Khudiakov, Ivan

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Khudiakov, Ivan Aleksandrovich


Born Jan. 1 (13), 1842, in Kurgan; died Sept. 19 (Oct. 1), 1876, in Irkutsk. Russian revolutionary, folklorist, and ethnographer.

Khudiakov enrolled in the department of history and philology of the University of Kazan in 1858 and transferred to Moscow University in 1859. During his summer vacations he recorded songs and folktales, which he published in A Collection of Great Russian Popular Historical Songs (1860) and Great Russian Folktales (issues 1–3, 1860–62). Late in 1861 he was expelled from the university for not taking examinations.

Khudiakov was commissioned by the Russian Geographic Society to publish the collection Great Russian Riddles (1861). As a folklorist, Khudiakov was a follower of the mythological school.

During the years 1863–64, Khudiakov became involved with the surviving members of Zemlia i Volia (Land and Liberty). In June 1865 he made the acquaintance of N. A. Ishutin in Moscow. From August to November 1865 he traveled abroad and established ties with A. I. Herzen, N. P. Ogarev, and the Young Emigration. Upon his return to Russia, Khudiakov helped establish Organization and Hell, the administrative bodies of the Ishutin Circle, and became head of the Petersburg branch of the circle.

On Apr. 7, 1866, Khudiakov was arrested and brought to trial in the case of D. V. Karakozov’s attempt on the life of Alexander II. On Sept. 24, 1866, Khudiakov was sentenced by the Supreme Criminal Court to exile and settlement “in the remotest regions of Siberia.” Until 1874 he was in Verkhoiansk, where he studied the language, folklore, and ethnography of the Yakuts. In 1869, Khudiakov became mentally ill. In 1875 he was transferred to the Irkutsk psychiatric hospital, where he died.


Zapiski karakozovtsa. Moscow-Leningrad, 1930.
Velikorusskie skazki v zapisiakh I. A. Khudiakova. Moscow-Leningrad, 1964.
Kratkoe opisanie Verkhoianskogo okruga. Leningrad, 1969.


Klevenskii, M. M. I. A. Khudiakov revoliutsioner i uchenyi. Moscow, 1929.
Bazanov, V. “I. A. Khudiakov i pokushenie Karakozova.” Russkaia literatura, 1962, no. 4.
Vilenskaia, E. S. Revoliutsionnoe podpol’e v Rossii (60-e gody XIX v.). Moscow, 1965.
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The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.