Popov Mikhail (1742 ‒ nr.1790) – writer, translator, folklorist.
Disciple of the founder of the Russian Drama theatre F. G. Volkov. Since 1765, he studied at the Moscow University; worked as Secretary of the Commission for Composing a Project of the New Ulozjenie (Code). In 1769, he got the lowest official rank of Collegiate Registrar; in 1776, he became District Secretary (two step higher rank).
He translated ‘The Adventures of Telemachus’ by Fenelon (under the title ‘Aristonoevy prikliucheniya’), ‘Le Barbier de Seville’ by Beaumarchais, ‘Gerusalemme Liberata’ by Tasso, Voltaire’s fables, and Persian fairy-tales from French into Russian. In 1770-1774, together with M. D. Chulkov, he prepared and published several issues of folk songs.
In 1768, in St. Petersburg, he published ‘A Description of Ancient Slavic Pagan Fables Collected from Various Writers, and Commented’; in fact, it was a kind of mythological lexicon. In 1772, in the book ‘Leisure, or a Collection of Compositions and Translations by Mikhail Popov’ he published a corrected variant of the same lexicon under the title ‘A Short Description of Ancient Slavic Pagan Fables Collected from Various Writers, and Commented, Placed in the Alphabetic Order’. According a popular tradition of his time to rationalize the mythology, he explained the origin of the gods names in the euhemeric way. He compared Slavic gods with gods of other mythologies, Greek and Roman first of all.