World Academy of Carpatho-Rusyn Culture


Koriatovych, Fedor

Koriatovych, Fedor (d. 1414, Mukachevo [Hungarian Kingdom], Ukraine) — Lithuanian-Rus’ prince of the Gediminas grand ducal dynasty. In the second half of the fourteenth century the Koriatovych family received from the grand duke of Lithuania, Algirdas/Olgerd (r. 1345-1377), the right to rule in Podolia (present-day western Ukraine). Following the Union of Krewo (1385), which created a dynastic union between Lithuania and Poland, the political position of the Koriatovyches became complicated as the new grand duke, Vytautas/Vytovt (r. 1392-1430), a rival of his deceased cousin Algirdas, tried to assure the continued independence of Lithuania and to introduce greater centralized rule throughout the grand duchy. Vytautas drove the Algirdas and Koriatovych families, including Prince Koriatovych of Podolia, from their hereditary principalities. Defeated by forces loyal to Vytautas and imprisoned in the grand duchy’s capital at Vilnius, Koriatovych managed to escape in 1392 and found refuge in Hungary under the protection of its king, Zsigmond/Sigismund of Luxembourg (r. 1387-1437). Koriatovych gave to the Hungarian king the nominal right to rule over Podolia in return for rule in vassalage over the landed estates (*dominia) of *Mukachevo and *Makovytsia (in the Presov Region of present-day northeastern Slovakia).

Koriatovych established his residence at the castle of Mukachevo. According to oral tradition he allegedly brought with him 40,000 peasants from Podolia, whom he settled in 300 new villages in *Subcarpathian Rus’. The legendary nature of this tale was pointed out in the first half of the nineteenth century by the Rusyn historian Mykhail *Luchkai; the Lithuanian grand prince Vytautas, who had just defeated and imprisoned Koriatovych, was not likely to allow the latter to depopulate the rich lands of Podolia. In any case, the 300 “new” villages had already existed in Subcarpathian Rus’ before Koriatovych’s arrival. Koriatovych did, however, strengthen and develop the economic life of princely owned manorial estates and provide support for Orthodoxy and the *Mukachevo Monastery of St. Nicholas. Tradition has also ascribed to him the early development of Rus’ culture south of the Carpathians. Koriatovych’s alleged gift to the Mukachevo Monastery prompted a legal debate in the late eighteenth century; the subsequent controversy, in turn, encouraged the first histories of Rusyns (see Historiography).

Bibliography: Joannicio Basilovits, Brevis notitia Fundationis Theodori Koriatovits, olim ducis de Munkacs, pro religiosis Ruthenis Ordinis Sancti Basilii Magni, in Monte Csernek ad Munkacs: Anno MCCCLX, 2 vols. (Kosice, 1799-1805); Vasylii Hadzhega, “O pereselenniu kniazia Fedora Koriatovycha do Madiarshchyny,” Podkarpatska Rus’, VI, 7 (Uzhhorod, 1929), pp. 153-157; Vasylii Hadzhega, “Kniaz’ Fedor Koriatovych i Maramorosh,” Podkarpatska Rus’, VII (1930), pp. 68-75, 99-113, 141-148 and VIII (1931), pp. 169-175; Aleksei L. Petrov, Drevnieishiia gramoty po istorii karpatorusskoi tserkvi i ierarkhii, 1391-1498 (Prague, 1930), esp. pp. 55-60, 177-215—English ed.: Medieval Carpathian Rus’: The Oldest Documentation About the Carpatho-Rusyn Church and Eparchy (New York, 1998), pp. 79-85 and 144-183; Antonius Hodinka, “Documenta Koriatovicsiana et fundatio monasterii Munkacsiensis,” Analecta Ordinis Sancti Badsilii Magni, Sectio 2, Vol. I, No. 2-3 (Rome, 1950), pp. 339-359, No. 4 (1953), pp. 525-551, Vol. II, No. 1-2 (1954), pp. 165-189; Mykhal Popovych, Fedor Koriatovych—rusyns’kyi voevoda (Presov, 1993).

Ivan Pop

Entry courtesy of Encyclopedia of Rusyn History and Culture.

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