They were usually 1 or 2, and they would stay for dinner.
One of those nights my younger brother brought some sort of survey from school, regarding the family and related assorted questions.
I think it's important to note that every night my father and his friends would down a couple bottles of cheap wine.
So, my father got to the task of filling the survey, with the assistance of his friends.
Eventually he got to a question where he had to fill his current occupation.
¡Malviviente!* yelled my father, and he and friends burst out in drunken laughter.
He filled the question with such answer.
He - and my mother - were promptly summoned by the school to explain that answer. Rest assured my mom was not pleased at all.
* This word can be roughly translated to thug, but taken literally can mean "One that does not live well".
A good thread on the history of, uh, stern Russian responses to threats:
Finally, even if this particular letter is "not historical", we do have other, substantiated letters from the Zaporozhians to the Ottomans with various insults, and the painting was created with the help of historians, so the painting is fairly accurate even if the exact letter may have been a slight exaggeration of other contemporary letters.
There's no doubt that they did that. We have multiple documented responses, some of which are quite witty I'll add. (If you remove the old-fashioned tone of voice from the translations and speak them as someone would today, even the drier ones can be fairly amusing.)
There are also embellished or fabricated responses even in modern times.
The question is - which of those is this letter? I don't think we can rule out any possibility based on the information we have available. We simply have a gap of a hundred-odd years in which we can find no surviving written evidence that people talked about it. I don't think that's evidence enough that it didn't exist.
I think that's almost wholly because of the the "thou", which was added to distinguish from the polite plural "you", but maybe it shouldn't have been. I doubt anyone would have mistaken "fuck your mother" for the polite plural.
Agreed. There's a lot of unwarranted skepticism by both real, and wannabe history experts these days. Even events from last century that were heavily documented in books and scholarly texts are sometimes called fake by people on the internet because there isn't a web link to the material.
It makes me sad when I see the library throwing out reference books, knowing that most of that information will be gone forever, and the people who know its contents will never be believed.
Edit: misread context- kneejerk Ukrainian > Russian correction. Although I’d still want it clear that this is Ukrainian history more than Russian.
It's definitely a fair to name that Ukrainian history from your perspective. It's a also fair to name that Russian history.
A lot of people could argue that is specifically Cossack history, because Cossacks could be viewed as separate ethnicity with their own history.
Somebody will say that's Russian word is correct, because "Russian" is umbrella term for both velikorossy (Great Russians) and malorossy (Ukrainians) :-)
But it's definitely fair from modern Russian perspective and from modern Ukrainian perspective to claim this history as their own.
In truth, the Zaporozhian Cossacks were their own people, to classify them as strictly Russian or Ukrainian somewhat erases their culture and history.
You're absolutely correct that the Zaporozhians were somewhat of their own people, much like the Don and other groups of Cossacks - which can be seen in them uprising against the Polish-Lithuanian rulers and the Czar respectively and trying to form their own states. I wouldn't go so for as to say that they aren't part of Russian-Ukrainian history either, just that claiming for them to be the same as modern Ukrainians or modern Russians makes as much sense as modern Greeks claiming to be direct descendants of Alexander the Great.
don't say this to either of the macedonias :)
TL;DR the letter most likely is an 18th century Russian translation/modification of a typical 17th century Polish anti-Turkish pamphlet which was taken as genuine by 19th century Ukrainian nationalists.
I personally liked the portrait of the last tsar the most: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Nicolas_II_of_Russia...
It got me thinking that things could have turned out very different for Russia had his personality been different.
Fun fact: the Russian language Wikipedia article has a bit more detail about the creation of this painting. Repin used his colleagues as models and the one who the Cossack with the bald pate is based on had to be tricked into modeling since he was self conscious about his hair.
- ruler of the kingdoms of Macedonia, Babylon, Jerusalem, Upper and Lower Egypt;
- brother of the sun and moon;
- son of Muhammad; steadfast guardian of the tomb of Jesus Christ; grandson and viceroy of God, trustee chosen by God Himself;
I who am the Sultan of Sultans, the sovereign of sovereigns, the dispenser of crowns to the monarchs on the face of the earth, the shadow of the God on Earth, the Sultan and sovereign lord of the Mediterranean Sea and of the Black Sea, of Rumelia and of Anatolia, of Karamania, of the land of Romans, of Dhulkadria, of Diyarbakir, of Kurdistan, of Azerbaijan, of Persia, of Damascus, of Aleppo, of Cairo, of Mecca, of Medina, of Jerusalem, of all Arabia, of Yemen and of many other lands which my noble fore-fathers and my glorious ancestors (may God light up their tombs!) conquered by the force of their arms and which my August Majesty has made subject to my flamboyant sword and my victorious blade, I, Sultan Suleiman Khan, son of Sultan Selim Khan, son of Sultan Bayezid Khan...
`Charles, by the grace of God, Emperor of the Romans, forever August, King of Germany, King of Italy, King of all Spains, of Castile, Aragon, León, of Hungary, of Dalmatia, of Croatia, Navarra, Grenada, Toledo, Valencia, Galicia, Majorca, Sevilla, Cordova, Murcia, Jaén, Algarves, Algeciras, Gibraltar, the Canary Islands, King of Two Sicilies, of Sardinia, Corsica, King of Jerusalem, King of the Indies, of the Islands and Mainland of the Ocean Sea, Archduke of Austria, Duke of Burgundy, Brabant, Lorraine, Styria, Carinthia, Carniola, Limburg, Luxembourg, Gelderland, Neopatria, Württemberg, Landgrave of Alsace, Prince of Swabia, Asturia and Catalonia, Count of Flanders, Habsburg, Tyrol, Gorizia, Barcelona, Artois, Burgundy Palatine, Hainaut, Holland, Seeland, Ferrette, Kyburg, Namur, Roussillon, Cerdagne, Drenthe, Zutphen, Margrave of the Holy Roman Empire, Burgau, Oristano and Gociano, Lord of Frisia, the Wendish March, Pordenone, Biscay, Molin, Salins, Tripoli and Mechelen.`
Out of the fire, into the frying pan.
And a followup about the evidence (contra Wikipedia):
A more literal translation would be "upon", which can have both meanings. "Upon arrival" can both mean "if he comes" or "when he comes".
Looks like the original said "ἂν ἐμβάλω εἰς τὴν Λακωνικήν, ἀναστάτους ὑμᾶς ποιήσω", which is the word for "if", but I don't know if the meaning of "when" was there in ancient Greek too.
Surikov drew in his Petersburg (IIRC) apartment and stood close to the paintings, hence they're packed with characters.
Basically, someone writing that kind of letter :) or someone Chuck Norris-like.
 Ok, apparently it used to be so, at least in Czech, but I had to look it up in a dictionary. Not present-day use.
All of these languages were very similar to each other more than 100 years ago but were actively forced to diverge for political reasons during the turbulent 20th century.
Of course outliers like Romanian/Greek/Turkish/Albanian/Hungarian are different by construction. But even they shared extensive vocabulary with the rest due to the free flow of (rich) people between the countries.
(If you’re interested in Garshin, I collected his translated works for Standard Ebooks: https://standardebooks.org/ebooks/vsevolod-garshin/short-fic...)
It's been here once before:
I remember doing a very careful study of all the fine details on the jackets and various arms that cossacks had in the painting reproduction that I happened to have in some nicer book, the schoolbook picture was too tiny to really appreciate.
Another Ilya Repin picture that was assigned as that kind of essay target was Barge Haulers on the Volga (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barge_Haulers_on_the_Volga)
I think Victor Hugo made this up, but it's still a good story.
Reply of the Zaporozhian Cossacks - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=19946989 - May 2019 (13 comments)