Ivan Snegiryov

Ivan Mikhailovich Snegiryov (Russian: Иван Михайлович Снегирёв; 1793, Moscow – 1868, Saint Petersburg) was one of the first Russian ethnographers. He published detailed descriptions of almost every church and monastery in Moscow.

The son of a university professor, Snegiryov graduated from Moscow University in 1814 and since 1818 taught Latin language there. He was active as a censor throughout Nicholas I's reign, censoring such works as Eugene Onegin and Dead Souls.[1]

He shared the ideals of Official Nationality and belonged to a circle of antiquaries dominated by Nikolai Rumyantsev. He was one of the first to collect Russian proverbs and describe folk rituals and observances. His ground-breaking work on Russian lubok was printed in 1844.[2]

Snegiryov's lengthy description of Moscow (1865–73) was feted by Fyodor Buslayev as the best guidebook to the city.[3] He supervised restoration of the Kremlin buildings and the Romanov Boyar House. His journals were published in 2 volumes in 1904–05.


Ivan Snegiryov authored several books on Russian proverbs, idioms, way of life, rituals and holidays:

  • Russkie v svoikh poslovitsakh: razsuzhdenia i izsliedovania ob otechestvennykh poslovitsakh i pogovorkakh (lit. Russians in their idioms. Discourses and investigations about the national proverbs and idioms; 1831–1834).
  • The common holidays of Russians and superstitious rites (1837–1839).
  • Russian folk proverbs and parables (1848).
  • On the lubok pictures of Russians (1844, second expanded edition published in 1861).


Viellard, Stephane. 2014. Entre contiuum et singularité: L'experience d'Ivan Mixajlovič Snegirev (1793–1898), premier paremiologue rusee moderne. Parémiologie. Proverbes et formes voicines, ed by Jean-Michel Benayoun, Natalie Kieber, And Jean Philippe Zouogbo, III, 281–298. Sainte Jemme: Presses Universitaires de Sainte Gemme.


  1. ^ "Clow.ru: Москва - столица России old. История Российской столицы. Все о столице нашей Родины. Неизвестная Москва. Дополнительные материалы".
  2. ^ Russian Biographical Dictionary
  3. ^ Moscow Encyclopaedia