Bagalei, Dmitrii

Bagalei, Dmitrii Ivanovich


Born Oct. 26 (Nov. 7), 1857, in Kiev; died Feb. 9, 1932, in Kharkov. Ukrainian historian; academician of the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR (1919).

Bagalei was born into the family of an artisan and received his education at the universities of Kiev and Kharkov. In 1883 he became docent at the University of Kharkov, and in 1887 a professor after defending his doctoral dissertation at Moscow University. From 1906 to 1910 he was rector of Kharkov University; he was also a member of the State. Council (1906; 1910–14) and president of the Kharkov City Duma (1914–17). In his political views he was a moderate bourgeois liberal. After the October Revolution he cooperated with the Soviet authorities. He taught history at the institutes of Kharkov and Poltava and founded in Kharkov a scientific research subdepartment of Ukrainian history, an institute of Ukrainian culture, and an institute for the study of T. G. Shevchenko’s work. He was also a member of the collegium of the Central Archive Administration of the All-Ukrainian Central Executive Committee.

Bagalei’s main works were on the history of Russia and the Ukraine. He collected and analyzed valuable sources on the history of the Slobodskaia, Steppe, and Left-Bank Ukraine in the 15th to 18th centuries, on the organization of settlement and guard services in the southern part of the Russian state, and on the fight against the Tatar raids. Bagalei was the author of works on Russian history before Peter I and created special courses on Russian historiography, the history of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, Byelorussia, and the Ukraine, on Russian historical geography, and on historical methods. Bagalei made excavations and composed an archaeological map of Kharkov Province. In his prerevolution-ary works, Bagalei followed the bourgeois-nationalist conceptions of V. B. Antonovich (that the Ukrainian people have no class divisions and no bourgeoisie); however, unlike Antonovich, he showed the unity of the historical life of the Ukrainian and Russian peoples. In the post-October period, Bagalei tried to adopt Marxist positions and published several works on the Decembrists’ movement in the Ukraine, on the Polish liberation uprising of 1863–64, on the work of T. G. Shevchenko, and on the Ukrainian philosopher G. S. Skovoroda. These works still showed the influence of M. S. Grushevskyi’s bourgeois-nationalist conceptions.

Despite methodological mistakes in elucidating the history of the Ukraine, Bagalei made a great contribution to history by putting a vast amount of factual material into scholarly circulation.


Ocherki iz istorii kolonizatsii stepnoi okrainy Moskovskogo gosudarstva. Moscow, 1887.


Boiko, I. D. “Do storichchia z dnia narodzhennia vydatnoho ukrains’koho istoryka D. I. Bagaliia.” Ukrains’kyi istorychnyi zhurnal,1957, no. 2.
lubileinyi zbirnyk na poshanu akademyka D. I. Bagaliia: Z nagody 70-i richnytsi zhyttia ta 50-ykh rokovyn naukovoi dial’nosty, parts 1–3. Kiev, 1927.