Ruthenian

/rooh thee"nee euhn, -theen"yeuhn/, adj.
1. of or pertaining to the Little Russians, esp. a division of them dwelling in Galicia, Ruthenia, and neighboring regions.
n.
2. one of the Ruthenian people.
3. the dialect of Ukrainian spoken in Ruthenia.
4. a member of a former Orthodox religious group that entered into communion with the Roman Catholic Church in 1596 and became the "Uniate Church of the Little Russians."
[1840-50; RUTHENI(A) + -AN]

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people
also called  Ruthene  

      any of those Ukrainians who were formerly Polish or Austrian and Austro-Hungarian subjects. The name is a Latinized form of the word Russian, but the Ruthenians are Ukrainians who, by accidents of history in the late Middle Ages, were absorbed into the territory of Lithuania, which in turn was united with Poland. The term Little Russians has also been applied to them. The upper-class Ruthenians in Galicia, Bukovina, and the Carpathian Mountains were assimilated into the conquering nations, whose language and Roman Catholic faith they adopted. The peasants sank into a state of great poverty; their Orthodox priests sought the protection of Rome. The pope accepted, and the Union of Brest-Litovsk (Brest-Litovsk, Union of) (October 6–10, 1596) established a new “uniate church,” whereby the Ruthenians retained their Slavonic liturgy and most of the outward forms of the Greek Orthodox church while acknowledging the spiritual supremacy of the pope.

      On the partition of Poland in the late 18th century, a number of Ruthenians passed back under Russian rule. Many of them were quickly reconverted to the Orthodox faith. The Russian government systematically discouraged Ruthenian nationalism until after the Revolution of 1905, when some relaxation was made in the oppressive regulations. Similar efforts were made by the Poles of Galicia and winked at by the Austrian government, but there something was done for the Ruthenians. A metropolitan bishopric was founded at Lemberg (now Lviv, Ukraine) in 1806 and suffragans added at Przemyśl (now again in Poland) and Stanisławów (now Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine).

      After World War I the largest body of Ruthenians, those in East Galicia, claimed the right of self-determination, but their short-lived state was soon absorbed in Poland. The Ruthenians in the northeastern Carpathians were given to Czechoslovakia, special guarantees being laid down for their national autonomy. They were formed into the province of sub-Carpathian Russia. The Ruthenians of Bessarabia and Bukovina came under Romanian rule with the protection of the Romanian Minorities Treaty.

      After Czechoslovakia was weakened by its loss of territory (Munich Agreement), it appointed an autonomous government in what was then called Ruthenia (October 9, 1938). But on November 2, Germany and Italy forced this Ruthenia to cede its southern districts, including its capital, Užhorod, to Hungary. A few months later, when Germany destroyed the remainder of the state of Czechoslovakia (March 1939), Ruthenia declared itself the independent Carpatho-Ukraine. A day later, however, it was annexed by Hungary.

      Liberated by Soviet armies at the end of World War II, Ruthenia was ceded by the restored state of Czechoslovakia to the Soviet Union (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics), which transformed it into the Zakarpatskaya (or Transcarpathian) oblast of the Ukrainian S.S.R. (now Zakarpattya oblast, Ukraine). Since the Soviet Union had already acquired most of Bukovina and Galicia, the great majority of Ruthenians were reunited with other Ukrainians. Now, after the fall of the Soviet Union, most Ruthenians reside in the independent state of Ukraine.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Ruthenian — 1850, of or pertaining to the Ukrainian people (earlier Ruthene, 1540s), from M.L. Rutheni the Little Russians, a derivative of Russi (see RUSSIA (Cf. Russia)). For consonant change, Cf. M.L. Prut(h)eni, from Prussi Prussians …   Etymology dictionary

  • Ruthenian — [ro͞othē′nē ən, ro͞othēn′yən] n. 1. a member of a group of Ukrainians living in Ruthenia and E Slovakia 2. the variety of Ukrainian spoken by the Ruthenians adj. of Ruthenia or its people, language, or culture …   English World dictionary

  • ruthenian — nēən noun ( s) Usage: capitalized Etymology: Ruthenia, a part of the Ukraine + English an 1. a. : one of a branch of the Little Russians formerly chiefly of Galicia in Austria and the eastern part of Czechoslovakia and recently annexed to the… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Ruthenian — adjective or noun see Ruthenia …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • ruthenian — adjective Describing minerals containing ruthenium …   Wiktionary

  • Ruthenian — [ru: θi:nɪən] noun a native or inhabitant of Ruthenia, a region of central Europe. adjective relating to Ruthenia …   English new terms dictionary

  • ruthenian — ru·the·ni·an …   English syllables

  • Ruthenian — Ru•the•ni•an [[t]ruˈθi ni ən, ˈθin yən[/t]] n. 1) peo Rusin 2) peo of or pertaining to Ruthenia or its inhabitants • Etymology: 1840–50 …   From formal English to slang

  • Ruthenian — /ruˈθiniən/ (say rooh theeneeuhn) adjective 1. of or relating to Ruthenia, its people, or its language. –noun 2. a dialect of Ukrainian. 3. a native or inhabitant of Ruthenia …   Australian English dictionary

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