Lev Polivanov

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Polivanov, Lev Ivanovich


Born Feb. 27 (Mar. 11), 1838, in the village of Zagarino, now in Krasnyi Oktiabr’ Raion, Gorky Oblast; died Feb. 11 (23), 1899, in Moscow. Russian educator, literary scholar, and public figure.

Polivanov graduated from the faculty of history and philology at Moscow University in 1861. In 1868 he opened in Moscow a private boys’ classical Gymnasium, which later became well known as the Polivanov Gymnasium; he was its director to the end of his life. A methodological philologist of the logical and stylistic school, Polivanov regarded the aim of literary studies in school to be the fostering of logical thought and of a literary style. He advocated a historical approach to the teaching of Russian.

Polivanov compiled a number of school anthologies and Russian-language textbooks that were published in many editions. He wrote studies of such authors as V. A. Zhukovskii, A. S. Pushkin, and L. N. Tolstoy and published and edited classics of Russian literature with commentaries. He also translated works of Racine, Corneille, and Molière.


Pamiati L. I. Polivanova. [Moscow] 1909.
Kolosov, S. N. “L. I. Polivanov: Pedagog i metodist kontsa proshlogo veka.” Russkii iazyk v shkole, 1941, no. 3.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.