Passek, Vadim

Passek, Vadim [Пассек, Вадим], b 2 July 1808 in Tobolsk, Siberia, d 6 November 1842 in Moscow. Historian, ethnographer, and archeologist. He grew up in Siberia, where his father had been exiled. While studying at Moscow University (1826–30) he became involved with Aleksandr Herzen and N. Ogarev’s revolutionary circle. He was prevented from occupying the chair of Russian history at Kharkiv University because of his links with Herzen. He settled on his family’s estate in Kharkiv gubernia and did ethnographic fieldwork, as well as statistical research for the Ministry of Internal Affairs. He is the author of historical and statistical descriptions of Kharkiv gubernia and its towns (with maps, plans, and coats of arms), which were published in Materialy dlia statistiki Rossiiskoi imperii (vol 1, 1839), of descriptions of excavated ancient fortified settlements and kurhans in Valky and Izium counties, and of articles on Ukrainian folk songs, marriage customs, folk beliefs, and locales. In his Putevyia zametki Vadima (Vadim’s Travel Notes, 1834) Passek expressed his Romantic attachment to Ukraine (Little Russia) and its past. He compiled and published Ocherki Rossii (Studies of Russia, 1838–42), which includes valuable Ukrainian ethnographic and historical contributions by Izmail Sreznevsky and others. In 1839 he returned to Moscow, where he was active in Slavophile circles. Passek died prematurely of tuberculosis.

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 3 (1993).]

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