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people, but with decreasing guarantee of success and lack of clearly defined criteria or stable education model. *** Vladimir Fayer Faculty of Philology, Higher School of Economics, Moscow “Thank God, my thesis was poor”: Soviet Classical Philology in the 1950s, the Communist Regime, Old Professorate and Komsomol Youth. The citation in the title of the paper is borrowed from oral memoirs of Nikolai Fedorov (b. 1925), a brilliant Latinist and respected teacher of most Moscow Classicists, who in the 1950’s unsuccessfully tried to defend his thesis in Moscow State University (MSU). What happened to him then if now he expresses satisfaction in the fact that had seriously hampered his academic career? I will try to find an answer analyzing peculiarities of Soviet Classical studies under Stalin and the academic community of the MSU. The main material for the study is oral memoirs collected in the frame of the project “Sova Minervy” (“The Owl of Minerva”), headed by professor Nina Braginskaya (RSUH). The Bolshevik revolution abandoned the Classical gymnasia in Russia, and several years later even the Classical departments of the universities were closed. The educational gap lasted until the early 1930s, when reorganized Classical departments opened in both Leningrad and Moscow. The elderly university professors in MSU faced a new reality: their students were absolutely ignorant in Classics. Their curriculum was intermediate Greek and Latin, not Classical scholarship in full as before. This new generation, having no clear understanding of what and why they are to learn, was oppressed by unending grammar drills. They wanted a new Marxist philology, of which they heard everywhere except their classes. After a group of students had demanded the reform, a new head of the Department was appointed. Nicolai Deratani was the only professor who 20

Profile for Classics

Classics and class, ljubljana 2013 symposium abstracts  

Since 2009, a steadily growing international group of researchers has been studying classical scholarship in Central & Eastern Europe under...

Classics and class, ljubljana 2013 symposium abstracts  

Since 2009, a steadily growing international group of researchers has been studying classical scholarship in Central & Eastern Europe under...

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