Abbas-Kuli-aga Bakikhanov

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Bakikhanov, Abbas-Kuli-aga


(pseudonym: Gudsi). Born June 21, 1794, in the village of Amiradzhany, near Baku; died 1847, in the city of Kuba, Azerbaijan. Azerbaijani scholar and writer. Born into a family of Baku khans.

From 1819 on, Bakikhanov worked as a translator of oriental languages for the governor of Tiflis. From 1826 to 1829 he took part in Russia’s wars with Iran and Turkey and in the Russian-Iranian negotiations in Turkmanchai. He was a broadly educated man, knew several languages, and had a good knowledge of Oriental literature and philosophy. He was a fervent partisan of the cultural rapprochement between Azerbaijan and Russia and was close to A. S. Griboedov, A. A. Bestuzhev (Marlinskii), W. K. Küchel-becker, M. F. Akhundov, Kh. Abovian, A. Chavchavadze, and others. He became acquainted with A. S. Pushkin in St. Petersburg. Bakikhanov defended feudal privileges, but he condemned the punitive actions of the tsarist authorities against the rebellious peasants of Kuba Province in 1837. In 1841 he completed a history of northern Azerbaijan from ancient times until 1813 (Flower Garden of Paradise, published in 1926). Bakikhanov interpreted historical events from an idealist’s point of view. He wrote scholarly works on pedagogy and philosophy; on the phonetics, morphology, and syntax of the Farsi language; and on astronomy and geography. In his work Angels’ Secret he introduced the basic teachings of Copernicus to the Muslims.

Bakikhanov also wrote literary works in verse and prose. The Address to the People of Tabriz was a satire against the Iranian rulers and clergy. The short story “Book About Asker” told about freedom of love and attacked prejudices. The Book of Precepts and the ethical treatise Improving Morals and Manners criticized backwardness and superstition and preached enlightenment. Bakikhanov was a pioneer in the development of new literary genres (the novella, realistic narrative poetry). He introduced the theme of the “little man” in literature.


Bädii äsärlär. Baku, 1964.


Agaian, Ts. P. A. Bakikhanov. Baku, 1948.
Kasim-zade, F. Abbas-kuli Aga Bakikhanov (Gudsi): Zhizn’ i tvorchestvo. Baku, 1958.
Sovremenniki o Bakikhanove. Baku, 1959.(A collection.)
Istoriia Azerbaidzhana, vol. 2. Baku, 1960. Pages 102–107.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.