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On December 28, Vasily Ivanovich Abayev turned 100 years old. Probably, none of the readers of our journal needs to be reminded of its role in the development of Russian science. Almost all the Iranian scientists who have worked in our country over the past 50 years have been his students to one degree or another. His contribution to the study of the language and culture of the ancient Scythians and Sarmatians, medieval Alans and modern Ossetians is invaluable. His work in this area

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These areas are important not only for Iranian studies or even Indo-European studies, but are also exemplary in methodological terms for this branch of science as a whole. V. I. Abayev's works devoted to the culture of ancient Iranian peoples, primarily Scythians, show how great a role linguistics can play in reconstructing the culture of ancient, including non-literate, peoples, as well as their ethnogenesis.

Probably, the main work of V.I. Abaev's life is the five-volume "Historical and etymological Dictionary of the Ossetian language", the first volume of which was published in 1958, and the last volume containing corrections, additions and indexes - in 1995. This dictionary is unique in the world of science. It, like any traditional etymological dictionary, includes information about the origin and history of the words of the language. But in addition, the dictionary contains numerous information about the customs, beliefs, holidays and other elements of Ossetian traditional culture, making it a real encyclopedia. Such an encyclopedia is invaluable for the national consciousness, it helps to save at least partially from oblivion the culture of the Ossetian mountaineers, which, like any traditional culture in our century, is inevitably lost with the disappearance of traditional life. V. I. Abaev's dictionary is also unique because it combines two points of view that rarely come together. The author himself belongs to the Ossetian culture and probably knows and feels it better than all his contemporaries. However, this view from the inside is combined with the view of an objective and impartial scholar of the highest class, who considers the Ossetian language and culture as if from the outside, in the general Indo-European context (the dictionary uses material from about 190 languages and dialects of the world). Thanks to such a rare combination, Abaev's dictionary has become not only a reference book for every educated Ossetian and anyone interested in Ossetian culture, but also an outstanding phenomenon in world science. No scientist who is seriously engaged in Indo-European, and even more so Indo-Iranian languages and cultures, can do without it.

In addition to the "Historical and Etymological Dictionary", Abayev also wrote about 300 works in various fields of linguistics, philology, folklore studies and history, which are highly appreciated by his colleagues. For historians of antiquity, his works on the reconstruction of Scythian-Sarmatian dialects are of particular importance. Here we should mention, first of all, the work "Scythian language" published in 1949 (as part of the book "Ossetian Language and Folklore", reprinted in 1979 under the title "Scythian-Sarmatian dialects" in the book " Fundamentals of Iranian Linguistics. Ancient Iranian languages"), in which, following V. F. Miller and M. Fasmer, V. I. Abaev collected and analyzed all the material preserved in ancient texts (especially Greek inscriptions of the Black Sea region), which makes it possible to reconstruct the vocabulary of the language of the ancient Scythians and Sarmatians, as well as a number of features of its phonetics and grammatical structure. The book " Scythian-European isoglosses. At the junction of East and West " (1965). These, as well as other works by V. I. Abaev on Scythian-Sarmatian problems, remain the reference books of all Scythologists.

V.I. Abaev is not only an excellent scientist. For his contemporaries, he is a model of personal decency. V. I. Abayev was not a dissident, he did not fight the totalitarian regime - he ignored it. Fear, the main weapon of this regime, was alien to him, and strong ideas of morality allowed him to maintain internal independence in the most difficult circumstances. He never aspired to become part of any hierarchical structure, including the academic hierarchy. V. I. Abaev once remarked that it gave him great satisfaction to think that in his entire life he had achieved a certain title or position only once: in 1922-the title of a student at the Petrograd University. Both Ph. D. and Ph. D. degrees were awarded to V. I. Abayev without defending his dissertation-a unique case in Russian science. V. I. Abayev has repeatedly said that efforts aimed at achieving external success, material well-being or career growth are nothing more than unnecessary vanity and that the secret of his longevity is that that he always tried to live without fuss. It is thanks to this nonsensical, full of scientific creativity life of V. I. Abaev became not only the patriarch of the Russian science of antiquity, but also the highest moral authority for several generations of the Russian intelligentsia.

The editorial board and editorial board of the journal, numerous students of V. I. Abaev and fans of his scientific and human talents cordially congratulate Vasily Ivanovich on his centenary. We all hope that we will have a happy opportunity to congratulate him on his anniversary more than once on these pages.


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DEDICATED TO THE 100TH ANNIVERSARY OF VASILY IVANOVICH ABAYEV // Delhi: India (ELIB.ORG.IN). Updated: 17.06.2024. URL: https://elib.org.in/m/articles/view/DEDICATED-TO-THE-100TH-ANNIVERSARY-OF-VASILY-IVANOVICH-ABAYEV (date of access: 16.07.2024).

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