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Sigismund von Herberstein: Rerum Moscoviticarum Commentarii

Sigismund von Herberstein: Rerum Moscoviticarum Commentarii. Synoptische Edition der lateinischen und der deutschen Fassung letzter Hand Basel 1556 und Wien 1557. / Unter der Leitung von Frank Kämpfer erstellt von Eva Maurer und Andreas Fülberth. Redigiert von Hermann Beyer-Thoma

(Rerum Moscoviticarum Commentarii. Synoptic Edition of the Last Authorized Latin and German Versions of Basel 1556 and Vienna 1557. / Prepared by Eva Maurer and Andreas Fülberth under the supervision of Frank Kämpfer. Revised and edited by Hermann Beyer-Thoma). Osteuropa-Institut München (Regensburg). 2007. 588 pages

The Rerum Moscoviticarum Commentarii by Sigismund von Herberstein are presented in a critical, synoptic edition of the “last authorized” German and Latin versions, including an index. The electronic copy in pdf format, available free of charge, and the printed version, which can be ordered as a book-on-demand, are identical.

Sigismund von Herberstein's description of Russia was originally published in Latin in 1549. It was based on the experience and knowledge that Herberstein had acquired on two journeys to Russia as envoy of the Emperor. During these journeys, Herberstein also analyzed all Russian and Church Slavonic sources that were accessible to him along the way. He added to the work several times over the following years, latterly in the 1556 edition, which was followed by a supplemented and modified German version in the following year. Due to his wealth of knowledge and high level of reflection, Herberstein's description influenced the image of and clichés about Russia throughout Europe, and above all in Germany, for centuries.

This critical edition, which has been made possible thanks to financial support from the German Research Foundation (DFG), conducts a synoptic comparison of the Latin and German “last authorized” editions from 1556 and 1557. The volume contains comprehensive indexes of individuals, places, and names of ethnic groups. Sigismund or Siegmund von Herberstein (1486–1566) was a high-ranking imperial diplomat who originated from the Styrian nobility and undertook numerous journeys abroad during his years of service. Professor Frank Kämpfer, head of the edition project, was professor of East European History at the University of Münster until 2003.

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