Napolskikh Vladimir Vladimirovich

Senior Researcher Associate of the Medieval Archaeology Department of the Institute of Archaeology named after A.Kh. Khalikov of the Tatarstan Academy of Sciences

Napolskikh Vladimir Vladimirovich (April 1, 1963, Izhevsk) – Doctor of Historical Sciences (with a specialty in “Ethnography”), Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Historical and Philological Studies Department, since 2011), Member of the Saint Petersburg Linguistic Society (since 2008), Hungarian Ethnographic Society (Magyar Néprajzi Társásag, since 2006), German Ural-Altaic Society (Societas Uralo-Altaica, since 2000).

Specialist in the Pre-History of Northern Eurasia, Ethnic History, Folklore, Mythology and Folk Religions of the Volga Region, the Urals and Siberia.

He graduated from the History Department of Udmurt State University (Izhevsk) in 1985. He worked for five years as a Teacher of History at the Jubilee Secondary School (Pirogovo village in the Zavyalovsky District of the Udmurt Republic), concurrently seeking a degree at the Institute of Ethnography (presently the Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology) of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Moscow), where he defended his candidate’s thesis in 1990, and his doctoral thesis “Ancient Stages of the Origination of Peoples from the Uralic Language Family: Mythological Reconstruction Data (Pra-Uralic Cosmogonic Myth)” in 1992. From 1990 to 2002, he worked as a Research Associate at the Udmurt Institute of History, Language and Literature, Ural Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Izhevsk), and since 2002 until the present day – as Professor at the Department of Cultural Studies at the Institute of Social Communications, Udmurt State University (Izhevsk). He has worked at the Institute of Archaeology named after A. Kh. Khalikov of the Tatarstan Academy of Sciences since 2015.

He has given lectures and lecture courses on the prehistory and ethnic history of Northern Eurasia, folk religion and mythology of the peoples of Northern Eurasia, the Udmurt language and Finno-Ugric studies at the universities of Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Tomsk, Ufa, Uppsala, Helsinki, Gottingen, Hamburg, Munich, Ghent, Krakow and Brno. Presently, he is reading courses on general history of religion, history of writing, ethnography and ethnic history at Udmurt State University (Izhevsk), and on ethnic history, onomastics, comparative historical linguistics, uralistics and comparative mythology at Kazan Federal University. Two theses have been defended under the academic supervision of V. V. Napolskikh.

Vladimir Vladimirovich is a member of the editorial board of the “Problems of Onomastics” Journal (Moscow – Yekaterinburg), and the editorial board of the “Archaeology, Ethnology and Anthropology of Eurasia” Journal (Novosibirsk). Chief Editor of the Journal “Bulletin of the Society of History, Archaeology and Ethnography at Kazan University” (Kazan). Member of the Dissertation Council for Defense in the Field of Historical Sciences D 999.124.02 at Kazan Federal University. Expert of the Russian Science Foundation and the Russian Foundation for Basic Research.

Academic interests: history of Northern Eurasia, ethnic history of Eastern Europe, the Urals and Siberia, the Ural (Finno-Ugric and Samoyedic) languages and peoples, comparative historical linguistics, dialectology, etymology, onomatology, comparative mythology, national religion, traditional ethnography.

Main Scientific Works and Publications:


  1. The Most Ancient Stages of the Origination of Peoples from the Ural Linguistic Family: Mythological Reconstruction Data (Pra-Ural Cosmogonic Mythology) / Materials for the Series “Peoples of the USSR”. Issue 5. Peoples of the Uralic Language Family. Moscow, 1991, 189 p.
  2. Uralic original home: history of studies. A preliminary review / Udmurt Institute of History, Language and Literature, Ural Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences. Series of preprints “Scientific reports”. Issue 1. Izhevsk, 1995, 48 p.
  3. Introduction to Historical Uralistics. Izhevsk, 1997, 257 p.
  4. Udmurt materials of D.G. Messershmidt. Journal entries, December 1726, Izhevsk, 2001, 222 p.
  5. Essays on Ethnic History. Kazan, 2015, 648 p.

Editing of Collective Monographs (Chief Editor):

  1. Encyclopedia of Uralic Mythologies. Volume I. Mythology of Komi. Head of the Authoring Team N.D. Konakov. Authoring Team: Vlasov A.N., Ilyina I.V., Konakov N.D., Limerov P.F., Nesanelis D.A., Ulyashev O.I., Shabaev Yu.P., Sharapov V.E. Scientific Editor Napolskikh V.V. Moscow – Syktyvkar, 1999, 480 p., illustrated.
  2. Encyclopedia of Uralic Mythologies. Vol. III. Mythology of the Khanty. Head of the Authoring Team V.M. Kulemzin. Authoring team: V.M. Kulemzin, N.V. Lukina, Timofey Moldanov, Tatyana Moldanova. Scientific Editor V.V. Napolskikh, Tomsk, 2000, 361 p., illustrated.
  3. Encyclopedia of Uralic Mythologies. Vol. II. Mythology of the Mansi. Chief editor I.N. Gemuev. Authors: Baulo A.V., Gemuev I.N., Lyutsidarskaya A.A., Sagalaev A.M., Sokolova Z.P., Soldatova G.E. Scientific Editors Gemuev I.N., Napolskikh V.V. Novosibirsk, 2001, 195 p., illustrated.
  4. Encyclopedia of Uralic Mythologies. Vol. IV. Mythology of the Selkups. Head of the Authoring Team N.A. Tuchkova. Authors: Tuchkova N.A., Kuznetsova A.I., Kazakevich O.A., Kim-Maloney A.A., Glushkov S.V., Baidak A.V. Scientific Editor Napolskikh V.V. Tomsk, 2004, 382 p., illustrated.
  5. Konakov N. D. et al. Komi Mythology (Encyclopaedia of Uralic Mythologies, 1). Ed. by Vladimir Napolskikh, Anna-Leena Siikala, Mihály Hoppál. Budapest: Akadémiai Kiadó – Helsinki: Finnish Literature Society, 2003. 436 p.
  6. Kulemzin V. M. et al. Khanty Mythology (Encyclopaedia of Uralic Mythologies, 2). Ed. by Vladimir Napolskikh, Anna-Leena Siikala, Mihály Hoppál. Budapest: Akadémiai Kiadó – Helsinki: Finnish Literature Society, 2006. 241 p.
  7. Gemuev I. N. et al. Mansi Mythology (Encyclopaedia of Uralic Mythologies, 3). Ed. by Vladimir Napolskikh, Anna-Leena Siikala, Mihály Hoppál. Transl. by Vladimir Napolskikh. Budapest: Akadémiai Kiadó – Helsinki: Finnish Literature Society, 2008. 200 p.
  8. Tuchkova N. A. et al. Selkup Mythology (Encyclopaedia of Uralic Mythologies, 4). Ed. by Vladimir Napolskikh, Anna-Leena Siikala, Mihály Hoppál. Budapest: Akadémiai Kiadó – Helsinki: Finnish Literature Society, 2010. 320 р.

Main articles:

  1. Diving-Bird myth in Northern Eurasia // Uralic mythology and folklore (Ethnologica Uralica, 1). Ed. by M. Hoppál and J. Pentikäinen. Budapest – Helsinki, 1989. P. 105-114.
  2. Myth of the Origination of the Earth in the Pre-Ural Cosmogony: Reconstruction, Parallels, Evolution // Soviet Ethnography. Moscow, 1990, No.1, pp. 65-74.
  3. Paleo-European Substrate in the Composition of the Western Finno-Ugric Peoples // Uralo-Indogermanica. Balto-Slavic Languages and the Issue of Ural-Indo-European Relations. Conference Proceedings. Moscow, 1990, Part 2. pp. 128-134.
  4. The Issue of the formation of the Finnish-Speaking Population of Baltic States (Consideration of the Dilemmas of Finno-Ugric Prehistory) // Studies on the Ethnogenesis and Ancient History of Finnish-Speaking Peoples. Editor L.A. Nagovitsyn. Izhevsk, 1992, pp. 40-67.
  5. Proto-Uralic world picture: a reconstruction // Northern religions and shamanism (Ethnologica Uralica, 3). Ed. by M. Hoppál and J. Pentikäinen. Budapest – Helsinki, 1992. P. 3-20.
  6. Uralic background of an Udmurt sacrifice: an attempt of reading mythological texts // Northern religions and shamanism (Ethnologica Uralica,3). Ed. by M. Hoppál and J. Pentikäinen. Budapest – Helsinki, 1992. P. 26-30.
  7. Experience in the Reconstruction of the Semantics of Malta Ornithomorphic Images // Model in the Culturology of Siberia and the North. Editor A.V. Golovnev. Ekaterinburg, 1992, pp. 66-73.
  8. Uralic fish-names and original home // Ural-altaische Jahrbücher. Wiesbaden, 1993. Bd.12. P. 35-57.
  9. The Udmurt Ethnonym: Have Alternatives Been Exhausted? // Linguistica Uralica. Tallinn, 1994. Vol. 30, No.4, pp. 278-288 (co-authored by S.K. Belykh).
  10. The “Ancient Turkic” Borrowings in the Udmurt Language // Finno-Ugriс Studies. Yoshkar-Ola, 1995, No.3-4, pp. 38-51.
  11. Uralic ‘seven’ // Journal de la Société Finno-Ougrienne. Helsinki, 1995. Vol. 86. P. 119-128.
  12. Origin of the Ugric Name for Horse // Linguistica Uralica. Tallinn, 1996. Vol. 32, No. 2, pp. 116-118.
  13. Die Vorslaven im unteren Kamagebiet in der Mitte des 1. Jahrtausends unserer Zeitrechnung: Permisches Sprachmaterial // Finnisch-ugrische Mitteilungen. Hamburg, 1996. Bd. 18/19. S. 97-106.
  14. The Origins of the Names “bear” / “dragon” in the Permian Languages // Linguistica Uralica. Tallinn, 1997. Vol. 33, No.1. pp. 27-31.
  15. Origination of Substrate Paleo-European Components in the Composition of the Western Finno-Ugric Peopes // Balto-Slavic Studies of 1988-1996. Moscow, 1997, pp. 198-208.
  16. Seven Votyak charms // Folklore. Tartu, 1997. Vol. 5. P. 39-46.
  17. Origin of the Udmurt word syuan ~ Mari word sean for “wedding” (A Forgotten Etymology) // Linguistica uralica. Tallinn, 1998. Vol. 34, No. 2, pp. 128-133.
  18. History of the Ural Peoples // Acta Ethnographica Hungarica. Vol. 44:3-4. Budapest, 1999. Vol. 44:3-4. pp. 431-472.
  19. “Heidentum”, “vorchristliche Religionsglauben” oder Volksreligion? Das permische Beispiel // Congressus nonus internationalis fenno-ugristarum. Tartu, 2000. Pars III. S. 387-388.
  20. Symposium “Contacts between the Speakers of Indo-European and Uralic Languages in the Neolithic, Eneolithic and Bronze Age (7000-1000 B.C.) in the Light of Linguistic and Archaeological Data” (Tvärmine, 1999) // Russian Archaeology. Moscow, 2000, No.4, pp. 224-232 (co-authored by A.V. Engovatova).
  21. Zu den Benennungen des Honigs in den finnisch-ugrischen Sprachen // Ural-altaische Jahrbücher. Wiesbaden, 2000. Bd. 16. S. 129-138.
  22. “The Ugric-Samoyedic Peoples” in Eastern Europe // Archaeology, Ethnology and Anthropology of Eurasia. Novosibirsk, 2001, No. 1 (5), pp. 113-126.
  23. The Issue of the Dialectal Base of the Udmurt Dictionlary by Philip Johan von Strahlenberg // Linguistica Uralica. Vol. 38, No.1. Tallinn, 2002. pp. 33-49.
  24. Tocharisch-uralische Berührungen: Sprache und Archaologie // Early contacts between Uralic and Indo-European: Linguistic and Archaeological Considerations / Mémoires de la Société Finno-Ougrienne. Helsinki, 2001. Vol. 242. S. 367-383.
  25. “Ugro-Samoyeds” in Eastern Europe? // Finnisch-ugrische Mitteilungen. Hamburg, 2002. Bd. 24/25. S. 127-148.
  26. Zu den ältesten Beziehungen zwischen Finno-Ugriern und zentraleuropäischen Indogermanen // Finno-Ugrians and Indo-Europeans: linguistic and literary contacts. Proceedings of the Symposium at the University of Groningen, November 22-24, 2001. Ed. by Rogier Blokland, Cornelius Hasselblatt / Studia Fenno-Ugrica Groningana, 2. Maastricht, 2002. S. 265-271.
  27. Materials by D.G. Messerschmidt on the Udmurts and the Origin of the Udmurt Word for “wife” // Linguistica uralica. Tallinn, 2002. Vol. 38, No.3. pp. 176-181.
  28. Prehistory of the Peoples of the Uralic Language Family // The History of the Tatars since Ancient Times in seven volumes. Vol.1. Peoples of Steppe Eurasia in Antiquity. Editor S.G. Klyashtorny. Kazan, 2002, pp. 195-203.
  29. On the literary sources of M. G. Khudiakov’s Song of Udmurt Heroes // Dynamics of tradition. Perspectives on oral poetry and folk belief. Essays in honour of Anna-Leena Siikala on her 60th birthday 1st January 2003. Ed. by Lotte Tarkka / Studia Fennica Folkloristica, 13. Helsinki, 2003. P. 280-288.
  30. Uralic Numerals: is the evolution of numeral system reconstructable? (Reading new Václav Blažek’s book on numerals in Eurasia) // Linguistica uralica. Tallinn, 2003. Vol. 39, No.1. P. 43-54.
  31. Reading of the So-Called “Khazar’s Inscription” in the Kiev Letter // Golb N., Pritsak O. Khazar-Jewish documents of the 10th Century. Scientific editor V.Ya. Petrukhin. 2nd edition. Jerusalem, 5763 – Moscow, 2003, pp. 221-225.
  32. Der Name der Vepsen und frühere Berührungen zwischen Germanen, Lappen und Ostseefinnen // Artes et scientiae. Festschrift für Ralf-Peter Ritter zum 65. Geburtstag. Hrsg. von Peter Anreiter, Marialuise Haslinger, Heinz Dieter Pohl. Wien, 2004. S. 307-314.
  33. Yogra. (Early Ob-Ugro-Perm Contacts and Ethnonymy) // Anthropological Forum. No. 3. Saint Petersburg, 2005, pp. 240-268.
  34. Bolgar Period in the History of the Finno-Ugric Peoples of the Volga Region and the Cis-Urals // The History of the Tatars since Ancient Times in seven volumes. Volume 2. Volga Bolgaria and the Great Steppe. Kazan, 2006, pp. 100-115.
  35. From the Modern Quack Practices of the Udmurt People // Living Antiquity, No. 2, Moscow, 2006, pp. 26-28.
  36. Balto-Slavic Language Component in the Lower Kama Region in the mid-1st Millennium A.D. // Slavyanovedenie, No. 2, Moscow, 2006, pp. 13-19.
  37. Vyatka, Dzulman, Yugra and Siberia in an Arabic Source of the First Half of the 14th c. // Problems of Onomastics. Number 3. Ekaterinburg, 2006, pp. 65-75.
  38. The Origin of the Self-Given Name of the Vepsians in the Context of the Ethnic History of the Eastern Baltics // Problems of Onomastics, No. 4, Ekaterinburg, 2007, pp. 28-33.
  39. The Reconstruction of the Linguistic Map of the Center of European Russia in the Early Iron Age // Art. No.4. Syktyvkar, 2007, pp. 88-127.
  40. Batyr Pezdet: Who is Who? // Bricks: Cultural Anthropology and Folkloristics Today: Collection in Honor of the 65th Anniversary of Sergei Yuryevich Neklyudov. Moscow, 2008, pp. 29-44.
  41. The Possible Origins of the Use of Certain Hallucinogens in Eurasia (the Trans-Eurasian name for “Amanita”) // Folk Medicine in the System of Cultural Adaptation of the Population of the European North: Results and Prospects of Interdisciplinary Studies. Editor I.V. Ilyina. Syktyvkar, 2008, pp. 49-59.
  42. Centaur ~ gandharva ~ dragon ~ bear: Evolution of a Mythological Image in Northern Eurasia // Nartamongæ. The Journal of Alano-Ossetic Studies. Vol. 5, No.1-2, Vladikavkaz – Paris, 2008, pp. 43-63.
  43. Perm-Ugric Relationships on the Basis of Language Information and the Problem of the Boundaries of the Ugric Participation in the Ethnic History of the Pre-Urals // Issues of the Archaeology of the Urals, Issue 25. Ekaterinburg – Surgut, 2008, pp. 14-25.
  44. The Motif of Earth Diving in the Balkan-Slavic Apocryphal Tradition and the Early History of the Slavs // Ethnology and Space. Part 2. Sofia, 2008, pp. 109-115.
  45. Über die Herkunft der Benennungen ‘Silber’ und ‘Blei / Zinn’ in den permischen Sprachen // Gedenkschrift für Eugen A. Helimski. Hrsg. von Valentin Ju. Gusev und Anna Widmer (Finnisch-Ugrische Mitteilungen, Band 32/33, Jahrgang 2008/2009). Hamburg, 2010. S. 447-460.
  46. The Issue of Reconstruction of Udmurt Epic Tradition // Poetics of Tradition. Editor Ya.V. Vasilkov, M.L. Kisilier. Saint Petersburg, 2010, pp. 208-230.
  47. The Initial Stages of the Ethnic History of Komi // Art, No.2, Syktyvkar, 2010, pp. 10-22.
  48. Ural-Aryan Relations: History of Studies, New Solutions and Problems // Indo-European History in the Light of New Studies. (Collected works of the Conference dedicated to the memory of Prof. V.A. Safronov). Moscow, 2010, pp. 231-244.
  49. The Myth of Earth Diving (A812) in Northern Eurasia and North America: Twenty Years Later // “Not for curiosity, but for knowledge…” The 75th Anniversary of Yuri Borisovich Simchenko. Editor N.A. Dubova, Yu.A. Kvashnin. Moscow, 2011, pp. 215-272.
  50. Issues of Creating a University Textbook on Ethnography (Reflections on the Book: Basics of Ethnology: Study Guide. Editor Prof. V.V. Pimenov. Moscow: Moscow State University, 2007, 696 p.) // Etnograficheskoe obozrenie, No.6, Moscow, 2011, pp. 159-177.
  51. “The List of Peoples of Ermanaric” – the Gothic Route from Ladoga to Kuban // Ural Historical Bulletin, No. 2 (35). Ekaterinburg, 2012, pp. 20-30.
  52. Sources of Oriental Silver in the Folklore Vocabulary of the Ob-Ugric Languages // Language and Past of the People. Collection of scientific articles in memory of Prof. A.K. Matveev, Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Honored Worker of Science of the Russian Federation. Ekaterinburg, 2012, pp. 393-403.
  53. Reconstruction of Numerals and Reconstruction of Numbering Systems: Uralic Languages // Numbers in the Culture System: Collection of Articles / Compiler M.V. Akhmetova. Moscow: Russian State University for the Humanities, 2012, pp. 197-219.
  54. The Mythology of the World Tree and the Mythology of the Peoples of the Ural Language Family // Etnograficheskoe obozrenie, No. 6, Moscow, 2012, pp. 19-28
  55. The Earth-Diver myth (A812) in Northern Eurasia and North America: twenty years later // Mythic Discourses. Studies in Uralic Traditions. Ed. by Frog, Anna-Leena Siikala, Eila Stepanova / Studia Fennica Folkloristica, 20. Helsinki, 2012. P. 120-140.
  56. Bodun – Commemorative Holiday in the Lower Vyatka Region // Living Antiquity, No. 2 (78). Moscow 2013, p. 3-7.
  57. The Issue of the Beginning of Finno-Ugric-Iranian Contacts // Ananyino World: Sources, Development, Relations, Historical Fates / Archaeology of the Eurasian Steppes. Issue 20. Kazan, 2014, pp. 76-89.
  58. The Methods and Frameworks of Comparative Mythological Reconstructions // Etnograficheskoe obozrenie, No. 3, Moscow, 2014, pp. 22-25.
  59. “Pre-Academic” Period of the Scientific Research of Siberia: Daniel Gottlieb Messerschmidt and Philip Johann Tabbert von Stratenberg // Proceedings of the Division of Historical and Philological Sciences of the Russian Academy of Sciences. 2014. Moscow, 2015, pp. 69-85.
  60. The Methodology of Paleohistorical Reconstructions // The Volga River Region Archaeology, No.4, Kazan, 2015, pp. 235-265.
  61. The origin of the Names for Salt in the Finno-Permic Languages // Linguistica uralica. Vol. 51, No.3, Tallinn, 2015. pp. 161-176.
  62. Ermanarichs arctoi gentes (Jordanes «Getica», 116): Versuch einer Interpretation // Ancient Civilizations from Scythia to Siberia. An International Journal of Comparative Studies in History and Archaeology. Ed. by G. Gnoli and A. Ivantchik. Vol. 22:1. Leiden: Brill, 2016. S. 26-54.
  63. Breakthrough in the Study of the Merya Problem // Problems of Onomastics, No. 2, Yekaterinburg, 2016, pp. 177-189.
  64. The “Beast Sharabha” and the Problems of Indo-Aryan Prehistory // Etnograficheskoe Obozrenie, No.4, Moscow, 2017, pp. 13-23.