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“A Man Worthy of the Name Hetman”

“A Man Worthy of the Name Hetman”

The Fashioning of Khmelnytsky as a Hero in the Hrabianka Chronicle

(p.36) 2 “A Man Worthy of the Name Hetman”
Stories of Khmelnytsky
Frank E. Sysyn
Stanford University Press

The most widely disseminated historical-literary work of eighteenth-century Ukraine, the Hrabianka Chronicle, exists only in redactions in scores of manuscripts. There is still no academic edition or a thorough examination of its sources. Even Hryhorii Hrabianka’s authorship is in question. The text is viewed as exemplary of the founding myths of the Hetmanate at the turn of the eighteenth century. Mykhailo Hrushevsky saw it as a product of the milieu of the chancellors of the Hetmanate. Source studies such as Mykola Petrovsky’s questioned the authenticity of documents in the Chronicle, especially in the largest, the Skazaniia of Samiilo Velychko. Early twentieth-century scholars such as Ivan Franko and Mykola Zerov cast it as one of the major prose works of early modern Ukrainian literature. This chapter examines the depiction of Khmelnytsky as hero in the Chronicle. It also treats that image’s impact on subsequent Ukrainian historiography and literature.

Keywords:   Samiilo Velychko, Hrabianka Chronicle, Hetmanate

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