Great Russia, sometimes Great Rus' (Russian: Великая Русь,
Velikaya Rus', Великая Россия, Velikaya Rossiya,
Великороссия, Velikorossiya), is an obsolete name formerly
applied to the territories of "
Russia proper", the land that formed
the core of Muscovy and later, Russia. This was the land to which the
Russians were native and where the ethnogenesis of (Great)
Russians took place. The name is said to have come from the Greek
Μεγάλη Ῥωσ(σ)ία, Megálē Rhōs(s)ía used by
Byzantines for the northern part of the lands of Rus'.
Within 1654–1721, Russian Tsars adopted the word - their official
title included the wording (literal translation): "The Sovereign of
all Rus': the Great, the Little, and the White".
Similarly, the terms Great Russian language
(Великорусский язык, Velikorusskiy yazyk) and Great
Russians (Великороссы, Velikorossy) were employed by
ethnographers and linguists in the 19th century, but then have fallen
out of use.
However, the area became, together with the Volga-Ural region, North
Caucasus and Siberia, the Russian SFSR, while Little
Russia and White
Russia became the Ukrainian SSR and the Byelorussian SSR respectively.
Etymology of Rus and derivatives: From Rus' to Rossiya
^ Vasmer, Max (1986). Etymological dictionary of the Russian language.