Nil Sergeevich Lykoshin: from Samarkand military governor to Soviet professor

Oksana Pugovkina

Vostok/Oriens '2018, №6

DOI: 10.31857/S086919080002872-6

The history of Russian Turkestan is connected to the names of many famous Orientalists who started their activities in Turkestan after the Russian Empire’s conquest of the region. One of these interesting and iconic figures was Nil S. Lykoshin, who resided in the region for forty years (1880–1921); Lykoshin rose through the ranks from assistant chief of Tashkent city to the office of military governor of Samarkand district. Next to his military and administrative duties, Lykoshin continued to conduct scholarly work, and was one of the few Russian administrators who made the effort to learn the local languages. He produced over 700 articles on various aspects of the history, ethnology, education and culture of Central Asian peoples. Orientalists respected him for his translations of Oriental manuscripts, including the “Code of Decency in the Muslim East”, “Divana-i-Mashrab”, and Muhammad Narshakhi’s “The History of Bukhara”. After the establishment of Soviet power in Turkestan Lykoshin continued his service in the system of public education. He held lectures at the Central Asian State University (Sredneaziatskii gosudarstvennyi universitet), and the new powerholders regularly requested his expertise on the life and traditions of the local populations. However, Lykoshin also became an early victim of Bolshevik repression against representatives of the former regime, and was exiled to Samara. After the end of his exile term (and with the help of his patron, Academician Vasily V. Bartold) Lykoshin managed to obtain a position as teacher at the Samara University, where he read courses on the history of Turkestan studies and eventually became professor.

Keywords: Turkestan, N.S. Lykoshin, biography, Turkestan studies, military governor, career, Samarkand district, Samara, teaching, Soviet rule

Pages: С. 124–141

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