Catherine II as a Mediaevalist. A Contribution to the Origin of the Second Partition
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The file entitled 'The Studio of Catherine II' in the Russian State Archive of Old Acts in Moscow contains 'Les anciennes frontieres de la Russie a l'Occident', a document which up to now has not been published and apparently was never the object of interest of historians studying 18th-century Polish-Russian relations. A description of the document indicates that this is a handwritten note by Catherine II, an annex to a protocol from a session of the so-called Council of State (5/16 February 1792). The document (published as an appendix to this article) refers to historical sources printed during the 18th century (including the chronicles by Gallus Anonymous, Kadlubek and Stryjkowski) in order to prove the historical rights of Russia to the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and Ukraine, at that time part of the Commonwealth. The article discusses the contents and analyses the circumstances in which a document of this sort could have originated in the cabinet of Catherine II. A separate analysis concerns the significance of this text for our knowledge about the partition decisions made in the entourage of Catherine II and the preparations made during the first half of 1772.
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