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Truth and fiction about the personal life of the hetman of the Zaporizhzhya army Ivan Mazepa
Truth and fiction about the personal life of the hetman of the Zaporizhzhya army Ivan Mazepa

Personalities who have changed the course of history in all centuries have been shrouded in various kinds of legends, secrets and riddles, sometimes very ambiguous. So, one and the same person could be idealized, and at the same time ascribed to him a lot of shortcomings, impartial acts and atrocities. Often, both were real truth, and sometimes fiction. Such a historical person was Ivan Mazepa, the most controversial Ukrainian politician, whose deeds for several centuries were viewed by descendants from opposite points of view. In his legendary biography, truth and fiction are incredibly intertwined. Even the hetman's love relationship with women was a complete mess.

In the footsteps of a legendary life

Over the centuries-old history of its existence, Ukraine has known many hetmans, however, perhaps the most mysterious was Ivan Mazepa, around whose name many legends, myths and fictions still circulate. What were the fantasies of writers from different countries who wrote their works about the legendary hero and artists who create his image in portraits and plot canvases? By the way, composers were also interested in the fate of the great Ukrainian. They have created operas, symphonic poems, overtures and musical studies dedicated to this image.

Ivan Mazepa is a well-known Ukrainian politician at the turn of the 17-18th century

Being a talented strategist, an experienced diplomat, a man with a rich inner "stuffing", having a clear mind and phenomenal memory, the intellectual Ivan Mazepa was fluent in five languages, including the prestigious Latin. His erudition and originality amazed his contemporaries, and his actions and deeds, covered with secrets and riddles, were regarded as ambiguous conclusions.

More than three centuries ago, Ivan Mazepa was anathematized for treason to Peter I. And it is this fact that causes the most fierce disputes over the past centuries. Read about one of the biographical versions about life and deeds, about the ups and downs of a Ukrainian politician in a fascinating article in our magazine: Seven betrayals of Ivan Mazepa: a genius strategist or a cunning adventurer?

Personal life of the great hetman

Ivan Mazepa

If we discard Mazepa's political life, then he will tell quite a bit about the hetman as a person and his personal life. It has also been significantly distorted in his biography, in part due to the fictions of the writers. Therefore, some facts from the personal life of the famous hetman to this day are the subject of heated discussions.

Gossip, legends and speculation, of course, left their mark on the information about Ivan Mazepa's relations with women. However, about all this and more - in order …

Ivan Mazepa - hetman of the Zaporozhye Army

Ivan Mazepa (1639-1706) was born in the family farm Mazepintsy, not far from Kiev. His father was a nobleman and a Cossack chieftain. Ivan grew up in the turbulent years of Bohdan Khmelnitsky, therefore the rebellious events of that era could not but affect the formation of the character of the future warrior, who by nature possessed a sharp analytical mind and pragmatic thinking. His mother was also of a noble family, it was from her that he took the wondrous beauty and subtle romantic nature. Therefore, it is not surprising that not only girls, but also married women fell in love with the young handsome man.And what is interesting is that such an opposite duality of nature, in some mysterious way, very organically coexisted in one person.

Truth or fiction about Mazepa's love affairs

Ivan Mazepa

The greatest interest in his person was aroused by scandalous romances with beautiful women. So, according to one of the legends telling about Mazepa's love affairs, the Polish gentry Falbovsky found his wife in the arms of a naked Mazepa. The enraged husband immediately ordered to tie the opponent as it is - without clothes - to the horse and let it gallop on all four sides. The horse rushed headlong through the fields, and there Mazepa was rescued by local peasants.

The first to describe this plot was the French writer Voltaire in his "History of Charles XII", taking it from the memoirs of one of the courtiers of King Charles. Therefore, it is completely possible that the Pole could not forgive a long-standing enemy and simply invented this story or significantly exaggerated a real fact. By the way, after reading this story from Voltaire, Lord George Byron was inspired to write the poem "Mazepa", and after him the French writer Victor Hugo wrote the poem of the same name.

Many historians consider this plot to be revenge of a slanderous nature, and the sinful relationship of the elderly hetman with the young goddaughter Matryona Kochubya is nothing more than a figment of the imagination of the writers of that time; and the fact that the influential widow Princess Anna Dolska was Mazepa's mistress is completely denied. Although in reality a relative of the Polish king Stanislav Leshchinsky really liked the hetman as a woman. But he preferred love - friendship, which he used for political purposes.

However, there is no smoke without fire, as they say. And what the personal relationship between Anna and Ivan really was will remain a mystery forever. And with the goddaughter Motrei Kochubey, not everything was so unambiguous.

Touching the truth

Ivan Mazepa

Historical documents testify that Ivan Mazepa was reasonable and pious, and he could not afford to be disgraced even for the sake of a woman, although he was known as an inveterate womanizer. He thought out all his steps in advance. Possessing an outstanding talent as a politician, he understood perfectly well that you cannot build a good career on your talent; you need connections in the highest circles.

Therefore, the young man made a balanced decision to marry Anna Fridrikevich, the widow of a Cossack colonel and the daughter of a Cossack foreman who became a judge. At that time, such ties were decisive, however, as in our days, a lot. The father-in-law helped Mazepa get into the inner circle of the right-bank hetman Petro Doroshenko, after which the political career of the future hetman went up rapidly. And Mazepa's personal life was dramatic. A woman much older than him did not share his interests. And there was love - another mystery. According to some reports, Anna gave birth to a son to her husband, who died in early childhood, so Mazepa was left without descendants. But thanks to the marriage union, Hetman Mazepa for 20 years became one of the richest people of his time, the owner of 19,654 households in Ukraine and 4117 households in southern Russia.

Lonely Heart

Ivan Mazepa and Matryona Kochubei

However, in his old age, 65-year-old Ivan Mazepa was lucky to fall in love with all his heart. But being with your beloved did not work out. Evil tongues will ascribe to the hetman a "sinful" love for the 16-year-old goddaughter, Matryona Kochubei, daughter of the general judge Vasily Kochubei. In fact, this love was mutual, but it did not end in marriage, since Motrya was Ivan Stepanovich's goddaughter, and according to church canons, they had no right to get married. Therefore, the churchmen and the girl's father did not bless such a marriage. And Ivan Mazepa himself was a deeply religious person, donated to churches and monasteries, and he would never have dared to break the law of God.

Ivan Mazepa and Matryona Kochubei

All the legends and legends that Mazepa kidnapped Matryona and made him his concubine, only the inventions of her father, which were picked up and spread all over the world by spiteful critics.Official letters say that Motrya herself fled to her beloved, and he returned her intact parents to her parents. He dearly loved the young girl and honestly took care of her good name.

Ivan Mazepa is a Ukrainian politician

Summing up the above, only one thing can be said unequivocally: the influence of this person on history and culture, and not only Ukrainian, is undoubtedly indisputable. And I would like to add that Hetman Ivan Mazepa had a huge number of enemies who could obviously "demonize" his image and tarnish his honest name. And now, centuries later, it is quite difficult to judge - where is the true truth, and where is lies and fiction.

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