FORUM FOR ANTHROPOLOGY AND CULTURE

ANTROPOLOGICHESKIJ FORUM
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Antropologicheskij forum, 2015, no. 25

 

THE EMOTIONAL ASPECT OF “UNCLEAN” CHILD MURDER (EPISODE IN THE LIFE OF THE 18th CENTURY HETMANATE)

Igor Serdiuk

Poltava V. G. Korolenko National Pedagogical University
2 Ostrogradskogo Str., Poltava, Ukraina
ig.serdiuk()gmail.com

Abstract: In this article, I try to identify the emotional component of one case of infanticide and consider how individual experience, collective emotions, and the emotional state of society in 18th century Hetmanate influenced the actions of the defendants of this case. I chose the case of Roman Krasnoschochenko the shepherd, from a number of documents in the archives of Ukraine. He was accused of homicide by the misadventure of his nephew, who was diseased by an “evil spirit”. This case illustrates how, in the society of that time, some protective mechanisms were engaged, and manifested themselves in the fear of infection and disgust for the “evil spirit.” They, in turn, encouraged the individual to “expulse” children who did not fit in their “normal,” and “clean” living space. The population of the Hetmanate in the 18th century was no stranger to “expulsing”, because there had been quite a large range of targets of expulsing, including marginalised groups, people in “bad” trades, and patients with “unclean” diseases.

This detailed analysis of the Krasnoschochenka case once again prompts an appeal to the thesis that there was a lower value of life in early modern times. Ukrainian society has been deeply traditional, and it was not aware of Occupational Medicine. Moreover, in conditions of total child mortality, Ukrainian society was not inclined toward a sentimental perception of infant death. Especially since it rid the adults of many potential problems, including those associated with exposure to sick or crippled children. Killers of children were protected by, and even excused by, the court.

Keywords: disease, Hetmanate, emotion, disgust, child, fear, infanticide.

To cite: Serdiuk I., 'Emotsionalnaya sostavlyayushchaya ubiystva «nechistogo» rebenka (epizod iz zhizni Getmanshchiny XVІІІ v.)' [The Emotional Aspect of “Unclean” Child Murder (Episode in the Life of the 18th Century Hetmanate)]Antropologicheskij forum, 2015, no. 25, pp. 118–144.

URL: http://anthropologie.kunstkamera.ru/files/pdf/025/serdiuk.pdf