Denis Davydov

Denis Vasilyevich Davydov (Russian: Дени́с Васи́льевич Давы́дов, IPA: [dʲɪˈnʲis vɐˈsʲilʲjɪvʲɪtɕ dɐˈvɨdəf] (listen); 27 July [O.S. 16 July] 1784 – 4 May [O.S. 22 April] 1839) was a Russian soldier-poet of the Napoleonic Wars who invented a specific genre – hussar poetry noted for its hedonism and bravado – and spectacularly designed his own life to illustrate such poetry.

Denis Davydov
Davydov by George Dawe
Born27 July 1784
Moscow, Russia
Died4 May 1839 (aged 54)
Known forHussar poetry
Денис Давыдов автограф


Davydov stemmed from a great family of Russian nobility with Tatar roots.[1][2] After gaining celebrity as an indefatigable guerrilla leader of 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.

Davydov's poems read like a diary of the hussar and bon-vivant that he was. Admired by Belinsky for their organic quality and Russianness, they 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.

The diction in some of his poems is rather unconventional, and occasionally his words have to be replaced by dots, but it is always full of spirit and great rhythmical go. His later poems are inspired by a late love for a very young girl. They are passionately sentimental and as vivid and alive in diction and rhythmical elasticity as his hussar verses. Pushkin had a high opinion of his poetry and used to say that Davydov showed him the way to be original.[3]

The literary mask of a dashing hussar is belied by some of Davydov's lesser known writings, such as the anti-absolutism' poem 'Head and Feet', there he described the 'Tsar-Chevalry' relationes as the possibility of head to live its life only on and with feet.

He brought out 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. Davydov even makes an appearance in Tolstoy's novel in the person of Vasily Denisov. 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]

Davydov fought in the Russo-Iranian War of 1826-1828.[5]

The grave of Denis Davydov with his statue right above it is situated next to the exit door (left from outside) of the katholikon of the Novodevichy Convent.


Aeroflot Boeing 777-300ER D. Davydov
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.


  •  This article incorporates text from D.S. Mirsky's "A History of Russian Literature" (1926-27), a publication now in the public domain.
  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.


  • Avery, Peter; Hambly, Gavin; Melville, Charles, eds. (1991). The Cambridge History of Iran (Vol. 7). Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0521200950.

Further reading

Books by Davydov
  • Denis Davidov (1999). In Service of the Tsar Against Napoleon, 1806–1814. Greenhill Books. ISBN 1-85367-373-0.
  • Denis Davidoff (2012). Essai sur la guerre de partisans, Traduction d'Héraclius de Polignac, Avant-propos du général Fortuné de Brack. ISBN 979-10-91815-00-0.

External links

1784 in poetry

Nationality words link to articles with information on the nation's poetry or literature (for instance, Irish or France).

1839 in poetry

Nationality words link to articles with information on the nation's poetry or literature (for instance, Irish or France).

2012 World Sambo Championships

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2013 World Sambo Championships

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2014–15 FC Spartak Moscow season

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Amphion (Russian: Амфион, pre-1917: Амфiонъ) was a Russian monthly literary magazine published in Moscow in 1815. Prose was but a small part of its genda; what prevailed there were odes, fables in verse, elegies and translations of classics like Horace, Titus Livius and Lucian. It was the first Russian magazine where serious critical analysis of poetry, prose, drama and theatre productions started to feature on regular basis.

The central figure in Amphion was its editor-in-chief and co-publisher (alongside with S.Smirnov and Fyodor Ivanov), the poet and literary critic Alexey Merzlyakov (who also went down in history as the young Mikhail Lermontov's personal tutor). His in-depth analysis of Kheraskov's Rossiyada (serialized in Nos. 1—3, 5—6, 8—9), which is considered to be the first work of literary criticism in Russia, had a strong formative influence on Russian literary scene of the time.The magazine proved to be short-lived, only 12 issues of it came out, but among the authors whose work appeared there for the first time were Vasily Zhukovsky, Konstantin Batyushkov, Pyotr Vyazemsky, Fyodor Kokoshkin, Denis Davydov and Wilhelm Küchelbecker.


Davydov (Russian: Давыдов), or Davydova (feminine; Давыдова), is a surname common in Russia and Ukraine.

Alexander Davydov, Soviet and Ukrainian physicist

Alexander Lvovich Davydov, Russian major-general

Avgust Davydov, Russian mathematician and mechanic

Boris Davydov, Russian hydrographer and geodesist

Denis Davydov, Russian poet and leader in the partisan movement during the Patriotic War

Evgeny Davydov, Russian hockey player

Evgraf Davydov, Russian major-general

Ivan Davydov, Russian academician, professor of philosophy, Latin and Russian literature

Karl Davydov, Russian cellist, conductor, composer, and pedagogue

Konstantin Davydov, a Russian zoologist and embryologist

Kyrylo Davydov, (born 1988) Ukrainian footballer

Lev Davydov, Russian geographer and hydrographer

Nikolai Davydov (1921–1949), Soviet aircraft pilot and Hero of the Soviet Union

Serhiy Davydov, (born 1984) Ukrainian footballer

Stepan Davydov, Russian composer and singer

Vasili Davydov, member of the Decembrist movement

Vasily Davydov, Russian psychologist and educationist

Vasily Innokentyevich Davydov (1919–1968), Soviet army officer and Hero of the Soviet Union

Vera Davydova, Soviet singer and pedagogue

Viktor Davydov (1920–1952), Soviet aircraft pilot and Hero of the Soviet Union

Vitaly Davydov, Soviet hockey player

Vladimir Davydov, Russian actor

Yelena Davydova, Soviet gymnast

Denis Davydov (disambiguation)

Denis Davydov may refer to

Denis Davydov (1784–1839), Russian soldier-poet of the Napoleonic Wars

Denis Davydov (footballer, born 1982), Russian professional football midfielder

Denis Davydov (footballer, born 1995), Russian professional football striker

Denis Davydov (footballer, born 1982)

Denis Aleksandrovich Davydov (Russian: Денис Александрович Давыдов; born 9 June 1982) is a Russian professional football player. He last played in the Russian Second Division for FC Energiya Volzhsky.

Denis Davydov (footballer, born 1995)

Denis Alekseyevich Davydov (Russian: Денис Алексеевич Давыдов; born 22 March 1995) is a Russian football striker.

Dyugon-class landing craft

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House of Denis Davydov in Bolshoy Znamensky Lane

The house of Denis Davydov in Bolshoy Znamensky Lane (Russian: Дом Дениса Давыдова в Большом Знаменском переулке) is a mansion beginning of the XIX century in the center of Moscow (Bolshoy Znamensky lane, house 17). In this house from 1826 to 1830 lived the hero of the Patriotic War of 1812, Major-General Denis Davydov. Currently, the mansion belongs to the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation. The house of Denis Davydov has the status of an object of cultural heritage of federal significance.

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Rodina-class motorship

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Sambo at the 2013 Summer Universiade

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Ufa Cathedral

The Cathedral of the Nativity of the Theotokos is the largest Orthodox church in Ufa, Bashkortostan. It has been the seat of the Bishops of Ufa since May 2016.The azure-walled parish church with five golden domes was built between 1901 and 1909 on the site chosen by Bishop Antony. Its construction was financed by local merchants, notably Nikifor Patokin. Its most striking feature is the 47-metre-tall pagoda-like belltower which used to dominate the city's skyline.

In 1919, the Bolsheviks had the church converted into a hospital. After the domes were torn down, the building was used as a cinema. The Russian Orthodox Church reclaimed the property in 1991. Restoration works took 15 years and involved a new set of frescos for the interior. A bust of poet Denis Davydov was placed in the church garden in 2004.

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