E.S. Markarian’s traditiology is considered in the article against the background of foreign tradition theories by R. Redfield, A. Royce, E. Shils and S. Eisenstadt. All Western authors who wrote about tradition, one way or another base on the dichotomy of “tradition-modernization” what is not typical for Russian scientists. Tradition itself for them is a mechanism for the development of any society. S. Eisenstadt’s tradition theory, as well as E.S. Markarian’s traditiology assumes variability of tradition, the presence of creative component in it. The difference lies in the fact that Markarian’s tradition itself has a mechanism of self-development, and development is a natural characteristic of tradition and acts, in turn, as a mechanism for the development of society. Markarian’s traditiology describes the world volatile in its nature and a conservative component of tradition in the works by Markarian is paid much less attention. Markarian closely links traditiology with his theory of adaptation and activity approach in culturology. Markarian’s traditiology is convenient as a theoretical justification of ethnology tools that allows to observe what in culture is permanent and what changes, and how. The history of Soviet and Russian traditiology is considered in the article as well.