Mikhail Aleksandrovich Maksimovich

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Maksimovich, Mikhail Aleksandrovich


Born Sept. 3 (15), 1804, in the village of Timkovshchina, in presentday Zolotonosha Raion, Cherkassy Oblast; died Nov. 22 (Dec. 4), 1873, in the village of Mikhailova Gora, in present-day Poltava Oblast. Ukrainian botanist, folklorist, and historian. Corresponding member of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences (1871).

Maksimovich studied at Moscow University. He later taught at the university, becoming a professor of botany there in 1833. In his works, which were devoted primarily to botany, he attempted to develop evolutionary ideas. Maksimovich was one of the first to write a book on the natural sciences for the general public (Nahum’s Book About God’s Great World, 1833). In 1834 he transferred to the subdepartment of Russian literature at the University of Kiev. The book Little Russian Songs (1827), which was compiled and annotated by Maksimovich, was highly praised by A. S. Pushkin. Maksimovich published the anthology Dawn (1830-35), to which Pushkin, A. A. Del’vig, P. A. Viazemskii, and E. A. Baratynskii contributed. In 1834, he published the collections Ukrainian Folk Songs and Voices of Ukrainian Folk Songs. He translated The Tale of Igor’s Campaign into Ukrainian and devoted a number of articles to it. Maksimovich was a close friend of A. S. Pushkin, N. V. Gogol, and T. G. Shevchenko.

Maksimovich also studied Russian history, the history of Russian literature, and linguistics. Much of his work dealt with the history of Kievan Rus’. All of his activities were permeated with the idea of the closeness and brotherhood of the Ukrainian and Russian peoples.


Sobr. soch., vols. 1-3. Kiev, 1876-80.


Ponomarev, S. “M. A. Maksimovich.” Zhurnal ministerstva narodnogo prosveshcheniia, 1871, no. 10.
Ostrianyn, D. Kh. Svitogliad M. O. Maksymovycha. Kiev, 1960.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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