A Hero of Our Time

A Hero of Our Time Glossary


A tribe of the northern section of the Caucasus. They were less volatile towards Russia than other tribes. They accepted Russia's dominance at the beginning of the nineteenth century and provided transportation to people traveling on the Military Highway. Maxim Maximych, the narrator, and Pechorin have negative feelings towards people from this tribe.


A beer beverage that natives such as the Ossetes drink. The drink sometimes causes them to get out of control.


It is a term that the natives employ to connote friendship and hospitality. In the novel, Maxim Maximych refers to himself and Kazbich as kunaks. He invites Kazbich to tea when Kazbich comes to sell him rams.


It is the name that Kazbich gives his horse. It translates to "Black Eye."


They were exiles who took refuge in southern and eastern outskirts of Russia in the fifteenth century. They became a major part of Russia's military defense in later centuries.


A mountain range that acts as a boundary between Europe and Asia. It is also situated between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea.


"An escort--half a company of infantry and one cannon-- that accompanies convoys passing through Kabarda on their way from Vladikavkaz to Yekaterinograd" (162).


A small town in the western section of the Caucasus region. Pechorin almost drowns in this small town.


Pechorin uses the term to refer to the young woman he meets in Taman. In European mythology, the term refers to water creatures, who are typically females resembling humans, but who have no souls. They obtain souls by marrying humans.


A spa town in the northern part of the Caucasus. In the novel, individuals with various ailments seek salvation in the town's spa facilities.


It is another spa town, a few miles from Pyatigorsk. Pechorin goes there to continue his affair with Vera.


Muslim women cover themselves with this veil. Kazbich wraps Bela in a yashmak when he kidnaps her.


A device used by Russians to make tea.


A manmade cave. Pechorin first meets Vera in this structure.

fièvre lente

A chronic fever. The literal translation from French to English is "slow fever." Vera suffers from this ailment, and it has a tremendous impact on her appearance.

Finita la commedia

It translates from Italian to English as "the play is over." Pechorin utters this line after killing Grushnitsky.


A village inhabited by Cossaks. It lies close to the mid-way point between Kislovodsk and Pyatigorsk. Pechorin plans to exchange his tired horse for a fresher one in Yessentuki, but he never makes it to the village. His horse dies a few miles from the village, and Pechorin loses Vera forever.


A card game that resembles the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries' English game, whist.


A type of red wine consumed in the Caucasus.

General Alexei Petrovich Yermolov

He was commander-in-chief of Georgia and the army in the Caucacus in the early nineteenth century. Maxim Maximych takes great pride in being associated with this figure.