• A
  • A
  • A
  • ABC
  • ABC
  • ABC
  • А
  • А
  • А
  • А
  • А
Regular version of the site

Article

ГОСУДАРСТВЕННЫЙ СТРАХ, ИЛИ СЛУЧАЙ МАЙОРА АПУХТИНА

Quaestio Rossica. 2019. Т. 7. № 2. С. 630-647.

This article is part of a project studying the phenomenon of suicide in eighteenth-century Russia. It is based on the investigation of Major Vasily Apukhtin’s death in 1731. The investigation materials demonstrate that the major committed suicide by drowning himself in his own well. According to the testimonies of his servants, relatives, and acquaintances, Apukhtin was insane: the reason for his insanity (or, rather, the circumstance that aggravated his mental illness) was fear of being taken to court as a result of a pending lawsuit. An ordinary property trial, inadequately perceived by the suicide, made him terrified of being declared unreliable, which could therefore mean torture as part of the criminal proceedings. This circumstance allows the author to consider Apukhtin’s case within the framework of the concept of “state fear”, first introduced into historiography by Evgeny Anisimov. Analysis of the causes of the mental agony which the unfortunate major was experiencing through the prism of this concept seems helpful when considering many other cases that led numerous Russians of the eighteenth century to do the same.