Mazepa, Ivan

Mazepa, Ivan

(ēvän` məzyā`pə), c.1640–1709, Cossack hetman [leader] in the Russian Ukraine. He was made hetman (1687) on the insistence of Prince Gallitzin, adviser to the Russian regent, Sophia Alekseyevna, and he aided Gallitzin in his campaign against the Tatars (1689). Mazepa was able for some years to maintain Ukrainian autonomy while keeping good relations with Czar Peter I. Under Mazepa's direction, churches were built and libraries and educational institutions were established. He did not, however, attain his goal of uniting all Ukrainian lands (see UkraineUkraine
, Ukr. Ukraina, republic (2015 est. pop. 44,658,000), 232,046 sq mi (601,000 sq km), E Europe. It borders on Poland in the northwest; on Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, and Moldova in the southwest; on the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov in the south; on Russia in the
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) with his territory, which lay on the left bank of the Dnieper River. Eventually, Peter's harsh demands on Ukraine threatened Cossack autonomy. When the Northern War between Russia and Sweden began (1700), the hetman established secret contact with pro-Swedish elements in Poland. Peter, who trusted Mazepa, refused to believe reports of his treason. In 1708, however, Mazepa openly joined Charles XII of Sweden when the latter's army advanced into Ukraine. The hetman found himself with few enthusiastic followers in this venture; most Ukrainian Cossacks remained loyal to the czar. After the Swedish defeat at Poltava (1709), Mazepa and Charles fled to Bender, where Mazepa died. According to a legend, Mazepa, in his youth, was tied to the back of a wild horse and sent into the steppes by a jealous husband. This legend was described in Lord Byron's poem, Mazeppa.


See biography by C. A. Manning (1957); studies by H. F. Babinsky (1974), O. Subtelny (1981), and T. Mackiw (1983).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Mazepa, Ivan Stepanovich


Born 1644; died Aug. 28 (Sept. 8), 1709, in Bendery. Hetman of the Left-bank Ukraine (1687-1708).

Mazepa was the son of a Ukrainian nobleman, and he was educated at the court of the Polish king. From 1669 to 1673 he was in the service of the hetman of the Right-bank Ukraine, P. D. Doroshenko, and from 1674 to 1681 he served the hetman of the Left-bank Ukraine, I. Samoilovich; from 1682 to 1686 he was an esaul general. In 1687, Mazepa became hetman of the Left-bank Ukraine; he was one of the largest landowners. Nurturing nationalistic ideas about the independence of the Ukraine and separation from Russia, Mazepa conducted secret negotiations with the Polish king Staniłsaw Leszczynski and then with the Swedish king Charles XII. In October 1708, during the Northern War of 1700-21, Mazepa openly went over to the side of Charles XII. After the defeat of the Swedes at the battle of Poltava (1709), Mazepa and Charles XII fled to the Turkish Fortress of Bendery.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Arnold Blumberg, Westport, CT-London: Greenwood, 1995, 184-90; and "Mazepa, Ivan," in Historical Dictionary of Ukraine, second ed., eds Ivan Katchanovski, Zenon Kohut, et al., Lanham-Toronto-Plymouth: Scarecrow Press, 2013, 361-3.
Diadychenko, "Mazepa, Ivan Stepanovych," Radianska entsyklopediia istorii Ukrainy, vol.
284-92, and his article on "Mazepa, Ivan," in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol.