Johann Anton Güldenstaedt
Güldenstaedt, Johann Anton
Born Apr. 29 (May 10), 1745, in Riga; died Mar. 23 (Apr. 3), 1781, in St. Petersburg. Russian physician, naturalist, and traveler. Member of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences (1771). President of the Free Economic Society (from 1780).
Güldenstaedt studied medicine in Berlin. In 1768 he was invited by the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences to participate in the academy’s expeditions of 1768–75. Many of his travels were devoted to the study of the Caucasus. At the same time as S. G. Gmelin, he also explored the upper reaches of the Volga and Don rivers. His journal of travels in Russia is of interest for its detailed description of the daily life, economy, and natural features of the Ukraine and the Caucasus in the second half of the 18th century. Güldenstaedt was the first to provide data on the soils, flora, and fauna of the steppes of southern Russia and explain the origin of chernozem. He also described for the first time a number of previously unknown small animals (molerats, a new species of suslik). Güldenstaedt gathered materials on the history of the Azov and the Crimea, the genealogy of Georgian kings, numismatics, statistics, and so forth.
WORKSIn Russian translation:
Geograficheskoe i statisticheskoe opisanie Gruzii i Kavkaza iz puteshestviia akademika Gil’denshtedta cherez Rossiiu i po Kav-kazskim goram v 1770, 1771, 1772 i 1773 gg. St. Petersburg, 1809.
Puteshestvie akademika Gil’denshtedta po Slobodsko-Ukrainskoi gubernii. Kharkov, 1892.