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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(literally, the Men of the Den), a circle of raznochintsy (intellectuals of no definite class) intelligentsia that existed in 1855-58 and consisted of teachers and students of Moscow University. P. N. Rybnikov (a folklorist), M. Ia. Sviridenko (the ideological leader of the circle, who in the beginning of the 1860’s became close to the Land and Liberty position), A. A. Kozlov (later, an idealist philosopher), N. A. Potekhin (later, a playwright), A. A. Kotliarevskii (a philologist), and P. S. Efimenko (an ethnographer) were among the members.

Democratic and Utopian socialist views developed in the circle in arguments with the Slavophiles (A. S. Khomiakov) and under the influence of forbidden literature (A. I. Herzen, L. Feuerbach, P. Proudhon, and C. Fourier). In 1859, after the arrest of Rybnikov and his exile to Petrozavodsk, other members of the Vertepniki Circle were put under police surveillance, which brought the circle to an end.


Klevenskii, M. M. “Vertepniki.” Katorga i ssylka, 1928, no. 10.
Eliseev, G. Z. Soch., vol. 1. Moscow, 1894. Pages 670-71.
Askol’dov, S. A. A. Kozlov. Moscow, 1912.
Literaturnye salony i kruzhki. Moscow-Leningrad [1930].
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.