Presniakov, Aleksandr

Presniakov, Aleksandr [Пресняков, Александр; Presnjakov], b 3 May 1870 in Odesa, Kherson gubernia, d 30 September 1929 in Leningrad, RSFSR. Russian historian; corresponding member of the USSR Academy of Sciences from 1920. He graduated from Saint Petersburg University and taught there from 1907 (professor from 1918). His Kniazhoe pravo v drevnei Rusi (Princely Law in Ancient Rus’, 1909) remains one of the foremost works in the history of Kyivan Rus’. His major work is considered to be Obrazovanie Velikorusskogo gosudarstva (PH D diss, 1918; English trans as The Formation of the Great Russian State, 1970). He also wrote important monographs on the tsardom of Muscovy (1918; English trans 1978), Alexander I (1923), Nicholas I (1925; English trans 1974), and the Decembrist movement (1926). Presniakov was one of the few Russian historians to give some credit to Mykhailo Hrushevsky’s critique of the traditional scheme of Russian history and to accept to some degree the notion of the independent evolution of Ukrainian history. An edition of his lectures on Russian history (2 vols, 1938–9) was published posthumously.

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

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