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Laborets’

Laborets’ — legendary prince (tribal leader) among the Slavs in the Upper Tisza Region at the end of the ninth century. The hilltop fortress (hrad) ruled by Laborets’, which may have been located on the site of the present-day Uzhhorod castle, was captured by the forces of Arpad, the leader of the Magyars, who broke into the *Upper Tisza Region and Danubian Basin in 896. According to legend, the armed retinue of Laborets’ was defeated, and although the prince himself escaped, he was captured and assassinated near the Svirzava River in eastern Slovakia, which from that time has carried his name (in Slovak: Laborec River).

The name Laborets’ first appeared in the twelfth-century Hungarian chronicle by *Anonymous, the Gesta Hungarorum, and became especially popular thanks to the nineteenth-century Romantic writers, the Slovak Bohus Nosak-Nezabudov and the Rusyn Anatolii *Kralyts’kyi. In the twentieth century at least three writers have completed literary works entitled Kniaz’ Laborets’. These include an epic poem (1923) by the Galician-Ukrainian emigre Vasyl’*Pachovs’kyi; an unpublished play (1942) by the renowned Subcarpathian cultural leader Avhustyn *Voloshyn, who called his hero the “last ruler of the independent land of the Rusyns (*Marchia Ruthenorum); a play (1979) by the Greek Catholic priest Stepan *Pap; and an opera by the Presov Region composer Volodymyr *Liubymov. Bibliography: Shtefan Pap, “Kniaz Laborets,” Nova dumka, XII [35 and 36] (Vukovar, 1983), pp. 78-82 and 61-64; Iurii Pan’ko, “Istoriia odnoi lehendy,” Naukovyi zbirnyk Muzeiu ukrains’koi kul’tury u Svydnyku, XVII (Bratislava and Presov, 1991), pp. 275-302.

Ivan Pop

Entry courtesy of Encyclopedia of Rusyn History and Culture.
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