Epimach-Šypiła Branisłaŭ (also spelled: Epimach-Shypila; Эпімах-Шыпіла Браніслаў), scholar, civic and political leader. Epimach-Šypiła was born into a family of impoverished nobles on the estate of Budźkaŭščyna, near the town of Lepel, on September 4, 1859. He died on June 6, 1934. Epimach-Šypiła studied at local schools in Belarus, then at the University of St. Petersburg from which he graduated. He remained at the University and became professor there in the Department of Classical Philology. He was an authority on classical philology and mastered over 20 modern languages. His list of scholarly and authoritative publications is very long. However, what is important for Belarusians is the fact that Professor Epimach-Šypiła, after receiving his education and becoming a world-renowned scholar, did not renounce his roots, as did hundreds of other Belarusian-born scholars, but cherished his Belarusianness and remained deeply involved in the Belarusian revival movement. Professor Epimach-Šypiła, teaching at the University of St. Petersburg, then the capital of the Empire, became the organizer of the Belarusian community, of Belarusian students, and the promoter of Belarusian publishing and of various other cultural initiatives. Hundreds of Belarusian students received a helping hand from Professor Epimach-Šypiła (including the Belarusian Bard, Janka Kupała). Many of these students became important cultural and political leaders thanks to Epimach-Šypiła. Professor Epimach-Šypiła was also very active in supporting various political initiatives of Belarusian political parties and always gave his blessing and encouragement for work along the lines of establishing Belarusian identity. Epimach-Šypiła was closely associated with academic and scholarly life in Soviet Belarus from the 1920s on. Unfortunately, for various reasons he could not settle in his native country and lived in St. Petersburg (Leningrad).

References: Biełarus, New York, no. 65, March 25, 1958; Bieł. Sav. Enc., vol. 11, 1974. p. 469; Adam Stankievič. Prof. Epimach-Šypiła... Vilnia, 1935.

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