from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- A region of western Ukraine south of the Carpathian Mountains. Ruled for centuries by various powers, including Poland and Austria-Hungary, it was later a province of Czechoslovakia (1918-1939) and was annexed by the USSR in 1945.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- proper n. The territory of Eastern Europe inhabited by Rusyns, on the slopes of the Carpathian Mountains in parts of Ukraine, Poland and Slovakia.
- proper n. Lands inhabited by Ukrainians (Ruthenians) of the former Austrian Empire kingdom of Galicia (1772–1918), corresponding to parts of Western Ukraine.
- proper n. Western East-Slavic lands, including the principalities of Halych-Volynia and Kiev, which united with Lithuania and Poland (14th c–1772), corresponding to parts of Belarus and Ukraine.
- proper n. Rus, an East Slavic medieval state (880–12th c), corresponding to parts of Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine.
- proper n. Russia (Latin)
Sorry, no etymologies found.
The area we generally speak of as Ruthenia today is in the western Ukraine stradling the borders of Slovakia, Hungary and Romania.
A Note on 'Ruthenia' - The New York Review of Books
I recall having dinner with a diplomat in Prague who calmly said that he was leaving for a visit to "Ruthenia" the next day — and he did not mean the Ukraine.
The question of "Ruthenia" has come up again in two letters to The New York Review.
One letter by Paul Robert Magocsi of the Multicultural History Society of Ontario claims that Rita KlimovÃ and I were both wrong on the subject of "Ruthenia" in our exchange of letters in The New York Review of April 8.
Ruskie has nothing to do with Russia but Red Ruthenia or Eastern Galacia, which is now part of Ukraine.
By mid-August the Belorussian and Polish fronts had collapsed, and the Soviets were approaching the borders of the historic German province of East Prussia in the north and were into Ruthenia, the far eastern tip of what had once been Czechoslovakia.
As a child, until 1914, she had been a subject of the Austro-Hungarian Empire; between 1919 and 1938, Uzhgorod was the capital of Ruthenia, an autonomous province of Czechoslovakia; during World War II, the region was occupied by the Nazis, who gave it to their satrapy Hungary; after the war, the U.S.S.R. annexed the area, and Uzhgorod became the administrative center of Transcarpathia, the southwesternmost province of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic.
The final straw came when the king mistreated the wives of soldiers who were on a protracted war against Ruthenia.
Sorry, I know this isn't directly related to language, but would my (original) family name, Ruthino(w)ski, mean "from Ruthenia"?