Pogodin, Mikhail

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Pogodin, Mikhail Petrovich


Born Nov. 11 (23), 1800, in Moscow; died there Dec. 8 (20), 1875. Russian historian, writer, and journalist. Academician of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences (1841).

The son of a serf who was freed in 1806, Pogodin graduated in 1821 from Moscow University, where he defended his master’s dissertation, On the Origin of Rus’(1825); in it he supported the Norman theory. He aligned himself with the Liubomudry (Lovers of Wisdom). From 1826 to 1844 he was a professor at Moscow University, at first of world history, and beginning in 1835 of Russian history. From 1827 to 1830 he published the journal Moskovskii vestnik (The Moscow Messenger), and from 1841 to 1856, with S. P. Shevyrev, Moskvitianin (The Muscovite).

In the 1820’s and 1830’s, Pogodin was a critic of the historian M. T. Kachenovskii and of the “skeptical school.” A student of Old Russian and Slavic history, he was close in outlook to the Slavophiles. He established the sources of the Primary Chronicle, examined the reasons for the rise of Moscow, and analyzed the gradual development of Russian serfdom. Pogodin recognized the uniqueness of Russian history and considered it impossible to interpret this history or to draw any conclusions and generalizations. He was a historian of the official school and believed that history should be chiefly “the protector and guardian of social tranquillity.”

Pogodin’s novellas of everyday life, including The Beggar, The Black Sickness, and The Bride at the Fair, were collected in his Novellas (parts 1–3, 1832). They provided an authentic picture of the life of serfs, merchants, and townspeople but had no true literary depth.

Pogodin also wrote the historical drama Marfa Posadnitsa (1830). His publicistic writings from the 1830’s to the early 1850’s were reactionary. In the literary movement of the 1840’s he was a conservative, attacking the natural school and often opposing V. G. Belinskii. In the 1860’s, Pogodin supported the Slavic national movement and Pan-Slavism. He published a number of important historical sources and gathered a collection of antiquities, including manuscripts, books, coins, arms, and utensils, most of which the Public Library in St. Petersburg acquired in the 1860’s.


Issledovaniia, zamechaniia i lektsii o russkoi istorii, vols. 1–7. Moscow, 1846–57.
Drevniaia russkaia istoriia do mongol’skogo iga, vols. 1–3. Moscow, 1871.
Istoriko-politicheskie pis’ma i zapiski ν prodolzhenie Krymskoi voiny 1853–1856 gg. Moscow, 1874.
Prostata rech’o mudrenykh veshchakh. Moscow, 1874.


Barsukov, N. Zhizn’ i trudy M. P. Pogodina, books 1–22. St. Petersburg, 1888–1910.
Plekhanov, G. V. “Pogodin i bor’ba klassov.” Soch., vol. 23. Moscow-Leningrad, 1926.
Nikitin, S. A. Slavianskie komitety ν Rossii ν 1858–1876 gg. Moscow, 1960.
Istoriografiia istorii SSSR, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1971. Pages 143–46.
Istoriia russkoi literatury XIX v.: Bibliograficheskii ukazatel’. Moscow-Leningrad, 1962.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.