PDF Ukrainian Minstrels: And the Blind Shall Sing (Folklores and Folk Cultures of Eastern Europe)

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An Orthodox monastery in Kyiv. It was founded by Saint Anthony of the Caves in the midth century near the village of Berestove in a cave that the future metropolitan of Kyiv, Ilarion, had excavated and lived in until The first monks excavated more caves and built a church above them. The monastery's first hegumen was Varlaam to He was succeeded by Saint Theodosius of the Caves ca , who introduced the strict Studite rule.

The Kyivan princes and boyars generously supported the monastery, donating money, valuables, and land, and building fortifications and churches; some even became monks. Many of the monks were from the educated, upper strata, and the monastery soon became the largest religious and cultural center in Kyivan Rus'. Twenty of its monks became bishops in the 12th and 13th centuries A collection of tales about the monks of the Kyivan Cave Monastery.

There exist two extant redactions: the Tver or Arsenian redaction of , and the Kyiv or Cassianian redaction of The original version arose after but not later than out of the correspondence of two monks of the monastery-monk Simon by then the bishop of Suzdal and Vladimir and monk Polikarp, who used the epistolary form as a literary device. The letters contain 20 tales about righteous or sinful monks of the monastery based on oral legends and several written sources, such as the Life of Saint Anthony of the Caves and the Kyivan Cave and Rostov chronicles, which have not survived Main centre of Ukrainian icon painting for many centuries.

Its founding at the end of the 11th century was connected with the painting of the Dormition Cathedral of the Kyivan Cave Monastery by Greek masters and the Kyivan artists Master Olimpii and Deacon Hryhorii. The studio developed a distinctive style that is evident in its frescoes, icons, and book illuminations. From the late 16th century, collections of prints by western and local artists and of student drawings were kept for educational purposes.

The studio's finest masterpieces of the 18th century are the mural paintings of the Dormition Cathedral and the Trinity Church above the Main Gate of the Kyivan Cave Monastery. Many noted icon painters and engravers were trained at the studio As a youth he joined the monastery at Mount Athos, where he was tonsured and adopted the religious name Anthony. After many years he returned to Ukraine; reputedly he took up residence in a cave in which Metropolitan Ilarion had lived, near the village of Berestove, on the outskirts of Kyiv.

Anthony's deeds and fasting attracted other monks, including Saint Theodosius of the Caves. This monastic community became the nucleus of the Kyivan Cave Monastery, and Anthony emerged as the founder of monasticism in Ukraine The main church of the Kyivan Cave Monastery. At the end of the 11th century many additions to the cathedral were built, including Saint John's Baptistry in the form of a small church on the north side. In the 17th century more cupolas and decorative elements in the Cossack baroque style were added. As the Soviet Army retreated from Kyiv on September , mines were placed under the cathedral, and on 3 November it was blown up.

The reconstruction of the cathedral began in and was completed in time for its reconsecration during the Ukrainian Independence Day ceremonies in August Before states were formed, communities on Ukrainian territory were governed by customary law.

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The history of Ukrainian law is divided into periods according to the distinctive states that arose in Ukraine. In the Princely era 9thth centuries the main sources of law were customary law, agreements such as international treaties, compacts among princes, contracts between princes and the people, princely decrees, viche decisions, and Byzantine law.

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The most original legal monument of the period is Ruskaia Pravda , which includes the principal norms of substantive and procedural law. The medieval Kyivan Rus' state declined, but its law continued to function. In the 14th to 15th centuries it was known as Rus' law in Ukrainian territories under Polish rule.

Gradually, it was replaced by public as well as private Polish law. At the same time 14thth centuries Lithuanian-Ruthenian law developed in Ukrainian territories within the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. The laws compiled in the Lithuanian Register and the Lithuanian Statute remained in force within the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and, to some extent, in the Hetman state. The law of the Cossack period was based on the Hetman's treaties and legislative acts, the Lithuanian Statute, compilations of customary law and Germanic law, and court decisions. The autonomous Hetman state had its own law systematized in the Code of Laws of With the abolition of Ukrainian autonomy at the end of the 18th century, Russian law, first public and then civil, was introduced in Russian-ruled territories.

In Western Ukraine, Austrian law was introduced in Learn more about the historical evolution of Ukrainian law by visiting the following entries:. The set of compulsory rules governing relations among individuals as well as institutions in a given society. Being part of the national culture, the law is influenced by the beliefs of a society and is inextricably involved in its social, political, and economic development. The term for law, pravo , originally meant 'judgment' or 'trial. Except for state and political laws, the laws of the former regimes remained in force during the brief period of Ukraine's struggle for independence Ukrainian legislators and jurists did not have time to construct an independent system of law.

During the Soviet period legal norms were determined not only by the constitution and the laws or decrees of the government, but also by the Communist Party program and the current Party line.

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Thus, law was an instrument of politics. Attempts to de-politicize law and bring it closer to European standards have been made in independent Ukraine since Norms of conduct that are practiced in society because they have been accepted for a long time and are regarded as obligatory.

Customary law in Ukraine dates back to prehistoric times. In the Princely era legal relations were governed by customary law, which was eventually codified in Ruskaia Pravda.


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The decrees issued by the princes explicated customary law rather than creating new law. With the demise of Kyivan Rus' Ukrainian customary law continued to operate even under the Tatars, who did not interfere in the internal affairs of their conquered territories, and then under Polish hegemony. The norms of Ukrainian customary law were preserved under Lithuanian rule and were codified in the Lithuanian Statute, which to a large extent, particularly in respect to civil, criminal, and procedural norms, was based on ancient Ukrainian customary law.

In the Lithuanian-Ruthenian state the community courts were a judicial institution based on customary law. They continued to operate in the Cossack period, but their importance gradually diminished The most important collection of old Ukrainian-Rus' laws and an important source for the study of the legal and social history of Rus'-Ukraine and neighboring Slavic countries. It was compiled in the 11th and 12th centuries on the basis of customary law. The original text has never been found, but there are over transcriptions in existence from the 13th to 18th centuries.

There are three redactions of Ruskaia Pravda , the short, expanded, and condensed versions. The expanded redaction, consisting of articles, was the most widespread. In the criminal law of the expanded redaction blood vengeance was replaced by monetary fines and state penalties.

Serious crimes, such as horse stealing, robbery, and arson, were punished by banishment and seizure. With the exception of the most privileged strata in the society, all free citizens were protected by the code. Its main purpose was to provide individuals with the power to defend their right to life, health, and property and to provide courts with the basis for a fair judgment.

A characteristic feature of Ruskaia Pravda is its evolution toward a more humane law system The system of law of the Lithuanian-Ruthenian state or, more precisely, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, which from the 14th to the 18th century included Lithuania, Belarus, and most of Ukraine to the Union of Lublin in The systematic study of Lithuanian-Ruthenian law began in the first half of the 19th century. Polish historians considered it a local variant of Polish law, and Russian historians usually referred to it as 'western Russian' law and treated it as part of Russian law.

Eventually, it was studied by Lithuanian, Belarusian, and Ukrainian historians and legal scholars, who accepted it as part of the legal history of all three nations The code of laws of the Lithuanian-Ruthenian state, published in the 16th century in three basic editions. It was one of the most advanced legal codes of its time. The overriding concern of the First or Old Lithuanian Statute was to protect the interests of the state and nobility, especially the magnates.

The Second Lithuanian Statute , often called the Volhynian version because of the influence of the Volhynian nobility in its preparation, brought about major administrative-political reforms and expanded the privileges of the lower gentry.


In the Third Lithuanian Statute many Polish concepts were introduced into the criminal and civil law, which were systematized anew. All three editions of the Lithuanian Statute were written in the contemporary Ruthenian chancellery language, which was a mixture of Church Slavonic, Ukrainian, and Belarusian. The Lithuanian Statute remained for several centuries the basic collection of laws in Ukraine. It was the main source of Ukrainian law for the Cossack Hetman state and the basic source of the Code of Laws of Collection of prevailing Ukrainian laws in the Cossack Hetman state.

The Russian government never ratified the code of laws, and hence it remained only a proposal, although it became the basic source of operative law in Ukraine in the 17th and 18th centuries. The code of laws was prepared by the committee composed of representatives of the higher clergy, Cossack officers, and municipal administrators. The main sources of the code were the Lithuanian Statute and the compilation of the Germanic law Magdeburg law and Kulm law.

In addition, hetman manifestos, Cossack court practice, and Ukrainian customary law were drawn on.

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In cases where no relevant law existed in the code, the code prescribed the use of other 'Christian' laws law of analogy , court precedents, and customary law. The creative work of the committee consisted of the selection of quotes from written sources, their partial modification, and the incorporation of amendments to them. The prescriptions of criminal law reflected the severity of ancient law, moderated by the right of the court to reduce prescribed punishment 'according to circumstances of the case' and 'the severity of the crime' The artistic tradition of Ukrainian wandering bards, the kobzars kobza players , bandurysts bandura players , and lirnyks lira players is one of the most distinctive elements of Ukraine's cultural heritage.

While kobzars first emerged in Kyivan Rus', bandurysts and lirnyks appeared and became popular in the 15th century. Kobzars often lived at the Zaporozhian Sich and accompanied the Cossacks on military campaigns. The epic songs they performed served to raise the morale of the Cossack army in times of war, and some eg, Prokip Skriaha were even beheaded by the Poles for performing dumas that incited popular revolts. As the Hetman state declined, so did the fortunes of the kobzars, and they gradually joined the ranks of mendicants, playing and begging for alms at rural marketplaces.

In the 19th and 20th centuries, particularly from the s, the kobzars, including the virtuoso Ostap Veresai, were persecuted by the tsarist regime as the propagators of Ukrainophile sentiments and historical memory.