Alexander Dubyanskiy

Alexander Dubiansky
Dubyanskiy in 2008
Born(1941-04-27)27 April 1941
Died18 November 2020(2020-11-18) (aged 79)
Moscow, Russia
EducationInstitute of Asian and African Countries
Alma materMoscow State University
University of Madras
OccupationScholar, writer
Known forReviving Tamil language scholarship in Russia after the Soviet era
Notable work
Ritual and Mythological Sources of the Early Tamil Poetry

Alexander Mikhailovitch Dubiansky, also spelt Alexander Dubianskiy, Alexander Dubyanskiy, or Aleksandr Dubiansky (Russian: Алекса́ндр Миха́йлович Дубя́нский, Tamil: அலெக்சாண்டர் மிகைலொவிச் துபியான்சுகி, 27 April 1941 – 18 November 2020), was a Russian Tamil scholar, university professor, linguist, and writer.[1] During his lifetime, he was accred and acknowledged for his valuable contributions towards the revival of Tamil language scholarship in Russia, especially after the downfall of Soviet Union.[2]


Alexander Dubyanskiy was born in Moscow in 1941 and served in the Soviet Army. He afterwards attended Moscow State University's Institute of Oriental Languages, specialising in Tamil. After completing his degree, Dubyanskiy remained with the institute as a post-graduate student. He became a lecturer in 1973, later progressed to senior lecturer and then associate professor. His PhD thesis was on ancient Tamil poetry; he developed it into a book published in English.[1]

Dubyanskiy went to India for the first time in 1978 and carried out research into the Tamil language at the University of Madras for a period of nine months.[3] He continued his interest in learning Tamil in the post-Soviet era. Dubyanskiy was fluent in the language, and also an expert in Tamil literature and Indian culture.[4][5] He taught the Tamil language for nearly 50 years at various universities in Russia.[4]

Dubyanskiy published more than 100 works, largely on the Tamil language.[3] He also notably published a book titled Ritual and Mythological Sources of the Early Tamil Poetry in 2000, discussing rituals and customs of ancient Sangam literature.[6][7] Dubyanskiy befriended fellow Tamil scholars and writers, including D. Jayakanthan, Sivathampi and Vairamuthu.[8]

Dubyanskiy received widespread media attention in India after presenting two papers consisting of essays on two popular historical Tamil novels (Tolkappiyam and Silapathikaram) during the 2010 World Classical Tamil Conference in Coimbatore.[8] During the conference, he spoke against claims that Tolkappiyam was dependent on Sanskrit sources, and explained how his research showed it to be an original work.[9]


Dubyanskiy died on 18 November 2020 at the age of 79 in Moscow from COVID-19 complications.[8][10]


  1. ^ a b "Скончался Александр Михайлович Дубянский". Retrieved 19 November 2020.
  2. ^ "Alexander Dubyanskiy மறைவு – யார் இவர்? பின்னணி என்ன? – YouTube". YouTube. BBC News Tamil. Retrieved 19 November 2020.
  3. ^ a b Reporter, Staff (22 June 2010). "“Tamil has gravity of expression not found in any language". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 19 November 2020.
  4. ^ a b "Russian scholar Alexander Dubiansky, who taught Tamil for nearly 50 years, passes away – The New Indian Express". Retrieved 19 November 2020.
  5. ^ "ரஷ்ய நாட்டை சேர்ந்த தமிழ் அறிஞர் அலெக்சாண்டர் துபியான்சுகி கொரோனா காரணமாக சிகிச்சை பலனின்றி உயிரிழப்பு". Retrieved 21 November 2020.
  6. ^ Monius, Anne E. (2002). "Ritual and Mythological Sources of the Early Tamil Poetry. By Alexander M. Dubianskii. Groningen: Egbert Forsten, 2000. xxi, 224 pp. - Kāvya in South India: Old Tamil Cankam Poetry. By Herman Tieken. Groningen: Egbert Forsten, 2001. 270 pp". The Journal of Asian Studies. 61 (4): 1404–1406. doi:10.2307/3096501. ISSN 1752-0401.
  7. ^ "Ritual and Mythological Sources of the Early Tamil Poetry : A.M. Dubianski : 9789069801100". Retrieved 21 November 2020.
  8. ^ a b c "Russian Tamil scholar is no more". The Hindu. Special Correspondent. 19 November 2020. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 19 November 2020.CS1 maint: others (link)
  9. ^ Madhavan, Karthik (28 June 2010). "Tolkappiyam is not dependent on Sanskrit sources: Tamil scholar". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 19 November 2020.
  10. ^ "இரஷ்யத் தமிழறிஞர் அலெக்சாந்தர் துபியான்ஸ்கி காலமானார்". Retrieved 19 November 2020.