Samgin S.

Abstract: Eduard von Lenz is one of the outstanding weapon historians who lived in Russia at the end of the 19th – the beginning of the 20th century. He was interested in a good variety of themes in the field of the weapon studying, starting from the systematization and description of the Russian collections of weapons to the analysis of arms and armour found during archaeological excavations. He studied the weapon manufacturing centers as well and popularized the weaponology in general. Today most of his papers are unknown even for the specialists. The most important period of Lenz’s creative life was the time from 1899 to 1919 when he served as the curator of the imperial collection of arms at the Hermitage. This collection was one of the largest in Europe. The specificity of Lenz’s work was the detailed descriptions of weapons combined with their photographs. This approach completely supports his idea that it is necessary to detail the descriptions of arms so that their studying becomes “open for those readers who for some reason or other won’t have a possibility to see the original items that are interesting for them”. In the article the author makes a review and brief analysis the papers written by Eduard von Lenz from 1899 to 1919. Both fundamental treatises, the descriptive catalogues of the Sheremetev’s collection and the Imperial collection of arms, and short essays made for different scientific publications and journals are in the focus. The special attention is paid on the series of articles written by Lenz for the fist international journal of weapon studying «Zeitschrift für Historische Waffenkunde», organized and edited by Martin Behaim whom Eduard von Lenz was on very good terms with. In the period from 1897 to 1918 he published in the journal more than ten articles, both review ones and those devoted to different problems in weapon studying.  Despite the considerably little number of papers written by Eduard von Lenz, his scientific legacy is still actual and concerns almost all the contemporary problems of Russian weapon study – to start with the fundamental ones presuming among the rest the rehabilitation of this branch of science in the line of auxiliary historical disciplines and to the specific questions. The results of the work by this Russian scholar and his achievements are of great and particular importance even today.

Keywords: Eduard von Lenz, weaponology, historiography, arms classification, marks, The Hermitage.