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Petras Kriaučiūnas (1850–1916) was an activist during the Lithuanian National Revival. Educated as a priest, he taught at the Marijampolė Gymnasium in 1881–1887 and 1906–1914 and was active as an amateur linguist.

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  • Petras Kriaučiūnas
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  • Petras Kriaučiūnas (1850–1916) was an activist during the Lithuanian National Revival. Educated as a priest, he taught at the Marijampolė Gymnasium in 1881–1887 and 1906–1914 and was active as an amateur linguist.
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  • Petras Kriaučiūnas
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  • Petras Kriaučiūnas (1850–1916) was an activist during the Lithuanian National Revival. Educated as a priest, he taught at the Marijampolė Gymnasium in 1881–1887 and 1906–1914 and was active as an amateur linguist. Kriaučiūnas was born into a well-off Lithuanian family in Suvalkija. He attended Marijampolė Gymnasium and Sejny Priest Seminary. As a good student, he obtained a stipend from the Archbishop of Mogilev to study at the Saint Petersburg Roman Catholic Theological Academy. However, the stipend obligated him to work at the Archdiocese of Mogilev. Therefore, he declined the final ordination to priesthood and attended University of Warsaw for a year to get a teaching diploma. He then returned to Lithuania and became a teacher at the Marijampolė Gymnasium. He taught Latin, Lithuanian, German and Greek languages and encouraged his students, many of whom later became prominent figures in independent Lithuania, to be proud of their Lithuanian identity and heritage. He defied the Lithuanian press ban teaching his students Lithuanian in the Latin alphabet and not the government-imposed Cyrillic script. Kriaučiūnas actively supported Aušra and Varpas, the key Lithuanian-language periodicals. He was forced to resign from the gymnasium in 1887 and found employment with the Marijampolė Court. In 1889, he was assigned as justice of the peace to where he spent a decade. During his free time, he continued to study linguistics. While his contemporaries were impressed by his wealth of knowledge, he wrote very little. His home was frequently visited by various activists and scholars. He was particularly close with Vincas Kudirka. In 1899, he lost his government job and was forced to take up a private attorney practice in Marijampolė until he was able to regain his teaching position at the Marijampolė Gymnasium in 1906. He taught Latin and Lithuanian languages and law. During World War I, the gymnasium evacuated to Yaroslavl where he died in January 1916.
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