Department of History of the Far East Countries

Wednesday, 15 February 2017 18:45

The Head of the Department: Kolotov Vladimir N.


  • Ancient and Medieval History of China
  • Architecture of the Great Mughals
  • Basic Aspects of Protest from Lower Social Strata in Ancient and Medieval China
  • Buddhism
  • China and the Nomads of Central Asia in Ancient and Medieval History
  • Ethnography of China
  • Geography of China
  • History and Geography of Central Asia
  • History and Geography of India
  • History of Cambodia
  • History of Ideological Doctrines in Asian Countries
  • History of Japan
  • History of Pakistan
  • History of Russian-Siamеsе Relations
  • History of Modern Social Thought in China
  • History of Vietnam
  • History, Geography and Ethnography of Korea
  • History, Geography and Ethnography of Mongolia
  • History, Geography and Ethnography of Thailand
  • Medieval History of Southeast Asia
  • Modern History of Southeast Asia
  • New and Modern History of Asia and Africa
  • New and Modern History of China
  • Official Mongolian Documents of the XVII-XIX Centuries as Historical Sources
  • Political and Economic System of Modern India
  • Political and Economic System of Modern Japan
  • Political and Economic System of Modern Korea
  • Political and Economic System of Modern Thailand
  • Political and Economic System of Modern Vietnam
  • Political History of South Vietnam
  • Political System in the People’s Republic of China
  • Problems of Chinese History (XVII-XVIII Centuries)
  • Religious and Political Situation in South Vietnam
  • Russia and China: Developments in Mutual Perception, Images and Stereotypes
  • Secret Societies in China in the XVIII - early XX Centuries
  • Sources оn Ancient and Medieval History of China
  • Sources оn the History of India
  • Sources оn the History of Japan
  • Sources оn the History of Mongolia
  • Sоurсеs оn the History of Vietnam
  • Traditions of Historical Development and Modernisation (a Case of Indochina)
  • The Economic System in People’s Republic of China
  • Western Historiography оn East Asian Civilisations.

The Department offers training in the following areas of specialization: History of China, History of India, History of Korea, History of Vietnam, History of Vietnam and China, History of Malaysia and Indonesia. In addition to compulsory disciplines specified by the curriculum of history departments, students can choose from the following special courses and seminars: General and Specific in the Historical Development of Ancient and Medieval China, Secret Societies in China in the Modern Period, Traditions and Innovations in Chinese Folk Utopia in the Modern Period, Characteristics of Development of Major Regions in the PRC, Issue of Cultural Heritage in Contemporary China, Ancient Chinese Mythology, Everyday Life in Korea in the 16th-19th Centuries, North Korean Political History, History of the Delhi Sultanate, Muslim Movements in Indian Social Thought in the Second Half of the 19th Century, History of Manchuria in the 12th-19th Centuries, System for Conflict Management in South Vietnam in the Middle of the 20th Century.

The Department of History of the Far East Countries was established in 1949. Orientalist historians G. V. Efimov, L. A. Berezny, E. Ya. Lyusternik, D. I. Goldberg, N. V. Kuehner, and L. V. Zenina restored the tradition of teaching the history of the Far East countries that had been laid down in the nineteenth century by V. P. Vasilyev and S. M. Georgievsky.

In the 1950s-60s, the Department focused on the study of national liberation movements and international relations in the Far East (G. V. Efimov), contemporary history and historiography of Chinese history (L. A. Berezny), ancient and medieval Chinese history (G. Ya. Smolin), traditional Chinese historiography (B. G. Doronin), the history of secret Chinese societies and sects (B. M. Novikov), modern and contemporary Japanese history (D. I. Goldberg, L. V. Zenina), the issue of colonialism and national liberation movement in India (Yu. V. Petchenko), Russian-Indian relations (E. Ya. Lyusternik). New divisions were opened in the 1960s, including History of Thailand and Burma (B. N. Melnichenko), History of Indonesia (P. М. Movchanyuk) and History of the Philippines (B. G. Doronin). In the 1970s-80s, the research interests of the faculty turned to Chinese social thought (V. F. Gusarov, N. A. Samoilov), and religious and political history of Vietnam (V. N. Kolotov).

In recent years, the Department has been joined by specialists in the history of the countries of South-East Asia. From 1991, the Department has been exploring the relations between Russian and the countries of Eastern, Central, and South-East Asia, including the work of Russian Orthodox missions in these regions. The Department maintains links with universities and research institutions in Europe, America, Far East, and South-East Asia.

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Department of Indian Philology

Tuesday, 27 December 2016 20:11

Languages taught:

  • Avadhi, Bengali, Braj, Hindi, Marathi, Oriya, Pali, Punjabi, Prakrit, Sanskrit, Sinhalese, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu.


  • Bengali Poetry
  • Classical Sanskrit Texts and Epics
  • Comparative and Historical Grammar of Indo-Aryan Languages
  • Comparative Grammar of Dravidian Languages
  • Hindi Language and Literature
  • History of Ancient Indian Literature
  • History of Bengali Literature
  • Indian Mythology
  • Introduction to Dravidian Studies
  • Introduction to Traditional Sanskrit Grammar
  • Medieval Hindi Poetry
  • Medieval Telugu Poetry
  • Modern Hindi Literature
  • Pali Grammar
  • Pali Language
  • Sanskrit Grammar and Texts,
  • Sanskrit Language and Literature
  • Sanskrit Poetics
  • Telugu Language and Literature
  • Telugu Folk Epics
  • Urdu Language and Literature
  • Vedic Sanskrit (Grammar and Analytical Reading).

The Department of Indian Philology (originally the Department of Sanskrit, in 1944-1949 – the Department of Indo-Tibetan Philology) was founded in 1858 under the chairmanship of Prof. K. Kossovich, one of the first Russian Sanskritologists. In the second half of the 19 century – early 20 century, research and language instruction in Sanskrit and Pali at the University were carried out by Prof. I. P. Minaev and later Prof. F. I. Shcherbatskoy, Prof. D. Kudryavsky, and Prof. N. Mironov.

In the 1920s, for the first time in Russia, systematic study and teaching of New Indo-Aryan languages began at the University, spearheaded by Academician A.P. Barannikov, who led the Department until 1952. A. P. Barannikov and his colleagues at the Department – V. M. Beskrovny, V. Krasnodembsky, B. A. Novikova, and D. Datta – began to teach Hindi, Urdu, Marathi, and Bengali.

After Academician A. P. Barannikov, the Department was led by Prof. V. A. Novikova (in 1952-1972), Assoc. Prof. V. I. Balin (in 1972-1991), Prof. V. G. Erman (in 1991-1995), Assoc. Prof. T. I. Oranskaya (in 1995-1999). In this period, the faculty included such notable philologists as V. Vorobyev-Desyatovsky, T. E. Katenina, S. G. Rudin, and G. A. Zograf. Along with specializations in Hindi philology, Urdu, and Bengali philology, which were traditionally taught at the Department, new programmes were re-opened or became available for the first time: Marathi Philology, Telugu, Tamil Philology and Sanskritology.

Current faculty are: E. K. Brosalina, Yu. G. Kokova, T. P. Selivanova, S. O. Tsvetkova, S. S. Tavastsherna, D. V. Soboleva, A. V. Chelnokova, and E. A. Kostina.

Published in Departments

The Head of the Department: Diakov Nikolay N.


  • Afghan Historical Texts
  • Arabic Historical Texts
  • Ethnography of the Arab World
  • Ethnography of Turkey
  • Geography and Ethnography оf Iran
  • Geography of Afghanistan
  • Geography of the Arab World
  • Geography of Turkey
  • History of the Arab Maghreb
  • History of the Arab World
  • History of Turkey
  • Introduction to the History of the Middle East
  • Islamic Art
  • Islamic Studies
  • Medieval History of the Arab World
  • Medieval and Modern History of Egypt
  • Modern History of Afghanistan
  • Modern History of Iran
  • Modern History of the Arab World
  • Russia and the Middle East
  • Russian Travellers in the Middle East
  • Social and Economic History of the Ottoman Empire
  • Social and Political Thought in the Arab Countries under the Ottoman Rule
  • Sources оn the History of Afghanistan
  • State Systems and Political Development of Iraq in the XIX-XX Centuries.

The study of the history of Middle East at St. Petersburg University goes a long way back. It was extensively represented in the lectures of O. I. Senkovsky (1800-1858), P. S. Savelyev (1814-1859), A. K. Kazembekov (1802-1870), M. A. Tantawi (1810-1861), M. D. Tobshibashev (1790-1869), and other scholars.

After the Faculty of Oriental Languages was established in 1855, it opened the Department of Oriental History (1863) chaired by V. V. Grigoryev (until 1878) and then N. I. Veselovsky (until 1896). The Department then had three sections: History of Semitic Peoples, History of Aryan People, and History of the Peoples of North-East Asia.

Between 1896 and 1930, among the university professors was Academician V. V. Bartold (1869-1930), an outstanding scholar of the Middle Eastern and Central Asian history and culture. His works effectively laid the foundations for the study of social and political history of the region in the Middle Ages.

After 1917, Oriental studies at the University went through significant changes. From 1934, Middle Eastern history was taught at the Department of the History of Colonial and Dependent Peoples of the Faculty of History, and subsequently at the Oriental Department of the Faculty of Philology.

After the Faculty of Oriental Languages was re-established in 1944, it opened the Department of History of Medieval and Contemporary East, and in 1949 – the Department of the History of Middle Eastern Countries and the Department of the History of Far Eastern Countries. The first head of the Department in 1944-1950 was Prof. A. Yu. Yakubovsky (1886-1953), a distinguished Orientalist, corresponding member of the USSR Academy of Sciences.

In the post-war period, among the faculty were such notable scholars as N. V. Pigulevskaya (1894-1970), corresponding member of the USSR Academy of Sciences, author of fundamental works on the history of Bysantium, Iran and Central Asia; M. S. Ivanov; A. M. Belenitsky and V. A. Krachkovskaya; M. V. Churakov, historian of Arab countries, as well as I. P. Petrushevsky (1898-1977), an authority on the history of medieval Iran and the Caliphate, who twice headed the Department (in 1950-1954 and 1961-1977).

Prof. A. D. Novichev – a leading expert on Turkish history – worked at the Department between 1948 and 1982; Prof. L. V. Stroeva, who specialized in the history of Iran and Central Asia, taught there between 1944 and 1989; Prof. A. L. Gryunberg-Zvetinovich, a remarkable teacher of the cultures, languages, and history of the peoples of Afghanistan, was member of staff between 1976 and 1996; Assoc. Prof. A. M. Goldobin, a celebrated specialist in modern and contemporary history of Arab East, taught there between 1953 and 1970.

From 1955 to 1960, the Department was led by Academician I. A. Orbeli (1887-1961), a distinguished Orientalist, specialist in the art of material culture of the peoples of South Caucasus, Iran, and Central Asia, who, for several years, also headed the Faculty of Oriental Languages of Leningrad University, ad well as the Leningrad branch of the Institute of Oriental Studies within the Academy of Sciences.

In 1950, the Department was joined by Prof. A. D. Zheltyakov (1925-1989) – an author of numerous major works on the history of Turkish social thought in the modern and contemporary period. He was head of the Department between 1977 and 1989.

Many of the Department’s graduates went on to become eminent specialists in the history of the Middle East, who worked in the academic institutions of Leningrad/Petersburg as well as other cities: S. M. Batsieva, L. E. Kubbel, V. V. Matveev, O. G. Bolshakov, Yu. A. Petrosyan, and numerous others.

Current faculty of the Department are: Professors N.N. Dyakov (head of the Department), I. V. Bazilenko, M. A. Rodionov; Associate Professors I. V. Gerasimov, S. E. Grigoryev, K. A. Zhukov, G. S. Kharatishvili; Senior Lecturers M. Yu. Ilyushina, PhD (History), T. V. Obraztsova, T. M. Sipenkova; Assistant Professor A. V. Zheveleva, PhD (History). Three members of staff hold Doctor of Historical Sciences degrees, and five hold PhDs. O. I. Goluzeev and A. S. Matveev, researchers and instructors, provide instructional support.

As part of research and teaching development, faculty have designed new courses in the history of Arab countries of North Africa (N. N. Dyakov – Maghreb countries, I. V. Gerasimov – Egypt and Sudan), ethnography of South Arabia (M. A. Rodionov), contemporary history of Turkey and the history of Russian-Turkish relations (K. A. Zhukov, A. V. Zheveleva), history of culture of Iran and Afghanistan (I. V. Bazilenko, S. E. Grigoryev, G. S. Kharatishvili).

In recent years, the faculty have written and published dozens of single-author monographs and textbooks, including (in Russian):

  • N. N. Dyakov. Marocco. History, Culture, Religion. SPbU Publishing House, 1993.
  • M. A. Rodionov. Ethnography of West Hadhramaut. General and Local in Ethnic Culture. Moscow, 1994.
  • M. A. Rodionov. Rasa’il al-Hikma. From Druze Manuscrips of the Institute of Oriental Studies (of the Russian Academy of Sciences). St. Petersburg, 1995.
  • S. E. Grigoryev. Panjsher in 1975-1990 as Seen by an Afghan Historian. SPbU, 1997.
  • I. V. Bazilenko. Brief Account of the History and Ideology of the Bahá'í International Community (XIX-XX centuries). SPbU, 1998.
  • K. A. Zhukov. The Oriental Question in K.N. Leontyev’s Historiosophic System. St. Petersburg, 2006.
  • M. A. Rodionov. Classical Islam. St. Petersburg 2001.
  • G. S. Kharatishvili. Georgians – Professors and Teachers of the Faculty of Oriental Studies, St. Petersburg University. SPbU, 2005.
  • N. N. Dyakov. Muslim Maghreb. Sharifs, Tarikats, Marabouts in the History of North Africa. SPbU Publishing House, 2008.
  • G. S. Kharatishvili. Georgians – Professors, Teachers and Graduates of St. Petersburg State University. XIX-ХХ centuries. St. Petersburg, 2009.
  • I. V. Gerasimov. History of Sudanese Journalism. St. Petersburg, Faculty of Philology Publishers 2011.
  • Sulaiman Al Mahri. Mahri’s Principles of Accuracy in Navigational Science (Umdat al-Mahriyya fi dabt al-'ilm al-bahriya) (Translated by T. A. Shumovsky, ed. by A. S. Matveev). Moscow: Marjani Publishing House, 2011. (Bibliotheca Islamica.)

as well as collective monographs and collections of papers (in Russian):

  • Russia and the East. SPbU Publishing, 2000.
  • History of Russia: Russia and the East. St. Petersburg, 2002.
  • Historiography and Source Studies of Asia and Africa. Issues XV-XXV. SPbU Publishing House, 1995-2007. Ed. by N.N. Dyakov et al.
  • Orient: History and Culture. St. Petersburg, 2000.
  • Orient, Orientalists, Oriental Studies. SPbU Publishing House, 2003-2004.
  • Middle East and North Africa. SPbU Publishing House, 2004.
  • Russia – Arab World: Past and Present. SPbU Publishing House, 2004.
  • Russia and the Arab World. To the 200th anniversary of Shaykh Al Tantawi, Professor of St. Petersburg University. Conference materials. SPbU Publishing House. 2010.
  • Introduction to Oriental Studies. Ed. by E. I. Zelenev and V. B. Kasevich. St. Petersburg. KARO. 2011.
  • Traditional and New Religions in the Changing Eurasia and Africa: History and Modernity. Ed. By V. N. Kolotov. St. Petersburg. Russian Christian Academy for the Humanities, 2011.
  • Russia and the East: Phenomenology of Interaction and Identification in the Modern Age. Ed. by N. N. Dyakov, N.A. Samoilov. St. Petersburg. NP-Print, 2011.

In 2001-2012, three DrSc dissertations and over 10 PhD theses were defended at the Department, including those submitted by external candidates and students from Israel, Indonesia, and Turkey.

In recent years, members of the faculty have given talks at All-Russian and international conferences and seminars on the history and culture of the Middle East in St. Petersburg and Moscow, Kazan and Ufa, Baku and Dushanbe, in Alexandria, Kuwait, Manama (Bahrein), Rabat, Riyadh, Istanbul, Teheran, Athens, Nicosia, Basel, Berlin, Hamburg, Leipzig, London, Naples, Paris, and Edinburgh.

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