Kiev (Ukrainian, Kyiv; Polish, Kijów)

views updated

KIEV (Ukrainian, Kyiv; Polish, Kijów)

KIEV (Ukrainian, Kyiv; Polish, Kijów). Capital of the Rus' principality (tenth to thirteenth centuries), Kiev arose on the Dnieper River at the intersection of the Varangian trade route connecting the north by river with Constantinople and overland routes connecting the Caucasus and the Crimea with Galicia and western Europe. This religious and trade center of medieval eastern Europe was sacked in 1240 by the Mongol-Tatar army of Batu Khan. In 1362 Lithuanian Grand Duke Algirdas annexed Kiev, and in 1471 it became the capital of the Kiev palatinate of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. A modest revival began in the early fifteenth century, culminating in the confirmation of the Magdeburg law for municipal self-government by Grand Duke Alexander in the years 14941497. By this time, however, the Crimean Khan Mengli Giray had again plundered Kiev (1482), and the "Upper City" lay in ruins for over a century.

With the Union of Lublin in 1569, the Kiev palatinate was transferred from the Grand Duchy of Lithuania to the direct rule of the Polish crown, opening the door more widely to Polish immigration and cultural influences. In the first half of the seventeenth century, Kiev again experienced renewal, and it eventually became the political, religious, and cultural capital of Rus'-Ukraine, overtaking existing centers of early modern Ruthenian culture that had arisen in Vilnius and Lviv. Cossack hetman Petro Sahaidachnyi resided there (c. 16101622) and was a member of the Kiev Orthodox Brotherhood of the Epiphany (founded 1615). A printing house was established at the Kiev Monastery of the Caves by 1615. In 1620, Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophanes III, stopping off in Kiev on his way home from Moscow, restored an Orthodox Ruthenian hierarchy to sees occupied by Uniate bishops since the Union of Brest in 1596. The Orthodox metropolitan again took up residence in Kiev. The Moldavian nobleman Peter Mohyla (archimandrite of the Caves Monastery 16271632, metropolitan of Kiev 16331647) launched a wide-ranging renovation of the city's old monuments (including the St. Sophia Cathedral) and began new construction. The school he founded at the Caves Monastery in 1631 was joined in 1632 with the older Brotherhood school (established c. 1615) to form the Kiev College (renamed the Kievan Mohyla Academy in 1701). It was the premier center of higher learning for the Orthodox of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, and it would later help propagate Western learning in the Russian empire.

The triumphant entry of Bohdan Khmelnytsky into Kiev in December 1648 confirmed the city's status as the spiritual capital of a new Cossack polity. With the 1654 Treaty of Pereiaslav, a Muscovite garrison was established in the town. The Muscovite-Polish Treaty of Andrusovo (1667) granted Kiev to Muscovy for two years only, but the city never returned to Polish rule, and the 1686 Eternal Peace acknowledged the status quo. Until the second partition of Poland in 1793, Kiev remained an autonomous border town, severed from its former hinterland in Polish right-bank Ukraine. The city experienced a brief reflourishing under the hetmancy of Ivan Mazepa (16871709), but the Russian tsars of the eighteenth century progressively curtailed Kiev's autonomies along with those of the Hetmanate, making Kiev more and more into a provincial Russian city. In 1797 it became the capital of the Kiev province of the Russian empire.

See also Cossacks ; Mohyla, Peter ; Orthodoxy, Russian ; Ukraine ; Uniates.


Alferova, G. V., and V. A. Kharlamov. Kiev vo vtoroi polovine XVII veka: Istoriko-arkhitekturnyi ocherk. Kiev, 1982.

Hamm, Michael F. Kiev: A Portrait, 18001917. Princeton, 1993.

Kondufor, Iu. Iu., ed. Istoriia Kieva. Vol. 1, Drevnii i srednevekovyi Kiev, and vol. 2, Kiev perioda pozdnego feodalizma i kapitalizma. Kiev, 19821983.

David Frick