233 years since the birthday of the Univeristy's President, honorary member of the Karazin University Petro Hulak-Artemovsky: the university celebrates

27 january 2023 year

The life path of the outstanding Ukrainian philologist, writer and translator, one of the founders of Ukrainian literature, Petro Hulak-Artemovsky, is closely connected to the Karazin University.

Petro Hulak-Artemovsky was born on January 27, 1790 in the town of Horodyshche in Cherkasy region in the family of a priest. He received his education at a seminary and entered the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy. However, he did not complete the course, because at the age of 12 he became an orphan and was forced to earn a living on his own. So, in 1813, the boy began to teach in the families of landowners and in Berdychev's private boarding house.

The turning point in the life of the writer was moving  to the city of Kharkiv in 1817, with which the rest of his life was connected. Thanks to the Karazin University, opened in 1805, the city was already one of the leading cultural and educational centers of Ukraine, where the national and cultural revival began. It was here that Petro befriended Hryhoriy Kvitka-Osnovyanenko, Ivan Sreznevskyi, and Yevgraf Filomafitskyi.

At first, Gulak-Artemovskyi entered the Karazin University as a free student of the Faculty of Arts. Later, the University Council approved him as a Polish language lecturer. From 1820 he was also assigned to teach history, geography and statistics. This became his vocation - a born lecturer, he presented the material extremely enthusiastically. The following year, Petro Hulak-Artemovsky passed the candidate's and master's exams, defended his thesis and obtained a master's degree.

Ukrainian language works of the writer began to appear in 1818. The first of them were the fairy tale "The Lord and the Dog" and "Supplication to Hrytsko Kvitka". When the russian authorities closed "Ukrainsky vestnik", the university officials managed to revive the publication under the name "Ukrainsky zhurnal". Here, Hulak-Artemovsky continued to publish his poetry and translations from Latin, as well as French, English, German, Polish and Czech.

Petro Hulak-Artemovsky entered the history of Ukrainian literature as the second poet after Kotlyarevskyi. He enriched literature with new genres - fables and ballads, and also translated psalms into Ukrainian.

Hulak-Artemovsky was a supporter of creating an equal education system for men and women. The poet had many years of teaching experience in women's educational institutions, in particular in the Kharkiv and Poltava Institutes of Noble Ladies.

Petro Hulak-Artemovsky's career at Karazin University was very successful. First an extraordinary, then an ordinary professor of history, three times elected dean of the Faculty of Literature. In 1841–1849 he was rector of the university, and at the end of his life he was elected an honorary member. He retired in the civil rank of an active state adviser.

Petro Hulak-Artemovsky died in Kharkiv on October 13, 1865 at the age of 76. In 2017, in honor of the 213th anniversary of its founding, a monument to the classic of Ukrainian literature of the 19th century, Petro Hulak-Artemovsky, was opened near the Karazin University.

Text: Margarita Moroz
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