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(dôn), river, c.70 mi (110 km) long, rising in the Pennines, N England. It flows SE through Sheffield, then turns NE and flows past Rotherham and Doncaster to the River Ouse at Goole. Canals and locks enable barges to reach Sheffield.


(dŏn, Rus. dôn), river, SW European Russia. It rises SE of Tula and flows c.1,200 mi (1,930 km), first SE past Voronezh, then SW into the Sea of Azov. At its eastern bend the Don is linked by a canal (c.65 mi/105 m long), with the Volga River near Volgograd (formerly Stalingrad). The annual flood of the river is controlled by the Tsimlyansk Reservoir. Rostov-na-DonuRostov-na-Donu
or Rostov on the Don
, city (1989 pop. 1,019,000), capital of Rostov region and the administrative center of the Southern federal district, SE European Russia, on the Don River near its entrance into the Sea of Azov.
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 is the chief city and port on the Don. Navigable for c.850 mi (1,370 km) and accessible to seagoing vessels as far as Rostov-na-Donu, the Don is an important artery for grain, coal, and lumber shipments. The chief tributary of the Don is the Donets, which connects it with the industrial Donets BasinDonets Basin
, abbreviated as Donbas
, industrial region (c.10,000 sq mi/25,900 sq km), E Ukraine and SW European Russia, N of the Sea of Azov and W of the Donets River.
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. Known to the ancients as the Tanaïs, the Don has been a trading channel since Scythian times.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(ancient Greek, Tanais), a river in the European USSR. Length, 1,870 km; basin area, 422,000 sq km. The source of the Don is on the eastern slopes of the Central Russian Upland near the city of Novomoskovsk (Tula Oblast, RSFSR). It empties into Taganrog Bay of the Sea of Azov.

In its upper reaches, before it is joined by the Tikhaia Sosna, the Don flows through a relatively narrow valley. Its right bank is high (in places, up to 90 m) and heavily indented with ravines, but its left bank is gently sloping. The riverbed is meandering, and there are many sandbanks. Its most important tributaries are the Nepriadva, Krasivaia Mecha, and Sosna from the right and the Voronezh from the left.

In the river’s middle reaches (to the city of Kalach-na-Donu) the valley widens considerably and is accompanied by a broad floodplain, which is up to 6 km wide at the city of Serafimovich. The right bank is usually high. The Don is joined in its middle reaches by the Tikhaia Sosna and the Chernaia Kalitva from the right and by the Bitiug, Khoper, Medveditsa, and Ilovlia from the left. The Don’s middle course empties into the Tsimliansk Reservoir, which was formed in 1952 by the construction of the dam of the Tsimliansk Hydroelectric Power Plant, which raised the level of the Don by 26 m. The creation of this reservoir made it possible to construct the V. I. Lenin Volga-Don Shipping Canal and to create water resources to irrigate and flood arid lands and improve navigation on the lower Don.

Below the dam the Don flows to its mouth through a wide valley (up to 20-30 km) with a broad floodplain. In places the river is up to 20 m deep. The delta, with an area up to 340 sq km, begins below the city of Rostov-on-Don. In its lower course the Don is joined by the Severskii Donets from the right and the Sal and Zapadnyi Manych from the left.

The Don is fed primarily by snow. Its basin has relatively little water. The average flow at the river’s mouth (without taking into consideration the removal of water for irrigation) is 29.5 cu km, or 935 cu m per sec. (With the creation of the Tsimliansk Hydroelectric Power Plant the average flow was decreased by approximately 160 cu m per sec.) In its upper reaches the river freezes over at the beginning of November and in its lower reaches during the first ten days in December. It thaws and opens up in mid-April in the upper reaches and in the last ten days of March in the lower reaches. Every year the Don carries out up to 14 million tons of alluvium and approximately 6.2 million tons of dissolved mineral substances. The gentle slope of the lower reaches causes a very slow flow (hence the name Tikhii Don—Quiet Don).

The Don is navigable from its mouth to the city of Georgiu-Dezh (1,355 km). In the spring vessels sail up to the village of Khlevnoe (235 km above Georgiu-Dezh). The most important ports are Georgiu-Dezh, Kalach-na-Donu, Volgodonsk (on the Tsimliansk Reservoir), Rostov-on-Don, and Azov. The Lenin Volga-Don Shipping Canal connects the Don River with the Baltic, White, and Caspian seas.

Grain, coal, metal, cement, petroleum products, industrial goods, foodstuffs, and mineral building materials are hauled upstream on the Don, and mineral building materials, salt, blast-furnace charge, ore, mineral fertilizers, industrial goods, and foodstuffs are hauled downstream. Coal, grain, and mineral building materials are shipped to the Volga, and lumber, salt, scrap, ore, and mineral fertilizers are shipped to the Don from the Volga. The principal commercial fish are pike perch, bream, carp, pelecus cultratus, Don herring, sturgeon, and stellate sturgeon (especially in the lower reaches and at the river’s mouth).

Historical survey. In the first millennium B.C. the Don was already an important trade route between the central regions of the present-day RSFSR (including the Volga Region) and the Azov region. The Greek colony of Tanais was established at the mouth of the Don on the site of present-day Azov during the fourth or third century B.C. Trade with the ancient colonies in the Crimea and on the Taman Peninsula was carried on along the Don. At the beginning of the first millennium A.D. the route along which the hordes of Huns and Bulgars passed was located around the river’s lower course. After the departure of the hordes settlements of Eastern Slavs (Antes) were founded on the Don. From the seventh to the ninth century the lower and middle Don was under Khazar domination. Incursions by the Hungarians and the Pechenegs pushed the Slavic population to the upper Don and its tributaries. From the llth century nomadic Polovtsy (Kumans) inhabited the region of the lower Don, and beginning in the 13th century the river was ruled and devastated by the Mongolian Tatars (the Golden Horde).

Between the 14th and 16th centuries the Don was a trade route, connecting Russia with Genoese colonies in the Crimea (the Genoese colony of Tana was located at the mouth of the Don). In the 15th century settlements of free people— the cossacks—were founded along the Don, and during the 16th century the Don Cossack Host was formed. In the 17th century the Don was a support base for the peasant war led by S. T. Razin, and at the beginning of the 18th century the Bulavin Uprising of 1707-09, a major rebellion, occurred on the Don. The population of the river basin increased sharply in the 18th century as the cossacks turned to agriculture and a large number of peasants moved into the Don area.

The development of capitalism and the growth of the metallurgical industry and cities associated with it led to the formation on the Don of an industrial region, the Donbas, which became a major center for the revolutionary movement. During the Civil War of 1918-20 there was a stubborn struggle with the White Cossacks on the Don. Fierce battles occurred on the river during the Great Patriotic War (1941-45) during the battle of Stalingrad (1942-43) and the ensuing offensive by the Soviet Army.


Davydov, L. K. Gidrografiia SSSR, vol. 2. Leningrad, 1955.
Kama, Volga, Don: PutevoditeV. Perm’, 1967.



a journal of literary, artistic, public, and political affairs, the organ of the Union of Writers of the RSFSR. It is a monthly journal and has been published in Rostov-on-Don since 1957. M. Sokolov has been its chief editor since 1957. From 1945 to 1956, Don was published as an anthology. The journal unites writers primarily from the south of Russia and has published work by M. Sholokhov (the second part of Virgin Soil Upturned and the story “The Fate of a Man”) and works of G. Sholokhov-Siniavskii, A. Kalinin, V. Zakrutkin, M. Sokolov, V. Fomenko, D. Petrov (Biriuk), A. Olenich-Gnenenko, B. Iziumskii, R. Gamzatov, K. Kuliev, A. Keshokov, D. Kugul’tinov, A. Shogentsukov, V. Monastyrev, V. Pal’man, and M. Tsagaraev. Circulation, 50,000 (1972).

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


goddess of fecundity; Welsh equivalent of Irish Danu. [Brythonic Myth.: Leach, 321; Jobes, 461]
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


Brit a member of the teaching staff at a university or college, esp at Oxford or Cambridge


1. a river rising in W Russia, southeast of Tula and flowing generally south, to the Sea of Azov: linked by canal to the River Volga. Length: 1870 km (1162 miles)
2. a river in NE Scotland, rising in the Cairngorm Mountains and flowing east to the North Sea. Length: 100 km (62 miles)
3. a river in N central England, rising in S Yorkshire and flowing northeast to the Humber. Length: about 96 km (60 miles)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005