Slavic-Russian Paleography as an Art (On a New Book by L. P. Zhukovskaya)

2021. № 4, 120-128


The article analyzes the book of selected works of the famous language historian, Slavist and paleographer L. P. Zhukovskaya (1920‒1994). The new edition includes the monograph “The development of Slavic-Russian paleography (in pre-revolutionary Russia and in the USSR)” as the first experience of systematic generalization of data on schools of ancient writing and names of paleographers of the 18th‒20th centuries. It is supplemented with articles by a scientist of different years, which have become a bibliographic rarity. We drawn attention to L. P. Zhukovskaya’s excellent knowledge of primary sources and her ability to highlight the main discoveries and achievements of the past. The analysis of Slavic-Russian paleography in the 19th century is of great value for historical and linguistic science. On the part of the first Slavists there was a great interest in this science. The book discusses the role of I. I. Sreznevsky, N. S. Tikhonravov, I. V. Yagich, A. I. Sobolevsky, E. F. Karsky, V. N. Shchepkin, M. N. Speransky and other scientists in the development of the theory and practice of studying ancient Russian texts. The author of the monograph gives a brief description of the Soviet period of linguistic source studies and notes the revival of paleographic activity in the 1950s and 1960s. The article points out that for the first time in the history of philology L. P. Zhukovskaya collected and analyzed all the significant events and names of the founders of paleography in Russia for three centuries, undertook a modern periodization of the directions in the study of written monuments, showed the strengths and weaknesses of the scientific methodology of researchers and the prospects for further study of manuscripts.

For citation:

Nikitin O. V. Slavic-Russian Paleography as an Art (On a New Book by L. P. Zhukovskaya). Russian Speech = Russkaya Rech’. 2021. No. 4. Pp. 120–128. DOI: 10.31857/S013161170016219-9.