Honoring two Kefalonians who taught in Moskow
A statue of the Leihoudis brothers, two famous 17th century Greek monks from Kefalonia, was unveiled by Greek President Karolos Papoulias on May 30, 2007 in Moscow. The statue pays tribute to the two brothers, Ioannis and Sofronios Leihoudis who founded the first university of Russia, the Slav-Greek-Latin Academy and made profound contributions to the spread of Classical Greek learning and culture in Russia.
The Leihoudis brothers were born in Lixouri town, Kefalonia. In 1683 they made their way to Constantinople and continued their journey to Russia to spread Christian culture there.
The brothers soon took up the mission to teach "the living Greek language." Their long, hard work culminated in the establishment of the first proper university of Russia, the Slav-Greek-Latin Academy, where Russian students learned Classical Greek language, Greek poetics, rhetoric and philosophy. The brave monk-brothers chose to enjoy their disgrace and exile by establishing 30 Greek schools there.
Dimitris Yialamas, cultural attaché to the Greek Embassy in Moscow, president of the Department of Modern Greek and Byzantine Studies at Lomonosov University and professor of paleography, was the one who pieced together the amazing story of the Leihoudis brothers after a long research lasting for 23 whole years.
The building of the statue of the great Leihoudis brothers was funded by the Greek Ministry of Culture and was donated to the Russian people, for whose intellectual and cultural advancement the two monk-brothers dedicated most of their lives.