Hryhoriy Skovoroda and Taras Shevchenko: the problem of intellectual inheritance in modern understanding


The purpose of the article is to study the problem of the inheritance of the worldview of Hryhoriy Skovoroda and Taras Shevchenko based on the historiographical tradition and creativity of the two thinkers. The research methods are personalistic, comparative-historical and historical-typological. Sources of the article: intellectual heritage of outstanding Ukrainian thinkers and works of modern Ukrainian historiography. The main results are that the author considered the significance of the work of Hryhoriy Skovoroda on the formation of the personality of the Ukrainian poetic genius Taras Shevchenko, delved into the problem of the continuity of the Ukrainian intellectual tradition, traced the hereditary connection of the creative output of the two mentioned intellectuals, which binds the late baroque, pre-romantic, romantic and realistic heritage of Ukrainianness into a single axis. It is shown that Ukrainian national historiography of the second half of the 19th and early 20th centuries did not yet make the intellectual heritage of Hryhoriy Skovoroda and Taras Shevchenko the subject of her research, but began to understand these figures within the limits of one typological intellectual series, in the context of two different but adjacent stages of Ukrainian national and cultural revival. It is indicated that the problem of comparative analysis of two geniuses of Ukrainian culture was not considered a priority in Soviet historiography. It is proved that modern Ukrainian historiography lays the foundation for understanding the intellectual legacy of H. Skovoroda and T. Shevchenko, typologically common and distinctive features of two outstanding representatives of Ukrainian intellectual thought are shown. Concise conclusions. Based on the analysis of the works of Ukrainian authors and the work of these two great Ukrainians, there are reasons to say that the work of H. Skovoroda had a certain influence on T. Shevchenko, who at one time got acquainted with the legacy of his predecessor, although not in full. However, one should not exaggerate this influence due to the fact that two Ukrainian figures lived and worked in adjacent, but different historical periods: H. Skovoroda – a bright representative of the late Ukrainian baroque, and T. Shevchenko – an outstanding representative of Ukrainian romanticism and realism. Despite the differences in linguistic and literary aspects, peculiarities of self-awareness, these titans of Ukrainian culture formed one intellectual axis, the fundamental foundations of which were anthropology and сhristocentrism; desire for freedom (will); to the emancipation of the individual through dignity, reason, love; to the establishment of a more harmonious and fair society (for H. Skovoroda, this is the idea of the «Mountain Republic», and for T. Shevchenko – the idea of a «free, new family») based on a humanistic, philanthropic principle; awareness of one's, Ukrainian, love for one's native land and denial of the Russian, autocratic, despotic and tyrannical principles of building society. The spirit of universal human values, Ukrainian-loving and people-loving beginnings in the life and work of H. Skovoroda influenced the formation of the humanistic and national outlook of T. Shevchenko. The practical significance of the article is that this intelligence may be of interest to historians, young scientists and students in the process of studying the intellectual history of the «Ukrainian 19th century». The originality of the article lies in the understanding of insufficiently studied aspects of the intellectual heritage of H. Skovoroda and T. Shevchenko. Scientific novelty in the comparative and typological understanding of the creative heritage of the mentioned Ukrainian thinkers. Type of article: theoretical.

Author Biography

Serhii Svitlenko, Oles Honchar Dnipro National University

D. Sc. in History, Professor, Head of the Faculty of History, Professor at the Department of History of Ukraine, Oles Honchar Dnipro National University, Dnipro, Ukraine


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How to Cite
SVITLENKO, Serhii. Hryhoriy Skovoroda and Taras Shevchenko: the problem of intellectual inheritance in modern understanding. Universum Historiae et Archeologiae = The Universe of History and Archeology = Універсум історії та археології ISSN 2664-9950 (Print) ISSN 2707-6385 (Online), [S.l.], v. 5, n. 1-2, dec. 2022. ISSN 2707-6385. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 20 mar. 2023. doi:
Theory. Methodology. Historiosophy