Adam Olearius: Amazing Travels And Explorations In Russia And Persia

In the early seventeenth century, the steppes of Russia were almost entirely unknown to western Europeans.  Forests were thicker than they are now, roads were fewer and more difficult to navigate, and travel required much more money and resources than it does now.  One had to be sponsored by a wealthy patron, or be an official representative of a government.  It is to this latter category that the German explorer Adam Olearius (1599–1671)  belonged; he was one of the first westerners to penetrate deeply into Russia and Persia, and the account he left behind is one of the more fascinating works of travel literature that I have seen in recent years.

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