Mikhail Matveevich Cheraskov

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Mikhail Matveevich Cheraskov

Mikhail Matwejewitsch Cheraskow ( Russian Михаил Матвеевич Херасков ; * 25 October July / 5 November  1733 greg. In Perejaslavl , Kyiv Governorate , Russian Empire ; † 27 September July / 9 October  1807 greg. In Moscow , Russian Empire) was a Russian poet and writer. Among other things, he is the creator of the text Kol 'Slavs, which later became known as the Freemason Song .


Cheraskov came from a wealthy boyar family who immigrated to Russia from Wallachia under Tsar Peter I , and was tutored by private tutors . In 1751 he finished training at the cadet institute in Saint Petersburg . He then served in the Ingerman regiment near St. Petersburg and worked at the trade college. During his service as a cadet he wrote his first articles, which were published in a monthly.

Cheraskow took up a position at Moscow University in 1751 , continued to publish poetry and over two years published his own magazine , the Beneficial Amusements ( Полезное увеселение ). In 1763 the poet was appointed director of the university; after an intermezzo at the Petersburg Mining College (1770–1778) he returned to Moscow, where he held the post of curator of the university until 1802. In 1781 he was elected a member of the Leopoldina .

Cherkaskow died in Moscow in 1807 and was buried in the Donskoy monastery .


Contemporaries called Cheraskov a Russian homer because he cultivated the French pseudoclassical epic on Russian soil and wrote two great epic poems on the glory of Russia: The Rossiad ( Россияда , 1779), which sang about the conquest of Kazan by Ivan the Terrible , and Vladimir ( Владензной , 1785), which dealt with the Christianization of Russia.

In addition to these two main works, which can best be classified as "sentimental classicism", Cheraskow wrote 20 dramas, novels, as well as fables, epic poems, songs and other texts. His novels developed from edifying literature about the "ideal state with a benevolent tsar" ( Numa Pompilius or the blossoming Rome , 1768) to intricate love and adventure stories ( Kadmos and Harmonia , 1786).


A German complete edition of his works has not been published. Some of his works have also been translated into German:

  • The Battle of Tschesme ( Чесменский бой , 1771) Petersburg 1773 (Poem)
  • Numa Pompilius, or the blooming Rome ( Нума Помпилий , 1768) St. Petersburg: Breitkopf 1782 (1799 in Leipzig also under the title Numa or The good Prince and his happy people )


  • Herbert Rister: The language of MM Cheraskov. A contribution to the history of the Russian literary language. Pfau, Berlin 1938.

Individual evidence

  1. member entry of Michael Mathaei Filius of Cheraskow at the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina , accessed on 29 November 2016th