Izmail Ivanovich Sreznevskii

Sreznevskii, Izmail Ivanovich


Born June 1, 1812, in Yaroslavl; died Feb. 9, 1880, in St. Petersburg. Russian Slavicist, philologist, and ethnographer. Academician of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences (1851).

Sreznevskii graduated from the University of Kharkov in 1829 and became a professor there in 1842. He taught at the University of St. Petersburg beginning in 1847 and at the Pedagogical Institute from 1848 to 1859.

Sreznevskii’s chief works dealt with the history of the Russian language; his series of lectures Thoughts on the History of the Russian Language (1849; 2nd ed., 1959) constituted the foundation of the historical study of Russian. Other important works by Sreznevskii were devoted to dialectology, works of ancient Slavic and Old Russian literature, paleography, archaeology, bibliography, the methodology of language teaching, and the history of Old Russian literature. Sreznevskii also studied contemporary folk speech and the poetry and way of life of the Slavic peoples. He was the founder and editor of the Izvestiia (Proceedings, vols. 1–10, 1852–63) of the Division of Russian Language and Literature of the Academy of Sciences and of the division’s Uchenye zapiski (Learned Transactions, vols. 1–7,1854–63).

Sreznevskii founded the St. Petersburg school of Slavicists; his students included N. G. Chernyshevskii and N. A. Dobroliubov. Beginning in the mid-1840’s, Sreznevskii worked on a dictionary based on texts dating from the 11th to 14th centuries and on some texts from the 15th and 16th centuries; the dictionary was published under the title Materials for a Dictionary of Old Russian According to Written Monuments (vols. 1–3, 1893–1912; 3rd ed., 1958).


Drevnie glagolicheskie pamiatniki, sravnitel’no s pamiatnikami kirillitsy. St. Petersburg, 1866.
Drevnie slavianskie pamiatniki iusovogo pis’ma s opisaniem ikh is za-mechaniiami ob osobennostiakh ikh pravopisannia i iazyka. St. Petersburg, 1868.
Drevnie pamiatniki russkogo pis’ma i iazyka (X-XIV vekov), 2nd ed. St. Petersburg, 1882.
Slaviano-russkaia paleografiia XI-XIV vekov. St. Petersburg, 1885.


Lamanskii, V. I. I. I. Sreznevskii (1812–1880). Moscow, 1890.
Izmail Ivanovich Sreznevskii: Kratkii biograficheskii ocherk. St. Petersburg, 1913.
Pamaiati Izmaila Ivanovicha Sreznevskogo, book 1. Petrograd, 1916.
Smirnov, S. V. “Izmail Ivanovich Sreznevskii (1812–1880).” Russkaia rech’, 1972, no. 6.