Ivan Minaev

Minaev, Ivan Pavlovich


Born Oct. 9 (21), 1840, in Tambov; died June 1(13), 1890, in St. Petersburg. Russian Orientalist. Founder of the Russian school of Indie studies.

Minaev was an assistant professor (1869) and professor (1873) at St. Petersburg University. In 1871 he became a member of the Russian Geographic Society. He made three journeys (1874—75, 1880, 1885–86), visiting India, Ceylon, Burma, and Nepal. Minaev’s research concentrated on the ancient, medieval, and recent history of the countries of southern Asia (literature, philosophy, linguistics, culture in the broad sense, geography, especially historic geography, ethnography, and folklore).

Minaev laid the foundation for detailed Buddhological research in Russia. His principal work was a comprehensive history of Buddhism and its cultural and historic influence on the peoples of the East. His research on the chronology and relation of the canonic works of Buddhism, the Mahayana and the Hinayana, had a significant impact on the development of international Buddhology. Minaev assembled a very rich collection of Sanskrit and Pali manuscripts. He translated them and published a number of Buddhist literary texts.

Minaev made a significant contribution to the study of the Pali language and literature. Among his works on modern India and its neighbors, Minaev’s writings on the early national-liberation movement in India are of particular importance.


Buddizm: Issledovaniia i materialy, vol. 1, issues 1–2. St. Petersburg, 1887.
Dnevnik puteshestvii v Indiiu i Birmu: 1880 i 1880–1886. Moscow, 1955.
Indiiskie skazki ilegendy, sobrannye v Kamaone v 1875 g. Moscow, 1966.
Ocherk fonetiki i morfologii iazyka Pali. St. Petersburg, 1872.


Ivan Pavlovich Minaev: Sb. statei. Moscow, 1967. (With references.)