Robert Erskine was a Scottish inventor and engineer who came to the British Thirteen Colonies in 1771 to run the ironworks at Ringwood, New Jersey, became sympathetic to the movement for independence. In 1776 during the American Revolutionary War, he designed an underwater cheval-de-frise installed across the Hudson River at the north end of Manhattan to prevent passage of British ships upriver. General George Washington appointed him as Geographer and Surveyor General of the Continental Army at the rank of colonel. Born in Scotland, Erskine attended the University of Edinburgh; as a young man, he started a business. He invented the "Continual Stream Pump" and "Platometer", a centrifugal hydraulic engine, experimented with other hydraulic systems, he became known as an engineer of some renown in his native land. Erskine became active in civic issues and gained the respect of his community. In 1771 at the age of 36, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society, a prestigious appointment in the scientific community.
In 1771, the owners of an ironworks near Ringwood, New Jersey, hired Erskine to replace Peter Hasenclever as ironmaster. The latter's profligate spending had nearly bankrupted the operation. Erskine set about trying to make the operation profitable, his efforts were cut short by the American Revolutionary War. Erskine was sympathetic to the American cause, but worried that might he lose his workers to the army, he organised them into a militia and was appointed as a militia captain in August 1775. Once the war broke out in earnest, the rebels were concerned that the British warships would go up the Hudson River to attack northern forts and separate New England from the rest of the colonies. Erskine the engineer, designed a tetrahedron-shaped marine cheval-de-frise, a defensive barrier to prevent warships from sailing upriver, it was installed between the northern end of Manhattan and Fort Lee, New Jersey in 1776. George Washington was impressed with Erskine from the moment they met and in 1777 appointed him to the post of Geographer and Surveyor General of the Continental Army.
Following his appointment, Erskine drew more than 275 maps covering the northern sector of the war. His maps of the region, showing roads and other details, were of much use to Gen. Washington and remain valuable today. Many of these maps can be found in the Erskine Dewitt Map Collection at the New-York Historical Society. Erskine kept the Ringwood ironworks in operation, supplying critical munitions and materials to Washington's army. While out on a map-making expedition in 1780, Erskine became ill, he died on 2 October 1780 of pneumonia. He is buried at Ringwood Manor in Ringwood State Park in New Jersey. Erskine Lake, as well as Robert Erskine Elementary School, both in Ringwood, are named after him. Erskine, Robert. Robert Erskine correspondence. N.d. Library of Congress. Erskine and Nathanael Greene.. 1779. Copied from surveys laid down by R. Erskine, F. R. S. 1778, 1779. Erskine, Robert. Lower Half of an Original Survey Done for His Excy. General Washington. Bergen: Bergen Historical Society, 1920. Printed facsimile of original map in the New-York Historical Society.
Shows topography and roads of northern New Jersey. By Robt. Erskine, F. R. S. Geographer to the Army, 1778–1779. Erskine, Robert. Litchfield, Conn. to the Highlands of Neversink, Washington: US Army, Corps of Engineers, 1975. Facsimile. Robt. Erskine, F. R. S. Decr. 1779. Erskine, Simeon De Witt, Richard Varrick De Witt. A List of the Rough Draughts of Surveys by Robert Erskine F. R. S. Geogr. A. US and Assistants, Begun A. D. 1778. 1778. Index to 129 military topographic map titles which in turn describe a series of 341 separate map sheets; the index describes a territory bounded by the Detroit River in the west, Lake Champlain in the north, the Connecticut River in the east and Charlestown, South Carolina in the south. However, most entries refer to western Connecticut, southeastern New York, northern New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania. Entries through number 114 are in Erskine's hand. Subsequent entries by DeWitt, although nos. 115 and 116 have been attributed to Washington by Guthorn. Erskine, Simeon De Witt, Benjamin Lodge, Richard Varrick De Witt.
Mensurations on the Ice: Feby 7th 1780. 1780. Military topographic map. Covers the counties of Rockland and Westchester in New York. Shows dimensions of that widening of the Hudson River called "Haverstraw Bay." Shows some roads. Includes text: "Measured on the Ice Feby. 7th Monday 1780 by De & Lodge" Both these men served under Erskine. Pen-and-ink, pencil on laid paper. Stephen A. Estrin and Robert Erskine. Westchester Heritage Map: Indian Occupation and Revolutionary Names and Events.: Junior League of Westchester-on-Hudson, 1978. Roads surveyed by Robert Erskine 1778–1780. Carmel, N. Y. from Map of Westchester County showing Indian Occupation, compiled by Westchester Historical Society with workers from the Emergency Work Bureau of Westchester County, dated 1933, data supplied by the Westchester Heritage Task Force. Partridge, Edward Laselle, Robert Erskine. Plan for Creation of a National Preserve... Commemorative of the War of the American Revolution, for the Preservation of the Natural Beauty of the Hudson River and of the Highlands of the Hudson
Albertus Seba was a Dutch pharmacist and collector. Seba accumulated one of the largest cabinets of curiosities in the Netherlands during his time, he sold one of his cabinets in 1717 to Peter the Great of Russia. His collections were auctioned after his death, he published descriptions of his collections in the work Locupletissimi rerum naturalium thesauri accurata descriptio. His early work on taxonomy and natural history influenced Linnaeus. Born in Etzel, Seba moved to Amsterdam as an apprentice and, around 1700, opened a pharmacy near the harbour. Seba asked sailors and ship surgeons to bring exotic plants and animal products he could use for preparing drugs. Seba started to collect snakes, insects and lizards in his house. From 1711 he delivered drugs to the Russian court in Saint Petersburg and sometimes accepted fresh ginger as payment. Seba promoted his collection with the head-physician to Peter the Great, Robert Erskine, in early 1716 Peter the Great bought the complete collection. In the following several years, Seba managed to develop another collection of natural specimens, which grew more extensive than the first.
With Seba as an intermediate, Frederik Ruysch, a well-known Amsterdam physician and anatomist sold his collection to the tsar. Both collections formed the core of the Kunstkammer, the first Russian public museum founded by Peter the Great in 1712. In 1728, when a special museum building was designed and built, both collections, along with many other exhibits, were displayed there. In October 1728 Seba had become a Fellow of the Royal Society. In 1734, he had published a Thesaurus of animal specimens with beautiful engravings; the full name of the Thesaurus is, with a dual Latin–Dutch title, Locupletissimi rerum naturalium thesauri accurata descriptio – Naaukeurige beschryving van het schatryke kabinet der voornaamste seldzaamheden der natuur. The last two of the four volumes were published after his death. Today, the original 446-plate volume is on permanent exhibit at the Koninklijke Bibliotheek in The Hague, Netherlands. A complete example of the Thesaurus sold for US $460,000 at an auction.
In 2001, Taschen Books published a reprint of the Thesaurus, with a second printing in 2006. In 1735 Carl Linnaeus visited Seba twice. Linnaeus found Seba's collection to be useful for the classification system which Linnaeus was developing, Linnaeus used many of Seba's specimens as holotypes for original descriptions of species. Seba's inclusion of fantastic beasts such as the hydra influenced Linnaeus to include the "Paradoxa," species which may exist but which have not been found, in his Systema Naturae. Seba himself did not use Linnaeus' taxonomy. However, he did organize his Thesaurus by physical similarities, leading to some similarities with Linnaeus' larger project. In 1752, several years after Seba's death, his second collection went on auction in Amsterdam. Several objects were purchased by the Petersburg Academy of Sciences. Seba is commemorated in the scientific names of two species and one subspecies of snakes: Ninia sebae, Python sebae, Oxyrhopus petola sebae. Driessen, J. Tsaar Peter de Grote en zijn Amsterdamse vrienden.
Driessen-Van het Reve, J. J. De Kunstkamera van Peter de Grote. De Hollandse inbreng, gereconstrueerd uit brieven van Albert Seba en Johann Daniel Schumacher uit de jaren 1711–1752. Engel, Hendrik,'The Life of Albert Seba', Svenska Linné-sällskapets årsskrift, vol. 20, pp. 75-100. Holthuis, L. B. Albertus Seba's „Locupletissimi rerum naturalium thesauri...." and the „Planches de Seba", Zoologische Mededelingen, Vol. 43, pp. 239–252 PDF Locupletissimi rerum naturalium thesauri Volume 1, Botanicus Volume 1, Göttinger Digitalisierungszentrum Volume 3, Digital Library at Gdansk University of Technology Volume 4, Göttinger Digitalisierungszentrum Cabinet of Natural Curiosities, Catalogue entry for Seba's Cabinet of Natural Curiosities Cabinet of curiosities Web page of the Koninklijke Bibliotheek on the Thesaurus exhibition Review of thesauri by Claudia Stein, Medical History A Cabinet of Natural Curiosities scanned images from Locupletissimi rerum naturalium thesauri. Botanicus. Sale and dispersal of the Seba collection
Summer Palace of Peter the Great
The Summer Palace of Peter the Great was built between 1710–1714 in the northeast corner of the Summer Garden, located on an island formed by the Fontanka river, Moyka river, the Swan Canal. Its northern perimeter runs along the left bank of the Neva river across from the Cabin of Peter the Great and Peter and Paul Fortress and was the first palace built in Saint Petersburg, the second largest city in Russia, it was the first palace built in Saint Petersburg and the city's first building with have piped water. The Summer Palace was planned in 1710 by Peter the Great and built by the Swiss Italian architect Domenico Trezzini, who elaborated on the Petrine Baroque style of Russian architecture with a two-story stone building with four-sloped roofing. Compared with other European palaces of the time, the Summer Palace was a modest building reminiscent of the style of houses for Dutch Burghers from the same period. During its construction, the Summer Palace was decorated with a frieze of 29 bas-reliefs by the German baroque sculptor and architect Andreas Schlüter depicting scenes from ancient myths and victorious Russian battles in the Great Northern War.
The Summer Palace’s two floors had similar floor plans, with seven rooms. They were decorated by Russian architect Mikhail Zemtsov, German baroque sculptor and architect Andreas Schlüter and Italian architect Nicola Michetti. Most of the rooms had walls of red and green and oak panels, an innovative central heating system that featured solid fuel burning boilers with elaborate blue and white porcelain ductwork. Of the rooms to be noted are: the reception room; the construction of the Summer Palace was completed in 1714. When the Summer Palace was completed in 1714, it became the residence of Peter the Great and his second wife Catherine I of Russia and many of their 12 children—with Peter occupying the first floor and Catherine, along with the children, occupying the second one, until Peter’s death in 1725. After Peter the Great’s death, the Summer Palace was occupied for several years by members of the Imperial family and their courtiers. During part of the 1762–1796 reign of Catherine the Great, the interior of the Summer Palace was altered for its use by court officials who used it during the summer months, in 1826, the Italian architect Carlo Rossi turned it into the Coffee House, but by the end of the 19th century it had become vacant.
Being used only to hold some exhibitions during the early 20th century, in 1934 the Summer Palace was turned into a museum featuring the daily life of Peter the Great with the original oak staircase surviving as well as the upper and lower kitchens along with Catherine's apartments on the upper floor that include the Green Drawing Room. During World War II, heavy damage was inflicted on both the Summer Palace and Summer Gardens from bombing raid by German Nazi troops. In the early 1960s, a total reconstruction of the Summer Palace was started restoring its interiors, the carved oak panels in the lower lobby with images of Minerva, the unique Dutch tiles for its heating system and the fireplaces with stucco decorations; the current Summer Palace of Peter the Great Museum allows its visitors to have an opportunity to see Russian imperial court life as it was 300 years ago with opening hours from June to October daily starting at 10:00 and lasting to 18:00. Cabin of Peter the Great
Francisco Fierro Palas, called "Pancho" Fierro was an Afro-Peruvian painter, known for his costumbrista watercolors, which depict his country's life and customs. He was baptized on 5 February 1809, the son of Nicolás Rodríguez del Fierro, a priest, a slave from the household of Nicolás' father, Don Antonio, a Colonel in the Militia Battalion, he had been manumitted upon his birth, following a rule that said no son of a Spaniard could be born a slave, but was raised by his mother's family. There is no record of him receiving any artistic training, so he was self-taught, he married in 1828 and made his living by painting signs, making posters for bullfights and molding statues for nativity scenes. He painted wall murals, all of which have been destroyed or covered over. Today, he is remembered for his watercolors, painted on sign cards, depicting everyday scenes from Peruvian life, he created over 1200 of them and their popularity produced many imitators. The writer Ricardo Palma owned a large collection.
They are now on display at the Pinacoteca Municipal Ignacio Merino. The captions were provided by Palma. Other large collections were acquired by the French painter Léonce Angrand and the Russian ethnographer Leopold von Schrenck, whose collection is now at the "Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography" in the Kunstkamera, Saint Petersburg. According to an obituary in El Comercio, he died of paralysis in a hospital on Peruvian Independence Day. More watercolors @ the Biblioteca Luis Ángel Arango Video Documentary: "Vida y Obras de Pancho Fierro" Part I, Part II, Part III
Vasily Vladimirovich Bartold was a Russian Empire and Soviet historian of German descent who specialized in the history of Islam and the Turkic peoples. Bartold's lectures at the University of Saint Petersburg were annually interrupted by extended field trips to Muslim countries. In the two volumes of his dissertation, he pointed out the many benefits the Muslim world derived from Mongol rule after the initial conquests. Bartold was the first to publish obscure information from the early Arab historians on Kievan Rus', he edited several scholarly journals of Muslim studies, contributed extensively to the first edition of the Encyclopaedia of Islam. In 1913, he was elected to the Russian Academy of Sciences. In February 1917 he was appointed to the Commission for the Study of the Tribal Composition of the Population of the Borderlands of Russia. After the Russian Revolution, Bartold was appointed director of the Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography, a post he held from 1918 to 1921.
He wrote three authoritative monographs on the history of Islam, namely Islam, Muslim Culture and The Muslim World. He contributed to the development of Cyrillic writing for the Muslim countries of Central Asia. Most of his writings were translated in English and Persian. Bartold's collected works were reprinted in 9 volumes between 1963 and 1977, whilst Soviet editors added footnotes deploring his'bourgeois' attitudes, his prestige was such that the text was left uncensored, despite not conforming to a Marxist interpretation of history; some of his works have been reprinted more in Moscow. «Улугбек и его время» Ulugh-Beg "Ulug Beg und seine Zeit". In Abhandlungen für die Kunde des Morgenlandes 21, No. 1, 1935, ISSN 0567-4980 Ulugh-Beg, Leyden, 1958 Turkestan Down to the Mongol Invasion 1928'Mussulman Culture,' 1934. "A Short History of Turkestan". In Four Studies on the History of Central Asia 1956 —Substantial excerpts of vol. 2, 1962 An Historical Geography of Iran 1984 Собрание сочинений 1963-77 9 Vols.—Complete works Отчет о поездке в Среднюю Азию с научною целью 1897 История культурной жизни Туркестана 1927 Работы по исторической географии 2002
Moscow is the capital and most populous city of Russia, with 13.2 million residents within the city limits, 17 million within the urban area and 20 million within the metropolitan area. Moscow is one of Russia's federal cities. Moscow is the major political, economic and scientific center of Russia and Eastern Europe, as well as the largest city on the European continent. By broader definitions, Moscow is among the world's largest cities, being the 14th largest metro area, the 18th largest agglomeration, the 14th largest urban area, the 11th largest by population within city limits worldwide. According to Forbes 2013, Moscow has been ranked as the ninth most expensive city in the world by Mercer and has one of the world's largest urban economies, being ranked as an alpha global city according to the Globalization and World Cities Research Network, is one of the fastest growing tourist destinations in the world according to the MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index. Moscow is the coldest megacity on Earth.
It is home to the Ostankino Tower, the tallest free standing structure in Europe. By its territorial expansion on July 1, 2012 southwest into the Moscow Oblast, the area of the capital more than doubled, going from 1,091 to 2,511 square kilometers, resulting in Moscow becoming the largest city on the European continent by area. Moscow is situated on the Moskva River in the Central Federal District of European Russia, making it Europe's most populated inland city; the city is well known for its architecture its historic buildings such as Saint Basil's Cathedral with its colorful architectural style. With over 40 percent of its territory covered by greenery, it is one of the greenest capitals and major cities in Europe and the world, having the largest forest in an urban area within its borders—more than any other major city—even before its expansion in 2012; the city has served as the capital of a progression of states, from the medieval Grand Duchy of Moscow and the subsequent Tsardom of Russia to the Russian Empire to the Soviet Union and the contemporary Russian Federation.
Moscow is a seat of power of the Government of Russia, being the site of the Moscow Kremlin, a medieval city-fortress, today the residence for work of the President of Russia. The Moscow Kremlin and Red Square are one of several World Heritage Sites in the city. Both chambers of the Russian parliament sit in the city. Moscow is considered the center of Russian culture, having served as the home of Russian artists and sports figures and because of the presence of museums and political institutions and theatres; the city is served by a transit network, which includes four international airports, nine railway terminals, numerous trams, a monorail system and one of the deepest underground rapid transit systems in the world, the Moscow Metro, the fourth-largest in the world and largest outside Asia in terms of passenger numbers, the busiest in Europe. It is recognized as one of the city's landmarks due to the rich architecture of its 200 stations. Moscow has acquired a number of epithets, most referring to its size and preeminent status within the nation: The Third Rome, the Whitestone One, the First Throne, the Forty Soroks.
Moscow is one of the twelve Hero Cities. The demonym for a Moscow resident is "москвич" for male or "москвичка" for female, rendered in English as Muscovite; the name "Moscow" is abbreviated "MSK". The name of the city is thought to be derived from the name of the Moskva River. There have been proposed several theories of the origin of the name of the river. Finno-Ugric Merya and Muroma people, who were among the several Early Eastern Slavic tribes which inhabited the area, called the river Mustajoki, it has been suggested. The most linguistically well grounded and accepted is from the Proto-Balto-Slavic root *mŭzg-/muzg- from the Proto-Indo-European *meu- "wet", so the name Moskva might signify a river at a wetland or a marsh, its cognates include Russian: музга, muzga "pool, puddle", Lithuanian: mazgoti and Latvian: mazgāt "to wash", Sanskrit: májjati "to drown", Latin: mergō "to dip, immerse". In many Slavic countries Moskov is a surname, most common in Bulgaria, Russia and North Macedonia. There exist as well similar place names in Poland like Mozgawa.
The original Old Russian form of the name is reconstructed as *Москы, *Mosky, hence it was one of a few Slavic ū-stem nouns. As with other nouns of that declension, it had been undergoing a morphological transformation at the early stage of the development of the language, as a result the first written mentions in the 12th century were Московь, Moskovĭ, Москви, Moskvi, Москвe/Москвѣ, Moskve/Moskvě. From the latter forms came the modern Russian name Москва, a result of morphological generalisation with the numerous Slavic ā-stem nouns. However, the form Moskovĭ has left some traces in many other languages, such as English: Moscow, German: Moskau, French: Moscou, Georgian: მოსკოვი, Latvian: Maskava, Ottoman Turkish: Moskov, Tatar: Мәскәү, Mäskäw, Kazakh: Мәскеу, Mäskew, Chuvash: Мускав, etc. In a similar manner the Latin name Moscovia has been formed it became a collo
Petrine Baroque is a name applied by art historians to a style of Baroque architecture and decoration favoured by Peter the Great and employed to design buildings in the newly founded Russian capital, Saint Petersburg, under this monarch and his immediate successors. Different from contemporary Naryshkin Baroque, favoured in Moscow, the Petrine Baroque represented a drastic rupture with Byzantine traditions that had dominated Russian architecture for a millennium, its chief practitioners - Domenico Trezzini, Andreas Schlüter, Mikhail Zemtsov - drew inspiration from a rather modest Dutch and Swedish architecture of the time. Peter I known as Peter the Great, served as the tsar of Russia from 1682-1725, he was the first Russian monarch to travel outside of Russia and this travel exposed him to the architecture of many other countries. His own library contained architectural books from the Netherlands, France and Italy; the buildings of these countries influenced Peter's taste in architecture as he set forward to build the new Russian capital of St. Petersburg.
Peter had a specific idea of what he wanted this new city to look like in terms of architectural style, he took initiative in recruiting people who could help accomplish his vision and researching architectural styles. While in rule, Peter attempted to bring about change to the nation of Russia as as possible and tried to incorporate western style and tradition into the everyday lives of his citizens; as part of this, Peter put regulations into effect. Peter's original goal for St. Petersburg was to re-create the city of Amsterdam; as the city began construction, Peter started making changes to the designs of the buildings altering the planned appearance of buildings once their construction had started. These last minute alterations led to buildings not belonging to one particular architectural school. Peter was raised in Moscow, lived at the Grand Palace of Kremlin, spent time at multiple royal estates outside of the city, his father died when he was four years old, so Peter had a unsupervised youth to pursue his own passions.
Peter developed his taste for architecture by looking at the buildings which surrounded him in his childhood, many of which were patronized by his family. These churches and houses which surrounded Moscow reflected European influence in their structure and decoration; the Moscow or Naryshkin Baroque style, named after Peter's maternal side of the family, was prominent in these buildings. Characteristic of the Naryshkin Baroque style is large scale buildings and lack of wood amongst building materials; as Peter entered young adulthood and spent time travelling, his architectural taste began to favor the elements of Dutch architecture. Peter met with the Dutch architect Simon Schijnvoet in 1697. Schijnvoet specialized in Dutch Baroque but taught Peter about naval architecture; the first house in St. Petersburg that Peter designed utilized elements from this naval style which Schjinvoet taught him, including flat, painted log walls, wooden tile-like shingles, windows made from small planes of glass.
These elements of design were unlike the Russian styles seen up until this point. The Russian history scholar James Cracraft suggests that the clearest example of Dutch architecture designed under Peter's rule was his Summer Palace in St. Petersburg, referred to as "Monplaisir" or "Little Dutch House". In a 1724 letter to the architectural student Ivan Korobov, Peter discusses his preference for the ornamentation of Dutch Baroque. In this same letter, Peter conveys his disinterest for the architectural styles of the French and Italian due to its lack of adornment and use of stone rather than brick. Among Peter's papers, a note was found describing how he sent two Russian architecture students to Holland so that they could learn the Dutch Baroque style and come back to build churches and houses for St. Petersburg. In addition to having Russian students train abroad, Peter hired Dutch architects to come and work on projects in Russia. While Peter preferred the Dutch Baroque style, he sought out architectural inspiration from other countries.
Despite his recorded dislike for the French and Italian styles, Peter sent two architectural students to Rome in 1723 to replace another two students working there. Scholars suggest that an equal amount of architectural students were sent to Holland and Italy during his reign and more Italian builders worked on projects for Peter in Russia than Dutch builders did. In the early years of St. Petersburg, the French served as prominent decorators. Domenico Trezzini was born in Italian controlled region of Switzerland in 1670; the architects that surrounded him in his youth were responsible for the development of the Baroque style in southern Germany. Trezzini's architectural style has visible influences from this German Baroque style along with the northern style of Baroque architecture that he picked up during his time living in Copenhagen. Trezzini was influenced by the Lombard Baroque style of architecture, popular in Northern Italy where he grew up during the 17th century. From 1703 until his death in 1734, Trezzini lived in St. Petersburg during the rule of Peter I.
Trezzini began many of the building projects. Due to the many projects that Trezzini worked on, he was given the title of "Lieutenant-Colonel of Fortification and Architect" in 1710; some of Trezzini's major additions to the city include: Peter I's Summer Palace, the Alexander-Nevskii Monastery, the Twelve Colleges, the Peter-Paul Church. Trezzini and his team designed the layout of the developing St. Petersburg including the streets of the anticipat