From the Ashgabat collection

Of course, I don't remember my Ashgabat before the earthquake, but I try to learn more about it using old photos or old-timers. I revived the city into oblivion by people who once lived here and rejoiced. And although I know that the name of the city comes from the time of the Parthians of Ashrakids, I, nevertheless, repeat with all that Ashkhabad is a city of Love, and therefore I collect stories from two hearts that have united in our land. New history ensued in the city on the Neva.

When in the Asian Department in connection with the colonization of Central Asia and Transcaucasia, a special Training Department was opened - officer classes of Oriental languages, the first graduate student Alexander Tumansky, in order to practice Persian, asked for a new city of Ashgabat, because he learned that many carriers live this language.

The young orientalist, who was prepared for consular or diplomatic, it is quite possible, and for the intelligence service, nevertheless tried to stay here longer and, as an extraordinary person � he knew eleven languages � suddenly became interested in oriental manuscripts.

One of the significant discoveries of Tumansky is the finding of the lost work of Ulugbek and the translation from it of an ancient manuscript entitled Ouluz-i-arbakh, part of which Khudud al-alam was published. His book The Military Art of the Ancient Arabs also draws attention. In Ashgabat, he published his translation of the book "The Genealogical Tree of the Turkmen People) Abulgazi Bahador Khan. Russian Orientalist I. Yu. Krachkovsky recalled: "Tumansky was one of the rare Orientalists by vocation, and not by profession."

I read in his published letters: "PS address my Transcaspian region fort Alexandrovsk." It is very far from Ashgabat, the place of exile of Taras Shevchenko.

Approximately two years after his first summer trip, Alexander Grigorevich returned to Ashgabat again and spent seven years there, working on the topography of new Russian lands in the Trans-Caspian region.

And suddenly, among his working letters, there was a completely non-business letter that filled me with a joyful foreboding of the next Ashgabat novel. ... Now Viktor Romanovich, writes Alexander Grigorievich to his mentor, the famous Russian Orientalist, Baron Rosen, let me share with you and my personal joy. I met the one whom I would soon call my wife. My bride, without fear, decides to go with me to Persia, but you can't imagine what I have to worry about when I think about the moral responsibility that I have to take ... to drive with my wife to the places where Kurds and semi-independent can be expected Turkmen (author spelling). In addition, a journey through Khorasan for a woman presents enormous difficulties. May be,

On February 17, 1894, he writes: Now regarding the wife and marriage. On Sunday the 20th my wedding. After the wedding, my wife and I will go to Bukhara for a few days, and then return to Askhabad and go to Persia on March 7th. Further, if it proves impossible to travel with my wife (which I suppose is very possible), I arrange her in Tehran and go the rest of the way alone. My route, I propose to perform as follows. From Uzungana I am going to Astrabad, from Astrabad to Shahrud to Tehran. In Tehran, I make a small stop and go to Yazd, Kirman, Shiraz and through Isfahan back to Tehran, where I think to stay for about a month, and then to Askhabad ...

However, Tumansky returned alone, and his wife from Tehran had to be sent to her parents. Of course, their personal correspondence is not stored in scientific archives, but I am sure that letters of love were flying from Ashgabat to Russia. Of course, they recalled the church where they got married. Perhaps it was in the officers' church of the Taman regiment, where a garden was nearby - a favorite resting place of Russian officers, where in winter there was a lot of greenery, because exotic evergreen and early flowering plants were specially collected there, the remnants of which are still preserved in the old houses of the Keshinis .

Even then, the era of multinational Ashgabat began, which is now legendary. These are special traditions of common neighbors, streets, neighborhoods. In Russia, they recalled Ashkhabad, the generosity of its long summer, not only for fruit and vegetables, but also for the special atmosphere of friendliness. In the cold and gloomy Petersburg evenings, they certainly remembered the Ashgabat summer grape pavilions, where they sat up after midnight, and from which the unmanned grape leaves, covering the ground with a yellow carpet, floated around the autumn. And the mistresses tried to clean up their yards and sidewalks near the house before dawn, pour water on them, because everyone, regardless of their nationalities, loved their city, even if they were simply sent from Russia. It certainly was. I judge this by the statements of even those generals who came with a weapon to seize the Turkmen land, and then after years they admitted in their memoirs that they loved our land. Because Ashgabat can not be loved. They no longer returned to Ashgabat. But it turned out there was something about them that reminded of this city.

In the years 1900-1905, Tumansky served as vice-consul in Van in Turkey.

And in 1911, with three children, Tumanskaya arrived with her husband in Tbilisi, where, at the Headquarters of the Caucasian Military Command, he was in charge of the same school of oriental languages in which he studied in St. Petersburg. In March 1917, A.Ye. Tumansky resigned from military service with the rank of major general.

The happiness of their family life would last for a long time, if it were not for the tragedy of 17 years, which crushed the already established life of a huge empire and their life too.

From the Bolshevik revolution, the family fled to Istanbul, where Alexander died in 1920. His widow and children emigrated to the Belgian Liege. The Russian Belgian helped me find out the details. She was so imbued with my research idea that she could, albeit with great difficulty, still get information about Tumansky's descendants and his wife in the local archive. The archivist reported in the certificate that Elena (so she recognized the name of my heroine) was a countess (this is also news for me, though what a surprise, Mr. Tumansky himself was a very ancient noble family). It also became known that the widow was a teacher of linguistics, and worked as a maid at the Hotel Liege. Probably because, as stated in the certificate, she and the children arrived in Liege refugees.

Interestingly, Alexander Grigorievich collected manuscripts in Persian, Arabic, and Turkish in Ashgabat. He conducted extensive correspondence with significant orientalists of Russian and foreign academies. Most of his letters survived, but the answers of those scholars with the stamp of the Ashgabat post are still unknown, but they could clarify a lot in Oriental studies. Tumansky did not part with this collection, it was his constant scientific bag, despite the fact that he was rather shook up by the military profession in different countries and cities. However, the widow, though she lived in difficulties, did not sell the most valuable thing - her husband's eastern collection. About the sale of manuscripts from such an important collection always immediately becomes known to the scientific world, so there is still nothing to be heard about the sale of letters from academic orientalists. It is known only that at the request of the Orientalist V.V.

It is difficult to find out where the precious archival documents are now, but the thought warms me that no life adversity broke the love of the four Tumanskys, and the widow carefully kept the manuscript fund of her husband, which he began to collect in Ashgabat.

Source: Chronicles of Turkmenistan