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Early days. Human beings have lived in the region of Ukraine for about 300,000 years. One of the earliest cultures was that of the Trypillians, who lived in southwestern Ukraine from about 4000 to 200 B.C. The Trypillians grew crops for living, decorated pottery and made drills for boring holes in wood and stone.

By about 1500 B.C., nomadic herders occupied the region. They included warlike, horse-riding people called the Cimmerians. The Scythians, a people from central Asia, conquered the Cimmerians about 700 B.C. Between 700 and 600 B.C., Greeks started to set up colonies on the northern coast of the Black Sea. But the Scythians controlled most of the region until about 200 B.C., when they fell to group called the Sarmatians. The region was invaded by Germanic tribes from the west in A.D. 270 and by the Huns, an Asian people, in 375.

Kyivan Rus. During the A.D. 800s, Slavic civilization called Rus grew up at Kyiv and at other points along river routes between the Baltic Sea and the Black Sea. Kyiv became the first of the East Slavic states and was known as Kyivan Rus. Scandinavian merchant-warriors called Varangians (also known as Vikings) played part in organizing the East Slavic tribes into Kyivan Rus. Oleg, Varangian, became its first ruler in 882. During the 900s, other states recognized Kyivs leadership. Vladimir I (Volodymyr in Ukrainian), the ruler of the Russian city of Novhorod, conquered Kyivan Rus in 980. Before the East slays became Christians, they had worshipped idols and nature spirits. In 1240 Mongol tribes known as Tatars swept across the Ukrainians plains from the east and conquered the region.

Halych-Volyn Rus. After the fall of Kyivan Rus the principalities of Halych and Volodymyr Volynsky grew and prospered in Western Ukraine. In 1199, they were united by Prince Roman Mstyslavovych, gifted military leader. Thus the ethnically homogeneous Halych - Volyn Principality was created. Prince Roman curbed the arbitrary rule of the local secular and church feudals, and did his best to establish good order in his domain.

Prince Daniel (Danylo) of Halych (1228-1264), his successor, continued his fathers work, further strengthening his state. defended his independence against the Hungarians, Teutonic knights and Tatars. was subtle and cautious diplomat in dealing with Western Europe and the Golden Horde, and he promoted culture and developed the new cities of Lviv and Kholm.

After the death of last Prince, Yuri II (1340), this state also fell apart. Polish King Casimir seized Lviv, the capital of Halychyna. In 1387, Halychyna was incorporated into the Polish Kingdom. In the mid-fourteenth century the Eastern Ukrainian territories fell to Lithuania (Kyiv followed suit in 1362).

With the Union of Lublin (1569) the Kingdom of Poland and Grand Duchy of Lithuania were joined in single Commonwealth in which Poland was dominant and Lithuanias Ukrainian territories were transferred to Poland. The long period of struggle of the Ukrainian people for their national and social liberation began.

Date: 2016-04-22; view: 1252

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