Trained in classical philology at St. Petersburg University, Sergei then took a position there, rising to the positions of Secretary of the Faculty, 1905-1909 and rector, 1911-1912. A specialist in Greece, he taught everything from its history to epigraphy. From 1894-1905 he taught ancient Greek art in the Academy of Arts. He also headed the classical section of the IRAO. He also translated and edited a number of classical Greek authors. After 1917 he remained and assumed a position of leadership at the former IAK, now the Institute of the History of Material Culture of the Soviet Academy of Sciences. He was a victim of the Siege of Leningrad during the Second World War.