The name Bukovina came into official use in 1775 with the region’s annexation from the Principality of Moldavia to the possessions of the Habsburg Monarchy, which became Austrian Empire in 1804, and Austria-Hungary in 1867.
The official German name, die Bukowina, of the province under Austrian rule (1775–1918), was derived from the Polish form Bukowina, which in turn was derived from the Ukrainian word, Буковина (Bukovyna), and the common Slavic form of buk, meaning beech tree (бук [buk] as, for example, in Ukrainian or, even, Buche in German). Another German name for the region, das Buchenland, is mostly used in poetry, and means “beech land”, or “the land of beech trees”. In Romanian, in literary or poetic contexts, the name Țara Fagilor (“the land of beech trees”) is sometimes used.
During the Middle Ages, part of the region was the northwestern third of “Țara de Sus” (Upper Country in Romanian), part of the Moldavian Principality, as opposed to “Țara de Jos” (Lower Country). The region became the cradle of the Moldavian Principality, and remained its political center until 1564, when its capital was moved from Suceava to Iași.
From the 10th to the 12th centuries, it formed part of Kyievan Rus’ and later was a land of transition between the Principality of Halychyna (Galicia) and the Principality of Moldavia before falling uner Polish rule and later forming part of the Habsburg Empire and eventually the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
Nowadays in Ukraine the name is unofficial, but is common when referring to the Chernivtsi Oblast as over 2/3 of the oblast is the northern part of Bukovina. In Romania the term Northern Bucovina is sometimes synonymous to the entire Chernivtsi Oblast of Ukraine, and (Southern) Bucovina to Suceava County of Romania (although 10% of the present day Suceava County covers territory outside of the historical Bukovina.)
In English, an alternate form is The Bukovina, increasingly an archaism, which, however, is found in older literature.
SOURCE | 10.07.2013 | 01.23
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