Yuriy Lvovich Krol, the most aged researcher at the IOM RAS, leading expert in the history of Ancient China, has passed away on December 1, 2021.
In 1949 Yuriy L. Krol enrolled in the Faculty of Oriental Studies of the Leningrad State University. He specialized in the history of Ancient China. From 1954 to 1957 he was a postgraduate student at the Department of Ancient Eastern History (Leningrad State University) supervised by V. V. Struve and B. I. Pankratov.
After graduation, he entered the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Academy of Sciences (Leningrad branch, at present IOM RAS) where he worked all his life. In 1963 he successfully defended the Candidate of Sciences (PhD) dissertation titled “The uprising of Chen Sheng, Wu Guang, Liu Bang, and Xiang Yu against the Qin dynasty in the works of Sima Qian” [Восстание Чэнь Шэ, У Гуана, Лю Бана и Сянь Юя против династии Цинь в трудах Сыма Цяня]. In 1960s he was a member of a group working on the collection of Chinese xylographs and was a coauthor of the “Catalogue of Chinese xylographs kept at the Institute of Oriental Studies” [Каталог китайских ксилографов ИВ АН СССР] (Moscow, 1973). In 1992 he defended his doctoral dissertation titled “The Discourses on Salt and Iron — a work of Chinese culture of the Han period” [«Спор о соли и железе» — памятник китайской культуры эпохи Хань].
Yuriy L. Krol was the leading expert in the history of Ancient China and Han period culture in Russia. His research interests also included historiography, philosophy, law, relations of China and neighbouring peoples in antiquity. In his research Yuriy L. Krol paid careful attention to sources and issues of authenticity of materials contained in the examined works. He spent many years studying historical works by Sima Qian, “Records of the Grand Historian” (Shiji). In 1970 he published the fundamental monograph “The historian Sima Qian” [Сыма Цянь — историк] that was acclaimed in Russia and abroad. In 1997–2001 he published an annotated translation of “The Discourses on Salt and Iron” [Спор о соли и железе» («Янь те лунь»)] by Huan Kuan, a major philosophical, political and economic work of the Han period.
Yuriy L. Krol examined history of Oriental studies in Russia. He always attached importance to conservation and publication of research done by his teachers. He prepared an edited volume in memory of B.I. Pankratov in 1998 and a long article about R.V. Vyatkin, a prominent “Shiji” scholar, in 1996.
He published more than 200 works, many of them in international journals. In 1989–1990 he received a fellowship to visit China. In 1994–1995 he did research in the USA (University of Wisconsin– Madison). He often lectured and gave talks at various universities around the world.
Yuriy L. Krol was highly respected by everyone at the IOM RAS. He was known for his great work ethic, kindness, sociability, and readiness to help his colleagues. Members of the IOM RAS mourn his passing and offer deep condolences to his family.