Alexander Pushkin: Ethiopian Origins

Alexander Pushkin: Ethiopian Origins

It is an established fact that great-grandfather of the greatest Russian poet Alexander Pushkin (1799 – 1837) came to St. Petersburg from Africa. His name was Abram Hannibal (1696 – 1781), and he was brought to St. Petersburg and at the age of 8 or 9.

Where was Abram Hannibal from? Not long ago some version was discussed placing his homeland in Eritrea, or Cameroon, or even Chad. We support the traditional theory and claim that Abram Hannibal was born somewhere in north Ethiopia.

Peter the Great, tsar of Russia, who loved collecting all sorts of rarities and curiosities, took a small boy at first as his servant and messenger, but then became a secretary of the king. In 1716 Abram Hannibal joined a military academy in France, finished it and became a military officer on the Russian army. He served in the army till 1762 and was retired as a general to settle in a village near St. Petersburg and get involved in agriculture, esperimenting with potato plants.

Abram Hannibal was married twice. With his second wife he had six children: one of his sons Osip (or Joseph) became the grandfather of Alexander Sergeevich Pushkin, the greatest Russian poet of all times.

Small monument to Pushkin (see photo below) is now placed in Addis Ababa in the garden near the National Museum (Arat Kilo).

Pushkin monument


This post is also available in: Russian

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