A guardian of history. Andrey Lvovich Fedorin’s 70th Birthday

Full Text


On August 5, 2022, Andrey Lvovich Fedorin, a researcher of the Center for Vietnam and ASEAN Studies of the RAS Institute of China and Contemporary Asia, turned 70 years old.

There are three periods in A.L. Fedorin’s life: public service, teaching, and academic work, i.e., studying history of Vietnam he is passionately devoted to. In 1974 Andrey Lvovich graduated from the Institute of Asian and African Countries at Moscow Lomonosov State University and left for Vietnam to get acquainted with the country after five years of learning its language, history and culture. Fedorin’s long-term trips to Vietnam have taken about fifteen years in total. He was the third secretary of the USSR Embassy, a consul of the USSR/Russia Consulate-General in Ho Chi Minh City, the manager of “The Russian Credit” Bank’s representative office.

The second period of A.L. Fedorin’s life began in 1995: he was the rector of the Institute of Practical Oriental Studies (IPOS) established in 1993, the only non-state university for Oriental studies. The necessity of its establishment was dictated by the demands of the time: transformations in Russia, intensification of Russia’s contacts with Oriental countries, the rapid growth of joint ventures which showed an acute shortage of specialists in Oriental studies. The teaching level at the IPOS was very high. The rector recruited teachers from the Institute of Asian and African Countries, who taught Oriental languages to the students of the new institute, using the university curriculum. The IPOS conducted an active scientific work and publishing. For twenty years the IPOS has produced a large group of specialists in Oriental languages. Now many of them work successfully in the spheres of science, expert examination and diplomacy. Andrey Lvovich taught Vietnam’s ancient and medieval history, his favorite subject, in the IPOS, RGGU and the Institute of Asian and African Countries. When the IPOS had been closed as an independent institution and became the Faculty of Oriental Studies of Moscow International Academy, A.L. Fedorin was the Dean of the Faculty in 2015 – 2019.

Since 2020 Andrey L’vovich has been a researcher at the RAS Institute for Far Eastern Studies, but he does academic research all his life. D.V. Deopik, an outstanding teacher and historian, “infected” Andrey Fedorin, then a first-year student of the Institute of Asian and African Countries (the former Institute of Oriental Languages), with history. In Vietnam Andrey Lvovich worked in archives for months. He created a large library including numerous photocopies of ancient and medieval manuscripts and books. In 1993 he defended his dissertation for the Candidate of Sciences degree (History) with the theme «The Vietnamese Epigraphy as a Historical Source for the Late Middle Ages and the Modern Period”. In 2010 he defended the dissertation for the Doctor of Sciences degree (History) with the theme “The History of Creation and Existence of “Dai Viet su ky toan thu” (“The Complete Annals of Dai Viet”), the Main Source for Ancient and Medieval History of Vietnam”.

The idea to translate “Dai Viet su ky toan thu” which covers the period from the era of the Hungs to the 17th cent. A.D. from Han Viet into Russian emerged in the Center for Vietnam Studies of the Institute of Asian and African Countries in the late 90s. A team of talented researchers, D.V. Deopik’s pupils, took the job. The first volume of the eight-volume edition was issued in the prestigious series “Written Monuments of the East” in 2002, the last one has appeared in 2022. From the fourth volume the preparatory work (the translation from Han Viet, commentaries etc. have been done exclusively by A.L. Fedorin). During the latest ten years, being the project leader and executor, he has received eight grants for research and publishing from RHSF and RFBR.

It is hard to imagine the scope of the work. “Beside the translation of the text, there are numerous appendices in every volume”, A.L. Fedorin says, “I tried and found everything in Chinese literature on Vietnam’s history of the period. The commentaries take the lion’s share of the edition. Thus, in the eighth volume they take 42 of 45 copyright sheets. There are commentaries to every term, geographical name, and general commentaries to the text. I did my best to make them as detailed and authentic as possible. I enjoyed the work, because I am fond of it.” Love for his profession is the secret of forces and inspiration that let A.L. Fedorin raise the project block.

The Russian translation of “Dai Viet su ky toan thu” with appendices and commentaries is the first translation of the Vietnamese chronicle into the foreign language. This fundamental work is of an invaluable importance both for Russian and world Vietnam studies and for training Vietnam specialists. While working at the translation and commentaries of “The Complete Annals of Dai Viet”, A.L. Fedorin have published a number of the most interesting articles on different aspects of the life in medieval Vietnam. Now he is the leading specialist in this period of Vietnam’s history.

Now A.L. Fedorin is busy with the translation of the continuation of “Dai Viet su ky toan thu” covering the period from 1675 to the end of the 18th century. This chronicle was destroyed by the ruling Nguyen House; there are but fragments left. The scholar has collected them and is reconstructing the lost fragments. This is a much more complicated task, but also a much more interesting one.

The Editorial Board of “The Russian Journal of Vietnamese Studies” wishes many happy returns of the day and new successful discoveries of the mysteries of Vietnam’s history to the outstanding scholar and teacher!



Supplementary files

Supplementary Files
1. Fig. 1

Download (1MB)

Copyright (c) 2022 Editorial B.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

This website uses cookies

You consent to our cookies if you continue to use our website.

About Cookies