Friday, June 14, 2013

82. Belarus - Introduction

The name Belarus corresponds literally with the term White Rus'. There are several claims to the origin of the name White Rus'.An ethno-religious theory suggests that the name used to describe the part of old Ruthenian lands within the Grand Duchy of Lithuania that had been populated mostly by early Christianized Slavs, as opposed to Black Ruthenia, which was predominantly inhabited by pagan Balts. An alternate explanation for the name comments on the white clothing worn by the local Slavic population. A third theory suggests that the old Rus' lands that were not conquered by the Tatars (i.e., Polatsk, Vitsiebsk and Mahilyow) had been referred to as "white." Other sources claim that, before 1267, the land not conquered by the Mongols was considered "White Rus'."

officially the Republic of Belarus, is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe bordered by Russia to the northeast, Ukraine to the south, Poland to the west, and Lithuania and Latvia to the northwest. Its capital is Minsk;.