Viktor Petrov’s “Epoch theory”: the phenomenon in the national historiography of the middle twentieth century

Андрєєв, Віталій Миколайович (2019) Viktor Petrov’s “Epoch theory”: the phenomenon in the national historiography of the middle twentieth century Колективна (три і більше авторів). Relevant research of historical sciences : collective monograph. Lviv-Toruń Liha-Pres, Львів.

[thumbnail of V_Andrieiev_Monograph_Relevant_2019_IFF.pdf]

Download (1MB) | Preview


Introduction Viktor Platonovych Petrov (pseudonyms – V. Ber, Borys Verigo, V. Domontovych, V. Plyat and other; 1894–1969) was one of the brightest Ukrainian intellectuals of his time – an outstanding scientist of encyclopedic erudition (historian, anthropologist, archaeologist, literary scholar, linguist, folklorist, and philosopher), organizer of science, public figure and writer of the circle of neoclassicists and Soviet intelligence agent. V. Petrov was considered to be an outstanding, original and even brilliant philosopher and scientist at the Ukrainian literary and academic circles of «golden age» of Ukrainian humanities of 1920-s and «immigrant renaissance» of the second half of the 1940-s. However, due to various circumstances and life collisions, his multifaceted scientific potential was «deleted» from the intellectual space of the USSR and Ukrainian diaspora, underestimated and forgotten for a long time. So today V. Petrov remains little-known not only in the world, but also at home. Almost all his life, since 1919, excluding a forced interruption in 1942-1956 s., V. Petrov devoted himself to the Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. He was one of the first scientists of All-Ukrainian Academy of Sciences, actively and productive working in various academic institutions. In 1919-1920s V. Petrov was a Secretary of the Commission for Ukrainian historical dictionary making. Since January 1920 he started working as a researcher and later as a secretary (1923–1927) and a head (1927–1933) of Ethnographic Commission attached to All-Ukrainian Academy of Sciences, edited various publications of the institution. In 1927 the Russian Geographical Society, recognizing the merits of V. Petrov in organization of ethnographic science in Ukraine, vigorous activity in studying of folk culture and everyday life, awarded him a silver medal. In 1928 the scientist was elected as an existing member of this society. In 1930 the scientist took a degree of Doctor of Philology for the monograph about P. Kulish. Since 1933 V. Petrov held the position of the researcher, and since 1939 he was a head of the sector of pre-feudal and feudal archeology of the Union of Institutions of Material Culture (the Institute of History of Material Culture since 1934, which was later reorganized into the Institute of Archaeology attached to the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic (IA AS USSR). Since February 1941 the scientist became a director of the newly established Institute of Ukrainian Folklore attached to the Academy of Sciences of the USSR. This period of his research activity is presented by a fairly significant scientific achievements (especially in the field of ethnography) – more than 100 works. During the Soviet-German War Viktor Platonovych served in the Red Army – he was a reconnaissance man. In 1945–1949s., performing the tasks of the Soviet reconnaissance, he worked among Ukrainian emigration in Bavaria. He was one of the founders of Ukrainian Art Movement (UAM), Ukrainian Free Academy of Sciences, editor of periodical literature, teacher at institutions of higher education of Ukrainian emigration (Ukrainian Free University, Theological Academy of Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church, Ukrainian Technical and Economic Institution, etc.), worked a lot in the field of science. Officially V. Petrov was employed by the Ministry of Foreign Trade of the USSR as a researcher till 1950. In 1950–1956s., after mysterious return from Germany, the scientist worked as a researcher at the Institute of History of Material Culture of the USSR in Moscow, and since December 1956 until his death he worked at the Institute of Archaeology attached to the Academy of Sciences of the USSR. V. Petrov’s top achievement as an intellectual and versatile scholar is his “epoch theory”. The thinker suggested an original conception of ancient history of Ukraine, which became an important theoretical and practical contribution to Ukrainian historiography. His concept was based on the discrete, cyclical vision of the historical process and was in the line with the main trends of European historiosophical thought of 1920–1940, it was directly in the context of intellectual ideasof M. Berdyaev, V. Velflin, N. Danilevsky, A. J. Toynbee, S. Freud, M. Foucault, M. Khvylovy, D. Chyzhevsky, F. Schmitt, O. Spengler and the existentialists. On the basis of the «epoch theory» the scientist developed a scheme of ancient history of Ukraine («prehistory of Ukrainian people») and a scheme of ethnogenesis of Ukrainian people as a part of European history. This opened a new way for the development of national historical science and could cause a «revolution» in Ukrainian historical writing. However, intellectual initiative of the scientist was not accepted by his contemporaries and to this day it remains outside the main directions of theoretical and practical search of historians. This article deals with the phenomenon of Victor Petrov in the national historiography of the twentieth century. Although the polymath was working for decades within the framework of the Soviet historical science and its academic institutions and Marxist discourse played a certain role in its formation, in my opinion, we should talk about alternativeness of views of V. Petrov concerning Marxism, which was prevailing in the Soviet science. The Marxist conception as an explanatory model of the historical process and methodological tool of scientific research did not satisfy the scientist. There are several stages in the formation of historical conception of V. Petrov. However, it was not enunciated in a distinct and final way due to different reasons.

Item Type: Monograph (Колективна (три і більше авторів))
Uncontrolled Keywords: Viktor Petrov; “epoch theory"; the phenomenon in the national historiography of the middle twentieth century
Subjects: Монографії > Видані за кордоном (окрім країн СНД)
Монографії > Видані міжнародними видавництвами (за класифікацією SENSE)
Divisions: Факультет суспільно-гуманітарних наук > Кафедра всесвітньої історії
Факультет суспільно-гуманітарних наук > Кафедра історії України
Depositing User: Ірина Борисівна Захарчук
Date Deposited: 28 Nov 2019 07:44
Last Modified: 28 Nov 2019 07:44

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item