Omeljan Pritsak

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Omeljan Pritsak (7 April 1919, Luka, Sambir County, eastern Galicia - May 29, 2006, Boston, MA) was the first Mykhailo Hrushevsky Professor of Ukrainian History at Harvard University and the founder and first director (1973-1989) of the Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute.

Pritsak was a medievalist who specialized in the use of oriental, especially Turkic, sources for the history of Kievan Rus', early modern Ukraine, and the European Steppe region. He was also a student of Old Norse and was familiar with Scandinavian sources for the history of Kievan Rus'. His magnum opus, The Origin of Rus', only one volume of which has appeared in English (1981), inclines toward a Normanist interpretation of Rus' origins.

In addition to the early Rus', Pritsak's works have focused on Eurasian nomads and steppe empires such as those created by the Khazars, Pechenegs, and Kipchaks.

Pritsak was a political conservative and during his youth in eastern Galicia under the Polish Republic, and later also during the Cold War was a supporter of the conservative "Hetmanite" or monarchist movement among Ukrainians. Also during the Cold War, Pritsak became prominent in the movement towards Ukrainian-Jewish reconciliation.

[edit] Published works

  • The origins of the Old Rus' weights and monetary systems: Two studies in Western Eurasian metrology and numismatics in the seventh to eleventh centuries. Cambridge, Mass.: Distributed by Harvard University Press for the Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute, 1998.
  • From Kievan Rus' to modern Ukraine: Formation of the Ukrainian nation (with Mykhailo Hrushevski and John Stephen Reshetar). Cambridge, Mass.: Ukrainian Studies Fund, Harvard University, 1984.
  • Khazarian Hebrew documents of the tenth century. (with Golb, Norman Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1982.
  • "The Polovcians and Rus'" (Journal Article in Archivum Eurasiae medii aevi), 1982.
  • The origin of Rus'. Cambridge, Mass.: Distributed by Harvard University Press for the Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute, 1981.
  • Studies in medieval Eurasian history London: Variorum Reprints, 1981.
  • On the writing of history in Kievan Rus. Cambridge, Mass.: Ukrainian Studies Fund, Harvard University, 1980.
  • "The Khazar Kingdom's Conversion to Judaism." (Journal Article in Harvard Ukrainian studies, 1978)
  • The Pechenegs: A Case of Social and Economic Transformation (Journal Article in Archivum Eurasiae medii aevi), 1975
  • "Two Migratory Movements in the Eurasian Steppe in the 9th-11th Centuries". (Conference Paper in Proceedings : Proceedings of the 26th International Congress of Orientalists, New Delhi 1964, Vol. 2)
  • The Decline of the Empire of the Oghuz Yabghu (Journal Article in Annals of the Ukrainian Academy of Arts and Sciences in the United States), 1952.
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Omeljan Pritsak

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