Pogodin, Mikhail

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Pogodin, Mikhail [Погодин, Михаил], b 22 November 1800 in Moscow, d 20 December 1875 in Moscow. (Photo: Mikhail Pogodin.) Russian historian, philologist, and journalist; corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences from 1841. He graduated from Moscow University (1823) and taught there from 1826 to 1844. He advocated the Normanist theory and opposed Mikhail Kachenovsky's theory of the Khazar origin of Kyivan Rus’. Pogodin published the nationalist journals Moskovskii vestnik (1827–30) and Moskvitianin (1841–56). During the reign of Nicholas I he developed and defended the reactionary theory of official nationality. Pogodin was an ideologue of tsarist Pan-Slavism and the spiritual mentor of Galician Russophiles (eg, Denys Zubrytsky). He visited Lviv in 1835 and 1842, after which a ‘Pogodin colony’ was established there. From 1844 he worked for the Ministry of Education.

In three articles (1856–7) on the language of ancient Kyivan Rus’ Pogodin argued that before the Mongol invasion the Dnieper River Basin was inhabited by Russians, that Ukrainians (migrants from Subcarpathia) did not settle in the evacuated territories until the 16th century, and that the Cossacks were a separate Slavic-Turkic tribe. His views (later echoed by Aleksei Sobolevsky) provoked a debate, in which they were proved unfounded and unscholarly by prominent historians (Mykhailo Maksymovych, Volodymyr Antonovych, Mikhail Vladimirsky-Budanov, Mykola Dashkevych, Mykhailo Hrushevsky) and philologists (Oleksander Kotliarevsky, Pavlo Zhytetsky, Vatroslav Jagić, Ahatanhel Krymsky). Pogodin did pioneering research on the Kyivan Rus’ chronicles. He wrote books on Nestor the Chronicler and the origin of the Kyivan Rus’ chronicles (his PH D diss, 1839), the Norman period of Russian history (1859), and pre-Mongol Kyivan Rus’ history (3 vols, 1871), and studies, notes, and lectures on pre-Mongol Kyivan Rus’ (7 vols, 1846–57). His letters to M. Maksymovych were published in 1882, and a biography of him and his works were published by N. Barsukov (22 vols, 1888–1910).

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 4 (1993).]

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