Yuriy Venelin

Yuriy Venelin (1802–1839)

Yuriy Ivanovich Venelin (Ukrainian: Юрій Іванович Венелін; 22 September 1802 – 26 March 1839) was a Ukrainian Slavist, folklorist, ethnographer and philologist best known for his research on the language, history and culture of Bulgaria and the Bulgarian people.


Venelin was born as Georgiy Hutsa in Subcarpathian Ruthenia, Kingdom of Hungary (today in Zakarpattia Oblast of Ukraine). He enrolled at Lviv University and later moved to Chişinău, where he examined the language and history of Bulgarian expatriates. Venelin studied medicine at the University of Moscow, but his interest in the culture of Bulgarians continued.

In 1830, he was envoyed to the Ottoman-ruled Bulgarian lands by the Saint Petersburg Academy of Sciences. He visited Bulgarian cities like Varna, Kavarna and Silistra, recording folk songs and sayings and gaining a firsthand knowledge of the Bulgarian language's specifics.[1] In 1836, he made the acquaintance of Odessa-based Bulgarian émigré Vasil Aprilov, with whom he kept up an active correspondence.

Venelin died in Moscow.[1]


Critical studies on the history of Bulgaria

Venelin was the author of The old and today's Bulgarians in their political, ethnographic, historical and religious relations to the Russians, published in three volumes from 1839 to 1841. The work has been credited for popularizing the Bulgarian culture and history in the Russian Empire and influencing the national feelings of many Bulgarian émigrés.[1]

Venelin's book Critical studies on the history of Bulgaria, published posthumously in an abridged version in 1849 in Moscow on historian Spiridon Palauzov's initiative. The issue was financed by Russia-based Bulgarian merchant Ivan Denkoglu. The book was published again in 1853 in a complete Bulgarian translation in Zemun in today's Serbia; the translation was done by teacher Botyu Petkov, father of poet Hristo Botev.

Other works by Yuriy Venelin include On the character of folk songs among the trans-Danubian Slavs, On the formation of new Bulgarian literature, Grammar of the modern Bulgarian language and Ancient and Modern Slovenes.


  1. 1 2 3 Бакалов, Георги; Милен Куманов (2003). "ВЕНЕЛИН , Юрий Иванович (истинско име: Георги Хуца) (22.IV.1802-26.III.1839)". Електронно издание "История на България" (in Bulgarian). София: Труд, Сирма. ISBN 954528613X.
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