Tsertelev, Nikolai

Tsertelev, Nikolai [Цертелев, Николай; Certeljev, Nikolaj] (Tsereteli), b 1790 in Khorol, Kyiv vicegerency, d 20 September 1869 in Morshansk, Tambov gubernia, Russia. Ethnographer and educator; prince of Georgian descent. After graduating from Moscow University (1814) he collected and studied Ukrainian folklore. In the 1820s he worked in the schools of Tambov gubernia and Poltava gubernia and belonged to the Free Society of Lovers of Russian Literature, which was connected with the Decembrists. His Opyt sobraniia starinnykh malorossiiskikh pesnei (An Attempt at Collecting Ancient Little Russian Songs, 1819) was one of the first collections of Ukrainian dumas and songs. It had an important impact on Ukrainian writers and scholars such as Mykhailo Maksymovych, Hryhorii Kvitka-Osnovianenko, Izmail Sreznevsky, Amvrosii Metlynsky, and Mykola Kostomarov. He also wrote articles on Ukrainian folk oral literature (1825, 1827) and old Russian tales and songs (1820).

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 5 (1993).]

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