History of the Ancient and Medieval History Department

History of the Ancient and Medieval History Department


The beginning of activity of the department goes back to 1934 when the department of Ancient History and the department of Medieval History had been created among the first ones at historical faculty of Belarusian State University (BSU). Such a special attention to teaching and researches of Antiquity and the Middle Ages in BSU was the result of activity of two outstanding scientists who had been working at BSU from its foundation: the professors Nikolay Nikolsky and Vladimir Pertsev. Nikolay Nikolsky as the great expert in the history of Ancient East had headed the Ancient History department, and Vladimir Pertsev, who had the History of Middle Ages among his major scientific interests, had presided the department of Medieval History. Already before the Great Patriotic War both departments had been adjusted the postgraduate study system. In 1959 both departments had been united in one – the department of Ancient and Medieval History. Vladimir Pertsev became its first chairman. Since 1960 up to 1977 the department was headed by the well-known professor of Ancient History Fyodor Nechay. Since 1977 professor Dmitry Klimovsky was the head of the department. Unfortunately, he had untimely died in 1982. Since 1982 to 1988 the associate professor Nina Gusakova was the head of the department. She was the known Belarus expert in the field of medieval studies. In 1988 professor V.A.Fedosik had been elected as the head of the department, and he is still on this position. The circle of his scientific interests embraces both the problems of Ancient History and of the Medieval ones.

From the date of the foundation the department of Ancient and Medieval History is the only educational and research centre on studying of history of the Ancient East, Antiquity, Middle Ages, and the Religion history in Belarus. Here the postgraduate studies and the doctoral studies institutions operate. All the Belarusian doctors in the mentioned fields on Belarus have been graduated from here but rare exception. The modern stuff of the department has been completely formed with the graduates of it.

In different times the department had professor Giller Livshits, who had Ph.D habilis both in history and ion philosophy, who wrote many works on Ancient History and Jewish studies; associate professor Rakhil Nikolskaja, expert in Ancient and Religious studies; professor Juri Ivonin – world know scholar of Middle Ages; and associate professor Gennady Dovgyalo - world renowned scholar of Hittite History. In due time the department also had such a known Latin scholars as professor Goncharova, lecturers Pilman and Meltser, and some others. In recent times the department also provided the studies on History of Southern and Western Slavs.

It was because of professors Nikolsky and Pertsev, Nechay and Livshits the department became the base of Belarusan scientific schools of Oriental, Ancient, Medieval and Religion History. The studies of Ancient Rome, Antique Christianity, Late Ancient and Medieval mentality are especially fruitfully developing. The department closely co-operates with our colleagues from the universities of Moscow, St. Petersburg, Smolensk, Kazan, Kharkov, but also with the scholars from the USA, Germany, Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary, India. Many department professors have passed there scientific training abroad at prestigious universities, gave their lectures there and participated in joint scientific projects. Several department graduates nowadays work at the universities of Germany and Russia. Also an absolute majority of experts in Ancient and Medieval studies all over Belarus are the graduates and postgraduates of the department.

The department publishes a lot of its researches and results. During last few years its total publishes activity exceeds 1000 pages annually. And those are not only the monographies and articles but also textbooks and manuals for high and secondary schools on the subjects of expertise. Those traditions have been established by the professors-founders Nikolsky and Pertsev. In their honour the department holds an international scientific conference - «November meetings» biennially.

The department provides two specializations for our students: «Ancient and Medieval History of foreign countries» and «History of Religions». Students of these specializations repeatedly received diplomas of winners at republican and international competitions of student's research papers.


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