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The Chord From The Distant Past: From A. Griboedov To C. Stevens

By       Message Mark Sashine     Permalink
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   Like a chord from the past..

 

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   A. Chekhov

 

 

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History repeats itself in a double -- helical spiral way, similar to that   famous   staircase designed and built by Leonardo Da Vinci for the Chambord Castle in France- his last achievement. The people going up the stairs cannot see the ones going down. Otherwise maybe   Chris Stevens from  the Y2012   could see   Alexander   Griboedov from  the Y1829 and would not go to fateful Benghazi.

 

In   the Y1829   Alexander Griboedov was barely 34 years old and  a bright rising   star on the sky of Russian imperial politics. He was appointed as a first Russian full ambassador to the recently defeated Iran with the rank of a civil general to   exercise  articles of the peace treaty between the victorious   Russia and humiliated Iran. He was a famous Russian literati,   a recognized genius of literature and musical composition, a highly educated   man (he   knew Persian, French, English and German languages), highly decorated by then Emperor Nicholas   I and   had just happily married a young   stunning beauty Nina Chavchavadze, a   Georgian princess, all relatives of whom loved Alexander dearly and sincerely.

 

The duty of the Russian embassy was to monitor the exercising of the Turkmenchay   peace treaty conditions   and those were rather tough on Iran. Besides a huge monetary   contribution    the treaty stipulated that every Russian citizen, man or woman forcefully   brought to Iran against his/her will got a right of free return to Russia, also that the former Russian soldiers who for whatever reason   defected to Iran were subjects to extradition. Russian troops in the Northern Iran were there to make sure those   conditions were followed   to the letter.   Griboedov   was   confident and persistent: he established a rapport   with the highest Iranian officials   and developed a process   which was supposed to make sure the conditions are fulfilled   without   an   overwhelming burden   on the Persian people and /or   violation of the Moslem family laws which was especially tough when women, former Russian citizens, abducted and sold to harems were claiming the right of return. Griboedov   established    his own   research and processing   process to verify   claims and discuss all the options. He worked very diligently and   was on the way to fulfill all the conditions so that   the Russian military   could   leave Iran and   join the troops fighting   in the war with Turkey at that time.

 

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But something went wrong.   On February 1829    Russian embassy in Tehran was suddenly attacked by a crowd of fanatics. There were about 10000 or more. For some strange reason   all the high   military commanders in the city    left the city to   rest a day before, also the regiment of the   Persian infantry in charge of guarding the embassy   left without warning. The same took place with the   main   foreign missions. Alexander Griboedov was in the embassy alone; his young wife   was at that time   in the British consulate in Tabriz where she was going through her pregnancy.

 

Russian   guards, the embassy staff, Griboedov himself and even   valets and servants   defended the embassy to the last man. All  but one were slaughtered. The   bodies were mutilated, chopped to pieces   and hastily buried. When after some time   the Russian government requested the Griboedov's body for the   proper burial, only pieces were delivered, the most close one being his hand with a ring people knew about.   The remains were   buried with higher honors   at the   sacred   Mtatzminda   cemetery on the David's Hill in Tbilisi, Georgia. His wife   gave birth to a dead child. When she died she was buried near him.   She insisted that the following   words were carved on his tombstone:

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The writer is 57 years old, semi- retired engineer, PhD, PE, CEM. I write fiction on a regular basis and I am also 10 years on OEN.


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