Interesting places

"Peter The great's Arab" in Tomsk: riddles and facts
Like any old city, Tomsk has its own myths and legends associated with both fictional and real facts. The story of how the great-grandfather of the great Russian poet Alexander Pushkin Abram (Ibrahim) Hannibal was in Tomsk.

Great-grandfather of the great Russian poet Alexander Pushkin Abram (Ibrahim) Petrovich Hannibal in 1729 was kept in Tomsk under supervision and protection.Faithful Arab Peter the Great, a native of the princely family Abram Petrovich Hannibal was born presumably in 1688 or 1696 in Africa, most likely in Ethiopia. At the age of 8, he and his brother were kidnapped and ended up in Istanbul, and later – in 1705 or 1706 – they were brought to Russia as an exotic gift to Emperor Peter I. in Russia, the brothers adopted the Orthodox faith, as a result of which Ibrahim received the Russian name Abram.

Abram was constantly near Peter the Great, accompanied in campaigns. In 1723 he was assigned to the Preobrazhensky regiment, where he served as an engineer – Lieutenant of a company of bombers. In addition, he taught engineering and mathematics.

After the death of the Tsar, Abram joined the party that opposed the rise of Alexander Menshikov, as a result of which in 1727 he was exiled to Tobolsk. And in 1729, " it was ordered to take away Hannibal's papers and keep him under arrest in Tomsk, giving him a monthly 10 rubles."In Tomsk Hannibal stayed about two months-he was kept with a "strong look" in the cell of the virgin-Alexievsky monastery, and prayed in the wooden Kazan Church of the monastery, which stood on the site of the modern stone Church.

In February 1730, immediately after the death of Peter II, the Supreme privy Council decided to release Hannibal from arrest and return to Tobolsk with the assignment of the rank of major.

Things Hannibal went up the hill after the accession of Elizabeth in 1742 he was named commandant of revel, were awarded orders and estates. Having risen to the rank of General-anshef, in 1762 he was retired and died in 1781.

Hannibal had eleven children, but only seven survived to adulthood. The daughter of one of the sons of Arap-Osip-became the mother of Alexander Pushkin.


Naturally, the presence of such a significant figure in Tomsk could not but give rise to rumors associated with it. So, there is a legend that in Tomsk specially for Hannibal was made signet ring with the image of the bell tower of one of the local cathedrals. And, allegedly, it was this signet later inherited from his uncle Vasily Lvovich Alexander Pushkin.

Whether that's true or not, we probably won't know. But you can see an impression of one of Abram Hannibal's silver rings: in June 2014, an office bearing the poet's name was opened in the Pushkin library in Tomsk. The impression of the ring-seal is one of his exhibits.