Turaev, B. A.

Born in Minsk and educated first in Vilna, Boris Turaev pioneered in Egyptology in Imperial Russia. He worked in the museums of all the European capitals before returning to St. Petersburg University to begin lecturing on “The Ancient East,” which also included the Caucasus, Central Asia, and Persia. He also traveled to Russian regional museums to study the Egyptian artefacts each had on display. Curator of the Egyptian section of the Museum of Fine Arts name for Alexander III, he also, with Nikolai Marr, began the journal “Christian East” in 1912.

Nikitskii, A. V.

Nikitskii was yet another priest’s son who received his education in the seminary, but was sent to St. Petersburg to train for a career as a teacher. His talents at Greek would have been wasted at a gymnasium, and he became a respected scholar of Greek epigraphy. He also taught at the St. Petersburg Women’s Pedagogical Institute. At the Odessa Congress, he argued that Novgorod had already opened a Window on the West via trade through the Neva, so Muscovite conquest was detrimental.

Nikolskii, M. V.

Nikolskii applied his seminary education to Assyriology and was one of the most active members of the Eastern Commission of the IMAO. He worked with Praskovia on her multi-volume “Archeology of the Caucasus.”

Buslaev, F. I.

From an impoverished family in a small provincial town, Buslaev’s brilliance and energy garnered him honorary professorships at all of Russia’s universities. Count Sergei Stroganov recognized the talents of his children’s tutor, and he took the young man with him on a 2-year tour of Western Europe. A follower of German philologist Jacob Grimm’s studies of historical influences on languages, Buslaev studied comparative linguistic influences on translations of the Gospels. Publishing prolifically on all aspects of language, his reputation landed him a palce as tutor to the ill-fated Tsarevich Nikolai Alexandrovich.

Brosse, M. I.

Brosset began studying to join the Jesuits in Paris, but then realized the priesthood was not his calling. He had studied Hebrew there, and then began adding Chinese and other eastern languages to his repertoire. When he added Georgian and Armenian, the Paris Asiatic Society took notice; in order to learn more about Georgia, he studied Russian. When the French political turmoils of 1830 disrupted his plans, President of the Russian Academy of Sciences Sergei Uvarov brought him to St. Petersburg, where he became renowned as an Orientalist. He served as director of the Eastern Section of the IRAO, 1859-67. His voyage to the Zakavkaze in 1847-48 produced a book of marvelous etchings.

Arkhangelskii, A. S.

Arkhangelskii, the son of a provincial priest, rose to become a distinguished professor in Slavic religious literature at Kazan University, and retired to the Chancellory of Her Royal Highness the Tsaritsa Maria.