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Belarus

pages of history
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The book describes the history of Belarus starting from the ancient times till present days, the place, role, contribution and achievements of the Belarusian nation within the European civilization based on the most updated conceptual and methodological approaches to history as well as the public national ideology of the Republic of Belarus. The book aims at a wide audience and all those people interested in the Belarusian history.
Беларусь: страницы истории / Нац. акад. наук Беларуси, Ин-т истории; редсовет А. А. Коваленя [и др.]. — Минск: Белорусская наука, 2011. - 408 с., ил.. - ISBN 978-985-08-2272-7. - Текст : электронный. - URL: https://znanium.com/catalog/product/1067648 (дата обращения: 24.07.2024). – Режим доступа: по подписке.
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             NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF BELARUS INSTITUTE OF HISTORY





                BELARUS:


DC 94(476)








The Editorial Board:
                          A. A. Kovalenya (head), G. Ya. Golenchenko,
                          A. I. Grusha, V. V. Danilovich (deputy head),
M.   G. Zhilinsky, L. Ya. Zemlyakov, G. K. Kisilev,
                          G. V. Korzenko, M. P. Kostyuk, A. M. Litvin,
N.   V. Smekhovich V. V. Yanovskaya,
S. A. Nichiporovich, A. I. Stashkevich, S. P. Samuel, Ya. I. Treshchenok

Translator’s note:
this text was translated from Russian into English. All proper names are translated from Russian into English, but place names of Belarus are transliterated in brackets from Belarusian into English with taking into account the diacritical marks. All personal names in the text are translated from Russian into English, and Belarusian personal names are transliterated in brackets from Belarusian into English with taking into account
the transliteration system by means of letter combinations. The transliteration rules from Belarusian into English are provided in the state standard GOST 7.79-2000 (ISO 9-95).












             The book describes the history of Belarus starting from the ancient times till present days, the place, role, contribution and achievements of the Belarusian nation within the European civilization based on the most updated conceptual and methodological approaches to history as well as the public national ideology of the Republic of Belarus.
             The book aims at a wide audience and all those people interested in the Belarusian history.

ISBN 978-985-08-2272-7

© Design by the Publishing House “Belaruskaya navuka”, 2018


   The Republic of Belarus is situated in the geographical centre of Europe on a watershed of the Baltic and the Black seas, at the crossroads of the major European transport arteries, in a cross-border area of cultures. Belarus is a kind of the crossroads where the major pan-European railways and motorways, oil and gas pipelines, water and air routes converge between economically advanced West Europe and Asia, which is rich in natural resources. The shortest ways from central and eastern areas of Russia to the countries of West Europe as well as between the Baltic and the Black seas pass through Belarus. The geopolitical location of the country has significantly determined and still determines its historical path. Belarus has always been and still is a binding bridge between the East and the West, it plays an essential role in strengthening the world outlook and spiritual roots of the European nations.
    The territory of the country is 207,6 thousand sq.km. Belarus borders on 5 states: Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania, and Latvia. As of January 1, 2011 the population of the republic made up 9,481 million people. Among them 75.1 % live in towns and cities, 24.9 % — in rural areas. The capital of Belarus is Minsk with over 1,800 million residents.
    The Republic of Belarus in its administrative territorial structure is divided into 6 regions (oblasts), including 118 administrative districts, and the city of Minsk. There are 112 towns and cities, 94 urban-type settlements and over 20 thousand rural populated settlements in the country.
    The Republic of Belarus is a social rule-of-law state. People of Belarus are a source of power and the sovereignty holders. The President heads the state as the guarantor of the Constitution, rights and freedoms of the nationals, reflecting unity of the nation and aimed at ensuring the country’s sovereignty and security. The official languages of the Republic of Belarus are Belarusian and Russian.
    The Belarusian nation has an ancient and rich history, original and unique culture. For many centuries Belarus has collected a considerable historical and cultural potential, including architecture sites, urban development objects, works of history, archeology,

3


�� PREFACE


and art; park complexes; museum collections and book archives. There are almost 5 thousand historical and cultural objects protected by the state.
    In contemporary environment the interest of the international community to history and culture of the Belarusian nation as an inalienable part of common Slavic, pan-European and world history and culture has considerably increased.
    The historical development of the Belarusian nation is quite complex and contoversial. The Belarusian lands became an arena of gory conflicts for many times. Sometimes even the existence of our people was threatened. In the course of a long historical development the national features and peculiarities of the Belarusians have been step-by-step shaped, and their moral and cultural values have been formed. By overcoming difficulties, the Belarusian nation not only have kept and held with honour through centuries their original culture and mentality, but also it has become susceptible to other cultural values, having absorbed the best traditions and achievements of the European and world civilisations; the nation has become self-sufficient and equal among other European nations.
    In the book “Belarus: Pages of History” the story of the state is presented from the most ancient times till the present, based on advanced achievements of the historical thought, conceptual methodological approaches as well as national public ideology, the place and the role taken and played by the Belarusian nation in the western civilisation development are described.
    The book consists of 6 chapters, including “Origins of the Belarusian Nation”, “Belarusian Lands in the 11-13 Centuries”, “Part of the Great Duchy of Lithuania and Rzeczpospolita (second half of the 13 century - 18 century)”, “Part of the Russian Empire”, “Belarus during the Soviet Period”, “The Republic of Belarus”. Special focus in the book is on description of modern achievements in our state.
    The book has many illustrations, including pictures and photos. There are 12 maps, about 250 colour and black-and-white illustrations.
    The book aims at a wide range of readers both in the country and abroad.

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rigins of the Belarusian Nation


           Origins of the Belarusian Nation







     Primitive society. The Belarusian nation has a long and ancient history going far into millenia. In the primitive society of Belarus three periods are identified, including the Stone, Bronze and Iron Ages, which received this naming due to raw materials used for production of basic work tools. Scientists identify the ancient Stone Age — a paleolith (lower, middle and late), the middle period is called mesolithic, and the new period — the neolithic age.
     The anthropogenic period (‘anthropos’-man + ‘genos’-birth), the shortest one in the geological history of the Earth, is characterised by frequent cold conditions and changes of the climate and repeated continental glaciations. Glaciers from the Scandinavian peninsula came to the territory of Belarus 5 times and covered whole or part of its area. The glacial ages turned periodically to interglacial epochs, and within these periods soils were formed, the territory was covered with pine and small-leaved forests, and within warming periods there were even broad-leaved woods growing in the area. Valid data on initial settling of the territory in the south-east Belarus refer only to the middle paleolith, or Mouste

Mammoth’s bones (traces of an alleged dwelling) at Berdyzhskaya (Biardy^skaja) late paleolithic settlement.
Chechersk (Cacersk) district

6


RIGINS OF THE BELARUSIAN NATION ■

  Mammoth’s head.
  Yurovichi (Juravicy) late paleolith settlement. Kalinkovichi (Kalinkavicy) district

rian epoch (100-40 thousand years ago). The most archaic silicon products were found near villages Svetilovichi (Sviacilavicy) of Vetka district, Podluzhye (Padluyya) of Chechersk (Cacersk) district, Obi-dovichi (Abidovicy) of Bykhov (Bychati) district. Neanderthal people (a type of paleoanthopes) were already able to make fire and to build dwellings, they were involved in hunting and gathering. The new stage of the development of Belarus by people refers to the late paleolith (40/35 - 10 thousand years ago) and is related to appearance of people of modern anthropological type - Cro-Mag-noon people, who settled practically the whole territory of Eurasia. The most ancient settlements are found near the villages Yurovichi (Juravicy) of Kalinkovichi (Kalinkavicy) district (26,5 thousand years ago) and Berdyzh (Bierdyy) (Podluzhye) (Padluyya) of Chechersk (Cacersk) district (23,5 thousand years ago). The first inhabitants of Belarus were able to make various silicon and bone tools, build long-term dwellings from large bones of mammoths. At this period the tribal community was formed and strengthened, various forms of primitive art, religious ideas came to existence.
    About 15 thousand years ago the territory of Belarus became free from Poozerye (Paazer’je) glacier. In the period of late paleo-lith (14 - 10 thousand years ago) we can observe the constant settling of the territory of Belarus by various tribes of reindeer hunters.
    During the period of Belling warming (12,7-12,3 thousand years ago) the territory of Western Belarus was occupied by the

7


�� ORIGINS OF THE BELARUSIAN NATION

            Settlement of the territory of Belarus in the Stone Age

ПАЛЕОЛИТИЧЕСКИЕ ПАМЯТНИКИ
       Юровичи (культурная прннад-о лежность не выяснена).
       26.5 тысяч лет назад
       Бердыж (вилендорфско-кос-■ тёнковская культура).
       23,5 тысяч лет назад культуры лингби. “     12-11 тысяч лет назад
       свидерской культуры.
       11-10 тысяч лет назад а гренской культуры.
       11-10 тысяч яет назад
    МЕЗОЛИТИЧЕСКИЕ ПАМЯТНИКИ гренской культуры.
*     8-6-е тысячелетие до н.э.
ф     кундской культуры.
       8-6-е тысячелетие до н.э.
₉     кудлаевской культуры.
       7-5-е тысячелетия до н.э.
а     нарочанского типа.
       7-5-е тысячелетия до н.э.
₀     яниславицкой культуры.
       6-5-е тысячелетия до н.э.
НЕОЛИТИЧЕСКИЕ ПАМЯТНИКИ Ареалы культур
I   I днепро-донецкой.
I---1 5-3-е тысячелетия до н.э.
____ верхнеднепровской.
|   1 Середина 5 - начало 2-го ты       сячелетия до н.э.
[---1 припятско-нёманской.
¹---¹ 5-4-е тысячелетия до н.э.
Онарвенской. Конец 5 - 3-е тысячелетие до н.э.
       неманской неолитической.
Lx\l 4 - начало 2-го тысячелетия до н.э.
       гребеньчато-ямочной керами-\//\ ки. Середина-конец 3-го ты' сячелетия до н.э.
       Поселения и могильники куль-w туры шароподобных амфор.
       3-е тысячелетие до н.э.
Основные неолитические памятники о     поселения
▼    кремнедобывающие шахты
          Граница современной Республики Беларусь

tribes of reindeer hunters genetically connected with the Hamburg culture holders. In the period of Alleroid warming (11,8—10,8 thousand years ago) Lyngby culture tribes, moving from the west to the east, passed the whole territory of Belarus and stopped on Valdai Hills. About 10,8—10,3 thousand years ago in the west of Belarus the settlements belonging to Valkushan culture became widespread, and then practically within the whole territory in pools of the Neman (Nieman) and the Pripyat (Prypiac) — settlements of Swide-rian culture (over 200 settlements are known) developed. In the southeast in Podneprovye (the Dnieper river area) and Posozhye (the Sozh river area) the Grenier culture population was formed.
    About 10,3 thousand years ago the modern geological epoch — postglacial period, or holocene, started and is still going on. During the mesolith epoch (8,3—5 thousand years BC) climate warming and forest development of the territory resulted in reindeer moving to the north, and it demanded from the settlers new considerable changes in their lifestyle, households social structure. There was a maternity tribal system, tribal and family property appeared, tribes were formed. Gathering and fishing started to play an essential role. In the mesolith period in territory of Belarus the population of Swiderian, Grenier cultures continued to live, and then there appeared tribes and relics belonging to Kund, Butov, Kudlaev, Yani-slav cultures. At the settlements of this period we can see mostly

8


RIGINS OF THE BELARUSIAN NATION ■

only silicon work tools and weapons. Also some products made from horns and bones were found. The final period of the Stone Age — neolith (5 thousand years BC — first quarter of the second millennium BC) is considered by the majority of researchers as time of “neolith revolution”. The neolith is characterised by development of agriculture, cattle breeding or productive farming, occurrence of ceramic crockery, polished and drilled work tools, which means radical changes in households, material and spiritual culture. In Belarus over a thousand long-term settlements with a powerful culture influence are known as well as various types of constructions; hundreds of thousands of various work silicon tools and weapons, bone and horn products as well as diverse forms of modelled ceramics different from each other in ornaments on them. The territory of Belarus was inhabited by tribes belonging to the Neman, Dnieper-Donetsk, Upper Dnieper, and Narva cultures, the cultures of spherical amphoras, a cord ceramics culture community.

Ceramic arrow heads from late paleolith monuments of Belarus

    Ceramics manufacturing (Greek for ‘clay’) began
in 8 — 6 millennia BC in South-West Asia, in the Middle East and in Indonesia. Since the 5th millennium BC the first

modelled clay pots with vegetative (organic) impurities were started in the territory of Belarus as well. The ancient ceramics provides the most complete chronological, cultural and archaeological, territorial information. Types, forms, ornaments on clay products are the basic defining marks of the archaeological cultures, and sometimes of the ethnic origin of their holders.

    In the early and middle neolith (5— 4 millennia BC) the similar cultures constituent of the Eastern Europe cultural population unity having a comb-pricked ceramics were formed in the territory of Belarus and continued to develop here. The population of Belarus refers

Dissemination of various forms of crockery in the territory of Belarus in early and middle neolith

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�� ORIGINS OF THE BELARUSIAN NATION

Fibula from the settlement belonging to shaded ceramics culture in Malyshki (Malyski) of Vileyka (Viliejka) district

Amphora of cord ceramics culture (Motol (Matol) village of Ivanovo (Ivanava) district)

to ancient Europeoids different from inhabitants of eastern areas — ancestors of Finno-Ugric tribes.
    In the 3rd millennium BC (late neolith) the impacts of foreign cultures destroyed the unity of comb-pricked ceramics cultures in the territory of Belarus, having affected the formation of cultural differences in individual areas and the intensive development of productive farming. This can refer to penetration of traditions of infundibular cup culture into the Belarusian Polesye (Paliessie) from the southwest and the south, the traditions of tripolian culture to Gomel Polesye (Homie'l Paliessie) from the south and the southeast. The population of the western part of Belarus was even stronger influenced by holders of the culture of spherical ampho-ras. The most well-known archaeological complex including settlements, ceramic mines and burial sites is situated on banks of the river Ros (Ros) near the rural settlement Krasnoselsky (Cyrvonasie'ls-ki) (Volkovysk (Vatikavysk) district).
    Moving to Central and Eastern Europe to huge open spaces from banks of the Rhine to southern Scandinavia, east Baltic region, the Volga region and the Mid Dnieper river region, including in Belarus, of the population belonging to cord ceramics culture — ancient Indo-Europeans — became the most significant event of the 3rd millennium BC. The processes of cultural mutual relations of the new alien population with the local neolith-era tribes resulted in considerable changes in the late neolith society and in formation of a new lifestyle, new archaeological cultures/groups — Mid-Dnieper, North Belarusian, groups of Polesye (Paliessie) cord ceramics, Ber-shty-Rusakovo, etc. Stone processing developed quite intensive

Reconstruction of a miner from the burial site of cord ceramics culture in Krasnoselsk (Cyrvonasie^sk) silicon mine

ly at this time. Original monuments of the 3rd millennium are found in the territory of Krivinsky (Kryvinski) peatbog in Beshenko-vichi (Biesenkavicy) district (Ostovets (Astavec) village) and Senno (Siena) district (Golovsk (Halmisk) village). These archaeological complexes with materials belonging to Usvyaty and North Belarusian cultures are unique not only for the territory of Belarus, but also for the whole region of Eastern Europe. They are distinguishing due to the cultural layer of

settlements, which preserved organic substances — wood and various bone products. Their analysis considerably expands the ideas about the material culture and art of that time. Crockery was represented by circle-bottomed, flat-bottomed

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