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Sinology at the St Petersburg Academy of Sciences Print E-mail
17/03/2009

Sinology at the St Petersburg Academy of Sciences, from the 18th century to 1968

Based upon L.Menshikov and L.Tchuguevsky's article “Sinology” published at the book “The Asian Museum - the Leningrad Branch of the Institute of Oriental Studies”. Moscow, 1972 (in Russian)

SINOLOGY AT THE ACADEMY OF SCIENCES IN THE 18TH CENTURY

Before the founding of the Asiatic Museum (AM), the study of China had no particular framework. The first sinologist at the Academy of Sciences (AS) was academician T.-Z.Bayer (1694-1738) who compiled the first European grammar of Chinese.

In 1741 he was succeeded by I.Rossokhin, who founded a school of the Chinese and Manchurian languages (1741-1751) at the Russian Academy of Sciences (AS), and who also produced a few translations from Chinese, at first of his own volition and after 1747 under the direction of G.F.Miller. I.Rossokhin's major work was the translation of the description of the Manchurian people (assisted, from the late 1750s, by A.Leontiev). This work was finished in 1762 (following I.Rossokhin's death), and published, in seventeen volumes, in 1784. I.Rossokhin also played a part in the foundation of the academic library's Chinese fund.

After his death, Sinology at the AS is linked with the name of A.Leontiev who published 12 translations from Chinese and a number of sinological articles in the official editions of the AS in 1771-1784. Moreover, it was he who put together the first catalogue of the Chinese, Manchurian, Mongolian and Japanese manuscripts stored at the AS.

SINOLOGY IN THE 19TH CENTURY

After A.Leontiev's death in 1786, the study of China at the AS essentially stopped for a while. The activity of well-known Russian Sinologists of the 19th century, such as N.Bitchurin, P.Kamensky, Z.Leontievsky, V.Vassiliev, P.Kafarov (Palladium) proceeded, as a rule, outside the AS and AM, where their work was quite incidental.

The Sinological activity of the Asian Museum was basically limited to the collecting of materials, by means of purchase of private collections, and their description. As a result of the collectors' efforts, an extensive Chinese library of 1369 volumes, used by both Russian and foreign academics, had been established at the AM by 1856. Its structure is fixed in M.Brosse's catalogue.

Sinological research activity was very low at the AM during the 19th century. Sinologists presented and published their works in other foundations. For example, prof. V.Vassiliev, elected to the Academy in 1886, published only three articles on archeological and Buddhalogical themes and some archeological and bibliographic notes in the academic magazines during the huge period of 1846-1900. If we add to it an article by W.Grube (the academic curator of the AM in 1882-1883) on the Chinese physiophilosophy we will have exhausted all the academic Sinological publications in the 19th century.

SINOLOGY UNTIL 1917

At the beginning of the 20th century there was almost no direction in the Sinological research at the AM. The works published at that time are basically articles published by invited foreign scientists: F.Hirta and K.Iratori on the Chinese materials on history of Turkic peoples, and O.Franc on the Chinese reformers from the end of the 19th century.

The situation began to improve after 1902 when V.Alekseev, who had just graduated from St.-Petersburg University, was invited to join the AM. In the very beginning he took part in the composition of catalogues and inventories of the Chinese books, alongside prof. A.Ivanovsky. In addition, he accomplished and prepared for printing an index for the Chinese encyclopedia Tu-shu ji-cheng which had been begun by E.Bretschneider.

The new period in the development of Sinology at the AM came when, in 1910, V.Alekseev, having returned from a trip to the European Sinological centers and the expedition across China in 1906-1909, began a regular acquisition and checking of the Chinese collections - this despite the fact that he wasn't yet a regular member of the Museum. From now on, the Chinese collections of the AM were consistently replenished. To a great extant, this activity was supported by a number of Russian expeditions to Central Asia such as P. Kozlov's expedition of 1907-1909, S. Malov's expedition of 1909-1911, S. Oldenburg's expeditions of 1909-1910 and 1914-1915. Though non-Sinological in character, they nevertheless brought extremely valuable Chinese materials into the scholars' hands.

V.Alekseev paid a great attention to the acquisition of academic Sinological libraries, especially after 1912 when, having come back from a trip to the southern areas of China, he was accepted onto the staff of the AM as academic curator.

He first of all began to catalogue the Chinese books collected at the AM's library by that time. At the same time, being assisted by Russian diplomats who worked in China at that time (A.Romanov, W.Grosse. A.Beltchikova) as well as by members of the Russian Orthodox Church mission in Peking, he managed to establish communication with the leading Chinese publishing-houses and to receive all the books they let out. Moreover, N.Nevsky, S.Yelisseyev and O.Rosenberg, being in Japan, sent to the AM the Japanese literature concerning China, including multi-volume series on Buddhism and the Chinese literature. All these receipts at once were included into the catalogue.

When selecting books from abroad, V.Alekseev was guided by the library acquisition plan which he himself had developed. The purpose of this plan was to transform the Chinese department of the AM into a laboratory for the expert Sinologist. He first wrote out all the Chinese bibliographic compositions and catalogues, then editions of the ancient classics, collections of the Chinese graceful literature and poetry necessary for the analysis of complex texts, as well as whole complex libraries (congshu) which included various texts on different areas of knowledge. Vigorous measures were undertaking to update the collection of Chinese dictionaries. All these editions, received over several years, formed a basis for the Chinese library and collection of the xylographs.

V.Alekseev was also responsible for the formation of an engravings collection as well as for their catalogue. Moreover, from the expedition of 1912 V.Alekseev brought a number of books and folk pictures concerning the Chinese national religion which he presented to the AM.

In the same years V.Alekseev began to study the history of the Chinese literature and culture. His master's paper, devoted to Chinese poet Ssi-k'ong T'u, remains a great example of the research into a complicated Chinese text. V.Alekseev also published the first academic research into the Chinese phonetics, as well as being the author of a few works on the Chinese folklore and ethnography, he published an article in which he defined the scientific aims and goals of the scholar of Chinese literature.

After this time, V.Alekseev's work as a lecturer-propagandist for Chinese culture began. He was also the first to begin to translate Chinese poetry and narrative prose - for instance short stories by Pu Song-ling - into Russian. Together with O.Rosenberg, he worked out the plan of complex Buddhist studies concerning China and Japan.

However, despite significant Sinological achievements the period until 1917 needs to be considered as preparatory, as the period in which materials were gathered and documented. Actually this work was neither ceased nor reduced after 1917 either, although the central concern of Sinological work moved onto purely academic researches.

SINOLOGY 1917-1941

After the October revolution Sinology at the AM began to develop even more intensively. This was caused by a number of reasons: an increase in the Museum's staff, the appearance of a new mass audience, the establishment of a tradition of probationers, then of postgraduate students, the transformation of the Museum into a scientific research institute, and the appearance of new experts on the Chinese history, economy, philosophy, language and literature.

In 1918, V.Alekseev was appointed on a post of the senior curator-researcher at the AM and continued his work at the acquisition and cataloguing of the library.

In the same year, there was set up a group for the compilation of a multilingual Chinese-Japanese-Russian-English dictionary, but in 1919 its work stopped because of the death of O.Rosenberg.

During these years, the AM undertook active propagation of Oriental studies. For instance in 1919 V.Alekseev delivered a series of lectures for various types of audiences, such as The Culture of China, Chinese Literature; O. Rosenberg delivered a lecture On the Modern World View of the Far-Eastern Buddhism, and, moreover, the first exhibition of Buddhism was organized in Petrograd (former St Petersburg).

In 1919, under M.Gorky's initiative and organization, the Publishing house World Literature was founded. V.Alekseev became its associate editor and main expert of its Eastern Department. He suggested a basic plan to translate different pieces of Chinese literature into Russian and the publishing house soon published two collections of stories by Pu Song-ling (1630-1715), the writer on whom V.Alekseev worked repeatedly during all his life (a little bit later B.Vassiliev, a pupil of Alekseev, studied his writing, too). But World Literature published no more than 20-30% of the materials, which had been prepared by 1925.

For some time after O.Rosenberg's death, V.Alexeev single-handedly ran the acquisition and cataloguing of the Museum's library and collections. He also delivered public lectures, translated and studied different types of Chinese literature, continued to teach at the university, the Geographical Institute, the Istitute of Art History, and worked for World Literature Publishers.

Soon, however, the situation changed radically. A number of Sinologists was admitted into the AM such as J.Shchutsky (from 1920), B.Vassiliev (from 1921), K.Flug (from 1925), A.Dragunov (from 1928), P.Skatchkov (from 1930), A.Shprintsin (from 1930). B.Vasiliev began to study both classical and modern Chinese literature, J.Shchutsky Tao philosophy, A.Dragunov and A.Shprintsin the Chinese language and its dialects, K.Flug the Chinese bibliographical and hand-written collections, P.Skatchkov (soon appointed as the Institute library's head) the bibliography of Russian works on China and history of Russian and Soviet Sinology. Also in 1930 postgraduate students, such as P.Sergienko who studied the Chinese economy and G.Papayan who studied class struggle in China, were admitted.

V.Alekseev became the recognized head of the Soviet Sinology. He was elected into the AS first as a corresponding member (in 1923) and then as its full member.

When in 1930 the Institute of Oriental Studies (IOS) was founded, the Sino-Tangut Section was formed, acad. V.Alekseev became its leader, J.Shchutsky its secretary (replaced with A.Polyakov from 1934) . Other members of the cabinet were B.Vassilev, A.Dragunov, K.Flug, P.Skatchkov, A.Shprintsin, P.Sergienko, G.Papayan, A.Polyakov and N.Nevsky who came back from Japan in 1929. Though the latter studied first of all the Tangut part of the Kozlov's collection he also took an active part in the Sinological researches. In 1931-1932, V.Kraynov was the Section's secretary.

Subsequently, in the 30s, the Sino-Tangut Section (in 1932 renamed as Sino-Manchurian and again in 1934 as Chinese) replenished its stock repeatedly. Throughout this time, its head was V.Alekseev save for a brief period from April till October, 1934 when the post was temporarily held by N.Konrad. In 1933 Z.Gorbatcheva and L.Simonovskaya were admitted as postgraduate students. The same year N.Petrov entered the cabinet but soon (about 1935) he left it for the military service, only returning in 1955.

In 1935, A.Petrov, L.Duman, V.Stein, A.Shtukin and P.Osipov, who had finished their postgraduate courses, successfully filled up the Chinese Section. After a short period when she worked at the Ministry of Education (so-called Narkompros), Z.Gorbatcheva was admitted to the manuscripts Department in 1936 and in 1941 moved to the Chinese Section. It was augmented by the Manchurists A.Grebenshchikov (from 1935) and V.Zhebrovsky (1937) and the Sinologists L.Rudov (1937), G.Smykalov, V.Krivtsov, Y.Bunakov (all from 1938), G.Monzeler (1938) who were studying both China and Japan, the theorist of arts K.Razumovsky (1939) and two post-graduate students, N.Lyubin and E.Medovaya (both from 1939).

Besides all the named persons, some other scholars such as V.Kazin, N.Vetyukov, V.Gorelik, M.Tubyansky, V.Taranovitch, S.Kozin, E.Dragunova, N.Kyuner and Emi Xiao (Xiao San) also took part in the Section's academic activities.

During this period a principle task of the Sectiont's members remained the acquisition of the Sinological library, which was considered as the basis for any academic work. In this connection contacts with foreign schiolars, academic institutes and publishing houses, such as London School of Oriental Studies, College de France, Library of the Congress in Washington, etc. were very important. Communications with Chinese and Japanese Sinologists gradually grew in strength.

Notwithstanding the academic results of these contacts, they also gave a push to the rapid growth of the Sinological collections of the library. For example, from China the Section received some multi-volumed editions such as the Taoist canon, dictionaries, indexed editions of Chinese classics, collected works of the pre-eminent scholars Wang Guo-wei and Lo Zhen-yu, a series Si-bu cong-kan and many other texts. This intensive growth of the library and manuscript collections demanded constant checking, in which all the members of the Chinese Section were engaged. They composed general and thematic bibliographies and indices, both to the major Chinese treatises, which could be used as books of reference, and to the most significant Sinological works. The major bibliographic work of this period was a bibliography of the Russian works on China.

For a number of years each member of the Chinese Section carried out regular reviews of certain branches of the new Sinological literature. Thus, V.Alekseev registered the books which had been ordered from abroad, reported about the works on the theory of the Chinese literature, lexicography and Chinese Sinology, and regularly informed about the development of Sinology as represented in foreign editions (from Europe and America): J.Shchutsky was concerned in the bibliography of the studies of the Taoist alchemy and Dao-de jing, the bibliography of works of the most authoritative Japanese historians of China (advised by Japanese researcher Ishihama Juntaro) and the bibliography of works concerning hieroglyphic writing; A.Dragunov composed an index of the Chinese bibliographic literature and catalogues, the bibliography on the Chinese dialectology; B.Vassiliev watched after new Chinese fiction; G.Papayan reviewed Chinese magazines; P.Skatchkov represented critical reviews on materials concerning economy of the Inner Mongolia, etc. Such a system helped to keep the cabinet's members at the least expense. During the subsequent periods of the lOS's existence the bibliographic work continued but it was never more so consistently pursued.

As for the academic researches of the Section during this period, it was organized in such a way that each of the members was obliged to do preliminary reports about a particular area and present the results of his or her researches at the Section's sessions. This had two purposes: first, all the members of the Section became acquainted with the work being undertaken by the others: second, the direction of researches could be corrected by means of discussions (until 1930, when the Chinese Section was organized, all reports were given at the sessions of the Board of Oriental Studies).

Taking into consideration such an elaborate organization of the work, there is no surprise that during this period Soviet Sinology became so successful with the various trajectories of academic research.

1) Historiography

At the Section studies of historical sources were represented first of all with the works of J.Bunakov who studied, for the first time in the USSR, the most ancient inscriptions on conjectural bones from the end of the second millenium B.C. Save for inscriptions on ancient bronze, these are almost the only source on history of that period. Some research articles dealing with the historical sources were published also by V.Alekseev. Similar researches are found as well among A.Polyakov and P.Osipov's works.

It was thought that studies of the narrative sources on Chinese history began with the translation of Historical Notes by Sima Qian. It was hoped, that in this work V.Alekseev, J.Shchutsky, B.Vassiliev, L.Duman, A.Petrov, Z.Gorbatcheva, L.Simonovskaya would take part, but for some reason, this work was not completed, with only separate translations made by V.Alekseev being kept in his archives.

P.Osipov studied ancient Chinese society. He was the first in the USSR who put forward questions concerning the history of China until the 7th century B.C. and slavery in ancient China. Subsequently L.Duman was also interested in these topics. He published few sketches on the history of China at the beginning of our era and during the first millenium B.C.

G.Papayan contributed to the studies of the economic bases of ancient Chinese society, together with some other Section's members - especially in the connection with the discussion of Asian manufacturing techniques that took place in 1931.

Z.Gorbatcheva specialized in the study of the revolt of “the red-browed”; L.Duman focusened on the research into Wang Man's reforms (9-23 a.d.); A.Polyakov (from 1933) studied Chinese history from the end of the first to the beginning of the second millenia A.D. In the course of the latter's work, the discussion on a periodization of the Chinese history was opened for the first time. A.Polyakov's activity, however, then got broken but some of his themes were kept on by V.Stein and L.Duman.

Some later social movements in China also became the subject of research. For example, L.Simonovskaya studied the revolt of Qi Chen (1644-1645). L.Duman produced a number of reports on the history of Xinjiang from the 18th and 19th centuries. They concerned both the economic development of the province and the largest regional movement of the 19th century, the Dungan revolt. His researches depended on the study of the history of those Dungans who moved to territory of Kazakhstan and Kirghizia in the 19th century. Moreover, L.Duman published a number of lectures on the modern history of China which he delievered at the Historical Faculty of Leningrad University.

Finally, the object of his research became the modern situation in China, its economy and the changes which happened in Chinese society, as well as the activity of various organizations and persons.

In the first half of the 1930s, the most systematized description of the more recent history of China was thought to become the life's work of the post-graduate student P.Sergiyenko, but his untimely death in 1933 hindered the successful accomplishment of that work.

Other authors devoted a few articles and reviews to various particular problems of contemporary Chinese life and its international communications. For instance, questions of the economic life of China were discussed by V.Gamberg and N.Vetyukov, while later, in the second half of the 1930s, V.Stein specialized in this theme, insofar as his rich personal background in the financial work of the Soviet mission at the government of Sun Yat-sen allowed.

So, one can see that in comparison with pre-revolutionary Sinology, which was primarily engaged in the studies of official China and only to a certain degree of the social life of the country, the emphases in post-revolutionary Sinology changed considerably. Sinologists were now mainly interested in the social and economic processes going on in the modern China.

Finally, it is important to mention that the IOS's historians of China took an active part in the preparing of the edition of the so-called World History project. In addition, V.Stein edited chapters on the Far East for some other publications (1941). These works were not published because of World War 2.

2) Ethnography and Art

At first, V.AIekseev carried out single-handedly the study of the Chinese ethnography and art in the 1920s. He continued his research into Chinese folk images, on which he had first worked before the revolution, and in 1925 he prepared a few albums and publications on the subject. Besides, he gave a number of lectures on the Chinese folk picture and cults connected with it.

The study of the Chinese theatre continued, albeit unsystematically, but there was some interesting work carried out by V.AIekseev and B.Vassiliev; these were mainly devoted to the specific features of the Chinese classical theatre (which became especially important with the arrival of Mei Lan Fan's troupe to the USSR in 1935) and also partly to its history.

Works on the Chinese classical painting, history and the theory of the Chinese art also occasionally appeared, although selected works by V.Alekseev are also available here, basically being in connection with Chinese aesthetic theories. For the first time he touched upon the theme of Chinese aesthetics in his The Poem about the Poet, and then added to this chapter his researches into painting, music and calligraphy such as The Poem about the Calligrapher and The Poem about the Artist, this composing a trilogy which was published only after WW 2.

V.AIekseev also wrote about the Chinese theory of painting in connection with both the translation of the treatise from the 7th century Secrets of Painting and the exhibition of the Chinese art.

Regular studies of the Chinese art history began in 1939 when K.Razumovsky was admitted to the Institute, in 1940 he presented two reports at the conference in the Museum of Eastern Cultures such as The Most Ancient Chinese Art and The Chinese Art of the Han Epoch and published a review on history of the Chinese art. Two other papers of his, The Chinese Theories of Portrait and The Chinese Bronze, were not published at the proper time, the first of them, praised highly by V.AIekseev, being issued only in the 1960s.

3) Philosophy


The study of the Chinese philosophy got a big boost in the 1920s and 1930s. Besides V.Alekseev some other scholars such as J.Shchutsky, A.Petrov, and V.Stein contributed greatly to this area. V.Alekseev was particularly attracted to the Confutius' system though only two his works on the matter were published.

The history of Taoism was researched by J.Shchutsky. His annual reports give a picture of the development of this work during the twelve years from 1925 to 1937. Having started with authentic Chinese works on Taoism (cm. his report on Se Wu Men's book), J.Shchutsky then moved on to the study of the so-called Book of Changes (Yi Jing) which underlay almost all the Chinese philosophy. In connection with this book J.Shchutsky moved subsequently to study later Chinese and Japanese Confutius and Taoist philosophical compositions treating of Book of Changes. In the 1930s Shchutsky studied Taoist classical books, such as Tao De Jing, Le Zi, Zhuang Zi and, moreover, started to study Tai Suan Jing by Yan Sun and the commentary on Book of Changes by Wang Bi, a philosopher of the 3rd century A.D. All these and other researches were presented in the extensive book titled The Chinese classical "Book of Changes”.

It was also J.Shchutsky who, for the first time, addressed to a problem of materialistic philosophy in the ancient China. After J.Shchutsky's death in 1937 (he was a victim of the Stalinist terror) this direction was followed by his pupil A.Petrov who, having started with the reviews of the works on the Chinese philosophy, soon presented his own first independent research about Wang Bi's materialist philosophy. He then also studied Chinese materialist philosophers such as Yan Zhu, Wang Chun and Fan Ren. Later extensive study of Chinese materialism was carried on by Yan Hi Shun, L.Pozdneeva, F.Bykova and others, as well as by Chinese scholars.

4) Linguistic researches

Linguistic researches of the Section's members raged widely over subjects such as phonetics, dialectology, grammar, and the conversion of traditional Chinese script into Roman alphabet. Moreover, the study of a few non-Chinese Far Eastern languages such as Annamese, Kidan and Tangut was undertaken in the USSR for the first time.

A.Dragunov worked most intensively in the field of phonetics. Right at the beginning of his academic activity he published three works on the historical phonetics of the Chinese language, which had a great reception among international Sinology. In these works A.Dragunov applied a new method of phonetic reconstruction of the middle Chinese language, based upon non-Chinese records. This method was subsequently promoted by other scholars such as Lo Ch'an P'ei, M.Levitsky and B.Chongor.

The fact that the Section's members studied modern Chinese phonetics led them to take an active part in so-called Latinization - the creation of alphabets using Roman letters for basically unwritten tongues of the Dungans living in Kirghizia and Kazakhstan and Chinese emigrants in the Far East and Eastern Siberia. For example, A.Dragunov (after 1928) and, in part, B.Vassiliev contributed to the development of the Dungan alphabet.

The development of the latinized Chinese alphabet began at the end of 1928 at the Academic Research Institute of China, belonging to the Communist Academy in Moscow. Leningrad was represented in this work by A.Dragunov, V.Alekseev, B.Vassiliev. In particular, A. Dragunov and A.Shprintsin, together with the Chinese colleagues, compiled few manuals for Chinese people to introduce the new alphabet of their native language. Even today, the only theoretical work, in which hieroglyphic and alphabetic writing are compared widely in historical and cultural aspects, remains V.Alekseev's book The Chinese Hieroglyphic writing and its Latinization published in 1932.

Participation in the Latinization project led A.Dragunov, E.Dragunova, B.Vasiliev and A.Shprintsin towards the study of the Chinese dialects. The fact that A.Dragunov and E.Dragunova managed to discover specific dialects in Hunan, in addition to their study of the Dungan language as a solitary group of the Chinese dialects of Gansu and Shenxi provinces, was resulted from their work for the Latinization project.

As for A. Shprintsin, his participation in the Latinization came out of his interest in the Shandong dialects and the mixed Sino-Russian dialect of the Far East.

J.Shchutsky was also engaged in the dialectological researches, his interest lying in the study of Annamese (Vietnamese). Moreover, together with A. Dragunov, he prepared a reading-book with a glossary on the Cantonese dialect.

Researches into Chinese grammar are mainly linked with the name of A.Dragunov. As has been said, he made the first grammatical sketches on Dungan, together with E.Dragunova and B. Vassiliev. Dragunov also elaborated the system of parts of speech in the Chinese language. Thus, he expressed an opinion that the system of parts of speech and their attributes in Chinese and the European languages are at variants. He considered the parts of speech in the Chinese language as lexical-grammatical categories (he first called them “semantic-grammatical”), i.e. as groups of words grouped not so much in accordance with their grammatical attributes, but on the basis of the general semantic which they expressed. The principal criterion by which these categories can be defined is the ability of a word to become one or another sentence part. Subsequent grammatical works by Dragunov were devoted to the substantiation and development of this position.

The doctoral student E. Medovaya studied the Chinese proverbs in linguistic aspect. Unfortunately, this work was never completed because of her death in 1942 in blockaded Leningrad.

A number of researches and reports were connected with attempts to look at the Chinese language and writing in light of N.Marr's Japhetic theory. The most interesting among them were J.Shchutsky's reports on the stages of hieroglyphic system, terms of relationship and trade, etc. from the point of view of this theory.

V.Alekseev's works in the field of the Chinese language at this time had a more practical character; he tried to develop methods to teach the Chinese language and used his philological and linguistical studies for the research into the Ancient Chinese texts. Practical task of composing of the textbooks was realized by B.Vassiliev, J.Shchutsky, and a member of the Mongolian Section, B. Pankratov.

We should finally mention that some scholars studied languages similar to Chinese or else historically connected with it. Annamese notwithstanding, dead languages, such as Kidan and Jurchen, were researched, initially by L.Rudov.

5) Lexicography

V.Alekseev's research into Chinese writing was not simply theoretical - he wanted to compile a Chinese dictionary on the hierogliphic basis to make it easier to use. It was not just a casual interest of his. Indeed, his plan to compile an extensive Chinese Russian dictionary was considered by V.Alekseev as his life's work.

Work on the dictionary began in 1938 and was carried out by a large group of scholars such as V.Alekseev (as editor), J.Bunakov, A.Dragunov, L.Duman, V.Krivtsov, G.Monzeler, A.Petrov, L.Rudov, G.Smykalov, K.Flug, A.Shprintsin, V.Stein. They were later joined by K.Razumovsky, N.Lyubin and Z.Gorbatcheva. V.Justov also took part in the creation of an index. Texts to be processed were distributed according to the specific interests of the participants. Thus, V.Alexeev dealt with the Chinese classical poetry and prose, the benevolent and incantation formulas on folk pictures, writing paper and envelopes, formulas of the Chinese epigraphs, formulas and terms found in poetics and aesthetics; A.Dragunov with grammatical phenomena of the Chinese language; V.Stein with economic terminology of classical China; K.Razumovsky with history of Chinese art; K.Flug with Chinese book terminology, bibliography and lexicography; L.Rudov with the media and a number of special areas, such as banking; A.Petrov with philosophy; G.Smykalov with the official and business language, correspondence and the media; J.Bunakov with the Chinese writing and its history; G.Monzeler with Japanese borrowings from Spoken Chinese and the media; L.Duman with the Chinese history, etc. The card file of the dictionary was prepared in rough by 1941 but the work was not finished for a long time, because of the war.

6) Studies of Chinese literature


Studies of the Chinese literature were carried out in two areas such as translations of its best pieces and the theoretical analysis of its history.

The Section's members paid great attention to translations of the classical literature. A.Shtukin (from 1935) worked on the full translation of the ancient Chinese poetic text The Book of Songs (Shi Jing). This work was basically finished just before the war, but was only published in 1957. V.Alekseev also studied The Book of Songs. The Chinese poetry and rhythmic prose which was written later than The Book of Songs appeared in translations by V.Alekseev, J.Shchutsky, B.Vassiliev. For example, the poems of Li Bo (701-762) were translated and explored by V.Alekseev. But the most significant poetic book published at that time was The Anthology of the Chinese Lyrics, authored by J.Shchutsky who combined the talents both of Sinologist and translator of poetry. The introduction and general notes to the sets of poems grouped thematically were written by V.Alexeev. In addition, J.Shchutsky and B.Vassiliev published a number of poetic translations from the Chinese poets of the Tang dynasty (618-907).

At that time also the translations of some masters of classical rhythmic prose (gou wen) such as Tao Yuan Ming, Wu Yan Ego, etc. appeared. All these translations were supplied with explanatory introductions including also the statements concerning the principles of translation, which varied from translator to translator. Next to this we can place V.Aleksev's researches into the aesthetic, philosophical and social views of the Chinese poets and writers, in which translations were included inside the research text.

Besides V.Alekseev, B.Vassiliev was also engaged in the study and translations of Chinese classical narrative prose. He is the author of translations of stories from the Tang epoch and from the collection Amazing Stories of Today and Antiquity (Jin Gou Qi Guan, from the 17th century).

Members of the IOS were also the first to study the 20th century Chinese literature. Quite naturally the attention of the Soviet scholars was principally attracted by Lu Hsun: B.Vassiliev, A.Shtukin, L.Rudov and A.Shprintsin were engaged in translations and researches into his writing. In addition, B.Vassiliev wrote about works by Mao Dun for the first time, N.Petrov offered a few reviews of the modern Chinese literature and V.Alekseev wrote about new Chinese poetry and about the influence of the October revolution in Russia on the literature of China.

7) Popularization of Knowledge about China


The encyclopedia China, completed in 1939, should be considered as the most significant result of the Section's activity until 1941. It was a general book of reference containing information on various fields of Sinological knowledge - from geography and history to public health services and education. The majority of articles were written by members of the Chinese Section, except for those rare cases when scholars from other areas were brought in to write on certain problems of the current situation. Thus, the book consisted of a series of essays written by real experts. It had already been printed during the German occupation of Tallinn, but the entire circulation was lost, only 200 advance copies being saved.

Research carried out by the scholars of the AM-IOS served to popularize academic knowledge, in the form of exhibitions, lectures and pedagogical activity. In 1934, the well-known Chinese artist Xu Bei Hong brought pieces of new Chinese painting to Leningrad. Pictures were exhibited at the Hermitage with assistance and participation of V.Alekseev. All the Section's members and especially V.Alekseev presented lectures about China at different establishments.

SINOLOGY 1941-1945

During the 1941-1945 war many sinologists were turned away from their academic work. K.Razumovsky and I.Lyubin were lost at the front, L.Rudov (1941), K.Flug, J.Bunakov, E.Medovaya did not survive the blockade of Leningrad, while A.Petrov, L.Duman, G.Monzeler, V.Krivtsov, V.Justov, N.Petrov left for the military service or diplomatic work.

Other members of the Section were evacuated from Leningrad; V.Alekseev arrived at Borovoe; V.Stein, who was employed as vice-director and academic secretary of the Institute, left for Saratov with Leningrad University in February, 1942, his place being taken by N.Pigulevskaya; A.Dragunov and G.Smykalov went to Tashkent, Z.Gorbatcheva to Tetyushi where she lived with evacuated children of the members of the AS. In August, 1942 the Far Eastern Section was organized in Tashkent where the IOS had been evacuated. This united members of the Mongolian, Chinese and Japanese Sections. The administrative functions were temporarily executed by A.Dragunov. In December 1942, the Section was divided into two, Sino-Mongolian and Korean-Japanese. V.Alekseev was appointed to lead the first of them, with A.Dragunov as its academic secretary (his functions were later performed by L.Putchkovsky). Besides these scholars, the Section included also V.Stein, S.Kozin (although actually both of them lived in Saratov at that time and did not take part in the work of the Section), T.Burdukova (who lived in Alma-Ata) and the post-graduate students such as Sinologist L.Pozdneeva (who was in Moscow) and Manchurist M.Maksimov. Members of other Section, such as the Turkologist D.Tikhonov, G.Stratanovitch, a post-graduate student of the Institute of Ethnography, and Gerber, an academic fellow of the Central Archive also took part in the Section's work.

During the evacuation, members of the Chinese Section continued their academic work and carried out the urgent assignments connected with wartime conditions. V.Alekseev, who stayed in Borovoe, worked intensively, creating a significant amount of translations, articles, reports and abstracts. For example, he translated a number of anthologies of the Chinese poetry and narratives (which resulted in his works The Anthology of Chinese Classical Stories from the 2nd to 20th centuries and The Anthology of Chinese Classical Poetry from the 2nd to 10th centuries). At the same time V.Alekseev developed new principles of academic translation which had to combine academic accuracy with keeping the rhythm of the Chinese original texts. Moreover, Alekseev studied the Chinese grammar, problems of the Chinese history and philosophy (including philosophy of history), and also history of Russian Sinology.

Others Sinologists, evacuated to Tashkent, also kept their research. A.Dragunov completed there his book The Grammatic System of Modern Chinese (published in 1962) and began the research into the Ancient Chinese Grammar. He was one of the organizers, and then the secretary, of the Tashkent linguistic association, while he also continued his works on the Dungan grammar. G.Smykalov's interests were focusened on the history of China and, in part, on the history of Chinese literature. D.Tikhonov scrutinized various issuse coonected with Xinjian though his work was not based on the proper Chinese materials.

In 1943, V.Alekseev and A.Dragunov developed a program to be performed by the Soviet Sinology. It included the following elements: the accomplishment of the big Sino-Russian dictionary; the composition of the dictionary of Chinese cursive writing; the work on the history of Chinese literature, based on a series of translations and separate monographic researches; the principle work on the history of China, from which translations of Chinese historical works had to precede; the preparation of the edition of N.Bitchurin's work The Universal Minor Assistant To The Government; the accomplishment of translation of Sima Qian's historical treatise; the all-round development of the Chinese grammatical system with a specific study of the archaic period; the research into language, history, folklore and mode of life of the Dungans in the USSR; the academic description of manuscripts, xylographs, archival documents; the development of Tibetan and Tangut studies; the training of new experts.

Nor did the popularization of knowledge about China stop during the war years. V.Alexeev and other Section's members delivered a number of lectures for the military divisions deployed in Central Asia, while V.Stein gave more than a hundred lectures at various lecture halls, hospitals and military units of Saratov in 1942-1943.

In 1943, during the evacuation of the IOS in Moscow, the Moscow group of the Institute was formed. Among all it included Sinologists L.Eidlin (from the beginning of 1944), I.Oshanin (from May, 1945), S.Tikhvinsky (from August, 1945) and L.Pozdneeva.

After the summer of 1944, Sinologists of the IOS began gradually to return to Leningrad. V.Alekseev and V.Stein returned in 1944 which allowed for the renewal of the regular sessions of the Sectiont after October. Finally, in 1945 they were joined by A.Dragunov, G.Smykalov and Z.Gorbatcheva.

SINOLOGY IN THE FIRST POST-WAR DECADE

On returning to Leningrad, the Sinologists immediately began their work on the big Sino-Russian dictionary, which they all felt was the most important thing to do. The results of the previous work turned out to be left behind considerably by the newest Chinese lexicon, since after 1937 there had been no editions received from China. When newspapers, magazines and books again became available the scholars found that a further lexical layer had appeared in the Chinese language during World War 2. It was decided to process all the new materials acquired.

For this purpose the collective of authors was formed again. Except for its old members such as V.Alekseev (the editor), Z.Gorbatcheva (the secretary), V.Stein, A.Dragunov and G.Smykalov it included three Moscow Sinologists as associate editors such as I.Oshanin, L.Eidlin and Zhou Sun Yuan. I.Oshanin dealt with the official language and correspondence, grammar and the spoken language; L.Eidlin worked on the Chinese poetic texts; Zhou Sun Yuan worked as a corrector on the Chinese part of all the entries. The work on the dictionary was aided also by scholars who did not belong to the Section, especially by those living in China. Thus, N.Fedorenko sent materials on modern Chinese philology; S.Tikhvinsky on the military terminology and personalia of the Chinese men of politics and culture from the 20th century; L.Pozdneeva (from Moscow) on the terminology and lexicon of the classical Chinese novel and drama; B.Pankratov (who had worked in China during the war and 3 post-war years) on the spoken language, proverbs, folklore, the Beijing life and some other aspects of the Chinese culture which were often rather surprising; V.Vishnyakova (from Moscow) on the military terminology; and I.Tsiperovich (from Leningrad University) on the Chinese bibliography.

In 1946, the Section was replenished with new members such as O.Fishman, S.Kotchetova, T.Vaganova and S.Soltanov. All of them also took part in the compiling of the dictionary. T.Vaganova processed works of contemporary Chinese politicians, O.Fishman dealt with poetic texts, principally poems by Li Suo. Furthermore, S.Kotchetova concentrated on texts on the Chinese art and Pu Sung Ling's stories while S.Soltanov corrected typed texts and made some additions to the syllables from Ba to Biao.

In 1947 T.Vaganov and O.Fishman left the IOS for Leningrad University and in 1950 S.Soltanov was dismissed.

In 1948 the basic work on the dictionary was finished and a part of it, on the syllable Gu, was issued but not distributed; the whole project was stopped in 1949.

Meanwhile in 1948 the work on a one-volume (“average-sized”) Sino-Russian dictionary began. It was organized by A.Dragunov (the editor), Z.Gorbatcheva and B.Pankratov, who had just returned from China. The following year the project was headed by I.Oshanin: all the materials for the big dictionary were transported to Moscow and work on both of the dictionaries was continued there. Leningrad scholars (particularly Z.Gorbatcheva and S.Kotchetova) took only a minor part in this project.

The academic activity of two members of the Section such as V.Alekseev and A.Dragunov was not limited to the work on the dictionary during this period. V.Alekseev spent a lot of efforts on his research into literature and linguistics, as well as the history of sinology in the USSR. Thus, he continued the study of Chinese literature which had began before and continued during the war. In addition, he delivered a lot of reports and prepared a number of the papers such as, for example, The Chinese Poet depicting Landscapes on his Inspiration and the Landscape, Utopian Monism and the Chinese Ceremonies in treatises of Su Xiun, The Actor, the Calligrapher and the Poet on the secrets in calligraphy, The Soviet Experience of the Translation of the Chinese fine literature, Frenchman Bualo and his Chinese Contemporaries, etc. But, even though some articles and reviews were published, the greater part of them remained in manuscripts or was issued only as abstracts. One of the main works of V.Alekseev, a big monograph Soviet Sinology in the 1930s, was never published either.

V.Alekseev's works made him a leader of Soviet Sinology and he received wide recognition . He was elected as a member by several foreign academic organizations such as the Beijing Library (1926), the American Academy of Political and Social Science (1931), the American Oriental Society (1937) and the American Geographical Society of New York (1946).

A.Dragunov's researches also developed and a deepened those ideas which he and E.Dragunova had proposed before the war, principally the main idea about the distinction of the systems of parts of speech in different languages; for Chinese, for example, A.Dragunov established another system of parts of speech, than that of the Indo-European languages. Besides, he continued to study some grammatical phenomena, including phonetics. In 1950, A.Dragunov moved to Moscow and continued his researches there up to his death in 1955.

Among the work of other members of the Section we should specially note V.Stein's important researches in the area of the ancient Chinese economic ideas. In 1946, he accomplished his work on the treatise Guan Zi and, in 1947, started another project entitled The Parallel Compositions in the Chinese Language which, however, was never completed. B.Pankratov studied The Secret History of the Mongols (Yuan Chao Bi Shi) and Z.Gorbatcheva studied the revolt of Fan Chung.

In May, 1950 the Section organized a session devoted to memory of acad. V.Vassiliev with V.Alekseev, N.Kyuner, G.Smykalov, L.Eidlin, S.Kotchetova, Z.Gorbatcheva taking part. In the same year, L.Eidlin gave a report about studies of the Chinese literature in the 1940s (The Theme of Labor in the Modern Fiction of China).

In 1951, the work for the edition of N.Bitchurin's unpublished heritage was continued. G.Smykalov (who returned to the IOS), B.Pankratov, Z.Gorbatcheva started to prepare his translation of the Chinese historical text Tun Jian Gang Mu for the publishing and in 1953 three of four volumes were ready. However, this project was not accomplished either. D.Tikhonov who also took part in this work (from 1952) studied then history of Xinjian from the 19th to the beginning of the 20th centuries according to the Uigur sources. V.Ilyushechkin also took part  In the Section's lexicographic works, composing a small Sino-Russian dictionary.

After the move of the IOS's headquarters to Moscow that took part in 1950 when the IOS, with only the Department of Oriental Manuscripts being left in Leningrad, the number of Sinologists decreased sharply. Only Z.Gorbatcheva, B.Pankratov and G.Smykalov (who retired again in 1952 because of a disease) remained. The academic production of this time is insignificant. Besides the above-mentioned work on N.Bitchurin's archives, we need only mention B.Pankratov's study of those parts of Rashid ad-din's historical treatise which concern the Chinese sources. He also took part in writing The History of the Mongolian People's Republic.

From 1953 the structure of the Department of Oriental Manuscripts began to develop, with the involvement of young Sinologists. In 1953, L.Menshikov was admitted as a doctoral student and then, in 1955, became a member of the stuff. In 1954, A.Kondratiev was admitted to study the history of Kirghizia according to the Chinese sources, in the same year I.Zograph (Babieva) started to work at the Department's library and then became a doctoral student. In 1955, N.Petrov came back after his long military service, V.Stein returned, too. The stuff included also S.Shkolyar who worked at the library first and then proceeded to the study of the history of Chinese military science; L.Tchuguevsky was employed for the temporal work with the Chinese xylographs, archival materials and the Japanese part of the library; and, finally, E.Kychanov was admitted to study Tangut history.

It is quite natural that the increased stuff brought about more extensive Sinological acivities. I.Zograph, S.Shkolyar processed and catalogued the new Sinological literature acquired, Z.Gorbatcheva and N.Petrov began to describe the collection of the Chinese xylographs. This work went on until 1961 and yet was not completed, with only a few reviews being published. V.Alekseev's work on the description of the prints was continued by E.Lubo-Lesnitchenko in 1953. He finished its catalogue which after all included 880 card entries. B.Pankratov carried on his studies of The Secret History of the Mongols. A.Kondratiev continued to work on the history of Kirghizia and published several articles on the matter. L.Menshikov studied reforms of the Chinese classical drama. N.Petrov researched into the writings by the Chinese poet and reformer from the end of the 19th century Huan Zun Xian and worked on the theory of the Chinese poetical system. I.Zograph began her researches into the historical grammar as regards Middle Chinese.

SINOLOGY 1956-1968

In 1956, the Department of Oriental Manuscripts was transformed into the Leningrad Branch of the Institute of Oriental Studies (LO IOS); and there was established the Far Eastern Section, led by V.Stein. The Section included several scholars such as Z.Gorbatcheva, A.Kondratiev, L.Menshikov, B.Pankratov, N.Petrov, D.Tikhonov, S.Shkolyar and a doctoral student, I.Zograph.

From 1956 the Section was regularly replenished with new members such as V.Spirin (from 1956), B.Vakhtin, I.Gurevich, prof. V.Kolokolov, L.Chuguevsky (from 1957), J.Kroll, B.Smirnov, M.Vorobieva-Desyatovskaya, S.Danilov, A.Terentiev-Katansky, O.Fishman (from 1958), E.Vinogradov, K.Keping, L.Pavlovskaya (from 1959), P.Skachkov (from 1960), L.Kazakova, A.Toropov, E.Stulova (from 1961), M.Ulman (from 1964). The doctoral program was expanded and, between 1956 and 1957 positions were filled by E.Kychanov (student of Tangut), I.Zograph, A.Martynov, I.Gurevich, L.Rogova, G.Maksimova, N.Kulakova and M.Tchigrinsky. Some of these scholars later left for other establishments. Other Sections included the historian of China K.Vassilev (from 1960) and M.V.Vorobev (from 1965) who studied the history of the Jurchen people according to the Chinese sources.

In 1962, V.Stein was replaced by B.Vakhtin, under whose direction the Section worked till 1966, at that time, it was divided into the Chinese Section (headed by O.Fishman), the Japanese Section, the Korean Group and the Group for the Description and Edition of Manuscripts and Xylographs of the Far East Collections (headed by L.Menshikov). In 1964, the Section lost its two leading experts such as P.Skatchkov and V.Stein. The Sinological researches at the LO IOS were further assisted by many scholars from other Leningrad and Moscow establishments such as acad. N.Konrad, E.Serebryakov, V.Petrov, L.Eidlin, S.Jakhontov, I.Tsiperovitch, V.Velgus, E.Lubo-Lesnitchenko, M.Rudova (Pchelina), V.Krivtsov, B.Riftin, A.Shprintsin, etc.

The international communication between Sinologists was restored and intensively extended. Many contacts were established with foreign scholars, in particular at the 25th International Conference of Orientalists. It resulted in the restoration of academic communications and exchange of information, as well as the book-exchange which had been interrupted by WW 2. The library obtained an opportunity to have a constant book-exchange with the Beijing State library (this, however, stopped at the end of 1966), Japan's largest Orientalist library and publishing house Toyo bunko, as well as academic institutes from the USA, France, Czechoslovakia, Hungary and other countries. It promoted the intensive growth of the library's Sinological collection, especially in connection with Chinese and Japanese. The important result of these contacts was also that our Sinologists' works started to be published abroad. For example, J.Kroll, I.Gurevich and L.Menshikov published a few articles in European and American academic periodicals. At the same time foreign scholars published a number of reviews on the works of Soviet Sinologists.

For the first time after a long break, the Section's members were able to go to China. Long-term trips were thus made by E.Kychanov (in 1964-65), V.Spirin and S.Shkolyar (in 1965-66), V.Kolokolov and B.Vakhtin. On their return, they gave their accounts on their impressions and the results of their trips. In addition, E.Stulova and A.Toropov were admitted to the institute after they had graduated Beijing University.

Many organizational positions which had existed before the war were revived, while some new positions were established, linked with the new responsibilities of the IOS and the Section. For example, at the Section's sessions many reports were presented, reflecting the current work of its members who also took an active part in different conferences, symposia and discussions that provided a wider audience and, frequently, a more detailed discussion by experts.

In 1963, the Section was divided into the Group for Study of the Dunhuang Manuscripts Collection (led by L.Menshikov), the Group foк the Description and Study of the Chinese Xylographs Collection (led by B.Vakhtin), the Group for the Study of Literature (led by O.Fishman), the Linguistic Group (led by I.Zograph), and the Group for the Study of History and Ideology (led by V.Spirin). The research work concentrated now in these groups, the Section fulfilling a basic uniting and directing role.

The annual academic sessions at the LBIOS, first held in 1965, became the most effective forum for the presentation of scholarly reports. Sinologists also contributed to the historical study of the Eastern cultures. The group of scholars engaged in this direction included Sinologists such as O.Fishman (who headed the group), B.Vakhtin, V.Spirin, M.Ulman. O.Fishman was also the secretary of the editorial board of the publishing project Culture of peoples of the East and L.Menshikov became a member of the editorial board of the project The writings of the East.

The revived processing of the library's Chinese collection embraced an even greater volume of stored materials than it had during the war. Their catalogue was, for the first time, put on a firm bibliographic basis and subordinated to the library conventions. The principal work in this area was made by L.Pavlovskaya and her group, including S.Danilov, A.Terentiev-Katansky, K.Kepping. This group existed from 1958 to 1962, and it refashioned the catalogue of the library's Chinese section (excluding the xylographic part). After that L.K.Pavlovskaya began to study Chinese literature while A.Terentiev-Katansky and K.Kepping focusened on the Tangut collection. The current receipts were processed by S.Danilov (until 1967) and I.Tsiperovich (from 1967). L.Pavlovskaya also composed the guidebook, employing the library's collection of Chinese books.

The processing of the Sinological Archives has been carried out throughout the Branch's life. It resulted in the publication of the important unknown works by K.Flug (prepared by Z.Gorbatcheva), J.Shchutsky (prepared by N.Petrov) and V.Alekseev (prepared by his daughter M.Bankovskaya). In addition, L.Tchuguevsky carried out the description of the archival funds of N.Bichurin, P.Dmitrievsky, etc. E.Stulova, A.Terentiev-Katansky, P.Skatchkov, N.Petrov took part in the description of the archives as well. V.Kolokolov studied the life and works of L.Leontiev, L.Tchuguevsky those of P.Schilling.

The processing of the Chinese manuscripts and xylographs collection was also renewed. Under the initiative from the head of the Branch acad. I.Orbeli and V.Kolokolov, the Dunhuang Group was formed at the beginning of 1957. It originally included three people such as L.Menshikov, V.Spirin and S.Shkolyar. They began to prepare the academic description of the collection of the Chinese manuscripts found by S.Oldenburg's expedition in Dunhuang (Gansu province, the PRC) between 1914 and 1915. In 1958, the group was joined by M.Vorobieva-Desyatovskaya, I.Gurevich, then I.Zograph, B.Smirnov and A.Martynov. Between 1963 and 1964, E.Vinogradov, S.Danilov, A.Kondratyev, L.Pavlovskaya, Z.Khanin, L.Tchuguevsky were also members of the group. From 1964 to 1968, the group published two descriptions of manuscripts (more than a quarter of the whole collection). Along with the description, some unique manuscripts were edited, both as separate books and at periodicals, all of them being accompanied with research papers. The first release of the description and the publication of Dunhuang manuscripts, within the project Writings of Peoples of the East got the Julien Award from the French Academy of Inscriptions and Humanities for 1964. In 1966, L.Menshikov prepared the research into one of the most unique Dunhuang texts, Pienwen about the requital for mercy. L.Tchuguevsky worked on a great number of economic, official, monastic documents from the Dunhuang collections, while M.Demidov (a scholar from the National Library) studied another group of texts, library documents.

The work on the catalogue of the Chinese xylographs collection continued and, in 1960, a new group was formed including B.Vakhtin (head), E.Stulova, A.Toropov and L.Kazakova. In 1962, the group was joined by I.Gurevich and J.Kroll and, in 1967, they completed a full inventory and catalogue of the collection.

Other hand-written collections were investigated and described to a lesser extent. L.Menshikov began to work on the Chinese part of P.Kozlov's collection in 1956 but its processing began properly only in 1966, when L.Menshikov and M.Ulman started the project aimed at the description of this collection. As for the so-called new collection of the Chinese manuscripts, this was studied only haphazardly by B.Riftin and L.Menshikov. The cartographical Chinese collection was dealt with by L.Tchuguevsky.

P.Skatchkov ran the bibliographic work on China. In 1960, he published an expanded edition of the bibliography of Russian-language Sinological works. Besides P.Skatchkov, it was carried out by L.Tchuguevsky, O.Livotova, M.Demidov and V.Zhuravlev. A.Toropov prepared a bibliography of the bibliographies concerning the Chinese book culture. In 1961, all the members of the Section prepared a reference book What to read about China; this, however, was never published.

Research into Chinese history was regular but addressed very specific concerns. Thus, V.Stein, having finished his work on the treatise Guan-zi, published a book and an article on this subject. He was also interested in the history of relations between India and China and published a book and a few papers on the matter. At the same time, there appeared his works on the development of economic and geographical concepts in ancient China and the genesis of capitalism in the countries of the East. J.Kroll, K.Vassilev and, in part, Z.Gorbatcheva, studied some issues of ancient Chinese historiography. J.Kroll worked for a long time over Sima Qian's treatise Records of the Grand Historian, it resulted with a monograph about Sima Qian. K.Vassilev focusened on a historical work from the 3rd century BC, Charts of the Fighting States. He published a few papers and prepared a book on this historical source. Z.Gorbatcheva studied history of China from the Sung period, the slavery in China, Chinese historiography from the 3rd to the12th centuries A.D. But of all her works only one small paper was published.

V.Kolokolov translated texts included into the Cofucius canon. He finished a translation of Confutius' The Four Books (Sse shu: Lun yu, Ta Hsueh, Chung Yun and The Mencius) and began to translate the Book of Rites (Li Chi).

A study of modern Chinese economy (especially, aspects of rent system in cooperatives and people's communes) was undertaken by E.Vinogradov, who also studied the history of monetary circulation in China (from 1962 to 1964 when he moved to Leningrad University).

The history of the Chinese militaries was studied by S.Shkolyar who wrote a monograph on military technical equipment of the Sung epoch. Alongside with the study of the contemporary China, LBIOS' Sinologists paid attention to the history of adjacent countries. Thus, B.Pankratov studied Chinese sources on the early history of the Mongols. He published the Mongolian text of The Secret History of the Mongols (Yuan-chao bi-shi) and tried to reconstruct the Old Mongolian text and to translate it into Russian. The history of the Jin state of the Jurchens was studied by E.Kychanov and M.Vorobyov. A.Martynov focusened on the Chinese documents relating to the history of the Sino-Tibetan relationship from the 15th to the 17th centuries on which he wrote two works. A.Kondratyev and K.Vassilev's studies of the history of Xinjian and Inner Mongolia were also based upon Chinese sources. Furthermore, G.Ibragimova and D.Tikhonov studied the history of the Uigurs living in Xinjian from the 10th to the 19th centuries but paid no attention to Chinese sources.

Chinese philosophy was researched by V.Spirin whose major academic interest was in the logical system of the Ancient Chinese philosophies. Having started with the treatise Han Fej zi, in 1962, he turned his attention to sources on the history of logic in Ancient China. Spirin applied his conclusions to such philosophical treatises as Deng Si-zi, Yin Ven zi, Zhung yung and began to study the terminological system used in Chinese logic.

The linguistic group worked basically in the field of historical grammar of the Chinese language as well as in the areas of lexicology and lexicography. B.Smirnov studied the Ancient Chinese language from the 5th to the 3rd centuries B.C. He began with the theme of auxiliaries and then passed to a wider theme - beyond the parts of speech. The later period, from the 3rd to the 5th centuries A.D., was studied by I.Gurevich who established that the transition of Ancient Chinese to Middle Chinese occurred during that period. The latter was researched by I.Zograph. She studied the language of the Sung era and then began to work on the earliest stage of Middle Chinese on base of the pienwen genre texts from the 8th to the 11th centuries. Afterwards she studied its last stage, too, represented in the language of drama of the Yuan period, from the 13th to the 15th centuries.

The lexicon of Modern Chinese, as well as a special group of the Chinese idiomatic expressions called chen-yu, was studied by A.Toropov and E.Stulova. They composed the Sino-Russian dictionary of chen-yu. I.Zograph made a glossary for The Pienwen about the Requitals for Mercy.

Scholars of literature worked on some most important genres and periods of the history of Chinese literature. B.Vakhtin studied a folk poetry genre called yuefu belonging to the end of the 1st millenium B.C. - the beginning of the 1st millenium A.D. L.Menshikov researched the narrative xiaosho genre from the Liu-chao period (from the 3rd to the 6th centuries), in particular the 4th century text Sou Shen Zi (In Search of the Supernatural). O.Fishman studied the poetry of the Tang period, first of all Li Bo, and Tang short stories. The poems of Li Bo were also discussed in B.Pankratov's work, too.

An important genre of the Chinese folk literature - pienwen dated by the end of the Tang period (the 8th-10th centuries) - was studied by L.Menshikov. He also published a few papers about a play from the 13th century, The Story of the Western Wing, his own translation of it into Russian and a work on the song-narrative genre from the 12th to the 13th centuries called Zhu Gong Diao. The folk novel of the Sung period, called Pinghua, and first of all the earliest representation of this genre Pinghua on the History of the Five Dynasties (Wu Dai Shi Pinghua) was studied by L.Pavlovskaya. To accompany her researches ino Middle Chinese, I.Zograph introduced the collection of short stories from the 13th century entitled The Popular Stories Issued in The Capital.

O.Fishman constantly worked on the history of Chinese literature from the 17th and 18th centuries (the so-calledan epoch of Enlightenment). She started with the novels Flowers in The Mirror (Jing Hua Yuan) and The Unofficial History of Confucians (Zhu Lin Wei Shi), it resulted in a monograph about the Chinese satirical novel from the Enlightenment period.

The new Chinese literature was not a subject of regular researches by LBIOS's Sinologists but there appeared nonetheless separate works on the literature from the 20th century. On the edge of researches of literature and linguistics stands J.Kroll's work on the Beijing folk expressions called Se Hou Yu collected in China by B.Pankratov.

Moreover, Leningrad Sinologists translated actively various texts from classical and modern Chinese literature. In this connection their activity wasn't limited with the above-mentioned themes. For example, B.Vakhtin and L.Menshikov's translations of Chinese poetry were included in a large anthology of it while the latter's translations were also used in an anthology of Tang poetry. Dramas of the Yuan period were translated by L.Menshikov and O.Fishman, Menshikov being also a translator of the verses from the novel Dream of the Red Chamber (the 18th century). All in all, the number of texts translated was rather considerable.

As for the Chinese literature from the 20th century, O.Fishman translated a number of works by Lu Sin (his verses being translated by L.Menshikov), while Zhao Shu Li's works appeared in translations made by O.Fishman, B.Vakhtin, L.Menshikov; Tian Han and other modern Chinese writers such as Wan Tun Zhao, Xiao Ping, Xjao Hung were represented in translations made by O.Fishman and L.Pavlovskaya. L.Menshikov also translated Chinese fairy tales and the verses of Korean poets who wrote in Chinese. B.Vakhtin wrote on the theory of translation from Chinese.

The Section's Sinologists also tried to carry out some collective theoretical works. In particular they produced a collection of essays on the history of Chinese culture. This work was an attempt to sum up the achievements of Sinology gathered by the beginning of the 1960s and it served as an important base for further research. Another work worth mentioning here is the digest The Han Country. Authors of this book tried to create a popular account of the history and culture of China. Moreover, Z.Gorbatcheva wrote a popular book about the Chinese People's Republic which was intended to be read at schools.

The Sinologists also continued to deliver public lectures at different establishments and enterprises, first of all at the Geographical society and the Lecture Hall of the LBIOS. These lectures were quite numerous and touched on many sides of the Chinese history, culture, and science.

Thus, during this period almost all the aspects of Sinology which were established during the 1920s and 1930s were not only restored at the LBIOS but also developed to a significant extent.

Translated by A.Zorin; proofread by S.Wickham-Smith

Last Updated ( 18/03/2009 )

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