Adam Olearius

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Olearius, Adam


(also Adam Ölschläger). Born Aug. 16, 1603, in Saxony; died Feb. 23, 1671, in Gottorp, Schleswig. German scholar.

Olearius studied at the University of Leipzig, where he later taught. He served as court mathematician and librarian for the Duke of Holstein. He knew Russian and Arabic. In 1633–34, Olearius visited Russia as a member of the Schleswig-Holstein embassy; he traveled in Iran during a journey that lasted from 1635 to 1639. In 1639 he settled in Gottorp. In 1643, Olearius began editing the diaries of his journeys, which were later published in German in Schleswig in 1647.

Olearius’ works provide information about the geography and history of Russia and about the peoples who lived there, their settlements, and their customs and mores. His works contain many maps and drawings. He published a German translation of works by Persian and Arab poets, including Saadi’s Gulistan (The Rose Garden), in 1654.


Opisanie puteshestviia v Moskoviiu i cherez Moskoviiu v Persiiu i obratno. St. Petersburg, 1906.


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The map originates from a travel book, Relation du voyage d'Adam Olearius en Moscovie, Tartarie et Perse, by a German mathematician Adam Olearius.
Adam Olearius (1599-1671) German mathematician, cartographer, and traveler.
Samogitia on the map of Livonia by Adam Olearius, Paris 1659
Visions of Persia: mapping the travels of Adam Olearius.
Boterbloem notes that Disastrous Voyages paraphrases a number of other travelogues, such as the 1647 account by the Holstein diplomat Adam Olearius of an embassy to Muscovy and Iran (attitudes towards plagiarism were more relaxed than today).
The interior lighting of the Zeiss projection planetarium was crudely anticipated in the mid-17th century when Adam Olearius designed a 10-foot sphere with stars painted on its inside surface for Duke Frederick of Holstein-Gottorp.
Sumarokov's selection of these three poems--"an die grosse Stadt Mosskaw / als er schiede," "An den Fluss Mosskaw / als er schiede," and "Er redet die Stadt Mosskaw an / Als er ihre verguldeten Thurme von fernen sahe"--was for obvious reasons a natural one; Fleming had three times visited Moscow (1634, 1636 and 1639) with Adam Olearius on the Holstein trade mission sent by Duke Friedrich III, and had written the poems while there, glorifying the Russian capital.
The travel account published by Fleming's friend and fellow traveler Adam Olearius, .
All three poems appeared in the above order in the earliest edition of his works, Prodromus (1641), (19) published after Fleming's death by Adam Olearius.
The book successfully demonstrates the role which 17th- and early 18th-century journal accounts by diplomats, travelers, writers, and scholars, such as Adam Olearius, Paul Fleming, Engelbert Kaempfer, Carsten Niebuhr, and Johann Gottlieb Worm played in the evolution of Herder's notion of cultural history on the one hand and the impact such travelogues, along with translations of Persian literary texts, had on German literary culture, culminating in Goethe's West-ostlicher Divan, on the other.

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