2023 Author: Leah Sherlock | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-27 12:28
Dyakonov Igor Mikhailovich - an outstanding historian, linguist and orientalist. Born in St. Petersburg (Petrograd) in January 1915, in a poor family. Father, Mikhail Alekseevich, is a financial officer, and mother, Maria Pavlovna, is a doctor. In addition to Igor, the family had two more sons - Mikhail and Alexei.
Childhood and youth
Igor Mikhailovich's childhood was difficult, during periods of hunger strike, revolution and civil war. The whole family moved to Norway, not far from the city of Oslo. At that time, he was already fluent in languages such as English, German and Norwegian. While still a teenager, he was fond of astronomy, hieroglyphs and the history of the ancient East. Igor graduated from school in 1931 in Leningrad, but since it was impossible to get a good education, he was self-taught.
After leaving school, the future linguist and scientist worked hard to somehow financially help the family. In addition, Dyakonov Igor Mikhailovich was engaged in paid translations. Official employment allowed him to enterLeningrad State University. Studying with such famous teachers as Nikolai Marr, Nikolai Yushmanov, talented historians, philologists helped him get used to the chosen path of life.
The war years were quite difficult for the expansion of scientific activities. Many fellow students of Igor Mikhailovich were arrested, others went over to the side of the NKVD and handed over their friends and comrades. Dyakonov Igor Mikhailovich was also repeatedly called in for questioning. Despite all the difficulties of those years, he continued to study the history of the East, Hebrew, Akkadian, Ancient Greek, Arabic. In 1936 he married his classmate and began working at the Hermitage to support his family. During the war, he participated in the evacuation of valuable museum exhibits to the Urals, was enlisted in intelligence and even participated in the offensive in Norway.
In 1946, Dyakonov returned to the university and got a job as an assistant to the head of the Department of Semitology I. N. Vinnikov. After defending his dissertation on Assyrian subjects, he became a teacher, but after a while he was fired along with some other teachers because of the study of the Talmud. Igor Mikhailovich had to return to work at the Hermitage.
Scientific activity touched on completely different historical areas. Collaborating with his older brother, Dyakonov Igor Mikhailovich deciphered ancient documents and inscriptions, published unique studies and even published books on history. In the 70s, translations of biblical books were made, such as the Book of Ecclesiastes, SongSong and Lamentation of Jeremiah.
The main areas of scientific activity of Igor Mikhailovich were Assyria and Sumerology. He made a significant contribution to the study of the ancient people and their social history. This was the topic of the dissertation, thanks to which he received the degree of Doctor of Historical Sciences. However, not all Sumerologists liked Dyakonov's discoveries. He openly rejected the concepts of famous scientists Struve and Daimel in his writings. Despite the obstacles, the concept was accepted by many American researchers of the Sumerian people.
Dyakonov Igor Mikhailovich, whose biography is full of scientific activities in relation to the study of many ancient languages, made a huge contribution to linguistics. He wrote comparative dictionaries covering the following languages:
- ancient Asia;
- East Caucasian;
All these dictionaries were written between 1965 and 1993. Dyakonov was actively engaged in deciphering ancient scripts and translating them into Russian.
After the death of V. V. Struve in 1965, Dyakonov became the main Assyriologist, since there were no other doctors of science in this field. In 1988, he received a diploma from the University of Chicago for research on the ancient Near East and the revival of science in the Soviet Union. Many of his students still continue to work inhistorical area of St. Petersburg University.
The main work of the Russian orientalist Dyakonov Igor Mikhailovich is "The Book of Memories". The edition was released in 1995, four years before the death of the author. In his work, he recreates his early memories of life and post-war events. The book details events related to childhood, war and work. He tried not to get personal, not to mention the names of people who participated in his life, except for those who were alive at the time of writing the chapters.
With his poems, Igor Dyakonov in the "Book of Memoirs" sums up his turbulent biography until 1945. This book is also about the lives of people born in the First World War.
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