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UDC 821.161.2. – 2.091                                           Kateryna Bogatyrova




The article deals with the theme interpretation of the ideal ruler of Latin-speaking historian, publicist and prose writer of the Renaissance Stanislav Orikhovskyi-Roksolan and philosopher Hryhorii Skovoroda with humanistic and educational positions. Famous philosophers, poets, cultural figures of different eras tried to construct the ideal model of just government reign. They indicated that educated ruler with such virtues as wisdom, justice, diligence, prudence, temperance could fulfil the state ruler mission. The opinions of Italian and Ukrainian humanists concerning the issues of relations of a man and a state became ideological base for Stanislav Orikhovskyi, Ivan Ornovskyi, educators Hryhorii Skovoroda and Vasyl Kapnist, who considered mental skills, education, sciences development as a basis for social and human progress.


The eternal problem of a man and a state, issues of just social order and the role of the ideal ruler troubled thinkers, poets, writers during centuries in the world history and literature. Ancient Greek philosopher Plato in his work "The Republic” thought about the model of the ideal social order and constitution. His student Aristotle, who was the personal tutor of Alexander the Great, in his work "Politics” preached the idea of democratic republic and thought that "prudence was the only distinguising virtue of the ruler”.

Renaissance artists and H.Scovoroda creative works, their views on the state, culture, education, science were studied in the works of  Yu.Barabash, L.Batkin, L.Brahina, I.Holenishchev-Kutuzov, I.Huzar, B.Kuznetsov, L.Ushkalov, V.Lytvynov, V.Menshukov, F.Monie, D.Nalyvaiko, A.Ovett, V.Puryshev, N.Reviakina, V.Rutenburh, O.Savchuk, V.Sokolov, D.Teteryna, Val.Shevchuk.

The purpose of this atricle is to investigate understanding and interpretation of the ideal ruler theme in the works of Latin language publicist of the XVIth century Stanislav Orikhovskyi and "elitist writer” (the expression of Val.Shevchuk) of the second half of the XVIII century Hryhorii Skovoroda from the stand point of humanistic and educational principles.

Famous saying of Roman philosopher Cicero "The people’s good is the highest law” was used by the representatives of the Renaissance, who created the ideal of working man capable for selfimprovement and development through active educational and secular activity. Public needs were considered the most important, gained experience of an individual and his practical skills should be used to implement social achievements for the benefits of the people. Humanists regarded permanent work as a continuous process of realization of human mental and physical abilities which would be used for the state prosperity and compatriots welfare.

Italian educator, logic teacher Pier Paolo Vergerio (1370-1444) dedicated his treatise "On good manners” (1402) to the son of the ruling lord Padua Umberto Carrara. In this work the scientist focused on the pedagogical and educational principles that facilitated appropriate education of the ruler, developed his ethical and moral virtues such as generosity, justice, wisdom, temperance.

Prominent Italian leader of the Renaissance Leon Battista Alberti (1404-1472) in the treatise "De Iciarchia” expressed his views on the problem of moral principles of the state leader. Well-known humanist, translator, philologist, teacher and theologian Erasmus of Rotterdam (1467-1536), who was the adviser of Spanish king Charles V, in the treatise "Education of a Christian Prince” (1516) stated that it was better for a prince to be respected than feared.

Niccolo Machiavelli (1469-1527), philosopher and writer, in the political treatise "The Prince” (1518) outlined his role ruler vision. He thought that only because of his high moral virtues such as wisdom, mind, charity and justice the ruler would deserve support and respect of the people. N. Machiavelli’s opinions were based on humanistic principles of the development and education spread in the country and he said that the governor would take care of the citizens spiritual priorities. As the scholar and thinker Machiavelli understood the importance of science, culture and art for the general public good and further country progress. The author stressed that the support of gifted and talented to science citizens, especially young, was the prior government function of the ruler.

Thus, scientists and humanists developed moral and aesthetic principles for the ideal ruler, so he would be educated, fair, wise, noble, judicious, charitable ruler, who ensured laws implementation, supported and promoted education, science, art development, strongly concerned about welfare, peace, social and spiritual benefits for his citizens.

Naturally, the theme of ideal ruler disturbed famous philosopher, rhetorican, historian of the XVI century Stanislav Orikhovskyi-Roksolan (1513-1566) and was highlighted him in Latin language works «Fidelis subditus sive de institutione regia ad Sigismundum Augustium libri duo» (1543) and «De bello adversus Turcas suscipiendo, ad Equites Polonos» (1544). Stanislav’s father was a secretary; the boy had quick mind and good memory, then gained primary education in Peremushl, so thanks to his natural mental abilities the young man became famous scientist in Europe. Stanislav gained deep knowledge in the Krakow University, the University of Vienna, the University of Padua, the University of Bologna. He carefully studied Greek and Latin languages, rhetoric, philosophy. His teachers were Reformation figure Martin Luther, theologian Philipp Melanthon, who inculcated gifted student love to knowledge.

Stanislav Orikhovskyi oriented on ethical and moral directives for the ruler which were developed by Italian humanists. In the treatise «De bello adversus Turcas suscipiendo, ad Equites Polonos» (1544) he denoted that internal conflicts weaked state power and common danger united all citizens irrespective of their social status, so king’s leader habits and his ability to unite all people for the common purpose –  native land liberation from Turkish invaders – was the primary affair for the stateman. The most important virtues for the king were sound sence, wisdom, justice; he should follow the Christian commandments, take care of safety, welfare and protect people from outside enemies. The treatise «Fidelis subditus sive de institutione regia ad Sigismundum Augustium libri duo» (1543) was very popular in Europe, (it was published twice in 1543 and in 1548) the author thought that education was the biggest value for the ruler. The main role in the ideal ruler upbringing belonged to the tutor, who was the best example for the student; Stanislav remembered real historical persons (Aristotle taught Alexander the Great) and mythical personage (Phoenix brought Achilles, the hero of Homer’s epic poem "The Iliad”) to demonstrate his idea. The humanist thought wisdom the most fundamental virtue, he advised the king to open new schools and renew educational institutions which had already been established earlier by his predecessors. A prerequisite for the country prosperity was keeping all statutes and regulations, the author formed the model of the ideal state in which the king was the law guarantor. Orikhovskyi rightly advised the monarch to remove from himself sycophants, lustful, greedy, criminal and boastful people. He blamed such human vices as tyranny, debauchery, drinking, sycophancy. In his treatise the author gave the humanistic program of constitutional monarchy in which the ruler was educated, fair, wise, prudent democrat, he protected his subjects’ interests, rights, security and freedom. Thus Stanislav Orikhovskyi had the common views with famous Italian humanists – Pier Paolo Vergerio, Leon Battista Alberti, Niccolo Machiavelli, Erasmus of Rotterdam and in his work he indentified the following factors that influenced the formation of  king’s personality: 1) wise tutor; 2)  the ruler strongly mastered sciences and arts; 3) the ruler should be surrounded by the best citizens; 4) the king ensured all laws compliance to his people; 5) the king took care of knowledge spread and opened schools.

Ivan Ornovskyi (life years are unknown) was the poet of late XVII – early XVIII centuries and the member of Chernihiv poetical circle, organized by bishop Lazar Baranovych. In his book, published in Kyiv in 1705, he speculated on eternal theme of good and evil in the society and concluded that wisdom was the highest value. He blamed the actions of despotic monarches in whose veins blew "Nero blood”.

Hryhorii Skovoroda (1722-1794), one of the most famous graduaters of the Kyiv Mohyla Academy, was certainly familiar with the works of ancient authors, Italian humanists, who were for him inexhaustible source of wisdom, artistic taste and poetic mastery. He translated Horace, Ovid, Sidronii Hosii. Humanist views on issues of public relations of a person, a state and a ruler did not lose relevance in the late XVIIIth century and were actual for the thinker, poet and educator Hryhorii Skovoroda. According to the philosopher the society will be better when its every citizen looks for himself through the knowledge of the inner world. He thought that people should understand Christian behavior principles, be moderate in all things, respect God, take care of soul purity. The poet emphasized the idea of eternal Christian tenets adherence which were the main ethical and moral standarts for all citizens. His pedagogical and aesthetic guidelines Skovoroda presented in the letter written to his beloved student Mykhailo Kovalynskyi. Hryhorii Savych was wise educator and tutor, he advised Mykhailo to choose pious way in his life: love and constantly study different subjects, learn life and the world, be worth citizen, have faithful and dutiful friends, take care of fellow men. Thus Hryhorii Skovoroda continued European humanists ideas in his poetry and epistolary heritage pointing to the great formative role of moral principles for the rulers and citizens.

Well-known Ukrainian ode writer, Skovoroda’s follower, Vasyl Kapnist in his first ode written in 1774 in French, glorified Russian troops and great deeds of  Katherine II. The first strophe of the ode – the reference to God Parnassus, Appolo, who according to the legend, lived on the mountain. The poet asked him to support his lyre and provide inspiration. Classicists made aesthetic conception of state order, based on reigning monarch ideal, who had high moral virtues: justice, wisdom, peace-making, judgement, education, charity, loved and took care of his people. Therefore the author pointed to Katherine’s mercy to her subjects (strophes 12, 13, 14), who honored and followed laws. However, in the 15th stropha the poet proclaimed thesis that people’s love was the real tribute to the kings. The opinion about the reign of wise and just monarch we can find in Irynei Falkivskyi’s Latin ode, dedicated to the visit of Paul I to Kyiv in 1798. Vasyl Kapnist continued views of his predecessors – Renaisance humanist Stanislav Orikhovskyi and philosopher Hryhorii Skovoroda, provided directions for the stateman and advised him to be prudent and exemplary ruler; wisdom in poet’s understanding was the most essential statemaking virtue for the imperor.

Thus prominent philosophers, writers, poets, cultural figures of different eras tried to construct the ideal model of just government reign. They indicated that only moral and educated ruler with Christian virtues – wisdom, justice, diligence, prudence, temperance could properly fulfil the state ruler mission. The views and opinions of Italian and Ukrainian humanists concerning the issues of relations of a man and a state posted in numerous treatises, became ideological base for Stanislav Orikhovskyi, Ivan Ornovskyi, educators Hryhorii Skovoroda and Vasyl Kapnist, who considered mental skills, education, sciences development as a basis for social and human progress.