The Tsar and the Latin Language

Ettore Cinnella 

About the book

Not everyone knows that in the Russian Empire Latin and Greek had a privileged place in the education system.

The book analyses the bloom of classical studies that took place in Russia in the last decades of the nineteenth century and which contributed to bringing the country closer to Western culture. Even in great writers, from Tolstoy to Dostoevsky, we find an echo of the debate on the importance of studying Greek and Latin.

In the second half of the nineteenth century, the knowledge of foreign languages and the frequent trips abroad allowed Russian scholars first to assimilate Western science and then to enrich it with their original and creative contribution. Similarly in Russia, as in the rest of Europe, there was a lively debate on the opportunity of learning ancient languages and the place of classical studies in secondary education. It was in this context that one of the greatest antichists of all time was educated, the Russian cosmopolitan Mikhail Ivanovich Rostovcev, who was able to combine in his works the flourishing Russian culture and the most advanced European science.

Buyer's guide

Cover price: 17,50 euros
Pages: 232
Rights Held: WORLD
Publication date: May 2018
Category: non-fiction
Audience: general and academic


★★★★★ “Ettore Cinnella is one of our best sovietologists.”
—Dino Messina, Corriere della Sera

★★★★★ “Author of two fundamental books on the Russian revolution Ettore Cinnella is a top-class historian.”
—Diego Gabutti, Sette Magazine 

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