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Anniversary of the Belarusian historian

Anniversary of the Belarusian historian
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October 2 marks the 195th anniversary of the birth of Mikhail Osipavich Kayalovich (1828-1891), a famous historiographer, publicist, ethnographer.

Mikhail Osipovich was born in the town of Kuznitsa, Sokolsky district, Grodno province, in the family of a uniate priest. He studied at the Suprasl school, in 1839 he entered the Suprasl Theological College. In the same year, the Polotsk Church Council was held, where the resolution of the Holy Synod on the accession of the Uniates to the Orthodox Church was adopted. This meeting had a strong influence on M. Koyalovich, later the topic of the Union would become one of the main objects of his research.

In 1845, Mikhail Osipovich entered the Lithuanian Theological Seminary, which was facilitated by his godfather Jozef Yarashevich, a professor at the University of Vilna. Metropolitan Josiph Syamashka of Vilna and Lithuania also had a great influence on the fate of the scientist, who recommended Mikhail Osipovich for the right to preferential education at the St. Petersburg Theological Academy (1851-1855).

After graduation, M. Kayalovich taught at the Riga and St. Petersburg Theological seminaries. In the spring of 1856 he began working at the St. Petersburg Theological Academy at the Department of Comparative Theology and the Russian Schism, at the same time (until 1859) he was an assistant librarian. He worked at Russian Ecclesiastical and Civil HistoryDepartment since September 1857, and Russian Civil History Department since 1869. He was appointed to the post of inspector of the Academy (1874), and 10 years later was approved as a member of the academic board. In 1881 he was awarded the title of Honoured Ordinary professor.

The research topics of Mikhail Osipovich were diverse, but the main works of the scientist are devoted to the history of Western Russian lands and church history. Among them are "Lithuanian Church Union" (in 2 volumes, 1859; 1861), "History of the Reunification of the Western Russian Uniates of old times" (1873), "Diary of the Lublin Sejm of 1569" (1869), "History of Russian Identity on historical monuments and scientific works" (1884), etc.

In 1887, his notes were published about a trip to Belarus and Lithuania "On the ethnographic border of the Belarusian and Little Russian tribes", "A trip to the middle of Belarus", "Grodno: (from travel observations during a trip to Western Russia)". In the 1860s, M. Koyalovich prepared a course of public lectures on the history of Western Russia, for which he was awarded the Great Lomonosov Prize of the Russian Academy of Sciences (1864).


An important achievement of the scientist is also the preparation of a whole pleiad of students: Yulyan Krachkoysky, Nikalai Chervyakoysky, Ivan Katovich, Anton Budzilovich, etc.

Mikhail Osipovich Kayalovich left a significant mark in history, his works have not lost their relevance, they are still being addressed in our time. Mitrafan Doynar-Zapolsky considered him a major figure who decorated a whole period with his views, and noted that in the lectures, journalistic and scientific articles of the professor there was a deep patriotism, a sincere feeling of love for Belarus.


Bibliographic and textual information about M. Kayalovich, his scientific and social activities, as well as about the works of the scientist is available in the electronic resources of the National Library of Belarus: E – catalogue, online encyclopedia "Belarus in persons and events".

The material was prepared by the Research Department of Bibliography.


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