The Culture and Art Center of the Kiev-Mohyla Academy National University witnessed such a truly significant event as the encyclopedia, Kiev-Mohyla Academy in Names, Seventeen and Eighteenth Centuries , was ceremoniously presented on February 22. The publication is the result of combined efforts by a large team of scholars (103 authors) and patrons (455).
A total of 1,500 names on the handsomely designed pages, including professors, students, and sponsors. “Turning the encyclopedia pages, you will travel numerous roads leading from the homes of peasants, Cossacks, priests, hetmans, and painters to the classes and schools of the Kiev-Mohyla Academy; you will come to know its professors, rectors, instructors, and patrons, and will again return to the big world, to cities, towns, Cossack regiments, and villages of Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, Serbia, Greece, Italy, and other countries where academy graduates worked in various secular and religious fields,” Vyacheslav Briukhovetsky, university president, writes in the Foreword.
The academy, founded October 15, 1615, at the expense of a Kyiv noblewoman by the name of Halshka Hulevychivna, is known primarily for Metropolitan Petro Mohyla, a noted enlightener. It has since traveled a thorny road from a period of blossoming in the late seventeenth century under Hetman Ivan Mazepa to closure by order of the Holy Synod in 1817, until it reopened when Leonid Kravchuk, then chairman of Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, signed the decree On the Revival of the Kiev-Mohyla Academy (September 19, 1991). Ukraine will mark the reopened academy’s tenth anniversary on August 24, 2002.
Any public events and presentations commemorating certain developments have their flip side. In this case, the festivities after the formalities proved considerably more spectacular and meaningful. Street celebrations, the folk rite of bidding farewell to winter, drinks served in return for the academy’s local currency, the briukha, and theatrical installations were without doubt the salt of the holiday. Also, many welcomed the opportunity to buy a copy of the encyclopedia for 80 hryvnias (a considerable discount, considering the tentative retail cost of UAH 120).
Vyacheslav BRIUKHOVETSKY, president, Kiev-Mohyla Academy National University:
The event is important in that the encyclopedia takes our contemporaries to the Ukraine of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries when it was a European state in terms of its spirit, rating higher than numerous European countries in many respects. We return that wealth to Ukraine today; it took us eight years to collect. All told, more than 250 individuals took part in the preparation of the work.
Vadym SKURATIVSKY, Ph.D. in the arts, decent at the Karpenko-Kary State Theatrical Institute, visiting fellow in the History and Cultural Studies departments:
Encyclopedia and catalog are the key genre of world culture. In the lofty sense of the word, they constitute the nomenclature of all cultural efforts and personalities; in the good sense, it is nomenclature, meaning precisely what has to be done continuously in conceiving our past and present realities, hoping for a positive future. Without doubt, this work is of tremendous cultural importance.
Leonid KRAVCHUK, People’s Deputy and Honorary Doctor of the academy:
I am most directly involved with the alma mater, as I started its revival with my decree... If you ask any of the Ukrainian cultural figures about the Kiev-Mohyla Academy and he takes this encyclopedia, he will discover that 80% of the names mentioned there are total strangers. We have a very poor idea about ourselves and our history; we often lack self-respect, yet we want others to respect us. Such books provide food for thought, they mean that history is returning.