Red Ruthenia

Red Ruthenia (Latin: Ruthenia Rubra or Russia Rubra, Ukrainian: Червона Русь, Chervona Rus, Polish: Ruś Czerwona, Ruś Halicka, Russian: Червоная Русь, Chervonaya Rus) is a historic term used since medieval times to refer to the area known today rather as Eastern Galicia or Western Ukraine; first mentioned in Polish historic chronicles in the 1321, as Ruthenia Rubra or Ruthenian Voivodeship (1366-1772).

Ethnographers explain that the term was applied from the old-Slavonic use of colours for the cardinal points on the compass. The ancient totem-god Svetovid had four faces. The northern face of this totem was white, the western face red, the southern black, and the eastern green. However some inconsistency exists to the theory such as the fact that nothing is known about the Green Ruthenia and the Black Ruthenia is located to the west from the White Ruthenia. Another theory suggests that the name could have arise from already established polity of the Red cities (locally Czerwień Grody, Czerwień). Numerous cities in the area carry names related to the color of red.

Since the 10th century the Red Ruthenia was a territorial dispute between the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Ruthenia (Kievan Rus), each claiming its own rights to the land.

Since the 14th century and after the disintegration of the Ruthenia the area was contested between numerous historical states such as the Grand Duchy of Lithuania (Gediminids), Kingdom of Poland (Piasts), Kingdom of Hungary, Kingdom of Ruthenia, and others. After the Galicia–Volhynia Wars most of the Red Ruthenia for some 400 years became part of Poland, incorporated as the Ruthenian Voivodeship. The historic Red Ruthenia, reaching on its south-west to Przemyśl and Sanok, has been inhabited for nearly the last ten centuries mostly by the Ruthenian population.

The traditional population of Red Ruthenia was Lendians, Boykos, Lemkos and of a Silesian-German group of so-called sylvan Germans (Walddeutsche) between the Dunajec and the San rivers, denationalized back in the 16th to 18th centuries, and among several other people.

Marcin Bielski claimed that Bolesław I Chrobry had settled some Germans in the region to defend the borders against Hungary and Kievan Rus', however, they turned to farming. Maciej Stryjkowski mentioned Germans peasants near Przeworsk, Przemyśl, Sanok, and Jarosław, describing them as good farmers. While evaluating the size of the population of late medieval Poland, one should take into account the development of internal colonisation and the migration of Polish people to Red Ruthenia, Zips, Orava and Podlasia, whom Ukrainians called the "Mazury", poor peasant migrants, chiefly from Mazowsze.

It was in the second half of the 14th century that a new wave of settlers i.e. the Vallachians, came from the South-eastern Carpathians and quickly spread all over Red Ruthenia. From the 15th century, however, the Ruthenian element began to prevail. Nevertheless, it was not until the 16th century that the Vallachian population in the Bieszczady Mountains and the Lower Beskid was completely Ruthenized.

Between the 14th and the 16th c. the area in question underwent a rapid urbanization process, resulting in the founding of over 200 new towns built in the so-called German model (iure Theuthonico), which had been virtually unknown in Red Ruthenia when it was an independent state (Duchy of Halych, before 1340).

Read more about Red Ruthenia:  History, Administrative Division (14th Century-1772), First World War and Polish-Ukrainian Conflict, Second World War and Distrikt Galizien

Other articles related to "red ruthenia, red":

Galicia (Eastern Europe) - History - Red Ruthenia
... Vladimir the Great of Kievan Rus' took over the Red Ruthenian strongholds in his military campaign on the border with the land of the Lendians, incorporated into the Duchy of Polans, and the land ...
Lesser Poland - History - Early Period and Kingdom of Poland
... Some historians speculate that they occupied Red Ruthenia, and their center was in Przemyśl ... After annexation of Red Ruthenia, Lesser Poland lost its status of the borderland, and both regions created an economic bridge between Poland and the ports of the Black Sea ... who settled the borderland of Lesser Poland and Red Ruthenia (14th – 17th c.) ...

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