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In Memoriam

In Memoriam Sergey Kullanda (1954-2020)

Victor Pogadaev
p. 11-16

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1A noted scholar of our time, a historian and expert on Javanese history, and more broadly, on ancient Indonesia, Iranian studies and Scythology, our colleague and friend Sergey Vsevolodovich Kullanda passed away on November 30, 2020 in Moscow after a severe and prolonged illness.

2Sergey Kullanda was born on August 23, 1954 in Moscow in the family of noted Soviet orientalists: his mother Maria Nikolaevna Pogrebova (1931–2015) was an archaeologist, scythologist, doctor of history, researcher at the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, specialist in the ancient history and archeology of the Caucasus, the Middle East and the Eurasian steppes II–I millennium BC and his father Vsevolod Romanovich Kullanda – a historian specialized in Indian history, a lecturer at the Faculty of History, Lomonosov Moscow State University and later – a leading journalist of Soviet Union magazine.

3In 1976, Sergey Vsevolodovich graduated from the Institute of Asian and African Countries at Lomonosov Moscow State University. His teachers were noted Soviet historians, specialists on Ancient and Medieval history of South-East Asia Dega Deopik and Gennady Bandilenko (1946-2002).

4In the same year he became a researcher of the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (now the Russian Academy of Sciences). In 1988 he defended his thesis for the degree of PhD in History (“On the problem of the emergence of the ancient Javanese state”). In 1998-1999 he taught at the University of Malaya (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia). Before his death he was a senior researcher at the Department of History and Culture of the Ancient East of the Institute of Oriental Studies. Since 2004, he has been simultaneously an associate professor of the Department of Oriental Languages of the Faculty of Theoretical and Applied Linguistics of the Institute of Linguistics, Russian State University for the Humanities.

5He is the author of four monographs and over 90 articles. He also translated into Russian the book by Bernard Lewis, Islam and the West (1993).

6Already in his first monograph The History of Ancient Java (1992), his talent, breadth of outlook, depth and conscientiousness of scientific analysis were manifested. On the basis of a comprehensive analysis of linguistic, historical, ethnographic and archaeological data, the book examines the features of the historical and cultural development of the Austronesians from ancient times to the emergence of powerful medieval states, primarily Javanese. The main attention is paid to the formation of the pre-Austronesian community, which greatly influenced the process of the formation of Javanese culture, language and economy, as well as many features of the Javanese statehood of the pre-colonial period.

7Subsequently, Sergey Vsevolodovich constantly developed and expanded the scope of his scientific activity. He perfectly mastered a number of Eastern and Western languages, was successfull involved into Iranian studies, problems of the history and language of the Scythians, was a leading specialist in Indo-European studies. His monographs Horses, Chariots and Charioteers of the Eurasian Steppes (2010), Visual Folklore. Poetics of the Scythian Animal Style (2013, in collaboration with M.N. Pogrebova and D.S. Raevsky), Scythians: Language and Ethnogenesis (2016) clearly demonstrate the brilliant successes of Sergey Vsevolodovich in various areas of the humanities. From the historical and ethnocultural point of view, the last book examines the remnants of the Scythian language that have come down to us in foreign language transmissions, extracts the layer of primordial vocabulary and determines its belonging, identifies borrowings in Scythian and Scythian borrowings in other languages. He has also compiled a glossary of Scythian words, which proposes a number of new etymologies of Scythian and common Iranian lexemes.

8The last work, The Origin of Varnas (2018), is a valuable contribution to a number of branches of science: the history of Indo-European society, Iranian studies, Indology, social anthropology, comparative studies.

9One could only wonder at the erudition and breadth of knowledge of S. V. Kullanda. Along with this, he was a good supervisor for PhD students, wonderful companion, friendly and always ready to help. Many colleagues remember how Sergey Vsevolodovich helped them to solve various problems, in particular by mastering foreign languages. He combined the critical orientation of thought and frankness in scientific discussions with extreme modesty and intelligence. In this, as in science, he could serve as an example for everyone.

10We will always remember him and his contribution to the development of Oriental studies in Russia

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1975. “The interaction of geographical and economic factors in the development of traditional Malay society”, Map, Chart and Number in Ethnic Geography. Moscow: Moscow Branch of the Geographical Society of the USSR, pp. 17-22.

1979. “Belonging to a community as a social sign (on the material of ancient Java)”, Customs and culturally differentiating traditions among the peoples of the world. Moscow: Moscow Branch of the Geographical Society of the USSR, pp. 28-33.

1979. “Some peculiarities of the Sanskrit epigraphy of Java (experience of quantitative analysis)”, Sanskrit and Ancient Indian Culture, vol. 2. Moscow: USSR Academy of Sciences, pp. 23-30.

1981. “The simplest signs of Javanese epigraphic array of 7th-early 10th centuries as a source for the history of early medieval Java”, Ethnic History of the Peoples of East and Southeast Asia in Antiquity and the Middle Ages. Moscow: GRVL, pp. 279-301 (in collaboration with D.V. Deopik).

1982. “Some Aspects of Community-State Relations in Java (1st millennium A.D.)”, Regional and Historical Adaptation of Cultures in Southeast Asia. Moscow: Moscow Branch of the Geographical Society of the USSR, pp. 25-32.

1982. “Some problems of social structure of early Javanese states (according to epigraphic data of the 7th-early 10th centuries)”, People of Asia and Africa, no.5, pp. 41-50.

1983. “Material culture and economy of the peoples of West Indonesia in the pre-colonial period (according to linguistic materials)”, The Peoples of Asia and Africa, no.5, pp. 72-81.

1984. “An ancient Javanese inscription from Penging (dating problem)”, Written monuments of the East. Historical and philological research. Yearbook 1976-1977. Moscow, pp. 248-253.

1988. “About the Perception of Indian Culture in Indonesia”, The Ancient East. In Ancient Orient. Moscow, pp. 333-339.

1988. “Latin pater, familia - ancient Javanese rama, pahulunan (universals of historical development)”, 5th All-Union School of Young Orientalists. Abstracts of reports. Moscow.

1988. “The Material Culture and Economy of the West-Indonesian Peoples in the Pre-literate Period (based on linguistic data)”, Soviet Oriental Studies. Yearbook 1987. Moscow, pp. 200-215.

1988. “About the Perception of Indian Culture in Indonesia”, The Ancient East. Historical and cultural ties. Moscow, pp. 333–339.

1989. “‘The fragrant tree’ and ‘Turtle stone’ (Ancient Javanese princedoms. Linguistic-historical-ethnographic analysis)”, Javanese culture: to the characteristic of the largest ethnos of South-East Asia. Moscow, pp. 3-8.

1989. “The oldest religious ideas of the peoples of the insular Southeast Asia”, Formation of the region: integration processes in South-East Asia. Moscow, pp. 48–49.

1990. “Writings of Indian origin in Southeast Asia”, Linguistic Encyclopaedic Dictionary, Moscow, pp. 180–182.

1991. “Ethno-linguistic situation in Srivijaya and the title of Hang Tuah”, Malays: ethnogenesis, statehood, traditional culture, Moscow, pp. 4-10.

1992. The History of Ancient Java. Moscow: Oriental Literature, 221 p. (Review: Efimova L.M., Vostok, 1994, n.2, pp. 189-190).

1992. “Possibilities for creating databases on Indonesian material”, Databases on the history of Eurasia in the Middle Ages. Issue I. Moscow.

1993. “The Ancient Javanese State and the Problem of ‘Despotism’ in Early Societies”, The phenomenon of oriental despotism. The structure of government and power. Moscow, pp. 381-390.

1994. Review of W. van der Molen, Javaans Schrift, Leiden: Rijksuniversiteit te Leiden, Archipel no.48, pp. 208-210.

1995. “Cultural and religious factors of urbanization in Nusantara in the Middle Ages”, Giant Cities of Nusantara and the Problems of Their Development (Malay-Indonesian Studies, IV). Moscow: Nusantara Society, pp. 12-17.

1995. Review of Denys Lombard. Le Carrefour javanais. Vol. I-III. Paris, 1990 // Peoples of Asia and Africa, no.3, pp. 178-181.

1995. “Genesis of Statehood among the Peoples of West Indonesia. Srivijaya; Mataram; Kediri and Singhasari; Majapahit”, History of the Orient II. The East in the Middle Ages. Moscow: Oriental Literature, pp. 215-218; 218-222; 360-364; 588-591.

1995. “King of the god Indra: youth - warrior – leader”, Early forms of political organization: from primitive to statehood. Moscow, pp. 104-125.

1998. “Systems of kinship terms and prelanguage reconstructions”, Algebra of Kinship. Kinship. Kinship Systems. Systems of kinship Terms, vol. 2. Saint Petersburg, pp. 47-75.

2001. “Sri Tri Buana and the problem of the authenticity of the Malay historical tradition”, Malay-Indonesian Studies. Issue XIII-XIV. Moscow: Nusantara Society, pp. 72–75.

2002. “Medieval Balinese horse breeding”, Works on cultural anthropology. Collection of articles in memory of G.A. Tkachenko. Moscow, pp. 139-143.

2003. “Had Old Javanese the phonological stress? (ditto in English - Phonological Stress in Old Javanese?)”, Philology of the countries of Nusantara (Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, East Timor). International Scientific Session April 24-25, 2003. Saint Petersburg, pp. 23-25.

2004. “About the etymology of one surname”, Malay-Indonesian Studies. Issue XVI, Moscow: Nusantara Society, pp. 20–21.

2005. “Badui”, The Great Russian Encyclopedia, vol. 2. Moscow: The Great Russian Encyclopedia, p. 644.

2005. “Bantam”, The Great Russian Encyclopedia, vol. 3. Moscow: The Great Russian Encyclopedia, p. 14.

2005. “Austronesians”, Great Russian Encyclopedia, vol. 1. Moscow: Great Russian Encyclopedia, p. 142 (in cooperation with V.I. Belikov).

2006. “Nushāntara or Java: the acquisition of the name”, Indonesia and the Malay World, no.34, London, pp. 91–97.

2006. “Early Javanese epigraphy as a historical source”, Theory and research methods of oriental epigraphy. Moscow, pp. 204–222.

2008. “Archives and Malay-Indonesian epigraphy”, International Scientific Conference ‘Archival Oriental Studies’. Moscow, June 23-25, 2008. Moscow, Institute of Oriental Studies, pp. 59–60.

2008. “Kahulunan-Familia (Javanese-Latin parallel)”, Indonesians and their neighbors. Festschrift E.V. Revunenkova and A.K. Ogloblin. Maklaevsky collection. Issue 1. Saint Petersburg, pp. 361–364.

2008. “Old Javanese Kinship Terminology: Some Historical-Typological Implications”, Language and Text in the Austronesian World. Studies in Honor of Ülo Sirk. Műnchen, pp. 23–30.

2008. “Indonesian syncretic cults”, The Great Russian Encyclopedia, vol.11. Moscow: The Great Russian Encyclopedia, p. 317.

2008. “Indonesia. Historical essay”, The Great Russian Encyclopedia, vol.11. Moscow: The Great Russian Encyclopedia, pp. 325-330 (in collaboration with V.A.Tyurin and A.Yu. Drugov).

2009. “The Wanua Tengah III Inscription and the Problem of the Historical Tradition of Nusantara”, Huber’s readings. Issue 1. Southeast Asia: Historical Memory, Ethnocultural Identity and Political Reality. Digest of articles. Moscow, 2009, pp. 73–76.

2010. “The etymology of Malay amuk, Studia Anthropologica: Collection of articles in honor of M.A. Chlenov. Ed. A.M. Fedorchuk and S.F. Chlenova. Moscow/Jerusalem: Bridges of Culture/Gesharim, pp. 358–359.

2011. “Buddhism in Nusantara”, Philosophy of Buddhism: an encyclopedia. Ed. by Stepanyants. Moscow: The Institute of Philosophy of the Russian Academy of Sciences, pp. 925-932.

2011. Review of Blust, Robert. The Austronesian languages. Canberra: Pacific Linguistics, 2009. – xxviii + 824 pp. In Problems of Linguistics, no.6, pp. 142–146 (in cooperation with Y. Lander and Y. Sirk).

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Victor Pogadaev

Associate Professor of Moscow Institute of International Relations, Vice-President of Nusantara Society

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