Stelletskii, I. Ia.

Ignatii Stelletskii, after graduating from the Kiev Spiritual Academy, took a position at the Nazareth teaching seminary in Palestine. From here he made an unconventional jump to the Moscow Archive of the Ministry of Justice, where Samokvasov took him under his mentorship in excavating kurgans. Stelletskii combined the two with a paper on “The Scythian Invasion of Palestine,” read at the 14th Congress. Indeed, Palestine provided his main area of expertise, though he does not appear to have returned. He presented an equally controversial paper at the 15th Congress, on his latest interest, searches for the city’s “underground,” searches that he continued in other cities. During the Great War he found himself on the Caucasian front, from which Marr and Uspenskii and others were conducting excavations; he was appointed director of the archeological department of the governor-generalship of the occupied Ottoman territories. On a side note, Stelletskii became obsessed with the “missing” library of Ivan the Terrible, which he carried over into his Soviet years.

Rozen, V. R.

A Baltic German, Baron Rozen was one of Russia’s most important Orientalists; a specialist in Arabic and in archeology, he studied Arab travelers writing about Rus. From 1885 he headed the Eastern Branch of the IRAO.

Smirnov, Ia. I.

Smirnov’s most notable role was as the curator of the medieval section of the Hermitage, 1897-1918. His most remarkable find was the reproductions of the series of drawings of Kiev drawn by Dutch artist Abraham Van Westerfeld for the Lithuanian Hetman Janusz Radziwill in 1651, during the uprising launched by Bogdan Khmelnytskii, Hetman of the Zaporozhian Cossacks. Smirnov presented on this at the 13th congress in Ekaterinoslav. In 1918, he died of starvation, which M. I. Rostovtsev said made him the first victim of the Bolsheviks from this circle.

Kondakov, N. P.

A student of Buslaev’s at Moscow University, Kondakov trained in art history which transformed him into an archeologist. A member of the Imperial Archeological Commission from 1876 to 1891, he became a world renowned expert on Byzantium, and his pioneering methodology in iconography still retains value. With I. I. Tolstoi, he published six volumes of “Russian Antiquities in Monuments of Art” (Русские древности в памятниках искусства, 1889-1899). D. V. Ainalov, S. A. Zhebelev, M. I. Rostovtsev, E. I. Redin, and Ia. I. Smirnov counted among his students. Moreover, he was also helpful in establishing the Institute in Constantinople. Exiled to Prague after 1917, he established the Seminarium Kondakovianum, an important intellectual exchange for emigrants, and which for a few years maintained ties with archeologists left behind.

Latyshev, V. V.

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.

Antonin, Archimandrite

Born with the surname Kapustin, Antonin was in 1850 appointed abbot embassy church in Athens, where when supervising excavations under the church, he discovered not only the ruins of an earlier church, and an even older Roman bath. From there he went to Constantinople and then Jerusalem in the same capacity. In Palestine, he activated the past in a new way, acquiring the Oak of Mamre, where Abraham had entertained three angels, and built a hostel nearby for Russian pilgrims.Many of his publications explored his travels in these Holy Lands.