Venelin, Yurii

Venelin, Yurii [Венелін, Юрій; nom de plume of Георгій Гуца; Heorhii Hutsa], b 3 April 1802 in Velyka Tybava, Transcarpathia, d 7 April 1839 in Moscow. Slavist; member of Moscow University’s Society of Russian History and Antiquities from 1833. An early Transcarpathian Russophile, he studied at the Uzhhorod gymnasium and the Uzhhorod theological seminary and at Lviv University (1822–3). After emigrating illegally to Russian-ruled Bessarabia in 1823, he worked there as a teacher at the Kishinev seminary until 1825 and researched the folkways of the Bulgarian colonists. Having found a patron in Ivan Orlai, he studied medicine at Moscow University (1825–9). One of the ‘spiritual fathers’ of the Russian Slavophiles, he also collected Ukrainian folk songs and corresponded with the Ukrainian scholars Mykhailo Maksymovych and Izmail Sreznevsky. Six of his articles were published in Ilarion Svientsitsky’s 1906 book of materials on the history of the Transcarpathian Ruthenian revival. T. Baitsura’s Ukrainian-language monograph about Venelin was published in Bratislava in 1968.

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 5 (1993).]

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