This article’s purpose is simple:  It tries to show how by negating the colonised, “describing them as savage and barbaric Asians [p. 8],” the Russian intellectuals and military personnel of the 1820s to 1870s have tried to justify the colonisation of the Caucasus.  The author also shows how different visions have been expressed in the Russian literature of the time, notably a populist (narodnik) and “reconciling” point of view considering, for instance, the Chechen uprising as a natural consequence of oppression to which Russian authorities had exposed the Chechens.  Ethnic stereotypes of the time are also evoked, notably the vision by some (most notably Meshcherskii) of the passivity of Armenians in front of their liberation from Ottoman domination.  The amount and diversity of texts examined is unfortunately too limited to permit the author more subtle, less simply dialectical considerations.

Stéphane A. Dudoignon, National Centre for Scientific Research, Paris
CER: I-3.3.C-234