Page:Taras Bulba. A Tale of the Cossacks. 1916.djvu/29

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23
INTRODUCTION

west by the river Bug and the Siniukha, curving northeast just above Novomirgorod and to a point just above Kremenchug on the Dnyeper; southeast along the Dnyeper, to the mouth of the Orel; northeast, following the Orel but some distance to the north of it, and with a long point northeast to about Borki (northeast of Poltava); thence southeast, to a point about at Bakhmat on the Northern Don; then slightly southwest to Mariupol on the Sea of Azov, where it again joins the Territory of the Nogai Tatárs. The Territory of the Kazáks of the Don was its eastern neighbour; but there was no real differentiation between the Don Kazáks and those of Zaporozhe. It was not uncommon for men of either camp to go to the other and dwell there, unquestioned, perfectly welcome, like members of the organisation, at pleasure, returning home when affairs or inclination called.

The actual origin of the Kazáks of Zaporozhe and its date, cannot be determined. In all probability, their pioneers were the men who, loving a free life, followed the calling of fishermen on the lower Dnyeper, and hunted wild animals on the surrounding steppe of the region, known as Nízovya—the lowlands—near the Black Sea. In course of time they organised, to repel the raids of the Turks, Tatárs and Poles. In short, they were the result of the eternal conflict between the