Volume 3 Fascicle 2 (December 1996)

Basilians on the lands of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania in the second half of the XVIIIth century

Siarhiej Klimav

The Basilians of the Lithuanian province are considered in modern historical writings as a substantial element of cultural substance of the XVIIIth century society. Together with other catholic orders working in the field of education, they formed the so called "clerical intelligentsia". Religious teachers and professors, members of the Society of Snt. Basil the Great, were a core element of local intellectual elite. This intellectual elite was a really open one: because of the democratic procedures of joining the order people from various social strata could not only change their status but get an excellent education. These conclusions have been drawn up on the basis of the data of prosopographical study of the Basilians (a catholic order of Snt. Basil the Great ) in the second half of the XVIIIth century. The analysis of the documents unknown before made it possible to personalise the Basilian conclave, to show religious , ethnic and corporative background of candidates and role of regions in recruiting candidates. Besides local personification of candidates from Mstislau province is given in the article. For the first time "Books of noviciats" and "Books of profession" have been used as Belarusian historical sources, and principles of compiling Basilian documentation on the boundary between the XVIIIth and XIXth centuries have been analyzed.

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