Talk:Lev Gumilyov

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Interpreting Gumilev[edit]

I think this interpretation of Gumilev ideas about Russia is wrong. He does not mention it as any supper nation. He uses term Super-ethnos for all composite origin ethnos which does not have any single root in past, i.e. Supper ethnos is nation that feels as one ethnos while actually consists for multiple ethnic groups with mixed origin and traditions. For example to some extend US is Super-Ethnos, since it's population still did not forget their roots and tradition but at the same time all feels like Americans and speak the same language. As one of historic examples of Super-Ethnos Gumilev gives Byzantium. This terms are very widely misinterpreted on by non Russian readers probably due to language barrier, I suggest this to be some how fixed in the text to avoid any misinterpretation of Gumilev works. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 2005-10-12T22:44:11

I agree, but how to fix it? Maybe add Super-ethnos article which will explain the term? --Alsh 07:33, 21 February 2007 (UTC)


Lev Gumilev's theories about Jews were loudly proclaimed and undisputed even by his supporters. To call it drivel is to whitewash history. Explain how the paragraph is POV. It identifies certain theories and describes what commentors have said about it. Not sure what you mean by "noone is bound to love Jews". Briangotts (Talk) (Contrib) 16:00, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

I oppose to representing the last passage in the light of anti-semitism, as if the Jews disconcerted Gumilev more than other peoples. He famously said that every clever Ukrainian knows that he is Russian. As for the last phrase it is so obviously POV that I don/t think it has a place in the article. Let it stay here: "Some scholars even labeled Gumilyov's ideas, which pitted the "Eurasian" peoples against the trans-Atlantic Western Civilization, to be neo-racist in nature.[1]". I would say that the guy responsible for the article quoted here is not "some scholars". He is so dizzy about his pet "Western Civilization" and "Pax Americana" that I wouldn't be surprize if he proclaimed "ex occidentum lux", while we all know that best things in life, including Judaism and Christianity, came from the East :) --Ghirla | talk 18:26, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
I don't see why we should overlook some scholars qualifying LG as an antisemite or at least an ultra-nationalist (which in case of Russia is pretty much synonymous). Here's more evidence:
  • "He is not only admired by semi-educated people but is also legitimised by sections of the academy (a university is named after him in Kazakhstan). It is argued that his work lends a spurious credence to nationalism and anti-semitism." (in Lev Gumilev: His Pretensions as a Founder of Ethnology and his Eurasian Theories by Viktor Shnirelman and Sergei Panarin [2])
  • "The embittered Lev Gumilev grew up to be the ultra-nationalist historian who reintroduced mystic racialism into post-Soviet education." (In Our lady of sorrows by Neal Ascherson The Observer (July 31, 2005) Review of Anna of All The Russians: The Life of Anna Akhmatova by Elaine Feinstein [3])
And more yet: [4], [5], [6], [7]. I am posting this not to assassinate his character or other views. Our job is to reflect and systematize reality in encyclopedic manner. Cheers. ←Humus sapiens←ну? 23:33, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
I have little sympathy with the man or his views, but I strongly object to Briangott's current version of the page, which makes Gumilev's perceived antisemitism completely overshadow his contributions as a serious scholar and an original thinker. Richard Wagner was a fierce anti-Semite, but I would likewise object if half the article on him were littered with quotations about his reactionary views. It is not his opinion about Jews that makes him (or Gumilev) so important. Besides, Briangotts' voluntary association with some of the worst trolls that pester Wikipedia (such as Molobo, Bonaparte, AndriyK) makes me alert to possible provocative edits on his part.--Ghirla | talk 11:27, 12 January 2006 (UTC)
WP:NPA please. This is not about you, me or Brian. According to what I know (my POV) so far, LG does not qualify for "a serious scholar": see the links above. Also, it is your & mine POV to insist what is important and what is not. Nobody prevents you from adding encyclopedic info, but please do not delete sourced material just because you don't like it. ←Humus sapiens←ну? 12:07, 12 January 2006 (UTC)
I don't remove anything after some NPOVing was made. It remains to be ascertained whether Mr Yasmann and Radio Free Europe are authoritative sources for their POV to be quoted so extensively in the text. I would prefer to supply a link to their article without inserting the extensive and POV-phrased quote. --Ghirla | talk 12:12, 12 January 2006 (UTC)
Ditto. This article was turned out to be an article on the antisemitism allegations for Lev Gumilev. I'm in favor of summarizing the claims in a few sentences and removing the comments by V.Yasmann reference. Just giving the link to the source in the reference section is enough. Regards. E104421 11:20, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

Very briefly: the concept superethnos comes from the European dark age historiography (5 th - 6 th century) where one major problem is that the Goths, the Vandals or the Visigoths did not displace the population who were already there - rather they were an upper layer describing themselves as a people (Latin: gens, Greek: Ethnos)who constituted a ruling upper layer upon a subject population from whom they initially stood apart but overtime the upper layer began to assume traits of the older population, while the older population might assume traits over the ruler: thus, in France (which means the country of the Franks) the Frankish upper layer assumed the Roman dialect of the older population and their religion. Barendse (talk) 12:21, 20 February 2008 (UTC)

This is getting ridiculous. Yes, Gumilev did mention that Rahdonites practiced slave trade in his books. It does not mean that he was an anti-Semite. He also wrote about Vikings plundering European cities. Does it mean that he is against Scandinavian nations? He also wrote about atrocities committed by the Rus warriors in Balkans. Does it mean that he is anti-Russian? Every nationality and ethnic group committed many very good and many very evil things through the course of history. And the Jews are not an exception. I deeply respect Jewish people, and understand all the pain and persecutions they have been through. But it does not mean that they were saints, OK. Why is it OK to write about bad things done by other nationalities, but it is always politically incorrect to write about bad things done by the Jews? Somehow, writing about death camps and gas chambers is not anti-German, writing about slave owners is not anti-American, writing about pogroms in Tzar's Russia is not anti-Russian, but writing about a guild of Jewish merchants (Rahdonites) who among other things practiced slave trade is somehow anti-Semitic. Before criticizing Gumilev accusing him of anti-Semitism one should read his works. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:14, 22 November 2008 (UTC)

I agree with this assertion, especially that the accusation (more like suspicion) of anti-semitism is a very grave one. I think it should be toned down or deleted completely. Also some of the critical reviews of the Gumilev never quote him directly, they only summarize/paraphrase his views, and this paraphrasing is inaccurate.
The sources are unequivocal that Gumilev had some odious sentiments regarding Jews. There are a lot of discussions apropos in the russophone press.--Galassi (talk) 11:30, 17 April 2013 (UTC)
I agree that certain people in Russia today use his ethnogenesis ideas to justify their own antisemitic views. However, the last "anisemitism" paragraph still seems too POVish to me. It reminds me the following real episode. When Lev Gumilev was arrested, an MGB (KGB) interrogator said to him: "What kind of scientist you are? You are mrakobes!", and Lev responded something like: "Yes, guilty as charged". Since this is English wikipedia, Russian word "mrakobes" is literary a combination of "mrako" (darkness) and "bes" (devil). This word usually describes someone retarded, highly retrograde, for example a religious fanatic and possibly an antisemite. So, I found it rather ironic that last paragraph in this page describes Gumilev as indeed a "mrakobes". There was a similar real life episode with famous academician Ivan Pavlov. He was sitting on a bench near a church. A Red Army soldier was passing near by and asked him: "Did you actually go there [to the church]"; Pavlov said: "yes"; and the soldier responded to the Nobelist: "Oh, darkness!" (Russian: temnota), which is a slightly more polite version of "mrakobes". My very best wishes (talk) 18:24, 17 April 2013 (UTC)
We relate what sources say about him, not what he was like.--Galassi (talk) 18:59, 17 April 2013 (UTC)
Аpparently there was more than met the eye: & --Galassi (talk) 01:53, 18 April 2013 (UTC)
I understand when people love their native culture (language, novels, poetry, songs). However when they start talking about their or someone else genes in the nationalistic context (as first of your linked sources does), that is when I agree with Moreschi. Here is the bottom line: not every claim of antisemitism belong to wikipedia pages and justifies making a separate "antisemitism" section. My very best wishes (talk) 03:20, 18 April 2013 (UTC)
Indeed. But in this case it is more than justified, as this is probably its most scientific manifestation. I think I should translate the corresponding section from ruwiki, it is a lot more forceful than the English.--Galassi (talk) 13:33, 18 April 2013 (UTC)
The AS paragraph lists POV of references as facts, then it lists the references. I changed the paragraph so that references appear first, and then the rest of the paragraph is preserved as is. Hopefully, you see my point. I think Gumilev was not sympathetic to Khazar Jews -- much like Noam Chomsky is unsympathetic to Israel's national policy -- but would one call Chomsky an anti-semite because of this? In any case, I myself disagree with Gumilev (and agree with Artomonov and Pletneva). This is my last attempt to change the paragraph.-- (talk) 14:46, 18 April 2013 (UTC)
Apparently his own mother was unhappy with his sentiments. See the link above.--16:39, 18 April 2013 (UTC)
Here is my point: what he wrote about Khazars belongs to scientific discourse. His theories could be criticized by a lot of people as scientifically weak (as your second source tells; I can not judge it), but this is not an antisemitism which is a dark psychological conviction. Therefore, current version strikes me as POV-pushing. My very best wishes (talk) 14:11, 19 April 2013 (UTC)
Since there was no any further objections here for a few weeks, I made a couple of minor changes as suggested by the IP; this is just reordering a few phrases. My very best wishes (talk) 16:48, 13 May 2013 (UTC)

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