Boris Iakovlevich Vladimirtsov

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Vladimirtsov, Boris Iakovlevich


Born July 20, 1884, in Kaluga, in present-day Kaluga Oblast; died Aug. 17, 1931, in the village of Siverskaia, Leningrad Oblast. Soviet Mongolian expert. Academician of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (1929; Corresponding Member, 1923).

Vladimirtsov graduated from the department of Oriental languages at St. Petersburg University in 1909. In 1918 he became a decent and in 1921 a professor at St. Petersburg University (from 1924, Leningrad University). He participated in expeditions in Mongolia. Continuing the traditions of Russian classical Eastern studies, Vladimirtsov made a contribution to the development of the philology, ethnography, and history of the Mongolian peoples. His most important work in linguistics is Comparative Grammar of the Mongolian Written Language and the Khalkha Spoken Language: Introduction and Phonetics (1929); in philology and theory and history of literature, A Mongolian Anthology of Stones From ’Pañčatantra (1921) and The Mongolian-Oirat Heroic Epic (translation, introductory article, and notes; 1923). Vladimirtsov wrote such specialized historical works as Buddhism in Tibet and Mongolia (1919), Genghis Khan (1922), and The Social System of the Mongols: Mongolian Nomadic Feudalism (1934, published posthumously). In this last work Vladimirtsov completely embraced positions of historical materialism. For the first time in the historiography of the Orient the book raised the problem of feudal relations among the nomadic peoples. After analyzing extensive factual material, Vladimirtsov characterized Mongolian society from the 12th century as feudal.

Vladimirtsov was the author of many historicophilological and ethnographic articles. His greatest contribution was the training of national scientific cadres for Buriatia, Kalmykia, and the Mongolian People’s Republic.


Alekseev, V. M. “To the Memory of Academician B. Ia. Vladimirtsov.” VestnikAN SSSR, 1931, no. 8.
Ol’denburg, S. F. “B. Ia. Vladimirtsov.” Izvestiia AN SSSR: Otdelenie obshchestvennykh nauk, 1932, no. 8.
Shastina, N. P. “B. Ia. Vladimirtsov.” In the book Filogiia i istoriia montol’skikh narodov. Moscow, 1958. (Bibliography.)
Rumiantsev, G. N. “Trudy B. la. Vladimirtsova po istorii Mongolov.” Ibid.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.