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The writer, philosopher and outstanding representative of the Silver Age was born 155 years ago.

On February 28 (according to the old style, February 16), 1866, the future symbolist poet Vyacheslav Ivanov was born in Moscow. In the capital, he began his studies – first at the gymnasium, and then at the Imperial Moscow University. Testimonies and documents about his life, including for the period of study, were preserved in the student’s file of the poet, stored in Glavarchiv

According to the formal list of the poet’s father, the boy was born into the family of retired titular adviser Ivan Ivanov and Alexandra Preobrazhenskaya. On March 1, 1866, little Vyacheslav Ivanov was baptized in a church in honor of the great martyr George the Victorious in Georgians. This is indicated in the surviving copy of the birth certificate.

For some time the family lived in Ukraine, where the poet’s father worked as a land surveyor. Then Ivan Ivanov resigned and in 1870 became an employee of the Moscow Control Chamber. The family returned to Moscow again. Vyacheslav Ivanov’s father died a year after the move. This event left an indelible mark on the future poet – the child grew up nervous and impressionable.

In 1875, Vyacheslav Ivanov entered the 1st Moscow Men’s Gymnasium. While still a high school student, he began to make poetic translations. In the gymnasium Vyacheslav Ivanov studied until 1884 and graduated with a gold medal. Then the young man, deciding to continue his education, entered the Moscow University at the Faculty of History and Philology.

But he did not study for long. In May 1886, Vyacheslav Ivanov, despite his good academic performance, wrote a petition to the lecturer to dismiss him from among the students. At that time, he was preparing for a serious step – in June 1886, the poet married the sister of his high school friend Daria Dmitrievskaya. The first independent poetic experiments of the poet belong to this time.

The young couple soon left for Germany, where Vyacheslav Ivanov continued his studies at the University of Berlin, taking up ancient philology and history. Later, the poet and his wife moved to Paris, then to Italy. But family relations have cracked.

The final breakup of the spouses occurred in the mid-1890s, and the divorce, approved by the Synod, took place in May 1896. Based on the preserved relationship of the St. Petersburg Spiritual Consistory to the rector of Moscow University, the divorce was due to the proven fact of Vyacheslav Ivanov’s adultery. The poet was forever forbidden to remarry and imposed a seven-year church punishment.

Vyacheslav Ivanov, who by this time lived in Italy and had practically ceased his scientific studies, was ready for this. He finally decided on the creative path, moved to St. Petersburg at the beginning of the 20th century and devoted himself to poetry and work with literary publications.

You can view Vyacheslav Ivanov’s documents in the reading room of the Moscow Main Archive at 80 Profsoyuznaya Street. It is open on Mondays from 09:30 to 16:30, on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12:00 to 20:00, on Fridays – from 09:30 to 15:00. In the reading room, the necessary sanitary requirements are observed: tables are located at a great distance from each other, disinfection is regularly carried out in the room. Visitors are required to bring a mask and gloves.

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EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and or sentence structure not be perfect.

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