythians (4th millennium B.C ) and the Samatians (2nd century BC- 2nd century AD) lived here, while in the 9th-13th centuries the area was already heavily populated by Slavs, which is shown by the remains of 57 Slavonic settlements which were discovered near the Dneproges Hydroelectric Dam. However, according to the historians, most of the Slav dwellers left this area in the 13th century, running away from the Golden Horde invasion, and by the end of the 15th century and the beginning of the 16th century, Zaporozhye Cossacks became masters of the lands beyond the rapids of the Dnieper River."
http://www.davidlong.de/zsu/Zaphist/Zaphist_e/body_zaphist_e.html


And of course there were the Tatars (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crimean_Tatars):

http://www.zum.de/whkmla/histatlas/russia/crimeaoe.gif
http://www.zum.de/whkmla/histatlas/russia/crimea1770.gif

Appalachian
Sunday, January 23rd, 2005, 07:52 PM
They came from here:
http://www.zum.de/whkmla/

In what way are they inaccurate? (I'm not saying you're wrong, I'm just curious.)

They seem to be in general accordance with most other maps of the Ottoman Empire.

http://www.naqshbandi.org/ottomans/maps/expansionmap.gif

Schutzstaffelor
Sunday, January 23rd, 2005, 07:54 PM
i know this is a little off topic, but i am wondering whether Russian and/or Ukranian citizens descended from the Tatars see themselves as Russian, or the nationality of whichever nation they are in.

Marius
Sunday, January 23rd, 2005, 08:10 PM
They came from here:
http://www.zum.de/whkmla/

In what way are they inaccurate? (I'm not saying you're wrong, I'm just curious.)

1. http://www.zum.de/whkmla/region/balkans/moldavia13501512.html

Inaccurate information. The Principality of Moldavia, nor Moscow, nor Lithuania were no inheritants nor related to Tartars from the Golden Horde. They were formed, from the first to the latter by people of respective nationalities.

2. At the same page.

The city of Iasi became the capital city of the Principality of Moldavia around 1700s. Till then the capital was always Suceava.

3. At the same page.

The suzeranity of the Principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia was different before the fall of Constantinopole. Moldavia was either independent, either under Polish suzeranity and Wallachia was either independent, either under Hungarian suzeranity. The change of situations: suzeranities, independence happened quite often in the area, so I think the situation is more than rapidly studied, I'd say completely superficial.

4. Concerning the maps you presented.

The tartars were always the ennemies of the populations there. Their proximity always brought trouble and prevent the region from development. Only in the region of Dobrogea, the current extreme South-Eastern Romania, which really was a part of the Turkish Empire, some Tartars were colonised by the Turks and not elsewhere. Their central area was the Crimean region.

My point was that Western European and American historians do not know or never were interested in the thorough knowledge of Eastern European history, always preferring an attitude of "easy labeling" the people living there. I saw an innumberable quantity of history books, where the history of the region is only quickly and superficially presented, thus giving place to the local historians to create "arranged" Nationalist versions of history, which clash each other. The best example is the Hungarian/Romanian points of view.

Appalachian
Sunday, January 23rd, 2005, 08:27 PM
1. http://www.zum.de/whkmla/region/balkans/moldavia13501512.html

Inaccurate information. The Principality of Moldavia, nor Moscow, nor Lithuania were no inheritants nor related to Tartars from the Golden Horde. They were formed, from the first to the latter by people of respective nationalities.

I don't see anything on that page claiming that those nations were "related to" or "inheritants" of the Tatars. It just states that at one point, much of those lands were under the suzerainty of the Tatars.


The city of Iasi became the capital city of the Principality of Moldavia around 1700s. Till then the capital was always Suceava.

Is Suceava the same place as Suceanu, because that page states that "[t]he political center was SUCEANU, located in the northwest of the country"?


The suzeranity of the Principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia was different before the fall of Constantinopole. Moldavia was either independent, either under Polish suzeranity and Wallachia was either independent, either under Hungarian suzeranity. The change of situations: suzeranities, independence happened quite often in the area, so I think the situation is more than rapidly studied, I'd say completely superficial.

Well, the whole page is clearly a superficial overview. I think it was designed for students learning English as a second language to use the subject of world history as a content-based instructional method. It's not an in-depth examination of the subject, by any means. Still, I didn't see anything on that page that isn't in accordance with what you've just said.




4. Concerning the maps you presented.

The tartars were always the ennemies of the populations there. Their proximity always brought trouble and prevent the region from development.

Of course.


Only in the region of Dobrogea, the current extreme South-Eastern Romania, which really was a part of the Turkish Empire, some Tartars were colonised by the Turks and not elsewhere. Their central area was the Crimean region.

I think you may be misreading the map. On the first one, only the dark purple area is supposed to represent the area inhabited by Crimean Tatars. The lighter purple area represents the bulk of the Ottoman Empire.


My point was that Western European and American historians do not know or never were interested in the thorough knowledge of Eastern European history, always preferring an attitude of "easy labeling" the people living there.


If I weren't interested in a thorough knowledge of the subject, I wouldn't bother to engage in this discussion. :)


I saw an innumberable quantity of history books, where the history of the region is only quickly and superficially presented

That seems to describe the majority of history books the world over. I've often been amused by the drivel Europeans learn concerning the relations between Whites and Indians in the Americas, for example.


thus giving place to the local historians to create "arranged" Nationalist versions of history, which clash each other. The best example is the Hungarian/Romanian points of view.

Surely you can't blame the German fellow who created that page to teach history to Koreans in a language that is not their own for whatever conflicts of interest may have arisen betwen Hungarian and Romanian historians. :)

Marius
Sunday, January 23rd, 2005, 09:00 PM
Ok, you are right.

Suceanu? :D Ok, perhaps it's Suceava.

Appalachian
Sunday, January 23rd, 2005, 09:06 PM
Ok, you are right.

I think we're both right about some things. :)


Suceanu? :D Ok, perhaps it's Suceava.

A spelling mistake or something else?

Marius
Sunday, January 23rd, 2005, 09:13 PM
A spelling mistake or something else?

Yes, perhaps, I do not wish to continue the divagation to the thread topic, especially when I am also curious to know about cossacks. In Romania, they have a, let's say, violent reputation, after the Soviet invasion in 1944 and before. My grandparents described them as savage people, but perhaps it is only a legend. That is why I would like to know some science based facts.

Appalachian
Sunday, January 23rd, 2005, 09:36 PM
Yes, perhaps, I do not wish to continue the divagation to the thread topic, especially when I am also curious to know about cossacks.

Understood. It is a most interesting topic.


In Romania, they have a, let's say, violent reputation, after the Soviet invasion in 1944 and before. My grandparents described them as savage people, but perhaps it is only a legend. That is why I would like to know some science based facts.

Well, they certainly do have a savage reputation. Unfortunately, it may prove difficult to separate the legends surrounding them from the historical fact.

Oskorei
Sunday, January 23rd, 2005, 10:09 PM
The historian Hobsbawm has written a nice little book named Bandits, in which he takes a closer look at the role of social bandits in traditional societies. He divides these into the three categories of noble robber (the Robin Hoods of the world), avenger, and haiduks. The haiduk category is much more permanent than the two first, and is more or less a social subculture. Hobsbawm includes Cossacks into this category.

In the mountains and empty plains of south-eastern Europe the advance of Christian landlords and Turkish conquerors made life increasingly burdensome for the peasants from the fifteenth century on but, unlike more densely settled or firmly administered regions, left a broad margin of potential freedom. Groups and communities of free, armed and combative men therefore emerged among those expelled from their lands or escaping from serfdom, at first almost spontaneously, later in organized forms. What a scholar has called "military strata sprung from the free peasantry" therefore became characteristic of this large zone, groups called Cossacks in Russia, klepthes in Greece, haidamaks in Ukraine, but in Hungary and the Balkan peninsula north of Greece mainly haiduks.

Hobsbawm does not say much about the ethnic composition of these groups but it seems to be implied that they were from the local peasantry, ie. mostly Ukrainians in the case of Cossacks.

Marius
Sunday, January 23rd, 2005, 10:37 PM
Well, I think Hobsbawm does a very nice mixture of ideas. Haiduks, at least on what it is now the current teritories of Romania and Hungary, were not only peasants. There are nice legends of Robin Hood's type in our region, too and the fact is acknowledged by historians, too. So, I think Haiduks are no cathegory in this case, but a super-set.


The historian Hobsbawm has written a nice little book named Bandits, in which he takes a closer look at the role of social bandits in traditional societies. He divides these into the three categories of noble robber (the Robin Hoods of the world), avenger, and haiduks. The haiduk category is much more permanent than the two first, and is more or less a social subculture. Hobsbawm includes Cossacks into this category.

In the mountains and empty plains of south-eastern Europe the advance of Christian landlords and Turkish conquerors made life increasingly burdensome for the peasants from the fifteenth century on but, unlike more densely settled or firmly administered regions, left a broad margin of potential freedom. Groups and communities of free, armed and combative men therefore emerged among those expelled from their lands or escaping from serfdom, at first almost spontaneously, later in organized forms. What a scholar has called "military strata sprung from the free peasantry" therefore became characteristic of this large zone, groups called Cossacks in Russia, klepthes in Greece, haidamaks in Ukraine, but in Hungary and the Balkan peninsula north of Greece mainly haiduks.

Hobsbawm does not say much about the ethnic composition of these groups but it seems to be implied that they were from the local peasantry, ie. mostly Ukrainians in the case of Cossacks.