- Project Runeberg -  Through the Caucasus to the Volga /

(1931) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Gerald C. Wheeler - Tema: Russia
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It was named Petrovsk, after Peter the Great, who
on his unfortunate campaign against the Persians
came there on the i2th of August, 1722, made an
imposing entry into Tarku, the capital of the
Kumyk ruler (shamkhal), and went back three days
later to his camp on the shore. Here he laid some
stones together, and his followers added more, so
that there was a heap on the spot where the town
was built over a hundred years later. Next day he
marched at the head of his anny to Derbent,
whence he soon had to go back home, as his fleet
and transports, that were to follow him, were
destroyed by a storm ; on the 1 3th of December he
once more triumphantly marched into Moscow.
Petrovsk is now named after a man who fought
against the rule of the Tsars. Here was the harbour
earlier ofthe town ofTarku (Tarki),which lies inland
about four kilometres to the south. The harbour of
Makhach Kala is now sheltered by two long moles.
Our first visit wras to the museum, which gave an
insight into the life of the mountain peoples. They
are, as wc said, Mohammedans and mostly Sunnites,
and so have stronger ties with the Turks than with
the Persians ; but there are also Shiites among them.
The Murid movement was partly directed to recon
ciling the two doctrines and uniting Islam once
more, as will be related below. Fanaticism now
seems to have died down, and religion has tåken
on a more modem form, anyhow so far as wc saw
in this town and its neighbourhood. The women
did not wear a veil in the street or in the house,
and did not seem to be much afraid of being seen

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