Vilnius University Symbols: Coat of Arms, Academic Regalia and Traditional Ceremonies

universiteto simboliai 3DVilnius University (VU) Press recently published a new book by Dr. Ramūnas Kodratas and Daiva Kubeckienė from Vilnius University Museum. The book, titled “Vilnius University Symbols: Coat of Arms, Academic Regalia and Traditional Ceremonies”, was published in both Lithuanian and English.

“Every Lithuanian has a reason to be proud of Vilnius University, because during the many centuries of its existence, VU represented Lithuania in the world and educated many famous scientists, writers, business leaders and political figures. Without our university, Lithuania would not have had Adam Mickiewicz, Simonas Daukantas, Konstantinas Sirvydas, Motiejus Kazimieras Sarmievijus and other great minds. During more than 400 years of its history, Vilnius University had times of great rise and prosperity as well as many falls and shutdowns; nevertheless, it persevered and was reborn again and again. The university changed greatly during these years, but its main goals remained what they are today – a university that is European, capable to s motivate its community and strengthen the whole country. Vilnius University always was, and will continue to be, the guiding star of higher education in Lithuania. Many great people are currently studying and working here, spreading the news about Lithuania as an intellectual, progressive and innovative country”, Vilnius University rector prof. Artūras Žukauskas said.

Vilnius University symbols (coat of arms, Rector’s regalia, and traditional ceremonies) are an integral part of historical transformations of this school. According to the authors of the book, Vilnius University Rector’s regalia and the coat of arms are the main symbols of the university’s rights and academic autonomy. They are still used during every celebration – at the beginning and ending of an academic year, during visits of high-ranking guests, public and Church holidays.

University’s regalia and main symbols were just as important as any royal artefacts for a very long time. The authors seek to present the main elements and creators of these symbols, as well as their historical context. They also reveal the importance of Vilnius University’s symbolic attributes as a heritage that is still present today, helping to unite the academic community and recognise the university as an institution of long-standing traditions.

The book will soon be available at “Littera”, “Akademinė knyga”, “Vaga”, and at online bookstores patogupirkti.lt, knygos.lt, humanitas.lt.

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