Shafonsky, Opanas

Shafonsky, Opanas [Шафонський, Опанас; Šafons'kyj], b 13 December 1740 in Sosnytsia, Chernihiv region, d 27 March 1811 in Yaklychi, Sosnytsia county, Chernihiv gubernia. Historian, medical doctor, and government official. From 1750 he studied abroad in Halle (LL D), Leiden (PH D), and Strasbourg (MD, 1763). In 1770 he moved to Moscow, where together with Danylo Samoilovych and K. Yahelsky he took measures to combat the bubonic plague. With the publication of his description of plagues in Moscow (1774) and his medical typological description of Moscow, Shafonsky established the foundation for the development of epidemiology in the Russian Empire. In 1781 he returned to Chernihiv, where he served as a court prosecutor, a civil servant, and a general judge. He is best known for his Chernigovskogo namestnichestva topograficheskoe opisanie (A Topographical Description of Chernihiv Vicegerency, 1851), published in Kyiv after his death. It contains a wealth of information (based on materials and documents compiled by Dmytro Pashchenko) concerning the history, natural science, economics, demographics, and socioeconomic and sanitary conditions in Left-Bank Ukraine in the late 18th century.

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

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