MINSK, 16 January (BelTA) - The first volume of the unique scientific work “Belarusian Statehood History. Belarusian Statehood: From the Origins to the End of the 18th Century” has been launched in Minsk, BelTA has learned.
“Scholars of the Institute of History at the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus (NASB) in cooperation with colleagues from Belarusian universities have been long studying the history of Belarusian statehood. We describe this important process from a historical perspective during different periods according to the concept we developed. Today we are launching the first volume of Belarusian statehood generalized history. It reflects the period from antiquity to the end of the 18th century,” Director of the Institute of History Vyacheslav Danilovich said.
For the first time in historiography, Belarusian scholars analyzed the first settlements on the Belarusian lands, tribal principalities, the first historical forms of Belarusian statehood (Principality of Polotsk and Principality of Turov, Kievan Rus, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth). Using extensive historical data and various sources, the authors analyzed the status of the Belarusian lands in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, the fight of the Belarusian political elite for state sovereignty in the 16th-18th centuries.
“Historical materials show that for more than a thousand years Belarus has never been a colonial territory. Being part of Kievan Rus, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and the Russian Empire the Belarusian ethnos was always an integral part of the state-forming process. We do not only prove it but also cite the richest archaeological material, archives of European countries, Russia to support this idea. We are not just a tolerant nation, we are a people who, in spite of all the difficulties, preserved the native language, culture, traditions, customs and gained our statehood,” said Alexander Kovalenya, Academician-Secretary of the NASB Department of Humanities and Arts.
Twenty nine authors worked on the first volume, including scholars of the NASB Institute of History and a range of universities, including Belarusian State University, Kupala Grodno State University, and Kuleshov Mogilev State University. The book was published by the Belaruskaya Nauka publishing house, it is already available in bookstores.
All in all, five volumes will be published. The second volume will describe the period when the Belarusian lands were part of the Russian Empire (late 18th century - early 20th century). The third book will be dedicated to the history of the Belarusian statehood in 1917-1939, the fourth one to the period of the Second World War and the Great Patriotic War and post-war reconstruction. The fifth volume will tell about the events from 1954 up till present. “Thus, we will provide a complete, comprehensive picture of the history of the Belarusian statehood,” Vyacheslav Danilovich said.
Plans are in place to translate the five-volume project about the history of Belarusian statehood into English, French and other languages.