Denis Davydov

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Denis Davydov
Davydov by George Dawe
Born27 July 1784
Moscow, Russia
Died4 May 1839 (aged 54)
Known for Hussar poetry
Denis Davydov avtograf.svg

Denis Vasilyevich Davydov (Russian :Дени́с Васи́льевич Давы́дов,IPA:  [dʲɪˈnʲis vɐˈsʲilʲjɪvʲɪtɕ dɐˈvɨdəf] ( Loudspeaker.svg listen ); 27 July [ O.S. 16 July] 17844 May [ O.S. 22 April] 1839) was a Russian soldier-poet of the Napoleonic Wars who invented the genre of hussar poetry, characterised by hedonism and bravado. He used events from his own life to illustrate such poetry.

Russian language East Slavic language

Russian is an East Slavic language, which is official in the Russian Federation, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, as well as being widely used throughout Eastern Europe, the Baltic states, the Caucasus and Central Asia. It was the de facto language of the Soviet Union until its dissolution on 25 December 1991. Although nearly three decades have passed since the breakup of the Soviet Union, Russian is used in official capacity or in public life in all the post-Soviet nation-states, as well as in Israel and Mongolia.

Old Style and New Style dates 16th-century changes in calendar conventions

Old Style (O.S.) and New Style (N.S.) are terms sometimes used with dates to indicate that the calendar convention used at the time described is different from that in use at the time the document was being written. There were two calendar changes in Great Britain and its colonies, which may sometimes complicate matters: the first was to change the start of the year from Lady Day to 1 January; the second was to discard the Julian calendar in favour of the Gregorian calendar. Closely related is the custom of dual dating, where writers gave two consecutive years to reflect differences in the starting date of the year, or to include both the Julian and Gregorian dates.

Napoleonic Wars Series of early 19th century European wars

The Napoleonic Wars (1803–1815) were a series of major conflicts pitting the French Empire and its allies, led by Napoleon I, against a fluctuating array of European powers formed into various coalitions, financed and usually led by the United Kingdom. The wars stemmed from the unresolved disputes associated with the French Revolution and its resultant conflict. The wars are often categorised into five conflicts, each termed after the coalition that fought Napoleon: the Third Coalition (1805), the Fourth (1806–07), the Fifth (1809), the Sixth (1813), and the Seventh (1815).



Davydov stemmed from a family of Russian nobility with Tatar roots. [1] [2] After gaining celebrity as a guerrilla leader in the Russian Patriotic War, he became one of the most popular men in the country. Young men of Pushkin's circle viewed him as a model romantic hero and the Decembrists prized his company as well.

Russian nobility privileged social class in the Russian Empire

The Russian nobility originated in the 14th century. In 1914 it consisted of approximately 1,900,000 members.

The Tatars are a Turkic-speaking people living mainly in Russia and other Post-Soviet countries. The name Tatar first appears in written form on the Kul Tigin monument as 𐱃𐱃𐰺 (Ta-tar). Historically, the term Tatars was applied to anyone originating from the vast Northern and Central Asian landmass then known as the Tartary, which was dominated by various mostly Turco-Mongol semi-nomadic empires and kingdoms. More recently, however, the term refers more narrowly to people who speak one of the Turkic languages.

The Romantic hero is a literary archetype referring to a character that rejects established norms and conventions, has been rejected by society, and has their-selves as the center of their own existence. The Romantic hero is often the protagonist in a literary work, and the primary focus is on the character's thoughts rather than their actions.

Davydov's poems were admired by Vissarion Belinsky for their organic quality and "Russianness". Alexander Pushkin had a high opinion of his poetry and said that Davydov had showed him the way to be original. [3] His poems address such themes as courage in battle, harlots, vodka, and the value of true friendship. In them he sings the praise of reckless valor, on the field of battle as well as before the bottle. His later poems were inspired by a late love for a very young girl.

Vissarion Belinsky Russian literary critic

Vissarion Grigoryevich Belinsky was a Russian literary critic of Westernizing tendency. Belinsky played one of the key roles in the career of poet and publisher Nikolay Nekrasov and his popular magazine Sovremennik.

Alexander Pushkin Russian poet

Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin was a Russian poet, playwright, and novelist of the Romantic era who is considered by many to be the greatest Russian poet and the founder of modern Russian literature.

The diction in some of his poems is considered unconventional,[ by whom? ] and occasionally his words have to be replaced by dots,[ clarification needed ]. Besides hussar poetry, his works included the anti-absolutism poem 'Head and Feet'. He wrote an Essay towards a Theory of Guerilla Warfare (1821) and Some events from the life of Denis Vasilievich Davydov, a series of recollections on military life, used by Leo Tolstoy in writing War and Peace .[ citation needed ] According to D.S. Mirsky, "in his autobiography he indulges in a veritable orgy of puns and jokes not always in the best of taste. His military writings are fresh, vigorous, and racy; and his memoirs contain some of the best military reading in the language". [4]

Leo Tolstoy Russian writer, author of War and Peace and Anna Karenina

Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy, usually referred to in English as Leo Tolstoy, was a Russian writer who is regarded as one of the greatest authors of all time. He received multiple nominations for Nobel Prize in Literature every year from 1902 to 1906, and nominations for Nobel Peace Prize in 1901, 1902 and 1910, and his miss of the prize is a major Nobel prize controversy.

<i>War and Peace</i> 1869 novel by Leo Tolstoy

War and Peace is a novel by the Russian author Leo Tolstoy. It is regarded as a central work of world literature and one of Tolstoy's finest literary achievements.

Davydov fought in the Russo-Iranian War of 1826-1828. [5] His grave, with his statue above it, is situated next to the exit door of the katholikon of the Novodevichy Convent.

Katholikon primary church in an Orthodox or Eastern Catholic monastery

A katholikon or catholicon or sobor refers to one of three things in the Eastern Orthodox Church:

Novodevichy Convent Monastery in Moscow, Russia

Novodevichy Convent, also known as Bogoroditse-Smolensky Monastery, is probably the best-known cloister of Moscow. Its name, sometimes translated as the New Maidens' Monastery, was devised to differ from the Old Maidens' Monastery within the Moscow Kremlin. Unlike other Moscow cloisters, it has remained virtually intact since the 17th century. In 2004, it was proclaimed a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


Aeroflot Boeing 777-300ER D. Davydov at John F. Kennedy Intl Airport in NYC bound for departure to Moscow's Sheremetyevo Intl Airport Aeroflot Boeing 777-300ER D. Davydov.jpg
Aeroflot Boeing 777-300ER D. Davydov at John F. Kennedy Intl Airport in NYC bound for departure to Moscow's Sheremetyevo Intl Airport

A Boeing 777-300ER operated by Russia's national airline Aeroflot is named "D. Davydov" as part of a tradition in naming their fleet after historical Russian figures. The name is printed as part of the aircraft's nose art.

A flag carrier is a transportation company, such as an airline or shipping company, that, being locally registered in a given sovereign state, enjoys preferential rights or privileges accorded by the government for international operations. The term also refers to any carrier that is or was owned by a government, even long after their privatization when preferential rights or privileges continue.

PJSC Aeroflot – Russian Airlines, commonly known as Aeroflot, is the flag carrier and largest airline of the Russian Federation. The carrier is an open joint stock company that operates domestic and international passenger and services, mainly from its hub at Sheremetyevo International Airport.

Nose art art genre

Nose art is a decorative painting or design on the fuselage of an aircraft, usually on the front fuselage.

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  1. Sara Dickinson, Breaking Ground: Travel and National Culture in Russia from Peter I to the Era of Pushkin, Rodopi (2006), p. 164.
  2. Stefan Berger & Alexei Miller, Nationalizing Empires, Central European University Press (2015), p. 312.
  3. Mirsky, p. 82.
  4. Mirsky, p. 118.
  5. Avery, Hambly & Melville 1991, p. 337.


Further reading

Books by Davydov