Vilnius University

Vilnius University

Overview
Vilnius University is the oldest university in the Baltic states
Baltic states
The term Baltic states refers to the Baltic territories which gained independence from the Russian Empire in the wake of World War I: primarily the contiguous trio of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania ; Finland also fell within the scope of the term after initially gaining independence in the 1920s.The...

 and one of the oldest in Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe is the eastern part of Europe. The term has widely disparate geopolitical, geographical, cultural and socioeconomic readings, which makes it highly context-dependent and even volatile, and there are "almost as many definitions of Eastern Europe as there are scholars of the region"...

. It is also the largest university
University
A university is an institution of higher education and research, which grants academic degrees in a variety of subjects. A university is an organisation that provides both undergraduate education and postgraduate education...

 in Lithuania.

The university was founded in 1579 as the Jesuit Academy (College) of Vilnius (Vilna, Wilno) by King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania - Stephen Báthory
Stephen Báthory
Stephen Báthory may refer to several noblemen of Hungarian descent:* Stephen III Báthory , Palatine of Hungary* Stephen V Báthory , judge of the Royal Court and Prince of Transylvania...

.
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Encyclopedia
Vilnius University is the oldest university in the Baltic states
Baltic states
The term Baltic states refers to the Baltic territories which gained independence from the Russian Empire in the wake of World War I: primarily the contiguous trio of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania ; Finland also fell within the scope of the term after initially gaining independence in the 1920s.The...

 and one of the oldest in Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe is the eastern part of Europe. The term has widely disparate geopolitical, geographical, cultural and socioeconomic readings, which makes it highly context-dependent and even volatile, and there are "almost as many definitions of Eastern Europe as there are scholars of the region"...

. It is also the largest university
University
A university is an institution of higher education and research, which grants academic degrees in a variety of subjects. A university is an organisation that provides both undergraduate education and postgraduate education...

 in Lithuania.

The university was founded in 1579 as the Jesuit Academy (College) of Vilnius (Vilna, Wilno) by King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania - Stephen Báthory
Stephen Báthory
Stephen Báthory may refer to several noblemen of Hungarian descent:* Stephen III Báthory , Palatine of Hungary* Stephen V Báthory , judge of the Royal Court and Prince of Transylvania...

. It was the third oldest university in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth
Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth
The Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth was a dualistic state of Poland and Lithuania ruled by a common monarch. It was the largest and one of the most populous countries of 16th- and 17th‑century Europe with some and a multi-ethnic population of 11 million at its peak in the early 17th century...

. Soon after the partitions
Partitions of Poland
The Partitions of Poland or Partitions of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth took place in the second half of the 18th century and ended the existence of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, resulting in the elimination of sovereign Poland for 123 years...

 of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, it was forced to suspend its operation in the aftermath of the November Uprising
November Uprising
The November Uprising , Polish–Russian War 1830–31 also known as the Cadet Revolution, was an armed rebellion in the heartland of partitioned Poland against the Russian Empire. The uprising began on 29 November 1830 in Warsaw when the young Polish officers from the local Army of the Congress...

 (from 1832 to 1919). In the aftermath of World War I
Aftermath of World War I
The fighting in World War I ended in western Europe when the Armistice took effect at 11:00 am GMT on November 11, 1918, and in eastern Europe by the early 1920s. During and in the aftermath of the war the political, cultural, and social order was drastically changed in Europe, Asia and Africa,...

 the University saw failed attempts to restart it by Lithuania
Lithuania
Lithuania , officially the Republic of Lithuania is a country in Northern Europe, the biggest of the three Baltic states. It is situated along the southeastern shore of the Baltic Sea, whereby to the west lie Sweden and Denmark...

 (December 1918) and invading Soviet forces (March 1919), and finally resumed operations as the University of Stefan Batory
Stefan Batory
Stephen Báthory was a Hungarian noble Prince of Transylvania , then King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania . He was a member of the Somlyó branch of the noble Hungarian Báthory family...

in Poland
Second Polish Republic
The Second Polish Republic, Second Commonwealth of Poland or interwar Poland refers to Poland between the two world wars; a period in Polish history in which Poland was restored as an independent state. Officially known as the Republic of Poland or the Commonwealth of Poland , the Polish state was...

 (August 1918), a period followed by another short Soviet occupation in 1920, and the less than two year period of the Republic of Central Lithuania
Republic of Central Lithuania
The Republic of Central Lithuania or Middle Lithuania , or simply Central Lithuania , was a short-lived political entity, which did not gain international recognition...

, annexed
Republic of Central Lithuania general election, 1922
The general election in the Republic of Central Lithuania was an election to the Vilnius Sejm of the Polish-dominated Republic of Central Lithuania on January 8, 1922. The new parliament was intended to formally legalize incorporation of Central Lithuania into Poland. Such measure was fiercely...

 by Poland in 1922. Following Soviet invasion of Poland
Soviet invasion of Poland
Soviet invasion of Poland can refer to:* the second phase of the Polish-Soviet War of 1920 when Soviet armies marched on Warsaw, Poland* Soviet invasion of Poland of 1939 when Soviet Union allied with Nazi Germany attacked Second Polish Republic...

 in September 1939, the University was briefly administered by the Lithuanian authorities (from October 1939), and then after Soviet annexation of Lithuania
Occupation and annexation of the Baltic states by the Soviet Union (1940)
The occupation and annexation of the Baltic states by the Soviet Union covers the period from the Soviet–Baltic mutual assistance pacts in 1939, to the illegal annexation in 1940, to the mass deportations of 1941...

 (June 1940), punctuated by a period of German occupation after German invasion of the Soviet Union (1941–1944), administrated as Vilnius State University by of the Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic. After Lithuania regained its independence in 1990, following the dissolution of the Soviet Union
Dissolution of the Soviet Union
The dissolution of the Soviet Union was the disintegration of the federal political structures and central government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , resulting in the independence of all fifteen republics of the Soviet Union between March 11, 1990 and December 25, 1991...

, it resumed its status as one of the prominent universities in Lithuania as Vilnius University.

Changes of the name


The university has been known by various names during its history. Due to its long history of Jewish, Polish and Russian influence or rule, the city portion of its name is variously rendered as Vilna (Russian
Russian language
Russian is a Slavic language used primarily in Russia, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. It is an unofficial but widely spoken language in Ukraine, Moldova, Latvia, Turkmenistan and Estonia and, to a lesser extent, the other countries that were once constituent republics...

), Wilna (German
German language
German is a West Germanic language, related to and classified alongside English and Dutch. With an estimated 90 – 98 million native speakers, German is one of the world's major languages and is the most widely-spoken first language in the European Union....

) or Wilno (Polish
Polish language
Polish is a language of the Lechitic subgroup of West Slavic languages, used throughout Poland and by Polish minorities in other countries...

), in addition to the modern Lithuanian Vilnius (see History of Vilnius
History of Vilnius
This article is about the history of Vilnius, the capital and largest city of Lithuania.-Middle Ages:The earliest settlements in the area of present day Vilnius appear to be of mesolithic origin. Numerous archaeological findings in different parts of the city prove that the area has been inhabited...

).
  • 1579–1782: Alma Academia et Universitas Vilnensis Societatis Iesu. The Latin name is variously rendered into English as Jesuit Academy, Jesuit College, or Academy of Vilnius (Vilna/Wilna/Wilno).
  • 1782–1803: Schola Princeps Magni Ducatus Lithuaniae: Principal School of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania
    Grand Duchy of Lithuania
    The Grand Duchy of Lithuania was a European state from the 12th /13th century until 1569 and then as a constituent part of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth until 1791 when Constitution of May 3, 1791 abolished it in favor of unitary state. It was founded by the Lithuanians, one of the polytheistic...

  • 1803–1832: Imperatoria Universitas Vilnensis. Rendered into English as Imperial University of Vilnius (Vilna/Wilna/Wilno)
  • 1832–1919: Closed, originally by order of Tsar Nicholas I
  • 1919–1939: University of Stefan Batory
    Stefan Batory
    Stephen Báthory was a Hungarian noble Prince of Transylvania , then King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania . He was a member of the Somlyó branch of the noble Hungarian Báthory family...

     (Uniwersytet Stefana Batorego)
  • 1940–1943: Vilnius University (this period encompassed the first Soviet occupation
    Occupation and annexation of the Baltic states by the Soviet Union (1940)
    The occupation and annexation of the Baltic states by the Soviet Union covers the period from the Soviet–Baltic mutual assistance pacts in 1939, to the illegal annexation in 1940, to the mass deportations of 1941...

     and German occupation
    Occupation of Lithuania by Nazi Germany
    The occupation of Lithuania by Nazi Germany refers to the occupation of Lithuania by Nazi Germany from the start of the German invasion of Soviet Union to the end of the Battle of Memel . At first the Germans were welcomed as "liberators" from the repressive Soviet regime which occupied Lithuania...

    )
  • 1944–1955: Vilnius State University
  • 1955–1990: Vilnius State University of Vincas Kapsukas
    • 1971–1979: Vilnius Order of the Red Banner of Labour
      Order of the Red Banner of Labour
      The Order of the Red Banner of Labour was an order of the Soviet Union for accomplishments in labour and civil service. It is the labour counterpart of the military Order of the Red Banner. A few institutions and factories, being the pride of Soviet Union, also received the order.-History:The Red...

       State University of Vincas Kapsukas (Vilniaus Darbo raudonosios vėliavos ordino valstybinis Vinco Kapsuko universitetas)
    • 1979–1990: Vilnius Orders of the Red Banner of Labour
      Order of the Red Banner of Labour
      The Order of the Red Banner of Labour was an order of the Soviet Union for accomplishments in labour and civil service. It is the labour counterpart of the military Order of the Red Banner. A few institutions and factories, being the pride of Soviet Union, also received the order.-History:The Red...

       and Friendship of Peoples
      Order of Friendship of Peoples
      The Order of Friendship of Peoples was an order of the Soviet Union, and was awarded to persons , organizations, enterprises, military units, as well as administrative subdivisions of the USSR for accomplishments in strengthening of inter-ethnic and international friendship and cooperation, for...

       State University of Vincas Kapsukas (Vilniaus Darbo raudonosios vėliavos ir Tautų draugystės ordinų valstybinis V. Kapsuko universitetas)
  • Since 1990: Vilnius University

Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth



In 1568, the Lithuanian nobility asked the Jesuits to create an institution of higher learning either in Vilnius
Vilnius
Vilnius is the capital of Lithuania, and its largest city, with a population of 560,190 as of 2010. It is the seat of the Vilnius city municipality and of the Vilnius district municipality. It is also the capital of Vilnius County...

 or Kaunas
Kaunas
Kaunas is the second-largest city in Lithuania and has historically been a leading centre of Lithuanian economic, academic, and cultural life. Kaunas was the biggest city and the center of a powiat in Trakai Voivodeship of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania since 1413. During Russian Empire occupation...

. The following year Walerian Protasewicz
Walerian Protasewicz
Walerian Protasewicz was bishop of Lutsk and Vilnius . To combat Reformation he invited Jesuits to the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. He funded the Jesuit college in Vilnius and obtained Papal and Royal privileges to convert the college into Vilnius University in 1579...

, the bishop of Vilnius, purchased several buildings in the city center and established the Vilnian Academy (Almae Academia et Universitas Vilnensis Societatis Jesu). Initially, the Academy had three divisions: humanities, philosophy
Philosophy
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational...

, and theology
Theology
Theology is the systematic and rational study of religion and its influences and of the nature of religious truths, or the learned profession acquired by completing specialized training in religious studies, usually at a university or school of divinity or seminary.-Definition:Augustine of Hippo...

. The curriculum at the College and later at the Academy was taught in Latin. At the beginning of 17th century there are records about special groups that taught Lithuanian
Lithuanian language
Lithuanian is the official state language of Lithuania and is recognized as one of the official languages of the European Union. There are about 2.96 million native Lithuanian speakers in Lithuania and about 170,000 abroad. Lithuanian is a Baltic language, closely related to Latvian, although they...

 speaking students Latin, most probably using Konstantinas Sirvydas
Konstantinas Sirvydas
Konstantinas Sirvydas died 1631) was a Lithuanian religious preacher, lexicographer and one of the pioneers of Lithuanian literature from the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, at the time a confederal part of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth...

' compiled dictionary. The first students were enrolled into the Academy in 1570. A library at the college was established in the same year, and Sigismund II Augustus
Sigismund II Augustus
Sigismund II Augustus I was King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania, the only son of Sigismund I the Old, whom Sigismund II succeeded in 1548...

 donated 2500 books to the new college. In its first year of existence the college enrolled 160 students.

On April 1, 1579, Stefan Batory
Stefan Batory
Stephen Báthory was a Hungarian noble Prince of Transylvania , then King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania . He was a member of the Somlyó branch of the noble Hungarian Báthory family...

 King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania, upgraded the academy and granted it equal status with the Kraków Academy
Jagiellonian University
The Jagiellonian University was established in 1364 by Casimir III the Great in Kazimierz . It is the oldest university in Poland, the second oldest university in Central Europe and one of the oldest universities in the world....

, creating the Alma Academia et Universitas Vilnensis Societatis Iesu. His edict was approved by Pope
Pope
The Pope is the Bishop of Rome, a position that makes him the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church . In the Catholic Church, the Pope is regarded as the successor of Saint Peter, the Apostle...

 Gregory XIII's bull
Papal bull
A Papal bull is a particular type of letters patent or charter issued by a Pope of the Catholic Church. It is named after the bulla that was appended to the end in order to authenticate it....

 of October 30, 1579. The first rector
Rector
The word rector has a number of different meanings; it is widely used to refer to an academic, religious or political administrator...

 of the Academy was Piotr Skarga
Piotr Skarga
Piotr Skarga was a Polish Jesuit, preacher, hagiographer, polemicist, and leading figure of the Counter-reformation in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. He was called the "Polish Bossuet" due to his oratorical abilities.He was born February 2, 1536 in Grójec, to a family of lesser landless gentry...

. He invited many scientists from various parts of Europe and expanded the library, with the sponsorship of many notable persons: Sigismund II Augustus
Sigismund II Augustus
Sigismund II Augustus I was King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania, the only son of Sigismund I the Old, whom Sigismund II succeeded in 1548...

, Bishop Walerian Protasewicz
Walerian Protasewicz
Walerian Protasewicz was bishop of Lutsk and Vilnius . To combat Reformation he invited Jesuits to the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. He funded the Jesuit college in Vilnius and obtained Papal and Royal privileges to convert the college into Vilnius University in 1579...

, and Kazimierz Lew Sapieha. Lithuanians at the time comprised about one third of the students (in 1568 there were circa 700 students), others were Germans
Germans
The Germans are a Germanic ethnic group native to Central Europe. The English term Germans has referred to the German-speaking population of the Holy Roman Empire since the Late Middle Ages....

, Poles
Poles
thumb|right|180px|The state flag of [[Poland]] as used by Polish government and diplomatic authoritiesThe Polish people, or Poles , are a nation indigenous to Poland. They are united by the Polish language, which belongs to the historical Lechitic subgroup of West Slavic languages of Central Europe...

, Swedes, and even Hungarians.


In 1575, Duke Mikołaj Krzysztof Radziwiłł and Elżbieta Ogińska sponsored a printing house for the academy, one of the first in the region. The printing house issued books in Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 and Polish
Polish language
Polish is a language of the Lechitic subgroup of West Slavic languages, used throughout Poland and by Polish minorities in other countries...

 and the first surviving book in Lithuanian
Lithuanian language
Lithuanian is the official state language of Lithuania and is recognized as one of the official languages of the European Union. There are about 2.96 million native Lithuanian speakers in Lithuania and about 170,000 abroad. Lithuanian is a Baltic language, closely related to Latvian, although they...

 printed in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania
Grand Duchy of Lithuania
The Grand Duchy of Lithuania was a European state from the 12th /13th century until 1569 and then as a constituent part of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth until 1791 when Constitution of May 3, 1791 abolished it in favor of unitary state. It was founded by the Lithuanians, one of the polytheistic...

 was in 1595. It was entitled Kathechismas, arba Mokslas kiekvienam krikščioniui privalus, and was authored by Mikalojus Daukša
Mikalojus Daukša
Mikalojus Daukša was a Lithuanian and Latin religious writer, translator and a Catholic church official...

.

The Academy's growth continued until the 17th century. The following era, known as The Deluge, led to a dramatic drop in both the number of students that matriculated, and in the quality of its programs. In the middle of the 18th century, educational authorities tried to restore the Academy. This led to the foundation of the first observatory
Observatory
An observatory is a location used for observing terrestrial or celestial events. Astronomy, climatology/meteorology, geology, oceanography and volcanology are examples of disciplines for which observatories have been constructed...

 in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth
Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth
The Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth was a dualistic state of Poland and Lithuania ruled by a common monarch. It was the largest and one of the most populous countries of 16th- and 17th‑century Europe with some and a multi-ethnic population of 11 million at its peak in the early 17th century...

, (the fourth such professional facility in Europe), in 1753, by Tomasz Żebrowski. The Commission of National Education , the world's first ministry of education, took control of the Academy in 1773, and transformed it into a modern University
University
A university is an institution of higher education and research, which grants academic degrees in a variety of subjects. A university is an organisation that provides both undergraduate education and postgraduate education...

. The language of instruction, as everywhere throughout the Commonwealth's higher educational institutions, changed from Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 to Polish
Polish language
Polish is a language of the Lechitic subgroup of West Slavic languages, used throughout Poland and by Polish minorities in other countries...

. Thanks to the Rector
Rector
The word rector has a number of different meanings; it is widely used to refer to an academic, religious or political administrator...

 of the Academy, Marcin Poczobutt-Odlanicki
Marcin Poczobutt-Odlanicki
Marcin Odlanicki Poczobutt was a Polish–Lithuanian Jesuit astronomer and mathematician. He was professor of Vilnius University for over 50 years, serving as its rector form 1780 to 1799. The Poczobutt crater on the Moon is named after him.-Career:...

, the Academy was granted the status of Principal School in 1783. The Commission, the secular authority governing the academy after the dissolution of the Jesuit order, drew up a new statute. The school was named Academia et Universitas Vilnensis.

Partitions


After the Partitions of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth
Partitions of Poland
The Partitions of Poland or Partitions of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth took place in the second half of the 18th century and ended the existence of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, resulting in the elimination of sovereign Poland for 123 years...

, Vilnius
Vilnius
Vilnius is the capital of Lithuania, and its largest city, with a population of 560,190 as of 2010. It is the seat of the Vilnius city municipality and of the Vilnius district municipality. It is also the capital of Vilnius County...

 was annexed by the Russian Empire
Russian Empire
The Russian Empire was a state that existed from 1721 until the Russian Revolution of 1917. It was the successor to the Tsardom of Russia and the predecessor of the Soviet Union...

. However, the Commission of National Education retained control over the Academy until 1803, when Tsar Alexander I of Russia
Alexander I of Russia
Alexander I of Russia , served as Emperor of Russia from 23 March 1801 to 1 December 1825 and the first Russian King of Poland from 1815 to 1825. He was also the first Russian Grand Duke of Finland and Lithuania....

 accepted the new statute and renamed the Academy to The Imperial University of Vilna (Императорскiй Виленскiй Университетъ). The institution was granted the rights to the administration of all educational facilities in the former Grand Duchy of Lithuania
Grand Duchy of Lithuania
The Grand Duchy of Lithuania was a European state from the 12th /13th century until 1569 and then as a constituent part of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth until 1791 when Constitution of May 3, 1791 abolished it in favor of unitary state. It was founded by the Lithuanians, one of the polytheistic...

. Among the notable personae were the curator (governor) Adam Jerzy Czartoryski
Adam Jerzy Czartoryski
Prince Adam Jerzy Czartoryski was a Polish-Lithuanian noble, statesman and author. He was the son of Prince Adam Kazimierz Czartoryski and Izabela Fleming....

, and Rector Jan Śniadecki
Jan Sniadecki
Jan Śniadecki was a Polish mathematician, philosopher and astronomer at the turn of the 18th and 19th centuries.-Life:Born in Żnin, Śniadecki studied at Kraków University and in Paris...

.

The university flourished. It retained the ability to use Polish as the instructional language, although Russian
Russian language
Russian is a Slavic language used primarily in Russia, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. It is an unofficial but widely spoken language in Ukraine, Moldova, Latvia, Turkmenistan and Estonia and, to a lesser extent, the other countries that were once constituent republics...

 was added to the curriculum as well. It became known for its studies of Belorusian and Lithuanian culture. Polish language was the language of instruction. By 1823, it was one of the largest in Europe; the number of students exceeded that of the Oxford University. A number of students were arrested in 1823 for conspiracy
Conspiracy (political)
In a political sense, conspiracy refers to a group of persons united in the goal of usurping or overthrowing an established political power. Typically, the final goal is to gain power through a revolutionary coup d'état or through assassination....

 against the Tsar (membership in Filomaci). Among them was Adam Mickiewicz
Adam Mickiewicz
Adam Bernard Mickiewicz ) was a Polish poet, publisher and political writer of the Romantic period. One of the primary representatives of the Polish Romanticism era, a national poet of Poland, he is seen as one of Poland's Three Bards and the greatest poet in all of Polish literature...

, who later became one of the most important poets of his time. In 1832, after the November Uprising
November Uprising
The November Uprising , Polish–Russian War 1830–31 also known as the Cadet Revolution, was an armed rebellion in the heartland of partitioned Poland against the Russian Empire. The uprising began on 29 November 1830 in Warsaw when the young Polish officers from the local Army of the Congress...

, the University was closed by Tsar Nicholas I of Russia
Nicholas I of Russia
Nicholas I , was the Emperor of Russia from 1825 until 1855, known as one of the most reactionary of the Russian monarchs. On the eve of his death, the Russian Empire reached its historical zenith spanning over 20 million square kilometers...

.

Two of the faculties were turned into separate schools: the Medical and Surgical Academy (Akademia Medyko-Chirurgiczna) and the Roman Catholic Academy (Rzymsko-Katolicka Akademia Duchowna), but those were soon banned as well. The repression that followed the failed uprising included banning both the Polish
Polish language
Polish is a language of the Lechitic subgroup of West Slavic languages, used throughout Poland and by Polish minorities in other countries...

 and Lithuanian language
Lithuanian language
Lithuanian is the official state language of Lithuania and is recognized as one of the official languages of the European Union. There are about 2.96 million native Lithuanian speakers in Lithuania and about 170,000 abroad. Lithuanian is a Baltic language, closely related to Latvian, although they...

s, and all education in those languages was halted. Finally, most of the property of the University was confiscated and sent to Russia (mostly to St. Petersburg
Saint Petersburg
Saint Petersburg is a city and a federal subject of Russia located on the Neva River at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea...

).

1918-1939


Lithuania declared its independence in February 1918. The university, along with the rest of Vilnius and Lithuania, was opened three times between 1918 and 1919 by different powers. The Lithuanian National Council re-established it in December 1918, with classes to start on January 1, 1919. An invasion by the Red Army
Red Army
The Workers' and Peasants' Red Army started out as the Soviet Union's revolutionary communist combat groups during the Russian Civil War of 1918-1922. It grew into the national army of the Soviet Union. By the 1930s the Red Army was among the largest armies in history.The "Red Army" name refers to...

 interrupted this plan. A Lithuanian communist, Vincas Kapsukas-Mickevičius, then sponsored a plan to re-open it as "Labor University" in March 1919 in the short-lived Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic
Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic (1918–1919)
The Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic was an early short-lived Soviet republic declared on December 16, 1918 by the provisional revolutionary government, led by Vincas Mickevičius-Kapsukas...

 (later, Lithuanian–Belorussian Soviet Socialist Republic), but the city was taken by Poland
Vilna offensive
The Vilna offensive was a campaign of the Polish–Soviet War of 1919–1921. The Polish army launched an offensive on April 16, 1919, to take Vilnius from the Red Army. After three days of street fighting from April 19–21, the city was captured by Polish forces, causing the Red Army to...

 in April 1919. Marshall Józef Piłsudski reopened it as Stefan Batory
Stefan Batory
Stephen Báthory was a Hungarian noble Prince of Transylvania , then King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania . He was a member of the Somlyó branch of the noble Hungarian Báthory family...

 University
(Uniwersytet Stefana Batorego) on August 28, 1919. The city would fall to the Soviets again in 1920, who transferred it to the Lithuanian state after their defeat in the battle of Warsaw
Battle of Warsaw
Battle of Warsaw can refer to:* Siege of Warsaw , Warsaw retaken by Poles from Swedes on June 30, 1656, during The Deluge* Battle of Warsaw , battle outside the city on July 18-July 20, 1656, during The Deluge, following which Warsaw is captured by Swedes for the second time* Battle of Warsaw ,...

. Finally, in the aftermath of the Żeligowski's Mutiny
Zeligowski's Mutiny
Żeligowski's Mutiny was a sham mutiny led by Polish General Lucjan Żeligowski in October 1920, which resulted in the creation of the short-lived Republic of Central Lithuania. Polish Chief of State Józef Piłsudski had surreptitiously ordered Żeligowski to carry out the operation, and revealed the...

 and Republic of Central Lithuania general election, 1922
Republic of Central Lithuania general election, 1922
The general election in the Republic of Central Lithuania was an election to the Vilnius Sejm of the Polish-dominated Republic of Central Lithuania on January 8, 1922. The new parliament was intended to formally legalize incorporation of Central Lithuania into Poland. Such measure was fiercely...

, the Vilnius Region
Vilnius region
Vilnius Region , refers to the territory in the present day Lithuania, that was originally inhabited by ethnic Baltic tribes and was a part of Lithuania proper, but came under East Slavic and Polish cultural influences over time,...

 was subsequently annexed by Poland. In response to the dispute over the region, many Lithuanian scholars moved to Vytautas Magnus University
Vytautas Magnus University
Vytautas Magnus University ) is a public university in Kaunas, Lithuania. The university was founded in 1922 during the interwar period as an alternate national university...

 in Kaunas
Kaunas
Kaunas is the second-largest city in Lithuania and has historically been a leading centre of Lithuanian economic, academic, and cultural life. Kaunas was the biggest city and the center of a powiat in Trakai Voivodeship of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania since 1413. During Russian Empire occupation...

, the interwar capital.

The University quickly recovered and gained international prestige, largely because of the presence of notable scientists such as Władysław Tatarkiewicz, Marian Zdziechowski
Marian Zdziechowski
Marian Zdziechowski was a Polish philosopher, Slavist, publicist and cultural historian. Critic of fascist and communist totalitarianism. Representative of catastrophism and philosophical pessimism...

, and Henryk Niewodniczański
Henryk Niewodniczanski
Henryk Niewodniczański was a Polish physicist, professor at the Jagiellonian University and the creator and director of the Institute of Nuclear Physics in Cracow....

. Among the students of the University at that time was future Nobel prize
Nobel Prize
The Nobel Prizes are annual international awards bestowed by Scandinavian committees in recognition of cultural and scientific advances. The will of the Swedish chemist Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite, established the prizes in 1895...

 winner Czesław Miłosz. The University grew quickly, thanks to government grants and private donations. Its library contained 600,000 volumes, including historic and cartographic items which are still in its possession.

In 1938 the University had:
  • 7 Institutes
  • 123 professors
  • 104 different scientific units (including two hospitals)
  • 3110 students


The University's international students included 212 Russians
Russians
The Russian people are an East Slavic ethnic group native to Russia, speaking the Russian language and primarily living in Russia and neighboring countries....

, 94 Belarusians
Belarusians
Belarusians ; are an East Slavic ethnic group who populate the majority of the Republic of Belarus. Introduced to the world as a new state in the early 1990s, the Republic of Belarus brought with it the notion of a re-emerging Belarusian ethnicity, drawn upon the lines of the Old Belarusian...

, 85 Lithuanians
Lithuanians
Lithuanians are the Baltic ethnic group native to Lithuania, where they number around 2,765,600 people. Another million or more make up the Lithuanian diaspora, largely found in countries such as the United States, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Russia, United Kingdom and Ireland. Their native language...

, 28 Ukrainians
Ukrainians
Ukrainians are an East Slavic ethnic group native to Ukraine, which is the sixth-largest nation in Europe. The Constitution of Ukraine applies the term 'Ukrainians' to all its citizens...

 and 13 Germans
Germans
The Germans are a Germanic ethnic group native to Central Europe. The English term Germans has referred to the German-speaking population of the Holy Roman Empire since the Late Middle Ages....

. Anti-Semitism increased during the 1930s and a system of ghetto benches
Ghetto benches
Ghetto benches or bench Ghetto was a form of official segregation in the seating of students, introduced in Poland's universities beginning in 1935 at Lwow Polytechnic. By 1937, when this practice became conditionally legalized, most rectors at other higher education institutions had adopted this...

, in which Jewish students were required to sit in separate areas, was instituted at the university. Violence erupted; the university was closed for two weeks during January 1937. In February Jewish students were denied entrance to its grounds. The faculty was then authorized to decide on an individual basis whether the segregation should be observed in their classrooms and expel those students who would not comply. 54 Jewish students were expelled, but were allowed to return the next day under a compromise in which in addition to Jewish students, Lithuanian, Belarussian, and "Polish democratic" students were also to be seated separately. Rector of the university, Władysław Marian Jakowicki
Władysław Marian Jakowicki
Władysław Marian Jakowicki was a Polish soldier, physician and an academic. Professor and rector of the Stefan Batory University in Wilno...

, resigned his position in protest over the introduction of the ghetto benches.

World War II


Following the Invasion of Poland (1939)
Invasion of Poland (1939)
The Invasion of Poland, also known as the September Campaign or 1939 Defensive War in Poland and the Poland Campaign in Germany, was an invasion of Poland by Germany, the Soviet Union, and a small Slovak contingent that marked the start of World War II in Europe...

 the University continued its operations. The city was soon occupied by the Soviet Union
Soviet invasion of Poland
Soviet invasion of Poland can refer to:* the second phase of the Polish-Soviet War of 1920 when Soviet armies marched on Warsaw, Poland* Soviet invasion of Poland of 1939 when Soviet Union allied with Nazi Germany attacked Second Polish Republic...

. Most of the professors returned to the university after the hostilities ended, and the faculties reopened on October 1, 1939. On October 28, Vilnius
Vilnius
Vilnius is the capital of Lithuania, and its largest city, with a population of 560,190 as of 2010. It is the seat of the Vilnius city municipality and of the Vilnius district municipality. It is also the capital of Vilnius County...

 was transferred to Lithuania
Lithuania
Lithuania , officially the Republic of Lithuania is a country in Northern Europe, the biggest of the three Baltic states. It is situated along the southeastern shore of the Baltic Sea, whereby to the west lie Sweden and Denmark...

 which considered the previous eighteen years as an occupation by Poland of its capital. The University was closed on December 15, 1939 by the authorities of the Republic of Lithuania. All the University facult, staff and its approximately 3,000 students dismissed. Students were ordered to leave the dormitories; 600 ended in a refugee camp. Following the Lithuanization
Lithuanization
Lithuanization is a process of cultural assimilation - adoption, either forced or voluntary, of Lithuanian culture or language, experienced by non-Lithuanian people or groups of people.- History :...

 policies, in its place a new university, named Vilniaus Universitetas, was created. Its faculty came from the Kaunas University. The new University Charter specified that Vilnius University was to be governed according to the statute of the Vytautas Magnus University
Vytautas Magnus University
Vytautas Magnus University ) is a public university in Kaunas, Lithuania. The university was founded in 1922 during the interwar period as an alternate national university...

 of Kaunas
Kaunas
Kaunas is the second-largest city in Lithuania and has historically been a leading centre of Lithuanian economic, academic, and cultural life. Kaunas was the biggest city and the center of a powiat in Trakai Voivodeship of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania since 1413. During Russian Empire occupation...

, and that Lithuanian language
Lithuanian language
Lithuanian is the official state language of Lithuania and is recognized as one of the official languages of the European Union. There are about 2.96 million native Lithuanian speakers in Lithuania and about 170,000 abroad. Lithuanian is a Baltic language, closely related to Latvian, although they...

 programs and faculties would be established. Lithuanian language was named as the official language of the university. A new academic term started on 22 January; only 13 of the new students had former Polish citizenship.

Polish Law and Social Sciences, Humanities, Medical, Theological, Mathematical-Life sciences faculties continued to work underground
Education in Poland during World War II
This article covers the topic of underground education in Poland during World War II. Secret learning prepared new cadres for the post-war reconstruction of Poland and countered the German and Soviet threat to exterminate the Polish culture....

 with lectures and exams held in private flats until 1944. Polish professors who took part in the underground courses included Iwo Jaworski, Kazimierz Petrusewicz and Bronisław Wróblewski. The diplomas of the underground Universities were accepted by many Polish
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

 Universities after the war. Soon after the annexation of Lithuania by the Soviet Union, while some Polish professors were allowed to resume teaching, many others (along with some Lithuanian professors) who were deemed reactionary
Reactionary
The term reactionary refers to viewpoints that seek to return to a previous state in a society. The term is meant to describe one end of a political spectrum whose opposite pole is "radical". While it has not been generally considered a term of praise it has been adopted as a self-description by...

were arrested and sent to prisons and gulag
Gulag
The Gulag was the government agency that administered the main Soviet forced labor camp systems. While the camps housed a wide range of convicts, from petty criminals to political prisoners, large numbers were convicted by simplified procedures, such as NKVD troikas and other instruments of...

s in Russia and Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan , officially the Republic of Kazakhstan, is a transcontinental country in Central Asia and Eastern Europe. Ranked as the ninth largest country in the world, it is also the world's largest landlocked country; its territory of is greater than Western Europe...

. Between September 1939, and July 1941, the Soviets arrested and deported nineteen Polish faculty and ex-faculty of the University of Stefan Batory, of which nine perished: Professors Stanisław Cywinski, Władysław Marian Jakowicki
Władysław Marian Jakowicki
Władysław Marian Jakowicki was a Polish soldier, physician and an academic. Professor and rector of the Stefan Batory University in Wilno...

, Jan Kempisty, Józef Marcinkiewicz
Józef Marcinkiewicz
Józef Marcinkiewicz – died in 1940 in Kharkiv, Ukraine) was a Polish mathematician.He was a student of Antoni Zygmund; and later worked with Juliusz Schauder, and Stefan Kaczmarz. He was a professor of the Stefan Batory University in Wilno....

, Tadeusz Kolaczyński, Piotr Oficjalski, Włodzimierz Godłowski
Włodzimierz Godłowski
Włodzimierz Józef Godłowski was a Polish neurologist and psychologist. A professor of the Stefan Batory University in Wilno , he was also an officer in the Polish Army during the German and Soviet invasion of Poland...

, Konstanty Pietkiewicz, and Konstanty Sokol-Sokolowski, the last five victims of the Katyn massacre
Katyn massacre
The Katyn massacre, also known as the Katyn Forest massacre , was a mass execution of Polish nationals carried out by the People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs , the Soviet secret police, in April and May 1940. The massacre was prompted by Lavrentiy Beria's proposal to execute all members of...

.

The city was occupied by Germany in 1941, and all institutions of higher education for Poles were closed. From 1940 until September 1944, under Lithuanian professor and activist Mykolas Biržiška
Mykolas Biržiška
Mykolas Biržiška , a Lithuanian editor, historian, professor of literature, diplomat, and politician, was one of the twenty signatories of the Act of Independence of Lithuania....

, the University of Vilnius was open for Lithuanian students under supervision of the German occupation authorities. In 1944, many of Polish students took part in Operation Ostra Brama. The majority of the them were later arrested by the NKVD
NKVD
The People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs was the public and secret police organization of the Soviet Union that directly executed the rule of power of the Soviets, including political repression, during the era of Joseph Stalin....

 and suffered various repressions from their participation in the Armia Krajowa
Armia Krajowa
The Armia Krajowa , or Home Army, was the dominant Polish resistance movement in World War II German-occupied Poland. It was formed in February 1942 from the Związek Walki Zbrojnej . Over the next two years, it absorbed most other Polish underground forces...

 resistance.

Soviet period (1945-1990)


Educated Poles were transferred to People's Republic of Poland
People's Republic of Poland
The People's Republic of Poland was the official name of Poland from 1952 to 1990. Although the Soviet Union took control of the country immediately after the liberation from Nazi Germany in 1944, the name of the state was not changed until eight years later...

 after World War II under the guidance of State Repatriation Office. As the result many of former students and professors of Stefan Batory joined various universities in Poland. In order not to lose contact with each other, the professors decided to transfer whole faculties. After 1945, most of the mathematicians, humanists and biologists joined the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń
Nicolaus Copernicus University in Torun
Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń is located in Toruń, Poland. It was named after Nicolaus Copernicus who was born in this town in 1473.-The beginnings of higher education in Toruń:...

, while a number of the medical faculty formed the core of the newly-founded Medical University of Gdańsk
Medical University of Gdansk
The Medical University of Gdańsk is the largest medical academic institution in northern Poland. It educates more than 5000 undergraduate and postgraduate students in four faculties.-History:...

. The Toruń
Torun
Toruń is an ancient city in northern Poland, on the Vistula River. Its population is more than 205,934 as of June 2009. Toruń is one of the oldest cities in Poland. The medieval old town of Toruń is the birthplace of the astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus....

 university is often considered to be the successor to the Polish traditions of the Stefan Batory University.

In 1955 the University was named after Vincas Kapsukas. After it had been awarded the Order of the Red Banner of Labour
Order of the Red Banner of Labour
The Order of the Red Banner of Labour was an order of the Soviet Union for accomplishments in labour and civil service. It is the labour counterpart of the military Order of the Red Banner. A few institutions and factories, being the pride of Soviet Union, also received the order.-History:The Red...

 in 1971 and the Order of Friendship of Peoples
Order of Friendship of Peoples
The Order of Friendship of Peoples was an order of the Soviet Union, and was awarded to persons , organizations, enterprises, military units, as well as administrative subdivisions of the USSR for accomplishments in strengthening of inter-ethnic and international friendship and cooperation, for...

 in 1979, its full name until 1990 was Vilnius Order of the Red Banner of Labour and Order of Friendship of Peoples V. Kapsukas State University. Though restrained by the Soviet system, Vilnius University grew and gained significance and developed its own, Lithuanian identity. Vilnius University began to free itself from Soviet ideology in 1988, thanks to the policy of glasnost
Glasnost
Glasnost was the policy of maximal publicity, openness, and transparency in the activities of all government institutions in the Soviet Union, together with freedom of information, introduced by Mikhail Gorbachev in the second half of the 1980s...

.

After 1990


On March 11, 1990, Lithuania
Lithuania
Lithuania , officially the Republic of Lithuania is a country in Northern Europe, the biggest of the three Baltic states. It is situated along the southeastern shore of the Baltic Sea, whereby to the west lie Sweden and Denmark...

 declared independence, and the University regained autonomy. Since 1991, Vilnius University has been a signatory to the Magna Charta of the European Universities. The University is a member of the European University Association
European University Association
The European University Association represents and supports more than 850 institutions of higher education in 46 countries, providing them with a forum for cooperation and exchange of information on higher education and research policies...

 (EUA) and the Conference of Baltic University Rectors.

Vilnius University today









In modern times, the University still offers studies with an internationally recognized content.

As of January 1, 2007, there were 23,255 students studying at Vilnius University.

The current University Rector is Professor Benediktas Juodka of the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics.

The University, specifically the courtyard, was featured in the American TV series the Amazing Race
The Amazing Race 12
The Amazing Race 12 is the twelfth installment of winning reality television show The Amazing Race.The 12th season premiered on November 4, 2007 at 8 p.m. ET/PT. It took the timeslot of the canceled CBS series Viva Laughlin. The finale aired on January 20, 2008 at 8 p.m...

.

Organization


There are 14 faculties (оr faculty status holding institutes):

The university has 5 institutes:

There are 4 study and research centers:

Other Divisions of Vilnius University

Projects


A complete list of research projects may be found at http://www.vu.lt/en/research/research_activities/international_research_projects/. Recent and ongoing projects at Vilnius University include:
  • "Laser Spectrometer for Testing of Coatings of Crystals and Optical Components in Wide Spectral and Angle Range". NATO Science for Peace
    NATO Science for Peace
    The Science for Peace and Security Committee is a NATO programme supporting civil science cooperation and innovation. Created in 2006 as the merger of the NATO Science Committee and the Committee on the Challenges of Modern Society , the SPS offers grants to scientists in NATO and NATO Partner...

     programme project. NATO SfP-972534. 1999-2002.

  • "Cell biology and lasers: towards new technologies". Vilnius University - UNESCO Associated Centre of Excellence.

  • "Science and Society: Genomics and Benefit Sharing with Developing Countries - From Biodiversity to Human Genomics (GenBenefit)". Doc. E. Gefenas (Faculty of Medicine). 2006-2009.

  • "Citizens and governance in a knowledge-based society: Social Inequality and Why It Matters for the Economic and Democratic Development of Europe and Its Citizens. Post-Communist Central and Eastern Europe in Comparative Perspective (EUREQUAL)." Doc. A. Poviliūnas (Faculty of Philosophy). 2006-2009.

  • "Marie Curie Chairs: Centre for Studies and Training Experiments with Lasers and Laser Applications (STELLA)". A. Dubietis (Faculty of Physics). 2006-2009.

  • "Research Infrastructure Action: Integrated European Laser Laboratories (LaserLab-Europe)". Prof. A. Piskarskas (Faculty of Physics). 2004-2007.

  • "Nanotechnology and nanoscieces, knowledge-based multifunctional materials, new production processes and devices: Cell Programming by Nanoscaled Devices (CellPROM)". Prof. A. Kareiva (Faculty of Chemistry). 2004-2009.

Notable professors and alumni of Vilnius University

Sorted in alphabetical order

  • Michał Bobrowski
  • Brigita Brazytė, linguist
  • Alfredas Bumblauskas
    Alfredas Bumblauskas
    Alfredas Bumblauskas is a professor at Vilnius University and one of the best known Lithuanian historians.After graduating from Žemaitė school in Telšiai, he enrolled in Vilnius University in 1974. Bumblauskas received his doctoral degree in 1987, and was mentored by Edvardas Gudavičius...

    , professor, historian
  • Ludwik Chmaj, historian and philosopher
  • Aleksander Chodźko
    Aleksander Chodzko
    Aleksander Borejko Chodźko was a Polish poet, Slavist, and Iranologist.-Biography:He was born in Krzywicze in Russia , and attended the University of Vilnius...

    , poet, Slavist
  • Leonard Chodźko
    Leonard Chodzko
    Leonard Borejko Chodźko was a Polish historian, geographer, cartographer, publisher, archivist, and activist of Poland's post-November-1830-Uprising Great Emigration.-Life:...

    , historian
  • Józef Michał Chomiński, musicologist
  • Adam Jerzy Czartoryski
    Adam Jerzy Czartoryski
    Prince Adam Jerzy Czartoryski was a Polish-Lithuanian noble, statesman and author. He was the son of Prince Adam Kazimierz Czartoryski and Izabela Fleming....

  • Tadeusz Czeżowski
    Tadeusz Czezowski
    Tadeusz Czeżowski was a Polish philosopher and logician.Czeżowski, born in Vienna, Austria, became a student of Kazimierz Twardowski and member of the Lwów-Warsaw School of Logic. From 1923 to 1939 he was a professor at Stefan Batory University in Wilno, Lithuania, and from 1945 to 1960 a...

    , logician
  • Simonas Daukantas
    Simonas Daukantas
    Simonas Daukantas or Szymon Dowkont was a Lithuanian writer, ethnographer and historian. One of the pioneers of the Lithuanian national revival, he is credited as an author of the first book on the history of Lithuania written in the Lithuanian language...

    , historian
  • Ignacy Domeyko
    Ignacy Domeyko
    Ignacy Domeyko or Domejko was a 19th-century geologist, mineralogist and educator who was born in Nesvizh, Imperial Russia , into a Polish-Lithuanian family...

    , founder of University of Santiago de Chile
    University of Santiago, Chile
    The University of Santiago of Chile is one of the oldest public universities in Chile.The institution was born as Escuela de Artes y Oficios in 1849, under the government of Manuel Bulnes...

  • Henryk Elzenberg, historian and philosopher
  • Józef Gołuchowski, philosopher
  • Gottfried Erns Groddeck, medician
  • Johann Peter Frank
    Johann Peter Frank
    Johann Peter Frank was a German physician and hygienist who was a native of Rodalben.He studied medicine at the Universities of Strasbourg and Heidelberg, and earned his medical doctorate in 1766. He was professor at the Universities of Pavia and Göttingen, and for a period of time was personal...

    , medician
  • Josef Frank, medician
  • Marija Gimbutas
    Marija Gimbutas
    Marija Gimbutas , was a Lithuanian-American archeologist known for her research into the Neolithic and Bronze Age cultures of "Old Europe", a term she introduced. Her works published between 1946 and 1971 introduced new views by combining traditional spadework with linguistics and mythological...

    , archeologist, author of the Kurgan hypothesis
    Kurgan hypothesis
    The Kurgan hypothesis is one of the proposals about early Indo-European origins, which postulates that the people of an archaeological "Kurgan culture" in the Pontic steppe were the most likely speakers of the Proto-Indo-European language...

  • Edvardas Gudavičius
    Edvardas Gudavicius
    Edvardas Gudavičius is one of the best known historians in modern Lithuania specializing in early history of Grand Duchy of Lithuania. In 1953 he graduated from Kaunas Polytechnic Institute with a degree in engineering. Gudavičius started his career as a mechanic at one of the factories in Kaunas,...

    , professor, historian
  • Tomasz Hussarzewski, historian
  • Władysław Marian Jakowicki
    Władysław Marian Jakowicki
    Władysław Marian Jakowicki was a Polish soldier, physician and an academic. Professor and rector of the Stefan Batory University in Wilno...

    , physician, rector
  • Stanisław Bonifacy Jundziłł, biologist
  • Daniel Klein
    Daniel Klein (grammarian)
    Daniel Klein was a Lutheran pastor and scholar from Tilsit, Duchy of Prussia, who is best known for writing the first grammar book of the Lithuanian language.Klein studied philosophy, theology, Greek and Hebrew in the University of Königsberg...

    , the author of the first grammar book of the Lithuanian language
    Lithuanian language
    Lithuanian is the official state language of Lithuania and is recognized as one of the official languages of the European Union. There are about 2.96 million native Lithuanian speakers in Lithuania and about 170,000 abroad. Lithuanian is a Baltic language, closely related to Latvian, although they...

  • Ludwik Kolankowski, historian
  • Józef Ignacy Kraszewski
    Józef Ignacy Kraszewski
    Józef Ignacy Kraszewski was a Polish writer, historian and journalist who produced more than 200 novels and 150 novellas, short stories, and art reviews He is best known for his epic series on the history of Poland, comprising twenty-nine novels in seventy-nine parts.As a novelist writing about...

    , writer
  • Michał Kulesza
    Michał Kulesza
    The Romantic painter Michał Kulesza was among the first lithographers in the area of the former Grand Duchy of Lithuania, ruled by Russia for almost all of his life. His frequent theme, sites linked to the Grand Duchy's history, reflected the growing Lithuanian and Polish ethnic activism in the area...

     (Mykolas Kuleša), painter
  • Žygimantas Liauksminas, philosopher
  • Joachim Lelewel
    Joachim Lelewel
    Joachim Lelewel was a Polish historian and politician, from a Polonized branch of a Prussian family.His grandparents were Heinrich Löllhöffel von Löwensprung and Constance Jauch , who later polonized her name to Lelewel.-Life:Born in Warsaw, Lelewel was educated at the Imperial University of...

    , historian and politician
  • Henryk Łowmiański, historian
  • Ina Marciulionyte
    Ina Marčiulionytė
    Ina Marčiulionytė is the Ambassador and Permanent Delegate of the Republic of Lithuania to UNESCO at the headquarters in Paris and has served in that post since 2003...

    , Ambassador and Permanent Delegate of the Republic of Lithuania
    Lithuania
    Lithuania , officially the Republic of Lithuania is a country in Northern Europe, the biggest of the three Baltic states. It is situated along the southeastern shore of the Baltic Sea, whereby to the west lie Sweden and Denmark...

     to UNESCO
    UNESCO
    The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations...

  • Adam Mickiewicz
    Adam Mickiewicz
    Adam Bernard Mickiewicz ) was a Polish poet, publisher and political writer of the Romantic period. One of the primary representatives of the Polish Romanticism era, a national poet of Poland, he is seen as one of Poland's Three Bards and the greatest poet in all of Polish literature...

    , poet
  • Czesław Miłosz, poet, Nobel laureate
  • Kazimierz Moszyński, ethnologist
  • Ignacy Żegota Onacewicz, Polish scientist and Belarus
    Belarus
    Belarus , officially the Republic of Belarus, is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe, bordered clockwise by Russia to the northeast, Ukraine to the south, Poland to the west, and Lithuania and Latvia to the northwest. Its capital is Minsk; other major cities include Brest, Grodno , Gomel ,...

    ian national revival pioneer
  • Jan Szczepan Otrębski, philologist, professor of Lithuanian and German languages
  • Karol Podczaszyński
    Karol Podczaszynski
    Karol Podczaszyński was a Polish-Lithuanian architect, a representative of the neoclassical architecture and a professor of the Imperial University of Vilna, as well as one of the pioneers of industrial design....

    , architect
  • Edmundas Rimša
    Edmundas Rimša
    Edmundas Antanas Rimša Lithuanian historian, specialist of heraldics, sfragistics and genealogy.-Biography:...

     historian, specialist of heraldics, sfragistics and genealogy.
  • Maciej Kazimierz Sarbiewski
    Maciej Kazimierz Sarbiewski
    Maciej Kazimierz Sarbiewski , was Europe's most prominent Latin poet of the 17th century, and a renowned theoretician of poetics.-Life:...

    , famous Latin language poet
  • Józef Sękowski, orientalist
    Orientalism
    Orientalism is a term used for the imitation or depiction of aspects of Eastern cultures in the West by writers, designers and artists, as well as having other meanings...

    , journalist
  • Piotr Skarga
    Piotr Skarga
    Piotr Skarga was a Polish Jesuit, preacher, hagiographer, polemicist, and leading figure of the Counter-reformation in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. He was called the "Polish Bossuet" due to his oratorical abilities.He was born February 2, 1536 in Grójec, to a family of lesser landless gentry...

  • Kazimierz Siemienowicz
    Kazimierz Siemienowicz
    Kazimierz Siemienowicz , was a Polish-Lithuanian general of artillery, gunsmith, military engineer, artillery specialist and pioneer of rocketry. Born in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, he served the armies of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, a federation of Poland and the Grand Duchy, and in the...

    , artillery engineer, constructor and pioneer of rocketry
  • Konstantinas Sirvydas
    Konstantinas Sirvydas
    Konstantinas Sirvydas died 1631) was a Lithuanian religious preacher, lexicographer and one of the pioneers of Lithuanian literature from the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, at the time a confederal part of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth...

    , professor
  • Juliusz Słowacki, poet
  • Stefan Srebrny, philologist
  • Jan Śniadecki
    Jan Sniadecki
    Jan Śniadecki was a Polish mathematician, philosopher and astronomer at the turn of the 18th and 19th centuries.-Life:Born in Żnin, Śniadecki studied at Kraków University and in Paris...

    , astronomer, mathematician, physicist
  • Jędrzej Śniadecki
    Jedrzej Sniadecki
    Jędrzej Śniadecki was a Polish writer, physician, chemist and biologist. His achievements include the creation of modern Polish terminology in the field of chemistry.-Life and work:...

    , chemist and medician
  • Marcin Śmiglecki, logician
  • Witold Taszycki, linguist
  • Józef Trypućko, philologist
  • Tomas Venclova
    Tomas Venclova
    Tomas Venclova is a Lithuanian scholar, poet, author and translator of literature.Tomas Venclova is son of poet and Soviet politician Antanas Venclova. He was educated at Vilnius University. As an active participant in the dissident movement he was deprived of Soviet citizenship in 1977 and had...

    , poet, author and translator, Yale University
    Yale University
    Yale University is a private, Ivy League university located in New Haven, Connecticut, United States. Founded in 1701 in the Colony of Connecticut, the university is the third-oldest institution of higher education in the United States...

     professor
  • Albertas Vijūkas-Kojelavičius, historian, author of the first History of Lithuania
    History of Lithuania
    The history of Lithuania dates back to at least 1009, the first recorded written use of the term. Lithuanians, a branch of the Baltic peoples, later conquered neighboring lands, establishing the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and in the 13th century the short-lived Kingdom of Lithuania. The Grand Duchy...

  • Vilenas Vadapalas
    Vilenas Vadapalas
    Vilenas Vadapalas is a Lithuanian lawyer. He became the first representative of Lithuania at the Court of First Instance of the European Union, when he was appointed in 2004...

    , lawyer, Judge in the Court of First Instance
  • Stanislaw Warszewicki, writer
  • Jan Fryderyk Wolfgang, biologist
  • Jakub Wujek
    Jakub Wujek
    Jakub Wujek son of Maciej Wujek; a Polish Jesuit, religious writer, Doctor of Theology, Vice-Chancellor of the Vilnius Academy and translator of the Bible into Polish.-Life:...

    , first translator of the Bible
    Bible
    The Bible refers to any one of the collections of the primary religious texts of Judaism and Christianity. There is no common version of the Bible, as the individual books , their contents and their order vary among denominations...

     into the Polish language
    Polish language
    Polish is a language of the Lechitic subgroup of West Slavic languages, used throughout Poland and by Polish minorities in other countries...

  • Tomasz Zan
    Tomasz Zan
    Tomasz Zan , was a Polish poet and activist.In 1817 he was a cofounder of the Philomatic Association , in 1820, Radiant Association , in 1820-1823 president of Filaret Association , all of them student organizations in Vilna dedicated to Polish cultural and political...

    , poet
  • Zigmas Zinkevičius
    Zigmas Zinkevicius
    Zigmas Zinkevičius is a leading Lithuanian linguist-historian, professor at Vilnius University, and a true member of the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences. He has contributed to studies in the history of languages, onomastics and other areas. Zinkevičius is a recipient of the Herder Prize, which was...

    , professor, linguist-historian.

Before World War II

  • Józef Kallenbach
    Józef Kallenbach
    Józef Henryk Kallenbach - a Polish historian of literature.Kallenbach graduated from the IV Public Male Gymnasium under the name Jan Długosz of old-classical type in Lwów. He was a professor of Polish literary history at Lviv University and Jagiellon University...

    , Polish historian of literature (1927)
  • Władysław Abraham
  • Władysław Leopold Jaworski
  • Ignacy Koschembahr-Łyskowski
  • Stanisław Kutrzeba
  • Leon Petrażycki
    Leon Petrazycki
    Leon Petrazycki was a Polish philosopher, legal scholar and sociologist. He is considered one of the important forerunners of the sociology of law.- Life :Leon Petrażycki was born into the Polish gentry of the Vitebsk region in the Russian Empire...

  • Stanisław Starzyński
  • Franciszek Zoll
  • Henri Berthelemy
  • Paul Fournier
  • Pierro Bonfante
  • Salvatore Riccobono
  • Karl Stooss
  • Ludvig Puusepp
    Ludvig Puusepp
    Ludvig Puusepp , was an Estonian surgeon and researcher and the world's first professor of neurosurgery.-Early life:...

    , Estonian neurosurgeon (1930)

After World War II

  • Jan Safarewicz, Full Member of the Polish Academy of Sciences
    Polish Academy of Sciences
    The Polish Academy of Sciences, headquartered in Warsaw, is one of two Polish institutions having the nature of an academy of sciences.-History:...

    , Professor, Cracow Jagellonian University (1979)
  • Zdenek Češka, Associate Member of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic
    Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic
    The Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic was established in 1992 by the Czech National Council as the Czech successor of the former Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences. The Academy is the leading non-university public research institution in the Czech Republic...

    , Rector of Charles University, Prague (1979)
  • Werner Scheler, Professor, Germany (1979)
  • Valdas Adamkus
    Valdas Adamkus
    Valdas Adamkus was President of Lithuania from 1998 to 2003 and again from 2004 to 2009.In Lithuania, the President's tenure lasts for five years; Adamkus' first term in office began on February 26, 1998 and ended on February 28, 2003, following his defeat by Rolandas Paksas in the next...

    , President of Lithuania
    Lithuania
    Lithuania , officially the Republic of Lithuania is a country in Northern Europe, the biggest of the three Baltic states. It is situated along the southeastern shore of the Baltic Sea, whereby to the west lie Sweden and Denmark...

     (1989)
  • Czeslaw Olech, Director of International Mathematical Banach
    Stefan Banach
    Stefan Banach was a Polish mathematician who worked in interwar Poland and in Soviet Ukraine. He is generally considered to have been one of the 20th century's most important and influential mathematicians....

     Centre, Member of the Polish Academy of Sciences
    Polish Academy of Sciences
    The Polish Academy of Sciences, headquartered in Warsaw, is one of two Polish institutions having the nature of an academy of sciences.-History:...

    , Professor, Warsaw University (1989)
  • Christian Winter, Professor, Frankfurt am Main University (Germany) (1989)
  • Vaclovas Dargužas (Andreas Hofer), Doctor of Medicine (Switzerland) (1991)
  • Edvardas Varnauskas, Doctor of Medicine, Professor (Sweden) (1992)
  • Martynas Yčas, Professor, New York State University (1992)
  • Paulius Rabikauskas, Professor, Gregorius University (Rome, Italy) (1994)
  • Tomas Remeikis, professor, Indiana Calumet College (USA) (1994)
  • William Schmalstieg, Professor, Pennsylvania State University
    Pennsylvania State University
    The Pennsylvania State University, commonly referred to as Penn State or PSU, is a public research university with campuses and facilities throughout the state of Pennsylvania, United States. Founded in 1855, the university has a threefold mission of teaching, research, and public service...

     (USA) (1994)
  • Vladimir Toporov
    Vladimir Toporov
    Vladimir Nikolayevich Toporov was a leading Russian philologist associated with the Tartu-Moscow semiotic school. His wife was Tatyana Elizarenkova....

    , Professor, Institute of Slavonic Languages, Russian Academy of Sciences
    Russian Academy of Sciences
    The Russian Academy of Sciences consists of the national academy of Russia and a network of scientific research institutes from across the Russian Federation as well as auxiliary scientific and social units like libraries, publishers and hospitals....

     (1994)
  • Václav Havel
    Václav Havel
    Václav Havel is a Czech playwright, essayist, poet, dissident and politician. He was the tenth and last President of Czechoslovakia and the first President of the Czech Republic . He has written over twenty plays and numerous non-fiction works, translated internationally...

    , President of the Czech Republic
    Czech Republic
    The Czech Republic is a landlocked country in Central Europe. The country is bordered by Poland to the northeast, Slovakia to the east, Austria to the south, and Germany to the west and northwest....

     (1996)
  • Alfred Laubereau, Head of the Experimental Physics Department, Munich Technical University, Professor, Bairoit University (1997)
  • Nikolaj Bachalov, Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences
    Russian Academy of Sciences
    The Russian Academy of Sciences consists of the national academy of Russia and a network of scientific research institutes from across the Russian Federation as well as auxiliary scientific and social units like libraries, publishers and hospitals....

    , Head of the Computational Mathematics Department, Faculty of Mathematics, Moscow M. Lomonosov University (1997)
  • Rainer Eckert, Professor, Director of the Institute of Baltic Studies, Greifswald University (1997)
  • Juliusz Bardach
    Juliusz Bardach
    Juliusz Bardach was a Polish legal historian. Professor of the University of Warsaw, member of the Polish Academy of Sciences. He specialized in the history of governance and law of Lithuania and Poland....

    , Professor, Warsaw University (Poland) (1997)
  • Theodor Hellbrugge, founder and Head of the Munich Children Centre, Institute of Social Paediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, Professor, Munich University (Germany) (1998)
  • Friedrich Scholz, Director of the Interdisciplinary Institute of Baltic Studies, Professor, Munich University (Germany) (1998)
  • Zbigniew Brzezinski
    Zbigniew Brzezinski
    Zbigniew Kazimierz Brzezinski is a Polish American political scientist, geostrategist, and statesman who served as United States National Security Advisor to President Jimmy Carter from 1977 to 1981....

    , Professor, Advisor of the government of USA (1998)
  • Maria Wasna, Doctor, Professor, psychologist, Rector of Münster University (Germany) (1999)
  • Ludwik Piechnik, Professor of History, Cracow Papal Theological Academy (Poland) (1999)
  • Sven Lars Caspersen, Professor of Economics, President of the World Rector's Association, Rector of Aalborg University (Denmark) (1999)
  • Wolfgang P. Schmid, Professor, Göttingen University (Germany) (2000)
  • Eduard Liubimskij, Professor, Moscow University (Russia) (2000)
  • Andrzej Zoll
    Andrzej Zoll
    Andrzej Stanisław Zoll – Polish lawyer, former judge and president of the Polish Constitutional Tribunal, former Polish Ombudsman, former president of the State Electoral Commission, former president of the Legislative Council, co-author of the Polish Penal Code of 1997...

    , Professor, Jagellonian University in Kraków
    Kraków
    Kraków also Krakow, or Cracow , is the second largest and one of the oldest cities in Poland. Situated on the Vistula River in the Lesser Poland region, the city dates back to the 7th century. Kraków has traditionally been one of the leading centres of Polish academic, cultural, and artistic life...

     (Poland) (2002)
  • Dagfinn Moe, Professor, Bergen University (Norway) (2002)
  • Jurij Stepanov, Professor, Moscow University (Russia) (2002)
  • Ernst Ribbat, Professor, Münster University (Germany) (2002)
  • Sven Ekdahl, Professor, Prussian Secret Archives in Berlin (Germany) (2004)
  • Peter Ulrich Sauer, Professor, University of Hanover (Germany) (2004)
  • Peter Gilles
    Peter Gilles
    Peter Gilles was born 1776 in France and died 1839 in Philadelphia, United States. He emigrated to the United States around 1815 with his father Peter Gilles Sr. and his brother, Henri Noël Gilles....

    , Professor, Johann Wolfgang Goethe University (Frankfurt am Main, Germany) (2004)
  • Francis Robicsek, Professor, Carolinas Heart Institute at Carolinas Medical Centre in Charlotte, North Carolina (USA) (2004)
  • Aleksander Kwaśniewski
    Aleksander Kwasniewski
    Aleksander Kwaśniewski is a Polish politician who served as the President of Poland from 1995 to 2005. He was born in Białogard, and during communist rule he was active in the Socialist Union of Polish Students and was the Minister for Sport in the communist government in the 1980s...

    , President of the Republic of Poland (2005)
  • Vladimir P. Skulachev, Professor, Lomonosov Moscow State University (Russia) (2005)
  • Vassilios Skouris
    Vassilios Skouris
    Vassilios Skouris is a Greek judge who has been President of the European Court of Justice since 2003. A European legal scholar, he served briefly in the government of Greece as Minister of the Interior in 1989 and again in 1996....

    , Professor, President of the European Court of Justice
    European Court of Justice
    The Court can sit in plenary session, as a Grand Chamber of 13 judges, or in chambers of three or five judges. Plenary sitting are now very rare, and the court mostly sits in chambers of three or five judges...

     (2005)
  • Pietro Umberto Dini, Professor, University of Pisa
    University of Pisa
    The University of Pisa , located in Pisa, Tuscany, is one of the oldest universities in Italy. It was formally founded on September 3, 1343 by an edict of Pope Clement VI, although there had been lectures on law in Pisa since the 11th century...

     (Italy) (2005)
  • Jacques Rogge
    Jacques Rogge
    Jacques Rogge, Count Rogge , is a Belgian sports bureaucrat. He is the eighth and current President of the International Olympic Committee .-Life and career:...

    , President of the International Olympic Committee
    International Olympic Committee
    The International Olympic Committee is an international corporation based in Lausanne, Switzerland, created by Pierre de Coubertin on 23 June 1894 with Demetrios Vikelas as its first president...

     (2006)
  • Gunnar Kulldorff, Professor, Umeå University
    Umeå University
    Umeå University is a university in Umeå in the mid-northern region of Sweden. The university was founded in 1965 and is the fifth oldest within Sweden's present borders....

     (Sweden) (2006)
  • Reinhardt Bittner, Professor, Tübingen University Academic Hospital in Stuttgart (Germany) (2007)
  • Wojciech Smoczyński, Professor, Jagiellonian University
    Jagiellonian University
    The Jagiellonian University was established in 1364 by Casimir III the Great in Kazimierz . It is the oldest university in Poland, the second oldest university in Central Europe and one of the oldest universities in the world....

     in Kraków (Poland) (2007)
  • Georg Völkel, Professor, University of Leipzig
    University of Leipzig
    The University of Leipzig , located in Leipzig in the Free State of Saxony, Germany, is one of the oldest universities in the world and the second-oldest university in Germany...

     (Germany) (2008)
  • Helmut Kohl, Professor, Johann Wolfgang Goethe University Frankfurt am Main (Germany) (2008)
  • Imre Kátai, Professor of Mathematics, Budapest
    Budapest
    Budapest is the capital of Hungary. As the largest city of Hungary, it is the country's principal political, cultural, commercial, industrial, and transportation centre. In 2011, Budapest had 1,733,685 inhabitants, down from its 1989 peak of 2,113,645 due to suburbanization. The Budapest Commuter...

     Eötvös Loránd University (Hungary) (2010)
  • Andres Metspalu, Professor of Medicine, Tartu University (Estonia) (2010)

See also


  • List of early modern universities in Europe
  • List of Universities in Lithuania
  • Utrecht Network
    Utrecht Network
    The Utrecht Network is a network of European universities. The network promotes the internationalisation of tertiary education through summer schools, student and staff exchanges and joint degrees.- Utrecht Network member universities :...

  • Protmušis
    Protmušis
    thumb|right|The logo of Protmušis.Protmušis is a team quiz-type game that takes place in Vilnius, Lithuania. The organisers and participants of Protmušis are mainly students of various universities of Vilnius...

  • Start FM
    Start FM
    Start FM is a campus radio hosted by Vilnius University . Broadcast launched on 94.2 FM in Vilnius on September 12, 2005 . The station provides freeform radio programming. The radio is the only independent and non-commercial radio station in Vilnius...

  • Vilnius University Folklore Ensemble "Ratilio"
    Ratilio
    Ratilio is a Lithuanian folk music and dance ensemble associated with Vilnius University. Founded in 1968, it is one of the oldest in Lithuania....

  • History of Vilnius
    History of Vilnius
    This article is about the history of Vilnius, the capital and largest city of Lithuania.-Middle Ages:The earliest settlements in the area of present day Vilnius appear to be of mesolithic origin. Numerous archaeological findings in different parts of the city prove that the area has been inhabited...


External links