Who is Mikhail (Mihaylo) Vasilyevich Lomonosov?June 26, 2021
He was born on November 19, 1711 in the village of Mishaninskaya, in the Arhangelogorod Governorate of the Russian Tsardom.
World-renowned Russian scientist, one of Russia’s greatest scientists. He is an encyclopedist, naturalist, physicist and chemist. He went down in history as the first chemist to define physical chemistry as a discipline very closely to what it is today, and prepared a broad program of studies to be done in this field in the future. The project for the establishment of Moscow State University is also the work of Lomonosov, and the school, which was opened in 1755, was named after Lomonosov about 200 years later (in 1940). He was the first to claim (in 1761) that the planet Venus had an atmosphere.
Lomonosov’s period is an important phase of Russian history, rich with great changes. The last tsar of the Russian Tsardom, Peter I, largely ended his reforms and made the decisive move to place his state in the ranks of the greatest in Europe. As a matter of fact, in 1721, he will declare Russia the empire and himself the emperor. A while ago, in the Battle of Poltava in 1709, in which the Swedes suffered the greatest defeat in history and the Swedish king Demirbaş Charles had to take refuge in the Ottoman Empire, Russia had won an important victory. The Treaty of Prut, signed with the Ottoman Empire in 1711, saved Russia from a defeat that would perhaps change its fate forever.
Lomonosov belonged to the Liberal-Nobleman Movement active in Russian historical science in the 18th century. Although he accepted that masses of people played a role in history to a certain extent, he believed that the role of historical figures was decisive. He denied the Norman Theory, which claimed that the Russians were of Scandinavian origin. He is pro-Sarmatism (Sarmatian Theory). He believes that the ethnic origin of the Russians is a mixture of Slavs and Finno-Ugors (Lomonosov calls them “Cudi”).
In Kratkiy Rossiyskiy letopisec s rodosloviem (The Short Chronicle of Russia with Genealogy, Saint Petersburg, 1760), Lomonosov briefly covered the most important events in Russia’s history between 862 and 1725. This work, which attracted great attention, was translated into German while Lomonosov was still alive, and into English two years after the death of its author.
The most important work of Lomonosov in the field of history is Drevnyaya Rossiyskaya istoriya (History of Ancient Russia, St. Petersburg, 1766). In this work, Lomonosov compares the history of Russia with the history of the Roman Empire and finds many commonalities between the beliefs of the Ancient Age and the beliefs of the Eastern Slavs.
Lomonosov’s most important linguistic work Rossiyskaya grammatika (Russian Grammar) is the first published scholarly work on the grammar of Russian in this language. The work was completed in 1755, the first edition was made in Saint Petersburg in 1757, and it was published 4 more times in about 30 years. In this study, Lomonosov mentioned some grammatical norms of Russian, clarified the concept of word type, and mentioned the spelling and pronunciation rules of words. When talking about the pronunciation of words, Lomonosov took Moscow speech as a criterion.
In his work called Rassujdenie o polze knig cerkovnıh v rossiyskom yaze (On the Importance of Church Books in Russian), Lomonosov made the stylistic system of the Russian language by using the Three Style Theory.