Tolstoy Ivan Ivanovich

    фото И. И. Толстого
    26.08.1880 – 27.10.1954
    Academician, AS USSR

    (from the personal file kept at the ILS RAS archives)

    [I[ was born in Leningrad on 26 August (by the Gregorian Calendar), 1880. It was also there, in Leningrad, that I obtained my secondary education and graduated from a history and philology gymnasium school in the spring of 1899, after which I entered the History and Philology Faculty of the Leningrad State University. On passing my State Examinations, on September 1, 1903 I was retained at the University to prepare for a scientific degree and to pursue academic teaching activities at the Chair of Classical Philology. Simultaneously, I was appointed as a laboratory assistant and curator of the Antiquities Museum of the Leningrad State University and occupied this position till February 1909.

    During the spring term of 1907, I passed my Master’s exams at the History and Philology Faculty and a year later, on 1 July 1908, after giving probationary lectures at faculty meetings, I was allowed to give lectures at the University as a privatdozent of the Chair of Classical Philology. In 1918, I presented to the History and Philology Faculty my dissertation Ostrov Belyy i Tavrika na Yevksinskom Ponte [The Bely Island and Taurica on the Euxine], the subject matter of which is a study of antiquities of the Northern Black Sea Region associated with the Ancient Greek deity cults on Bosporus, in Olbia and Chersonese. On defending this work at a public meeting of the faculty on March 17, 1918, I was conferred a scientific degree of a Master of Greek Philology.

    In Autumn 1918, according to paragraphs 2, 3 and 4 of the Decree of the Council of the People’s Commissars published in "Severnaya Kommuna" on November 2, 1918, I was conferred the title of a professor of the University (for the Faculty of Linguistics and Material Culture).

    Though the Leningrad State University has always been my primary place of employment, I simultaneously pursued certain teaching and research activities at other institutions – specifically, from October 1918 till July 1922, I gave lectures on the history of Greece and Rome and taught Greek at the First Highest Pedagogical Institute, and from autumn 1933 till spring 1942, gave lectures on the history of the classical literature at the Herzen Pedagogical Institute.  

    In September 1921, the Collegium of the Research Institute for the History of Literature and Languages of the West and Orient (ILYaZV, and later LNIYa) enrolled me to lead collective research topics initiated by myself – at first, dealing with studies into rudimentary themes of the Greek literature, and later, into classical myths and their links to Russian and West-European fairy tales.

    I also gave public lectures on the history of the classical literature at service and workmen’s clubs, libraries and community centers – mostly, on commissions from the Leningrad Lectures Center.

    On January 24, 1938, the Supreme Qualifying Committee awarded me the title of a Doctor of Philology without a viva voce.

    On January 26, 1939, the General Meeting of the USSR Academy of Sciences awarded me the academic status of a Corresponding Member of the USSR Academy of Sciences after I had been elected as a corresponding member by the Department of Public Sciences for Literature and Language.

    On 16 March, 1942, a commission of the Presidium for Leningrad Institutions of the USSR Academy of Sciences confirmed me in the position of a senior researcher of the AS USSR Institute of the History of Literature, and on April 1 of the same year, I left Leningrad by a special train with the institute staff for the City of Kazan where I stayed for the whole period of the evacuation, returning to Leningrad in late July 1945.

    In Kazan, apart from my research into the Greek language and classical literature, I taught postgraduate and doctoral students of the Academy of Sciences and gave lectures to students of the Kazan State University. In addition, while in Kazan, I worked at the Lecture Bureau for Scientific Propaganda of the USSR Academy of Sciences, giving public lectures and reports on a regular basis.

    As of 1942, I have been a senior researcher of the Institute of Language and Thought, and as of 1947, the Head of the Sector for Classical Philology and a member of the Academic Council.

    At present, my primary place of employment is the N. Marr Institute of Language and Thought of the USSR Academy of Sciences.

    On July 14, 1945, a Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Council of the USSR awarded me the Order of Lenin for scientific research and, in the same year, I was awarded the “Medal for Valiant Labour in the Great Patriotic War 1941 – 1945”.

    At the election session of the USSR Academy of Sciences in Moscow, the General Meeting of the Academy of Sciences elected me as its Full Member.

    Leningrad, June 15, 1949.