Caucasian amanatism. Forgotten Social Institute

Caucasian amanatism. Forgotten Social Institute

It is generally accepted that amanatism is a simple hostage-taking, because the word "amanat" is translated as "hostage". Instantly in the imagination of the layman an ugly picture of a handful of citizens on the floor of a bank under the trunks of an automatic appears weapons, a kidnapped man, hidden in an old garage on the outskirts of the city, or a group of tourists languishing in a hole somewhere in the Middle East.


All this, of course, has nothing to do with Amanatism as a diplomatic, political and social institution.

The word "amanat" itself, for example, is understood in Islam as the obligation to preserve something God or man has entrusted to you and at the same time is the most trusted entity. At the same time, both intangible values ​​and quite tangible objects can act under the amanat. So, the amanates of Allah, sent down to people, appear soul, body, Islam and even time. But the amanats given by society include family and property, debts and secrets told under the strictest secret. And a careful and careful attitude to the amanat is considered a sacred duty. Some of these subtleties eventually turned into a military-political interpretation of the amanat.

Amanatism itself has been known since ancient times. Do not confuse it with a banal predatory raid, followed by theft of people into captivity for resale or exchange. And, of course, in any way, the invention of Russian amanatism was not in principle. It was practiced in Spain and the Ottoman Empire, in Austria and Italy, in Ancient Russia and the Golden Horde, etc.

Amanat was not just a hostage, he was a living pledge of trust, a guarantee of compliance with a completely formal agreement. And both parties should follow the terms of the contract, including the one with the high-ranking amanat in custody. His health and comfort of stay was entirely on the conscience of the party who took the amanat. The murder of such a "hostage" was considered not just some kind of shame for conscience, but it had quite tangible consequences in the political arena, undermining the reputation and status of this or that ruler and, as a result, the state that he controlled.

Amanatism in the Caucasus is a necessary compromise


The Caucasus, in which Amanatism also existed since ancient times, during the most active expansion of the borders of the Russian Empire in its direction, i.e., in the 18-19th centuries, was a boiling cauldron from principalities, kingdoms, khanates, shamkhalms, mysisstva, USMs, communities and quasi-state associations that quickly appeared and disappeared at the same speed.

For example, by the second half of the 18th century in the west of the Caucasus there were lands of disparate Circassian tribes and Nogai nomads, Abkhazia and Svaneti, Megrelia and Guria, etc. In the center were Kabarda and Ossetia, the lands of the Ingush and Chechens, divided into separate teips and periodically dependent on Kabardian and Kumyk rulers. In the west, a real carpet lay: Avar, Kyurinsky, Kazikumukh, Cuban, Sheki, Shirvan, Baku, Derbent and Ganja khanates, Tarkov shamshalstvo, Tabasaran Maysumism and Kaitag usmism, and this is far from all the entities with a quasi-state.


Peoples of the Caucasus

All this wealth was in constant motion. Unions were created and collapsed, some khanates or principalities were magnified, levying a tribute to their neighbors, others instantly disappeared. At the same time, princely and khan families were extremely mixed. For example, the famous Derbent warrior Tuti-Bike, being married off by her own brother to her ally Fat ali Khan, soon faced a terrible choice, because brother and husband began to quarrel. When the army of brother Tuti-Bike Amir Gamza appeared at the walls of Derbent, she sided with her husband and led the defense of the city, fighting, in fact, with her own native blood.

Naturally, in such a situation, any, even the most profitable contract, held together by senior officials, easily lost all power. Even if the prince or the khan himself asked for Russian citizenship, after a while his own nobles (younger princes, bridles, viziers, etc.) could persuade the ruler to make a profitable traditional raid or completely replace the obstinate "superiors". After this, a military expedition of the Russian Empire followed with the goal of forcing to fulfill voluntarily assigned obligations. Such expeditions often did more harm than good.

That is why the institution of Amanatism has become a compromise choice. In addition, the Caucasus was better acquainted with amanatism than the Russian troops. Moreover, high-ranking amanates ruled entire principalities. For example, before becoming the prince of Abkhazia, Kelesh Bey Chachba was an amanate in Constantinople with "friendly" Ottomans.


Alexey Petrovich Ermolov

It is generally believed that it was Alexei Petrovich Ermolov who became the main initiator of amanatism and almost its author. As it became clear, he could not be an author in principle, and the fact that he deftly combined military and diplomatic stiffness in his energy was true. Taking people into amanats, Ermolov set up firm, but justified and quite feasible conditions. Often these conditions were only a repetition of previously concluded contracts.

And you definitely don’t need to think that Ermolov practiced amanatism alone or planted this institution in the Russian army. Amanatov in the form of princes was taken, for example, by General Ivan Petrovich Delpozzo in Kabarda. These princes, by the way, enjoyed great freedom until they constituted an armed conspiracy. Only after this the princes were put in the Kizlyar fortress. Moreover, Delpozzo was once a hostage in the Caucasus himself, but not on a contractual basis, but on a field of profit.

The Georgian prince also took the Prince of Georgia, General Yegor (George) Evseevich Eristov-Ksansky. Tired of the raids due to the Terek and empty promises to no longer hold them, then Colonel Eristov not only conducted a tough military expedition, but also took several noble Chechens with him as guarantees for the fulfillment of the promised peaceful coexistence.

There were several curious cases. Before the famous campaign in Khevsuria (Khevsureti, a region in the north-east of modern Georgia) in 1813, Lieutenant General Fedor Fyodorovich Simanovich decided to guarantee the loyalty of the Pshavs (considered an ethnographic group of Georgians with different versions of origin). After conducting proper reconnaissance of the social structure, Simanovich refused to take any elders as amanats, but took as amanats ... Pshavian cattle of several tens of thousands of animals. Russian troops began to graze cattle, and the Pshavs from unreliable subjects turned into the best guides and scouts.

How Amanates Contained


Amanats were usually kept in fortresses (Georgievskaya, Kizlyarskaya, Nalchikskaya, Astrakhan, etc.), although there were many exceptions. Naturally, this content paints a picture of some stony zindan or the casemate of Count Monte Cristo, but again, the philistine imagination will lie.


Of course, the general picture of the content of amanates cannot be compiled, again thanks to the disparate specificity of the Caucasus. Each was kept in accordance with the significance of the lands that gave it away and on the basis of any specific agreements. Some had the right to carry cold steel and walk under the supervision of guards or proxies near the fortresses and even travel to neighboring cities or villages for some time. Others were kept only inside the walls, though in a separate house, as a rule, with a garden next to it. Amanatov was periodically changed, so the "hostage" could be at the fortress from one year to 15 years, if the contract was violated by the party that gave the amanat.

Moreover, there was even a certain instruction for the treatment of amanates. It was appropriate

"Treat them prudently, carefully, fairly, affably, with moderate affection, but not slavishly."

Educated amanats could conduct free correspondence, had the right to write out the necessary books. The dining table of the amanat never gave way to the meal of the commandant of the fortress, and sometimes even exceeded it. Amanats have always been provided with doctors and other necessary staff.

The entire content of the amanates fell on the treasury of the Russian Empire. Some lived on the level of officers, but others, thanks to the same political and diplomatic conflicts of the Caucasus, lived like real princes. For example, after General Pavel Dmitrievich Tsitsianov persuaded the Karabakh Khanate with the capital in Shusha to join Russian citizenship, he took the oath from the owner of the Khanate Ibrahim Khan. At the same time, the grandson of the ruler was taken to amanats with the annual maintenance of a boy, according to various sources, from a thousand to 10 thousand rubles.

Amanat schools as a way to life


Most often, the children of Caucasian rulers became amanats. With the pacification of the Caucasus and the multiplication of the lands of the empire, the Amanates became more and more. In addition, naturally, none of the Russian officers, taking the amanats, even thought of somehow punishing the children for the sins of their parents. Some communities were so fragmented that they gave up to ten boys at a time. On the one hand, they won’t be able to come up with anything worthy of a group of boys left to their own devices; on the other hand, the empire received an excellent resource for raising an imperial sense of belonging among mountain children.


Awareness of these facts and created a special phenomenon - Amanat schools. In these schools, the Amanates taught the Russian language, mathematics, geography and other sciences. Education and maintenance of students, of course, came from the treasury of the empire. Many mountain boys, who discovered the whole world, showed simply amazing abilities. Some by the end of the first year, quite clearly and efficiently, read books in Russian.

Outstanding amanats were periodically sent to the cadet corps to continue their studies. Later, many of them will constitute real dynasties of the “Russian” officers who fought for the glory of the empire, which they had once been held hostage. So the institution of amanatism eventually became an instrument of socialization, education and just a springboard to life.

Outstanding Amanates of the Caucasus


Amanatov, who became brilliant officers in the Russian army, are numerous. So, Aslamurza Yesiev, who was born in 1836, was taken into amanaty at the age of 9. Soon the boy went to St. Petersburg, where he was enrolled in the Second Cadet Corps. In 1853, he began serving in the Elisavetgrad Hussar Regiment. After six years of service, he was forced to resign due to family reasons.

Yesiev returned to service in 1864 as the commander of the 2nd Hundred Tersko-Gorsky Irregular Regiment. By the beginning of the Russian-Turkish war of 1877-1879, Aslamurza already commanded the Ossetian division of the above-mentioned regiment, distinguishing himself in the Danube army. After the war he joined the detachment of General Skobelev in Turkestan, etc.


Aslamurza Yesiev

The former Amanat Aslamurza resigned with the rank of lieutenant colonel, proudly carrying the Order of St. Vladimir of the 4th degree, the Order of St. Anna of the 2nd degree, the Order of St. Stanislav of the 2nd and 3rd degree. Esiev spent the last days of his life in the village of Kartsa, engaged in peaceful agriculture, gardening and beekeeping.

Another famous amanate was Aslambek Tuganov, who rose to the rank of general and became the peculiar founder of the Ossetian military intelligentsia. Tuganov, descended from a noble feudal family, was given over to amanates at the age of 4 in 1808. Aslambek was brought up in the family of a Russian colonel, so at the age of 19 he began serving as a private in the Kabardian Infantry Regiment, in which he quickly rose to the rank of officer with the transfer of the Caucasian Mountain Half-squadron to the Life Guard.


Aslambek Tuganov

The fate of this officer, like many others, deserves a separate material, if not a book. He participated in the Polish campaign and in the Caucasian war, was a convoy of the emperor himself and served as a kind of diplomat, recruiting mountain youth in the ranks of the Russian army. On December 6, 1851, Tuganov was promoted to major general. The list of his awards was long: the Order of St. Anne, St. Stanislav 1st and 2nd degrees, St. Vladimir 1st and 4th degrees, distinction of the Polish Order, etc. The general died in 1868.

The highest and most unfortunate amanat of the Caucasus


The most famous and at the same time unfortunate amanat was the son of Shamil - Jamaluddin. The 10-year-old Jamaluddin got into amanats during the battles for the village of Akhulgo, when Shamil sent him to General Pavel Grabbe to delay the inevitable assault, which threatened him and his murids with death. As a result, Shamil fled, and Grabbe was left with a minor Jamaluddin in his arms.

The boy was quickly sent to Petersburg, where Nicholas I himself took patronage over him, in a sense even replacing his father. Jamaluddin was enrolled in the Alexander Orphan Cadet Corps for noble children who lost their parents. The emperor took an active part in the fate of the boy, talked with him for a long time and took at any time. The boy had a sharp mind and liveliness of character. He was decisively interested in everything, discovering ever new sciences and aspects of life. In 1849, Jamaluddin, with the rank of cornet, was sent to the Vladimir 13th Lancers Regiment. During the service, he fell in love with the daughter of General Peter Olenin Elizabeth, at the same time determined to accept baptism. The future of a professional officer seemed cloudless.


Jamaluddin, son of Shamil

All this time, Shamil continued negotiations, trying to return his son. For these purposes, he even took hostage Prince and General Iliko Orbeliani. True, the demands made by Shamil were so utopian that Orbeliani himself refused freedom under such conditions. After this failure, Shamil made a daring raid on Kakheti, capturing many hostages, including prominent persons of the princely family Chavchavadze. Among the prisoners were women with one-year-old children in their arms. The emperor was in a difficult situation. On the one hand, he did not want to give his beloved Jamaluddin, and on the other, he could not leave Shamil hostages to their own devices.

Jamaluddin was then seconded to Poland with the rank of lieutenant. He did not know what trouble awaited him, continuing to dream of marriage with Elizabeth and read works on mathematics, which he was still interested in in the cadet corps. Soon he was summoned to headquarters in Warsaw, outlining the situation. Jamaluddin was stunned. His life, a new world, officer service, the beloved of a woman - all this collapsed before our eyes. He hesitated for a long time, but was forced to agree.

On March 10 (old style), 1855, an exchange took place near the village of Mayrtup. Jamaluddin warmly said goodbye to his comrades and, taking with him only a lot of books, atlases, paper and pencils as a baggage, wandered towards the family, who solemnly met his son from the "captivity".

Many people close to Shamil noted Jamaluddin’s extraordinary intelligence and education, but a few days after a hot meeting, there was a growing tension between father and son. Jamaluddin persuaded his father to come to terms with the Russian Empire, spoke extremely highly of Nicholas I and admired the Russian army, which, of course, caused his father’s hostility. And as a responsible officer, Jamaluddin could not languish idle, so he inspected the villages, the administrative structure and the troops of Shamil. After that, he came down with extremely harsh criticism of everything he saw. This pushed his son away from his father even more.

True, for some time Jamaluddin managed to moderate the ardor of Shamil, to establish contact with the governor in the Caucasus, General Alexander Baryatinsky. A mass exchange of prisoners began, and Jamaluddin was instructed to put in order the administrative affairs in the North Caucasian imamat. But the openly pro-Russian orientation of his son angered Shamil more and more. Despite the unconditional successes of Jamaluddin, his brothers moved away from him, his fellow tribesmen did not communicate with him, he was kept clear of naibs.


Mausoleum of Jamaluddin in the village of Karat

The last straw for the powerful imam was an attempt to secretly meet Jamaluddin with his beloved Elizabeth. Shamil was able to disrupt this meeting. Imam immediately after this married his son against his will to the daughter of his naib Talhig Shalinsky, which finally broke the infinitely lonely Jamaluddin.

The young man began to suffer from chest pains and coughing, walked through the aul like a dumb ghost, as if expecting a tragic end. Shamil, noting this, still loving his son, sent him to the high-mountain village of Karat (now a village in Dagestan), whose climate was considered healing. But the young man continued to fade, not seeing the point in continuing life. Shamil was forced to enter into negotiations with Baryatinsky to send a Russian doctor to Jamaluddin. Baryatinsky sent regimental doctor Piotrovsky.

Piotrovsky diagnosed consumption and loss of vitality in Jamaluddin. The doctor left all the necessary medicines along with the necessary recommendations. But the treatment did not benefit the broken Jamaluddin. On June 26, 1858, the most famous and educated for its time, the amanat died in the village of Karat. The libels immediately spread the rumor that the Russian doctor had poisoned the unfortunate, which, of course, had no basis or even any logic.

Now the mausoleum of Jamaluddin, an amanat and an officer of the Russian army, is still in the same village of Karat.
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  1. rich 21 January 2020 06: 56 New
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    Aslamurza Esiev was the father of the hero of World War I, commander of the illustrious 1th Siberian Rifle Regiment, Major General Esiev Kazbulat Aslamurzaevich, awarded the Order of St. Anne of 47-3 degrees, the Order of St. Stanislav of 4-3 degrees, Officer Order of St. George 4 tbsp. , St. Vladimir 4-2-3 centuries, St. Vladimir "with swords and a bow of Vladimir", the English Order of St. George, Full cavalier of four English military crosses, which were awarded to senior officers of the Russian army, the owner of the golden St. George weapons. However, among all the awards, Kazbulat was especially honored and proud of the soldier George Cross with a laurel wreath - the RI award is very rare and high.
    1. rich 21 January 2020 07: 09 New
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      Oh yes well done Eastern wind, no matter the article, then everything is more interesting and fascinating
  2. Korsar4 21 January 2020 07: 31 New
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    Thank you for the story of Shamil’s son.
  3. Edward Vashchenko 21 January 2020 07: 59 New
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    Thank! Very interesting article!
  4. Olgovich 21 January 2020 10: 00 New
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    Education its Elites from children of hostile rulers are aerobatics.

    Moreover, as the author rightly writes, this did not happen under the influence of propaganda, but under the influence of Educationopened up huge new world of knowledge , far superior to the feudal world of their relatives ....
    1. Glory1974 21 January 2020 11: 29 New
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      Raising your elite from the children of hostile rulers is aerobatics

      Knowing the history, you better understand the present.
      It is scary to think about who will bring up our students in the USA.
      Chubais and Gaidar alone, who studied abroad, did more harm than the enemy army.
      1. Kronos 21 January 2020 15: 20 New
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        In itself, there is nothing bad in studying abroad; there are no aristocrats for centuries, for example, studying in France and England because education was trite there
        1. Glory1974 23 January 2020 15: 23 New
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          Nothing bad in studying abroad in itself

          Yes, I agree. But there is training when a person is either hackneyed or imposed on him by attitudes that run counter to the attitudes of instruction at home.
          The prominent representatives of such training are Gaidar and Chubais, who studied in the United States and brought to our country such an economic policy that we still cannot get rid of.
          There is a photo of student Angela Merkel in company with the current president of Estonia and another prominent (now) politician. A very suspicious coincidence, if any.
    2. Elturisto 23 January 2020 23: 53 New
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      What a monstrous nonsense.
      1. Olgovich 24 January 2020 10: 09 New
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        Quote: ElTuristo
        What a monstrous nonsense.

        what a golem delirium..... belay request
  5. Mihaylov 21 January 2020 10: 55 New
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    Thanks, very interesting!
    I did not know about the fate of the son of Shamil, a very tragic story.
  6. Pacifist with AK 21 January 2020 19: 25 New
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    Work worthy of respect! Very fascinating, easy to read, original article. The author - my many thanks. Keep it up!
  7. Ryaruav 21 January 2020 21: 59 New
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    compared to Russia, the Caucasus is something insignificant, but how many wars of blood of betrayal do the population in the majority for Turkey do we really need it? So Putin’s partners are our partners, and what about the slaughtered soldiers of military service and the money poured in when Russian regions don’t dream of it, but the return is not a war. Anyone who was offered a war or who comes to shame will get both shame and war
    1. gsev 22 January 2020 03: 47 New
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      Quote: Ryaruav
      the Caucasus compared with Russia is something insignificant

      The Caucasus has enriched Russia with some of its technical achievements. For example, cheese production in Russia has Caucasian and Swiss roots. Kefir is also a Caucasian invention, and for a long time it was a secret production. During the Caucasian war, the Russians adopted some methods of military operations, elements of weapons, military suits. In many ways, the way of the Cossacks was adopted by the Circassians.
      1. Elturisto 23 January 2020 23: 52 New
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        What is another way, what kind of kefir? Sour-milk products are known to all peoples containing cattle.
        There was nothing and could not be anything in the way of the Cossacks and Caucasians. The Cossacks were a military estate of equal communal wars, Caucasian peoples were early feudal formations with elements of a tribal organization, with property, ethnic and legal inequality, and so on.
        1. gsev 24 January 2020 00: 18 New
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          Quote: ElTuristo
          Sour-milk products are known to all peoples containing cattle.

          Russian cheese began to be produced in the 19th century. Moreover, in the Tver province, Swiss cheese makers were invited to produce cheese. Yoghurts for example began to be introduced into industrial production in Bulgaria from the 1970s. Kefir is a Caucasian invention. Moreover, the peoples of the Caucasus cherished the secret of the production of kefir, and in the 19th century Russian aristocrats traveled to the Caucasus to be treated with kefir.
          Professional historians sometimes joked on Rybakov, who exalted the Slavs too much in comparison with other peoples by the following example. During the excavation of Slavic settlements, the appearance of local ceramics and signs of its production in the ancient layers, its disappearance in later ones and the reappearance are noted. Some signs clearly indicated that the production of ceramics was borrowed by the Slavs from the outside, and was lost several times.
          Regarding the property division, Russian landowner estates of the 19th century belong to the world historical heritage precisely because of the richness of their decoration. In the Caucasus and even in the Khan’s palace in Bakhchisarai in Crimea, they are inferior in luxury to, for example, Arkhangelsk.
          1. Elturisto 24 January 2020 01: 07 New
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            Are you different? Cheese is different. For hard cheeses, a special regime and special storages with a certain temperature are needed, in Russia they didn’t bother with it — the people are poor and there is no building stone. Humanity has blessed dairy products and ceramic production when the Slavs (as a language family) and there was no trace.
          2. Avior 24 January 2020 08: 22 New
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            I was in Bakhchisarai.
            The word "luxury" is better not to apply to the Khan’s palace at all, it's just a big dwelling.
  8. Elturisto 23 January 2020 23: 47 New
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    The author confuses two different concepts - giving out the murderers as a guarantee of peace and Amanism proper - placing the offspring of noble Adyghe families from the Krymchaks and Nogais as a permanent institution for maintaining the dependence of the Adyghe peoples. For the same purpose, the younger members of the Krymchak and Nogai clans were brought up. received feudal privileges and maintained at the expense of the taxable population and were called upon to maintain the political loyalty of the Circassians, and if it was easier to use the Adyghe peoples as an instrument of exploitation mchakov and Turkey.
    Therefore, the institution of amanatism is a way of exploitation, and to give this phenomenon a romantic halo-stupidity.