Vasily Radlov

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Vasily Vasilievich Radlov or Friedrich Wilhelm Radloff (Russian: Васи́лий Васи́льевич Ра́длов; 17 January [O.S. 5 January] 1837, Berlin – 12 May 1918, Petrograd) was a German-born Russian founder of Turkology, a scientific study of Turkic peoples.

Working as a schoolteacher in Barnaul, Radlov became interested in the native peoples of Siberia and published his ethnographic findings in the influential monograph From Siberia (1884). From 1866 to 1907, he translated and released a number of monuments of Turkic folklore. Most importantly, he was the first to publish the Orhon inscriptions. Four volumes of his comparative dictionary of Turkic languages followed in 1893 to 1911. Radlov helped establish the Russian Museum of Ethnography and was in charge of the Asiatic Museum in St. Petersburg from 1884 to 1894.

During the Stalinist repressions of the late 1930s, the NKVD and state science apparatus accused the late (ethnically German) Radloff of Panturkism. A perceived connection with the long-dead Radloff was treated as incriminating evidence against Orientalists and Turkologists, some of whom - including A. N. Samoilovich, in 1938 - were executed.

Publications[edit]

  • Radloff W., "Aus Sibirien" (1884)

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Leopold von Schrenck
Director of the Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography
1894–1918
Succeeded by
Vasily Bartold