Новы нумар

Tatjiana Volodina. Adam Kirkor and „krajowa“ historiography in the context of transformation of Russian empire in XIX century.

All the scholars, who studied nations and nationalism, stressed the significance of history concepts, myths, and interpretations of the past in the process of nation-building. The article deals with this problem and investigates the phenomenon of  „krajowa“ (native, local) historiography which can be considered as initial stage of forming specific interpretation of Russian–Polish borderlands past. This interpretation can not be defined particularly as „Belarusian“ or „Lithuanian“, rather it can be qualified as „proto-national“. At the same time it differed substantially from versions of history, produced by Polish and Russian historians. „Krajowa“ historians played an important part in constructing „ideal motherland“, which was not covered by Russia or Poland.

Adam Kirkor (1812—1886) was a distinguished figure of „krajowa“ historiography. In 1850—1860 he was well known in Vilnia  as a publisher, journalist, archaeologist, and historian. By force of heavy circumstances he had to leave Vilnia for Petersburg and then to leave the last one for Krakow. In his scholar and popular works Kirkor articulated and developed specific perspective upon the past of motherland. Main points of his concept were the following:

— During many centuries „Litwa“ was a land where different ethnic, linguistic and religious elements have been mixed.

— Such conditions gave an impulse to development of tolerance, social partnership, democratic traditions and latitude of thought.

— As concerning the period of „Golden Age“, Kirkor dated it to XIV—XVI centuries, but  the Union of Lublin he considered as the beginning of decline and degradation.

It should be noted that Kirkor always aspired to make history interesting and available for public. This intention also can be explained in terms of forming national consciousness. The phenomenon of popular historian or of the historian-journalist answered for the task of nation-building.