Quiz about Life and Works of the Kobzar
Quiz about Life and Works of the Kobzar

Life and Works of the Kobzar Trivia Quiz


This is the first quiz on FunTrivia focusing on the life and career of Taras Shevchenko, the national bard of Ukraine, widely known as "Kobzar", after the title of his first poetry collection. Enjoy!

A multiple-choice quiz by DeepHistory. Estimated time: 3 mins.
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Author
DeepHistory
Time
3 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
410,627
Updated
Oct 18 22
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
7 / 10
Plays
75
Last 3 plays: griller (6/10), comark2000 (10/10), spidersfull (10/10).
This quiz has 2 formats: you can play it as a or as shown below.
Scroll down to the bottom for the answer key.
1. Taras Shevchenko was born in 1814 in a village named Moryntsi, then in the Russian Empire. In which oblast of independent Ukraine is the village located? Hint

Cherkasy
Luhansk
Donetsk
Kharkiv

2. Of the lesser status in social hierarchy when his life began, Taras Shevchenko was born a serf. Of which person did young Taras become a property shortly after his 14th birthday? Hint

Paul von Rennenkampf
Pavlo Engelgardt
Roman von Ungern-Sternberg
Grigory Zass

3. Fortunately, Shevchenko didn't spend his entire life as a serf. In 1838, his freedom was purchased, thanks to the intervention of an aristocrat of Huguenot origins. What was the kind aristocrat's name? Hint

Johann Anton Güldenstädt
Karl Bryullov
Aleksander von der Bellen
Vsevolod Meyerhold

4. Now free, Shevchenko could publish his poetical works. As known, the title of his first poetry collection was "Kobzar". But, what exactly is a kobzar? Hint

A blind bard
A musketeer
A Cossack horseman
An evicted peasant

5. Among the poems in the "Kobzar", there was a stirring tribute to one of the Cossack hetmans. Which one?

Ivan Pidkova
Bohdan Khmelnytsky

6. One year after the first edition of the "Kobzar", Shevchenko penned an epic poem on a popular uprising of the Ukrainians against their foreign oppressors in 1768. What was the title of that poem? Hint

The Song of Maksym and Ivan
The Tale of Igor's Campaign
Haidamaky
Zadonschina

7. In the early 1840s, Shevchenko became acquainted with one of the leading Ukrainian historians of his days, author of the "Books of the Genesis of the Ukrainian People". Who was this intellectual? Hint

Dmytro Dontsov
Mykhailo Hrushevsky
Mykola Kostomarov
Oleksandr Ohloblyn

8. In 1847, Shevchenko was arrested on the grounds of both his dissident poems and because of his suspected membership (which, although plausible, has never been proven in the strict sense of the word) of a political society, aiming for the national revival of Ukraine. How was the organization named? Hint

Western Oblast of the Ukrainian People's Republic
Brotherhood of Saints Cyril and Methodius
Directorate of Ukraine
The New Hetmanate

9. As part of his punishment, which included prohibition of painting and writing, Shevchenko was placed in forced marches and was obligated to perform penal servitude under the harshest conditions. In which part of the Empire did he spent a substantial part of his sentence? Hint

Aral Sea
Karelia
Kabardia
Lake Ladoga

10. Finally, his penal service over, Shevchenko got permission to return to his homeland. However, his body shaken by his ordeals, he never made it to Ukraine, but died en route. During which year did his death occur? (Hint: American Civil War) Hint

1859
1873
1857
1861


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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Taras Shevchenko was born in 1814 in a village named Moryntsi, then in the Russian Empire. In which oblast of independent Ukraine is the village located?

Answer: Cherkasy

Moryntsi is located in Zvenyhorodka Raion, a sub-division of Cherkasy Oblast. The Oblast is located in central Ukraine.

In the era of Shevchenko, the recent (until the end of the 18th century) era of the Cossack Hetmanate was a strong part of the local traditions in the Cherkasy area. A fascination with the Cossacks, their love of liberty and their separate traditions and mores from both Poles and Russians pervades the poet's whole work.
2. Of the lesser status in social hierarchy when his life began, Taras Shevchenko was born a serf. Of which person did young Taras become a property shortly after his 14th birthday?

Answer: Pavlo Engelgardt

Engelgardt belonged to the class of Baltic Germans, who, at the time, were very wealthy and influential in the Russian Empire and had assimilated very much in it, speaking Russian and practicing Orthodoxy.

Engelhardt became the master of Shevchenko and the whole area including the poet's village after his father died. A year after the Baltic German had become the Ukrainian serf's master, Taras was caught sketching a Cossack hero, Matvii Platov. His master was appalled and ordered him whipped and his ears boxed. For the next couple of years, Shevhcenko continued to paint, sometimes clandestinely, works by artists from the area of Suzdal.
3. Fortunately, Shevchenko didn't spend his entire life as a serf. In 1838, his freedom was purchased, thanks to the intervention of an aristocrat of Huguenot origins. What was the kind aristocrat's name?

Answer: Karl Bryullov

Bryullov was a painter himself, who specialized in painting scenes from history, including a painting on the destroyed Roman city of Pompeii. He also painted country scenes from 19th-century Italy, as well as portraits of famous men and women of the Tsarist court.

The reason compelling Bryullov to purchase Shevchenko's freedom was the former's respect for the latter's artistic talent and his opposition to the inhumane conditions of the enserfed population.
4. Now free, Shevchenko could publish his poetical works. As known, the title of his first poetry collection was "Kobzar". But, what exactly is a kobzar?

Answer: A blind bard

The book was first published in Saint Petersburg, as customary, in 1840. Although the skill and dexterity of Shevchenko were universally acknowledged, the fact that he wrote in his native Ukrainian and not Russian resulted in much negative reaction from the regime and the censorship officials.

In Ukrainian folklore, a kobzar is an old and blind bard playing the kobza, a local musical organ, mostly resembling a lute. Kobzars were itinerant, going from place to place and singing their songs. The tradition of those bards developed during the era of the Cossack Hetmanate and was alive until Soviet times.
5. Among the poems in the "Kobzar", there was a stirring tribute to one of the Cossack hetmans. Which one?

Answer: Ivan Pidkova

Pidkova had been hetman of the Cossacks in the late 16th century. He is remembered positively not only in Ukraine, but also in Romania and Moldova, which, at the time, were buffer principalities between the Ottoman Empire and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.

Shevchenko's poem celebrates Pidkova and his achievements on the battlefield. The poet's inspiration from traditional ballads is evident, as is his reverence for the ideal of the freedom fighter.
6. One year after the first edition of the "Kobzar", Shevchenko penned an epic poem on a popular uprising of the Ukrainians against their foreign oppressors in 1768. What was the title of that poem?

Answer: Haidamaky

Haidamaky is a term meaning, in general, "Ukrainian insurgent". The specific uprising that Shevchenko immortalized was directed against both the Russian Empire and the Polish nobility (szlachta), that was infringing on the rights of the Ukrainians in the Commonwealth.

The poem was released as a separate book in 1841. It's divided in 11 sections, its plot line interweaving the broad struggle for liberation and emancipation both from foreign rule and harsh living conditions with the personal dramas and sacrifices of those involved, high and low, mighty and meek.

Later, "Haidmaky" was included in reprints of the "Kobzar".
7. In the early 1840s, Shevchenko became acquainted with one of the leading Ukrainian historians of his days, author of the "Books of the Genesis of the Ukrainian People". Who was this intellectual?

Answer: Mykola Kostomarov

Kostomarov's name is usually given in its Russian rendition "Nikolai Kostomarov", but the author's Ukrainian leanings and his matrilineal descent give ample reasons for the use of the Ukrainian form.

Kostomarov was a leading intellectual of his day and age, authoring important scholarly tomes like "Some thoughts on the Problem of Federalism in Old Rus'" and "Time of Troubles in the History of the Tsardom of Moscow". Eventually, his activities and publications resulted in his arrest, which occurred as he was on his way to get married.

His personal acquaintance and common interests with Shevchenko had the impact of the poet being arrested in the same spree of arrests that happened simultaneously with Kostomarov's detention.
8. In 1847, Shevchenko was arrested on the grounds of both his dissident poems and because of his suspected membership (which, although plausible, has never been proven in the strict sense of the word) of a political society, aiming for the national revival of Ukraine. How was the organization named?

Answer: Brotherhood of Saints Cyril and Methodius

The Bortherhood took its name from the two Medieval Greek (Byzantine) saints Cyril and Methodius, developers of the Glagolitic alphabet and codifiers of Old Church Slavonic, the mother language of many languages spoken all over Eastern Europe.

Mykola Kostomarov, who was Shevchenko's acquaintance, was the leader of the Brotherhood, which predated the so-called Spring of Nations of 1848. As per Mykhailo Hrushevsky, the goals of the Brotherhood included the abolition of serfdom, access to education for people of all social strata, abolition of censorship, freedom of religion and autonomy for all nations under the sway of the Russian Empire.

The society was shut down, its members exiled, others forcibly conscripted and others sentenced to hard labor.
9. As part of his punishment, which included prohibition of painting and writing, Shevchenko was placed in forced marches and was obligated to perform penal servitude under the harshest conditions. In which part of the Empire did he spent a substantial part of his sentence?

Answer: Aral Sea

It was in Central Asia, and specifically in the Aral Sea, where the Russian army was active enough in finishing the subjugation of the locals, that Shevchenko was sent. For all the exhaustion and constant physical strain placed on him, he even managed to compose new works while imprisoned, as well as produce paintings of the landscapes he saw.

In more recent times, author Zinaida Tulub has penned the novel 'The Exile", about Shevchenko's stay in Central Asia.
10. Finally, his penal service over, Shevchenko got permission to return to his homeland. However, his body shaken by his ordeals, he never made it to Ukraine, but died en route. During which year did his death occur? (Hint: American Civil War)

Answer: 1861

More precisely, it was March 10, 1861. The poet was ultimately buried, as per his own wishes, in his native Cherkasy region, near the village of Kaniv, in a short distance from the Dnipro (Dnieper) river. The site of his grave is known as Taras Hill today.

In one of the ironies that make up history, the year of his death was the same year that emancipation of the serfs was first carried out in the Russian Empire.
Source: Author DeepHistory

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