The Cossacks: Their History and Country

The Cossacks: Their History and Country

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The Cossacks: Their History and Country

The Cossacks: Their History and Country

Read FREE!

Excerpt

To weave a connected narrative from the known episodes of Cossack history would be a difficult and, in many ways, an impossible task. Such a work would, moreover, involve years of patient preparation and research -- for authentic records concerning the subject are only to be found scattered as isolated chapters or paragraphs among the pages of Russian, Polish and Turkish history.

Poets and native bards were, generally speaking, the chief historians of the Cossacks or "Free People." The guiding traditions of their race, like those of all pastoral peoples, are to be found in songs, ballads and folkstories, rather than in written records. Yet the national ideals thus orally maintained have lost nothing thereby in strength or influence. The Cossack ballads and khorovod of the present day, like those of earlier times, teach love of freedom, loyalty to comrades and hetman, and a sturdy devotion to the privileges which the courage of their forefathers obtained for them in the past. Cossack folktales differ in many respects from the heroic legends and peasant by-lines of the North. They possess, moreover, a characteristic . . .

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