Journal of Frontier Studies.

Via Russian History Blog, I learn of the appearance of Фронтирных исследований/Journal of Frontier Studies:

Just this week a new online journal for Russian Studies arrived, The Journal of Frontier Studies/Zhurnal frontirnykh issledovanii. It is being edited by a group of scholars at Astrakhan State University, and aspires to put Russian and Western scholars into conversation. They are planning on publishing articles in English down the line.

I haven’t had time to investigate it yet, but it certainly sounds promising.


  1. Well, this journal surprised me in more than one way. To begin with, I didn’t know that direct borrowing фронтир is part of Russian language, but apparently it is. The journal is so fond of this word that they included it in 11 titles out of 13 entries in the “current issue” (and, I understand it, so far the only one) with byline 2016-02-24.

  2. SFReader says:

    Astrakhan is an interesting place-name.

    It is a Russian corruption of medieval Golden Horde town of Hajji-Tarkhan.

    Hajji is an Arabic word which means a devout Muslim who did a pilgrimage to Mecca.

    Tarkhan (Mongolian ‘darkhan’) is a medieval Turko-Mongol title which means someone who was granted exemption from all taxes and duties.

    According to Arabic traveller Ibn Battuta, someone from that area did a pilgrimage to Mecca, became a Hajji and on return received an additional honorary title of Tarkhan (Golden Horde became Muslim in 1312).

    And so his village became an important town of Hajji-Tarkhan (and even managed to become a capital of independent Astrakhan Khanate in 15-16th centuries).

  3. Fascinating, I didn’t know that etymology!

  4. Ксёнѕ Фаўст says:

    *Журнал украинских исследований

  5. I wouldn’t be so categorical with the statement that Astrakhan is a Russian corruption of Golden Hord name Hajji Tarkhan. By the period of the Russian conquest of the territory the twon was known under different names: Ajitarkan (Anonimos, 1351), Jitarkan (Francesco Pegolotti, 1340), Citrachan (Ambrogio Contarini, 1459).
    Other names of the town were also known: Ajdarkhan, Ghintarkhan, Astarhan and Russian variant Aztorokan’ (in analogy with the name of Mediaeval Kievan Rus’ principality Tmutorokan’.
    It is interesting that by the time of Contarini’s visit of the city it was already Citrachan, but we can’t be sure about the proper speling.
    Besides that the modern name of Astrakhan can be a a varant of folk ethimology formed on the basis of As-tarkhan — a document granted for the land property. In this case the As — an ethnic group of the Alanian origin. Other spellings of the tribe are known: the Yas, the Yasog etc. and may be Kasogs. By the last name Russian chronists ment the Circassians.
    By the way, Pizzigani brothers in their Chart (1367) placed the town in the land of Hajji-Circass Khan — «Casade Gercasi».
    And the last: Tarkhan or Darkhan in Mongolian and Turk languages was not only a a title or a document the fixed special rights of a holder but also a name of a person with special abilities. A good poet is a darkhan, a skilled master is also a darkhan. It is a person with a power that makes him prosperous.So Darkhan is also a power. Till the nowadays there are more than 20 tombs of such persons — Auliya. And only two of them are hajji who died on their way back from Mecca. Most of the auliya are devoted to sufies or to local shamans.
    So what is ethimology of the name of the town we can’t be sure.

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