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Mykhailo Maksymovych

Mykhailo Maksymovych Mykhailo Oleksandrovych Maksymovych is Ukrainian scholar-erudite, enlightener and writer was born in the village Tymkivshchyna in Zolotonosha district. He graduated from Moscow University. In 1826-34 he taught Botany and was in charge of the Botany Garden of Moscow University.

As a naturalist and historian he propagated the idea of the universal unity of the world. He expressed his idea in the "The Book of Naum about the Great God's World" in 1933. M.Maksymovych called the book a people's encyclopedia. It was republished 11 times.

M. Maksymovych is the founder of Ukrainian literary criticism, ethnography, folkloristics and archeology. For his wide interests he was called "the Ukrainian Lomonosov". This scholar had powerful intellect; he had high morals and generosity. Among his friends were A. Pushkin, A. Mickiewicz, M.Gogol, P. Kulish and T. Shevchenko.

A. Pushkin learnt the Ukrainian history by the manuscript copy "The History of Rusys" which was presented to him by M. Maksymovych. Thanks to the folklore collection of M. Maksymovych "Ukrainian songs" (1827) the great Russian poet could comprehend richness of Ukrainian people's poetry, high self-conscience and spirituality of Ukrainians. In 1834 M. Maksymovych published a new folklore collection "Ukrainian People's Songs".

P. Kulish being a gymnasium student learnt the songs by heart. It helped him in developing his creative activity. When in 1834 Kyiv University was inaugurated M. Maksymovych became its first rector.

In 1845 M. Maksymovych retired and settled on his khutor (a separated farm) Mykhailiva Hora near the village of Prokhorivka (now in the Kaniv district). Here in 1859 he was visited by Taras Shevchenko who painted the portraits of M. Maksymovych and his wife Maria Vasylivna.

Living in the country he published one more "Collection of the Ukrainian songs" and translated into Ukrainian "The Song of the Regiment of Ihor". Up to his last day he worked at his fundamental manuscript "Days and months of a Ukrainian Peasant". It was a rite and every day calendar in which the world outlook, creative work and economic activities of Ukrainian people were developed.

In 1871 M. Maksymovych was elected the Associate Member of Petersburg Academy of Science. The great devotee of Ukrainian culture Mykhailo Maksymovych died on November 22, 1873 nd was buried on his farmstead Mykhailiva Hora.



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