The first person the young Gurdjieff consults to try to find an explanation of the phenomenon of Yezidis being unable to get out of a circle drawn around them.

The surname Ananyev goes back to the canonical male name Ananiy, which in Hebrew means “marked by the grace of God.” Alternatively, Anan (from the Hebrew ‘merciful’) and Ananias (in the same language means ‘God Yahweh is merciful’).

In the old days, this name was widespread among the peasantry. However, there is also a dialect word “ananya” meaning “affectionate, flattering person”—a kind of fox-pretend. In this case, the surname Ananyev was formed from a nickname that indicated the characteristics of a person’s character.


Hieromartyr Ananias, who was recognized as one of the Seventy Apostles, Bishop of Damascus, was considered the patron saint of the name Ananias. According to legend, Ananias went from Damascus to Eleutheropol and there, showing the people the way to salvation and healing the sick, he converted many to faith in Christ. There, the ruler Lucian, worshiping idols, ordered the people to take Ananias, take him out of the city and stone him, which is why he died a martyr’s death.