Maria-Magdalena Mazepa, the natural mother of Hetman Ivan Mazepa and mother superior of an elite women’s convent in Kyiv, played a prominent role as her son’s informal political aide and confidante from the start of his hetmanship in 1687 until her death in 1707. Her forceful personality and willingness to engage with the power struggles in the Hetmanate provoked social resentment, which culminated in a formally recorded witchcraft accusation. Drawing on broader East Slavic and older Byzantine models, the article explores the charge of sorcery against Maria-Magdalena placed within the cultural and political context of the Ukrainian Hetmanate at the turn of the 17 th and 18 th centuries.
Russian History – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2013
Keywords: Ukrainian Hetmanate; political witchcraft; sorcery; Mazepa; the Romanovs; “evil women”; female monasteries
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