Vinogradov, Pavel

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Vinogradov, Pavel Gavrilovich


Born Nov. 18 (30), 1854, in Kostroma; died Dec. 19, 1925, in Paris. Russian positivist historian; researcher in the history of medieval Western Europe, especially the history of England; pedagogue.

Vinogradov became a member of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences in 1914 and was a member of several foreign academies. In 1884 he became a professor at Moscow University. A proponent of university autonomy, he resigned in 1902 and went to Great Britain. He became a professor at Oxford University in 1903. During the Russian Revolution of 1905-07 he swung drastically from bourgeois liberalism to-ward reaction, a change which found its expression in the “Political Letters” that he published in Russkie vedomosti (Russian Records) in 1905. In 1908 he returned to Moscow University, becoming simultaneously a professor at Moscow and Oxford universities. Vinogradov opposed Stolypin’s reactionary policy which was leading to an exacerbation of class contradictions in the countryside. In 1911 he resigned once more in protest against the dismissal of several professors. After the October Revolution, Vinogradov became a British subject.

In his master’s dissertation, The Origin of Feudalism in Italy (1880; written in Russian as The Origin of Feudal Relations in Lombard Italy}, Vinogradov investigated the so-called Romanic explanation of the origins of feudalism, and in his doctoral dissertation Investigations on the Social History of England in the Middle Ages (in Russian, 1887) and in the related book Villainage in England (1892, in English) he examined the so-called Germanic explanation of the origins of feudalism; in so doing he avoided the one-sidedness that characterized the conceptions of the Romanists as well as the conceptions of the Germanists. Vinogradov’s liberalism made him extremely interested in the fate of the obshchina (peasant commune) in Russia and the conditions of its transition from feudalism to capitalism, as well as in the history of Western European medieval communities. Contradicting F. Seebohm, Vinogradov showed that the beginning of the Middle Ages in England was characterized not by the domi-nation of the serf-owning estate but by the predominance of the free communities and that the social relations in the early Middle Ages developed from freedom to servitude. Vinogradov presented a characterization of the English feudal estate, the manor, which was classic for his time. In his later works, such as The Growth of the Manor (1905, in English; Russian translation The Medieval Estate in England, 1911) and English Society in the llth Century (1908, in English), Vinogradov tried to show that “social harmony” reigned on the manor. Vinogradov’s publication of numerous documents on the agrarian history of England from British archives is extremely important. As acknowledged by British historians themselves, Vinogradov, as it were, opened their own history to the British.


Villainage in England. Oxford, 1892.
English Society in the llth Century. Oxford, 1908.
Collected Papers, vols. 1-2. Oxford, 1928.


Lenin, V. I. Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 11, pp. 225-30.
Kosminskii, E. A. Issledovaniia po agrarnoi istorii Anglii XIII v. Moscow-Leningrad, 1947. Chapter 1.


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