Potocki, Jan

Potocki, Jan, b 8 March 1761 in Pykiv, near Vinnytsia, Podilia voivodeship, d 2 December 1815 in Uladivka, Lityn county, Podilia gubernia. Polish count of the Potocki family, historian, geographer, and writer. A pioneer in Slavic archeology, he was one of the first to propound the autochthonous theory of the origin of the Slavs. His major works were published in French: Essai sur l'histoire universelle et recherches sur la Sarmatie (4 vols, 1789–92), Chroniques, mémoires et recherches pour servir à l'histoire de tous les peuples slaves (2 vols, 1793), Voyage dans quelques parties de la Basse Saxe pour la recherche des antiquités slaves (1795), Fragments historiques et géographiques sur la Scythie, la Sarmatie et les Slaves (4 vols, 1796), Histoire primitive des peuples de la Russie (1802), Histoire ancienne du gouvernement de Cherson (1804), Histoire ancienne du gouvernement de Podolie (1805), and Atlas archéologique de la Russie européenne (1805; 3rd edn 1829). He also wrote accounts of his voyages, a collection of six one-act plays, and a fantasy novel, Manuscrit trouvé à Saragosse (published 1958).

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 4 (1993).]

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