Family and estate : the Slupica family and Kuna 1390's - 1640's : a case study on the Ruthenian nobility in Eastern Podolia
The subject of this thesis is the Ruthenian family of the Shipica representing the upper gentry group of lords and their Kuna estate in Eastern Podolia (Bratslavshchyna). So far both the area itself, as well as, the Ruthenian nobility did not attract much scholarly attention, mainly due to the opinion that source material was scarce. The main goal of this thesis is to discuss, based on new sources, the history of the Bratslav area from the late medieval period until the mid-17*’’ century focusing primarily on the Ruthenian lord group. Due to the source material, mainly of judicial character, the thesis is divided into two parts. The first one discusses the nature of the sources used, secondary literature and legal issues. A brief introduction to the area and its social and political history is given focusing on the Shipicas and their engagement in political, military and public activities, as they took part in many of the important events in the Bratslav territory. Special attention is also paid to the Tartar and Cossack factor in the developments of both the area and the Shipica family. The second part focuses primarily on the family and its estate. It examines the way the Shipicas acquired their first endowments, how they enlarged their estates, and their struggles to maintain their inheritance. Finally the efforts of the direct successors to keep the estate’s integrity and their loss of a large part of inherited lands, is examined. This part also endeavours to reconstruct the range of economic activities of the Slupica estate. An Abbreviation list, bibliography, glossary and appendixes of the family genealogical tree and documents, maps of the area, accompany the text.