Bishop Gregory (hgr) wrote,
Bishop Gregory
hgr

Упокой, Господи, душу усопшего раба Твоего Димитрия

Оболенского.
Мое знакомство с ним было только заочным. Он очень одобрял наши с Константинычем (Акентьевым) издания ("Византинороссика"). Как-то в 1995 г. я жил в Оксфорде в доме его бывшей жены...
> > The Independent (UK)
> > 31 December 2001
> > Obituary: Professor Sir Dimitri Obolensky
> > BY ANTHONY BRYER
> >
> > DIMITRI OBOLENSKY had presence enough to allow him a quick self-
> > deprecatory tale or grin. It was the resonance of his voice and
precision
> > of his speech which did it. His singing, liturgical or profane, was
> > memorable. His English and French were cultured enough. But to Soviet
ears
> > his Russian was simply electrifying: the living voice of the past, a
> > reminder of a lost world. Obolensky was equally intrigued by the Russia
> > that he had missed, and freely acknowledged its achievements.
> >
> > Such a complex man was a complex historian. As an academic, Obolensky
> began
> > in 1946 with a Cambridge thesis on the Bogomils (1946), which may
explain
> > something. It is about medieval Balkan dualism, good and evil, and the
> > identity of the fundamentalist and non- conformist followers of a hidden
> > Bulgarian pop, or priest, which came to a show trial in Orthodox
Byzantium
> > in about the year 1110.
> >
> > In 1948 Obolensky dedicated the published book (The Bogomils: a study in
> > Balkan Neo-Manichaeism) to his mother, Countess Maria Shuvalov (1894-
> > 1973), and became a British subject. This was a turning point. A lesser
> > move was from Trinity College, Cambridge, to Christ Church, Oxford,
where
> > some spotted that neat painters had made "Prof" out of "Prince" on
> > Obolensky's door by 1961.
> >
> > In Oxford, Obolensky's measured lectures led to his most influential
book,
> > The Byzantine Commonwealth, first published in 1971. It is a classic.
The
> > title tells all: a touching reference to the liberal kingdom and
> > commonwealth to which Obolensky had transferred his allegiance. How far
> > could the lost state of Byzantium control its Slav successors? Where is
> > good and evil; how in medieval terms can a totalitarian state implement
> its
> > desires?
> >
> > Obolensky reported a discussion on such matters between senior
> Byzantinists
> > and the Kremlin leadership in 1991 (when Gorbachev was unavoidably
absent
> > in the Crimea). It all ended in coffee cups. But in Oxford, Cambridge
and
> > elsewhere in his commonwealth, Obolensky taught his students how to
> > understand geography and texts, ideas and identity. Two of them, Simon
> > Franklin and Jonathan Shepard, were inspired to take one part of the
> matter
> > on to The Emergence of Rus, 750-1200 (1996).
> >
> > Russianists know Obolensky best as editor of The Penguin Book of Russian
> > Verse (1962) and its successors under various titles. He introduced a
> whole
> > world of Russian poets and writers, such as Osip Mandelshtam and Anna
> > Akhmatova (whom he helped bring to Oxford for her honorary degree in
> 1965).
> > Byzantinists asked Obolensky of his own academic identity in a subject
> > which he did so much to create in Britain. Obolensky claimed Francis
> > Dvornik (1893-1995), Byzantinoslavist of Moravia, as his prime mentor.
> > Dvornik had a vivid conception of good and evil in central Europe, which
> he
> > was to transfer to Harvard University's Byzantine outstation at
Dumbarton
> > Oaks in Washington, DC, in the 1950s. But in the 1940s Obolensky and the
> > Catholic cleric used the North Library of the British Museum as their
> > common study.
> >
> > By the 1960s, young students in Oxford would daringly enquire if the
> > Obolenskys were perchance related to the Romanovs? It was like asking a
> > Plantagenet if he had anything to do with the Tudors. The truth was that
> > Dimitri Obolensky's grandmother Countess Sandra Shuvalov (1869-1959),
and
> > great-aunt Sofka Demidov (1870-1953), daughters of Count Hilarion
> > Vorontsov-Dashkov (d. 1915), Minister of the Imperial Court under
> Alexander
> > III and Viceroy of the Caucasus under Nicholas II, indeed probably knew
> the
> > last Tsar better than anyone else outside the Romanov family.
> >
> > I hope I have got that right, for I am reading Obolensky's notes off the
> > backs of menu cards. At dinner at his club (the Athenaeum) in 1983, I
> asked
> > him to explicate an authorised version of his genealogy. Ignoring the
> > upstart Romanovs, Dimitri began firmly with Rurik, Scandinavian fonder
of
> > the Russian state circa 862, followed by Igor, Svyatoslav and St
Vladimir
> > (d. 1015). Another sainted ancestor, Michael of Chernigov (d. 1246),
> > appears on the next card until, several cards and courses later, they
> > expand laterally with Dimitri's three-greats-grandfather, Prince Michael
> > Vorontsov (d. 1856).
> >
> > This Vorontsov was the prototype Viceroy of the Caucasus and everyone's
> > anglophile hero. Edward Blore designed for him the Alupka palace in the
> > Crimea, a sort of oriental Balmoral by the sea, where Churchill was to
> feel
> > at home at the Yalta Conference of 1945. Observant visitors to Alupka
may
> > still spot (in the library next to the Hogarth painting) that the
> > Vorontsovs maintained their subscription to Punch unbroken throughout
the
> > Crimean War, which was fought a few miles away - Gorbachev's 1991
hideout
> > is even nearer.
> >
> > In 1918 the infant Dimitri Obolensky was brought through the revolution
> > from his native Petrograd to the Alupka palace. One year later, after
the
> > longest period he was to spend in Russia, the Royal Navy embarked
Dimitri
> > (along with the Dowager Empress Marie Feodorovna and the Grand Duke
> > Nicholas, among others) to an uncertain future.
> >
> > Obolensky's final book, Bread of Exile, published in 1999, is what those
> > without menu cards had been waiting for. It is a history of his family,
> > largely from six sparely edited texts of their own memoirs - his own the
> > least revealing. Yet here is a living 19th-century family tradition,
where
> > (until 1861) nannies could be bought at auction. Here is Dimitri's
father,
> > Prince Dimitri Alexandrovich Obolensky (1882-1964) leading a country
life
> > reminiscent of Turgenev's tales. This Obolensky was an improver and
> > patriot. As local marshal of the nobility he delivered a stirring speech
> to
> > his peasantry when the Austrians bombarded Belgrade in 1914. Local
police
> > explained their enthusiastic response: "They thought you were talking
> about
> > Belgorod near Kharkov where the relics of Saint Ioasaph are."
> >
> > With the subsequent revolution, family links were broken. In the
> dispersal,
> > when every second taxi driver in Paris (including Dimitri's father) was
a
> > Russian prince, his mother married again. Dimitri's stepfather, Count
> Andre
> > Tolstoy (1891-1963), ADC to General Wrangel, the final White Russian
> > leader, was perhaps a more vivid influence.
> >
> > Such a background does not really explain how the infant refugee from
the
> > Alupka palace ended up as a senior member of Christ Church in Oxford and
> > vice-president of the British Academy (1983-85). The latter is a sort of
> > academic foreign minister, where Obolensky relished employing his
> > diplomatic skills. Obolensky's original peers were commonly lost in the
> > Russian emigre society and circular politics of Nice, even the lycees of
> > Paris. But Obolensky differed from them by being equally at home in
> Britain.
> >
> > The Vorontsovs did not buy nannies, but employed English or Scottish
> > governesses (for whom Punch was provided at Alupka). Dimitri's governess
> > was called Miss Clegg. In a tale to do with an Englishman mispronouncing
> > French and regrettably too long to repeat here, Dimitri found himself by
> > 1929-31 in an archetypal English preparatory school (Lynchmere in
> > Eastbourne).
> >
> > After such rigours there was no turning back. Dimitri Obolensky spoke
with
> > some protocol and correctness of his own background and identity, but
> maybe
> > it was Eastbourne which endowed him with the unexpected grace of
> > puckishness. Things could have been so much worse. He liked to cite
> Hilaire
> > Belloc's cautionary verse on Godolphin Horne, who was "nobly born" and
> > "held the Human Race in Scorn"; "So now Godolphin is the Boy / Who
blacks
> > the Boots at the Savoy."
> >
> > A consequence was that Obolensky chose British, rather than French,
> > nationality in 1948. He also chose the medieval Rurukids rather than the
> > modern Romanovs to illustrate his own genealogy. Obolensky had already
> > explored the Bogomils. He was a pilgrim to Athos and a great traveller
in
> > Greece (I once found him slumming it in the back of a fish restaurant on
> > Aegina). In Paris he knew the Russian Orthodox theologians and worked
for
> > the Emmaus community. He enjoyed, discreetly, his academic honours, and
> > decent dinners at the Athenaeum and the Savoy.
> >
> > But I think Obolensky most treasured his invitation in 1988 to attend
the
> > great council of the Russian Orthodox Church, as a lay member, on the
> > 1,000th anniversary of the baptism of the sainted prince Vladimir into
the
> > Byzantine Commonwealth. For Dimitri Obolensky it was, after all, a
family
> > occasion.
> >
> > Anthony Bryer
> >
> > Dmitriy Dmitrievich Obolensky (Dimitri Obolensky), historian: born
> > Petrograd 1 April 1918 (Old Style 19 March 1918); Fellow, Trinity
College,
> > Cambridge 1942-48, Honorary Fellow 1991-2001; Lecturer in Slavonic
> Studies,
> > Cambridge University 1946-48; Reader in Russian and Balkan Medieval
> > History, Oxford University 1949-61, Professor of Russian and Balkan
> History
> > 1961-85 (Emeritus); Student, Christ Church, Oxford 1950-85 (Emeritus);
FBA
> > 1974; Kt 1984; married 1947 Elisabeth Lopukhin (marriage dissolved
1989);
> > died Burford, Oxfordshire 23 December 2001.
> >
> > *******
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