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Viche 2007 22

22, 2007

Capital city, named Kyiv

Nobody knows exactly when a real Cossack with a saber, a quiver and maybe with two pistols behind a patterned belt pranced in Kyiv streets for the first time. It will be much later when skilled artists will poeticize him: every strip will be immortalized on expensive fabric (silk or brocade) embroidery by silver, or even gold, will be glorified, they will not forget about playfully dissolute ends in the form of brushes, they will pay attention to the colors of outfit - red, green and blue. And poets will eulogize grey cap, zhupan and sharovary, too decorated by jewellery haft of a saber, which was named either dear mother or young lady. Not exact historical realities agitated lyric poets-romanticisms, but foremost ideal appearance of zaporizhian freeman and high moral and ethic norms: boldness, honesty, justice, unshakable brotherhood and loyalty to native land.

Getting tired to hold a sabre, Kostyantyn Ostrozkyi either reread Book of Books or generously provided funds on building of new cathedrals and alteration of the Kyiv Pechersk monastery on the territory of which he was buried (a grave was kept up to 1941). His son Vasyl Kostyantyn Ostrozkyi (1526 or 15271608) founded the famous Ostrozka academy, where the first complete edition of all books of Bible was carried out in ancient Ukrainian language (42 translators worked), consequently he became the head of Bila Tserkva, and later the voevode of Kyiv (15591608). He defended greatly Orthodoxy from the offensive of Catholicism, respected Severyn Nalyvayko who headed faithful Cossack army.

 

Dmytro Vyshnyvetskyi ( birth year is unknown 1563), who founded Zaporozhian Sich on Khortytsya, carried war against warriors from the horde, served to Ivan V, though he hated Muscovites, grieved for the heading of Cherkasy and Kaniv, for cherishing of which he did not spare forces and money. It was possible from Cherkasy, and even better from Kaniv to attain Kyiv and revive there large principality on which he had all dynastic rights, as in fact his kin had its roots up to Ryurykovych (his mother was the grandchild of Kostyantyn Ostrozkyi). But it was predetermined in a different way: during a battle he got to the Turkish captivity. When he refused to play up to Istambul, he was executed. Heroic death of Vyshnevetskyi-Bayda, which became a symbol of excellence of Christian spirit above Islam, was glorified by folk songs.

 

Not very often visited Kyiv the glorious hetman Petro Sagaydachnyi (birth year is unknown 1622), and after the heavy wound in a battle with Turks near Khortyn he left not for native Lviv, but for the Dniper banks. Gangrene began, and the prominent Ukrainian commander rushed and rushed in a coach, which the Polish king Vladyslav had presented him. He raved already, but did not ask to stop horses. What did he escape from, what did he hope on? He fingered a valuable necklace with the portrait of the king Sigizmynd III decorated with ruby and calmed himself that he served not to him, but to native Ukraine. Kyiv was seemed to be the crown of the whole life and Divine rescue (about the mundane rescue he did even not think) to the hetman.

 

Round Sophia Kyiv created in distant ղ century there were Irynynska and Heorhiyivska churches, and further in the north-east not far away from the edge of swift steep slope there was Mykhaylivskyi Zlotoverkhyi cathedral. Its walls inside were inventively Byzantine, and outside Baroque, that created astonishing combination of transoceanic inscrutability and Ukrainian grandeur. Founded in 1108 by the prince Svyatoslav Izyaslavych the stronghold of orthodox in the whole Ukraine survived Batyyev hard years and became the reliable center of anti-union fight. Patriotic forces respected this saint burial-place of state rulers, increased the riches of monastery to which a greater part of Kyiv and many villages belonged, in particular Trypillya, Borodyanka and Motovylivka.

 

Later already after the epoch of Bogdan Khmelnytskyi on the territory of monastery the Trapezna church (1713) in Ukrainian (Mazepian) Baroque style and stone bell tower (1716-20)  were built, the iconostasis presented by the hetman Ivan Skoropadskyi was set, initial Byzantine frescos, which were sketched in V century, were renewed. As is well known, the handmade embodiment of holiness and beauty were destroyed by soviet power during 1934-35. Permission on destruction was given by Volodymyr Zatonskyi, a national commissar of education in the USSR. Before placing explosive, the Byzantine mosaic of ղ century had been taken off in a rush, frescos scenes from Annunciation - had been cut down, the figure of saint Zakhariy and others like that (all these were saved in Saint Sophia). Many frescos were passed to Leningrad and Tretyakov gallery (mosaic Dmytro Solunskyi also got there). Jeered at tsars' gates, destroyed the shrine of Saint Varvara (32 kilograms of silver) presented by the hetman Ivan Mazepa, the iconostasis was ruined. But, luckily to Ukraine and the world, in spite of all encroachments, Sophia Kyivska spiritually, freely and easily uplifted to skies.

Mykola SLAVYNSKYI,