Mikhail Vasilyevich Lomonosov (1711 - 1765 / Russia)
Biography of Mikhail Vasilyevich Lomonosov
Mikhail Vasilyevich Lomonosov was born on 19th November 1711 near Kholmogory in Russia.
He was the son of a fisherman, but chose to conceal his peasant background in order to gain a broad education. He studied science the St. Petersburg Academy and later went to Germany where to study under the philosopher Christian von Wolff.
In 1745 he became professor of chemistry at the St. Petersburg Academy where he established Russia's first chemical laboratory. In his experiments he anticipated such modern principles as the mechanical nature of heat and the kinetic theory of gases. He is still remembered as a great scientist to this day.
In 1755 he founded the Moscow University.
As a writer he is remembered as a linguist reformer and he wrote greatly on topics such as grammar and rhetoric.
According to biographies of Lomonsov: "In his poetry he adopted tonic versification, thus altering the character of Russian prosody. For his reform of the Russian literary language he chose an idiom midway between the Old Church Slavonic and spoken Russian."
He died on 15th April 1765.
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An Ode in Blessed Memory
A sudden bliss has seized my mind,
And to a mountain peak it carries me
Up where the wind's forgotten how to stir the trees;
The deepest valley lies in silence.
Perceiving something, quiet goes the brook
That used to babble without cease
When rushing swiftly down the hill.
There, they are braiding laurel wreaths