Soviet-era Russian scholarship on the ancient Near East

A significant source for The Sacred Economy is Soviet-era research on the ancient Near East. Apart from Igor Diakonoff, to whom you will find occasional references in other works, one of the great pleasures in doing this is to include many references to people like: Iu. Semenov, G. A. Melikishvili, M.A. Vitkin, Nelly Kozyrova, K.K. Zel’in, L.V. Danilova, Ninel Jankowska, G. Il’yin, and good old Vasilii Vasilevich Struve.


4 thoughts on “Soviet-era Russian scholarship on the ancient Near East

  1. Interesting! Indeed the name of Diakonoff is somewhat familiar to me as an archaeologist (I have his book Paths of history, but suspect his work on the ANE may be more worthwhile). None of the other scholars you mention are familiar to me, as I don’t speak Russian.

    Another scholar that fascinates me is V.I. Gulyaev, a Maya specialist who is also very much interested in comparative work. He published a comparative study of Maya and Mesopotamian city-states, I think in the 1960s, and is still working. At least that is what a Russian girl told me at a conference, but again the language barrier made it hard to get into details. Which is too bad since I’m really interested in the topic of Old/New world comparison and would appreciate to know what the Soviet angle on it was.

    Guess that means to learn Russian eventually.

    1. Actually, many of them are available in English, published in journals such as The Soviet Review and Soviet Anthropology and Archeology, under the auspices of Stephen Dunn. But they will, ,along with some other translations from Russian, be published in a collected volume called The Soviet Salient.

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