The son of a classical philologist, Mikhail Ivanovich followed and exceeded by becoming a scholar of international repute, interlacing the cultural influences in the southern region of the Russian empire. A student of Scythia, Hellenism, and Rome antiquity, his “Iranians and Greeks in South Russia” (1922) remains a canonical work on ancient history. Prolific even before his emigration to the United States after the Bolshevik Revolution, he began shaping the field from Russia. Although he wrote also in German and was a member of the Berlin Academy of Sciences, his anti-German stance during the Great War prevented his acceptance there. He served as president of the American Historical Association in 1935.
Transplanted from a provincial gymnasium in Vilna to the prestigious classical lyceum in Moscow, and then to the university, Kulakovskii became one of the foremost specialists in Roman history and Latin inscriptions.The Imperial Commission sent him to Kerch in 1890, and he remained in the region. In 1893 he published the archeological map of Sarmatian Europe in Ptolemy’s Time.
An engineer serving in various capacities for the Ministry of Communications in southern Russia, he developed a keen interest in archeology when planning roads and railroads. In 1850 Minister of the Interior L. A. Perovskii, himself an engineer, sent Liutsenko to excavate in Crimea; in 1853, he appointed Liutsenko director of the Kerch Museum of Antiquities. His brother Efim worked a bit alongside him in excavations and at the museum. Another brother, Danilo, was also an archeologist, from Kiev.
From Grodno, Latyshev rose to become one of Tsarist Russia’s foremost classicists. His most important work lay in his analyses of Greek epigraphy in the southern part of the empire.