Aleksandr Matveevich Lazarevskii

Lazarevskii, Aleksandr Matveevich


Born June 8 (20), 1834, in the village of Girivtsy, present-day Shevchenkovo in Konotop Raion, Sumy Oblast; died Mar. 31 (Apr. 13), 1902, in Kiev. Ukrainian historian. Graduated from the University of St. Petersburg in 1858.

Lazarevskii served in the judicial system in the Ukraine. He became acquainted with T. G. Shevchenko, under whose influence he became an enthusiastic advocate of public education. Later he adopted bourgeois-liberal views. The history of feudal land tenure and the enserfment of the peasantry in the Left-bank Ukraine are treated in much detail in Sketches From the Life of Little Russia in the Eighteenth Century (1871–73), Essays on Little Russian Family Names (1875–76), The People of Old Little Russia (1882–88), and Description of Old Little Russia (vols. 1–3, 1888–1902). Although bourgeois-nationalist theory asserted the classless nature of the Ukrainian people, Lazarevskii showed that serfdom in the Ukraine was the result not only of tsarist legislation but also of the country’s socioeconomic development.

The archival material published by Lazarevskii is valuable since many of the original documents have not survived. In such works as Pavel Polubotok (1880) and Notes on Mazeppa (1898), Lazarevskii directly criticized the bourgeois-nationalist conception of the history of the Ukraine.

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