Ivan Mazepa Biography
Ivan Mazepa was a Ukrainian government official who served as the Hetman of Zaporizhian Host in Cossack Hetmanate state in central Ukraine during the 17th century.
Mazepa’s life was so iconic that various literary works, art and musical works were inspired by it.
He was a connoisseur of art but what really made his name stick in history was that he was publicly branded a traitor. Mazepa had decided to break his allegiance to the Russian Empire after he realized that the Empire did not care about the Cossack Hetmanate state. Cossacks lives were being used and lost at the helm of the Empire. However, many saw him as a disgrace and his name was even added to a public list of traitors. Over the years, things changed and many started seeing him in a different light. When Ukraine attained independence in 1991, he was regarded as hero officially in the history of Ukraine by the media as he had been the first Hetman to have stood against the Empire.
Today, Mazepa’s portrait graces the 10 hyrvnia bill of the Ukranian currency. His life has inspired poems like Mazeppa by Lord Byron (1818), Poltava by Alexander Pushkin (1828-29), Mazeppa by Victor Hugo (1829) etc. The Cross of Ivan Mazepa, an award for cultural achievement and service was announced to commemorate his memory in 2009 by the then President of Ukraine Viktor Yushchenko.
Born- 20 March 1639
Place- Mazepyntsi, Ukraine
Field- Historical figure
Highest Honor- Prince of the Holy Roman Empire in 1707 (historical claim)
Achievement- Rebelled against the injustice happening with the Cossacks under the Russian Empire.