Lassota von Steblau, Erich

Lassota von Steblau, Erich, b 1550, probably in Bleischwitz (Błażejowice), Silesia, d 1616 in Košice, Slovakia. Silesian nobleman, soldier of fortune (in Spain and Portugal), and Austrian diplomat. He studied at Leipzig University and Padua University. From 1585 he was a courier of Emperor Rudolph II and an adviser (from 1589, lord high steward) to Archduke Maximilian. In 1594, as Rudolph’s envoy, Lassota traveled to the Zaporozhian Sich to enlist the Zaporozhian Host as allies in Austria’s war with Turkey. The diary of his mission is a valuable source for the history and geography of late 16th-century Ukraine, particularly of the Zaporizhia. It describes in detail his stay at the Sich, the life of the Cossacks, and his stay in Kyiv, Lviv, and other towns in Galicia and Right-Bank Ukraine. Lassota’s diary of 1573–94 was published in German in Halle in 1866. His diary of the year 1594 has been translated into Russian (1873, 1890 [trans Kateryna Antonovych-Melnyk, ed Volodymyr Antonovych]), Polish (1972), and English (1975). Excerpts from it have been translated into Ukrainian by Dmytro Yavornytsky, Vasyl Domanytsky, Mykhailo Hrushevsky, and Volodymyr Sichynsky.

Wójcik, Z. (ed). Eryka Lassoty i Wilhelma Beauplana opisy Ukrainy, trans Z. Stasiewska and S. Meller (Warsaw 1972)
Wynar, L. (ed). Habsburgs and Zaporozhian Cossacks: The Diary of Erich Lassota von Steblau, 1594, trans O. Subtelny (Littleton, Colo 1975)

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 3 (1993).]

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