Education in the Middle Ages — страница 4

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the century Kiev and the other towns of the Dnepr Basin had fallen into decadence. The internal troubles of the society were aggravated and other troubles were added by struggles with the Lithuanians and, beginning about the fourth decade of the thirteenth century, by the invasions of the Mongols. During the four-centuries-long struggles among the multiplicity of contending principalities and the more than two-centuries-long struggle of all the principalities against the Mongols, education in Russia sank to abysmally low ebb. During the same period one of the states, Muscovy, gradually rose to a position of importance, later took the lead in the struggle against the Mongol domination, and finally, at its union with the state of Novgorod, A.D. 1478, estab­lished itself as the

universal state of the Russian Civilization. It must be assumed that during this time, some priests taught some children and that there was some higher education for the few, since the continuity of education was not wholly broken and there were some scholars at the end of the period; but there is no evi­dence for the existence of any widespread education among the people nor even of systematic or higher education of the clergy. The first great victory of the Russians over the Mongols took place A.D. 1380. Nearly a century later, A.D. 1472, Ivan III, Prince of Moscow, married the niece of the last East Roman emperor; A.D. 1489 he rejected all claims of the Mongols and assumed the title of tsar or autocrat: he was now no longer subject to any foreign power; Russia was an

independent and sovereign state. And the Rus­sian Church now became independent and sovereign — indeed, uni­versal. Moscow was the successor of Constantinople, which, in Eastern theory, had been the successor of Rome. Russia was now "Holy Russia." This assumption of imperial and ecclesiastical mantles was accompanied by changes in the manner of life of the tsars and in the organization of the palace: new imperial insignia were adopted, pomp and circumstance added into the life at the palace. But little was done for education. Boris Godunov in A.D. 1598 tried the experiment of sending young Russians to Western Europe for study. This was a break with tra­dition, for Muscovites previously had been allowed abroad only to Eastern Orthodox Christian countries and only on

embassies or pilgrimages or for theological studies. The experiment was a failure: of the fifteen students sent abroad, only one returned. Boris also proposed the establishment of a university, but this was opposed by the church on the ground that "it was not wise to entrust the teach­ing of youth to Catholics and Lutherans." It appears that until the second half of the seventeenth century what little elementary education there was given by the priests. A sombre but apparently accurate statement is given by Milioukov: "The ignorance of the Russian people is the source of its devotion. It knows neither schools nor universities. Only the priests teach the youth reading and writing; however, few bother with it." The few elementary schools that existed in Muscovy

from the beginning of the universal state until the late seventeenth century were chiefly for the purpose of training the clergy and a few govern­ment clerks. The teachers were local clergy, and the number of children taught very few. The subjects taught were reading, writing, and a little arithmetic. In Ukraine a quite different situation obtained. There the Russian Orthodox Church was confronted with Roman Catholicism and consequently found itself compelled to organize its education so as to be able to compete on intellectually equal terms for the allegiance of the people. There appears to have been a kind of organization of the elementary schools, and A.D. 1631, a higher school of theology was established at Kiev. This academy became the centre of learning in Ukraine. Within

a generation of its founding, a number of its scholars were called to Moscow and so Kievan learning became an important factor in advancing the intellectual life of late seventeenth-century Muscovy. In A.D. 1687 a Moscow academy, modeled on the one at Kiev but with more emphasis on Greek, was founded. Vernadsky sums up the seventeenth-century development by saying that by the end of the century, "a thin layer of Westernized cultural elite had formed" and that this elite could serve as a "connecting link between Russia and the West" and also as "a centre for the spread of new ideas" within Russia. Education in the Western Civilization From the last quarter of the seventh century may be dated the appearance of the Western as a civilization independent