Zelenoy (Zeleniy) Semyon Ilyich
astronomer, mathematician, hydrograph, teacher.
Born in the Pskov province. He
was educated in the Naval Cadet Corps, after which he graduated from
the rank of midshipman and was left for improvement in the naval
sciences in the officer class (later Mykolaiv Maritime Academy). In
was seconded to the University of Dorpat, where he was led by the
famous V.Ya. Struve trained
in practical astronomy.
scientific activity began in 1833 with the participation in the rank
of lieutenant in the F.F. Schubert
Chronometric Expedition. A
little later, in 1835, his pedagogical work began. He
was seconded to the Marine Corps for teaching midshipman and officer
astronomy and navigation classes. The
talent of the teacher appeared in him from the very first steps in
this field. In
his lectures, the scientific depth of content was happily combined
with the availability and fascinating presentation. In
1838, Zelenoy was invited as a lecturer in astronomy at St.
Petersburg University. He
was elected a member of a number of scientific societies, most of
his works were awarded the prizes of the Academy of Sciences. For
his work “Astronomical Means of Navigation”,
received the full Demidov Prize in 1842, becoming the fourth of the
naval officers as its laureate, and for the book “Conversations with
Children about Astronomy”, Emperor Nicholas I awarded him a diamond
From 1839 to 1850 he was engaged in the compilation and
publication of the marine almanac, collaborated in various
In the second half of the 1840s, there was a dramatic
change in views on the system of education and education of cadets
of the Marine Corps. The
point of view has taken over: “front service is more important than
differentials and integrals”. For
this reason, in 1849, Zelenoy, as a supporter of liberal methods of
upbringing and diverse and deep education, was forced to abandon his
favorite pedagogical work and even leave the naval service. But
a teacher of this level could not remain unclaimed. He
took the post of director of the Moscow Lazarev Institute of
Oriental Languages with the renaming of the rank of lieutenant
colonel in the army. Exceptional
pedagogical and organizational skills enabled Zelenoy to put the
level of teaching in this educational institution to an exceptional
height in five years. He
was awarded the Order of St.
Anna 2 degrees and
made a colonel, and for scientific works awarded the Order of St.
Vladimir 4 degrees, in certification to which was said: "as the
most worthy of the worthy in mind, heart and education".
In 1855, with the entry into the management of the fleet of Grand
Duke Konstantin Nikolayevich, by his personal desire,
was returned to the fleet as “one of the most excellent sailors
mistakenly dismissed by the former authorities”. There
followed a natural renaming to rank 1 captains and the appointment
of a vice-director of the hydrographic department. Three
years later he became a rear admiral and took the post of director
of the department, where he worked for 14 years.
During this happy period for the Russian fleet, a number of
important, vital activities were carried out under the direction of
Zelenoy: the hydrographic service was reorganized, the role of
science in the field of navigation and hydrography was sharply
increased, first-class equipped sea astronomical observatories were
organized, works on the White, Black, Caspian and Baltic seas
were made, reorganized lighthouse business and others. All
this puts Zelenoy in a row of the most remarkable figures of the
Russian fleet. By
personal example, guidance and support, human charisma, he inspired
subordinates to selfless work. Thanks
to Zelenoy, the Russian fleet began to be serviced by domestic
appliances, superior to foreign ones with meticulousness and
precision of manufacturing.
In 1873, the Imperial Academy of Sciences elected him an honorary
extraordinary human qualities of Zelenoy allowed him in 1881 to
become the chairman of such a serious and dangerous institution as
the Main Naval Court. He
performed this responsible position for ten years, as long as he had
enough strength and health. In
1891, Zelenoy was promoted to full admiral and resigned.
He died in St. Petersburg, a little more than a month before
reaching his 80th birthday. He
was buried at the Smolensk Orthodox cemetery. The
grave could not be found.
the island Rykachev in the Kara Sea near the coast of Khariton
in 1900 by Russian Polar expedition.