Christopher Danziger, tutor, Department of Continuing Education, Oxford University, United Kingdom

The Crimean Peninsula is truly one of the crossroads of history, where the East met the West, where Islam met Christianity, where the maritime world met the steppe, where Empire met nationalism. Few parts of the world have seen more human traffic. It has been home to the Scythians, the Persians, the Greeks, the Ostrogoths, the Mongol Tatars and the Genoese. Each of them left fascinating traces of their occupation. Finally it became the focus for a struggle between the expanding Russian Empire and the declining Ottoman Empire. Since 1783 this ‘earthly paradise’ was the favourite retreat of the Romanov emperors. In World War II it fell into German hands, with fateful consequences. Finally it became a pawn between Russia and the newly independent Ukraine. Was Putin’s takeover in 2014 a landgrab or a restoration of national rights?



Click on the lecture title to view the video.

1. The Crimea before the Romanovs (pre-history to 1783)

2. The Romanovs and the Crimea (1783–1917)

3. Communist Russia and the Crimea

4. The Crimea at war (1854, 1941)

5. Putin and the Crimea (2014–?)

Recommended reading

Ascherson, N. 1996. The Black Sea. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Kent, N. 2015. Crimea: A History. C. Hurst Publishers Limited.

King, M.S. 2014. Putin’s War. Createspace Independent Publishers.

Woodham-Smith, C. 1953. The Reason Why. London: Constable.



Date: 23–27 January                                                   .
Time:   9.15 am
COURSE FEES Full: R480,00  Staff: R240,00  Reduced: R120,00