Markovych, Yakiv M.

Markovych, Yakiv M. [Markovyč, Jakiv], b 27 October 1776 in Pyriatyn company, Lubny regiment, d 1804 in Saint Petersburg. Nobleman and historian; brother of Oleksander Markovych. He studied at the Hlukhiv boarding school and at Moscow University's boarding school. In 1795 he traveled throughout Left-Bank Ukraine, researching its geography and economy. From 1797 he was an interpreter in the College of Foreign Affairs in Saint Petersburg, where he was part of Oleksander Bezborodko and Dmytro Troshchynsky's coterie. On the basis of historical monuments and documents (including those provided by Andriian Chepa) and of Slavic, French, Latin, and German sources, he wrote and published in Saint Petersburg the first part of his pioneering Zapiski o Malorossii, eia zhiteliakh i proizvedeniiakh (Notes on Little Russia, Its Inhabitants and Works, 1798). Written with obvious love for his native land, it provides information about the physical geography of Ukraine, folkways, folklore (especially folk songs), political structure, society, and economy of the 18th-century Hetman state, and about the Ukrainian language, ancient and medieval Ukrainian history and mythology (to the middle of the 11th century), and the origin of the Slavs and Rus’. The completion of Markovych's work, which made a significant impact on his contemporaries, was interrupted by his suicide. His archive has not been preserved.

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

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