The website presents samples of original texts alongside their Russian translations. The comparison helps one not only to see the translator’s method and principles, but also to get an idea of how Russian readers understood and interpreted European political treatises throughout the “long” eighteenth century.
The website also provides a context for the key political concepts that entered the Russian language at the time. When the different contexts of a certain concept are put in chronological order, it will be possible to see how political terms changed their meaning, in other words, how the language and the semantics of Russian political culture evolved.
The database will provide scholars with a basis for further research in the history of language and political thought in Russia and will allow researchers and lovers of history to expand their understanding of the political discourse of eighteenth-century Russia.
Descriptions of translated works are presented in the form of an open source database. Its main sections are:
This section gives access to a list of translations of socio-political essays made in Russia in the eighteenth century. For the most important texts, we offer not only a detailed description, but also fragments of the translation including key political concepts. These fragments are given in parallel with excerpts of the original text. Original and translated terms are highlighted in the text: by clicking on the term (for example, «society» in the Article Economics (morality and politics) from the «Encyclopedia» by J.-J. Rousseau) one can access all the passages of political texts that include the term.
This page provides a way to quickly access the list of authors of works presented on the site (they can be searched both in the general list and through the Latin and Russian alphabet, an advanced search can also be used, see below). By going to the author’s page (for example, Jacob Friedrich von Bielefeld), the user can find a list of the author’s original works that were translated into Russian, and the the titles of the Russian translations of the texts, whose descriptions can be found on the site. In the case of sample texts being presented on the site, this is indicated by an icon in the list of Russian translations .
A list of all the political terms from the fragments of texts presented on the website. The list includes both the original terms, in different European languages from which the works were translated, and their Russian equivalents. By clicking on any of the terms (for example, autorité), the user will access its equivalents found, respectively, in the original works or in Russian translations. Excerpts can be found below containing highlighted terms. Each Russian term is linked with the original one. All the excerpts are followed by the title of the work from which they were taken, and the date of publication. Russian translations are deliberately arranged in chronological order, which allows one to see how the meaning of each term evolved throughout the eighteenth century.
The website offers a simple and an advanced search option.
Simple search is a full-text option, which gives access to any page of the site containing the search term.
Advanced search is possible using one or a combination of criteria, such as:
Search results are presented in the following order: translations, originals, authors, translators, terms, text samples. The results of each category can be accessed quickly through the shortcuts that appear immediately below the search box.
The site has other sections; they are hidden under the last button in the menu (but can also be found at the bottom of the page): originals, translators, project news, FAQ, contacts, libraries and archives (list of abbreviations of the names of libraries and archives).