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Main page / "Knowledge. Understanding. Skill" Journal / Contents / 2014 / No. 2

Vasiliev Yu. A. The Ideas of M. V. Lomonosov in the Russian Historical School

(Moscow University for the Humanities)

Abstract ♦ The article is an assessment of the historical ideas of Mikhail V. Lomonosov in the context of the Russian historical school. The author presents the problem, which has not yet been specifically addressed in modern historiography. It is about understanding the phenomenon of critical perception of Lomonosov’s historical views by leading representatives of the Russian historical school of the 19th century. The urgency of this problem is caused by the need to overcome the present crisis of understanding of history as well as the problems of particular importance for the development of the theory of historical knowledge, the theory of historical process and the methodology of history.

The author highlights the complex of Lomonosov’s historical ideas such as the assertion of the antiquity of the Slavic ethnic group, the ancient origins of the Russian people, the statement of a polycentric system of Russian history, the connection between polycentrism and multi-ethnicity, the deduction about a mixed and complex population of ancient Russia, the review of the history of Russia in the context of world history, etc.

The article states that Lomonosov’s historical legacy from the middle of the 18th century was subject to critical evaluation by representatives of the Russian historical school in the second half of the 19th century, the time of its prosperity. The reason for this is determined by the difference in the research paradigms.

In this regard, the view of Sergey M. Soloviev is positioned as the most critical one. He was criticizing Lomonosov for the lack of a systematic presentation of history and an analysis of political and social relations. Refuting Lomonosov’s historiography, Soloviev drew on his own historical concept of the rational and positive understanding of the theory and methodology of history.

Vasily O. Klyuchevsky’s view on Lomonosov’s heritage seemed more deliberate. Noting the shortcomings of rhetorical history, Klyuchevsky justified them by the weakness of research methods. His viewpoint was determined by the level of criteria of the 19th century historicism.

According to the author, Lomonosov’s legacy in Russian historiography can be appreciated only by considering a historiosofic paradigm. The historical schemes of Lomonosov laid the foundations of the historiosofic Russian tradition. It is in this context one should regard the thinker’s advanced ideas for the historical knowledge of Russia of the middle and the second half of the 18th century. Lomonosov’s heritage became the intellectual foundation for the emergence of historical science in Russia.

Keywords: history, Russian historical school, M. V. Lomonosov, S. M. Soloviev, V. O. Klyuchevsky, historical studies, historiosophy, historical cognition.

Vasiliev Yuriy Albertovich, Doctor of History, Professor; Professor, Department of History, Moscow University for the Humanities. Postal address: B. 3, 5 Yunosti St., Moscow, Russian Federation, 111395. Tel.: +7 (499) 374-55-81. E-mail:


Citation: Vasiliev, Yu. A. (2014) Idei M. V. Lomonosova v russkoi istoricheskoi shkole [The ideas of M. V. Lomonosov in the Russian historical school]. Znanie. Ponimanie. Umenie, no. 2, pp. 141–148. (In Russ.).

Submission date: 10.03.2014.



Vasiliev, Yu. A. (2013) Kakoe gumanitarnoe obrazovanie poluchil M. V. Lomonosov? [What Kind of Humanities Education Did M. V. Lomonosov Acquire?]. In: Vysshee obrazovanie dlia XXI veka: X Mezhdunarodnaia nauchnaia konferentsiia. Moskva, 14–16 noiabria 2013 g. [Higher Education for the 21st Century: The 10th International Scientific Conference. Moscow, 14–16 November 2013] : Reports and Proceedings. Sektsiia 7. Problemy istoricheskogo obrazovaniia. Mify i istoriia [Workshop 7. The Problems of Historical Education. Myths and History]. Moscow, Moscow University for the Humanities Press. 154 p. Pp. 50–63. (In Russ.).

Zenkovsky, V. V. (1989) Istoriia russkoi filosofii [The History of Russian Philosophy.] : in 2 vols. Paris, YMCA-PRESS. Vol. 1. 470 p. (In Russ.).

Klyuchevsky, V. O. (1989) Lektsii po russkoi istoriografii [Lectures on Russian Historiography]. In: Klyuchevsky V. O. Sochineniia [Works] : in 9 vols. Moscow, Mysl’ Publ. Vol. VII. 512 p. Pp. 185–388. (In Russ.).

Lomonosov, M. V. (1957) Polnoe sobranie sochinenii [Complete Works]. Moscow ; Leningrad, The USSR Academy of Sciences Press. Vol. 10. 934 p. (In Russ.).

Lomonosov, M. V. (1986) Petr Velikii. Geroicheskaia poema [Peter the Great. A Heroic Poem]. In: Lomonosov M. V. Izbrannye sochineniia [Selected Works]. Moscow, Nauka Publ. 496 p. Vol. 2. Istoriia. Filologiia. Poeziia [History. Philology. Poetry]. Pp. 267–296. (In Russ.).

Plekhanov, G. V. (2011) M. V. Lomonosov [M. V. Lomonosov]. In: M. V. Lomonosov: pro et contra (Lichnost' i tvorchestvo M. V. Lomonosova v otsenkakh russkikh myslitelei i issledovatelei) [M. V. Lomonosov: Pro et Contra (The Personality and Creative Works of M. V. Lomonosov in the Evaluations of Russian Thinkers and Researchers)]. St. Petersburg, Russian Christian Academy for the Humanities Press. 1120 p. Pp. 582–603. (In Russ.).

Milyukov, P. N. (2006) Istochniki russkoi istorii i russkaia istoriografiia [The Sources of Russian History and Russian Historiography]. In: Brockhaus F. A., Efron I. A. Rossiia. Illiustrirovannyi entsiklopedicheskii slovar' [Russia. An Illustrated Encyclopedic Dictionary]. Moscow, Eksmo Publ. 704 p. Pp. 249–268. (In Russ.).

Soloviev, S. M. (1998a) Sochineniia [Works] : in 18 books. Book 12. Vol. 23. Istoriia Rossii s drevneishikh vremen [The History of Russia from Ancient Times]. Moscow, Golos Publ. ; Kolokol-Press.736 p. (In Russ.).

Soloviev, S. M. (1998b) Sochineniia [Works] : in 18 books. Book 13. Vol. 26. Istoriia Rossii s drevneishikh vremen [The History of Russia from Ancient Times]. Moscow, Golos Publ. ; Kolokol-Press. 668 p. (In Russ.).

Soloviev, S. M. (1998c) Sochineniia [Works] : in 18 books. Book 15. Moscow, Golos Publ. ; Kolokol-Press. 599 p. (In Russ.).

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