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Cartographica Helvetica


Ulla Ehrensvärd:

Philipp Johann von Strahlenberg's map of Siberia (1730) and its consequence to the modern map image of northern Asia

Cartographica Helvetica 44 (2011) 17–33


The battle of Poltawa in June 1709 during the Great Northern War was a turning point in the history of Europe. The reign of the world power Sweden came to an end and a new world power – Russia – established itself. In commemoration of the 300th centenary of this memorable battle, 20 essays by Swedish and Russian authors appeared in a publication dealing with the transfer of knowledge between Sweden and Russia.

A part of the approx. 25,000 Swedish prisoners of war in Russia were decisive in the cartographic survey of Siberia. The most noted cartographer was Philipp Johann von Strahlenberg from Stralsund in Swedish Pomerania. He was one of the first to create and publish a nearly correct map of northern Asia in Europe. The Swedish interest in the topography of Russia, however, began much earlier. The results of cartographers engaged by Sweden were an important milestone in the development of Russian surveying since the closing years of the 17th century.

Bibliographic note

  • Article translated from Swedish by Haik Thomas Porada
  • Edited version of: Географические карты противника. In: Полтава: судьбы пленных и взаимодействие культур. Moskva, 2009. pp. 233–256, 428–432.

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