Pobyedonostzev, Konstantin Petrovich

views updated

Konstantin Petrovich Pobyedonostzev (kənstəntyēn´ pētrô´vĬch pəbyĕdənôs´tsyĬf), 1827–1907, Russian public official and jurist. He was professor of civil law at Moscow when he attracted the attention of Czar Alexander II and was appointed (1865) tutor to the future Alexander III. As procurator of the holy synod (1880–1905), he became the champion of autocracy, orthodoxy, and Russian nationalism. He had great power and under his influence Alexander III opposed any limitation of autocratic powers, tightened censorship, attempted to suppress opposition opinion, persecuted religious nonconformists, and adopted a policy of Russification of all national minorities. Pobyedonostzev also supported Pan-Slavism and in his writings strongly attacked Western rationalism and liberalism. He tutored Nicholas II and was one of his most influential advisers until the Revolution of 1905. He wrote a three-volume work on Russian civil law.

See his Reflections of a Russian Statesman (tr. 1898).