The author shows how the history of the classical tradition in Russia cannot be separated from the history of Russia's orientation to Western Europe in general. His book, based on many little-known and previously unexplored Russian materials, is the result of the first comprehensive research on the study of the Greek and Roman classics in Russia, and its sociocultural —utopian as well as ideological— function within the framework of Russian cultural and intellectual history and Russian educational policy from the accession of Peter the Great to the death of Nicholas I.
A tradition does not exist apart from the people who adhere to it and the networks they create in order to ensure some kind of growth and continuity. Therefore the author has ordered his material into an interpretive framework based on a prosopographical approach towards the subject. Among specific writers and poets discussed are Pushkin, Gogol, Goncharov and Turgenev.
Marinus A. Wes is Professor of Ancient History at the University of Groningen. His recent publications include:
Michael Rostovtzeff, Historian in Exile. Russian Roots in an American Context (1990).
"A book of this sort is needed."
Canadian Slavonic Papers, 1995.
"...not only of permanent value because of the unique information it [...] contains. It is written in English prose that often exceeds what one finds in native speakers...a consistently stimulating book. I urge reading it."
William M. Calder III,
Scholia Reviews, 1996.
Students and specialists in the field of classical studies, the history of the classical tradition, and/or the history of Russian culture and literature.