HOMEL, or GOMEL, a town of Russia, in the government of Mogilev, and 132 m. by rail S.S.E. of the town of Mogilev, on the Sozh, a tributary of the Dnieper. Pop. (1900) 45.8i, nearly half of whom are Jews. It is an important junction of the railways from Vilna to Odessa and from Orel to Poland, and is in steamer communication with Kiev and Mogilev. In front of Prince Paskevich's castle stands an equestrian statue of the Polish general Joseph Poniatowski, and in the cathedral is the tomb of the chancellor Nikolai Petrovich Rumantsev, by Canova. The town carries on a brisk trade in hops, corn and timber; there are also paper-pulp mills and oil factories. Homel was founded in the 12th century, and after changing hands several times between Poles and Russians was annexed to Russia in 1772. In 1648 it suffered at the hands of the Cossack chieftain Bogdan Chmielnicki.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)