Prokhorov D. A. History of contacts between karaite communities of Crimea and western provinces of the Russian empire in the late 18th – middle of the 19th centuries (according to the documents of the state archive of the republic of Crimea) (.pdf)


The paper analyzes the documents relating to the history of contacts between the representatives of the Crimean Karaite community and the Karaites of the Northwestern provinces of the Russian Empire at the end of the 18th and the first half of the 19th centuries. The documents are accumulated in the funds of the State Archive of the Republic of Crimea (Simferopol) and reflect different aspects of the history of constructing the Karaite ethnic and religious identity in the framework of Russian legal field. It was found that the Karaite intellectuals from the Western provinces of the Empire had a significant impact on the development of education among the Crimean co-religionists. The source of the spread of advanced education ideas among the Crimean Karaites were intellectuals who came from the Karaite communities of Volyn and Lithuania. They moved to Crimea at the end of the 18th century and the first half of the 19th century. The Western Karaite intellectual elite influenced the tip of the Crimean Karaite community, namely, Haham Simha Babovich, who initiated the invitation of the Karaite scholars to Crimea. Their contribution to the spread of ideas of European education among the Karaites was decisive. In turn, a positive experience of cooperation of the Crimean Karaites with Russian authorities was adopted by their fellow believers in Galitch and Troky (Trakai).


Key words: Karaites, Crimea, Northwestern region, the Russian Empire, lawmaking.


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