Osip Bodyansky

Osip Maksimovich Bodyansky (Russian: Осип Максимович Бодянский, Ukrainian: Осип Максимович Бодянський, romanized: Osyp Maksymovych Bodianskyi; 1808–1877) was a notable Russian Imperial Slavist of Ukrainian Cossack descent who studied and taught at the Imperial Moscow University. Bodyansky's close friends included Nikolai Gogol, Sergey Aksakov, Mikhail Katkov, Taras Shevchenko, Mikhail Maksimovich and Pavel Jozef Šafárik. He was elected a corresponding member of the Imperial Academy of Sciences (Saint Petersburg) in 1854.

Osip Bodyansky
Osip Maximovič Bodjanskij
Born(1808-10-31)October 31, 1808
DiedSeptember 6, 1877(1877-09-06) (aged 68)
EducationDoctor of Science (1855)
Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences
Alma materImperial Moscow University (1834)
Scientific career
FieldsPhilology, History
InstitutionsImperial Moscow University
ThesisOn the time of origin of the Slavonic script


Bodyansky was born in old Ruthenian town of Varva, Poltava Governorate (today Chernihiv Oblast) and later the Pereyaslav Seminary. He, as a student in Moscow, entered Stankevich's circle of intellectuals. After getting his master's degree, he was at work rummaging obscure libraries and archives of Little Russia. Such activities brought to light a splattering of important documents, such as the illustrated Peresopnytsia Gospels and the History of the Rus which is considered controversial in Russia.

Bodyansky's publication of Giles Fletcher's sketch of Muscovy was deemed an act of Russophobia and incurred the displeasure of Tsar Nicholas I, leading to the scholar's departure from Moscow to Kazan. In his 30s, Bodyansky travelled in the Slavic countries on behalf of the Russian government, in order to study their languages, literature, and societies. Having for long moved in Slavophile and Pan-Slavist circles, he spent some time working in Prague with Šafárik. Upon his return he became professor in Moscow, where he died in 1878. His tomb is in the Novodevichy Convent.

Bodyansky was one of the first serious scholars of the Ukrainian language and wrote some amateur poetry in his native tongue. His master's dissertation involved a comparison of Ukrainian and Russian folks songs. Bodyansky's chief work was editing the Treatises of the Moscow Society for Russian History and Antiquities (1846–49 and 1858–78). Of his own works, notable are On the Folk Poetry of the Slavic Tribes (1837) and On the Time of Origin of the Slavic Script (1855).



  Media related to Osip Bodyansky at Wikimedia Commons

  • "Bodjanskij". Meyers Konversations-Lexikon (in German). Vol. 3 (4th ed.). 1890. p. 119.


  • Imperial Moscow University: 1755-1917: encyclopedic dictionary. Moscow: Russian political encyclopedia (ROSSPEN). A. Andreev, D. Tsygankov. 2010. pp. 88–89. ISBN 978-5-8243-1429-8.

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