Numismatics

This is were it all began, with antiquarians collecting coins. P. S. Savelev pressed the archeology over the numismatics in organizing the Russian Archeological Society. Coins became much more than collectors’ items, though, transforming into indicators of economic contacts and the evolution of states. By 1902 archeologists were producing maps of where different types of coins had been found.

Zhebelev, S. A.

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.

Zlatarskii, V. N.

Vasilii Zlatarskii embodies a political-archeological nexus that pits an acceptable nationalism against imperialism when the empire under assailment is the Ottoman. Son of a Bulgarian activist, Nikola Zlartarcheto, Vasilii was sent to Petersburg for his education, and then to Berlin to train in archeology. He returned to Sophia where he helped to turn the higher school into the university in 1904, and establishing a Bulgarian Academy of Sciences in 1911. An historian, he used archeology to establish a Bulgarian identity independent of the Ottoman Muslims, returning it, as it were, to its Slavic and Byzantine heritage. During the Great War, when Bulgaria allied with the Central Powers, he joined the troops in Macedonia for purposes of excavating. Widely published and respected, he was a member of the Russian Archaeological Institute in Constantinople, the Moscow Archaeological Society, the Finno-Ugric Commonwealth in Helsingfors, a corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Czech Academy of Sciences and Arts, the School of Slavonic Studies at the University of London, and the Seminarium Kondakovianum in Prague. He also received an honorary degree in Slavic Philology from Kharkov University in 1907.

Uvarova, P. S.

Her biographies tend to emphasize that she had inspired Lev Tolstoi’s Kitty Shcherbatskaia in “Anna Karenina,” but play down her role as the most formidable female scientist in Imperial Russia. To be fair, she always subjugated herself to her husband, Alexei, even for the 30 years following his death in which she organized the congresses, published the essays from them, developed the Caucasus Museum, and fought to open locally based museums of antiquities throughout the empire. She excavated and published extensively, and her first love were the Christian artefacts in the Caucasus. Professionalism in Russian archeology is unimaginable without her.

Tsvetaev, I. V.

Although his daughter Marina is far better known to posterity than he, Ivan Vladimirovich probably inspired some of her Silver-Age poetic sensibilities with his interest in philology and antiquities. The family lived for several years in Italy, where Ivan studied Latin epigraphy. He was instrumental in the building of the Museum of Fine Arts named for Alexander III (renamed now for Alexander Pushkin), and served as its first director when it opened in 1912. At his inspiration, the museum included artefacts from Classical Antiquity through the Middle Ages. His brother Dmitrii was deeply involved with the culture of medieval Rus’ at the Moscow Archeological Institute and the Archive of the Ministry of Justice.

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.

Uspenskii, F. I.

The oldest of four brothers, all of whom had tangential associations with archeology, Fedor was a Byzantinist, best known as the director of the Russian Archeological Institute in Constantinople, which opened in 1894. Uspenskii was particularly interested in studying the Slavic lands of the Ottoman Empire via the Institute, especially their Orthodox artefacts. Although the guns of August, 1914, forced the closure of the Institute, Uspenskii took his archeological ambitions to the Russian Army on the Caucasian front, where it was enjoying success against the Turkish forces. Planning for a Russian victory, he dreamed of a Russian liturgy being prayed in the Hagia Sophia.

Pomialovskii, I. V.

Pomialovskii became one of the heavyweights, who began his training in classical languages, primarily Latin, and ended up serving on many educational committees and a member of every number of Archeological committees, including American ones.

Olenin, A. N.

By virtue of his being President of the Academy of Arts in the era when Johann Winckelmann’s ideas were giving archeology direction, Olenin can be credited with teaching Russia’s first courses in it. Personal friends with Alexei Uvarov’s father, Sergei, Olenin enjoyed the classical education of the men of his social standing. Moreover, he was one of the first directors of Publichka.

Redin, E. K.

As a student of Kondakov’s at New Russian University, Redin continued the artistic and intellectual trends begun by Buslaev. A specialist in early Christian minatures and mosaics, he was best known for comparative studies of Byzantine and Old Russian iconocraphy. His most famous studies were conducted in Ravenna, the Christian Pompeii. Active in Kharkov city affairs as a public intellectual, he died young of an unnamed illness. His son Nikolai, godson of N. F. Sumtsov, continued his father’s work as the deputy director of the Institute for Ukrainian Culture named for D. I. Bagalei, only to disappear in the Stalinist purges.