By Yaroslav RENKAS, Cand. Sc. (Hist.)
Inscribed in letters of gold into the annals of Russian history are many famous dynasties remembered for their priceless contributions to the progress and prosperity of this nation. Ringing the bell with almost each one of us today are the names of the three Botkins brothers (a writer, a painter and a therapist), of the Danilevskys brothers (a biochemist, a physiologist and a sociologist), of the two Kovalevskys brothers (one-the founding father of comparative embryology, physiology, and the founder of evolutionary paleontology) and of the Vavilovs (a geneticist and a physicist)... A prominent place in this list belongs to the Orbeli dynasty and its two prominent sons-academicians Leon and Iosif Orbeli and Professor Ruben Orbeli - whose scholarly achievements in their respective fields received international recognition. Their life stories are traced in a recently published monograph (N. Grigoryan. Science Dynasty of the Orbeli. - NAUKA, 2002.-522 pp. with illustrations), which has caught the eye of both-the scientific community and the general public.
The central idea of the author is to demonstrate the fact that serving spiritual values in general and science in particular has been the creed of the Orbeli family since the start of the 12th century. Since then this family tradition has been passed on from generation to generation. Thus, the grandfather of the future three great scientists-an archpriest in the Armenian Church-left many writings on church history. Their father- a man with excellent university education-is remembered as a theorist and practitioner of jurisprudence. Their uncle, a leading neuropathologist in Tbilisi-was the author of many studies on psychiatry and ethnography, a participant of many congresses of Russian natural scientists and physicians.
And the Orbeli were well known not only in their native Transcaucasian region, but also in St. Petersburg. Six generations of the family have resided in the nor ... Читать далее