Kievan Synopsis

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Synopsis, also known as the Kievan Synopsis (Russian: Синопсис, албо Краткое описание о начале русскаго народа) is a historical work, first published in Kiev in 1674.

Innokentiy Gizel is generally considered as the author of Synopsis, however, it is still arguable. Synopsis was the first Slavic textbook on history. It was rather popular until the mid-19th century and survived some 30 editions.

It was written shortly after the convention of the Treaty of Pereyaslav (Pereyaslavl Rada), which ratified Ukraine as a protectorate of the Russian Empire. The book began with the history of the origins and lifestyle of the Slavs and ended with the mid-17th century in the first edition. The second and third editions (1678 and 1680) ended with the Chigirin Campaigns of 1677-1678. Synopsis covers the history of Kievan Rus', Mongol invasion of Rus', struggle of the Russian people against the Crimean Tatars, Turkey, and Poland. The author of the Synopsis asserted that the Russian tsars were legal successors of Kievan grand princes. Synopsis is notable since it clearly demonstrates that the idea of uniting all Russian people under the authority of one state was not born in Moscow but in the south-western lands and designed in Kiev.

The old text sounds exceptionally impressive with all its mentions of «Russia», «Rus'», «Russian Land», "Russian State», «all Russian states». «all Russian reigns» etc. The two last chapter introduce «the Great, Minor and White Russia», but still no instances of the word «Ukraine» or its derivative «Ukrainian» can be found in the Synopsis.[1]

The appendix of the Synopsis contains lists of Russian princes, Polish Voivodes in Little Russia, Cossack hetmans, and Kievan metropolitans.