Научный диалог (Oct 2023)

M.Yu. Lermontov and A.A. Velyaminov: History of Relations and Views on Caucasian Question

  • I. A. Kiseleva,
  • K. A. Potashova

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 12, no. 8
pp. 277 – 292


Read online

Based on the analysis of archival documents and literary texts, a comparative analysis is conducted of the similar ideas expressed by poet M.Yu. Lermontov and General A.A. Velyaminov regarding Russian-Caucasian relations. Their history of interaction is reconstructed through the identification of contemporary witnesses, analysis of the poet's letters, and determination of their shared circle of acquaintances. The hypothesis is put forward that they were acquainted before 1837, when Lermontov came under Velyaminov’s direct command. The influence of Velyaminov on Lermontov’s early works is demonstrated. Additionally, an overlooked essay by A.A. Velyaminov entitled “History of the Caucasus” is introduced into scholarly circulation, which provides a detailed chronicle of the Caucasus from prehistoric times to the present day. Through the study of Velyaminov’s publicistic works, a better understanding is gained of the origins and development of Lermontov’s Caucasian historiosophy in the context of messianic ideas prevalent in society during the 1830s due to Russia’s actions on its eastern borders. The shared belief of both Lermontov and Velyaminov in the peacemaking role of the Russian Empire is revealed. These newly discovered materials contribute to a more comprehensive understanding of the formation of Lermontov’s historical thinking in regards to his perception of Russian-Caucasian relations.