Elpidifor Barsov

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Barsov, Elpidifor Vasil’evich


Born Nov. 1 (13), 1836, in the village of Loginovo, Cherepovetskii District, Novgorod Province; died Apr. 2, 1917, in Moscow. Russian folklorist and researcher of the ancient Russian written language.

Barsov graduated from the St. Petersburg Theological Academy (1861). After 1870 he worked as a librarian and did scholarly work in the Rumiantsev Museum. From 1881 to 1907 he was secretary of the Moscow Society of History and Russian Antiquities and editor of its Readings. Among Barsov’s numerous scholarly works, Lamentations of the Northern Land (parts 1–3, 1872–86) and the unfinished monograph The Lay of Igor’s Campaign as an Artistic Document of Kiev an Druzhina Russia (vols. 1–3, 1887–89) are outstanding. Barsov also published Peter the Great in Popular Legends of the Northern Land (1872), Northern Legends About Ancient Russian Princes and Tsars (1879), and The Heroic Lay in the Record of the Beginning of the 17th Century (1881). Barsov assembled an enormous collection of ancient manuscripts (preserved in the Historical Museum) on the history of the schism, as well as many works of ancient ritual literature, syllabic verse, songs, incantations, and other works.


Tsvetaev, D. V. Zapiska ob uchenykh trudakh E. V. Barsova. Moscow, 1887.
Barsov, E. V. [“Nekrolog.”] Istoricheskii vestnik, 1917, nos. 7–8.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.