Pavel Nikolaevich Rybnikov

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Rybnikov, Pavel Nikolaevich


Born Nov. 24 (Dec. 6), 1831, in Moscow; died Nov. 17 (29), 1885, in Kalish, present-day Kalisz, now part of Poland. Russian folklorist and ethnographer.

After graduating from Moscow University in 1858, Rybni-kov began recording the songs he found in Old Believer settlements in Chernigov Province. Arrested on suspicion of spreading revolutionary propaganda, he was exiled in 1859 to Petrozavodsk, where he worked for the provincial government. During service-related trips to Kizhi, Pudoga, Kenozero, Kar-gopol’, and other places, he recorded the byliny (folk epics), stories, songs, and ballads that he heard from the peasants. These materials, published in four volumes over the period 1861–67 as Songs Collected by P. N. Rybnikov, opened the way for extensive research in ethnography. The collection is among the best of its kind because of the importance of its content; it is also distinguished by its accuracy. Rybnikov also benefited scholarship and folk culture by discovering such remarkable tellers of byliny as T. G. Riabinin, A. P. Sorokin, and I. P. Sivtsev-Poromskii. Rybnikov provided a description of the epic traditions of northern Russia in his Notes of a Collector (1864).


Pesni, sobrannye P. N. Rybnikovym, 2nd ed., vols. 1–3. Moscow, 1909–10. (Introduction by A. E. Gruzinskii.)


Bazanov, V. “P. N. Rybnikov v Karelii.” In his book Narodnaia slovesnost’ Karelii. Petrozavodsk, 1947.
Razumova, A. P. Iz istorii russkoi fol’kloristiki. Moscow-Leningrad, 1954.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.