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Anniversary of Mikhail Khudyakov

Anniversary of Mikhail Khudyakov

September 03, 2019

Today – marks the 125th anniversary of the birth of an outstanding Russian scientist, historian Mikhail Georgievich Khudyakov. He was born in the city of Malmyzh of the former Vyatka province on September 3 (15), 1894 into a merchant family. Khudyakov receives his main education in Kazan – he graduates from the 1st male gymnasium (1913), then Kazan University (1918). The further fate of Khudyakov in Kazan is connected with the museum, he also taught at the archaeological and ethnographic institute (1919-1922). In 1923, M.G. Khudyakov became one of the founders of the Society of Tatar Studies, which played an important role in the study of the history, ethnography and culture of the Volga peoples. During this period, Khudyakov wrote dozens of scientific works on the history of the Tatar people, the most famous of which is the book “Essays on the History of the Kazan Khanate” (1923).

M.G. Khudyakov was at the origins of scientific Tatar studies, made a huge contribution to the study of the history of the Kazan Khanate, spiritual and material culture of the Tatar people. An analysis of the scientist’s creative heritage allowed us to come to the following conclusions:

M.G. Khudyakov was one of the first in Russian historiography who tried to overcome a certain bias in assessing the history of the Volga Bulgaria and the Kazan Khanate; he was the first serious researcher of the internal structure, socio-economic and political life, foreign policy, and culture of the medieval Tatar state. The work of his life can be called a fundamental study “Essays on the History of the Kazan Khanate”, which is still the only one of its kind scientific monograph, detailing the main stages of its formation and development, especially the existence and interaction with the Russian state.

The scientist left interesting observations about the genesis of the Tatar material culture, expressed in original architecture, remarkable archaeological sites. Based on various sources, he tried to recreate the landscape and appearance of ancient Kazan, which amazed contemporaries with its wealth and exquisite oriental flavor. No less important are the ideas of M.G. Khudyakov on the continuity of the Bulgarian and Tatar cultures, which formed a unique civilizational space that had a significant impact on the life of Russian and other peoples of the Middle Volga

Mikhail Khudyakov rightly believed that the Tatar culture is based on the urban component, based on a rich and centuries-old history, the experience of its own statehood. He sees the manifestation of urban culture in the everyday life of the people, the facts prove their desire for a rich and beautiful life. The scientist does not disregard the influence of Islam on the spiritual development of the Tatar people. He proves in his writings that Islam brought science and enlightenment to the Tatar world, culture and traditions of the East. The scientist’s activities are multifaceted, the flight of his thoughts, the field of research is very wide, and discoveries and observations are rather polemic, but at the core, of course, objective …

M.G. Khudyakov is one of the founders of scientific Finno-Ugric studies. He wrote significant and numerous studies on the history, material and spiritual culture of Mari, Udmurts, Chuvashs and Mordovians. He studies rich archeology, beliefs, lifestyle, folklore of these peoples, once again exposes their autochthonous nature in the territory of the Middle Volga. The ancient and diverse world of the Finno-Ugric peoples, according to the scientist, had a powerful impact on the Slavic and Turkic ethnic groups, and at the same time, acquired specific features under the influence of Islam and Christianity.

Fauzia Bayramova,

writer, candidate of historical sciences.

September 3, 2019.






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