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Eleni Sarantova

Author(s) : Selekou Olympia (12/3/2007)
Translation : Nakas Ioannis

For citation: Selekou Olympia, "Eleni Sarantova",
Encyclopaedia of the Hellenic World, Black Sea
URL: <http://www.ehw.gr/l.aspx?id=11893>

Ελένη Σαραντόβα (12/5/2008 v.1) Eleni Sarantova (5/25/2009 v.1) 

1. Biography

Eleni Ivanovna Sarantova was born around 1754, but her place of birth is unknown. She was the wife of Pavel Sarantov (Pavlos Sarantis, Sarantinos), a high-ranking officer of the Greek Battalion of Balaklava. In April 1787, in the age of 33, she was appointed as the leader of the Company of the Amazons and became known in history as the kapetanissa (female captain) of this company. She is known also as Elena Sidyanskaya from the surname of her second husband.

Eleni Sarantova died in the age of 95, on 4th September 1849, in Simferopol, where she had spent her entire life, and was buried in the old Christian cemetery (not preserved today) of the city.1 The grandson of Eleni Sarantova was I.S. Tsech, a writer and historian, as well as an active member of the scientific committee of archival and antiquity science of Crimea.

2. Sarantova’s petition and her activity with the Company of the Amazons

In September 1848, being the widow of the state councillor Sidyanski, Eleni Sidyanskaya-Sarantova filed a petition to the governor of Caucasus M.S. Vorontsov, in which she described in short the history of the Company of the Amazons, as well as her personal role in it, and asked for financial help, since she was presented as being in a very old age, almost blind and indigent, without ever in the past having annoyed with her petitions the honourable monarchs for any kind of assistance. Attached to Sarantova’s petition was the certificate of the leader of A.N. Kaznatseyev, potentate of the nobility of Tauris (Crimea), who verified that what she described was true and agreed for a favourable attention of her petition. Vorontsov thoroughly publicized the petition via the prince minister P.M. Volkonski, who then reported it to the emperor Nikolaos, with the result that Sarantova received, almost immediately, on 29th September 1848, an allowance of 300 silver rubles. Furthermore, Nikolaos showed a personal interest in her case and asked that all the relative testimonies concerning the creation and the activity of the Company of the Amazons during Catherine’s years be documented. In December 1848, Vorontsov sent to the emperor old Sarantova’s memoirs, which he personally wrote down, as well as her uniform along with her portrait, which were listed in the archive of the imperial ministry of the Court2 and until today they are kept in the Russian State Historical Archive of Saint Petersburg.

1. Kibovski, Alexandr., «Amazonskaja rota. 1787», Tcheingaouz 6:1 (1997) , p. 19. Mosxouri, I. B., Greki v istorii Sevastopolja (Sevastopol 2005), p. 47. Greki v istorii Krima. Kratkii biographitcheskii spravotchnik (Simferopol 2000), p. 274.

2. Dousi, G., "Zapiska ob amazonskoe rote", Moskvitjanin 1 (Moskva 1844). Eshipov, G., "Amazonskaja rota pri Ekaterina II", Istoritsheski vestnik 23:2 (1886), pp 72-75.


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