Activities of great educator and book-printer Spiridon Sobol

Activities of great educator and book-printer Spiridon Sobol

Today it is difficult to imagine that a few centuries ago a book had the same price as a plot of land. The book became affordable to a wide range of people only in the 15th century, when paper became widespread. Initially, however, it was not without problems. The fact is that the church had long been the only publisher of literature, which was used for worship. Then books were copied by hand for months. Moreover, it was not allowed to bring in publishers' own text comments or explanations. After the appearance of paper, the church began to fight against the printing of the "word of God" on this fragile material.

From the 15th century, reading becomes widespread. The book becomes more affordable. But for the acquisition of reading skills, it was necessary to establish a special educational literature.

A major role in its creation was played by Spiridon Sobol, a great educator and book printer with whom we will get acquainted.

The exact date of birth of Spiridon Sobol is unknown. It is believed that he was born in the latter half of the 16th century in a family of the mayor of Mogilev.

In his native town he graduated from a local school, which he later managed himself. But before that he went to study at the Kiev Pechersk Lavra, where he thoroughly mastered printing business and opened his own printing house.

Spiridon Sobol came back to the native Mogilev in 1630 at the invitation of the Orthodox magnate Bogdan Statkevich in order to establish a printing press in Kuteinsky Monastery in Orsha.

A year later, the great educator printed in Cyrillic several books, among them the famous ABC (Russian: Bukvar), which was of great importance in the spread of education, not only in the territory of Belarus.

Spiridon Sobol continued publishing traditions in the Buinichi monastery, where he opens another printing house with the support of Bogdan Statkevich.

For a long time Sobol had business ties with Ukrainian, Polish and Moscow printers. There are also reports that in 1637 he sold metal letters for printing, the so-called matrixes, to a Moscow counterpart. And in 1639 he wrote a letter to the Russian tsar, in which made a proposal to open a printing house in Moscow and establish a school for "young teen". However, the tsar rejected that proposal because he considered that the Belarusian printer could sow heresy and sedition among the Orthodox through his books.

Despite these prohibitions, Spiridon Sobol continued producing books and educational business flourished on home soil.

Spiridon Sobol made great efforts to educate Belarusians, which can hardly be overemphasized.