Russian archaeologist Vasily Vasilyevich Radlov - biography, activities and interesting facts

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Russian archaeologist Vasily Vasilyevich Radlov - biography, activities and interesting facts
Russian archaeologist Vasily Vasilyevich Radlov - biography, activities and interesting facts

A lot of works have been written about the activities of the great Russian archaeologist and ethnographer Vasily Vasilyevich Radlov. However, few people know about his life path. But this pundit managed to distinguish himself by a truly fascinating life and a brilliant career. Not to mention his titanic works and rich scientific heritage. The contribution of the archaeologist to the study of the East, Turkic languages and peoples is enormous and deserves special consideration. The biography of Vasily Vasilyevich Radlov will be presented to your attention in the article.

Berlin period

Vasily Vasilyevich Radlov was born in 1837 in Berlin. Successfully graduated from high school. Soon he became a student at the University of Berlin at the Faculty of Philosophy. Here he spent his youth. In the biography of Vasily Vasilyevich Radlov, this period is of particular importance, since it was then that his formation as a researcher took place. During his studies, he seriouslybecame interested in the Altaic and Uralic languages. Prior to that, he happened to spend a year in the village, where he talked with Professor Petrashevsky. Thanks to communication with the scientist, young Vasily found in himself a penchant for studying oriental languages. For some time he listened to the lectures of August Pott in Halle, which became very useful in the future. At the University of Berlin, he was greatly influenced by the geographer Karl Ritter. His lectures were noticeably reflected in the views of the future archaeologist in matters of historical and ethnographic sciences. Philologist Wilhelm Schott also played a special role in the formation and evolution of views. It was under his influence that an orientalist opened up in the student Radlov.

In 1858, the young orientalist received his Ph. D. He finally decided on the priorities of scientific activity. Radlov decided to study the Turkic peoples, their language and cultural characteristics. It was necessary to go to the Russian Empire to put these plans into practice. Petersburg University organized expeditions to explore the East. A novice scientist begins to study the Russian language and goes to the empire.

radlov vasily vasilyevich interesting facts
radlov vasily vasilyevich interesting facts

First steps in a new country

Orientalist Radlov Vasily Vasilyevich arrives in the capital of Russia in the summer of 1858. Unfortunately, he was not lucky enough to take part in the expedition of the Russian Geographical Society. She was preparing to explore the Amur region. The young scientist counted on her to personally communicate with native Turkic speakers. He continued to study sciences at the Asiatic Museum. Soon he received an invitation to the Barnaul Mining School for the position of a teacher of foreign languages. This vacancy was helped by the former Russian ambassador in Berlin. In 1859, he takes the oath of allegiance and receives Russian citizenship. Without wasting time, he goes to Barnaul together with his chosen one Paulina Fromm. Here he makes expeditions to the Altai Territory, which were subsidized by the state.

Altai period

In Barnaul, Vasily Vasilyevich teaches at a mining school. He devotes a lot of time to studying local Turkic languages. In the latter, he was greatly helped by the specialist Yakov Tonzhan, who, according to Radlov himself, became his teacher. In 1860, Vasily, his wife and Yakov Tonzhan set off on the first expedition to Altai. Here he received a lot of useful knowledge about the numerous Asian peoples, the peculiarities of their language and culture.

Radlov is actively studying the tribal composition and ethnogenesis of the Turkic tribes and nationalities. Thanks to these studies, one of the best works of the scientist Radlov Vasily Vasilyevich appeared - "An Ethnographic Review of the Turkish Tribes of Siberia and Mongolia." This summary contained the most valuable knowledge about the origin of the Turkic peoples and a lot of new information about the tribes of Asia.

radlov vasily vasilievich history
radlov vasily vasilievich history

Prolific Expeditions

During the entire period of work in the Altai Territory, the traveler Radlov Vasily Vasilyevich visited many nationalities, from Kazakhs and Kirghiz to the Chinese and Tatars of Western Siberia. 10 trips were made, as a result of which the scientist published the first part of histhe most important work, where he reports on the diversity of folk literature of the Turkic peoples. This fundamental work strengthened his reputation and elevated him very highly in the eyes of his colleagues. In the future, another 6 volumes devoted to this topic will be released from the pen of the researcher.

In these books we find the richest material on Eastern folklore. In addition to proverbs and sayings, the books describe many wedding songs, folk tales, and legends. The theme of fairy tales, recorded by Vasily Vasilyevich Radlov, became a discovery in the field of folklore. Despite the differences in plot and design, the foundation of the legends remains common. Even now, researchers are discovering new versions of traditional Turkic legends and legends.

Results of stay in Altai

At the end of his work in Barnaul, the scientist started summing up the results of his research. A huge amount of information obtained in the course of the study of peoples was collected and systematized. During the almost 20-year period of his life in Altai, V. V. Radlov became a leading Turkologist. It is also very important that it was here that the scientist began to engage in archeology. During the excavations, many burial mounds were explored. Radlov sought to improve the methods of studying ancient monuments, many archaeologists noted his high professionalism. The Altai period acquired tremendous significance in the life of Radlov himself and the entire Turkic studies.

Radlov Vasily Vasilyevich ethnographic review
Radlov Vasily Vasilyevich ethnographic review

Arrival in Kazan

In 1872, Russian archaeologist Vasily Vasilyevich Radlov began working in the Kazan educational district. A year earlier, Professor Ilminsky offered him the position of inspector, which was a complete surprise for the ethnographer. In Kazan, he had the opportunity to study the Kazan Tatars and other peoples of the region. Having successfully resolved some issues related to the organization, he receives a scientific trip abroad. After many years of work, he finally comes to his homeland, where he meets with his parents. The researcher also visited many educational European centers, where he acquired new textbooks, gained important knowledge in pedagogy and shared his experience with other teachers.

First difficulties

From the very beginning of his work in Kazan, Vasily Radlov realized that there was simply no one to educate the local population. It was urgent to prepare new teachers and open schools. This was not an easy task, because the Tatars, who professed Islam, were afraid that they would be forced to convert to Orthodoxy in schools. In the administration of Kazan and in St. Petersburg, there was also no noticeable desire to educate the Tatars. The scientist actually began to build the educational system of the region from scratch.

The researcher found a way to involve the local population in the educational process. To do this, he is looking for teachers of Tatar origin, which would raise the level of trust among the people. But it was still necessary to write textbooks for Islamic schools. Radlov personally took charge of compiling them. As a result, he published three textbooks in the exceptionally correct Tatar language.

Vasily Vasilievich took the first steps to introduce women's education for the Tatars. The first teacher was found only throughfour years. She agreed to give lessons at home, but they were attended by only 7 students. Naturally, the state refused to finance such a modest educational institution, and the school had to be closed. But this experience laid the foundation for the future of women's education in the region.

Vasily Vasilievich Radlov Russian archaeologist
Vasily Vasilievich Radlov Russian archaeologist

Continued research activities

While working in Kazan, the Russian ethnographer deals not only with organizational issues. The scientist continued his favorite pastime - the study of the Turkic languages. He meets the famous linguist Baudouin de Courtenay at linguists' circles. He had a significant impact on Radlov's further research. The scientist shared the views of Baudouin de Courtenay, who believed that one should first study a living language before embarking on a dead one.

The phonetics of the northern Turkic dialects, written by the researcher in 1982, is considered a truly epoch-making work. Many scientific authorities of that time highly appreciated this work as the first of its kind.

At the end of the scientist's stay in Kazan, he publishes the book Aus Sibirien. In it, Radlov summarizes the results of research conducted in Southern Siberia, the Altai Territory, and Kazakhstan. At the end of 1884 he left for the capital. Thus ends another milestone in the history of Radlov Vasily Vasilyevich.

Petersburg period

In 1884, Radlov became the head of the Asian Museum, famous for its large collection of exhibits related to the linguistic heritage of the Asian peoples. The archaeologist is actively engaged in research and conducts manyexpeditions to learn the languages of the Tatars and Karaites. In St. Petersburg, he publishes more than 50 works on oriental studies. He continues to process the richest material collected during the glorious period of the study of Altai.

An important point in the scientific activity of VV Radlov was the work on the dictionary of Turkic languages. It includes materials from various dictionaries of other authors and a huge amount of information acquired by Radlov himself over many years of work. "The experience of the dictionary of Turkic dialects" became public in 1888. Highly appreciated by other scientists, the dictionary became the basis for all subsequent ones written even in our time.

Friedrich Wilhelm Vasily Vasilievich Radlov
Friedrich Wilhelm Vasily Vasilievich Radlov

Contribution to archeology

In 1891, Vasily Vasilyevich organized an expedition to Mongolia. Orkhon-Yenisei runic inscriptions were found there, the translations of which were taken up by Radlov himself. Many materials were included in his Atlas of Mongolian Antiquities. The Orkhon expedition provided rich material for the study of the ancient Turkic languages of Mongolia. For 11 years, 15 issues of the “Collection of Proceedings of the Orkhon Expedition” have been published.

The scientist became one of the pioneers in Uighur studies. This branch of Turkology began to develop only towards the end of the 19th century. Very few Uyghur monuments of antiquity were known to science. In 1898, D. A. Klements, together with V. V. Radlov, went on an expedition to Turfan. According to its results, many ancient Uyghur monuments were found, the study of which was taken up by Vasily Vasilyevich. The fundamental work "Monuments of the Uighur language" was written in 1904. Butthe great archaeologist did not have time to publish it. After his death, the work was published by the Soviet linguist Sergei Malov. Modern Turkology to this day relies on the colossal work of the scientist in the field of Uighur studies.

radlov vasily orientalist
radlov vasily orientalist

Last stage of life

In 1894, Vasily Radlov became the head of the Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (MAE). He received the position of director, not least because of the valuable experience in managing the Asian Museum. He travels to Europe to improve his knowledge of the museum business. He visits many European museums in the leading cities of the continent: Berlin, Stockholm, Cologne and others. After returning to the Russian capital, he increases the staff of the MAE and deals with organizational issues. Radlov attracted leading experts in anthropology, ethnography and linguistics to collect collections. Subsequently, these scientists worked at the MAE and made a significant contribution to the development of the institution.

In order to attract officials, travelers and collectors to replenish museum exhibits, Radlov contributed to awarding them orders. In some cases, he sought their promotion. An exchange of exhibits with foreign museums was established.

In 1900, the first issue of the "Collection of the Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography" was published. Vasily Vasilievich did not regret his personal collection of books and entered it into the catalog of the library he opened at the MAE. Once again, the great ethnographer and archaeologist proved his deep love for the cause of science.

Vasily Vasilyevich Radlov died in 1918 inPetrograd. It was a day of mourning not only for his family and friends, but for all of science. His contribution to Turkology, ethnography, linguistics, and archeology cannot be overestimated. Until the very end of his amazing life, Radlov devoted all his energy to research and knowledge of the peoples of Asia.

radlov vasily vasilievich biography
radlov vasily vasilievich biography

Radlov Vasily Vasilyevich: interesting facts

  • The scientist's family professed Lutheranism. German roots made themselves felt in teaching methods. V. V. Radlov actively used Western European methods and teaching aids in the field of education.
  • The birth name of Vasily Vasilyevich Radlov is Friedrich Wilhelm Radlov. Only after receiving citizenship of the Russian Empire did he receive a Russian name and patronymic.
  • I was initially fascinated by theology. Only later, in the process of learning, he delved into comparative linguistics. As a result, the topic of his dissertation was the influence of religion on Asian peoples.
  • Initially, there was only one teacher at the Tatar teacher's school. But gradually it was possible to replenish the ranks of educators, including at the expense of scientists from Kazan University.
  • Orientalist helped scientists who were opponents of the monarchy get a job at the MAE. They had problems with the imperial government, which interfered with normal work.
  • A German school is named in honor of VV Radlov in Astana. In the largest city of Kazakhstan, Alma-Ata, a street is named after him.
  • The great explorer did not hesitate to use high-ranking officials to improve the work of the MAE and strengthen its position. He could for hoursto sit in the reception room if the cause of science required it.