FASMER, RICHARD RICHARDOVICH

or VASMER (1858-1938), eminent Russian numismatist.

 

FASMER (VASMER), RICHARD RICHARDOVICH (b. 9 October 1858, St. Petersburg; d. 22 February 1938), eminent Russian numismatist.

Fasmer, of German descent, was born Richard Wilhelm Georg, son of a German merchant. He matriculated in the Department of Philosophy at Leipzig University in 1906. The following year, he began studies in the Department of Arabic, Persian, and Turkish at the University of St. Petersburg, where he attended Pavel Kokovtsov’s lectures on Semitic epigraphy and on Hebrew and Syriac languages, as well as the lectures of Vasiliĭ Bartol’d (see BARTHOLD) on Islamic numismatics. Fasmer graduated from the university in 1910 and became an assistant-keeper of the numismatic collection at the Hermitage Museum. At that time he also became a Russian citizen. His tenure on the Hermitage staff commenced on 1 January 1911. At the beginning of World War I Fasmer enlisted in the army as a cadet of the Nikolaevskoe Engineering School and served until 1918. Upon demobilization he returned to the Hermitage and became a keeper of the Oriental coin collection. In 1920 he replaced Alexis de Markoff as chief numismatic curator. On 11 March 1930 Fasmer was appointed head of the Oriental numismatics division. At the same time, from the end of 1919 until the end of 1930, he also served as a research fellow at the State Academy of the History of Material Culture (division of numismatics and glyptics). During the Stalinist purges, he was dismissed from his position at the Hermitage on 11 March 1934 and arrested. Fasmer died at a concentration camp in Uzbekistan four years later.

Fasmer’s first article appeared in 1914. It dealt with Kufic coins, the dominant concern of his further studies. The most productive period of his scholarly life was between 1925 and 1934, when he published forty-seven articles. Two more articles appeared in Berlin and Tartu after his arrest. Twenty-two of his unpublished manuscripts are preserved in the archives of the Hermitage. Of his published works, six are dedicated to Sasanian numismatics and one to Bactrian coins. Several articles on Islamic numismatics written by Fasmer (and signed “Vasmer”) were included in the dictionary Wörterbuch der Münzkunde (ed. F. von Schrötter, Berlin and Leipzig, 1930). Fasmer developed the standard procedure for analyzing Kufic coin hoards. His chronological classification of such hoards has been confirmed by many recent finds.

 

Bibliography:

Selected works. “Kuficheskie monety Pereyaslavskogo klada” (Kufic coins of the Pereslavl’ hoard), Izvestiya arkheologicheskoy komissiĭ (Petrograd)51, 1914, pp. 17-66.

“Beiträge zur muhammedanischen Münzkunde,” Numismatische Zeitschrift (Vienna) 58, 1925, pp. 49-62; 63-84.

“Khronologiya namestnikov Armenii pri pervykh Abbasidakh” (Chronology of the viceroys of Armenia under the early Abbasids), Zapiski kollegii vostokovedov pri Aziatskom muzee Rosiĭskoĭ akademii nauk (Leningrad)1, 1925, 381-400.

“Klad kuficheskikh monet, naĭdennyĭ v Novgorode v 1920 g.” (A hoard of Kufic coins found in Novgorod in 1920), Izvestiya Rossiĭskoĭ akademii istorii material’noĭ kul’tury (Leningrad) 4, 1925, pp. 242-76.

“Der kufische Münzfund von Friedrichhof in Estland,” in Sitzungsberichte der Gelehrten Estnischen Gesellschaft, Dorpat, 1925, pp. 26-118.

“Vas’kovskiĭ klad kuficheskikh monet” (The Vas’kovskiĭ hoard of Kufic coins), Vostok: Zhurnal literatury, nauki i iskusstva (Moscow) 5, 1925, pp. 273-74.

“Beiträge zu Der Chalifen Münzfund von Kochtel von W. Anderson,” Acta et commentationes Dorpatiensis 7, 1926, pp. 1-149.

“Novye priobreteniya Érmitazha v oblasti kuficheskoĭ numizmatiki” (New Kufic numismatic acquisitions of the Hermitage), in Izvestiya Rossiyskoĭ akademii istorii material’noĭ kul’tury (Leningrad) 3, 1926, pp. 305-28.

“O dvukh zolotoordynskikh monetakh” (On two coins of the Golden Horde), Zapiski kolegii vostokovedovpri Aziatskom muzee Rosiĭskoĭ akademii nauk (Leningrad) 2, 1926, pp. 109-12.

“O monetakh volzhskikh bolgar X v.” (On the coins of the Volga Bulgars from the 10th cent.), Izvestiya obshchestva arkheologii, istorii i etnografii pri Kazanskom universitete 33, 1926, pp. 29-60.

“Persidskie monety s nadchekankoĭ Petra I” (Persian coins with Peter I countermarks), in Gosudarstvennyĭ Érmitazh: sbornik III, Leningrad, 1926, pp. 119-32.

“Spisok monetnykh nakhodok, zaregistrirovannykh sektsieĭ numizmatiki i gliptiki AIMK v 1920-25” (Record of the coin finds, registered by the section of numismatics and glyptics at the Academy of the history of material culture in 1920-25), Soobshcheniya Gosudarstvennoĭ academii istorii material’noĭ kul’tury (Leningrad) 1, 1926, pp. 287-308.

“Zu Prof. Horowitz Aufsatz ‘Hamdaniden und die Šia’,” Der Islam 15, 1926, pp. 409-11.

"Der Münzfund von Penth,” Beitrage zur Kunde Estlands (Reval, Estonia) 12/4-5, 1926-27, pp. 65-100.

“Chronologie der Statthalter von Armenien unter der Halifen al-Amin und al-Mamun,” Handes Amsorya (Vienna) 40, 1927, pp. 866-80.

“Dva klada kuficheskikh monet” (Two hoards of Kufic coins), Trudy numizmaticheskoĭ komissii: Gosudarstvennaya akademiya istorii material’noĭ kul’turĭ (Leningrad) 6, 1927, p. 57.

“Die Eroberung Tabaristāns durch die Araber zur Zeit des Chalifen al-Manṣūr,” Islamica 3, 1927, pp. 86-150.

“Die kufischen Münzen des Fundes von Luurila Kirchspliel Hattula,” Suomen Muinaismuistoyhdistyksen Aikakauskirja (Helsinki) 36/3, 1927, pp. 3-35.

“O dvukh redkikh zolotykh monetakh deliyskikh sultanov” (On two rare gold coins of the sultans of Delhi), Izvestiya obshchestva arkheologii, istorii i etnografii pri Kazanskom universitete 33/4, 1927, pp. 45-52.

“O monetakh Sadzhidov” (On Sajid coins), Izvestiya obshchestva obsledovaniya i izucheniya Azerbaydzhana (Baku) 5, 1927, pp. 22-51.

“Die Sasanidenmünzen der Gelehrten Estnischen Gesellschaft,” in Sitzungsberichte der Gelehrten Estnischen Gesellschaft, Dorpat, 1927, pp. 276-86.

“Zur Chronologie des Ḡastāniden und Sallāriden,” Islamica 3, 1927, pp. 165-186; 482 - 85.

“Zur Geschichte und Münzkunde von Oman im X. Jahrhundert,” Zeitschrift für Numismatik 37, 1927, pp. 274-87.

“Otto Blau als Münzforscher,” Islamica 3, 1927, pp. 165-87; 4, 1928, pp. 139-43 (reprod. in P. Blau, Leben und Werken eines Auslanddeutschen in vorigen Jahrhundert, Leipzig, 1928, pp. 1-11).

“Elf weitere Dirhems aus dem Chalifenmünzfunde von Kochtel,” in Sitzungsberichte der Gelehrten Estnischen Gesellschaft, Dorpat, 1928, pp. 89-95.

“Sasanian coins in the Hermitage,” Numismatic Chronicle (London), Series 5, vol. 8, 1928, pp. 249-334.

“Über dreizehn in Privatbesitz vorleibene Münzen des Friedrichshofes Fundes,” in Sitzungsberichte der Gelehrten Estnischen Gesellschaft, Dorpat, 1928, pp. 84-88.

“Zwei neue Bücher über spanisch-arabische Numismatik: Kritische Bemerkungen und Ergänzungen,” Zeitschrift für Numismatik 38, 1928, pp. 206-34.

“Ein im Dorfe Staryĭ Dedin in Weissrussland gemachter Fund kufischer Münzen,” Kungl. vitterhets historie och antikvitets Akademiens handlingar (Stockholm) 40/2, 1929, pp. 1-45.

“Spisok monetnykh nakhodok II” (Record of coin finds II), Soobshcheniya Gosudarstvennoĭ akademii istorii material’noĭ kul’tury (Leningrad) 2, 1929, pp. 281-324.

"Über die Münzen der Saffariden und ihrer Gegner in Fārs und Ḫurāsān,” Numismatische Zeitschrift (Vienna)63, 1930, pp. 131-52.

“Zur Goldmünze Sapors II von Persien,” Berliner Münzblätter 325, 1930, p. 9.

“Zur Münzkunde der Qarahaniden,” Mitteilungen des Seminars für Orientalischen Sprachen (Berlin) 33, 1930, pp. 83-104.

Chronologie der arabischen Statthalters von Armenien unter den Abbasiden von as-Saffach bis zur Krönung Aschots I: 750-887, Studien zur armenischen Geschichte 5, Vienna, 1931.

“K numizmatike khalifov” (On the numismatics of the caliphs), Zapiski kollegii vostokovedovpri Aziatskom muzee Rosiĭskoĭ akademii nauk (Leningrad) 5, 1931, pp. 451-80.

“Zavalishenskiĭ klad kuficheskikh monet VIII-IX vv.” (The Zavalishenskiĭ hoard of Kufic coins from the 8th-9th cc), Izvestiya Gosudarstvennoĭ akademii istorii material’noĭ kul’tury 7/2 1931, p. 20. “Zur Münzkunde von Baktrien in 3. Jahrhundert von Chr.,” Zeitschrift für Numismatik (Berlin) 42, 1932, pp. 24-58.

“Ob izdanii novoĭ topografii nakhodok kuficheskikh monet v Vostochnoĭ Evrope” (On the publication of a new topography of Kufic-coin finds in Eastern Europe), Izvestiya Akademii nauk: Ser. 7, Otdelenie obshchestvennykh nauk (Leningrad)6-7, 1933, pp. 473-84.

"Zur Münzkunde der persischen Schahe,” Islamica 6, 1934, pp. 137-81.

“Zur Münzkunde der Sasaniden,” Numismatik: Internationale Monatschrift (Munich), 1933, pp. 109-15.

“Ein neuer Münzfund des elften Jahrhundert in estnischen Privatbesitz,” in Sitzungsberichte der Gelehrten Estnischen Gesell schaft, Tartu, 1936, pp. 155-233.

Book reviews by Fasmer. Bibliography of Sasanian Numismatics by F. D. J. Paruck, in Zapiski kollegii vostokovedovpri Aziatskom muzee Rossiĭskoĭ akademii nauk (Leningrad) 2, 1926, pp. 197-200.

Monetnye klady Azerbaĭdzhana (The coin hoards of Azerbaijan) by E. A. Pakhomov, in Zeitschrift für Numismatik 36, 1926, pp. 272-79.

Sasanian Coins by F. D. J. Paruck, in Iran (Moscow and Leningrad) 1, 1927, pp. 239-53.

Studies. F. D. Ashnin and V. M. Alpatov, "Delo slavistov”: tridtsatye gody (“The slavists’ case”: the 1930s), Moscow, 1994.

A. A. Bykov, “R. R. Fasmer (1888-1938),” Sovetskaya arkheologiya (Moscow) 3, 1968, pp. 105-6.

(Anatol Ivanov)

Originally Published: December 15, 1999

Last Updated: January 24, 2012

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Vol. IX, Fasc. 4, pp. 392-394