Education in the Middle Ages — страница 3

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adopted as the medium of writing and Cyril's translations be­came the basis of the native literature; the already fixed dogma of the church was taken over in its entirety, so that there were no disputes concerning fundamental issues of faith and practice; the liturgical forms were similarly adopted; religious pictures furnished the model for Russian iconography; and Orthodox Christian ideas were everywhere influential in daily life. Thus the date of the con­version of Vladimir may conveniently be taken as that of the begin­ning of the Russian Offshoot of the Orthodox Christian Civilization. That this society was an offshoot not identical with the main body is as clear in the case of Russia as in that of Japan: despite the very large cultural and religious heritage from the

main body, the language was different, the land was different, the culture became different, and the religious domination of Constantinople lasted only so long as the Imperial City remained powerful and inviolable. Milioukov suggests that after Vladimir's conversion, education in Kiev was compulsory. Certainly both dukes and clergy worked strenuously to create schools and to collect and copy books. The efforts bore fruit, for by the beginning of the twelfth century Russia had priests in sufficient numbers to serve the people, and she had the beginnings of a native literature. The literature produced by Russia in the early periods was predominantly, almost wholly, re­ligious and monastic: of the two hundred forty Russian writers known to have lived before A.D. 1600, only thirty

were laymen and twenty secular clergy, the other one hundred ninety being monks. It is known that c. A.D. 1030 the Grand Duke founded an academy in Novgorod for three hundred children to be instructed in "book-learning"; that he bade the parish priests "teach the people"; and that he established a library in connection with the cathedral in Kiev and gathered there scribes and scholars to translate books from Greek into Slavonic. Other dukes founded schools in two other cities. Little or nothing is known of the curriculum in elementary and higher schools in Kievan Russia although it is known that both existed. A prayer book called the Book of the Hours was used as the first reader and was followed by the Psalter. It seems certain that some of the children of

noble families were sent to Constantinople for their education. Vernadsky believes that during this period, there were a fair number of schools and that the percentage of literacy, "at least in the upper classes, was high"; he believes also that a few of the more highly educated were perhaps as well trained as their Byzantine contemporaries. Among these more highly educated were, for example, Hilarion of Kiev (c. A.D. 1050), who wrote discourses on the Scriptures and on the saints, and who shows in his writings how thoroughly and quickly some Russians had assimilated the Greek culture and, at the same time, had modified it in an original way; the author of the twelfth-century Chronicle of Kiev shows an enormous erudition as well as a consciousness of the unity of the

Slavic peoples and their common origins; the monk Daniel of the same time wrote an account of his travels to the Holy Land; the letters of the con­temporary Metropolitan Clement give references to Homer, Aristotle, and Plato and show other indications of a knowledge of the Greek classical writings, while the Bishop Cyril evidences a familiarity with the works of the Greek Fathers and imitates them intelligently. In addition to these writers and their works there appeared in the latter part of the eleventh century a juridical treatise, Greek and Russian Ecclesiastical Rule, and the original form of the Russkaya Pravda, the first codification of Russian customary law. Vernadsky concludes that the "intellectual level" of the Russian educated elite was as high as that in

contemporary Byzantium and the West, while Dvornik holds that Kiev in the tenth to twelfth centuries was, as a centre of culture, "far ahead" of anything in the contemporary West. These scraps of information are all that is known of education in Russia during the period of growth, and this early bloom of culture wilted with the beginning of the time of troubles. If we date the beginnings of the society at the last quarter of the tenth century, then its growth period lasted only a little more than a century and a half. By the last quarter of the eleventh century the "centre of gravity" had shifted north to the town of Vladimir; by the beginning of the twelfth century internecine warfare among the contending principali­ties had begun, and by the latter half of