Ruthenia - Late Middle Ages

Late Middle Ages

By the 15th century, two major states claimed their Rus ancestry: the Muscovy and the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. Natives used different forms of the name Rus for their country, and some of these forms also passed into Latin and English.

By the 15th century Moscow principality (or Muscovy) established its sovereignty over a large portion of ancient Rus territory, including Novgorod, Pskov, and parts of Chernigov and Pereyaslavl principalities. Since 1547, it called itself the Tsardom of Rus (or Russia) and claimed the sovereignty over "all the Rus'". These laid the foundation of the modern Russian state. Muscovy population was Eastern Orthodox, and used the Greek transcription of Rus, "Rossia", rather than the Latin "Ruthenia".

The southern territories of ancient Rus, including principalities of Galicia–Volhynia, Kiev and others, in the 14th century became a part of Lithuania, which, in 15th century, united with Catholic Poland to form Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. Therefore, they were usually denoted by the Latin Ruthenia. However, other spellings were used in Latin, English and other languages during this period as well.

These southern territories have corresponding names in Polish:

  • Ruś Halicko-Wołyńska — Kingdom of Galicia–Volhynia
  • Ruś Halicka — Galicia
  • Ruś Biała — White Ruthenia, White Russia or Belarus
  • Ruś Czarna — Black Ruthenia, part of modern Belarus
  • Ruś Czerwona — Red Ruthenia, Galicia
  • Ruś Podkarpacka — Carpathian Ruthenia

Read more about this topic:  Ruthenia

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