Slavonic-Greco-Latin Academy

Slavonic-Greco-Latin Academy


the first higher general-educational institution in Moscow.

The Slavonic-Greco-Latin Academy was founded in 1687 as the Helleno-Greek Academy, which was originally a school attached to the Bogoiavlenskii Monastery and which provided education for all social estates. The academy was founded on the initiative of Simeon Polotskii, who in 1680 compiled the Academic Charter, which defined the academy’s aims, curriculum, methodology, and regulations. The academy trained educated persons for government service and the church; it also censored religious books and held trials for apostates from orthodoxy. During the 17th century the academy, which functioned both as a higher and secondary school, offered instruction in the Slavic languages, Greek, Latin, the seven liberal arts, and theology; Greek was regarded as the most important subject.

Beginning in the early 18th century, after the changes effected by Stefan Iavorskii, the curriculum was broadened to include German, French, medicine, physics, and philosophy; Latin came to occupy the foremost place. In 1701 the academy was renamed the Slavonic-Latin Academy, and in 1775, the Slavonic-Greco-Latin Academy. With the establishment of the Academic University in St. Petersburg (1725) and of Moscow University (1755), the academy lost its importance as a general-educational institution and became a higher theological school. In 1814 it became the Moscow Theological Academy and moved to the St. Sergius Trinity Monastery, now located in the city of Zagorsk.

The academy helped extend general education in Russia. It gave instruction not only to the children of the aristocracy, of government and church officials, and of merchants but also to those of bondsmen. Among the students were Russians, Ukrainians, Byelorussians, Greeks, Macedonians, and Georgians. The academy’s students originally numbered about 100, in the early 18th century, 600, and in the early 19th century, more than 1,600. Graduates of the academy included prominent Orthodox church leaders and many outstanding Russian cultural figures of the 17th and 18th centuries: F. P. Polikar-pov-Orlov, K. Istomin, V. K. Trediakovskii, P. V. Postnikov, and L. F. Magnitskii, as well as N. N. Popovskii and A. A. Bar-sov, the first professors of Moscow University. M. V. Lomono-sov studied at the academy from 1731 to 1735.


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Galkin, A. Akademiia v Moskve v XVII stoletii. Moscow, 1913.
Rogov, A. I. “Novye dannye o sostave uchenikov Slaviano-greko-latinskoi akademii.” lstoriia SSSR, 1959, no. 3.