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Cruys, Cornelis. Nauw-keurige Afbeelding vande Rivier Don, of Tanais, de Azofsche Zee of Palus Moeotis, en Poontus Euxinus of Swarte Zee.

Reference literature:


1. Mezdounarodnaya Kniga. Section des livres Illust.. Bulletin №8.Moscow, 1926, №4a, 200 roubles (not h/c).
2. Pecarskii, vol. 2, SPB, 1862, p.p. 88-89.

The history of atlas created by Cornelis Ivanovich Cruys (1657 — 1727) dates back to the very end of XVII century, when Peter I decided, before fighting against Sweden in the Baltic Sea, to establish the stable peace with Turkey. This goal could be achieved only with a strong navy to be held in the Black Sea. Already staying in Amsterdam, the great king appointed admiral Cruys to Voronezh to supervise construction of such navy. The surveying works on the Don River were started already before his arrival to Voronezh. In May 1698, two noblemen (Vasiliy Zaretskiy and Luka Zubov) were appointed to survey and describe the Voronezh River from the town of Voronezh to the place of its joining the Don and further along the Don to Korotoyak. These were the first Russian hydrographers. The lower Don was already mapped by engineer de Lapal, who was appointed in October 1697 to provide a careful survey of the Don River including all its tributaries, from Cherkassk to the sea. His assistant Swedish engineer Christian Ruhel (or Ruel) provided measurements in the estuary of the Mius River and along the northern coast of the Azov Sea. Meanwhile, Dutch ship builder Peter Bergman received the order from de Laval in autumn 1697 «... to study and survey all the tributaries in the Don estuary flowing into the sea». When Cruys arrived in 1698, the hydrographic works on the Don were in full swing. In the first part of 1699, Peter I himself supervised shipbuilding in Voronezh. In June he went down the Don to Azov by the ships of his new-born navy. Admiral Cruys, who accompanied Peter and commanded ship «Good Start», used this occasion to provide survey and describe the river. He marked the date of each anchorage, in some places he measured the height of the sun and carefully described the river banks, bank-waters, depths, etc. In Azov, Peter selected the place for the future harbour and strengthened the town. Then the navy moved to Kerch to accompany the embassy headed by council secretary Emelyan Ukraintsev by the way to Constantinople. The local Turkish general in Kerch was forced, taking into account the power of the Russian navy (18 ships), to pass the embassy of Ukraintsev through the straight. On the way back, the ship with the Russian embassy on board visited Balaklava and Kaffa and surveyed the southern coast of Crimea from the place, where Sevastopol is now situated, to the Straight of Kerch and measured depths in several places. This expedition provided the materials to compile the maps of the Azov Sea, Black Sea, and the Straight of Bosporus. They also made the relief drawings in some coastal places of the Black Sea. The data of Christian Ruhel were expressed in the map of the estuary of the Kalmius River, which was made in 1699. Ruhel also made «... a drawing of the Mius River to the Elanchik Creek ... to Krivaya Koza ... and back to the Don; by the order and written directive of Peter Alexeevich ... in Russian language». In 1699, he made a map of the Azov Sea. Christian Ott, the first mate of the ambassador's ship, surveyed the Bosporus, drew the coastal profile, and in 1700 made a map of the Black Sea in Russian and Dutch languages. The aforementioned hand-written maps provided the materials to make a map of the eastern part of the Azov Sea. It was engraved by Schonbeck and issued in 1701. The cartographic materials of the sea voyages of 1699 were used also by admiral Cruys. Having stayed in Voronezh for two years (1700 and 1701), in 1702 he went to Holland in order to test what the Russian noblemen had learnt there as well as to cast the masters and seamen for the Russian navy. He brought to Holland also the hand-written maps of the Don, which were then engraved and printed by Donker in Amsterdam and created in the form of atlas. This atlas was not dated, but we can suppose that it was completed in or about 1705. The text says that the main maps of the river were made by admiral Cruys in 1699. However, it is stated further that the Don head was surveyed by him in 1703, when he made a special map of the upper Don and Oka. This map in included in page 3. There are two title pages in this atlas; one of them shows King Peter and another the atlas name in Dutch and Russian languages. They are followed by page with dedication to Prince Alexei; three pages with description of the Don River; four pages describing the history of battle for Azov; two pages describing the coastal profile drawn, as referred in the text, by captain Pamburg in 1699, when he carried the embassy on board of his ship to Constantinople; two pages displaying the whole Don from the head to the estuary, including the plan of harbour and depot in Taganrog; twelve pages showing selected parts of the Don in a larger scale; map of the Olovlya and Kamyshinka Rivers with specification of the planned channel to connect the Volga and Don Rivers; map of the Azov and Black Seas with the Straight of Bosporus in a separate section. Because these maps were created for the sea navigators, all the maps specify the compass points (with the exception of the Volga-Don Channel). With the exception of two general maps, the names in all other maps are written in Russian and Dutch languages... For Voronezh, Korotoyak, Chir Verkhniy and Kargala, the geographic latitude is specified, though its values given in the text and map do not always coincide. Some maps specify the latitude of nameless objects, back-waters, heights, etc. Because the atlas of Cruys was made for the Don River, it certainly was not circulated widely. Nevertheless, the Grand Atlas of Ottens issued about 1729 included the general map of the Don in two pages. In the first page we find the map of the Don and Oka heads (under the title section), and another is the map of the Volga-Don Channel. This map has no geographic network but the vertical sides of frame gives the latitude marks in each 10 minutes, and each page has the compass rose. The linear scale is given in German and English miles and in Russian versts. The geographical names are accompanied with comments about the river current, ground, and possible navigation. All the notes are given in Dutch language. This map represents the Don River from Voronezh downstream to Azov. The free places contain the inserts with the plan of Taganrog harbour established in 1698 and plan and facade of the warehouse constructions. These maps strongly influenced the European cartographers, who corrected all the maps of the Don in compliance with them; however, the Don tributaries, which are not shown in the map of Cruys were still displayed incorrectly. Publication of the atlas of Cruys marked the end of the period, when the maps of Russia were printed abroad. The interest in the Azov and Black Seas did not decay after issue of the atlas of Cruys. In 1701 and 1702, Dutch Peter Bergman worked in these territories. In 1701, he made the Map of the Azov Sea and Don River from Korotoyak to Azov and Taganrog and Dolgaya Spit. In 1702, he drew in Voronezh the New Map of the Azov Sea, map of the Rotten Sea with gulf and maps of selected coastal sites of the Azov Sea. Mate David Volginov (or Volzhenov) worked in 1704 in the Azov Sea and again measured the straight connecting it with the Rotten Sea. In the same year, he made a scheme of fortress near Kerch. From 1704 to 1713, Admiral Cornelis Ivanovich Cruys commanded the Baltic and Azov navy. He took part in the Northern War and in the war against Turkey. Born in Holland, distinguished seaman Cornelis Cruys rendered great services to Russia. We know the important part, which he took at Peter I, and his contribution to the history of world cartography is invaluable.

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