Nikolai Pokrovskii pioneered in church architecture as a field in archeology. His Master’s on “The Origin of the Ancient Christian Basilica” established the basis for what would become a major archeological question, that is, how did church art and architecutre relate to liturgy. His interest in Orthodoxy meant that he also became a Byzantinist. Moreover, he was a founding member of the monarchist political party “The Russian Assembly” in 1900.
The son of a village priest in Novgorod Province, Modestov trained initially at the Petersburg Pedagogical Institute to become a teacher. Instead, he became one of the leading figures in the history of Rome, beginning with the Neolithic Age in Italy. After retiring from New Russia University, he moved to Rome. Perhaps surprisingly for a leading classicist scholar, he opposed the reforms of Minister of Education Dmitrii Tolstoi, who in the 1870s returned the university curriculum to emphasize the ancient languages over history or philosophy. He also translated Tacitus into Russian.
Khvolson stands out as a leading Jewish intellectual, who taught Hebrew at numerous institutions, translated much of the Old Testament into Russian, and taught Biblical Archeology at the capital’s Spiritual Academy. Moreover, he was the resident expert on Khazars. And, he taught also at the St. Petersburg Roman Catholic Academy. A convert to Christianity, Khvolson remained influential as a scholar who used the Old Testament and other Hebrew texts to counter anti-Semitism, especially the notion of blood libel.