Northern Illinois University Press


An Academy at the Court of the Tsars

Greek Scholars and Jesuit Education in Early Modern Russia

Nikolaos A. Chrissidis

"Chrissidis should be commended for preparing an approachable text for an audience beyond Russian studies that investigates knowledge networks and the reception of new scientific philosophies in Russia." —Journal of Early Modern History

"In addition to its very important contribution to the history of education in Russia, this book is a testament to the genius of Jesuit pedagogical principles and their adaptability to a variety of social and religious contexts." —The Russian Review

“An important, original, and well-written work, with a major contribution to make. Chrissidis’s immersion in the sources, both archival and published, and his familiarity with the secondary literature are extraordinary.” —Valerie Kivelson, University of Michigan

The first formally organized educational institution in Russia was established in 1685 by two Greek hieromonks, Ioannikios and Sophronios Leichoudes. Like many of their Greek contemporaries in the seventeenth century, the brothers acquired part of their schooling in colleges of post-Renaissance Italy under a precise copy of the Jesuit curriculum. When they created a school in Moscow, known as the Slavo-Greco-Latin Academy, they emulated the structural characteristics, pedagogical methods, and programs of study of Jesuit prototypes.

In this original work, Nikolaos A. Chrissidis analyzes the academy’s impact on Russian educational practice and situates it in the contexts of Russian-Greek cultural relations and increased contact between Russia and Western Europe in the seventeenth century. Chrissidis demonstrates that Greek academic and cultural influences on Russia in the second half of the seventeenth century were Western in character, though Orthodox in doctrinal terms. He also shows that Russian and Greek educational enterprises were part of the larger European pattern of Jesuit academic activities that impacted Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox educational establishments and curricular choices.

An Academy at the Court of the Tsars is the first study of the Slavo-Greco-Latin Academy in English and the only one based on primary sources in Russian, Church Slavonic, Greek, and Latin. It will interest scholars and students of early modern Russian and Greek history, of early modern European intellectual and science history, of Jesuit education, and of Eastern Orthodox history and culture.

December 2015 384 pp., 6x9
ISBN 978-087580-729-4
$55.00s Paper

Nikolaos A. Chrissidis is professor of Russian history at Southern Connecticut State University. He is coeditor of Religion and Identity in Russia and the Soviet Union and has published articles and essays on Russian pilgrimage to the Holy Land, ritual drinking, tobacco smoking, and public penance.

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ISBN: 978-087580-729-4
paper $55.00