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Thread: Ethnic Composition of the Cossacks?

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    Question Ethnic Composition of the Cossacks?

    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.

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    Post Re: Ethnic composition of the Cossacks

    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.

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    Post Re: Ethnic composition of the Cossacks

    Quote Originally Posted by TheAppalachian
    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.

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    Post Re: Ethnic composition of the Cossacks

    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.

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    Post Re: Ethnic composition of the Cossacks

    Quote Originally Posted by TheAppalachian
    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.

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    Post Re: Ethnic composition of the Cossacks

    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.

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    Post Re: Ethnic composition of the Cossacks

    Quote Originally Posted by psycho_pixie
    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.

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    Post Re: Ethnic composition of the Cossacks

    Quote Originally Posted by Schutzstaffelor
    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.html


    And of course there were the Tatars:


    EDIT: Dark Purple=Crimean Tatars / Light Purple=Ottoman Empire

    Last edited by Appalachian; Sunday, January 23rd, 2005 at 10:30 PM.

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    Post Re: Ethnic composition of the Cossacks

    I don't know where from did you get those maps, but they are inaccurate.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheAppalachian
    "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.html


    And of course there were the Tatars:



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    Post Re: Ethnic composition of the Cossacks

    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.

    Last edited by Appalachian; Sunday, January 23rd, 2005 at 08:10 PM.

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