The Great Game in Front and Central Asia in the XIX century: historiography of the question

Cover Page

Cite item


The purpose of the article is to study the events of the “big game”, their reflection and comparison in Russian and English historiography. For its implementation, considerable amounts of materials related both to the time of these events and to modern authors were used. Since the research concerns the topic of political rivalry between the two states, the observation of a subjective attitude in some works is not unexpected. However, the works presented in the article generally stand up to historical objectivity. The “Big Game” is an important event in terms of what is essentially a forerunner of subsequent global conflicts, primarily the “cold war”.

About the authors

Georgy Vadimovich Ibrayymov

Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia

Author for correspondence.

postgraduate student of the Department of World History

10-2 Miklukho-Maklaya str., Moscow, Russia, 117198


  1. The Indian campaign under Emperor Paul I. Military encyclopedia: [in 18 t.]; ed. by V.F. Novitsky.. [et al.]. St. Petersburg.; [M.]: Type. t-va I. D. Sytin; 1911.
  2. Ewans Martin. The Great Game: Britain and Russia in Central Asia, Volume 1, Documents, RoutledgeCurzon, Oxon. UK; 2004.
  3. Dubrovin NF. History of the War and Russian Rule in the Caucasus, volume 4–6. St. Petersburg; 1886–88.
  4. Dubrovin NF. Transcaucasia from 1803–1806. St. Petersburg; 1866. 542 p.
  5. Batashvili DL. General C. P. Kotlyarevsky: an Essay on the life and military activities. Tbilisi: Metsniereba; 1980. 139 p.
  6. Muriel Aiken. Russia and Iran 1780–1828. University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis; 1980. 216 p.
  7. Kuznetsov O. The Treaty of Gulistan: 200 years after (the Russo-Persian war of 1804–1813 and the Treaty of Gulistan in the context of its 200th anniversary). The Caucasus & Globalization. Lulea: CA&CC Press® AB. 2013;7(3–4):162–182.
  8. Malcolm Sir John. The History of Persia. From the Most Early Period to the Present Time. London: John Murray; 1829. 1360 p.
  9. Monteith W. Kars and Erzeroum. L.: Printed by Spottiswoode & Co.; 1856. 360 p.
  10. Kaye John William Sir. The life and correspondence of Major-General Sir John Malcolm. London, Smith, Elder, and co.; [etc., etc.] 1856, Vol. 1, 2.
  11. Veselovsky NI. Gulistan tract. Encyclopedic dictionary of Brockhaus and Efron: in 86 t. (82 t. and 4 add.). St. Petersburg; 1890–1907.
  12. Orlik OV. Russia in international relations 1815–1829: from the Vienna Congress to the Adrianople World. Moscow: Nauka; 1998. 266 p.
  13. Abdullaev F. From the history of Russian-Iranian relations and British policy in Iran at the beginning of the XIX century. Tashkent: Fan; 1971. 135 p.
  14. Salikhova DB. Russian-Iranian relations in the second quarter of the XIX century: diss.. Candidate of Historical Sciences Makhachkala; 2007. 184 p.
  15. The Turkmanchay peace treaty of 1828. Diplomatic dictionary. A.Ya. Vyshinsky, S.A. Lozovsky. M.: State Publishing House of Political Literature; 1948.
  16. Balayan BP. International relations of Iran in 1813–1828. Yerevan: Publishing House of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR; 1967. 295 p.
  17. Sukhov I. Soldier of the “Big Game”. The mystery of the death of the Russian Ambassador to Persia, A. Griboedov. Nikolai Starikov. URL:
  18. Airapetov O. Foreign policy of the Russian Empire (1801–1914). Ed. “Europe”; 2006. 672 p.
  19. Hopkirk P. The Big Game against Russia: The Asian Syndrome. Publishing house “Ripoll Classic”; 2004. 269 p.
  20. Muravyov NN. Journey to Turkmenistan and Khiva in 1819 and 1820, the Guards General Staff of Captain Nikolai Muravyov, sent to these countries for negotiations. August Semyon, 1822; Military literature (miletera). URL: muraviev_karsskiy_nn/index.html
  21. Khanykov NV. Description of the Bukhara Khanate. Printing House of the Imperial Academy of Sciences (St. Petersburg); 1843. 302 p.
  22. Meyer K.E., Brysac S.B. Tournament of shadows: The Great Game and the race for empire in Central Asia. N.Y.: Basic Books; 2006. 648 p. Pp. 92–121. Geopolitical problems of Central Asia “The Great game” in the past and present Ref. Ser. “Problems of social development of the countries of Asia and Africa” Center for Scientific Research. global. and regional. problems. Otd. Asia and Africa; Ed. edited by A.I. Fur-owls. Moscow, 2012. Publishing house: Institute of Scientific Information on Social Sciences of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Moscow). 166 p.
  23. Masson Charles. Narrative of Various Journeys in Balochistan, Afghanistan and the Panjab: Including a Residence in Those Countries from 1826 to 1838. Vol. I–IV. Richard Bentley, London; 1844.
  24. Arthur Conolly. Journey to the North of India through Russia, Persia and Afghanistan. Vol. I–II. London, Richard Bentley; 1834.
  25. Terentyev MA. History of the conquest of Central Asia. Vol. I–III. St. Petersburg; 1906. 1632 p.
  26. Terentyev MA. Russia and England in Central Asia. St. Petersburg: type. P.P. Merkul’eva; 1875. 361 p.
  27. Notes on the Bukhara Khanate (Reports of P.I. Demezon and I.V. Vitkevich). Moscow, The Main editorial office of the Eastern literature of the publishing house “Nauka”; 1983. 149 p. with ill. (Central Asia in sources and materials of the XIX – early XX century).
  28. Alexander Burnes. Travels into Bokhara. Being the Account of a Journey from India to Cabool, Tartary and Persia; Also, Narrative of a Voyage on the Indus, from the Sea to Lahore, with Presents from the King of Great Britain. Vol. 1–3. London: J. Murray; 1834.
  29. Bugaev AG. The struggle for Herat In 1837–1841. Izvestiya Rossiyskogo gosudarstvennogo pedagogicheskogo universiteta im. a. I. Herzen. St. Petersburg; 2007, p. 58–61.
  30. Simonich IO. Memoirs of the Plenipotentiary Minister. 1832–1838. [Text]: [Translated from French]; AS USSR. In-t of the Peoples of Asia. Moscow: Nauka; 1967. 176 p.
  31. Masson VM., Romodin VA. The History Of Afghanistan: Vol. 1–2 [Akad. of Sciences of the USSR. In-t of the Peoples of Asia]. M.: Nauka, 1964–1965. Vol. 1: From ancient times to the beginning of the XVI century; 1964. 464 p.: ill. Bibliogr.: pp. 479–501.; Vol. 2: Afghanistan in modern times; 1965. 551 p.: ill.
  32. Khalfin NA. The failure of British aggression in Afghanistan (XIX century-early XX century). Moscow: Publishing House of socio-economic literature; 1959. 210 p.
  33. William Dalrymple. Return of a King: The Battle for Afghanistan. Bloomsbury Publishing, London; 2012. 578 p.
  34. Shokhumorov A. The division of Badakhshan and the fate of Ismailism. Emelyanova N.M. Moscow-Dushanbe: IV RAS; 2008. 128 p.
  35. Snesarev ANu. Afghanistan. M.: Russian. panorama; 2002.
  36. Barthorp M. Afghan Wars and the North-West Frontier 1839–1947. London: Cassell; 2002. 304 p.
  37. Sergeev EYu. Bolshaya igra, 1856–1907: myths and realities of Russian-British relations in Central and Eastern Asia. Moscow: Comradeship of scientific publications KMK; 2012. 454 p.
  38. Charles Thomas Marvin. The Russians at the gates of Herat. London F. Warne; 1885. 384 p.
  39. Shirokorad AB. Russia – England: the Unknown War, 1857–1907; A.B. Shirokorad. M: LLC “Publishing House ACT” ; 2003. 541 p.
  40. Shafqat Hussain. Remoteness and Modernity: Transformation and Continuity in Northern Pakistan. Yale University Press; 2015. 66 p.
  41. Tageev BL. Pamir campaign. (Memoirs of an eyewitness). Historical Bulletin. 1898(7).

Copyright (c) 2021 Ibrayymov G.V.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

This website uses cookies

You consent to our cookies if you continue to use our website.

About Cookies