This article studies the correspondence between the Swiss Egyptologist Eduard Naville and the prominent Russian Egyptologist Vladimir Golenishchev, the collector of antiquities that laid the cornerstone for the Egyptian department of A. S. Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow. This correspondence is preserved at Vladimir Golenishchev Archives, Paris. In the 1910s, both Naville and Golenishchev were considered to represent the senior generation of the European Egyptology still keeping the traditions of its “heroic age” of the middle of the 19th century, when the French Egyptological school played the main role. However, in the 1880s, German Egyptology, specifi cally its Berlin school (A. Erman, K. Sethe, etc.), took the leadership: it developed the theory of the Ancient Egyptian language, and its methodology was followed by scholars entering this fi eld of research from the 1890s onwards (among them Golenishchev’s close friend, the British Egyptologist Alan H. Gardiner). Naville and Golenishchev strongly opposed a number of views proposed by Berlin school, especially the treatment of the Egyptian linguistic phenomena from the viewpoint of Semitology. In the letters discussed, Naville proposed to Golenishchev to launch a campaign against Berlin school taking the advantage of the imminent loss of Germany in World War I and the general indignation of the Entente nations against Germans. Golenishchev took this idea especially willingly at the end of 1918, when his own interests were negatively aff ected by the war and the revolution that started in Russia. However, this campaign against Berlin school did not start and, in any case, hardly had a prospect of success. The scholars’ correspondence also refl ected the specifi c episodes of war and revolutionary developments in Russia.
Eduard Naville, Vladimir Golenishchev, Egyptology, Berlin school, World War I, Russian revolution, letter correspondence
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Ladynin Ivan Academic Degree:
Doctor of Sciences*
in History; Academic Rank:
Associate Professor; Place of work:
Lomonosov Moscow State University; 27/4 Lomonosovskiy prospect, Moscow, 119991, Russian Federation; Post:
Associate Professor; ORCID: 0000-0002-8779-993X
*According to ISCED 2011, a post-doctoral degree called Doctor of Sciences (D.Sc.) is given to reflect second advanced research qualifications or higher doctorates.
This work is supported by the Russian Science Foundation under grant 19-18-00369 “The Classical Orient: culture, world-view, tradition of research in Russia (based on the monuments in the collection of the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts and archive sources)”. The author is grateful to the member of this research project, the Head of the Department of Ancient Orient, A.S. Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow, Dr. Olga Vassilieva for the permission to use in this research the archive date that she gathered.