Hetman (Ukrainian: гетьман, romanizedhet’mаn; Czech: hejtman; Romanian: hatman) is a political title from Central and Eastern Europe, historically assigned to military commanders.

It was the title of the second-highest military commander in the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania from the 16th to 18th centuries. A hetman was the highest military officer in the hetmanates of Ukraine, the Zaporizhian Host (1649–1764), and the Ukrainian State (1918). The title was used by Ukrainian Cossacks from the 16th century. Used by the Czechs in Bohemia since the 15th century, in the modern Czech Republic the title is used for regional governors. Throughout much of the history of Romania and the Moldavia, hetmans were the second-highest army rank.


The best-accepted hypothesis, as found in dictionaries, is that the term hetman (like many similar military titles) literally means 'head-man', and derives from the Early Modern High German Heubtmann (modern German Hauptmann).[1] The German title was common during medieval times, functionally corresponding to Modern English 'captain'. It has been suggested that the Czech language may have served as an intermediary,[2] and Polish has also been suggested. Alternatively, it could be a variant of the comparable Turkic title ataman (literally 'father of horsemen').[3][4]

Hetmans of Poland and Lithuania

The Polish title Grand Crown Hetman dates from 1505. The title of Hetman was given to the leader of the Polish Army and until 1581 the hetman position existed only during specific campaigns and wars. After that, it became a permanent title, as were all the titles in the Kingdom of Poland and the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. At any given time the Commonwealth had four hetmans – a Great Hetman and Field (deputy) Hetman for each of both Poland and Lithuania. From 1585, the title could not be taken away without a proven charge of treachery, thus most hetmans served for life, as illustrated by the case of Jan Karol Chodkiewicz literally commanding the army from his deathbed (1621). Hetmans were not paid for their job by the royal treasury. Hetmans were the main commanders of the military forces, second only to the monarch in the army's chain of command. The fact that they could not be removed by the monarch made them very independent, and thus often able to pursue independent policies. This system worked well when a hetman had great ability and the monarch was weak, but sometimes produced disastrous results in the opposite case. The security of the position notably contrasted with that of military leaders in states bordering the commonwealth, where sovereigns could dismiss their army commanders at any time. In 1648 the Zaporizhian Host (the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth subject) elected a hetman of their own, Bohdan Khmelnytsky, igniting the Ukrainian struggle for independence.

The military reform of 1776 limited the powers of the hetmans. The Hetman office was abolished after the third partition of Poland in 1795.

Jan Karal Chadkievič. Ян Караль Хадкевіч (XVII) (6)

Hetman Jan Karol Chodkiewicz wearing a traditional costume of Polish magnates

Januš Radzivił. Януш Радзівіл (B. Strobel, 1634)

Janusz Radziwiłł, one of the most powerful people in the Commonwealth at the time

Hetmans of the Zaporozhian Host and Ukraine

At the end of the sixteenth century, the commanders of the Zaporizhian Cossacks were titled Koshovyi Otaman or Hetman; Christof Kosynsky was the first Zaporizhian hetman. In 1572, a hetman was a commander of the Registered Cossack Army (Ukrainian: Реєстрове козацьке військо) of the Rzeczpospolita, too. From 1648, the start of Bohdan Khmelnytsky's uprising, a hetman was the head of the whole Ukrainian State — Hetmanshchyna. Although they were elected, Ukrainian hetmans had very broad powers and acted as heads of the Cossack state, their supreme military commanders, and top legislators (by issuing administrative decrees).

After the split of Ukraine along the Dnieper River by the 1667 PolishRussian Treaty of Andrusovo, Ukrainian Cossacks (and Cossack hetmans) became known as Left-bank Cossacks (of the Cossack Hetmanate) and Right-bank Cossacks.

In the Russian Empire, the office of Cossack Hetman was abolished by Catherine II of Russia in 1764. The last Hetman of the Zaporozhian Army (the formal title of the hetman of Ukraine) was Kyrylo Rozumovsky, who reigned from 1751 until 1764.

The title was revived in Ukraine during the revolution of 1917 to 1920. In early 1918, a conservative German-supported coup overthrew the radical socialist Ukrainian Central Rada and its Ukrainian People's Republic, establishing a hetmanate monarchy headed by Pavlo Skoropadskyi, who claimed the title Hetman of Ukraine. This regime lasted until late 1918, when it was overthrown by a new Directorate of Ukraine, of a re-established Ukrainian People's Republic.

Hetmans of the Bohemia, Romania, and Moldavia

Used by the Czechs in Bohemia from the Hussite Wars (15th century) onward, hejtman is today the term for the elected governor of a Czech region (kraj).

For much of the history of Romania and the Principality of Moldavia, hetmans were second in rank in the army, after the ruling prince, who held the position of Voivode.

Figurative use

Hetman has often been used figuratively to mean 'commander' or simply 'leader'. Examples:

See also


  1. ^ Oxford English Dictionary
  2. ^ Słownik Języka Polskiego PWN
  3. ^ "The Cossacks: A super-ethnos in Russia's ribs". The Economist. December 21, 1996.
  4. ^ "Ataman". Cossackweb.narod.ru. Retrieved July 6, 2012.
  5. ^ Gorky, Maxim (1906). Mother. New York/London: D. Appleton–Century Company. p. 372 – via Google Books.
  6. ^ Howard, Robert E. Howard (2016) [1934]. A Witch Shall Be Born. VM eBooks – via Google Books.

External links


Ataman (variants: otaman, wataman, vataman; Russian: атаман, Ukrainian: отаман) was a title of Cossack and haidamak leaders of various kinds. In the Russian Empire, the term was the official title of the supreme military commanders of the Cossack armies. The Ukrainian version of the same word is Hetman. Otaman in Ukrainian Cossack forces was a position of a lower rank.

Białystok City Stadium

The Białystok City Stadium is located in Białystok, Poland. It is used by Jagiellonia.

The stadium recently underwent major redevelopment, completed at the end of 2014, it now contains 22,386 seats.

Full cost of the redevelopment is not clear as the city had to terminate contract with one contractor, Polish-French Eiffage Mitex consortium. Both parties agreed on PLN 168 million (US$60 million) in 2010, but finances are not settled. In 2012 construction was taken over by new contractors, Spanish-Polish consortium of OHL and Hydrobudowa agreed to finish all remaining work at a cost of PLN 254 million (US$75 million).

Cossack Hetmanate

The Cossack Hetmanate (Ukrainian: Гетьманщина, Hetmanščyna), officially known as the Zaporizhian Host (Військо Запорозьке, Vijśko Zaporoźke, Latin: Exercitus Zaporoviensis), was a Ukrainian Cossack host in Central Ukraine between 1648 and 1764 (some sources claim until 1782).The Hetmanate was founded by the Hetman of Zaporizhian Host Bohdan Khmelnytsky during the Uprising of 1648–57. Establishment of vassal relations with the Tsardom of Russia in the Treaty of Pereyaslav of 1654 is considered a benchmark of the Cossack Hetmanate in Soviet, Ukrainian, and Russian historiography. The second Pereyaslav Council in 1659 further restricted the independence of the Hetmanate, and from the Moscow side there were attempts to declare agreements reached with Yuri Khmelnitsky in 1659 as nothing more than the "former Bohdan's agreements" of 1654. The 1667 Treaty of Andrusovo – conducted without any representation from the Cossack Hetmanate – established borders between the Polish and Russian states, dividing the Hetmanate in half along the Dnieper and putting the Zaporizhian Sich under a formal joint Russian-Polish administration.

After a failed attempt to break the union with Russia by Ivan Mazepa in 1708, the whole area was included into the Government of Kiev and Cossack autonomy was severely restricted. Catherine II of Russia officially abolished the institute of the Hetman in 1764, and in 1764-1781 the Cossack Hetmanate was incorporated as the Little Russia Governorate headed by Pyotr Rumyantsev, with the last remnants of the Hetmanate's administrative system abolished in 1781.

FC Podillya Khmelnytskyi

FC Podillya Khmelnytskyi is a professional Ukrainian football team that is based in Khmelnytskyi, Khmelnytskyi Oblast, Ukraine. The club competes in the Ukrainian Second League.

Hetman of Ukraine

Hetman of Ukraine (Ukrainian: Гетьман України) is a former historic government office and political institution of Ukraine that is equivalent to a head of state.

Hetman of Zaporizhian Host

Hetman of Zaporizhian Host (Ukrainian: Гетьман Війська Запорозького, Russian: Гетман Войска Запорожского, Polish: Hetman wojsk kozackich) is a former historic government office and political institution of the Cossack Hetmanate that was its head of state. The office was liquidated on the edict of Russian Governing Senate of 17 November 1764.

Hetmans of Ukrainian Cossacks

Hetman of Zaporizhian Cossacks is a historical term that has multiple meanings.

Officially the post was known as Hetman of the Zaporizhian Host (Ukrainian: Гетьман Війська Запорозького, Hetman Viyska Zaporozkoho). With the creation of Registered Cossacks units their leaders were officially referred to as Senior of His Royal Grace Zaporozhian Host (Ukrainian: старший його Королівської Милості Війська Запорозького, Starshyi Yoho Korolivkoyi Mylosti Viyska Zaporozkoho). Before 1648 and the establishment of Cossack Hetmanate there were numerous regional hetmans across the Dnieper-banks, who usually were starostas or voivodes.

The first widely recognized hetman of Zaporizhia was Dmytro Vyshnevetsky, however later several Polish starostas were added to the Hetman registry such as Lyantskoronsky and Dashkevych who also led their own cossack formations. According to Mykola Hrushevsky they were not really considered as hetman, at least by their contemporaries. Among other such starostas were Karpo Maslo from Cherkasy, Yatsko Bilous (Pereyaslav), Andrushko (Bratslav), and many others. Even Princes Konstanty Ostrogski and Bohdan Hlinski were conducting Cossack raids on Tatar uluses (districts).

The commanders of Zaporozhian Host (the Kosh) often considered as hetmans in fact carried a title of Kosh Otaman. As from 1572, hetman was the unofficial title of commanders of the Registered Cossack Army (Ukrainian: Козаки реєстрові, Polish: Kozacy rejestrowi, Russian: Казаки реестровые) of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. From the 1648 Bohdan Khmelnytsky uprising, Hetman was the title of the head of the Cossack state, the Cossack Hetmanate. Cossack hetmans had very broad powers and acted as supreme military commanders and executive leader (by issuing administrative decrees).

After the split of Ukrainian territory along the Dnieper River by the Polish-Russian Treaty of Andrusovo 1667, there was an introduction of dual leadership for each bank, or for each Ukraine of Dnieper (left and right). After the Treaty of Andrusovo there existed two different Cossack Hetmanates with two Hetmans the one in Poland being called Nakazny Hetman of His Royal Mercy of Zaporizhian Host and the Russian one titled Hetman of His Tsar's Mercy of Zaporizhian Host.

Eventually the official state powers of Cossack Hetmans were gradually diminished in the 18th century, and finally abolished by Catherine II of Russia in 1764.

Hetmans of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth

Hetmans of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth were the highest-ranking military officers, second only to the King, in the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. The first Polish title of Grand Crown Hetman was created in 1505. The title of hetman was given to the leader of the Polish Army and until 1581 it was awarded only for a specific campaign or war. Later it became a permanent title, as did all the titles in the Kingdom of Poland and Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. It could not be revoked unless treachery had been proven (from 1585). Hetmans were not paid for their services by the Royal Treasury.

Ivan Mazepa

Ivan Stepanovych Mazepa (also spelled Mazeppa; Ukrainian: Іван Степанович Мазепа, Polish: Jan Mazepa Kołodyński; March 30 [O.S. March 20] 1639 – October 2 [O.S. September 21] 1709) served as the Hetman of Zaporizhian Host in 1687–1708. It is claimed that he was awarded a title of Prince of the Holy Roman Empire in 1707 for his efforts for the Holy League.Mazepa was famous as a patron of the arts, and also played an important role in the Battle of Poltava (1709), where after learning that Tsar Peter I intended to relieve him as acting Hetman of Zaporizhian Host and to replace him with Alexander Menshikov, he deserted his army and sided with King Charles XII of Sweden. The political consequences and interpretation of this desertion have resonated in the national histories both of Russia and of Ukraine.

The Russian Orthodox Church laid an anathema on Mazepa's name in 1708 and refuses to revoke it to this day. Anti-Russian elements in Ukraine from the 18th century onwards were derogatorily referred to as Mazepintsy (Mazepists). The alienation of Mazepa from Ukrainian historiography continued during the Soviet period, but post-1991 in independent Ukraine there have been strong moves to rehabilitate Mazepa's image, although he remains a controversial figure.

Ivan Vyhovsky

Ivan Vyhovsky (Ukrainian: Іван Виговський, Polish: Iwan Wyhowski / Jan Wyhowski) (date of birth unknown, died 1664) was a hetman of the Ukrainian Cossacks during three years (1657–59) of the Russo-Polish War (1654–1667). He was the successor to the famous hetman and rebel leader Bohdan Khmelnytsky (see Hetmans of Ukrainian Cossacks). His time as hetman was characterized by his generally pro-Polish policies, which led to his defeat by pro-Russian faction among the Cossacks.

Jan Zamoyski

Jan Sariusz Zamoyski (Latin: Ioannes Zamoyski de Zamoscie; 19 March 1542 – 3 June 1605) was a Polish nobleman, magnate, and the 1st ordynat of Zamość. He served as the Royal Secretary from 1565, Deputy Chancellor from 1576, Grand Chancellor of the Crown from 1578, and Great Hetman of the Crown from 1581.

Zamoyski was the General Starost of the city of Kraków from 1580 to 1585, Starost of Bełz, Międzyrzecz, Krzeszów, Knyszyn and Tartu. An important advisor to Kings Sigismund II Augustus and Stephen Báthory, he was one of the major opponents of Bathory's successor, Sigismund III Vasa, and one of the most skilled diplomats, politicians and statesmen of his time, standing as a major figure in the politics of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth throughout his life.

Kyiv National Economic University

The Kyiv National Economic University (Ukrainian: Київський національний економічний університет імені Вадима Гетьмана), named after Vadym Hetman, is a higher educational institution in Kiev, Ukraine, and a self-governing (autonomous) research National University. The university was founded in 1906. The main building is located on Victory Avenue, 54/1. Its estimated quality of education and researches puts the university on the third place in National ranking of the universities (Compass, 2012) in Ukraine. According to one of the leading university rankings in the world (Eduniversal, 2015), KNEU occupied the second position among universities in Ukraine. The university has been named in honour of Vadym Hetman since 2005. He was a Ukrainian politician and financier, who was killed in 1998.

List of Ukrainian rulers

This list encompasses all rulers and leaders of what is now Ukraine, from ancient to modern times.

The term "Ukrainians" is used according to the modern definition of "the inhabitants of the land Ukraine" not just those who identify with Ukrainian ethnicity. This list includes only local rulers whose seat of power was located in modern Ukraine and only the rulers whose power was derived directly from the people of the territory at the time, and does not include the governors who received their authority from some foreign powers (as during Lithuanian, Polish, Hungarian, Austrian, Russian, Czechoslovakian and Romanian overlordship of parts of what is modern Ukraine).

Pavlo Skoropadskyi

Pavlo Petrovych Skoropadskyi (Ukrainian: Павло Петрович Скоропадський; Russian: Павел Петрович Скоропадский, romanized: Pavel Petrovič Skoropadskij; German: Paul Petrowitsch Skoropadskyj; 3 May 1873 – 26 April 1945) was a Ukrainian aristocrat, military and state leader, decorated Imperial Russian Army and Ukrainian Army general of Cossack heritage. Skoropadsky became a conservative leader in Ukraine following the Russian Revolution of 1917, a founder of a hetman dynasty and Hetman of Ukraine.

Petro Doroshenko

Petro Dorofeyevych Doroshenko (Ukrainian: Петро Дорошенко, Russian: Пётр Дорофе́евич Дороше́нко, Polish: Piotr Doroszenko; 1627–1698) was a Cossack political and military leader, Hetman of Right-bank Ukraine (1665–1672) and a Russian voyevoda.

Petro Konashevych-Sahaidachny

Petro Konashevych-Sahaidachny (Ukrainian: Петро Конашевич-Сагайдачний; Polish: Piotr Konaszewicz-Sahajdaczny; born near 1582 in Kulchytsi, today Sambir Raion – April 20, 1622 in Kiev) was a Ukrainian political and civic leader, Hetman of Ukrainian Zaporozhian Cossacks from 1616–1622, a brilliant military leader of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth both on land and sea. While being a Cossack Hetman, he transformed the Cossack Host from the erratic military formation into regular army. Under his leadership the cossacks, the Orthodox clergy and peasants had been begun to emerge as the united nation. His troops played a significant role in the battle of Khotyn against the Turks in 1621 and prince Władysław's attempt to gain the Muscovy throne in 1618.

Stanisław Żółkiewski

Stanisław Żółkiewski (Polish pronunciation: [staˈɲiswaf ʐuwˈkʲɛfskʲi]; 1547 – 7 October 1620) was a Polish nobleman of the Lubicz coat of arms, magnate and military commander of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, who took part in many campaigns of the Commonwealth and on its southern and eastern borders. He occupied a number of high-ranking posts in the administration of the Commonwealth, including castellan of Lwów (from 1590), voivod of the Kiev Voivodeship and Great Chancellor of the Crown (from 1618). From 1588 he was also a Field Crown Hetman, and in 1613 was promoted to Grand Hetman of the Crown. During his military career he won major battles against Sweden, Muscovy, the Ottoman Empire and the Tatars.

Żółkiewski's best-known victory was against combined Russian and Swedish forces at the battle of Klushino in 1610, in the aftermath of which the Poles seized and occupied Moscow. He died in the 1620 battle of Cecora against the Ottomans, after allegedly refusing to retreat. Already renowned as a military leader, Żółkiewski's heroic death further boosted his fame. He is seen as one of the most accomplished military commanders in the history of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth.

The Ruin (Ukrainian history)

The Ruin (Ukrainian: Руїна, romanized: Ruyína) is a historical term introduced by the Cossack chronicle writer Samiylo Velychko (1670–1728) for the political situation in Ukrainian history during the second half of 17th century.

The timeframe of the period varies among historians:

Some historians such as Nikolay Kostomarov define the period between 1663 and 1687, associating it with the three Moscow-appointed hetmans of the Left-bank Ukraine (Briukhovetsky, Mnohohrishny and Samoylovych).

Other historians interpret the period between 1660 and 1687 from the Chudniv Treaty that led to division among the Cossack community.

Borys Krupnytsky considered the timeframe as 1657–1687, from the death of hetman Bohdan Khmelnitsky in 1657, particularly the Pushkar-Barabash Mutiny, until the ascension of hetman Ivan Mazepa in 1687.The period was characterised by continuous strife, civil war, and foreign intervention by neighbours of Ukraine. A Ukrainian saying of the time, "Від Богдана до Івана не було гетьмана" (From Bohdan to Ivan there was no hetman [in between]), accurately summarises the chaotic events of this period.

Yurii Khmelnytsky

Yuri Khmelnytsky (Ukrainian: Юрій Хмельницький, Polish: Jerzy Chmielnicki, Russian: Юрий Хмельницкий) (1641–1685), younger son of the famous Ukrainian Hetman Bohdan Khmelnytsky and brother of Tymofiy Khmelnytsky, was a Zaporozhian Cossack political and military leader. Although he spent half of his adult life as a monk, he also was Hetman of Ukraine on several occasions — in 1659-1660 and 1678–1681 and starost of Hadiach. For background see The Ruin (Ukrainian history).



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