Volhynia

Historical region, northwestern Ukraine.

Located around the headstreams of the Pripyat and Bug rivers, it originally was a Russian principality (10th–14th century), west of Kiev. In the 14th century it became part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania but was ruled largely by its own aristocracy. It passed to Poland in 1569. In 1793 it was transferred to Russia under the second partition of Poland. The Treaty of Riga (1921) divided it between Poland and the U.S.S.R. The U.S.S.R. took the Polish section in 1939 and made it part of the Ukrainian S.S.R. after World War II.

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▪ historical principality, Ukraine
also spelled  Volynia , Ukrainian and Russian  Volyn , Polish  Wołyń 

      area of northwestern Ukraine that was a principality (10th–14th century) and then an autonomous component of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania (Lithuania, grand duchy of) and was ruled largely by its own aristocracy (after the late 14th century). The region became prominent during the 12th century, when many emigrants from the declining Kiev principality settled in Volhynia and its even more westerly neighbour Galicia.

      In 1199 Prince Roman Mstislavich of Volhynia (d. 1205) united the two territories into a powerful principality, which dominated Kiev. He successfully battled the Poles, Lithuanians, Hungarians, and Polovtsy (or Cumans) and was sought as an ally by Byzantium. Roman's son Daniel (Daniel Romanovich) (reigned 1221–64) reunited Volhynia with Galicia in 1238 (the union had lapsed after Roman's death), built cities (e.g., Lviv), encouraged a flourishing east-west trade through his lands, and fostered the development of fine arts. In 1260, however, Volhynia and Galicia were devastated by a Mongol invasion and forced to recognize the Mongol khan as their overlord.

      In the course of the 14th century Volhynia was absorbed by the Lithuanian state and Galicia by Poland. After the Polish-Lithuanian union of 1569, Volhynia was ceded to Poland. It remained a Polish territory until the second partition of Poland (1793) transferred most of it to Russia. After World War I it was divided between Russia and Poland; and after World War II the entire region became part of the Ukrainian S.S.R.

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Universalium. 2010.

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