Articles were published in scholarly, military, and governmental periodicals and monographs, treatises from learned societies, and literary magazines. The travelogues fall into three major groups: those written purely for entertainment, those for official use, and those combining both approaches. The accounts belonging to the first group are very few in number. The second group is more extensive: the authors usually went to Persia on some government assignment or participated in scientific expeditions, and they published purely official reports upon their return.
The majority of the accounts fall into the third category: the authors describe their mission in greater or lesser detail and, at the same time, cover numerous topics related to all aspects of Persian life, often with a strong personal element. The authors of the travelogues fall into the following categories: military officers, diplomats including those who were in the military service at the same time , civil servants including engineers, doctors, traders , scholars professional orientalists and natural scientists. There is a striking preponderance of military officers among the authors: those who were not on a military mission were engaged in diplomatic or commercial activities or road and railroad construction projects.
Many of these officers had served in the Caucasus or in Central Asia before and had colonial experience by the time they arrived in Persia. Some of them were on secret missions and reported to their headquarters; thus their published travel accounts do not present the whole picture.
Griboedov , a famous writer and a tragic figure in the history of Russian diplomacy; the commanders of the Persian Cossack Brigade, Domontovich and V. There appear to be two small articles written by women, one named Zhukovskaya, another anonymous. A few other travelers published their works under pseudonyms or anonymously. The range of themes treated in the travelogues is amazingly broad, though some travelogues are more comprehensive, while others deal with one or more specific topics.
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Their worldview is decidedly Eurocentric. This religious preference is combined with an ethnic one: a number of Russians favor non-Persians—Turkmans, Kurds and Arabs. This attitude contrasts notably with Romantic representations of the Orient that played an important part in the works of Russian writers and poets of the 19th century, such as the Caucasus-inspired romantic fiction by Alexander Pushkin and Mikhail Lermontov. Some of the most representative and significant of the great number of Russian travelers in Persia and their works published in the 19th and early 20th centuries are described below in chronological order unless stated otherwise, information about the authors is extracted from their travelogues.
First tutored at home, he continued his education at a boarding school affiliated with Moscow University.
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He underwent further training in the Artillery Corps and read extensively on his own. Ermolov started his military career at the age of fifteen, with the rank of captain. He participated in campaigns in Poland in , Georgia in , and against Napoleon in Ermolov was promoted to colonel in , and to major-general in He fought against Napoleon from through and won fames as a hero of the battle of Borodino He led military operations against the highlanders, oversaw the building of Russian forts, and put down uprisings.
The travel account by Ermolov is devoted to his visit to Persia during April-September of His general opinion of Persia is strongly negative, expressed in his characteristically straightforward manner. On his way back, he decided to go on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. While traveling to Baghdad, he was waylaid and wounded by robbers and later captured by a khan of Kermanshah, who made him herd his cattle. His new owner also tried to force him to become a Muslim. One year and seven months later he escaped and, after more unpleasant adventures, reached Baghdad.
He traveled to several other Middle Eastern countries, such as Arabia, Turkey, and Palestine, as well as to India and England, before he finally made his way back to Russia thirteen years after he had left it. The travelogue by Tsikulin appears to be the only one out of a great number of Russian travel accounts of the 19th and early 20th centuries to be composed by a peasant provided it is authentic.
Wagner, Moritz [WorldCat Identities]
Tsikulin describes the agriculture of the places he visits, as well as the food, clothes, houses, and some customs of the people. He proudly tells his readers how he was able to preserve his Christianity in spite of the sufferings and tortures he endured, and even under the threat of death. The travelogue contains a number of fantastic passages and confused geographical names. It is written in the simple language of a naturally intelligent person lacking in education. He studied first at home, then at a district school in Ekaterinburg.
Petersburg, when the Oriental Faculty was moved there in Berezin had broad scholarly interests and was involved in the development of higher education in Russia and in the intellectual and cultural life of his times. He died in see the bibliography in Calmard. The travelogues by Berezin are among the most fascinating, comprehensive, and scholarly in the group. The range of subjects treated is amazingly broad.
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Berezin combined several goals in his narrative: he presented not only a detailed description of the route he followed and the cities he visited, but also extensive information concerning various aspects of life in Persia—its economy, architecture, politics, government, rulers, army, history, culture, customs, characteristics of different social groups of Persians, foreigners in Persia, and so on. He includes a detailed description of the cities of Ardabil and Tabriz, and especially of Tehran about half his travelogue on Persia is devoted to Tehran.
He had a special interest in the foreign trade of Persia: his main concerns were Russian interests on the Caspian Sea and in the north of Persia, as well as the commercial rivalry between Russia and Britain. His two published volumes treat subjects such as trade routes, the range of goods, and their prices and quality. His books contain endnotes, mostly citations from works by European scholars and travelers. The supplements include copies of inscriptions, with translations by the author, tables on trade, and meteorological observations.
The text of his accounts is very dense and detailed, incorporating a great many statistics, and numerous Persian words. Leonid Konstantinovich Artamonov, explorer of Asia and Africa, was born into an aristocratic family in in the province of Kherson. Later he rose to the rank of lieutenant general and commander of the army corps Vengerov, , p. He was also a member of the Russian Geographical Society. The possibility for such an advance is expressed directly in the articles dealing with Khorasan and other northeastern areas.
Other topics of interest to him are the Persian army and its resources, government administration, and trade. Artamonov pays considerable attention to the political and military rivalry between Russia and Britain in Persia.
His narrative is clear and cogent, betraying utter indifference toward anything unrelated to his specific concerns. He was born in , in Finland, where his father, a military officer, was stationed. At first he studied at the Department of Science and History at St. Petersburg University, but later he enrolled at the Medical Academy in St.
Eliseev graduated in and served as an army doctor in the Caucasus, Turkestan, the Baltic provinces, Finland, and finally in St.
After resigning in , he was assigned to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, and at the same time he opened a private medical practice. Eliseev traveled widely throughout his life. In his early years, he traveled in the northern parts of Russia, Finland, the Urals, and in Europe. In he traveled to Asia Minor: The Russian Palestine Society appointed him to study the pilgrim routes from Russia to the Holy Land, while the Geographical Society commissioned him to conduct an anthropological study of the peoples of the Orient. In the spring of he was sent by the Ministry of Internal Affairs to escort a large group of immigrants from Russia to Vladivostok.
Eliseev used the opportunity to travel in Siberia, then went to Japan and Ceylon. In the Ministry assigned him to go to Persia for the summer in order to observe the cholera epidemic. In he studied the typhoid epidemic in Chelyabinsk. The next year he spent the summer in Bessarabia studying the cholera epidemic, and in the fall of the same year went to Sudan, where he had a narrow escape from the Mahdists. His last trip was to Abyssinia. He died in , having caught croup from a sick child. Eliseev undertook many of his travels on his own modest means.
He published extensively Gruzdev, pp. In his travelogues about Persia, Eliseev does not mention his medical assignment except at the very beginning of his account.
The author maintains an emotional distance from the local inhabitants, who seem to exist in a different dimension, and whose country and lives he observes only with the purpose of reporting. However, NDL India takes no responsibility for, and will not be liable for, the portal being unavailable due to technical issues or otherwise. For any issue or feedback, please write to ndl-support iitkgp. Access Restriction Open. Log-in to view content. FAQ Help.
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Related Travels in Persia, Georgia and Koordistan; with sketches of the Cossacks and the Caucasus. Vol. III.
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