Academician Nikolai M. Nikolskii and the struggle for understanding of the social structure of the ancient Near Eastern societies

Sergey Krikh

Vostok/Oriens '2018, №1

DOI: 10.7868/S0869190818010028

The article represents the story of the discussion between two Soviet academicians: Vasily V. Struve (1879–1965) and Nikolai M. Nikolskii (1877–1959) on the problem of social structure in Ancient Near Eastern societies. They both shared Historical Materialism but were of different opinions on the key issues of its applicability to concrete historical data. Nikolskii argued for feudalism in Ancient Mesopotamia and discovered many drawbacks in Struve’s slave system conception. But the next generations did forget Nikolskii’ role in formulating these ideas. The main reasons for it were geographical location of Nikolskii in Minsk, not in Moscow or Leningrad, and weakness of his discourse as well as his theoretical and factual errors.

Keywords: Soviet historiography of the Ancient World, slave-owned formation, Marxism

Pages: С. 13–22

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