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Symeon of Polotsk: enlightment for the benefit of Belarusian and Russian people

"Greet you, the Orthodox King, the Sun of Righteousness, for a long time have we been attracted to you with our souls and hearts." With these lines Simeon greeted the Russian tsar on Belarusian lands. And with these words, we begin our acquaintance with the outstanding figure of the entire Slavic culture.

The great educator was born in Polotsk in 1629. His first steps in science were in a convent school. Afterwards, he studied at the Kiev-Mogilev College and the Vilno Jesuit Academy.

With a great amount of knowledge, he returned to his native Polotsk in June 1656, became a monk and a teacher at a religious school.

Thanks to his efforts then-training program was greatly expanded. It began to include such subjects as rhetoric, poetry, and grammar. Besides the Belarusian language, the students began to learn Russian and Polish.

While the spirit of education reigned in the Polotsk monastery a war between Russia and Poland was underway in Belarus.

Verses so much impressed the king that he ordered Simeon of Polotsk to write another series and headed to Vitebsk.

After the successful completion of the task Simeon was invited to Moscow by tsar Alexei Mikhailovich. However, disagreement with the Moscow Patriarch Nikon and the Belarusian enlightener forced to postpone the trip for a while.

Only a year later Simeon returned to versification. And ten years later, he wrote a book of poems Garden With Many Flowers, with which he got into the world's literature.

The tsar invited him to teach sons Alexei and Fyodor. The teaching method of Simeon of Polotsk, based on rhymed information, made it easy to absorb new knowledge.

Thanks to guardianship of the tsar, Simeon opened a printing house in the Kremlin, which for the first time in Russia had a secular orientation. Surprisingly, Simeon of Polotsk became a pioneer of theatrical art in Moscow. Thanks to his efforts the first play was staged there.

Simeon devoted his entire life to educational practice for the benefit of the Belarusian and Russian peoples.

And thus it is impossible to overestimate his huge heritage, which is a part of the treasury of the Slavic peoples.

Symeon of Polotsk: enlightment for the benefit of Belarusian and Russian people