Born 1670; died Apr. 19 (30), 1735, in the village of Glinki, in present-day Shchelkovo Raion, Moscow Oblast. Political figure and scholar; associate of Peter I.
Bruce was a descendant of a noble Scottish clan; his forefathers had lived in Russia since 1647. He took part in the Crimean campaigns (1687, 1689) and in the Azov campaigns of Peter I. In 1696 he assembled a map of the lands from Moscow to Asia Minor which was printed in Amsterdam. Bruce was a member of the Great Embassy of 1697-98. During the Northern War, 1700-21, he assisted Peter I in the organization of the army, chiefly in the sphere of artillery; he commanded the artillery at the Battle of Poltava. Bruce accompanied Peter I on the Prut’ campaign in 1711. In 1717 he was a senator and president of the Collegium of Mines and the Collegium of Manufactures. With A. I. Osterman, he signed the Treaty of Niestadt in 1721, for which he received the title of count. He retired in 1726 with the rank of field marshal and settled at his estate, Glinki, near Moscow.
Bruce was one of the most educated people of his time; he studied mathematics, astronomy, and physics. In 1702 he equipped an observatory at the navigation school in Moscow. He translated C. Huygens’ book Cosmotheoros (published in 1717 and 1724) and wrote a preface to it. C. Huygens’ book and the map of V. Kipriianov, printed under Bruce’s editorship in 1707, introduced the basic teachings of Copernicus. Bruce edited globes of the terrestrial and celestial spheres and geographic maps. From 1706 he directed the Moscow civilian printing house. The composition of the so-called Bruce calendar is ascribed to him (published in Moscow, 1709-15). Bruce owned a valuable collection of antiquarian objects and a library; he willed his library to the Academy of Sciences.
REFERENCESPekarskii, P. Nauka i literatura v Rossii pri Petre Velikom, vols. 1-2. St. Petersburg, 1862.
Ocherki istorii SSSR: Pervaia chetvert’ XVIII v. Moscow, 1954.
Zabelin, I. E. “Biblioteka i kabinet grafa Ia. V. Briusa.” In Letopisi russkoi literatury i drevnosti, vol. 1. Moscow, 1859.
Nikiforov, L. A. Vneshniaia politika Rossii v poslednie gody Severnoi voiny: Nishtadtskii mir. Moscow, 1959.
E. I. RUBINSHTEIN