Ignatii Krachkovskii

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Krachkovskii, Ignatii Iulianovich


Born Mar. 4 (16), 1883, in Vilnius; died Jan. 24, 1951, in Leningrad. Soviet Arabist, a founder of the school of Soviet Arabic studies; academician of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (1921).

Krachkovskii graduated in 1905 from the department of Oriental Languages of the University of St. Petersburg. In 1910 he became an assistant professor and in 1918 a professor at the University of Petrograd (later, Leningrad State University). He was a professor and member of the academic councils of many educational and research institutions of the USSR and a member of several foreign academies and Oriental studies societies—for example, the Academy of Sciences in Damascus, the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland, the Orientalische Gessellschaft, and the Flemish, Polish, and Iranian Academies of Sciences.

Krachkovskii wrote numerous works on the literature, language, history, and culture of the Arabs, particularly of the Middle Ages, but also of modern times. He published texts and translations of many masterpieces of medieval and modern Arabic literature. He did fundamental research on the history of geographical literature in Muslim Oriental countries (seventh to late 18th centuries). An annotated Russian translation of the Koran (Moscow, 1963) and many articles and monographs on the history of Russian and foreign Oriental studies are credited to Krachkovskii.

Krachkovskii was an expert and pioneer in the study of modern Arabic literature and the history of the cultural renaissance in the Arab countries during the 19th and early 20th centuries. He devoted much attention to the description of Arabic manuscripts in Russian collections, research on Russian-Arabic literary ties, and the preparation for publication of Arabic sources on the history of the peoples of the USSR. He studied Christian Arabic literature, as well as the literature and culture of medieval Ethiopia (Introduction to Ethiopian Philology, 1955) and the historical, cultural, and epigraphic records of ancient South Arabia.

Krachkovskii initiated the founding of the Association of Arabists of the USSR and served as its director. He participated in the preparation of numerous domestic and foreign Oriental studies publications. Krachkovskii’s well-known autobiographical work Over Arabic Manuscripts (1949; 4th ed., 1965) was translated into a number of foreign languages (including Arabic) and was awarded the State Prize of the USSR (1951). He received two Orders of Lenin and several medals.


Izbr. soch., vols. 1–6. Moscow-Leningrad, 1955–60.
Abu-l-Faradzh al-Va’va Damasskii: Materialy dlia kharakteristiki poeticheskogo tvorchestva. Petrograd, 1914.


Ignatii lulianovich Krachkovskii. Moscow-Leningrad, 1949. (Bibliography.)
Beliaev, V. I., and I. N. Vinnikov/’Pamiati akad. I. lu. Krachkovskogo.” In the collection Palestinskii sbornik, issue I (63), 1954.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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(31) At the end of the 1940s, Liutsian Klimovich launched an attack on the academician Ignatii Krachkovskii and his school in Leningrad.
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