Myslavsky, Samuil

Myslavsky, Samuil [Миславський, Самуїл; Myslavs’kyj, Samujil] (secular name: Semen), b 24 May 1731 in Poloshky, Hlukhiv region, d 5 January 1796 in Kyiv. Orthodox churchman and scholar. After graduating from the Kyivan Mohyla Academy in 1754, he became a monk, and professor and rector (1761–8), of the academy. He also wrote a brief history of the academy (1766). He was consecrated bishop of Belgorod in 1768 and served as administrator of Moscow eparchy (1771–6) and bishop of Rostov and Yaroslavl (1776–83). He was appointed to the Holy Synod in 1775 and elected archbishop in 1777. In 1783–96 Myslavsky was metropolitan of Kyiv (see Kyiv metropoly). Although he attempted to preserve some of the prerogatives of the Kyivan metropolitan, he soon became an influential proponent of Russian centralization and control over Ukrainian church affairs. He insisted on the introduction of literary Russian as the only language of instruction at the academy, which he reformed to emphasize its role as a seminary, and to which he limited the admission of lay students. He also oversaw the secularization of monasteries and church property in the Hetman state under Catherine II, and he sought to end the Ukrainian tradition whereby each parish chose its own priest, and replaced it with the episcopal appointment of clergy. A member of the Russian Imperial Academy of Sciences, he oversaw the publication of Teofan Prokopovych's works and wrote a history of the Kyivan Cave Monastery (published posthumously in 1817). His biography, by T. Rozhdestvensky, appeared in Trudy Kievskoi dukhovnoi akademii (1876–7).

Arkadii Zhukovsky

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 3 (1993).]

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