The territory of Belarus
in the antique maps
Dr. Lev R. Kozlov
“The Great Historical Atlas of Belarus”
1-130, Akademicheskaja str.,
Tel: +375-17 294-91-73,
areas, where the Belarusian ethnos was formed and then Republic of Belarus
was established, are represented on many antique Western European and Russian
antique maps. This part of Eastern Europe -
Russia Alba was very little known in ordinary writing sources. Antique maps can
give one significant number of new facts about this territory, especially
historical geography and environmental research.
makers of the 16 and 17 centuries presented the Belorussian
lands as parts of the Lithuania
and the Kingdom
of Poland. This maps were made in Germany,
Italy and Poland (B.Wapowski.
Fra Mauro, S.Munster, G.Mercator, N.Sanson, G.de Beauplan, J.Dankerts). Considering information and technical
possibilities of that time, those works contained quite a lot of mistakes.
However, due to technological progress and accumulation of knowledge, one could
observe the development of cartography. In the 18 century the Nordic War and
the coming divisions of Poland
drew more attention to the European East. In the beginning of the century many
foreign publishers and authors like (J.Homann, M.Seutter - in Germany,
N.Delisle - in France), were acting rather
actively. And in the second half of the century maps of new style (more
detailed and precise) began to publish in Poland itself (J.Neprecki,
B.Folino, C.de Perthees, A.Rizzi
from the end of the 18 - the first half of the 19 centuries Russian
cartographers began to take dominant position in displaying the Belarusian
lands. As governments they appear in atlases of K.Opperman
and W.Piadyshew. For the first time the detailed map
of Western Russia ("diesiatiwerstka",
1:420000) was made by F.Shubert, In the second half
of the 19 century the "triokhviorstka"
(1:126000) was the main large-scale map. Besides, works of A.Illin
and A.Strelbitski had practical importance.
into account general trends towards presentation and usage of antique maps, Belarus is due
to publish a significant number of these unique sources providing them with