Diakonov, Mikhail Aleksandrovich

D’iakonov, Mikhail Aleksandrovich


Born Dec. 31, 1855 (Jan. 12, 1856), in Ekaterinburg, present-day Sverdlovsk; died Aug. 10, 1919, in Petrograd. Russian historian, member of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences beginning in 1912.

D’iakonov graduated from the law department of the St. Petersburg University in 1880 and was professor of the history of law at the University of Dorpat (Tartu) beginning in 1890. His works deal with the history of the peasantry, state, and church in Russia. In The Authority of the Muscovite Sovereigns (1889), his master’s dissertation, and Essays on the Social and Political System of Old Rus’ (to the End of the 17th Century) (1907; 4th ed., 1912), he outlined his conception of the theory of the autocratic authority of the Muscovite rulers; he found the bases of this system in Byzantium. His most important work is his doctoral dissertation, Essays on the History of the Agrarian Population of the Muscovite State in the 16th and 17th Centuries (1898). In his writings about the peasantry, D’iakonov adhered to V. O. Kliuchevskii’s conception of the “nonstatutory” enserfment of the peasants and sought to combine economic and juridical factors in his treatment. He demonstrated the increase in the personal authority of the pomeshchiks (fiefholders) over the peasants in the process of the latter’s enserfment. D’iakonov’s work was characterized by the use and careful analysis of a large number of sources.


Materialy dlia biograficheskogo slovaria deistvitel’nykh chlenov AN, part 1. Petrograd, 1915.
Girgor’ev, V. “Spisok trudov M. A. D’iakonova.” Russkii istoricheskii zhurnal, vol. 7. Petrograd, 1921.
Presniakov, A. “Trudy M. A. D’iakonova po russkoi istorii.” Ibid.
Shapiro, A. L. Russkaia istoriografiia v period imperializma. [Leningrad] 1962. Pages 49–51.