Oleksandr Konysky

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Oleksandr Yakovych Konysky
Олекса́ндр Я́кович Кони́ський
Украінська Муза (Випуск 3). Кониський О.jpg
Born (1836-08-18)August 18, 1836
Perekhodivka, Russian Empire
Died December 12, 1900(1900-12-12) (aged 64)
Occupation Interpreter, writer, lexicograph, pedagogue, poet, and civil activist
Language Ukrainian
Nationality Ukrainian
Notable works Prayer for Ukraine

Oleksandr Yakovych Konysky (August 18, 1836 – December 12, 1900) was a Ukrainian interpreter, writer, lexicographer, pedagogue, poet, and civil activist of liberal direction. He had several pen names О. Return-freedom (Ukrainian: Верниволя), F. Gorovenko, V. Burkun, Perebendia, О. Khutorianyn, and others (around 150). He also was a professional lawyer and also is known as the author of the text of the Ukrainian spiritual anthem "Prayer for Ukraine".


Konysky was born in the village Perekhodivka (today Nizhyn Raion Chernihiv Oblast). He was of the old Chernihiv principality heritage that had over 400 years. The future writer grew up in the city of Nizhyn, about which he worded as such: "Nizhyn is a small city. At the same time it was the center of enlightenment of the Chernihiv lands and the north of the Poltava lands. Here was located the Bezborodko Lyceum. Beside that Nizhyn had a glorious historic past and especially in trade therefore among its people were plenty of distinguished one."

His first publication was in the Chernigovsky Listok in 1858. In Poltava and Kiev he formed Sunday's schools and written textbooks for them. Konysky also was the author of several church articles on local newspapers and was an active member of the Kievan Hromada. As the member of the Kiev City Council worked to introduce the Ukrainian language in city's schools. Among his books and textbooks were Ukrainian writing (Ukrainian: Українські прописи 1862), Arithmetics, or schotnytsia (1863), Grammar or first reading for beginning students (Ukrainian: Граматка або перша читанка задля початку вченья 1882).

Konysky also kept ties with the Ukrainian activists of Halychyna for which he was charged as Little-Russian propaganda activist and without trials in 1863 he was sent to Vologda. His novel Ne daruy zolotom i ne bytyi molotom (Ukrainian: Не даруй золотом і не бий молотом) in 1871 was confiscated and destroyed by a local police. From 1865 Konysky resided beyond the borders of the Russian Empire where came in closer ties the Ukrainian activist of Halychyna. In 1872 after the release out of the police supervision he returned to Kiev where he worked in the Kievskiy Telegraf. Konysky was one of the founders of the Shevchenko Scientific Society in Lviv in 1873 and later initiates its transformation into the society of without commercial activity.

Influenced by the Brotherhood of Tarasovs in 1897 as member of Stara Hromada together with Volodymyr Antonovych he initiated the creation of the All-Ukrainian Public Organization as the civil-political fellowship that had to unite all circles of the nationally conscious Ukrainians. As the organization's publication source he found the Vik publication that existed for 15 years and released over 100 books in Ukrainian. Konysky died in Kiev.


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