Academician of The Russian Academy of Arts.
Soviet and Russian Philologist Academician of Russian Academy of Sciences. Wrote a number of fundamental works dedicated to the history of Russian literature and culture of Ancient Russia; more than 40 books dedicated to history and theory of Russian ancient literature were translated into English, Bulgarian, Italian, Polish, Serbian, Croatian, Czech, French, Spanish, Japanese, Chinese, German and other languages. Published more than 1500 works.
Dmitry Likhachov was born on November 28, 1906 in St. Petersburg. He started studying at the Gymnasium of Imperial Philanthropic Society, later moved to the Karl May School and finally got secondary education at the L. Lentovskaya Soviet Labor School in 1923. Then Dmitry entered the Division of Ethnology and Linguistics, the Faculty of Social Sciences at the Leningrad State University. There he gave his heart to the Russian history and culture and started researching literature of Ancient Russia.
In 1928 Dmitry Likhachov graduated from the University and was falsely accused of counterrevolutionary activity. He was arrested and sentenced to four years detention. Likhachov spent half a year in prison, and then he was transferred to the Solovki Prison Camp. Later he found himself at the construction of the White Sea Canal. Years after D. S. Likhachov said that this period had been the most important time of his life. Passing through a terrible ordeal of prison and labor camps he learned about sacrificial love for people and took the path of Kindness.
In 1938 Dmitry became a junior fellow of the Institute of Russian Literature. In 1941 he was already a senior fellow defending a master’s thesis titled The Compiled Chronicles of Novgorod of XII Century. During the Leningrad blockade Likhachov published his book Defense of Old Russian Towns (1942). In June 1942 the scientist with his family was evacuated to Kazan.
In 1945 D.S. Likhachov wrote and published a book called National Self-Consciousness of Ancient Rus. The following year he received the Valiant Labor in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945 Medal.
In 1946 Dmitry Likhachov became Docentand later, in 1951, Professor of the Leningrad State University. His lectures were dedicated to the history of Russian chronicles, paleography and history of culture of Ancient Russia.
In 1947 D.S. Likhachov defended a doctor’s thesis in Philology titled Essay about History of Literary Forms in Chronicles ofXI-XVI Centuries. In 1950 a series of Monuments of Literature published The Tale of Bygone Years and The Tale of Igor’s Campaign accompanied by his articles and commentary.
In 1953 Likhachov became a Correspondent Member of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR and in 1970 was named Academician.
A famous scientist, he wrote a number of fundamental works dedicated to the history of Russian literature and culture of Ancient Russia. Hundreds of his works including more than 40 books dedicated to history and theory of Russian ancient literature were translated into English, Bulgarian, Italian, Polish, Serbian, Croatian, Czech, French, Spanish, Japanese. Chinese and German languages. There are 500 scientific and about 600 feature materials among his legacy. Among his most significant works are Human Dimension of the Old Russian Literature (1958), Russian Culture at the Times of Andrei Rublev and Epiphanius the Wise (1962), Textology (1962), Poetics of Old Russian Literature (1967), Development of Old Russian Literature: the Epochs and Styles (1973), Great Heritage: Classic Works of Old Russian Literature (1975), The Poetry of Gardens (1982), Letters about the Kind and Beautiful (1985), Selected Works: From the Past to the Future (1985). Many of his books were republished several times.
Dmitry Likhachov is the Foreign Member of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts. Correspondent Member of Academies of Sciences of Austria, USA, UK, Italy, Gottingen Academy of Sciences, Correspondent Member of the oldest in the United States American Society for Philosophy, Union of Writers Member (from 1956), Chair of the Pushkin Committee of the Russian Academy of Sciences (from 1983), Chair of the Monuments of Literature — New Discoveries year-book editorial board (from 1974). From 1971 to 1993 Dmitry headed the Monuments of Literature series editorial board. Member of the New World magazine editorial board (from 1987), Member of the Our Legacy magazine editorial board (from 1988). In 1986 he founded the Soviet, now Russian, Culture Foundation and presided until 1993. Member of the International Committee for the Revival of Alexandria Library, Egypt (from 1990). Several times Deputy of the Leningrad City Council. Member of the Committee for Human Rights of the St. Petersburg Administration. People’s Deputy of the USSR (1989-1991) from the Soviet Culture Foundation. Hero of Socialist Labor (1986). Companion of the Order of the Red Banner of Labor (1966), Order of Cyril and Methodius of Bulgaria (1st class) (1963, 1977) and medals. Companion of the Order of the Amber Cross of the Russian Academy of Art Studies and Music Performance (1997). Awarded the Honorary Diploma of the St. Petersburg Assembly (1996).
Honorary Citizen of St. Petersburg, Honorary Citizen of Milano and Arezzo.
The minor planet №2877 was named after Dmitry Likhachov.
He passed away on September 30, 1999 in St. Petersburg.