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Mykhailo Oleksandrovych Maksymovych/1804 – 1873/ is Ukrainian scholar-erudite, enlightenerand writer was born in the village Tymkivshchyna in Zolotonosha district. He graduated from Moscow University in 1826-34 he taught Botany and was in chargeof the Botany Garden of Moscow University.

As a naturalistand historianhe propagated the idea of the universal unityof the world. He expressed his idea in 'The Book of Naum about the Great God's World' in 1833. M. Maksymovych called the book a people's encyclopaedia. It was republished 11 times.

Maksymovych is the founderof Ukrainian literary criticism, ethnography, folkloristicand archaeology. For his wide interests he was called "The Ukrainian Lomonosov". This scholar had powerful intellect; he had high morals and generosity.Among his friends were T.Shevchenko, M.Gogol, P.Kulish, A.Michiewich and A.Pushkin.

Due to the manuscriptcopy "The history of Rusys" which was presented to Pushkin by M.Maksymovych, A.Pushkin learnt the Ukrainian history. Thanks to the folklore collection of M.Maksymovych "Ukrainian songs" (1827) Russian poet could comprehendriches of Ukrainian people's poetry, high conscienceand spiritualityof Ukrainians. In 1834 M.Maksymovych published a new folklore collection "Ukrainian People's songs". And from this year he became the first rector of Kyiv University.

In 1845 M.Maksymovych retired and settled on his khutor/ a separated farm / Mykhailiva Hora near the village of Prokhorivka / now in the Kaniv district /. Here in 1859 he was visited by Taras Shevchenko who painted the portraits of M.Maksymovych and his wife.

Living in the country he published one more "Collection of the Ukrainian songs" and translated into Ukrainian "The Song of the Regiment of Ihor". Up to his last day he worked at his fundamentalmanuscript "Days and months of a Ukrainian Peasant". It was a rite and every day calendarin which the world outlook,creative work and economic activities of Ukrainian people were developed.

In 1871 M.Maksymovych was elected the Associate Member of Petersburg Academy of Science. Thegreat devoteeof Ukrainian culture Mykhailo Maksymovych died on November 22, 1873 and was buried on his farmsteadMykhailiva Hora.



Lesya Ukrainka/ a real name Larysa Kosach / was born on February 25, 1871 in Novgorod-Volynskyi. Her geniuswas powered by three different forces:her family, the Ukrainian folklore and a chronic illness.

Lesya's father, Petro Kosach, was a well-to-do landowner,educated, cultured and progressive man. Her mother, Olha Petrivna Drahomanov / pen-nameOlena Pchilka /, was the sister of Mykhailo Drahomanov, the great Ukrainian scholar. Many writers, painters, musicians gathered often in their house. Among them were the poet M.Starytskyi, the composer M.Lysenko, and the famous Ukrainian writer Ivan Franko. This literary home atmosphere and Olha's desire that her daughter become a writer, greatly influencedLesya's education.

Because of weak health Lesya received education at home. She had a remarkable aptitudefor the humanities.Her mother taught her several foreign languages (Lesya knew: French, German, Latin, English, Italian, Polish and Spanish), and she became well versedin general literature as well as in Ukrainian history and folk songs. At the age 9 she wrote her first poem "Hope". At the age of twelve Lesya translated some poems of Heine and wrote her own poem "Convalia".

Lesya spent her childhood amidstthe quiet and beautiful forests of Volyn and came to love and admire the magnificence of nature.She became familiar with all the superstitionsof the common people, listened to the songs of the peasantsand their wonderful fablesabout the forces of nature.Later, in her fairy drama "Sylvan Song"Lesya used sixteen of these folk songs from her childhood.

The third and the most important influence in Lesya Ukrainka's growth as a poetesswas her illness. In her childhood she was stricken withtuberculosis of the bones, then tuberculosis of the lungs. Her great struggle with this diseasehad a marked impacton the substanceand her work.

Lesya Ukrainka's first book, a collection of lyrical poems"On the Wings of Songs" was published in 1893, her second work, "Thoughts and Dreams", in 1896, and "Echoes" in 1902. A gradual change is evidentin these books, a shiftfrom lyrical poems to long and epic poems and then to drama poems. The poetess was fond the poetic works of Taras Shevchenko. She carried her love to his poetry through her whole life. In 1903-1912 she wrote her dramas "Cassandra", "Autumn Tale" and "Stone Host", the peak of her poetic masterywas the "Sylvan Song".

Lesya Ukrainka died on August 1,1913 in Surani / Georgia /, and was buried in Kyiv. This weak and in the same time strong woman was the poetess of those who fight without hope in the name of love and truth.

/by Peter Kardash/


Ivan Polyui/ primary surname – Pulhui / was a great scientist of the world scope.He was a physicist, mathematician, astronomer, theologyst,philosopher, electrical engineer,brilliant pedagogue, and a real polyglot, who knew 15 languages.

Ivan Polyui was born in the small town Hrymailiv in Ternopil area on 2n of February, 1845. A boy grew amid the picturesque nature,liked to observeon stars and could faultlessshow the constellation.At the age of six we entered the school, then in 1856 - to the gymnasium in Ternopil. During the studying Ivan has shown the greatest abilityto physics and mathematics, he had a phenomenal memoryfor ciphers and formulas.Polyui was fond of reading too, and reread the works of G.Kvitka – Osnovyanenko, Marko Wovchok, M.Kostomarov, M.Gogol and most of all – Taras Shevchenko.

After graduating gymnasium he decided to fulfilthe parent's desire and went (on foot!) to Vienna University where entered to the theology faculty.After excellent graduating from he University in 1864, he decided not to consecrate for a priest,but to devote himself for science. I.Polyui was convincedin benefiting profitfor the humanity. So he has been studying in the faculty of physics and mathematics and after finishing he became to work as an assistant in experimental physics. Polyui has written in Ukrainian the first text-book on Geometry, "The Prayer book"(1870) and the book about stars and planets. Besides I.Polyui together with P.Kulish and I.Nechui-Levytskyi translated into Ukrainian "The Scriptureof New Testament",but because of the Russian censorshipit was published only in 1880. As a result of his activity he was called as "untrustworthy"by the czarist governmentand this prevented'him from becoming a lecturer of Kyiv University.

Ivan Polyui worked as a private-docentat the field of electrical engineering in Vienna. From 1884 he was the head of the Cathedraof physics. And in 1902 he became the first deanof the first European electrical-engineering faculty. He worked there to the pension. I.Polyui died on 31st January 1918 in Prague and his grave is there too, but his last wish was to be buried in Ukraine in his native town.


Ivan Polyui left a great creationto humanity as he had promised. He was the first who discover invisible rays(X-rays) some decades earlier than Wilhelm Roentgen. Later Albert Einstein wrote a letter to Polyui where maintainedUkrainian Scientist and said that everyone knew who first had discovered X-rays. Besides he was the first to study the so-called "cold light".His lamps were much better than Edison's lamps. Ivan Pulyui offered an isolation transformerfor telephone exchangesand put into operation a number of power stationswith constant current.

Polyui's active public, publicist and translating activity is testifiedthat he was one of the greatest figure in the life of Ukraine at the end of XIX – bеg. XX centuries.


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