Rybakov Boris (1908—2001) – archaeologist, historian, Academic of the Ac. of Sc. of the U.S.S.R. (1958), administrator of research work, social figure.
Candidate thesis ‘Radimichi’ (1939). Doctor thesis ‘Crafts of the Old Rus’ (1942).
In 1921, he finished the school. In 1924, he entered the Historical and Ethnological Faculty of the Moscow State University. After the graduating from the University (1929), he took part in archaeological excavations, taught, made research works: he worked at the Museum in Aleksandrov, at the State Historical Museum (1936—1940), at the State Academy of the History of Material Culture (1943-1950). He was the head of a sector at the Institute of Ethnography of the Ac. of Sc. of the U.S.S.R. (1944—1946). Dean of the Historical Faculty of the Moscow State University (1950—1952). Director of the Institute of Archaeology of the Ac. of Sc. of the U.S.S.R. (1956—1987). Director of the Institute of History of the Ac. of Sc. of the U.S.S.R. (1968—1970).
The main field of his research interests was connected with the history of Eastern Slavs and Old Rus’, the history of Old Russian culture and religion, the epos of Eastern Slavs. In his books ‘Paganism of Old Slavs’ and ‘Paganism of Old Rus’, R. tried to argue that pre-Christian beliefs of Eastern Slavs formed a whole developed religious system, where certain periods could be observed, and in the frames of which there was a common pantheon of gods headed with Rod (Genus). That concept was numerously under professional criticism, because there are no real traces of such system, as well as no information of existing of such god as Rod.
Critics also noted that legitimization of the so called ‘hypoleptic scheme’ (term by Ya.S. Lurie) of research by R., where the priority was not on the facts, but on some hypothetic guesses, indirectly led to the growth of pseudo-scholarly texts with fantastic reconstructions of pre-Christian beliefs of various peoples of Eurasia.