Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Who is Gannibal?

I was reading a couple of book reviews today and found a book that seems to be interesting, at least for me.

I gleamed information about the book from James Harkin's review, "Gannibal lecture". The review can be accesed at FT.Com.

GANNIBAL: The Moor of Petersburg
Hugh Barnes
Profile Books £16.99, 256 pages


But who is Gannibal?

Ibrahim Abram Petrovich Gannibal is now known as the maternal great-grandfather of Russian Poet and writer Alexander Pushkin. Gannibal was an Ethiopian slave boy, rumored to be a son of king or warlord, who was taken by orders of the great-grandfather of Leo Tolstoy from Constantinopole to the Court of Peter the Great in Moscow. Tsar Peter had gathered other "dark-skinned" children and had them trained in arts and science, in order to prove that these children can become learned individuals and that he valued people by their abilities and not by the colour of their skin.

And Peter did succeed, Gannibal (the name he took in honor of Hannibal, Gannibal is the Russian form of the name) became the Engineer-General of his Peter the Great and an intellectual who conversed with Voltaire, Baron de Montesquieu and Denis Diderot.

I wonder when this book will get here? Or would it be better to order it. Not at the moment. I still have books to read.

3 Comments:

Blogger eruannie said...

it is an interesting book, juned. though i sometimes wonder how credible these biographical-historical books can be. it is the same skepticism i hold when i watch dicovery channel specials.

then again, we all need a story to fill the gaps in our reality :-)

7:20 AM  
Blogger juned said...

I think a mix both the truth and fluff. Still the story of this man was an extraordinary tale. Unfortunately, when reading and viewing we have to be able to separate fact from fiction. The realities of the recorded word. I think that is why one must always maintain a critical way of thinking.

10:36 AM  
Blogger juned said...

I think a mix both the truth and fluff. Still the story of this man was an extraordinary tale. Unfortunately, when reading and viewing we have to be able to separate fact from fiction. The realities of the recorded word. I think that is why one must always maintain a critical way of thinking.

10:36 AM  

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