LEONTOVICH, FEDOR° (1833–1911), historian of Russian and Slavic law. Leontovich held the position of professor of the history of law at the universities of Odessa and Warsaw. He was the first to deal with the history of the Russian legislation concerning the Jews, when he published "An Historical Survey of the Regulations concerning the Jews in Russia" in the Russian-Jewish periodical Sion. His "The Rights of the Russian-Lithuanian Jews" (Kiev, 1863) was based on original documents and elucidated the outlines of the legal and social situation of the Jews in the grand duchy of Lithuania. I.G. *Orshanski and S.A. *Bershadski were influenced by these works. In 1882 he published an article in the monthly Nablyudatel entitled "What We Must Do with the Jewish Problem," where he argued that the Jews could only be granted equality of rights after they had abandoned their "specific nationalist culture"; as this was a process which could continue through several generations, there was no room for emancipation of the Jews at the time.
Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.