Rizhsky Mikhail (1911–2000) – Biblical historian, specialist in the history of the Ancient World, archeologist.
He was born in a religious Jewish family; he got the primary education in kheder. In 1928, he finished Soviet secondary school (10 years), after it he worked as miner in Donbas, as worker at the Nevsky Engineering Lenin Plant in Leningrad. In 1931-1933, he studied at the Leningrad Physical and Mathematical Institute, then was mobilized and till 1935 served in the Army at the Far East. After the demobilization, he entered the second year of the Physical and Mathematical Faculty of the Moscow State University by correspondence; in 1936, he transferred at the second year of the Historical Faculty of the Moscow State University, and graduated from it with honors in 1941.
In 1941-1945, he was in the Army at the front of the WWII; he was awarded with the Order of the ‘Patriotic War’.
In 1946, he taught at the Moscow State University, and at the Moscow Teachers-Training Institute. In 1950, he defended his Candidate thesis on agronomical literature of Ancient Rome. In 1950, he was sent to work at the Chita Teachers-Training Institute, where he headed the Chair of the World History.
Since 1952, he actively participated in Siberian archeological excavations. Together with famous researcher A. P. Okladnikov, he has worked in that field for ten years. As a result he wrote series of research and popular books: ‘Antiquities of Transbaikalia’ (Chita, 1962), ‘From the Deep of Centuries: Archeologist’s Narrations on Ancient Transbaikalia’ (Irkutsk, 1965), ‘Archeology of Transbaikalia’ (Chita, 1973), and a cycle of essays on the archeology of Transbaikalia for the multi-volumed collective work ‘The History of Siberia’.
In 1962, he started to teach Latin and the History of the Ancient World at the Novosibirsk State University. Since 1980-s, he put more and more attention to the Biblical studies.