NYEZHIN or Nezhin, a town of Russia, in the government of Chernigov, 62 m. by rail S.E. of the town of Chernigov and 79 m. N.E. of Kiev, on the railway between Kursk and Kiev. The old town is built on the left bank of the (canalized) river Oster, and its suburbs, Novoye-Myesto and Magerki, on the right. It has an old cathedral, a technical school and a former high school (lyceum of Bezborodko, at which N. V. Gogol, the novelist, was a student), now transformed into a philological institute. The inhabitants (33,000), are mostly Little-Russians and Jews; there are also some Greeks, descendants of those who immigrated in the 17th century at the invitation of the Cossack chieftain Bogdan Chmielnicki.
Unyezh, which is supposed to have been the former name of Nyezhin, is mentioned as early as 1147. At that time it belonged to the principality of Chernigov; afterwards it fell under the rule of Poland. It was ceded to Russia about 1500, but again became a Polish possession after the treaty of Deulina (1619) between Poland and Russia. In 1649, after the revolt of Little Russia and its liberation from the Polish rule, Nyezhin was the chief town of one of the most important Cossack regiments. It was annexed to Russia in 1664.
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