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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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Bibliography

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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.

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

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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.

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

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

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

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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.

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References

Bibliographical reference

Victor Pogadaev, In Memoriam Sergey Kullanda (1954-2020)”Archipel, 101 | 2021, 11-16.

Electronic reference

Victor Pogadaev, In Memoriam Sergey Kullanda (1954-2020)”Archipel [Online], 101 | 2021, Online since 12 June 2021, connection on 07 October 2022. URL: http://journals.openedition.org/archipel/2428; DOI: https://doi.org/10.4000/archipel.2428

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About the author

Victor Pogadaev

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

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