The history of Academic University of Petersburg, which was founded with an 'ukase' of January 28, 1724 of Peter I, together with evaluation of its activity are said to bei one of the most controversial issues in Russian academic historiography. The reason of these controversies are the doubts formulated by some of the researchers, whether the academy, which was established at Academy of Sciences of Petersburg, can be called university, and whether this particular institution was crucial for establishing academic structures in Russia. An additional matter of argument was a pronouncement of two historians of Petersburg in 1983 - Jurii D. Margolis and Grigorii Tishkin. They represented a revolutionary as for contemporary historiography thesis that Academic University sets the pattem for the University of Petersburg, which was founded in 1819. Unlike the majority of historians of education, they claimed that the Academic University did not stop its activity after death of its rector Mikhail W. Lomonosow in 1765, but continued its works till the beginning of the 19th century, already in a changed organizational system. Analysing the issue from a perspective of history of education, the pronouncement of both historians resulted in new excellent and numerous writings that were dedicated to the forgotten and to some extent unattended history of Academic University - the publications being a result of thorough studies, exploring new sources and reinterpretation of known facts. The article is an attempt at taking up polemic with theses that were commonly transmitted, and a good excuse for wider discussion over such issues as, for example, questions of the factors that determined the development of academic education in Russia, the reasons and difficulties in the process of adapting new scientific institutions, and, at last, the sociai range of their influence, and both the current and perspective results of establishing them both for the State and the society as well.
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