Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth - that Bars'kyj's travel journal needs to be read. The author was a partisan Orthodox believer, whose pilgrimage was part of a journey of self-discovery and continuing education.
On leaving L'viv, Bars'kyj set out on foot for the shrine of St Nicholas at Bari, going on from there to Naples, Rome, Florence and Venice.3 The first section of Bars'kyj's travel journal is characterised by the exceptional richness of autobiographical and topographical information. The novelty of the experience is reflected in the attention paid to the details of the pilgrimage. At the start of his journey Bars'kyj felt at home with the languages spoken in the Ruthenian lands of the Polish Commonwealth and noted with precision the names of the villages that he passed through and the distances between them; he commented on the surrounding countryside and on such details as whether the water in the streams that he crossed was clear or murky. He was also preoccupied with human relationships, both with his travelling companions and with the people whom they encountered, such as the Catholic bishop who chased them away from the monastery of the Holy Saviour near Sambor.4
At this early stage it is difficult to determine the exact purpose Bars'kyj had in mind in keeping this detailed diary of events and observations. The fact that most of the observations were made and recorded directly on the spot, ratherthanbeingput together later from memory, is attestedby the inclusion of numerous incidental details such as the daily changes in the weather, reference to the days of the week, descriptions of casual encounters with people, and precise epigraphic records. Also, from time to time, he noted how he wrote his account, recalling how on one occasion he had 'sat until evening writing about my journey'.5
Until the winter of 1724-25, when Bars'kyj commenced his study of Greek in Venice, he was forced to rely exclusively on his knowledge of the Slav languages and Latin. During his early travels he constantly lamented his lack of knowledge of other languages, particularly of German, Italian and Greek. It meant that he frequently found monasteries and towns barred to him until he could find someone who knew Latin, usually a priest or a student, who could communicate his wishes to the guards on duty. The first thing Bars'kyj did on reaching a new town or village was to seek out fellow Slavs and he often recorded the number of Ruthenian, Russian, Polish or Serbian families
3 A. Grishin, 'Vasyl'Hryhorovyc Bars'kyj: an eighteenth-century Ukrainian pilgrim in Italy', Harvard Ukrainian Studies 17 (1993), 7-26.
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