Radlov, Vasilii Vasilevich

Radlov, Vasilii Vasil’evich


(Friedrich Wilhelm Rad-loff). Born Jan. 5, 1837, in Berlin; died May 12, 1918, in Petrograd. Russian Orientalist, Turcologist, ethnologist, and archaeologist. Academician of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences (1884).

Radlov graduated from the University of Berlin in 1858. He was director of the Asiatic Museum of the Academy of Sciences from 1885 to 1890 and director of the Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography of the Academy of Sciences from 1894 to 1918. One of the moving forces behind the creation of the Russian Committee for the Study of Middle and East Asia, he chaired the committee from 1903 to 1918.

Between 1860 and 1870, Radlov was a member of a number of expeditions to the Altai, Siberia, Kazakhstan, and Middle Asia and gathered data on the languages, folklore, ethnology, and archaeology of the Turkic peoples. He led the Orkhon expedition of the Academy of Sciences to Mongolia in 1891 and in 1898 organized the Turfan expedition to Central Asia, led by D. A. Klements. He was the first to read the Old Turkic Or-khon-Enisei inscriptions and initiated the study and publication of the Old Uighur texts found by Klements.

Radlov was one of the founders of the comparative-historical study of the Turkic languages. His works in this area include Comparative Grammar of the Northern Turkic Languages (vol. 1, 1882), Old Turkic Inscriptions of Mongolia (1894–95), and Introductory Views on the Description of the Morphology of the Turkic Languages (1911). He published numerous texts in the Turkic languages, including Examples of the Folk Literature of the Turkic Tribes (parts 1–10, 1866–1907); he also published A Dictionary of the Turkic Dialects (vols. 1–4, 1882–1909). Radlov wrote a number of works on the ethnogenesis, classification, and historical dialectology of the Turkic languages and various individual languages.


O iazyke kumanov. St. Petersburg, 1884.
K voprosu ob uigurakh. St. Petersburg, 1893.


Tiurkologicheskii sbornik, 1971. Moscow, 1972. (Dedicated to V. V. Radlov; contains a list of works and references.)
Biobibliograficheskii slovar’ otechestvennykh tiurkologov. Moscow, 1974.