The Publication of Volume 4 of Hrushevsky's History of Ukraine-Rus'

31 January 2018

With volume 4, Mykhailo Hrushevsky began his detailed, three-volume study of the second-Lithuanian-Polish-cycle of Ukrainian history. In it he examined how the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the Kingdom of Poland became the dominant powers in eastern Europe after the collapse of Ukrainian statehood in the fourteenth century. Hrushevsky outlined the international situation in which Hungary and Muscovy also became claimants to Ukrainian territories in the wake of the Mongol conquest, the rise of the Golden Horde, and the dismantling of the Galician-Volhynian state. Tracing the pagan Lithuanians' expansion into the Belarusian and Ukrainian lands and the formation of the Grand Duchy, he showd how the Ukrainian principalities and elites were integrated into that state, in part because members of the ruling stratum converted to Orthodoxy and adopted the institutional and cultural legacy of Old Rus'. Consequently the Lithuanian annexation provoked little resistance and did not leave deep traces in local tradition. The union of Poland and Lithuania at Krėva (1385) and the consequent conversion of the Lithuanian elite to Catholicism markedly changed the situation of the Ukrainian lands.

In Hrushevsky's account, Poland contrasts sharply with Lithuania. A strong state bent on eastward expansion, Poland was determined to assert its political and cultural dominance. After it annexed Galicia, the key to the expansion was the incorporation of Lithuania into a full union-a process that began in 1385 and culminated in the 1569 Union of Lublin that established the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Hrushevsky concentrated on the reactions of the elite of the Ukrainian lands to these policies and examined Švitrigaila's and Mykhailo Hlynsky's revolts. A separate chapter chronicled the rise of the Crimean Tatars and their devastating raids, which gave the Ukrainians a compelling incentive to accept Poland's annexation of the Grand Duchy's Ukrainian lands in 1569.

In their scholarly introductions in the volume, Svitlana Pankova and Robert Frost describe Hrushevsky's writing of the volume and assess its reception and its contribution to historiography. Hrushevsky's forty-nine substantial endnotes amplify the discussion of particular points, and his bibliography is updated with more recent works. The volume also features a map and three genealogical tables.

Book launches were held for the new volume on October 25, 2017, in Edmonton, on November 8 at the University of Toronto, and on November 30 at the UNF Hall in Toronto.

Volume 4 of the History is available in a hardcover edition for $119.95 (plus taxes and shipping; outside Canada prices are in U.S. dollars). Volumes 7 to 10 (in six books) representing the History of the Ukrainian Cossacks are available at a subscription price of $600. The subscription for the entire Hrushevsky set is $1,100. Orders can be placed via the secure on-line ordering system of CIUS Press at or by contacting CIUS Press, 430 Pembina Hall, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, T6G 2H8; tel: (780) 492-2973; e-mail: