Sergey Uvarov

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Uvarov's portrait by Orest Kiprensky, 1815.

Count Sergey Semionovich Uvarov (Russian: Серге́й Семёнович Ува́ров) (25 August (5 September) 1786, Moscow – 4 (16) September 1855) was a Russian classical scholar best remembered as an influential imperial statesman under Nicholas I of Russia.

Uvarov, connected through marriage with the powerful Razumovsky family, published a number of works on Ancient Greek literature and archaeology, which brought him European renown. A confirmed conservative, he was on friendly terms with Alexander Humboldt, Madame de Stael, Goethe, Prince de Ligne, Nikolay Karamzin, and Vasily Zhukovsky. From 1811 to 1822, he curated the Saint Petersburg educational district.

In 1832, Uvarov was appointed Deputy Minister of National Education, succeeding his father-in-law Count Razumovsky. He was elected an Honorable Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences in 1811 and was the President of that venerable institution from 1818 until his death.

Uvarov was responsible for coming up with the formula "Orthodoxy, Autocracy, and Nationality", the basis of his activities regarding public education. He worked to limit access to education by people of non-noble origin and strengthening governmental control over the universities and gymnasiums, once famously remarking, "No university Pugachevs."

Despite these reactionary measures, Uvarov was also responsible for laying the foundations of high-quality education in Russia and reinstating the practice of sending Russian scientists abroad. As Nicholas I did not consider him reactionary enough, after the outbreak of the 1848 revolutions[clarification needed]

Uvarovite, the rarest of garnets, is named after him. His son Aleksey Uvarov co-founded the Russian Archaeological Society and the State Historical Museum in Moscow.

Selected works[edit]

  • Ouvaroff, M. (alternatively given as Sergei Semenovich Uvarov, or Sergey Uvarov, 1786-1855) (Translated from the French by J. D. Price) Essay on the Mysteries of Eleusis, London : Rodwell and Martin, 1817.
  • Ouvaroff, Sergei, "Projet d'une Académie Asiatique," in Études de philologie et de critique. 2nd ed. (Paris: Didot Frères, 1845), 1-48


  • Whittaker, Cynthia H. (1984). The Origins of Modern Russian Education: An Intellectual Biography of Count Sergei Uvarov, 1786 - 1855. DeKalb: Northern Illinois University Press.

This article incorporates material from the public domain 1906 Brockhaus and Efron Encyclopedic Dictionary.

Academic offices
Preceded by
Nikolay Nikolayevich Novosiltsev
President of the Russian Academy of Sciences
Succeeded by
Dmitry Bludov