Aleksandr Lappo-Danilevskii

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Lappo-Danilevskii, Aleksandr Sergeevich


Born Jan. 15 (27), 1863, in the village of Udachnoe, Verkhnedne-provsk District, present-day Dnepropetrovsk Oblast; died Feb. 7, 1919, in Petrograd. Russian historian and member of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences (1899). Held political views similar to those of the Cadets.

Lappo-Danilevskii was descended from a noble family in Ekaterinoslav Gubernia. In 1886 he graduated from the faculty of history and philology at the University of St. Petersburg, subsequently becoming a privatdocent (in 1890) and a professor at the university. He wrote many works on the socioeconomic and political history of Russia in the feudal period and on the methodology of Russian archaeography. Lappo-Danilevskii and his pupils (the Lappo-Danilevskii school) did significant work in the study of sources and diplomatics, notably investigating cadastres as historical sources. Lappo-Danilevskii prepared and published the Kormlenie Book of Kostroma District, 1613–1627, the Seventeenth-century Cadastral and Census Books for Nizhny Novgorod, and the Record of Documents on Serfdom Presented in Novgorod to Secretary D. Aliab’ev, all collected in Volumes 15 and 17 of the Russian Historical Library (1894–98). His Collection of Documents of the Economy Collegium (vols. 1–2) appeared between 1922 and 1929.

At the outset of his scholarly career Lappo-Danilevskii subscribed to the state theory of the historical process and held positivist views. In the early 20th century, influenced by the works of the German philosopher and sociologist H. Rickert, he turned to neo-Kantianism. As a subjective idealist he opposed the Marxist interpretation of history and drew a sharp distinction between natural science (which deals with the laws of nature) and historical science. He held that the historical study of sources must be conducted by the methods of psychological, individualizing interpretation. Rejecting the sociohistorical criterion of the value of a source, he considered it most essential to develop insight into the psychology of the source’s author. Lappo-Danilevskii’s works contain a wealth of factual material and thus are still of scholarly importance.


Skifskie drevnosti. St. Petersburg, 1887.
Kriticheskie zametki po istorii narodnogo khoziaistva ν Velikom Novgorode i ego oblasti za XI-XV vv. St. Petersburg, 1895.
Organizatsiia priamogo oblozheniia ν Moskovskom gosudarstve so vremen Smuty do epokhi preobrazovanii. St. Petersburg, 1890.
Ocherk vnutrennei politiki imperatritsy Ekateriny II. St. Petersburg, 1898.
Russkie promyshlennye i torgovye kompanii ν pervoi polovine XVIII st. Istoricheskii ocherk. St. Petersburg, 1899.
Ocherk istorii obrazovaniia glavneishikh razriadov kresl’ianskogo naseleniia ν Rossii. St. Petersburg, 1905.
Metodologiia istorii, issues [l]-2, St. Petersburg, 1910–13.
Ocherk russkoi diplomatiki chastnykh aktov. Petrograd, 1920.


“Pamiati akademika A. S. Lappo-Danilevskogo.” In Russkii istoricheskii zhurnal, 1920, book 6. (With a list of Lappo-Danilevskii’s scholarly works.)
Cherepnin, L. V. “A. S. Lappo-Danilevskii—burzhuaznyi istorik i istochnikoved.” In Voprosy istorii, 1949, no. 8.
Ocherki istorii istoricheskoi nauki ν SSSR, vol. 3, Moscow, 1963.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
(12) It was no different with a historian like Aleksandr Lappo-Danilevskii, whom I discuss below.