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Russia Engages the World, 1453-1825
1453 Through the Reign of Ivan the Terrible (1533-1584) The Time of Troubles to the First Romanovs (1598-1682) Peter the Great and His Legacy (1682-1762) The Age of Catherine the Great (1762-1801) The Reign of Emperor Alexander I (1801-1825)


Explore this Section:

Russia's Changing Borders, 1689, 1725, and 1796
Engagement Symbol
Russian Conquests, 1734: A German Depiction
Moscow as the Center of the Russian World
Engagement Symbol St. Petersburg, 1718: An Early German Depiction
The Dutch Depict Russia’s Northern Rivals
Mapping the Safavid Empire

Russia's Globalization:
A Key

Events marked Russia Symbol are specific to Muscovy/Russia's internal development.
Those marked World Symbol are important world historical or cultural events.
Engagement Symbol indicates specific points of sociocultural or military engagement between Muscovy/Russia and foreign powers or individuals.



   The Dutch Depict Russia’s Northern Rivals

   Photographic Services & Permissions
Frederick de Wit (1630–1706)
Novissima nec non Perfectissima Scandinaviae [The Most Recent, Although Incomplete, Information on Scandinavia]
Amsterdam: Pierre Mortier, ca. 1710
NYPL, Slavic and Baltic Division, Bates-Pantuhoff Collection

This map of Scandinavia and the Baltic countries is the work of Frederick de Wit, an important Amsterdam cartographer and publisher renowned for his delineations of the four continents; the maps first appeared in 1660. In this example – originally part of de Wit’s Atlas Maior – the former Swedish territory of Ingria, and the new city of St. Petersburg, are clearly shown at the eastern end of the Finnish Sea.

Longitude – measuring east/west – is here measured from Ferro Island off the coast of Spain, considered by the second-century geographer Ptolemy to be the “beginning” of Europe. The title cartouche is surrounded by the coats of arms of Sweden and Denmark. A soldier and a blacksmith pair off, with the blacksmith apparently creating the weapons of war.