1 section

Point on the Map: small-scale maps of Russia

1
Russiae, Moscoviae et Tartariae Descriptio. Auctore Antonio Jenkensono Anglo, edita Londini Anno 1562. & dedicata Illustri: D. Henrico Sydneo Wallie presidi
The Description
of Russia, Muscovy and Tartary
The Description
of Russia, Muscovy and Tartary

By Anthony Jenkinson
of England, published
in 1562 in London and
dedicated to His Excellency
Henry Sidney, Lord
President of Wales

Abraham Ortelius
A coloured print
Antwerp, 1579

The map is based on the work of Anthony Jenkinson (1529–1611), from whom the Earls of Liverpool descend. Jenkinson served in the Muscovy Company and made four trips to Russia. He was interested in Russia as potentially the shortest trade route from England to Persia and India running through the Baltic Sea, via Russian rivers and further across the Caspian. Following his voyage to Persia and Bukhara, he wrote a book and drafted a map describing his journey. The map was long believed to be lost until its only surviving copy was accidentally found in 1987 in Amsterdam; on display is an abridged version of the map published in Amsterdam by the renowned cartographer Abraham Ortelius.

Pictured in the map’s upper left corner is Tsar Ivan IV the Terrible, sitting on a throne in front of a royal tent. Images depict pagan worship, troops, riders, Persian soldiers, a nomad camp, bears, and camels, and are mostly based on books by Sigismund von Herberstein and Marco Polo. The texts in the map describe Zlata Baba (Golden Woman), an idol in Yugra; a practice in polar countries to worship a red cloth hanging on a pole as a symbol of the sun; a petrified nomadic horde (the Manpupuner rock formations); religious rites of the Kyrgyz; and Timur’s tomb in Samarkand.

2
Moscouia
Muscovy
Muscovy

Sebastian Münster
Basel, 1550
A woodcut
Sheet 910 from
the Cosmography
In Latin

The description of Poland ends and description of Muscovy begins on the sheet. Muscovy is described as a vast country, whose capital Moskha or Moscow extends 14 miles in circumference.

In his description of Muscovy, Münster mostly relies on the works by Maciej Miechowita. His other sources are Antonius Wied, okolnichy Ivan Lyatsky, and Sigismund von Herberstein.
Muscovy is covered in forests. The map shows nomad tents, a wild ox, a fox, a walrus (at the White Sea), and a pagan worshipping an idol (in the lower Ob region).
Münster’s map of Muscovy is the first attempt to depict the East European Plain based on contemporary and more or less reliable records, as opposed to tales of classical antiquity. Münster took much of the geographic data from Wied’s map, which was made in 1537–1544 and published in 1555.

2
Moscoviter land
Land of Muscovites
Land of Muscovites

Sebastian Münster
Basel, 1557
A coloured
woodcut

Page 1219 from Book 4,
Chapter 71 Von den
Moscowitern
(On Muscovites)
of the Cosmography
in German.

The text says that Moscow, the capital of Muscovy, was named so after the river on which it stands, and is the country’s largest city with a strong fortress. (Moscow is twice the size of Prague in Bohemia)... The Moskus River flows south into the Oka River, near the town of Kolyuny (Kolomna). The Oka flows into the Volga near Novgorod. Muscovy is quite long and wide. It stretches 100 miles from Smolensk to Moscow, and 100 miles from Moscow to Vologda. The distance from Vologda to Ustyug is 100 miles, from Ustyug to Vyatka is 100 miles, and these 400 miles is the land of the Muscovites, who speak Slavic. The country consists of many duchies (principalities)... The Principality of Moscow can field 300,000 nobles and 600,000 peasants. The Duchy of Tver can field 40,000 men.

The reverse side of the map, page 1220, includes a text on the River Don, its tributaries, as well as those of Oka and other rivers, excessive drinking habits, and abundance of honey. The page also features a wild ox.

3
Moscoviae Imperium XXVII. Descrittone dell Imperio della Moscovia
Tsardom of Muscovy
Tsardom of Muscovy

Chapter 27. Description
of the Tsardom of Muscovy
Giovanni Antonio Magini
Engravers: Paolo & Francesco
Galignani Fratelli
A coloured print
Padua, 1621

Sheet from Geographia by Claudius Ptolemy, the posthumous edition of Giovanni Antonio Magini (translated from Latin into Italian, abridged version) called Geografia cioe Descrittione Universale della Terra (Geography, i.e., Universal Description of the Earth) with new maps added. The second edition of Ptolemy in Italian.

4
Moscoviae Imperium Coloniae formulis Jani bussemecheri an: 1600
The Empire of Muscovy
The Empire of Muscovy

Chapter 72
of the Fasciculus
Geographicus Atlas
Made by
Johann Bussemacher
in Cologne in 1600
Matthias Quad
Cologne, 1608
A print

5
Moscovia Sigismundi Liberi Baronis in Herberstein
Muscovy,
by Siegmund
Freiherr
von Herberstein
Muscovy,
by Siegmund
Freiherr
von Herberstein

St Petersburg, 1887
Cartographic Establishment
of Alexey Ilyin
A lithograph

A copy of a woodcut
published in Basel in 1556
by Johannes Oporinus

Map No. 15
from the Educational Atlas
of Russian History drafted
and published by Professor
Yegor Zamyslovsky
Third edition

6
Moschovia Nova Tabula
New Map of Muscovy
New Map of Muscovy

Drafted by:
Giacomo Gastaldi
Published by:
Giovanni Battista Pedrezano
Venice, 1548
A print

Giacomo Gastaldi (1500–1566) was a Venetian engineer, astronomer and cartographer. He served as an engineer at the Water Service charged for protecting the Venetian Lagoon from flooding. Part of his job was to create maps of the lagoon and its coast line. Over time, he fully devoted himself to map making and was appointed “Cosmographer of the Venetian Republic” and a member of the Venetian Academy of Sciences.
In 1548, Gastaldi published Ptolemy’s Geography in Italian (originally printed in Latin by Sebastian Münster in 1540), supplementing it with his own maps of lands unknown in antiquity, including a map of Muscovy. The latter was based on a map drafted in Rome by Paolo Giovio, whose source was Dmitry Gerasimov, the ambassador of Grand Prince Vasili III to Pope Clement VII.

Gastaldi’s map differs significantly from Ptolemy’s text, according to which the main rivers of the Russian Plain take their source from the Riphean Mountains. As Paolo Giovio writes: “Volga, which used to be called Ra in ancient times, originates from the great and vast swamps known as the White Lakes. They... are the source of almost all the rivers that flow across various countries... Therefore, these swamps are... an inexhaustible source of water as opposed to the mountains, which, as witnessed by travellers, are completely absent in this country; hence, the majority... believe that the Riphean and Hyperborean mountains so much glorified by ancient authors are all but mythical. It is from these swamps that the rivers Dvina, Oka, Moskva, Volga, Tanais and Borysthenes take their origin.

7
Russia
Russia
Russia

Abraham Ortelius
Antwerp, 1601
Page 15. Chapter Moßkau
(Moscow)
A print

Sheet from the German edition of Ortelius’s pocket atlas Epitome Theatre Orteliani, praecipuarum orbis regionum delineationes, minoribus tabulis expressas, breuioribusque declarationibus illustratas, continens (An epitome of Ortelius’s Theatre of the World, wherein the principal regions of the earth are described in small maps, with a brief description annexed to each map)

8
Moscouia
Muscovy
Muscovy

Gerardus Mercator
Amsterdam, 1621
A coloured print
Page 139,
Mercator-Hondius Atlas

Scale in German miles. A cylindrical projection. The Beloozero text says that the Prince of Moscow brought here his treasury to keep it safe for the time of the war.
A major source of Mercator’s information on Russia was Olivier Brunel, a Dutch merchant who worked for Grigory Stroganov and helped facilitate contacts between Anika Stroganov and Johan Balak, Mercator’s informant. Boris Godunov ordered the Mercator map copied and translated into Russian.

Gerard Mercator (1512–1594), Professor at the University of Leiden. His most important work, which remained unfinished, was the Cosmography, a description of the universe, with one of its volumes containing a collection of geographical maps. A significant number of the maps, including that of Russia, remained unpublished. Mercator’s son Rumold published them in 1595 in the Atlas sive Cosmographicae Mediationes de Fabrica Mundi et Fabricati Figura (the Atlas, or a Cosmographic Examination of the Structure and Forms of the World). The map of Russia cum Confignis (Russia and the neighbouring lands) featured an inset of Russiae Pars Amplificata (Part of Russia Enlarged). The map on display is a reprinted copy of the inset.
Around 1604, Jodocus Hondius (1563–1612) bought the Atlas’ plates from the guardians of Rumold’s heirs (he died in 1599) and reprinted his atlas, adding new maps. Following Hondius’s death, his widow and sons Jodocus Jr (1593–1629) and Henricus (1597–1651) continued printing the Atlas.
From 1619, the Atlas was published as Hondius’s Atlas (i.e. Jodocus Jr), not Mercator’s. In 1629, the business passed to Jodocus III (1622–1655), while Mercator’s plates were bought by Blaeu.

9
Tabula Russiae ex autographo, quod delineandum curavit Foedor filius Tzaris Boris desumta; et ad fluvios Dwinam, Zuchanam, aliaque loca, quantum ex tabulis et notitiis ad nos delatis fieri potuit, amplificata: ac Magno Domino, Tzari et Magno Duci Michäeli Foedorowits omnium Ruβorum Autocratori Wolodimeriae, Moscoviae et Novogradiae, Tzari Cazaniae, Tzari Astracaniae, Tzari Sibiriae, Domino Plecoviae, Magno Duci Smolenscoviae, Otweriae, Iugoriae, Permiae, Wiatkiae, Bulgariae, etc: Item Domini et Magno Duci Novogardiae Inferioris etc. Domino Regionum Iveriae, Kartalinie et Groesiniae Tzari etc: dedicata ab Hesselo Gerardo 1614
A map of Russia,
A map of Russia,
based on the manuscript which Feodor, the son of Tsar Boris, helped to create, and updated to include the areas up to the rivers Dvina and Sukhona by consulting as much as possible other available maps and sources, and dedicated to the Great Lord Tsar and Grand Prince Mikhail Feodorovich of All Russia, the Autocrat of Vladimir, Moscow, and Novgorod, the Tsar of Kazan, the Tsar of Astrakhan, the Tsar of Siberia, the Lord of Pskov, the Grand Prince of Smolensk, Tver, Ugra, Perm, Vyatka, Bulgaria, and others, the Lord and Grand Prince of Nizhny Novgorod, and others, the Lord of Hiberia and Kartli, and the Tsar of Georgia, and others by Hessel Gerard in 1614

Hessel Gerritsz
Amsterdam,
Joan Blaeu 1658
A Spanish edition

The text on the reverse side: Russia
o Moscovia (Russia or Muscovy) The title of the map placed on the shield under Russia’s coat of arms, under the royal crown, surrounded by armament. The upper left inset includes a plan of Moscow. The upper right inset, next to the scale indication, features a view of Arkhangelsk and figures of soldiers (streltsy).
Hessel Gerritsz’s map of Russia was originally printed in 1613, but the following year its copper plates were updated. It was first included in Blaeu’s Atlas in 1634, in the German edition of the Atlas’ Appendices. Later, it was printed with the Atlas Maior that was published between 1662 and 1672.
Hessel Geritszoon (1580–1632) collaborated with Willem Janszoon Blaeu. He created the map of Russia the same year as the map of Lithuania (his sources were Thomas Makovius, and Mikołaj Krzysztof Radziwiłł).

The use of Russian sources is confirmed, among other things, by the picture of an abatis (zaseka in Russian) and the text Saisec constans nemoribus desectis et vallis a Tzar Foedor Ivanowitz aggestum contra irruptiones Tartarum Crimensium. Dutch researchers believe that the sources were exclusively Russian. Following Gerritsz’s death in 1632, the map’s plate passed to Blaeu.
The map was a major achievement for its time and served as a model for many Western European maps of Russia.

10
Tabula Russiae ex mandato Foedor Borissowits delineata; Magno studio plurimis in locis aucta edita et ac Magno Domino, Tzari et Magno Duci Michäeli Foedorowits omnium Ruβorum Autocratori Wolodimeriae, Moscoviae et Novogardiae, Tzari Cazaniae, Tzari Astracaniae, Tzari Sibiriae, Domino Plescoviae, Magno Duci Smolenscoviae, Otweriae, Iugoriae, Permiae, Wiatkiae, Bulgariae, etc: Item Domino et Magno Duci Novogardiae Inferioris etc: Domino Regionum Iveriae, Kartalinie et Groesiniae Tzari etc: dedicata a Nicolao Ioannis Piscatore 1634
The map of Russia,
The map of Russia,
compiled by order of Feodor Borisovich, containing many thorough updates and dedicated to the Great Lord Tsar and Grand Prince Mikhail Feodorovich of All Russia, the Autocrat of Vladimir, Moscow, and Novgorod, the Tsar of Kazan, the Tsar of Astrakhan, the Tsar of Siberia, the Lord of Pskov, the Grand Prince of Smolensk, Tver, Yugra, Perm, Vyatka, Bulgaria, and others, the Lord and Grand Prince of Nizhny Novgorod, and others, the Lord of Hiberia and Kartli, and the Tsar of Georgia, and others, by Nicholas Johannes Piscator in 1634

Claus Jansson Fischer
Amsterdam, 1634
A coloured print

12
Novissima Russiae tabula autore Isaaco Massa
The newest
map of Russia,
by Isaac Massa
The newest
map of Russia,
by Isaac Massa

Hendrik Hondius
Amsterdam, 1649 (?)
A coloured print
The Atlas (Latin edition)

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Etats du Czar ou Grand Duc de la Russie Blanche ou Moscovie Par N. Sanson le fils Geograhe du Roy, A Paris chez l’auteur avec privil. pour 20 ans. A. Peyrounin sculp
The states of the Tsar,
or Grand Duke
of White Russia, or Muscovy
The states of the Tsar,
or Grand Duke
of White Russia, or Muscovy

Compiled by Sanson Junior,
royal geographer; [available]
in Paris from the author, privilege valid for 20 years obtained.

Engraver: Abraham Peyrounin
A print with coloured elements
Paris, 1679

14
Carte de la grande Russie ou Moscovie par Duval, Geograph. Avec privil. A Paris chez P. Mariette, rue S. Jacues a l’Esperance
The map of the Great Russia, or Muscovy, by Duval, geographer
The map of the Great Russia, or Muscovy, by Duval, geographer

Privilege obtained [Available]
in Paris, St. rue S. Jacques,
àl’Espérance, from P. Mariette
Paris, 1667
A print

15
Etats du Grand Duc de Moscovie Suivant les Derrieres Relations Par N. de Fer
The state of the Grand Duke
of Muscovy according
to the latest reports
The state of the Grand Duke
of Muscovy according
to the latest reports

Nicolas de Fer,
Paris, 1689
a coloured print

16
Imperii Russici, sive Moscoviae Status Generalis, in ejus Regna, Ducatus, Provincias, Populosque Subjacentes Divisus, et ex Tabula Spectat-mi Domini N: Witsen, Urbis Amstelodamensis Consulis etc: pro Maiori Parte Excerptus, per F. de Wit Amst. cum. priv: P. D. Ord: Hol: West-Frisienque at London by Christopher Browne
The general map of the
Russian Empire, or Muscovy,
The general map of the
Russian Empire, or Muscovy,
divided into kingdoms, principalities, provinces, as well as subordinate peoples, mostly extracted by Frederik de Wit from the map of Honorable Nicolaes Witsen, Mayor of the City of Amsterdam

[Available] in Amsterdam,
privilege valid in both the
Netherlands and West Friesland
obtained [Available] in London from Christopher Brown

Frederik de Wit
Amsterdam, ca. 1700
A coloured print

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1. Moscovia Parte Occidentale, Dedicata All’ Illusriβimo Sigr. Bartolomeo Sardi, Nobile Lucchese, Accademico degli Argonauti, Segretario della M. del Rè di Polognia, Generale delle Poste del med: Regno, dal P.M. Coronelli, Lettore e Cosmografo Publico. 2. Moscovia Parte Orientale, Dedicata All’ Illusrissimo Signore Bartolomeo Sardi, Nobile Luchese, Accademico degli Argonauti, Segretario della M. del Rè di Polognia, Generale delle Poste del med. Regno; Dal P. Cosmografo Coronelli
The Western
and Eastern parts of Muscovy,
The Western
and Eastern parts of Muscovy,
by Father Coronelli, cosmographer and teacher, dedicated to His Excellency Signor Bartolomeo Sardi, a nobleman of the city of Lucca, a member of the Academy of Argonauts, Secretary of His Majesty the King of Poland, Head of the postal service

The Western and Eastern
parts of Muscovy
(two maps glued together)

Vincenzo Maria Coronelli
Venice, 1691
A print

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Russiae Albae, sive Moscoviae Delineatio Geographica accurata et nova; annexis quoque Regionibus ac Provinciis finitimis; studio et labore Petr. Schenck [титул над рамкой карты] La Russie Blanche ou Moscovie Divisée Suivant l’Estendue des Royaumes, Duchés, Principautés, Provinces et Peoples, qui sont Presentement soubs la Domination du Czar de la Russie Cogneu soubs le Nom de Grand Duc de Moscovie. Par Sr. Sanson Geographe Ord-re du Roy [титул карты в полотнище, поддерживаемом ангелочками]
The precise and new
geographical map of White
Russia, or Muscovy,
The precise and new
geographical map of White
Russia, or Muscovy,
including some border regions and provinces; the work and effort of Peter Schenk

Peter Schenk
Amsterdam, ca. 1700
A coloured print

White Russia, or Muscovy, divided according to the lengths of kingdoms, principalities, regions and peoples, which are now in control of the Tsar of Russia known as the Grand Duke of Muscovy. [Compiled by] monsieur Nicolas Sanson, Geographer in Ordinary to the King.

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Carte de Moscovie Dressée par Guillaume Del’Isle Premier Géographe du Roy A Son Excellence Monseigneur André Artémonidès de Matueof Ministre d’Etat de sa Majesté Csariénne L’Empereur des Russes, son Lieutenant gn-al en la Principalité de Jaroslavie, et son Ambassadeur Plenipotentiaire au préz du Roi Trez Chrêtien, et aupréz des Etats généraux des Provinces Unies. Par son tres humble et tres obeisst. Serviteur De l’Isle.
The map
of Muscovy,
The map
of Muscovy,
compiled by Guillaume de l’Isle, Chief Geographer to the King, for His Lordship Andrey Matveev, Minister of His Royal Majesty, the Emperor of Russia, His Chief Lieutenant in the Principality of Yaroslavl, and His Ambassador Plenipotentiary to the most Christian Majesty, as well as to the States General of the United Provinces. From his most humble and obedient servant, de l’Isle

[Available] in Paris,
rue des Canettes,
near Saint-Sulpice,
from the author
(privilege obtained)

Guillaume de l’Isle
Paris, 1706
A print

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Mappae Imperii Mocovittici Pars Septentrionalis adornata per Guillemum de l’Isle
The map
of the Northern part of the
Moscow Empire,
by Guillaume
de l’Isle
The map
of the Northern part of the
Moscow Empire,
by Guillaume
de l’Isle

Matthäus Seutter
Augsburg, 1740
A print

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Generalis totius Imperii Rusorum Novissima Tabula Magnam Orbis terrarum partem a Polo Arctico usque ad mare Iaponicum et Chine Septentrionalis confinia exhibens cum via Czaricae nuper Legationes ex urbe Moscua per universam Tartariam ad magna Chinae Imperia aterera ex conatibus Iohannis Baptistae Homanni. Norimberga.
The Latest General Map
of the Russian Empire,
The Latest General Map
of the Russian Empire,
showing the earth from the Arctic pole down to the Sea of Japan and Northern borders of China with the Imperial previously the Embassy route from Moscow through Tartary to the Great Chinese Empire. Drawn up by Johann Baptist Homann.

Nuremberg
J.B. Homann
Nuremberg, 1725
A coloured print

Johann Baptist Homann (1663–1724), a Nuremberg engraver and map publisher, had close ties with Russia. In 1722, he was appointed Russia’s trade representative in Nuremberg. On commission from Peter I, Homann published five maps, of which the most significant was the map of the latest Russian discoveries on the Caspian Sea and in the Pacific.
In 1707, Homann drafted the first version of a map of the Russian Empire that was premised on Eberhard Isbrand Ides’ map. In 1722, the map was considerably revised to include the Caspian Sea and the Kamchatka Peninsula, which were added from the map of Russian discoveries mentioned above; a copy of the empire’s map was sent to Peter I and received his approval.

The map was to be a part of the Great Atlas; Homann died in 1724 before the Atlas was published. It was printed the following year by his heirs. The map of Russia continued to be published until the middle of the 18th century.

It was the first map to depict the Russian Empire as opposed to Muscovy. Initially, Homann used the old name of the country, but changed it at the insistence Jacob Bruce. The title of the map is placed in an artistically designed cartouche, showing Emperor Peter I surrounded by allegorical figures symbolising the prosperous empire of Christian values, sciences, commerce, maritime navigation, and military prowess that he created.

22
Nouvelle Carte des Etates du Grand Duc de Moscovie en Europe
The new map of the Grand
Duke of Muscovy’s
estates in Europe
The new map of the Grand
Duke of Muscovy’s
estates in Europe

Henri Abraham Chatelain
Amsterdam, 1714
Volume 4 No. 26
Two maps glued together
(southern and northern
sheets)

A coloured print
Published by l’Honoré
and Chatelain

Sheet 26 of Volume 4 of Atlas Historique, ou nouvelle introduction a l’Historie, a l’Chronologie & a la Geographie Ancienne & Moderne; representée dans des novelles cartes… par Mr. C.***; avec des dissertations sur l’Histoire de chaque Etat (Historical Atlas, or a new introduction to ancient and modern history, chronology and geography; represented by new maps... by Mr. S.; featuring essays on the history of each state)

23
Carte Generale des Etats du Czar [ou] Empereur de Moscovie, ou l’on voit ce que ce Prince possede en Europe et [que] les Etats qu’il possede en Asie avec la plus-part de leurs armes et des Tables et des Remarques pour servir a l’Intel[l]igence de l’Historie
The general map of the
states of the Tsar [or]
the Emperor of Muscovy,
The general map of the
states of the Tsar [or]
the Emperor of Muscovy,
on which one can see what the sovereign owns in Europe and [what are] the states he owns in Asia, with most of his coats of arms, as well as Tables and Notes serving for the Study of History

Henri Chatelain
Amsterdam, 1714
A print
Published by l’Honoré
and Chatelain

Sheet 28 of Volume 4 of Atlas Historique, ou nouvelle introduction a l’Historie, a l’Chronologie & a la Geographie Ancienne & Moderne; representée dans des novelles cartes… par Mr. C.***; avec des dissertations sur l’Histoire de chaque Etat (Historical Atlas, or a new introduction to ancient and modern history, chronology and geography; represented by new maps... by Mr. S.; featuring essays on the history
of each state)

24
Carte de Tartarie dressée sur les Relations de plusieurs Voyageurs de differentes Nations et sur quelques observations qui ont été faites dans ce pais la par Guillaume de l’Isle de l’Academie Royale des Sciences
The map of Tartary,
The map of Tartary,
based on reports made by numerous travellers from different countries and several observations made in the named country by Guillaume de l’Isle, of the Royal Academy of Sciences

Jean Covens & Pierre Mortier
Amsterdam, 1740
A coloured print

26
Mappa Generalis Totius Imperii Russici
The general map of
the Russian Empire
The general map of
the Russian Empire

Leonhard Euler,
Joseph-Nicolas Delisle
St Petersburg, 1745
A print

The need for a mathematically accurate map of Russia was a major priority for Peter I. He planned for this work to be accomplished by the newly founded Academy of Sciences based on topographic surveys overseen by the Senate. The actual task of drafting a general map of Russia and the first national atlas was assigned to Joseph-Nicolas Delisle, professor of astronomy at the St Petersburg Academy of Sciences.

As it turned out, Delisle was not up for the job. Combining the surveys, many of which were of poor quality, proved to be very difficult. Delisle suggested retraining the surveyors before restarting the surveying from scratch. However, he was soon removed from the cartographic work following revelations of his attempts to send the classified maps to France. Later he would develop a version of a conic projection that was well suited for a general map of the Russian Empire and was eventually used in drafting the 1745 map. The projection currently bears his name.

With Delisle sidelined, the project to draw up a general map of the Russian.
Empire was taken over by Leonhard Euler, the head of the Geographic Department at the Academy of Sciences, Professor of Astronomy Gottfried Heinsius and Christian Nicolaus von Winsheim, astronomer and conference-secretary at the Academy. Euler’s contribution was the most significant, but in 1741 he left St Petersburg. He was followed by Heinsius in 1744. As a result, the honour of presenting the atlas to Empress Elisabeth of Russia went to Delisle, as one of the scholars at the project’s origins.

27
Totius Imperii Russici Tabula Generalis ex optimis quibusvis Academiae Petropolit. Mappis, quarum per magman Cl. Dn. Dr. Ant. Frid. Büsching, Consist. Supr. Consil. usui dedit copiam, collecta et ad novissim. observant. astronomicas redacta. Auspiciis Academiae Regiae Scientiarum et atrium Berolin. S. Iohannis B.
The general map of the Russian
Empire
The general map of the Russian
Empire
created by Dr Anton Friedrich Büsching, a member of the Supreme Consistory, based on the best maps of St Petersburg’s Academy and the most advanced astronomical knowledge of the time.

Under the auspices
of the Royal Academy
of Sciences and Arts in Berlin;
Engraver: B. Iohannis
Mapmaker:
Anton Friedrich Büsching
Berlin, 1769
A coloured print

Scale in [German] miles and versts Conic projection, longitude based on Ferro Meridian. The map shows a large peninsula in the waters of today’s Bering Sea. The text on it reads: A part of America, discovered in 1741 by the Russians, fleet captain Bering and Chirikov.

Anton Friedrich Büsching (1724–1793), was a master of theology. He served as a tutor in the family of Count Lynar, the Danish Ambassador to Russia in 1749–1750, and made numerous contacts in Russia’s Protestant community. On his return to Germany, Büsching wrote a book called Neue Erdbeschreibung (New Earth Description). In 1762, he founded a Protestant school in St Petersburg. In 1767–1788, Büsching published the Magazin für die neue Historie und Geographie (Journal of New History and Geography). Many of its articles were related to Russia, for example, the translation into German of Pyotr Rychkov’s Orenburg Topography (1762), Description of Moldavia by Dimitrie Cantemir and Gerhard Friedrich Müller’s comments on cartographic activities of the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Geographic Department.

When working on the map, Büsching communicated with Leonhard Euler, who was based in Berlin in 1741–1766 while remaining an honorary member of the St Petersburg Academy of Sciences.

29
Tabula Geographica Generalis Imperii Russici ad normam novissimarum observationum astronomicarum concinnata a Ioh. Trescotio et Iac. Schmidio
The general map of the
Russian Empire
The general map of the
Russian Empire
drawn from the Latest Astronomical Observations, by John Trescott and Jacob Schmidt

Venice, 1782
Remondini,
copper engraving
A coloured print

30
The European Part of the Russian Empire From the Maps Published by the Imperial Academy in St.Petersburg with the New Provinces on the Black Sea / The Asiatic part of the Russian Empire From the Maps Published by the Imperial Academy in St.Petersburg with the New Discoveries of Cap.tn Cook & C.
The European Part of the
Russian Empire
The European Part of the
Russian Empire
from the Maps Published by the Imperial Academy in St Petersburg with the New Provinces on the Black Sea

Published on 12 May 1794
by Laurie & Whittle
53 Fleet Street, London
A print with coloured elements

25
Nova Descriptio Geographica Tattariae Magnae tam orientalis quam occidentalis in particularibus et generalibus Territoriis una cum Delineatione totius Imperii Russici imprimis Siberiae accurate ostensa.
A New Geographical
Description of the Great
Tartary,
A New Geographical
Description of the Great
Tartary,
Both Western and Eastern, All of Its Territories and Separate Parts, Also Showing the Entire Russian Empire with an Appendix of SIBERIA, Accurately Published.

Philip Johan von Strahlenberg
1750. Stockholm
Engraver: P.F. Frisch

Philip Johan Tabbert (1676–1747) was a Swedish military officer who took the name von Strahlenberg after being ennobled. Captured during the Battle of Poltava, he was sent as a war prisoner to Tobolsk. While in Tobolsk, von Strahlenberg set out to draw up a map of Siberia. A formidable task in itself, it was all the more challenging given the classified nature of cartographic information. Strahlenberg’s first hand-made map of Siberia disappeared in Tobolsk during a fire in 1715. Trying to save it, Strahlenberg threw it out of the burning house in a suitcase, which ended being stolen. The second version of the map was confiscated in 1718 by Prince Gagarin, the governor of Tobolsk. In 1723, von Strahlenberg returned to Sweden, bringing with him the third version of his manuscript map. In 1730, it was published together with a book on the history and geography of Russia and Siberia.

The map’s cartouche was rendered as a monster’s gaping jaw, symbolising captivity. It shows a map and figures of geographers: von Strahlenberg is taking measurements with a compass (on the left) and Johan Anton von Matérn, his friend who helped draft the map, is pulling a string to raise a curtain over the map (on the right). Underneath the jaw are broken chains, a symbol of von Strahlenberg’s freedom from captivity, and an inscription made across the shackles.
The title cartouche symbolises Siberia. Soaring Phemes trumpet glory as they hold the shield with the map’s title. The Arctic Ocean is shown above with whales and Russian fishermen chasing polar bears and walruses. Siberia is framed by four mountain ranges: the Caucasus, the Taurus, the Riphean Mountains (Urals) and the Imaus Mountains (Himalayas). In the Caucasus, an eagle pecks at the liver of a chained Prometheus; in the Taurus, Heracles pulls a bow; and centaurs are depicted in the Riphean and Imaus mountains. A three-headed fire-breathing dragon is shown under the shield symbolising the inferno of Tartarus, which sounds similar to Tartary.

3 Desyatinny Monastyr,
Veliky Novgorod
Novgorod Geography
20212022