Great Russia (Russian: Великороссия, Velikorossiya) is an obsolete name formerly applied to the territories of "Russia proper", the land that formed the core of Muscovy and, later, Russia. This was the land to which the ethnic Russians were native and where the ethnogenesis of (Great) Russians took place. The name is said to have come from the Greek Μεγάλη Ῥωσ(σ)ία (Megálē Rhōs(s)ía) used by Byzantines for the northern part of the lands of Rus'.
Similarly, the terms Great Russian language (Великорусский язык, Velikorusskiy yazyk) and Great Russians (Великороссы, Velikorossy) were employed by ethnographers and linguists in the 19th century, but then have fallen out of use.
However, the area became, together with the Volga-Ural region, Northern Caucasus and Siberia, the Russian SFSR, while Little and White Russias became the Ukrainian SSR and the Belorussian SSR respectively.
- Vasmer, Max (1986). Etymological dictionary of the Russian language. Moscow: Progress. p. 289.
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