ChildhoodThe son of outstanding Silver Age poets Anna Akhmatova and Nikolay Gumilev Lev was born in Tsarskoe Selo, near St Petersburg. Lev Gumilev, Ethnogenesis and Eurasianism. ALEXANDER SERGEEVICH TITOV. University College London. School of Slavonic and Eastern European. Putin’s passing mention of the late Russian historian Lev Gumilev and this odd word passionarnost meant little to the uninitiated; but to those.

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On December 31,the first President of Russia Boris Yeltsin in his traditional New Year address to the kev sensationally announced his resignation, three months before the official presidential election scheduled for March of Previous day Next day.

Ethnogenesis and the Biosphere

He spent most of his childhood with his paternal grandmother Anna Gumileva at Bezhetsk, in the Tver Region halfway between Moscow and Gumile. His father, a staunch monarchist, was arrested and executed in for his involvement in the counter-revolutionary conspiracy.

His mother, having little interest in him and poor skills as a mother, visited him only in summer. Yet in the Stalinist years to come, when Lev was arrested on various charges and deported to the GULAG, she repeatedly risked her life for him. Lev became her obsession, the object of her devotion.

In Gumilev joined his mother and her third gumilwv, Nikolai Punin, in Leningrad to continue his education, first as an assistant on geological expeditions, then as a student at the Faculty of History at Leningrad State University. As a student, he participated in archaeological expeditions, most notably to the Khazar site at Sarkel on the Don river.

He found a gumilef reception in the Punin household, but that turned out to be only the beginning of his troubles. Akhmatova and the poet and novelist, Boris Pasternak, appealed directly to Stalin to free both men, and succeeded. However, Lev was expelled from Leningrad University and that winter ofhe nearly starved to death.

Inbefore completing his degree, Gumilev was arrested a third time together with two other students. He was implicated lef a plot to commit a terrorist attack on Leningrad Communist Party leader Andrey Zhdanov. Humilev this point he was beyond help. He was apparently saved by a bureaucratic procedure: His term at Norilsk came to an end at the end of the Second World War. He was released lec the GULAG and volunteered for gjmilev Red Army inand thus participated in the capture of Berlin, serving in anti-aircraft artillery.

On returning to Leningrad inhe was able to finish his undergraduate exams and move on to specialise in Oriental Studies, but the period of relative calm ended quickly, as his mother fell out of favour in during the Leningrad Affair. He had just enough time to participate in more archaeological expeditions, and defend his graduate thesis in He remained there untilwhen the period of de-Stalinisation began. This time he spent his term in Kazakhstan.

It is generally known that he continued research in seeking definitions for ethnic groups, and it was at this time he wrote a large part of his most famous book Ethnogenesis and the Biosphere.

Gumilev used to joke that he came up with his theories on ethnos, or ethnic groups, while lying on his bunk in the camps with other inmates above him playing cards; thus, he pointed out, prison was a positive lesson for him.


Shortly after his release inhe found a temporary job as a librarian in the Hermitage Museum in Leningrad. Later he worked as a research associate at Leningrad State University. Soon Gumilev began to publish prolifically, first with a few articles at the end of the s, then in with the first book of his Steppe TrilogyKhunnu. During the 60s and 70s his ideas about the ethnos, ethnogenesis, and passionarity a Gumilev neologism took their final shape, and were synthesised in a book explaining his theory, while drawing on his encyclopaedic knowledge of world history: And after the lapse of several centuries they disperse in space and time, leaving memory only in chronicles and legends.

Why did some states dominate for a time and then pass into non-existence again? Lev Gumilev developed a concept which explained these processes. His idea was based on the fact that, in some moments, certain outer, mostly natural, impulses e. This historic moment, which he terms a passionary pushcorresponds to a time of governmental, military and economic activities of an ethnic group.

During this period, the nation conquers territory for itself, sets up the national statehood and makes breakthroughs in science, technology and arts.

The respect of their peers is much more important to them than personal wealth or individual achievement. They do not care about their own life, prosperity and well-being. A spiritual idea — this was the moving force of these people. The ethnos is supposed to be a ‘biological’ entity determined by its place in the natural environment, but at the same time, inspired by a few innovative leaders, each ‘ethnos’ has its special time of intense flowering.

Gumilev argued that it was possible for two or more nations to unite to form a super-ethnos, and that years gumllev the Eastern Slavs Russians, Ukrainians and ByelorussiansMongols and Tatars had fused to form a super-ethnos. In contrast to the official idea that Russia had saved Europe and Christianity from the Mongol hordes, Gumilev argued that it was the military prowess of the Mongols that had saved the Eastern Slavs from conquest by the West.

Finally, and this was especially important for Gumilev, the Mongols had been a people of religious gunilev, and, because of this, Russians came to prefer Orthodoxy as their national identity. In fact, if it had not been the Mongols, Russia would have been completely Latinised and converted to Roman Catholicism; thus it would have disappeared entirely.

In the course of time, according to the theory, the Mongol Empire experienced a sort of decay, and the Mongols finally handed the imperial torch to the Russians. In the context of this view, the Russian empire was nothing but an Orthodox-Mongol empire of a sort.

Finally, the torch was gumklev on to the USSR. According to Gumilev, the laws of history are similar to the laws which propel swarms of locust to advance and recede. The border that separates Russia from the West coincides with the negative isotherm elv the month of January. In other words, nature itself sets apart the two cultural entities. This gives rise to the concept of a parasite ethnos, one that has lost its ancestral land and survives leeching on another ethnos.


According to Gumilev there are also parasite states, which lack their own dynamism and survive by living off the resources and culture of another ethnos. He labelled the U.

Lev Gumilyov – Wikipedia

In his view, this state can exist only by the exploitation of foreign resources of intellect, biology and energy. Gumilev gumiev the French and American republican statehood to Jews, with the explicit statement that both of their intellectual and spiritual foundations come from the Old Gumilv. In the same way, the state of Israel was established by people of Jewish origin who were moved not by their own energy, but by the energy reflecting the passionary potential of the Slavic Belarusians and Poles.

Gukilev to the theoretical scheme of the ethnogenesis, the situation which Russia is in now gives obvious enough hints to the direction of its political orientation. The passionate boom that starts the genesis of Russian super-ethnos, is based, according to Gumilev, in the middle of the 13th century. In that sense, the socio-economic and political crisis experienced by post-soviet Russia is totally predictable.

The fission phase, says Gumilev, started after the Fatherland War inand its hardest time was that of Soviet rule, when the ethnos’ entity had been lost and the bloodshed of the Civil War took place. In the article The Last EurasianistGumilev openly named himself an heir to the Eurasianist legacy: All contacts on the superethnic level yielded negative results. These days those accusations sound funny, but then, when social science was monitored by the Communist Party, it meant a sort of ostracism for a scholar.

Later, being widely published since the start of Perestroika, Gumilev became virtually a cult figure in the Russian-speaking world.

Lev Gumilev: passion, Putin and power | Financial Times

Although many scholars find a number of serious contradictions and methodological flaws in Gumilev’s theories, his concepts have been legitimised in certain sections. His ideas about the pitfalls of aligning with Europe and the need to secure alliances in Asia have gained some currency in Russian political and intellectual circles.

They have even, some observers believe, become a kind of semi-secret cult in the upper echelons of the Russian establishment. In other parts of the former Soviet Union, Gumilev has also had a considerable academic impact and enjoyed support from key intellectual and political sectors. October 1, — June 15, Ivan Pavlov Russian scientist, who became the first to receive A Nobel Prize in science for his research on the dygestive system, discovering classical conditioning.

Nikolay Vavilov Nikolay Ivanovich Vavilov was one of the most outstanding scientists of the twentieth century.

Lev Gumilev

He was a biologist, geneticist, geographer, agronomist and plant breeder. Nikolay Zhukovsky The founding father of modern aero- and hydrodynamic sciences, Nikolay Zhukovsky was the first person to carry out detailed research of airflows.

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