Social Structure of the Lviv Dormition Brotherhood in the XVIII century
The paper is devoted to the issue of the social structure of the Lviv Dormition Confraternity in the XVIII century. Because of the traditional historiographic view of this organization as a mere association of burghers, the participation of representatives of the gentry in it calls for a revision of the interpretation of the brotherhood’s past. As the performed research showed, Stauropegion included the representatives of various social stratum, including the representatives of gentry. And it was their participation that was an important fact for explaining many of the events and processes that took place in the organization during the specified period. In addition, while analyzing the social composition, we can trace the peculiarities of the social organization of Ukrainian community in Lviv and its suburbs. After all, as the biographies of certain representatives of the brotherhood showed, the participation in the Stauropegion was, in a determinate sense, the top of the career. An example of that was the figure of Semen Hrebinka, who was the leader of one of the suburban brotherhoods, and later joined the Dormition without leaving his membership in the previous organization. Because of the so-called «seniority» of Stauropegion to other similar organizations, we can talk about it as the organization of the elite of the Ukrainian community of Lviv and its suburbs.
Such status imposed certain functions on Stauropegion, especially in the area of protecting the rights of the community members. Their implementation required resources, both political and economic. Taking into account its internal activity (guardianship of the school, church, hospital), those resources should be quite serious. Accordingly, only persons with a certain social status and income could meet such needs. And, as our research show, the members of Stauropegion themselves were such persons. The families of Krasovsky, Papara and several others could be named as the example. Political situation of the first half of the XVIII century caused some changes in the social composition of the confraternity. Taking into account the place of organization in the life of the Ukrainian community and the need to resolve the legal conflict with the magistrate, Stauropegion began to involve different ranks of gentry more actively. Such changes should have raised the status of the Dormition Brotherhood and strengthened its position in the conflict with city authorities. It gave certain results, since the necessary rights equating nevertheless took place, however, the Brotherhood turned into even more «elite club», and it effected its activity negatively. As a result, the increase of the organization’s status saved it from disbanding during the Austrian reforms, but at the same time, it was one of the reasons of the decay of the Brotherhood and the loss of its importance for the Ukrainian community.