Khanykov, Nikolai

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Khanykov, Nikolai Vladimirovich


Born Oct. 24, 1819, in Likhvin District, formerly in Kaluga Province (now Tula Oblast); died Nov. 3 (15), 1878, in Rambouillet, near Paris. Russian orientalist, historian, ethnographer, and diplomat. Corresponding member of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences (1852).

Khanykov graduated from the Lycée of Tsarskoe Selo in 1836. In 1841–42 he visited Bukhara with the diplomatic mission of K. F. Butenev; his Description of the Bukhara Khanate (1843) was one of the first scientific works to be published on the subject. In 1845, Khanykov joined the diplomatic office of the Main Administration of the Transcaucasian Krai and continued his research; his writings included On Muridism and the Murids, Translation of Muslim Decrees on War, and On the Alternating Changes in the Level of the Caspian Sea. Between 1850 and 1855, Khanykov served as one of the directors of the newly organized Caucasus section of the Russian Geographic Society. From 1854 to 1857 he was consul general in Tabriz, and in 1858–59 he led a scientific expedition to Khorasan.

From 1860, Khanykov lived mainly in Paris; he was close to I. S. Turgenev and to the revolutionary circles of Russian émigrés—particularly to A. I. Herzen, whose papers and letters he helped preserve. Khanykov wrote two books about his journey to Khorasan; one of these, Expedition to Khorasan (published in French in 1861 and in Russian in 1973), was awarded the great gold medal of the Geographic Society of Paris. Khanykov’s translation of the first part of K. Ritter’s Iran (from the series The Geography of Asia) was published in St. Petersburg in 1874; Khanykov’s supplementary material and commentaries were much larger than the original text.


Zametki po etnografii Persii. Moscow, 1977. (Translated from French.)


Khalfin, N. A., and E. F. Rassadina. N. V. Khanykovvostokoved i diplomat. Moscow, 1977.


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