ŠČERBATSKOJ, Fëdor Ippolitovič (Theodor Scherbatskoy) Keltse

ŠČERBATSKOJ, Fëdor Ippolitovič (Theodor Scherbatskoy) Keltse, Poland 19.9.(1.10.)1866 — Borovoe, Kazakhstan 18.3.1942. Russian Indologist, specialist of Buddhism. Name is somewhat problematic, but according to Russian colleagues (Vasil’kov) -koj (instead of -kij) seems well attested. Born in Poland where his father was a civil servant of the Russian Government, he grew up at family estate near St.Petersburg and attended the gymnasium in Carskoje Selo. From 1884 studies of Indology (Minaev, Ol’denburg), Germanic and Slavic at St.Petersburg. In 1888-89 further studies at Vienna under Bühler. Graduated Magistr 1889 from St.Petersburg. In 1893 managed the family estate and worked for local government continuing privately his studies. In 1899 attended the CO in Rome, then studied at Bonn under Jacoby. His early interests were linguistics, literature and aesthetics, now a visit to Mongolia made him interested in Buddhism and to start the study of Tibetan. In 1901-30 he taught at St.Petersburg/Leningrad University. From 1910 Corresponding and from 1918 full Member of Russian Academy of Science. In 1910-11 travelled in India, mainly in Poona. In the 1920s he was still allowed to travel (Bonn, Paris, London) and spent his summers studying in Buryat monasteries. He lost his position in the 1930s and died in isolation, though formally still Head of Indo-Tibetan Cabinet of Leningrad Oriental Institute.

FIŠč was the founder and head of the Leningrad school of Buddhist studies. He was familiar with Western philosophy and used the concepts of Kant, Hegel, Mill, Bradley, etc. in his translations of Indian philosophical texts. His interests comprised all Mahāyāna schools, especially logic. Among his students were Obermiller, O. Rozenberg, Tubjanskij and Vostrikov, but in the 1930s the whole school was brutally suppressed and he himself overlived most of them.

Publications: diss. on the two IE guttural series.

Über das Haihayendracarita des Harikavi. 11+112 p. Mém. imp. Acad. 8:4:9. St.P. 1900; on Indian poetics 1902.

diss. Russian transl. of Dharmakīrti’s Nyāyabindu.

ed. in Tib. Nyāyabindu. Buddijskij učebnik logiki. Sočinenie Darmakirti i tol’kovanie na nego — Nyāyabinduṭīkā — sočinenie Darmottary. 222 p. Bibl.B. 8. St.P. 1904; Tibetskij perevod sočinenij Saṁtānāntarasiddhi Dharmakīrti i ṭīkā Vinītadeva. 17+129 p. Bibl. Buddh. 19. St.P. 1916.

ed. in Sanskrit: Nyāyabinduṭīkāṭippaṇī. 4+43 p. Bibl.Buddh. 11. St.P. 1909; Nyāyabindu. Buddijskij učebnik logiki sočinenie Dharmakirti i tol’kovanie na nego Nyāyabinduṭīkā. Soč. Dharmottary. 1. 95 p. Bibl. Buddh. 7. Petrograd 1918.

on epistemology, in Russian. 1909, German tr. by O. Strauss, Erkenntnistheorie und Logik nach der Lehre der späterem Buddhisten. Munich 1924; French, La théorie de la connaissance et la logique chez les bouddhistes tardifs. P. 1926; rev. English ed. the same: Buddhist Logic. 1-2. 558+468 p. Bibl. Buddh. 21-26. Leningrad 1930-32 (annotated English tr. of the Nyāyabindu, with a study).

ed. with S. Lévi (or Wogihara?): Sphuṭārtha-Abhidharmakośavyākhyā, the work of Yaśomitra. 7+96 p. Bibl. Buddh. 21. Petrograd 1918.

Filosofskoe učenie buddizma. 48 p. Petrograd 1919; “The Soul Theory of the Buddhists”, Izv. Akad. Nauk 6:13:15, 1919, 823-854 & 18, 937-958.

transl. from Tibetan: Dharmakirti. Obosnovanie čužoj odušeblennosti. 15+79 p. Pamjatniki indijskoj filosofii 1. Petrograd 1922.

The central conception of Buddhism and the meaning of the word “dharma”. 16+112 p. Prize Publ. Fund 7. L. 1923.

tr. from Sanskrit: “Dandin. Priključenija desjati princev”, Vostok 3, 1923, 50-82; 4, 1924, 65-96; 5, 1924, 16-46, republ. as a book 1964.

– “Über die Nyāyakaṇikā des Vācaspatimiśra und die indische Lehre vom kategorischen Imperativ”, Festgabe Jacobi 1926, 369-380; “Die drei Richtungen in der Philosophie des Buddhismus”, RO 10, 1934, 1-37.

The conception of Buddhist nirvāṇa. With Sanskrit text of the Mādhyamaka-Kārikā. 100+222 p. (6+246 p.?) Leningrad 1927, Jap. tr. Tokyo 1957.

ed. & tr. with Obermiller: Abhisamayālamkāraprajñāpāramitā-upadeśa-śāstra. The Work of Bodhisattva Maitreya. 1. 12-122 p. Bibl. Buddh. 23. Leningrad 1929.

translated: Madhyānta-vibhaṅga: discourse on discrimination between middle and extremes, ascribed to Bodhisattva Maitreya and commented by Vasubandhu and Sthiramati. 223 p. Bibl. Buddh. 30. M.–Leningrad 1936.

Papers of Theodor Stcherbatsky. Transl. by H. C. Gupta, ed. by D. Chattopadhyaya. Soviet Indology Series 2. Calcutta 1969.

Sources: *Indijskaja kul’tura i buddizm. M. 1972, 5–41; IHQ 20, 1944, 102f.; JRAS 1943, 118f.; *NAA 1966:6, 147-150; *N. P. Anikeev, Vestnik istorii mirovoj kul’tury 1957:2, 241-245; P. V. Bapat, ABORI 24, 1943, 284f.; *V. I. Kal’janov, Izvestina AN SSSR 5, 1946:3, 245-252; *I. M. Kutasova, Sov. vostokoved. 1958:3, 136-143; *N. Ju. Lubockaja, NAA 1967:3, 195f.; Miliband, Biobibl. slovar’. 1977; D. S. Ruegg, JIPh 1, 1971, 213-216; *Vigasin 2008, 237-443 with photos and letters to Ol’denburg; *Vigasin et al., Istorija otečestvennogo vostokovedenija s serediny XIX veka do 1917 goda. Moscow 1997, 416-424; *A. N. Zelinskij, Strany i narody Vostoka 5, 1967, 236-257; Wikipedia with photo; photo also in Papers 1969, another in Bongard-Levin & Vigasin, The Image of India. 1984.


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