Samgin S.

Abstract: The article deals with the creative legacy of Edvard fon Lenz (1856-1919) who appeared to become a founder of Russian weaponology. Today for a variety of reasons his works except the most important ones are almost unknown in Russia. The focus of his interests lying in the field of historical weapons studying was very wide ranging from the systematization and description of the Russian collections of weapons to the analysis of archaeological arms and armour, from the studying of the weapon manufacturing centers to the general popularization of the weaponology. He wrote both small articles and major works, the deep scientific papers and general-audience essays. The best period for his scientific life was the years between 1899 and 1918 when he served at the Imperial Hermitage museum as the curator of the royal collection of weapons, which was one of at least ten largest weapon collections in Europe. As a result of his work there he wrote a major paper “Index of pieces from Medieval and Renaissance Department. Part 1. The collection of weapons.” published in 1908, which is still the only monograph of such a kind. A defining characteristic of Lenz’s work is not only the precise and detailed descriptions of pieces but the wide usage of photography and drawing permitting the contemporary reader to see what the described object looks like and besides that grasp the view of different pieces not provided with images in the works by other authors all together. A special attention is paid on E. Lenz’s collaboration with the first journal on weapon studying «Zeitschrift für Historische Waffenkunde», where he published his essays from its very beginning till his dying day.  These works could be called the first and quite successful presentation of Russian weaponology in Europe.

Keywords: Edvard Lenz, weaponology, the Imperial Hermitage museum.