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Russia between Europe and Asia: The Ideological Construction of Geographical Space

  • Mark Bassin (a1)


Gehört Russland zu Europa? Der Geograph hat die Antwort am ehesten zur Hand.

Georg von Rauch

We should remember that a geographical region is in the last resort an abstraction with a history which can sometimes tell us much about the past.

Denys Hay

Russia's position between Europe and Asia is once again a timely subject. On the most official level, it figures regularly in Mikhail Gorbachev's pronouncements on foreign policy: somberly invoked either in western capitals in order to press his vision of a “common European home” from the Atlantic to the Urals or in the Far East to affirm the Soviet Union's natural identity as an Asian country. At the same time, dissident intellectual circles in the Soviet Union have been expostulating upon the Europe-Russia-Asia juxtaposition for some years and frequently enough arrive at conclusions very different from those of the general secretary.



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I am most grateful for a combined International Research Exchanges Board-Fulbright-Hays exchange grant to visit the Soviet Union, which provided the opportunity to collect much of the material for this essay. The epigraphs can be found in Georg von Rauch, Studien über das Verhdltnis Russlands zu Europa (Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 1964), 201; Denys Hay, “Geographical Abstractions and the Historian,” Historical Studies 2 (1959): 15.

1. Gorbachev, Mikhail, Perestroika (New York: Harper and Row, 1987), 180, 191, 194-195, 197-198, and idem, Toward a Better World (London: Hutchinson, 1987), 344, 348. For dissident opinions see Olzhas Suleimenov, Az i la. Kniga blagonamerennogo chitatelia (Alma Ata: Zhanzushi, 1975); F. F. Nestorov, Sviaz’ vremen (Moscow: Molodaia gvardiia, 1980); Agursky, Mikhail, “The Prospects of National Bolshevism,” in The Last Empire, ed. Conquest, Robert (Stanford, Calif.: Hoover Institution Press, 1986), 103105 . On Suleimenov see Jack V. Haney, “The Consequences of Seeking Roots,” Ethnic Russia in the USSR, ed. Edward Alworth (New York: Pergamon, 1980), 69-76.

2. Hauner, Milan, What is Asia to Us1﹜ (Boston: Unwin Hyman, 1990); Goehrke, Carsten, “Einige Grundprobleme der Geschichte Russlands im Spiegel der jüngsten Forschung,” Jahrbuch für Geschichte Osteuropas 34 (1986): 225229 .

3. On Russia and Europe see Masaryk, Thomas G., Russland und Europa, 2 vols. (Jena: Diederichs, 1913); von Schelting, Alexander, Russland und Europa in russischen Geschichtsdenken (Bern: Francke, 1948); Chizhevsky, Dmitrii, ed. Europa und Russland (Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 1959); Groh, Dieter, Russland und das Selbstverstdndnis Europas (Neuweid: Luchterhand, 1961) and the Soviet rebuttal by Gol'dberg, A. L., “Diter Gro otluchaet Rossiiu ot Evropy,” Istoriia SSSR 5 (1963): 208212 ; Reinhard Wittram, Russia and Europe, trans., Patrick and Hanaluise Doran (London: Thames and Hudson, 1973). Also see the discussion in Slavic Review 23 (1964): 1-30. On Russia and Asia see Utechin, S. V., “The Russians in Relation to Asia and Europe,” in The Glass Curtain between Asia and Europe, ed. Iyer, Raghavah (London: Oxford University Press, 1965), 87101 ; Nicholas V. Riasanovsky, “Russia cenand Asia: Two 19th Century Views,” California Slavic Studies 1 (1960): 170-181; idem, “Asia through Russian Eyes,” in Russia and Asia, ed. Wayne S. Vucinich (Stanford, Calif.: Hoover Institution Press, 1972), 3-29; Emanuel Sarkisyanz, “Russian Attitudes toward Asia,” Russian Review 13 (October 1954): 245-254; idem, Russland und der Messianismus des Orients (Tubingen: Mohr, 1955); Stephan, John J., “Asia in the Soviet Conception,” in Soviet Policy in East Asia, ed. Zagoria, Donald S. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1982), 2956 . Of more limited use are Dallin, David J., The Rise of Russia in Asia (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1949); A. Lobanov-Rostovsky, Russia and Asia (Ann Arbor, Mich.: George Wahr, 1965).

4. With the exception of Ladis Kristof's innovative studies, very little serious scholarly attention has been given to the question of geographical images of Russia. See L. K. D. Kristof, “The Historical and Political Role of a Nation in Space,” (Ph.D. diss., University of Chicago, 1969); idem, “The Russian Image of Russia,” in Essays in Political Geography, ed. C. A. Fisher (London: Methuen, 1968), 345-387; idem, “The State-Idea, the,National Idea and the Image of the Fatherland,” Orbis 11 (1967): 238-255.

5. Parker, W. H., “Europe: How Far?Geographical Journal 126 (1960): 278 ; Tozer, H. F., A History of Ancient Geography, 2nd ed. (New York: Biblo and Tannen, 1964), 6769 .

6. T-in-0 maps depicted a circular world divided into three continental segments by the Tanais, Nile, and Mediterranean. The arrangement of the rivers assumed a rough T shape. Wright, John K., The Geographical Lore of the Time of the Crusades (New York: Dover, 1965), 6668, 71; Raymond Beazley, C., The Dawn of Modern Geography, 3 vols. (New York: Peter Smith, 1949) 2:576580ff; David Woodward, “Medieval Mappaemundi,” in The History of Cartography, ed. J. B. Harley and David Woodward, 6 vols. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1987-) 1:296-297.

7. Compare Sigismund Gerbershtein [Herberstein], Zapiska o moskovitskikh delakh, trans. A. I. Malenin (St. Petersburg: A. S. Suvorin, 1908), 105.

8. Gollwitzer, Heinz, “Zur Wortgeschichte und Sinndeutung von ‘Europa’,” Saeculum 2,2 (1951): 165 . Louis, Herbert, “Über den geographischen Europabegriff,” Mitteilungeh der Geographischen Gesellschaft in München 39 (1954): 75 . On the changing concept of Europe see Hay, Denys, Europe: The Emergence of an Idea, 2nd ed. (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1968); Christopher Dawson, The Making of Europe (Cleveland: Meridian, 1966); Heinz Gollwitzer, Europabild und Europagedanke, 2nd ed. (Munich: Beck, 1964); Jürgen Fischer, Oriens-Occidens-Europa. Begriff und Gedanke “Europa” in der späten Antike und imfruhen Mittelalter (Wiesbaden: Steiner, 1957); Denis de Rougemont, The Idea of Europe, trans. N. Guterman (New York: Macmillan, 1966); Bernard Voyenne, Histoire de I'idée européene (Paris: Payot, 1964); Actes du colloque international sur la notion d'Europa (1961) (Paris: PUF, 1963).

9. Hay, Europe, 4; Burke, Peter, “Did Europe Exist before 1700?History of European Ideas 1 (1980): 2223 .

10. This complex process is described very well in Hay, , Europe, 7395 .

11. Kiernan, V. G., “Europe in the Colonial Mirror,” History of European Ideas 1 (1980): 39 ; Jörg-Geerd Arentzen, Imago Mundi Cartographica (Munich: Fink, 1984), plate 76; Hay, Europe, frontispiece.

12. Samuel Purchas, Purchas his Pilgrimes, Haklyut Society, Extra Series, 20 vols. (Glasgow: James MacLehose, 1905), 1:248; Hay, , Europe, 120122 .

13. Parker, “Europe: How Far?” 281-283.

14. Kliuchevskii, V. O., Kurs russkoi istorii, 5 vols. (Moscow: Gosudarstvennoe Sotsial'no-Ekonomicheskoe, 1937) 3:303 . On Muscovite attitudes to the west, see Kazakova, N. A., Zapadnaia Evropa v russkoi pis'mennosti XV-XVI vekov (Leningrad: Nauka, 1980); Günfher Stökl, Das Bild des Abendlandes in den altrussischen Chroniken (Cologne: Westdeutscher, 1965); Bickford O'Brien, C., Russia under Two Tsars 1682-1689 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1952), 4361 .

15. A. N., Pypin, Istoriia russkoi literatury, 4 vols., 4th ed. (St. Petersburg: Stasiulevich, 1911) 3:317 ; Schafly, Daniel L., “The Popular Image of the West in Russia at the time of Peter the Great,” in Russia and the World of the 18th Century, ed. Bartlett, R. P. et al. (Columbus, Ohio: Slavica, 1988), 2 . On busurmany (a variant of basurmany) see Vladimir Dal', Tolkovyi slovar’ zhivogo velikorusskogo iazyka, 4th ed., 4 vols. (St. Petersburg: Vol'f, 1912) 1:134.

16. Sobolevskii, A. I., Perevodnaia literatura Moskovskoi Rusi X1V-XVII vekov (St. Petersburg: Akademiia Nauk, 1903), 4547, 52-78; D. M. Lebedev, Geografiia v RossiiXVII veka (dopetrovskoi epokhi) (Moscow-Leningrad: AN SSSR, 1949), 209.

17. “Kosmografiia sirech’ vsemirnoe opisanie zeml',” in Izbornik slavianskikh i russkikh sochinenii i statei, vnesennykh v khronografy russkoi redaktsii, ed. A. N. Popov (Moscow: Mamontov, 1869), 478; Mordovtsev, D. L., O russkikh shkol'nykh knigakh XVII veka (Moscow: Universitetskaia tipografiia, 1862), 6163 ; K. N. Serbina, ed., Kniga Bol'shomu Chertezhu (Moscow: AN SSSR, 1950), 29, 192; Iu. V. Arsen'ev, “Opisanie Moskvy i Moskovskogo gosudarstva po neizdannomu spisku Kosmografii kontsa XVII veka,” Zapiski moskovskogo arkheologicheskogo instituta (1911), 4; Ditmar, A. B., “K istorii voprosa o granitse mezhdu Evropoi i Aziei,” Uchenye zapiski Iaroslavskogo Ped. In-ta. Seriia geografiia 20(30), 1 (1958): 3839 .

18. It was not until the early eighteenth century that any mention was made at all in Russia of a northern extension of the Don boundary, and that in geography texts translated from Dutch and German under Peter the Great: Geografiia ili Kratkoe zemnogo shara opisanie (Moscow: v tip. Moskovskoi, 1710), 11-12, 57; lagan Gibner, Zemnovodnogo kruga kratkoe opisanie …. trans. P. B. Inokhodtsev (Moscow: n.p., 1719), 8, 311-312, 343.

19. Gerbershtein, Zapiska o moskovitskikh delakh, 99, 107. The nineteenth century Russian editor of these Muscovite texts, for whom the question of Russia's relationship to Asia had a very different significance, was quite understandably struck by this point as well. Mordovtsev, O russkikh shkol'nykh knigakh, 61n.

20. For excellent overviews, see Sumner, B. H., Peter the Great and the Emergence of Russia (New York: Collier, 1973); Reinhard Wittram, Peter 1. Czar und Kaiser, 2 vols. (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck und Ruprecht, 1964).

21. V. N. Tatishchev, Leksikon rossiiskoi … in Izbrannye proizvedeniia (Leningrad: Nauka, 1979), 271.

22. N. A. Voskresenskii, ed., Zakonodatel'nye akty Petra I (Moscow-Leningrad: AN SSSR, 1945), 155; Wittram, Peter 12:462-463; R J. Rollins, “Emperor, Russian use of the title of,” in Modern Encyclopedia of Russian and Soviet History, ed. J. L. Wieczynski, 53 vols. (Gulf Breeze, Fla.: Academic International Press, 1979) 10:200-201. On Peter's imperial vision see E. V. Anisimov, “Petr I: rozhdenie imperii,” Voprosy istorii 7 (1989); idem, Vremia petrovskikh reform (Leningrad: Lenizdat [forthcoming]).

23. This distinction was captured in the contrast that emerged in the eighteenth century between the terms russkii and rossiiskii. Pushkarev, S. G., Dictionary of Russian Historical Terms (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1970), 31 ; “Rossiia,” Sovetskaia Istoricheskaia Emsiklopediia, 16 vols. (Moscow: Sovetskaia entsiklopediia, 1969) 12:210; Kristof, “The Russian Image of Russia,” 349-353.

24. Lebedev, D. M., Geografiia v Rossii petrovskogo vremeni (Moscow-Leningrad: AN SSSR, 1950), 315 ; V. Korsakova, “Vasilii Nikitich Tatishchev,” Russkii Biograficheskii Slovar’ (St. Petersburg: Obshchestvennaia Pol'za, 1912) 19:339; A. I. Andreev, “Trudy V. N. Tatishcheva po geografii Rossii,” in Tatishchev, V. N., Izbrannye raboty po geografii Rossii (Moscow: Gosudarstvennoe Izdatel'stvo geograficheskoi literatury, 1950), 56 . On Tatishchev also see A. I. Iukht, Gosudarstvennaia deiatel'nost’ V. N. Tatishcheva v 20-khnachale 30-kh godov XVIII v. (Moscow: Nauka, 1985); Grau, Conrad, Der Wirtschaftsorganisator, Staalsmann und Wissenschaftler Vasilij N. Tatisiev (1686-1750) (Berlin: Akademie, 1963); Daniels, Rudolph L., V. N. Tatishchev (Philadelphia: Franklin, 1973); Edward C. Thaden, “V. N. Tatishchev, German Historians, and the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences,” Russian History/Histoire Russe 13 (Winter 1986): 367-398.

25. “Russia ili kak nyne zovut Rossiia,” in Tatishchev, Izbrannye raboty po geografii Rossii, 108-112; Daniels, V.N. Tatishchev, 68-69.

26. Tatishchev, “Russia,” 112ff.

27. Entries Don and Evropa in Tatishchev, Leksikon rossiiskoi, 266, 271; idem, “Vvedenie k gistoricheskomu i geograficheskomu opisaniiu Velikorossiiskoi imperii,” Izbrannye raboty po geografii Rossii, 156; Ditmar, “K istorii voprosa o granitse,” 40-41.

28. Philipp-Johann von Strahlenberg, Das Nord- und Ostliche Teil von Europa und Asia … (Stockholm: In Verlegung des Autoris, 1730), 106-107; M. G. Novlianskaia, Filipp Iogann Stralenberg (Moscow-Leningrad: Nauka, 1966), 76-77; Parker, “Europe: How Far?” 285-286. Strahlenberg was thus the first actually to suggest in print that the Urals be taken as the boundary between Europe and Asia. Some years later, however, Tatishchev claimed that he had been the one to suggest it first to Strahlenberg. Ditmar emphatically endorses Tatishchev's claim to the authorship of this boundary, apparently seeing in it a victory of sorts for Russian science. V. N. Tatishchev, Istoriia Rossiiskaia, 7 vols. (Moscow-Leningrad: AN SSSR, 1962) 1:414; idem, “Obshchee geograficheskoe opisanie vseia Sibiri,” 50; Ditmar, “K istorii voprosa o granitse,” 40-42. For the dissenting view of a Soviet historian, however, see Bodnarskii, M. S., Ocherki po istorii russkogo zemlevedeniia (Moscow: AN SSSR, 1947), 95 . Tatishchev wrote a substantial commentary on Strahlenberg's book for the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences, which has recently been published, along with translations into Russian of parts of the book itself: Zapiski kapitana Filippa Ioganna Stralenberga … ,2 vols. (Moscow-Leningrad: AN SSSR, 1985). On Tatishchev and Strahlenberg see Grau, , Der Wirtschafisorganisator, 43, 4749, 174-177; Novlianskaia, Stralenberg, 30, 77; Thaden, “V.N. Tatishchev,” 374-376.

29. Pushkin, A. S., Polnoe sobranie sochinenii, 10 vols. (Leningrad: Nauka, 1977-1979) 5:224225 . On Muscovite maps see Bagrow, Leo, A History of Russian Cartography up to 1800 (Wolfe Island, Ontario: Walker, 1975); Rybakov, B. A., Russkie karty Moskovii XV-nachala XVI veka (Moscow: Nauka, 1974). On Peter's concern for accuracy and modernization of maps, see Goldenberg, L. A. and Postnikov, A. V., “Development of Mapping Methods in Russia in the 18th century,” Imago Mundi 37 (1985): 6380 ; A. V. Postnikov, Razvitie krupnomasshtabnoi kartografii v Rossii (Moscow: Nauka, 1989), 33-53. On maps and imperial administration in the eighteenth century, see Harley's, J. B. stimulating essay, “Maps, Knowledge, and Power,” in The Iconography of Landscape, ed. Cosgrove, D. and Daniels, S. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988), 277312 . See also Kirilov, I. K., Atlas Vserossiiskoi Imperii … (St. Petersburg, 1734); Lebedev, , Geografiia v Rossii petrovskogo vremeni, 247250 ; Atlas rossiiskoi … (St. Petersburg: Akademiia Nauk, 1745); Bagrow, History of Russian Cartography, 190-192

30. Polunin, F. A., Geograficheskii leksikon Rossiiskogo gosudarstva … (Moscow: Imp. Mos. Universitet, 1773), 275, 419; Cherbotarev, Kh. A., Geograficheskoe metodicheskoe opisanie Rossiiskoi imperii … (Moscow: Universitetskaia tipografiia, 1776), 91 . Taking Tatishchev one step further, some works even relegated Russia's two regions to entirely different parts of the book: those devoted to Europe and to Asia. Baumann, L. A., Kratkoe nachertanie geografii, trans. Ivanov, V. (Moscow: Universitetskaia tipografia, 1788), 103104 ; Vvedenie v geografiiu … 2nded. (St. Petersburg: Kompaniia Tipograficheskaia, 1790), 146-148, 256ff.

31. [Antonovskii, M. I. et al.], Noveishee povestvovatel'noe zemleopisanie5 vols. (St. Petersburg: Akademiia Nauk, 1795) 1:5 .

32. Gmelin, Iogann Georg, Perevod s predisloviia sochinennogo professorom Gmelinom k pervomu tomu flory sibirskoi (St. Petersburg: Akademiia Nauk, 1749), 4447 ; Vinsgeim, Kh. N., Kratkaia politicheskaia geografiia … (St. Petersburg: Akademiia Nauk, 1745), 227 ; M. la. Klevetskii, Rukovodstvo k geografii… 3 vols. (St. Petersburg: Sukhoputnyi: kadetskii korpus, 1773) 1:98. M. V. Lomonosov, O sloiakh zemnykh i drugie rabotypo geologii (Moscow-Leningrad: Gosudarstvennoe izdatel'stvo geologicheskoi literatury, 1949), 19; Karmannyi atlas Rossiiskoi imperii (St. Petersburg: Akademiia Nauk, 1773), first map facing last page of text. See Vvedenie v geografiiu, 161; I. [V.] N[ekhachin], Sposob nauchit'sia samim soboiu geografii (Moscow: Universitskaia tipografiia 1798), 66, 72, 75, map between 28 and 29. Also see Cherbotarev, , Geograficheskoe metodicheskoe opisanie Rossiiskoi imperii, 5051, 105-107; Noveishaia vseobshchaia geografiia … 2nd ed. (n.p.: Sytin, 1793), 172.

33. Grech, I. M. and Nakoval'nin, S. F., Politicheskaia geografiia3 vols. (St. Petersburg, 1758-1765) 1:28 ; Polunin, Geograficheskii leksikon, 275-276; Pallas, P. S., “Nachertanie obshchego topograficheskogo i fizicheskogo opisaniia Rossiiskoi imperii,” Akademicheskie Izvestiia 4 (January 1780): 108 ; Iakovkin, I. F., Zrelishche sveta ili vsemirnoe zemleopisanie, (St. Petersburg, 1789), 59 ; Gakman, I. F. and Iankovich, F. I., Vseobshchee zemleopisanie, 2nd ed., 2 vols. (St. Petersburg: Vil'kovskii, 1795-1798) 1:1920 ; M. A. Matinskii, Sokrashchenie vseobshchei geografii… (St. Petersburg: Meditsinskaia tipografiia, 1800), 20; A. Kh. Gaspari, Noveishee i podrobnoe zemleopisanie Evropy, Azii, Afriki, Ameriki, i luzhnoi lndii … (St. Petersburg: Glazunov, 1810), 1-2; E. F. Ziablovskii, Zemleopisanie Rossiiskoi imperii …, 3 vols. (St. Petersburg: Departament Narodnogo Prosviashcheniia, 1822) 1:203, 3:10; K. 1. Arsen'ev, Kratkaia vseobshchaia geografiia, 4th ed. (St. Petersburg: K. Krai, 1827), 42. I have examined only one geography text from this period that described a Urals-Caspian boundary similar to that of Tatishchev: Severgin, V. M., Opyt mineralogicheskogo zemleopisaniia Rossiiskogo gosudarstva, 2 vols. (St. Petersburg: Imperatorskaia Akademiia Nauk, 1809) 1:69 .

34. Instruction de sa majesté impériale CatherineII (St. Petersburg: Académie des Sciences, 1769), 3.

35. Petrovich, Michael B., The Emergence of Russian Pan-Slavism (New York: Columbia University Press, 1956), 3234 .

36. Danilevskii, N. la., Rossiia i Evropa. Vzgliad na kul'turnye i politicheskie otnosheniia Slavianskogo mira k Germano-Romanskomu, 5th ed. (St. Petersburg: Panteleev, 1895). On Danilevskii see MacMaster, Robert E., Danilevsky (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1967); Kohn, Hans, Pan-Slavism. Its History and Ideology, 2nd ed. (New York: Vintage, 1960), 190210 ; Petrovich, Emergence of Russian Pan-Slavism, 69-77; Pitirim A. Sorokin, Social Philosophies in an Age of Crisis (Boston: Beacon, 1950), 49-71.

37. Danilevskii, Rossiia i Evropa, 72-75ff.

38. Ibid., 60-61.

39. Ibid., 58.

40. Ibid., 58-59.

41. Krause, Karl C. F., Das Urbild der Menschheit, 2nd ed. (Dresden: Arnold, 1819), 251262 ; Peschel, Oskar, Geschichte der Erdkunde, 2nd ed. (Munich: Oldenbourg, 1877), 807 ; F. G. Hahn, “Zur Geschichte der Grenze zwischen Europa und Asien,” Mitteilungen des Vereins für Erdkunde zu Leipzig 1881, 83-84; Parker, “Europe: How Far,” 288. In 1870, the celebrated geomorphologist Oskar Peschel wrote that he could tolerate the continued designation of Europe as a continent only as a “courtesy,” and in the following decade the Viennese geologist Eduard Suess coined the term “Eurasia” to refer to the combined European-Asiatic landmass. Peschel, Oskar, Neue Probleme der vergleichenden Erdkunde (Leipzig: Duncker und Humblot, 1870), 153, 167; Suess, Eduard, Das Antlitz der Erde, 3rd ed., 4 vols. (Vienna and Leipzig: Tempsky-Freitag, 1908-1909) 1:768771 ; Robert Dorr, Über das Gestaltungsgesetz der Festlandsumrisse … (Liegnitz: Kaulfuss, 1873); Louis, “Über den geographischen Europabegriff,” 75-76. On Suess and the development of plate tectonic theory, see Greene, Mott T., Geology in the 19th Century (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1982), 144191 ; Wood, Robert M., The Dark Side of the Earth (London: Allen and Unwin, 1985), 32ff.

42. This discomfort was clearly apparent, for example, in the equivocation of a learned encyclopedia in the 1870s to the effect that Europe, while “by its special nature” an independent continent, was at the same time “by its location” a western peninsula of Asia. Russkii Entsiklopedicheskii Slovar', 16 vols. (St. Petersburg: Mordukhovskii, 1874) 6:599.

43. Danilevskii, Rossiia i Evropa, 56-57; emphasis added.

44. Ibid., 21-22.

45. Ibid., 531; Kristof, “The Historical and Political Role,” 55n. On traditional colonial views of Siberia, see Mark Bassin, “Inventing Siberia: Visions of the Russian East in the early 19th Century,” American Historical Review, forthcoming.

46. Danilevskii, Rossiia i Evropa, 22.

47. Ibid., 532.

48. See V P. Semenov-Tian-Shanskii's memorial appreciation: “Vladimir Ivanovich Lamanskii kak antropogeograf i politikogeograf,” Zhivaia Starina 24 (1915): 9-20. On Lamanskii also see Lapteva, L. P., “Vladimir Ivanovich Lamanskii,” Slavianovedenie v dorevoliutsionnoi Rossii (Moscow: Nauka, 1979), 214217 ; Petrovich, Emergence of Russian Panslavism, 63-64ff.

49. Lamanskii, V. I., Tri mira Aziiskogo-Evropeiskogo materika, 2nd ed. (Petrograd: Novoe Vremia, 1916), 12 . In developing this point, Lamanskii leaned heavily on the works of Peschel and others cited in n. 41 above. See, for example, 31-32n.

50. Lamanskii, Trimira, 17-18;idem, Ob istoricheskom izuchenii greko-slavianskogo mira v Evrope (St. Petersburg: Maikova, 1871), 42.

51. Lamanskii, Trimira, 5, 53.

52. Ibid., 9, 17, 19-20.

53. Ibid., 9. Semenov-Tian-Shanskii, “Lamanskii kak antropogeograf,” 11-15.

54. Danilevskii, Rossiia i Evropa, 133 (italics in original).

55. Lamanskii, Tri mira, 48. Swept away with poetic fervor, the ardent pan-Slav Fedor Tiutchev described an even more grandiloquent view in his poem “Russian Geography,” in which this middle world becomes almost unrecognizable: “From the Nile to the Neva, from the Elbe to China— / From the Volga to the Euphrates, from the Ganges to the Danube,” Stikhotvoreniia (Berlin: Slovo, 1921), 114-115

56. Lamanskii, Tri mira, 49, 52.

57. Ibid., 56.

58. Ibid., 15-16.

59. Ibid., 12, 15, 50-51. On the persistent Russian self-identification as a European country when the contrast was between itself and Asia, see Sarkisyanz, Emanuel, “Russian Imperialism Reconsidered,” in Russian Imperialism from Ivan the Great to the Revolution, ed. Hunczak, Taras (New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 1974), 45-81, esp. 66; Riasanovsky, “Asia through Russian Eyes,” 8; Utechin, “The Russians in Relation to Europe and Asia,” 98.

60. Savitskii, P. N., “Dva mira,” Na putiakh (Moscow-Berlin: Gelikon, 1922), 26 ; Pipes, Richard, Struve. Liberal on the Right (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1980), 387 . For fuller accounts of Eurasianism, see Böss, Otto, Die Lehre der Eurasier, Veröffentlichungen des Osteuropa-Instituts Munchen, Band 15 (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 1961); Nicholas V. Riasanovsky, “The Emergence of Eurasianism,” California Slavic Studies 4 (1967): 39-72.

61. N. S. Trubetskoi, Evropa i chelovechestvo (Sofia: Rossiisko-Bolgarskoe knigoizdatel'stvo, [1920]).

62. Trubetskoi, N. S., “Verkhi i nizy russkoi kul'tury,” Iskhod k Vostoku (Sofia: Balkan, 1921), 9397, 100; Boss, Die Lehre der Eurasier, 64.

63. Trubetskoi, Evropa i chelovechestvo, 76; Riasanovsky, “Emergence of Eurasianism,” 56.

64. In the years before the revolution, Savitskii had been one of Peter Struve's most gifted students in St. Petersburg. Personal communication from Struve's son, Gleb P. Struve, Berkeley, California, March, 1982; Pipes, Struve, 357. On Savitskii and Trubetskoi, see Jakobson, Roman, ed., N, S. Trubetskoy's Letters and Notes (The Hague: Mouton, 1975), 21, 106, 135ff; Boss, DieLehre der Eurasier, 7.

65. Savitskii, P. N., “Geograficheskii obzor Rossii-Evrazii,” Rossiia. Osobyi geograficheskii mir (Prague: Evraziiskoe knigoizdatel'stvo, 1927), 27 .

66. Ibid., 25-26.

67. See Dokuchaev, V. V., Uchenie o zonakh prirody (Moscow: Gosudarstvennoe izdatel'stvo geograficheskoi literatury, 1949); idem, Russkii chernozem (St. Petersburg: Deklaron i Evdokimov, 1904); G. F. Morozov, Uchenie o lese, 3rd ed. (Leningrad: Gosudarstvennoe Izdatel'stvo, 1926); Glinka, K. D., Pochvy Rossii i prilegaiushchikh stran (Moscow: Izdatel'stvo, 1923); A. N. Krasnov, Geografiia rastenii (Khar'koy: Darre, 1899). Savitskii repeatedly acknowledged his debt to these scholars. As well, he carefully followed work of such contemporary Soviet botanists as B. A. Keller and V. V. Alekhin, who continued research into ecological zones, and he was most anxious to demonstrate how their findings corroborated his own geographical conclusions. P. N., Savitskii, “Za tvorcheskoe ponimanie prirody russkogo mira,” Zapiski Russkogo nauchno-issledovatel'skogo ob”edineniia v Prage 10 (o.s. 15), no. 76 (1940): 155180 ; Evraziiskaia Khronika 9 (1927): 80-81. For an interesting new work on ecology theory and practice in postrevolutionary Russia, see Wiener, Douglas R., Models of Nature (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1988).

68. Savitskii, “Geograficheskii obzor Rossii-Evrazii,” 52.

69. Ibid., 33ff, 49-51, 53-57, 27. The Russian Far East, however, remained foreign to Eurasia and geographically a part of Asia proper (ibid., 47).

70. Chkheidze, K. A., “Iz oblasti russkoi geopolitiki,” Tridtsatye gody (Paris: de Navarre, 1931), 113 ; Kristof, “The Historical and Political Role of a Nation in Space,” 71.

71. I. R. [N. S. Trubetskoi], Nasledie Chingiz-Khana (Berlin, 1925); Riasanovsky, “The Emergence of Eurasianism,” 51. The Eurasian interpretation of Russian history was most fully developed in the work of George Vernadsky. See his Opyt istorii Evrazii (Berlin: Izdanie Evraziitsev, 1934); Nachertanie russkoi istorii. Chast’ I (Prague: Evraziiskoe knigoizdatel'stvo, 1927). Trubetskoi, “Verkhi i nizy russkoi kul'tury,” 97-100; idem, “O turanskom elemente v russkoi kul'ture,” K probleme russkogo samopoznaniia (Paris: de Navarre, 1927), 34-53; Iakobson, R. O., Kkharakteristike Evraziiskogo iazykovogo soiuza (Paris: de Navarre, 1931).

72. V. T., , “Poniatie Evrazii po antropologicheskomu priznaku,” Evrasiiskaia khronika 8 (1927): 2631 .

73. Savitskii, “Geograficheskii obzor Rossii-Evrazii,” 28-33; idem, “Kontinent-Okean,” Iskhod k Vostoku, 104-125; Boss, Die Lehre der Eurasier, 30-33. While he consistently acknowledged his debt to Russian scientists, Savitskii gave no indication he was aware of the extent to which fundamental aspects of his geographical approach to Eurasia harmonized with conceptual developments in western academic geography, most notably in Germany and Scandinavia. Böss points to the affinities with Landschaftskunde, or landscape science, and especially the notion of Kulturlandschaft as developed by Friedrich Ratzel, Otto Maull, and others. Even more pertinent, it would seem, was the considerable methodological discussion in the 1920s and 1930s about the concept of geographische Ganzheiten or “total geographical regions,” understood in a sense very close to that of Savitskii's mestorazvitie. See W. Volz, “Geographische Ganzlichkeit,” Bericht der sächsischen Akademie der Wissenschaft (Math-Physikal. Klasse) 84 (1932): 91-113; Hettner, Alfred, “Der Begriff der Ganzheit in der Geographie,” Geographische Zeitschrift 40 (1934): 141144 ; Wörner, Rolf, “Das geographische Ganzheitsproblem vom Standpunkt der Psychologie aus,” Geographische Zeitschrift 44 (1938): 340347 ; Granö, J. G., “Geographische Ganzheiten,” Petermanns Mitteilungen 81 (1935): 295302 ; idem, “Reine Geographie,” Acta Geographica 2, 2 (Helsinki: A.-B. F. Tilgmann, 1929), 35ff; Richard Hartshorne, The Nature of Geography (Lancaster, Penn.: n.p., 1949), 265-266. Indeed, both Grano and Savitskii use the same term, geographical individual, to refer to these entities.

74. Savitskii, “Geograficheskii obzor Rossii-Evrazii,” 59. For a very different use of the term geosophy, see John K. Wright, “ Terrae Incognitae: The Place of Imagination in Geography,” Annals of the Association of American Geographers 37 (1947): 13-14; Billinge, M. D., “Geosophy,” in Dictionary of Human Geography, ed. Johnston, R. J. et al. (Oxford: Blackwell, 1981), 138 .

75. Savitskii, “Geograficheskii obzor Rossii-Evrazii,” 65-67; Chkheidze, “Iz oblasti russkoi geopolitiki,” 108; on Danilevskii and the Eurasians see Riasanovsky, “Emergence of Eurasianism,” 60; Böss, Die Lehre der Eurasier, 123, and Trubetskoi, N. S., “Obshchevraziiskii natsionalizm,” Evraziiskaia Khronika 9 (1927): 28 . For a contemporary hostile reaction, see Saltykov, Alexander, “Predislovie,” in Mendeleev, D. I., Kpoznaniiu Rossii (Munich: Milavida, 1924), lxxvilxxxii . On the collapse of Evraziistvo, see Mikhail Agurskii, Ideologiia natsional-bol'shevizma (Paris: YMCA, 1980), 98-102.

76. Pokshishevsky, V., Geography of the Soviet Union, trans., Fidlon, D. (Moscow: Progress, 1974), 223, 225; Bol'shaia sovetskaia entsiklopediia, 1st ed. (Moscow: OGIZ, 1926-1947) 1:676; 24:169; 2nd ed. (Moscow: BSE, 1950-1958) 1:491; 15:382; 3rd ed. (1970-1981) 1:282; 9:15. During the somewhat relaxed atmosphere of the post-Stalin thaw, the Europe-Asia boundary question was briefly reopened for discussion by the Russian Geographical Society. The debates over the issue make for interesting reading, but the delimitation at the Urals was not challenged and the alterations eventually proposed were of an entirely minor nature. See Efremov, Iu. K., “Obsuzhdenie voprosa o granitse Evropy i Azii v moskovskom filiate Geograficheskogo Obshchestva SSSR,” Izvestiia AN SSSR (Seriia Geograficheskaia) no. 4 (1958): 144146 ; Prokaev, V. I., “Eshche raz o granitse mezhdu Evropoi i Aziei v sviazi s voprosom o krupnykh edinitsakh fiziko-geograficheskoi kharakteristiki,” Izvestiia Vsesoiuznogo Geograficheskogo Obshchestva 92, 4 (1960): 361365 ; E. M. Murzaev, “Gde zhe provodit’ geograficheskuiu granitsu Evropy i Azii?” Izvestiia AN SSSR (Seriia Geograficheskaia) no. 4 (1963): 111-119

Russia between Europe and Asia: The Ideological Construction of Geographical Space

  • Mark Bassin (a1)


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