Boldyrev Alexander (1896–1941) – philologist, specialist in Classical literature, translator.
In 1914, after graduating with a gold medal from the Petrishule in St. Petersburg, he entered the Classical Department of the Historical and Philological Faculty of the St. Petersburg University, where he studied at the courses of F.F. Zelinsky, S.A. Zhebelev, M.I. Rostovtsev, B.V. Farmakovsky, and A.I. Maleina. In 1916, interrupting his studies at the university, he graduated from the accelerated officer courses of the Corps of Pages and went to the front, where he served in the artillery as a battery commander until the spring of 1918.
In the autumn of 1918, B. continued his studies at the University of Perm, where he studied under the supervision of B.L. Bogayevsky and B.V. Kazansky. Then, after spending some time at the Saratov University, in 1921, he returned to the Petrograd University, from which he graduated in the spring of 1922.
In 1922 – 1928, hewas a member of an informal circle gathered for reading and translating ancient Greek authors (ABDEM, named after the first letters of the names or surnames of its members (Alexander Boldyrev, Aristide Dovatur, Andrey Egunov, Andrey Mikhankov). The result of the collective work was the translation of the novel by Achilles Tatius ‘Leucippus and Clitophon’, which was published in Moscow in 1925, with an introduction by B.
In 1928, for the participation in that circle, B. was accused in anti-Soviet activities. In 1929, he was sentenced to five years in prison, which he spent in Solovki and in exile. In 1937, he was arrested again, but soon released.
He was admitted to the Department of Classical Philology of the Leningrad State University as Ass. Professor.
From the first days of the WWII, he was in Leningrad, participated in the air defense of the Leningrad University. He died in the blockaded city on December 25, 1941.
Besides the translation of ancient authors (Plato, Plutarch, Achilles Tatius, etc.), he prepared and published a translation from the book by A. Chamisso ‘The Amazing Story of Peter Schlemil’ (Leningrad, 1936). In 1940, together with Ya.M. Borovsky, he prepared the manual ‘Latin Language’ for students, which was reprinted many times.
In the field of the history of religion, the article by B. ‘The Religion of Ancient Greek Mariners: An Attempt of Shaping a Professional Religion’ (1926) is of special importance.