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Formation of the Abkhazian ethnic intellectuals in the second half of XIX - the beginning of the XX century

UDK 94 (470+571) & #34; 17/1917"


© 2011 N.A. Trapsh

Southern Federal University, Southern Federal University,

B. Sadovaya St., 105/42, Rostov-on-Don, 344006, B. Sadovaya St., 105/42, Rostov-on-Don, 344006,

>decanat@hist. sfedu. ru decanat@hist. sfedu. ru

Difficult process of genesis and initial development of the Abkhazian ethnic intellectuals which arose during system incorporation of Abkhazia in structure of the Russian Empire is analyzed. Consecutive formation of regional intellectual community is considered in the context of creative and public work of the outstanding persons creating special social group.

It is analysed complex process of the genesis and initial development of the Abkhazian ethnic intelligency which has arisen during system incorporation of Abkhazia in structure of Russian empire. Consecutive formation of regional intellectual community is considered in a context creative and public work of the outstanding persons created special social group.

The intellectual community developing on the imperial national outskirts in the second half of XIX - the beginning of the 20th century, traditionally is considered as the special sociocultural phenomenon significantly differing in quality characteristics from the similar public group representing title ethnic group. However in a domestic historiography there is so far no uniform idea of the objective maintenance of the concept "Russian intellectuals" which various authors associate from in a certain way daily activity, professional accessory or political convictions [1 - 7]. Similar uncertainty can be interpreted as a real consequence of the methodological pluralism dominating in modern historical science and therefore in each concrete research it is necessary to allocate distinctly the author's idea of the studied phenomenon relying on the available achievements of the previous historiographic tradition. Applicable to a problem of genesis of the ethnic intellectuals it is necessary to recognize that objective disproportions in social and economic, political and cultural development of the incorporated regions determined various scenarios of consecutive formation of local intellectual communities.

In the Abkhazian case the considered process significantly was complicated by a number of significant factors from which it is necessary to distinguish rather late emergence of national writing, objective imperfection of the developing system of primary education, the permanent armed opposition between mountain societies and imperial administration. As a result full formation of the national intellectuals in Abkhazia

began only in the last quarter of the 19th century that is connected with final incorporation of the former sovereign principality in structure of the Russian Empire and relative stabilization of educational policy of local administration. Till the specified period it is necessary to speak only about individuals who correspond to the generalized image of the ethnic intellectual. As it is represented, the similar individual has to not only have rather high level of personal education, but also make a significant contribution to complex development of the all-Russian or regional cultural tradition, take an active civic stand and participate in real activity of native ethnic group.

In the context of similar approach by the first true Abkhazian intellectual it is necessary to recognize Solomon Teymurkovich Zvanba (1809 - 1855) who was born in the village of Dranda in rather poor noble family [8, page 50]. In 1824 it was taken on education by the chief of the Abkhazian group colonel A.G. Patsovsky, and in 1826 is sent to St. Petersburg together with the eldest son of the Abkhazian possessor Konstantin Georgiyevich Shervashidze [8, 9]. In 1828 S.T. Zvanba was defined in the so-called Noble regiment which was military educational institution since 1808 and transformed in 1855 to Konstantinovsky military school. After completion of planned training he in 1832 received a rank of the corporal and began active service in troops of the Black Sea coastline, and in 1833 became the personal secretary of the Abkhazian possessor [10, page 6]. In May, 1842 S.T. Zvanba accompanied the representative delegation of sadzsky (dzhigetsky) princes directed by the specified mountain communities for personal negotiations with Nicholas I to St. Petersburg. After the trip he in 1843 becomes Dzhigetiya's police officer, and then heads

bodies and militia divisions in Qie-belde [11, page 196].

In 1848 owing to "office experience and knowledge of military business" S.T. Zvanba is made in a rank of the lieutenant colonel and soon participates as the intermediary in difficult negotiations between the Russian military authorities and the mountain communities threatening to a coastal Navaginsky fort [8, page 52; 11, page 203]. Further he ordered several detached linear battalions which were involved in active fight against sea smugglers and local slave traders [11]. Successful activity of S.T. Zvanba was noted by the Russian state awards (degree St. Vladimir IV's award, degree St. Stanislav IV's award, Saint George's award of the IV degree, St Ann's award of the III degree), also personalized gold sword [11]. The outstanding career of the talented officer tragically broke in 1855 when he ordered the 11th Mikhaylovsky serf infantry battalion and Omer pasha on the Inguri River took active part in fierce battle with a landing [11].

But S.T. Zvanba was not only the courageous and perfectly educated military expert who received the following characteristic in own official list: "... is able to read and write mathematics to the Russian and French diploma; trigonometry, algebra, history, geography and fortification... knows..." [11]. He was a beautiful expert on the Abkhazian customs and the thoughtful researcher of national spiritual culture that was reflected in a number of historical and ethnographic works: "About Gagra and Dzhigits" (the middle of the 40th of the 19th century), "Winter campaigns of Ubykhs to Abkhazia" (1852), "The sacrifice ceremony to Saint Pobedonostsu Georgi made annually by Abkhazians" (1852), "A kiss behind a curtain" (1853), "The Abkhazian mythology and religious beliefs and ceremonies between residents of Abkhazia" (1855) [12]. According to K.A. Borozdin, S.T. Zvanba was "... very well-read and developed person, and willingly devoted free time from service to reading and literary classes." [13, page 207; 14, page 27 - 28]. As it is represented, consecutive interest in native history and national culture along with undoubted education and invariable aspiration to act for public concerns allows to consider this extraordinary officer as a peculiar predecessor of the regional ethnic intellectuals.

The edition of the lithographed grammar of the Abkhazian language in 1862 which is carried out on the basis of a bzybsky dialect of P.K. Us-larom became the major factor which significantly accelerated consecutive formation of intellectual community in the chosen region. According to the outstanding Abkhazian writer and the public figure D.I. Gulia, the manual "kept the speech of the Abkhazian people and made it available to a scientific world" [15, page 3]. In the same 1862 the special commission as a part of the chairman I.A. Bartolomey (head of "Society of recovery of orthodox Christianity in the Caucasus"),

D.P. Purtsadze (the official on special instructions at the deputy of the Caucasus and the manager of office-work of "Society of recovery of orthodox Christianity in the Caucasus") and V.G. Trirogova with assistance of I. Gegiya, G. Kurtsikidze and S. Eshba on the basis of alphabetic tracings P.K. Uslara with little changes made "The Abkhazian abc-book" with the parallel translation into the Russian and Georgian languages which was published in Tiflis in 1865 [8, page 57].

In parallel with high-quality improvement of a methodical basis of language training during the post-reform period in Abkhazia there is a wide layer of the local teacher's shots prepared in specialized educational institutions (in particular, in Aleksandrovska Tiflisskaya to teacher's school with the three-year term of training). Certain teachers did not limit own activity by educational practicians, actively participated in public life and were engaged in research projects that led to consecutive emergence of new generation of the Abkhazian intellectuals.

It is necessary to distinguish from them first of all the Alexey Mikhaylovich Emukhvari who got an initial education in the native village of Okum and continued vocational education in Aleksandrovska Tiflisskaya to teacher's school [8, page 76]. The talented teacher showed remarkable abilities not only in educational activity, but also in public life of post-reform Abkhazia. In numerous publications he argued on opening of agricultural schools, improvement of highways in the Samurzakansky site and opening of rail service, the translation of prayer books on the Abkhazian language and the solution of resettlement problems [16, 17]. Since 1894 A.M. Emukhvari was a member of the Sukhumi society of agriculture, and during the Russo-Turkish war of 1877 - 1878 was involved in fighting as a part of the Inguri group [18, 19]. He was actively interested in ethnographic problems to which he devoted two interesting works "Samurzakansky beliefs" and "Education of children in Abkhazia" [20, 21]. Similar activity defined high public authority of A.M. Emukh-vari which became the recognized leader of the Abkhazian teacher's intellectuals.

During the considered period also the officer corps which worthy representative was Georgy Mikhaylovich Shervashidze continued to deliver new shots of ethnic intellectuals. The first son of the last Abkhazian possessor got fine home education, and from ten-year age was brought up in family of the Kutaisi governor general A.I. Gagarin. In 1863 he is appointed the aide-de-camp of the commander-in-chief of the Caucasian army, and on April 19, 1864 becomes the second lieutenant. Due to the revolt of 1866 M. Shervashidze was transferred to an infantry regiment in Kutais, and in 1867 is forcibly seconded to the Orenburg Cossack army. In 1871 in the shtabs-captain's rank it was sent to the order of the commander Odessa

the military district, and on June 17, 1875 again it is appointed the aide-de-camp of the commander of the Caucasian army. In April, 1879 M. Shervashidze becomes Alexander II's wing aide-de-camp, in January, 1880 is enlisted in suite of the tsar. In July, 1883 he retires "before recovery", and in August, 1887 the wing aide-de-camp is appointed the colonel with leaving in a rank [8, page 88 - 89].

In 1888 living in Kutais G.M. Sherva-shidze again it is sent out of borders of the Caucasus for the period of stay of Alexander III here. In protest it forever retires from military service with the right of carrying a uniform [8, page 89]. In 1904 he is elected to a position of the leader of the nobility of the Kutaisi province, but the Minister of Internal Affairs V.K. Plehve refused to submit the corresponding candidate for consideration of the emperor. Only in 1905 M. Shervashidze acquires the right to return home where it is entirely given to literary creativity [8, page 90].

The disgraced officer proved as the brilliant playwright, the poet, the critic and the publicist who presented to public opinion the comedy "Leaving Shadows" (1881 - a theater production, 1882 - the publication), the drama "Smoke without Fire" (1883), the tragedy "Georgi of III" (1908). It is known for A.S. Pushkin and V. Hugo's also classical translations into Georgian and also numerous reviews of various plays of the Georgian theaters in the Droeba and Iveriya newspapers [8, page 92 - 93].

The famous researcher G.A. Dzidzariya believed that G.M. Shervashidze wrote also in the Abkhazian language, but the Lykhnensky archive of the Abkhazian possessors died during the revolt of 1866, as well as library and the documentary fund stored in the ochamchirsky residence [8, page 93 - 94]. But even the remained materials allow to draw a conclusion that vital difficulties did not prevent the disgraced officer and the successor of a vlade-telsky throne to become one of the most brilliant representatives of the Abkhazian ethnic intellectuals.

During the post-reform period there are new representatives of regional intellectual community who are not connected with military service or teacher's activity. The striking example of the ethnic intellectual of a similar formation can be considered the foster brother G.M. Shervashidze David of Zurabovi-cha Chkhotua (1849 - 1929) who studied in the Kutaisi gymnasium, and then at the St. Petersburg university. Originally he was a student of physical and mathematical faculty on office of natural sciences in a geology and mineralogy, and since 1875 continued training at law department. However the same year for family reasons D.Z. Chkhotua left study and agreed to operate manors of the foster brother in East Georgia. In 1876 he was in a false manner accused of murder and sentenced to 20 years of a hard labor and lifelong exile (returned home only in 1906) [8, page 94 - 95].

D.Z. Chkhotua was not only encyclopedically educated person, but also the gifted publicist and the literary critic cooperating in Georgians -

sky newspapers "Iveriya", "Droeba", "Sasoplo to the Newspaper", "Krebuli". He is the author of such curious publicistic articles as "Two customs in Abkhazia", "Influence of language on development of thinking of the people", John Hus, "The history of the earth or geology", "Heroes of the poem of Rustaveli, their outlook" [8, page 96].

It is necessary to allocate as well that essential circumstance that during the considered period the independent activity of the outstanding Abkhazian citizen, writer and public figure Dmitry Iosifovich Gulia who became the founder of the Abkhazian fiction and the literary language begins. Personally endured a terrible tragedy of a makhadzhirstvo and having returned on the historical homeland, he graduated from the Sukhumi mountain school, and then external passed examinations for a rank of the teacher of national schools [8, page 112]. Teacher's activity did not prevent the talented young man to show serious interest in the historical past and modern development of Abkhazia that was shown on systematic trips to the remote areas for thorough collecting folklore material and detailed study of monuments of material culture. The saved-up impressions and collected empirical material formed the basis of numerous works of D.I. Gulia which gained world fame subsequently.

In general it is necessary to recognize that in the second half of XIX - the beginning of the 20th century there is a gradual formation of the Abkhazian ethnic intellectuals uniting educated and socially active representatives of officer corps, teacher's community and administrative personnel. Outstanding representatives of the Russian culture - Decembrists A.A. Bestuzhev - Marlene - sky and A.I. Odoevsky, artists V.V. Vereshchagin and I.E. Repin, writers A.P. Chekhov and A.M. Gorky had undoubted impact on long process of formation of the specified social group [8, 22]. According to a right remark of G.A. Dzidzariya, "fruitful influence of the Russian culture in interaction with local cultural traditions was a decisive specific factor of education of the pre-revolutionary Abkhazian intellectuals" [8, page 4]. It is also necessary to recognize that the Abkhazian ethnic intellectuals during the considered period were only an insignificant public layer which could not have a significant impact on institutional transformations in mountain societies and the real policy of the Tsar's administration. Moreover, educational practicians of the Russian authorities were mainly directed to consecutive formation of the obedient intellectual community having special imperial identity. In the context of the specified circumstance it is possible to agree with G.A. Dzidzariya according to whom "the school policy of a tsarism in the Caucasus, as well as other actions in the field of culture, was closely connected with its general program of brain washing of the Caucasian people substantially. The school was recognized as the basic to a shouting -

diy distribution of the ideas of Orthodoxy here, and Christianization of the mountain people became a core of all ideological line of autocracy in the Caucasus" [8, page 67]. However appearance of the Abkhazian ethnic intellectuals including and representatives of traditional culture, demonstrates the profound internal changes which are directly connected with complex development of inkorporatsionny and modernization processes in regional community.


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