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(February 2015)( Learn how and when to remove this template message)Part of a series onCossacksCossack hosts � Danube� Nekrasov� Jewish� Turkish� Tatar� Persian� Albazinan� Red� FreeHistory� Registered Cossacks� Kosinski Uprising� Nalyvaiko Uprising� Khmelnytsky Uprising� Hadiach Treaty� Hetmanate� Colonisation of Siberia� Bulavin Rebellion� Pugachev's Rebellion� DecossackizationCossacks� Petro Doroshenko� Bohdan Khmelnytsky� Petro Sahaidachny� Ivan Mazepa� Yemelyan Pugachev� Stepan Razin� Ivan Sirko� Andrei Shkuro� Pavlo Skoropadskyi� Yermak Timofeyevich� Ivan VyhovskyCossack terms Contents� 1 Early history� 2 Polish�Lithuanian Commonwealth� 3 Ukraine and Russia� 4 Imperial Russia� 5 Russian Revolution� 6 World War II� 7 In Russia today� 8 Ukrainian Registered Cossacks (URC)� 9 Outside Russia today� 10 See also� 11 References� 12 External articlesEarly history [ edit ]The origins of the first Cossacks are Turkic, [1] in 1710 Constitution of Pylyp Orlyk confirmed Khazar origin.

[2] [3] The Academician Zabelin mentioned that peoples of the prairies and of the woods had always needed "a live frontier", and even ancient Borisphenites and Tanaites could be the predecessors of Cossacks, [4] not only Khazars, which assimilated/included Severians, Goths, Scythians and other ancient inhabitants, as insisted by the Cossack folklore, the Constitution of Pylyp Orlik, and numerous Cossack historians.

Because of the need of both the Reds and the anti-Bolshevik forces to deny any Cossack ethnicity, the traditional post-imperial historiography dates the emergence of Cossacks to the 14th-15th centuries. Non-mainstream theories, however, have lent the date 948 from imperial historiography, and ascribed an earlier Cossack existence to the tenth century, but denied Cossack links to both "the old people" (Khazars) and "the new people" (Russians and Ukrainians; the very terms "old people" and "new people" being coined by Metropolitan Ilarion.) [5] specifically mentioning 948 as the year when the inhabitants of the Steppe under the leader named Kasak or Kazak routed the Khazars from the area of modern Kuban and organized a state called Kazakia or Cossackia.

[6]Some historians suggest that the Cossack people were of mixed ethnic origins, descending from Turks, Tatars, Russians, Ukrainians and others who settled or passed through the vast Steppe that stretches from Asia to southern Europe. [7]However some Turkologists argue that Cossacks are descendants of native Kipchak (Russian �������) people of Ukraine, who inhabited the area long before the Mongol invasion and were closely related to modern Kazakhs.

These people were highly admired for their esquestrian skills by the early Russian military. Many were hired as cavalry by Russian and Ukrainian warlords, in much the same way that they hired Black Klobuks as personal guards [ citation needed].It is after 1400 that the Cossacks emerge as an established and identifiable group in historical accounts. Rulers of the Grand Duchy of Moscow and the Polish�Lithuanian Commonwealth employed Cossacks as mobile guards against Tatar raids from the south in the territories of present-day southwestern Russia and southern Ukraine.

Those early Cossacks seemed to have included a significant number of Tatar descendants judging by the records of their names. From the mid-15th century, Cossacks are mostly mentioned with Russian and Ukrainian names. [8]In all historical records of that period, Cossack society was described as a loose federation of independent communities, often merging into larger units of a military character, entirely separate from, and mostly independent of, other nations (such as Poland, Russia or the Tatars) [ citation needed].In the 16th century, these Cossack societies created two relatively independent territorial organisations:� Zaporizhia (Zaporozhie), on the lower bends of the river Dnieper in the Ukraine, between Russia, Poland and the Tatars of the Crimea, with the center, Zaporizhian Sich;� The Don Cossack State, on the river Don, separated from the Russian State by the rebel Nogai and Tatar tribes.Polish�Lithuanian Commonwealth [ edit ] Main article: Polish�Lithuanian CommonwealthNumerous historical documents of that period refer to the Don Cossacks as a sovereign nation with a unique warrior culture, which conducted raids and pillaging against their neighbours as important sources of income.

They were known for their attacks on the Ottoman Empire and its vassals (like the Tatars), although they did not shy away from pillaging other neighbouring communities. Their actions exacerbated the tension at the southern border of the Polish�Lithuanian Commonwealth ( Kresy), resulting in almost constant low-level warfare in those territories for almost the entire existence of the Commonwealth. "The Return of the Cossacks", oil on canvas, 1894, 61 x 120�cm, painted by Jozef Brandt.Their first recorded naval raid into the Black Sea dates to 1538, with an attack on the fortress of Ochakiv.

This was followed by more frequent and better-organised raids elsewhere, the freeing of Christian slaves being one of the chief aims, as well as the acquisition of plunder. Their success was such that they attracted the attention of the western European powers, including the Papacy, who made diplomatic overtures in the hope of launching joint ventures against the Turks.In 1539 Grand Prince Vasili III of Russia asked the Ottoman Sultan to curb the Cossacks and the Sultan replied: "The Cossacks do not swear allegiance to me, and they live as they themselves please." In 1549 the infamous Tsar of Russia, Ivan the Terrible, replied to a request of the Turkish Sultan to stop the aggressive actions of the Don Cossacks, stating, "The Cossacks of the Don are not my subjects, and they go to war or live in peace without my knowledge." Similar exchanges passed between Russia, the Ottomans and the Commonwealth; each of which often tried to use the Cossacks' warmongering for his own purposes.

The Cossacks for their part were happy to plunder everybody more or less equally. Between the 16th to the 17th century, the Zaporoijan Cossacks became subjects first of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, and later of the Union of Lublin of the Polish�Lithuanian Commonwealth.Using small, shallow-draft, and highly manoeuvrable galleys known as chaiky, they moved swiftly across the Black Sea.

According to the Cossacks' own records, these vessels, carrying a 50- to 70-man crew, could reach the Anatolian coast of Asia Minor from the mouth of the Dnieper River in forty hours.

The chaiky were often accompanied by larger galleys that served as command and control centres. The raids also acquired a distinct political purpose after Petro Konashevych-Sahaidachny became hetman in 1613, intending to turn the host into the nucleus of a Ukrainian nation with the support of the European states.By 1618 the Zaporozhians were members of the Anti-Turkish League, as Schaidachny transferred his seat of power to Kiev, the Polish Crown's regional capital.The fighting qualities of the sea-going Cossacks were even admired in the Ottoman chronicles: "One can safely say that in the entire world one cannot find a people more careless for their lives or having less fear of death; persons versed in navigation assert that because of their skill and boldness in naval battles these bands are more dangerous than any other enemy." [ citation needed]In 1615 the raiders even sailed to the walls of Tsarhorod, as they referred to the Turkish capital, plundering the ports of Mizevna and Archioca.

An attempt by the Turks to blockade the Berezan Isl� Danube� Nekrasov� Jewish� Turkish� Tatar� Persian� Albazinan� Red� FreeHistory� Registered Cossacks� Kosinski Uprising� Nalyvaiko Uprising� Khmelnytsky Uprising� Hadiach Treaty� Hetmanate� Colonisation of Siberia� Bulavin Rebellion� Pugachev's Rebellion� DecossackizationCossacks� Petro Doroshenko� Bohdan Khmelnytsky� Petro Sahaidachny� Ivan Mazepa� Yemelyan Pugachev� Stepan Razin� Ivan Sirko� Andrei Shkuro� Pavlo Skoropadskyi� Yermak Timofeyevich� Ivan VyhovskyCossack terms Italian map of �European Tartaria� (1684).

Dnieper Ukraine is marked as � Ukraine or the land of Zaporozhian Cossacks (Vkraina o Paese de Cossachi di Zaporowa)�. On the east there is � Ukraine or the land of Don Cossacks, who are subjects of Muscovy (Vkraina ouero Paese de Cossachi Tanaiti Soggetti al Moscouita)� .Cossacks (Ukrainian: ������?, koza'ky, Russian: ������?, kaza'ki) are a group of predominantly East Slavic-speaking people who became known as members of democratic, self-governing, semi-military communities, [1] predominantly located in Ukraine and in Russia.

[2] They inhabited sparsely populated areas and islands in the lower Dnieper, [3] Don, Terek, and Ural river basins and played an important role in the historical and cultural development of both Russia and Ukraine. [4]The origins of the first Cossacks are disputed, though the 1710 Constitution of Pylyp Orlyk claimed Khazar origin.

[5] [6] The traditional post-imperial historiography dates the emergence of Cossacks to the 14th or 15th centuries, when two connected groups emerged, the Zaporozhian Sich of the Dnieper and the Don Cossack Host.

[7]The Zaporizhian Sich were a vassal people of Poland�Lithuania during feudal times. Under increasing social and religious pressure from the Polish�Lithuanian Commonwealth, in the mid-17th century the Sich declared an independent Cossack Hetmanate, initiated by a rebellion under Bohdan Khmelnytsky. This uprising, which had been preceded by genocide, enslavement, and major depredation of the Ukrainian population, culminated in purging and pogroms against Polish and Jewish communities.

[8] Afterwards, the Treaty of Pereyaslav (1654) brought most of the Ukrainian Cossack state under Russian rule. [9] The Sich with its lands became an autonomous region under the Russian-Polish protectorate.

[10]The Don Cossack Host, which had been established by the 16th century, [11] allied with the Tsardom of Russia. Together they began a systematic conquest and colonisation of lands in order to secure the borders on the Volga, the whole of Siberia (see Yermak Timofeyevich), and the Yaik and the Terek Rivers.

Cossack communities had developed along the latter two rivers well before the arrival of the Don Cossacks. [12]By the 18th century, Cossack hosts in the Russian Empire occupied effective buffer zones on its borders.

The expansionist ambitions of the Empire relied on ensuring the loyalty of Cossacks, which caused tension given their traditional exercise of freedom, democratic self-rule, and independence. Cossacks such as Stenka Razin, Kondraty Bulavin, Ivan Mazepa, and Yemelyan Pugachev, led major anti-imperial wars and revolutions in the Empire in order to abolish slavery and odious bureaucracy and to maintain independence.

The Empire responded by ruthless executions and tortures, the destruction of the western part of the Don Cossack Host during the Bulavin Rebellion in 1707�1708, the destruction of Baturyn after Mazepa's rebellion in 1708, [13] and the formal dissolution of the Lower Dnieper Zaporozhian Host in 1775, after Pugachev's Rebellion.

[14]By the end of the 18th century, Cossack nations had been transformed into a special military estate ( Sosloviye), "a military class". [15] Similar to the knights of medieval Europe in feudal times or the tribal Roman Auxiliaries, the Cossacks came to military service having to obtain charger horses, arms, and supplies at their own expense.

The government provided only firearms and supplies for them. [16] Cossack service was considered the most rigorous one.Because of their military tradition, Cossack forces played an important role in Russia's wars of the 18th�20th centuries such as the Great Northern War, the Seven Years' War, the Crimean War, Napoleonic Wars, Caucasus War, numerous Russo-Persian Wars, numerous Russo-Turkish Wars, and the First World War.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the Tsarist regime used Cossacks extensively to perform police service (for example, both to prevent pogroms and to suppress the revolutionary movement, especially in 1905�7).

[17] They also served as border guards on national and internal ethnic borders (as was the case in the Caucasus War).During the Russian Civil War, Don and Kuban Cossacks were the first nations to declare open war against the Bolsheviks.

By 1918, Cossacks declared the complete independence of their nations and formed the independent states, the Ukrainian State, the Don Republic, and the Kuban People's Republic. The Cossack troops formed the effective core of the anti-Bolshevik White Army, and Cossack republics became centers for the Anti- Bolshevik White movement. With the victory of the Red Army, the Cossack lands were subjected to Decossackization.

After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the Cossacks made a systematic return to Russia. Many took an active part in Post-Soviet conflicts and Yugoslav Wars.

In Russia's 2010 Population Census, Cossacks have been recognized as an ethnicity. [18] There are Cossack organizations in Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Poland, and the United States. [19] [20] [21] Contents� 1 Etymology� 2 Early history� 2.1 Zaporozhian Cossacks� 2.2 Registered Cossacks� 2.3 Black Sea, Azov and Danubian Sich Cossacks� 3 Russian Cossacks� 3.1 Don Cossacks� 3.2 Kuban Cossacks� 3.3 Terek Cossacks� 3.4 Yaik Cossacks� 3.5 Razin and Pugachev Rebellions� 3.6 In the Russian Empire� 3.6.1 Cossacks in World War I and February Revolution� 3.7 Cossacks russian history War, Decossackization and Holodomor of 1932�33� 3.8 Second World War� 3.9 Modern times� 4 Culture and organization� 4.1 Settlements� 4.2 Family life� 4.3 Popular image� 4.4 Ranks� 4.5 Uniforms� 5 Modern-day Russian Cossack identity� 6 Registered Cossacks of the Russian Federation� 7 Outside perception� 8 See also� 9 References� 10 Sources� 11 Further reading� 12 External linksEtymology [ edit ]Max Vasmer's etymological dictionary traces the name to the Old East Slavic word ������, kozak, a loanword from Cuman, in which cosac meant "free man".

[22] The ethnonym Kazakh is from the same Turkic root. [23] [24] [25] [ incomplete short citation]In written sources the name is first attested in Codex Cumanicus from the 13th century. [26] [27] In English, "Cossack" is first attested in 1590. [ citation needed] ( False etymologies have sometimes linked it to the Irish surname Cossack, which is an unrelated homonym, a variant of the Norman Irish surname Cusack.) [ citation needed] Early history [ edit ] Cossack Mamay � the ideal image of Cossack in Ukrainian folklore.It is not clear when new Slavic people apart from Brodnici and Berladniki started settling in the lower reaches of major rivers such as the Don and the Dnieper after the demise of the Khazar state.

It is unlikely it could have happened before the 13th century, when the Mongols broke the power of the Cumans, who had assimilated the previous population on that territory. It is known that new settlers inherited a lifestyle that persisted there long before, such as those of the Turkic Cumans and the Circassian Kassaks.

[28] However, Slavic settlements in Southern Ukraine started to appear relatively early during the Cuman rule, with the earliest ones, like Oleshky, dating back to the 11th century.Early "Proto-Cossack" groups are generally reported to have come into existence within the present-day Ukraine in the mid-13th century as the influence of Cumans grew weak though some have ascribed their origins to as early as the tenth century.

[29] Some historians suggest that th� History� Basic facts� regions� Prominent Russians� Entertainment� Music� Opera and ballet� Art� Politics and society� Sport� Literature� History and mythology� Cinema and theater� Science and technology� Geography and exploration� Leaders� Space and aviation� Business� Religion� Education� Military� The Ryurikovich dynasty� The Romanov dynasty� Foreigners in Russia� Of Russian origin� On this day� Galleries 24 SeptemberOn September 24, 1799, Russian units under the command of Russia�s military genius, Aleksandr Suvorov, broke through the Saint Gotthard pass following three days of bloody battles, part of their legendary 190-mile march over the Swiss Alps.

�Go to On this dayPrevious day Next day Image from rpnsd.ruAdventure seekersThere is hardly a single simple definition for them. They are not a nationality or a religion, they don�t represent a political party or movement and there is still no complete agreement among historians and anthropologists on who the Cossacks are.In the Wikipedia they are defined as �the militaristic communities of various ethnicities living in the steppe regions of Ukraine and also southern Russia.� Described in a few words, Cossacks are free men or adventurerers.

In fact, their name is derived from the Turkish Qasaq, which means exactly that.Cossacks historyThere are also different versions of the origin of the Cossacks.According to some historians, in Russia and Ukraine Cossacks were themen who lived freely on the outlying districts. Usually they were serfswho had run away to find their own freedom. Image from www.eskoff.netThe government tried to find and punish them, but the number of those on the run became so great that it was impossible to catch them all and soon the state had to give up and recognize the newly established communities on its borders.

The first such self-governing warrior Cossack communities were formed in the 15th century (or, according to some sources, in the 13th century) in the Dnieper and Don River regions.Cossacks also accepted Tatars, Germans, Turks and other nationalities into their communities, but there was one condition � they had to believe in Christ. Once accepted into the community, they stopped being Germans, Russians or Ukrainians � they became Cossacks.Cossacks had their own elected headman, called ataman, who had executive powers and was supreme commander during the war.

Rada (the Band Assembly) held the legislative powers. The senior officers were called starshina and the Cossack settlements were called stanitsas. The Cossacks were named by their geographical locations.

Some of the most famous ones were the Zaporozhian, Don and Kuban Cossacks. Painting by I.Repin (Image from wikimedia.org)Military might of the CossacksCossack military traditions are strong and boys were trained as warriors from a very young age.

As soon as a baby had cut his teeth, he was brought to the church and a service to St. John the Warrior was served, so that the boy would grow strong and fearless, and dedicated to Orthodoxy. At the age of three the child could already mount a horse and by five he was a confident rider. Father would also teach their sons the art of sharp shooting, adroitness and coordination from a very young age.Recognizing the Cossack�s military skills, the Russian government triedto control them and make them serve the Tsar.

However, not all Cossackswere loyal to the Tsar and some participated in peasants� revolts. Themost famous rebellions were led by the Cossacks Stepan Razin, Kondratiy Bulavin and Emelyan Pugachev. Image from www.uryupinsk-tour.ruIn the 18th century the government turned the Cossacks into a specialsocial estate, which was to serve the Russian Empire. Their mainresponsibilities were to guard the country�s borders. In order to keepthe Cossacks loyal to the Tsar, the government gave them specialprivileges and vast social autonomy, which they valued.At the same time the Cossacks, remaining true to their free spirits, mostly respected the Tsar and the Patriarch, but hated state bureaucracy and when they felt the Tsar was unjust they didn�t hesitate to start rebellions.

However, especially during the Romanov Dynasty, Cossacks were the most vigorous defenders of Russia. This continued up until the October Revolution of 1917.After the Bolshevik RevolutionDuring the Russian Civil War the Cossacks fought mainly for the WhiteArmy, therefore, after the victory of the Red Army they were heavilypersecuted, their lands were subjected to famine and they suffered manyrepressions.

During the Second World War the Cossacks were split; somefought for the Soviet Union and some supported Nazi Germany.Many historians say that the reason some Cossacks supported the Naziswas that they saw it as a war against Stalin and against the demonicregime that killed their Tsar and Russia. Image from forum.sevastopol.infoModern-day CossacksThe revival of the Cossacks and their traditions began in 1989, during the Perestroika period.

In 2005, Vladimir Putin, then President of Russia, introduced a bill approved at the StateDuma that recognized the Cossacks not only as a distinct ethno-culturalentity, but also as a potent military force.Today there are even special Cossack schools, where, along withthe usual subjects like math and literature, students are taught Cossacktraditions and history.

Vast groups of Cossacks can now be found in thesouth of Russia and numerous Cossack groups inhabit the northwesternCaucasus, Kuban, Krasnodar and Stavropol regions. Birch Cossacks russian history Clear sap with a light yellow tint and sweet taste from the birch tree, usually collected in early spring. Siphon In technical science, a siphon is a long tube inside any reservoir (bottle, jar, etc.) which allows liquid to drain from a higher point than the container itself.

Palekh Palekh is a style of Russian folk painting done with tempera paints on small items such as jewelry boxes or powder cases. Old Style and New Style These terms originated in 1918, when Russia adopted the Gregorian calendar, usually called the "new style," to replace the Julian calendar, the "old style." Gopnik Similar to the term �white trash� or �redneck� in American English, a gopnik is identified by a specific style of dress and predilection for violence, racism towards non-ethnic Russians, smoking and alcohol abuse.

Blini Round flat and think pancakes eaten all year round but especially during the Russian Mardi Gras week - Maslenitsa. PREVIEWAN ISSUEWe have prepared an online preview of our print based magazinefor you to review.CURRENT ISSUE: Mar.

2007(Click any text below to download a FREE sample issue in PDF format.)The 1650sVictoria King examines a decade of civil unrest and enlightenment in Europe.Birth of the Boardwalk: A Sandy HistoryRussell Roberts looks at the illustrious beginning of the "walk of boards".Gutta-PurchaDavid Norris looks at the plastic of the Victorian Age.The Battle of CannaeNicky Nielsen tells the story of the ancient battle between Hannibal Barcas and his sworn enemy, Rome.Barter and Trade in Colonial AmericaJoanne Liu looks at the early history of Colonial America where currency as we know it was scarce.Chroniclers & Scribes � Medieval Historical WritersWilliam Stroock chronicles some of the great medieval documents that have survived.The Pedigree of PlatinumSteve Voynick relates the fascinating history of the "other" precious metal.Pyramids and the Occult � Fact or Fiction?Pamela Toller chronicles the search for the magical meaningn of the pyramids.The Early Days of RadioFrom the book With Amusement For All: A History Of American Popular Culture Since 1930, author LeRoy Ashby looks at the early programs that made radio so popular."The Storm": Killer Hurricane Devastates Galveston, TexasJoanna Bostwick Backman tells the story of a killer hurricane.Fire Below!

The Devastating Reality of Coal Bunker FiresPatrick McSherry chronicles the dirty and dangerous history of coal bunker fires and the men that fought them.The Timeless Appeal of ClocksPhill Jones chronicles the history of timekeeping and its impact on history.Lizzie Borden and the Fall River Axe MurdersDaniel Hoenig describes the enduring interest in this case of murder most foul.TheCossacksTheCossacks were among Russia's greatest military assets.THE COSSACKS ARE A group of Russian militarywarriors who still exist today, but without the same militarypower they had in the past.The word "Cossack" is derived from the Turkic term kazak thatmeans "free man" or "adventurer".

They consisted of semi-independentTartar groups - a Turkic-speaking people who lived in west-centralRussia - or peasants escaping serfdom in Poland and Russia.The Cossacks united in the 15th century as a self-governingwarrior organization that was loyal only to the Russian Czar.They settled in six different areas: the Don, the Greben inCaucasia, the Yaik, near the Ural River, the Volga, the Dnieperand the Zaporozhian, west of the Dnieper.

The Cossacks acceptedanyone who was considered a worthy warrior, but the new membershad to believe in Christ. It is believed that most were of Slavicdescent.The Cossacks had specific customs and traditions.

A child wastaught the warrior-ways of the Cossacks from birth. When a malechild was born, the parents would take his hand and place iton a weapon. The Cossacks were superior horsemen. By the timea Cossack was three years old he was riding horses.

As children,Cossack males would stage pretend battles complete with horsesand sabers. The ataman, or army chief, would praise the childrenwho exhibited bravery in these mock battles.The Cossack lifestyle was also based on simplicity. Membersshared land and lived in communes.Almost as soon as the group was formed, governments used themfor military purposes. In 16th-century Poland, the ZaporozhianCossacks protected Poland's borders.

The Russian governmentused the Cossacks to expand Russia's empire and protect herfrontier.One of the greatest triumphs in Cossack history was the annexationof Siberia. A merchant family, the Stroganovs, settled peoplein various territories, including Siberia, and expanded thefur and lumber trades. In the mid-1550s, Tartar leader KuchumKhan took over the area in Siberia.

The Stroganovs wanted toprotect their lands and trade from the Tartars and called uponthe Cossacks and their leader Yermak Timofeyevich. In September1581, Timofeyevich led 840 troops to wrest the Siberian cityof Sibir from Tartar control. With the use of firearms, theCossacks easily defeated Kuchum's forces. The Cossacks losta subsequent 1584 battle against Kuchum, but despite the loss,Siberia came under complete control of the Russian Empire in1586.The Cossacks gradually lost their power under Russian dominationin the 17th and 18th centuries.

They rebelled when their privilegeswere threatened but ultimately lost their autonomous status.The Cossacks continued to serve during revolutionary uprisingsin Russia, but the Soviet government took away the Cossacks'administrative status.Today there are hundreds of Cossack organizations across Russiawhich are seeking to reestablish Cossack traditions and politicalstructures.This article originally appeared as part of a larger pieceon the 1580s in our October/November 2001issue.Returnto 1580sSUBSCRIBE PREVIEWAN ISSUEWe have prepared an online preview of our print based magazinefor you to review.CURRENT ISSUE: Mar.

2007(Click any text below to download a FREE sample issue in PDF format.)The 1650sVictoria King examines a decade of civil unrest and enlightenment in Europe.Birth of the Boardwalk: A Sandy HistoryRussell Roberts looks at the illustrious beginning of the "walk of boards".Gutta-PurchaDavid Norris looks at the plastic of the Victorian Age.The Battle of CannaeNicky Nielsen tells the story of the ancient battle between Hannibal Barcas and his sworn enemy, Rome.Barter and Trade in Colonial AmericaJoanne Liu looks at the early history of Colonial America where currency as we know it was scarce.Chroniclers & Scribes � Medieval Historical WritersWilliam Stroock chronicles some of the great medieval documents that have survived.The Pedigree of PlatinumSteve Voynick relates the fascinating history of the "other" precious metal.Pyramids and the Occult � Fact or Fiction?Pamela Toller chronicles the search for the magical meaningn of the pyramids.The Early Days of RadioFrom the book With Amusement For All: A History Of American Popular Culture Since 1930, author LeRoy Ashby looks at the early programs that made radio so popular."The Storm": Killer Hurricane Devastates Galveston, TexasJoanna Bostwick Backman tells the story of a killer hurricane.Fire Below!

The Devastating Reality of Coal Bunker FiresPatrick McSherry chronicles the dirty and dangerous history of coal bunker fires and the men that fought them.The Timeless Appeal of ClocksPhill Jones chronicles the history of timekeeping and its impact on history.Lizzie Borden and the Fall River Axe MurdersDaniel Hoenig describes the enduring interest in this case of murder most foul.TheCossacksTheCossacks were among Russia's greatest military assets.THE COSSACKS ARE A group of Russian militarywarriors who still exist today, but without the same militarypower they had in the past.The word "Cossack" is derived from the Turkic term kazak thatmeans "free man" or "adventurer".

They consisted of semi-independentTartar groups - a Turkic-speaking people who lived in west-centralRussia - or peasants escaping serfdom in Poland and Russia.The Cossacks united in the 15th century as a self-governingwarrior organization that was loyal only to the Russian Czar.They settled in six different areas: the Don, the Greben inCaucasia, the Yaik, near the Ural River, the Volga, the Dnieperand the Zaporozhian, west of the Dnieper.

The Cossacks acceptedanyone who was considered a worthy warrior, but the new membershad to believe in Christ. It is believed that most were of Slavicdescent.The Cossacks had specific customs and traditions.

A child wastaught the warrior-ways of the Cossacks from birth. When a malechild was born, the parents would take his hand and place iton a weapon. The Cossacks were superior horsemen. By the timea Cossack was three years old he was riding horses. As children,Cossack males would stage pretend battles complete with horsesand sabers. The ataman, or army chief, would praise the childrenwho exhibited bravery in these mock battles.The Cossack lifestyle was also based on simplicity.

Membersshared land and lived in communes.Almost as soon as the group was formed, governments used themfor military purposes. In 16th-century Poland, the ZaporozhianCossacks protected Poland's borders. The Russian governmentused the Cossacks to expand Russia's empire and protect herfrontier.One of the greatest triumphs in Cossack history was the annexationof Siberia.

A merchant family, the Stroganovs, settled peoplein various territories, including Siberia, and expanded thefur and lumber trades. In the mid-1550s, Tartar leader KuchumKhan took over the area in Siberia.

The Stroganovs wanted toprotect their lands and trade from the Tartars and called uponthe Cossacks and their leader Yermak Timofeyevich. In September1581, Timofeyevich led 840 troops to wrest the Siberian cityof Sibir from Tartar control. With the use of firearms, theCossacks easily defeated Kuchum's forces.

The Cossacks losta subsequent 1584 battle against Kuchum, but despite the loss,Siberia came under complete control of the Russian Empire in1586.The Cossacks gradually lost their power under Russian dominationin the 17th and 18th centuries.

They rebelled when their privilegeswere threatened but ultimately lost their autonomous status.The Cossacks continued to serve during revolutionary uprisingsin Russia, but the Soviet government took away the Cossacks'administrative status.Today there are hundreds of Cossack organizations across Russiawhich are seeking to reestablish Cossack traditions and politicalstructures.This article originally appeared as part of a larger pieceon the 1580s in our October/November 2001issue.Returnto 1580sSUBSCRIBE RESEARCH CATEGORIES� Earth and the Environment� History� Literature and the Arts� Medicine� People� Philosophy and Religion� Places� Plants and Animals� Science and Technology� Social Sciences and the Law� Sports and Everyday LifeView all reference sources Encyclopedia of World Cultures Encyclopedia of Russian History Europe, 1450 to 1789: Encyclopedia of the Early Modern World The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

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