Date of Birth: 11/19/1922
In fact, he wanted to be in Mexico. But this was not possible - it was too long, "restricted to travel abroad."
That morning, March 29, 1955, he went to the defense of the master`s and did not know how it ends, even assuming the charge of revisionism of Marxism and arrest. The fact that Engels argued, if in pre-Columbian America, the state lacked. According to the same dogma, phonetic letter could only exist in the event of the class state formations. The application is about the presence of ideytsev Maya phonetic writing automatically refuted once two positions "founder". Protection was held in Moscow, and the next day turned into a legend. Speech by 33-year-old Yuri Knorozov lasted exactly three and a half minutes of the Scientific Council, and the result was the assignment of rank of the candidate and doctor of historical sciences, which had never happened in the humanities. Since then, the story of deciphering ancient writing systems began to fit between two names: Champollion (the famous French Egyptologist, who developed the basic principles of deciphering ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics) and Knorozov. His life is full of hardships, the paradoxes and even hoaxes, fully consistent with the legend of a brilliant personality.
Paternal grandmother Knorozov - the first People`s Artist of Armenia, speaking under the stage name Marie Zabel. My grandfather was a Russian. Yuri V. was born in Kharkov in the family of Russian intellectuals, he stressed that too much. Here in 1941 he was in the occupation of his mother, a fact that after the war for a long time closed doors graduate school for him and made it impossible to travel abroad. it tried to exclude from school for "bad behavior", underachievement in some subjects and, most importantly, for the willful nature. Eccentricity Knorozov irritated many already. He played the violin beautifully, beautifully painted and wrote romantic poems. Later, explaining his success in the decipherment, he very seriously said: "When I was not more than five years, the brothers knocked me on the forehead with a croquet ball ... The vision was restored, albeit with difficulty Apparently, this was a kind." Magical injury . "I can give you a recommendation: the future decipherers hit on the head, but it is unclear how it is possible for the experiment to take control group - and if anyone will give tips, what it should be.!" - Happily smiling, he presented, apparently, I was, conducting similar experiments on students.
In 1940, Yuri, fleeing from the Ukraine, joined the History Faculty of Moscow State University. Specializing in the department of ethnography, he had a special interest in shamanic practices. Detail is interesting for the understanding of his temperament as a scientist.
War black pencil censor went according to plan young Knorozov, embellishing his biography legends - ridiculous, earned him a lot of painful psychological problems. But these legends for some reason he kept ...
He fought in connection parts and (according to the entry in the military ticket) met the victory of Moscow telefonistom158 Artillery Regiment Commander of the reserve rate. It is known that Knorozov not participated in the capture of Berlin, but nevertheless, according to the official emerged later (!) Version, because of Berlin as a war trophy brought two very important books, supposedly saved them from the flames of the burning of the library. In recent years, when the Soviet ideological machine was destroyed, Yuri V. tried to get rid of the "stupid and ridiculous", as he himself said, a legend and a new way to present those distant events - the book lay in boxes prepared for the evacuation of the German library were thence taken Soviet officers. However, much remains unclear: in the first place as, after all, these books were to Knorozov? And secondly, why the officer-signaller needed such publications as "Report on the Affairs of Yucatan" Franciscan monk of the XVI century by Diego de Landa and "Maya codices" in the Guatemalan publication Villacorta brothers? Maya Indians when he was not engaged. The great scholar died, was not disclosed until the end of this hateful secrets for him. Who and why he promised to keep quiet? But these books without his sensational decryption would not take place!
After the war Knorozov came across an article by German researcher Paul Shellhasa titled "Deciphering the Mayan writing - an unsolvable problem." This publication is abruptly changed his scientific plans. "As it is an insoluble problem? That one created by the human mind, it can not be unriddled others!" Mayyanistiki thrown into the sea, he was faced with a sharp deterioration in relations to him by the head of the department of Professor SP Tolstova. So much so that he refused to even give Knorozov formal recommendation to graduate school. Fortunately, here, at the Department of Ethnography, professor Tokarev worked with pleasure supported the disgraced graduate. However, according to Knorozov, the new head of "absolutely did not believe in the success of deciphering Maya writing, because, following the Americans, believed that writing is not phonetic." Using his influence and connections in the scientific world, Tokarev made a student research assistant at the Museum of Ethnography of the Peoples of the USSR, next to the Russian Museum in Leningrad. Settled Knorozov in the museum - in a long as a pencil case, a room. From floor to ceiling, the room was packed with books, drawing hanging on the walls of the Maya hieroglyphs. From furniture - only a desk and a soldier`s cot. It is said that even then under the table stood bottles battery. The trouble that dogged scientist all his life ...
Before him, many have tried to decipher the Maya writing. The first attempts were made in the XIX century. But the ancient hieroglyphs stubbornly kept their secrets. First Knorozov determine what is considered a linguistic decipherment (go to the exact reading of phonetic characters) and how it differs from the interpretation and solving secret codes. Then he turned to staroispanskogo into Russian "Report on the Affairs of Yucatan." And immediately realized that the alphabet of 29 characters, recorded in the XVI century. Franciscan monk, is the key to the decipherment of Maya phonetic writing. As a result of painstaking work hard in the early 50`s of the Maya texts were read. The first publication of the results of deciphering came in 1952 was followed by the dissertation and world fame ...
But fate did not prepare a bouquet of roses to scatter them Knorozov feet.
In 1956, in the wake of the international recognition of the researcher`s "released" at the International Congress of Americanists in Copenhagen. Since then until 1990 he had never traveled anywhere, not even knowing about coming in his name numerous invitations. At the same time, Yuri V. joked bitterly about the "endless commissions export it to Mexico, all of which are already members visited there." Foreign scientists puzzled for some time over the failure of contacts from colleagues, but quickly understood the intricacies of Soviet mores themselves pulled in Leningrad, especially proud Knorozov talked about how in the midst of the "Cold War" the American school acknowledged his proposed principle of decryption. But he had no idea what a storm of hatred caused his success at the head of the American school mayyanistiki Eric Thompson! And the "cold war" there was absolutely nothing to do with. Thompson, after learning of the results of the young Soviet scientist, immediately understood, "who has the victory," and this thought was unbearable for him. In his message to Michael mayanist Co., full dark sarcasm, he called the American colleagues "witches, flying astride a wild notes on the midnight sky on the orders of Yuri", and urged that the decryption Knorozov untenable. Thompson ends his message with these words: "Well, Mike, you will live until 2000. Put the message in the Introduction." Maya hieroglyphs, "and judge then if I was right ..." Michael Coe kept the letter and the first day of 2000 years, re-read it, he said: "Thompson was wrong rights Knorozov appeared, and now we are dealing with the Maya, are knorozovistami.".
In the early `60s Knorozov offered to participate in the drafting of the first computer program for machine Mayan word processing. Programmers group of Novosibirsk gathered strange. Taking all the materials Knorozov, they tried to create a kind, as it is now would call a database of signs manuscripts. At the same time constantly alluded to its cooperation with the military authorities and stated that the deal "theory decryption." After a while, "computer scientists" have announced that they have developed a theory of machine decryption, and published in 4 volumes under the name Knorozov data. Edition signed in the Mayan language and presented to Khrushchev. From the point of view of experts, declared "decoding machine" was complete nonsense and no impression on the professionals did not make. Moreover, in 1963, he published a great monograph Knorozov "Writing of the Mayan Indians." However, it is absurd to put the misunderstanding malosveduschey audience questioned the authenticity of the decryption. Only after the publication of recognition came in 1975, the translation of the Maya manuscripts: Knorozov awarded the State Prize of the USSR.
Research interests Knorozov was surprisingly wide - from deciphering of the ancient writing systems, linguistics and semiotics to America settling problems archaeoastronomy, shamanism, brain evolution and the theory of the collective. He generously distributed scientific ideas in the hope that someone will complete their development. "I`m not an octopus," - he often repeated.
The country has great Mayan interpreter managed to visit only in 1990, when he was invited by President Vinicio Cerezo Arevalo. The invitation coincided with the thawing of diplomatic relations with Guatemala. Knorozov arranged a visit to the main attractions of the country, was awarded a gold medal of the President of Guatemala. Climbing alone the pyramid of Tikal, he stood there in silence for a long time ... There were no surprises for him the usual terrorists, having arranged for our car demonstrative surveillance and promised to blow up the delegation. Yuri V. was pleased.
Fate gave him almost at the end of the life of a wonderful opportunity to live in the tropical jungle by the Caribbean Sea, next to his beloved Indians Maya. Students worked on the preparation for publication of his monograph, and Knorozov enjoying tropical nature, the national Mexican cuisine, watched by unseen stars of the evening. Sitting next to the president of Mexico at the Pavarotti concert in Chichen Itza, he said with a smile, what a great singer is considerably inferior to the Yucatan choir, performs Cantata of Kukulcan. His words, "The Italians - machinery and have yukatantsev - soul" were repeated by many in Mexico ...
Knorozov always felt first and foremost a citizen of their country - no matter how it was called. Burst restructuring was accepted it with enthusiasm, which soon gave way to skepticism. "Again the rally," - he commented sarcastically public discussion at the institute, and Yeltsin only as "cat Basilio" is not called. Unfortunately, Yuri Valentinovich skepticism was justified: the last few years it has not been "holding hands", but research scientist the new authorities did not care.
Genius was not March 30, 1999 His death and burial at the absurdity reminiscent of the demise of Paganini. Knorozov died alone in the corridor of one of the city hospitals, where, after a stroke, he developed pneumonia. Kunstkamery management decided not to grant the museum hall to bid farewell to him, and many people gathered in close hospital morgue, where a number has been exposed several coffins. Knorozov loved Nevsky Monastery, but he was buried in the new cemetery outside the city. Petersburg became the criminal capital of Russia, and even the memory of the world-class geniuses here, it seems, no one else need ...
PS Scientific Heritage Y. Knorozov carefully store in Moscow. In the capital Russian State Humanitarian University with the help of the Mexican Embassy during the life of the great scientist Center for Mesoamerican Studies was created, which now bears his name.