Sigmund von Herberstein: Reise zu den Moskowitern , ed. Traudl Seifert, München: F. Bruckmann KG 1966
Signature: Ff 120-5660
Figures: Frontispiece; Map (pp. 28-29); Portrait
Commentarii Rerum Moscoviticarum, a standard work on the history and constitution of the Russian lands, written by Austrian nobleman Sigmund Freiherr von Herberstein and originally published in Latin (1549), continued to be consulted well into the 19th century. A 1557 German version was replaced in 1563 by Heinrich Pantaleon’s (1522–1595) new translation, the second edition (1567) of which forms the basis of Traudl Seifert’s publication.
Von Herberstein was an imperial councilor under Charles V and Maximilian I. In this capacity he was sent on two diplomatic missions to Muscovy, between 1516–1518 and 1525–1526. The experiences of the second journey were rendered in the Commentarii and frequently reprinted and translated into several languages (cf. Adelung 1960, vol. 1, pp. 160–175). A separate chapter is dedicated to the Tatars, who are presented as tough, nomadic, and battle-hardened horsemen in constant conflict with the Grand Duchy of Moscow, but also as cultivated farmers, traders and artisans based in the cities of Kazan and Azov, among others. [TT]